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Sardinia rebels

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Chapter Summary

The mercenaries holding Sardinia mutinied. They had not done so at the time of the mainland rising, but Polybius now describes them as 'eager to rival Mathos and Spendius'. No doubt these leaders had been sending them exhortations, for anything that added to Carthaginian tribulations had to be encouraged. The Carthaginians had to hope that the troops in Sardinia would not be tempted to do just that. But something now pushed the men into discarding their old allegiance as bloodily as the units at Tunes. The simplest explanation would be that their pay and ration-money, opsonion and sitarchia, had become irregular or even were suspended under financial pressures at Carthage. The costs of the war in the Carthaginians' own heartlands had to outweigh everything else, and made even risky economies necessary.

Keywords: Carthage; Mathos; Polybius; Sardinia rebels; Spendius; Tunes



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