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The army of Sicily at Carthage

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Chapter Summary

Appian tells a story of the Punic authorities putting to death 3,000 Libyan deserters who were handed back by the Romans, but this is fiction. The peace terms did require the handing back of Roman deserters by the Carthaginians, but no quid pro quo is recorded. Even if, improbably, a handover of Libyan deserters happened, the supposed mass slaughter is outside belief. Letting the army of Sicily, Libyans included, into Carthage while killing thousands of their former comrades would have been folly. Besides, the Libyan troops showed no recorded resentment at the supposed killings. The whole army continued expecting an amicable settlement of its claims, and Polybius leaves the 'killings' totally out of his account, even when detailing the Libyan communities' bitter and justified grievances against Carthage.

Keywords: Appian; Carthage; Libyan troops; Polybius; Punic authorities; Roman deserters; Sicily



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