They had considerable towns, as Segesta and Eryx, and the history, as well as the remains, of Segesta, shows that Greek influences prevailed among them very early, while at Eryx Phoenician influence was stronger.
In a dispute, partly about boundaries, partly about the right of intermarriage between the Hellenic and the Hellenizing city, Segesta was hard pressed.
One of the ostensible objects of the Athenian expedition to Sicily in 415 was to aid Segesta against Selinus in a dispute, not only as to questions of boundary, but as to rights of marriage.
An abortive expedition to reinstate a Thessalian prince probably also belongs to this year; there is also evidence that Athens interfered in a war between Selinus and Segesta in Sicily about this time.
After the Athenian debacle, the Segestans turned to Carthage; but when Hannibal in 409 B.C. firmly established the Carthaginian power in western Sicily, Segesta sank to the position of a dependent ally, and was indeed besieged by Dionysius in 397, being at last relieved by Himilco.
A dispute between Selinus and Segesta (probably the revival of a similar quarrel about 454, when an Athenian force appears to have taken part 2) was one of the causes of the Athenian expedition of 415 B.C. At its close the former seemed to have the latter at its mercy, but an appeal to Carthage was responded 1 The plant was formerly thought to be wild parsley.
The tragic fiasco of the Sicilian expedition, involving the death 1 In 454 Athens made a treaty with Segesta (inscr.
In the first war with Carthage the Greek cities under Carthaginian dominion or dependence helped him; so did Sicans and Sicels, which last had among them some stirring leaders; Elymian Segesta clave to Carthage.