Their force indeed was sufficient for the conquest of the Sikeliot Greeks even if they had not been weakened by their internal strife. Hearing that their own part of the island was being ravaged, they at once in great anger marched to attack the Corinthians, under the command of Hasdrubal and Hamilcar.

In some of the Sikeliot cities, this was the most brilliant time of architectural splendor. At Syracuse indeed the greatest buildings which remain to tell their own story belong either to an earlier or to a later time. It is the theater alone, as in its first estate a probable work of the first Hierôn, which at all connects itself with our present time.

But the Arab influence in architecture was dominant, and it survived well into the fourteenth century. The reported luxury of the Sikeliot cities in this age is, in the double-edged saying of Empedocles, connected with one of their noblest tastes. They built their houses as if they were going to live for ever. And if their houses, how much more their temples and other public buildings?

Pyrrhus, learning this, determined to assault it. When his army was ready, he came forward, in complete armour, and vowed that he would hold public games and sacrifices in honour of Herakles, if he should prove himself that day, before all the Sikeliot Greeks, to be a worthy descendant of Achilles, and to deserve to command so great a force.