So he sent his brother Mago to tell the story of his triumphs and his needs to the Carthaginian senate, never doubting that a few weeks would see the tall-prowed ships sailing up the coast of the Tyrrhene sea, where he now had his headquarters.
The Greek Periplus, composed about 418, sets down the Samnites proper with their "five tongues" as reaching from the one sea to the other; and specifies the Campanians as adjoining them on the Tyrrhene sea to the north, and the Lucanians to the south, amongst whom in this instance, as often, the Bruttii are included, and who already had the whole coast apportioned among them from Paestum on the Tyrrhene, to Thurii on the Ionic sea.
This is a modest and pure piece of Gothic architecture, fair in desolation, refined and dignified, and not unworthy in its grace of the dead Cyprian goddess. Through its broken lancets the sea-wind whistles and the vast reaches of the Tyrrhene gulf are seen. Samphire sprouts between the blocks of marble, and in sheltered nooks the caper hangs her beautiful purpureal snowy bloom.
When men discovered the isles of Aeolus in the Lipari islands, when they pointed out at the Lacinian cape the isle of Calypso, at the cape of Misenum that of the Sirens, at the cape of Circeii that of Circe, when they recognized in the steep promontory of Terracina the towering burial-mound of Elpenor, when the Laestrygones were provided with haunts near Caieta and Formiae, when the two sons of Ulysses and Circe, Agrius, that is the "wild," and Latinus, were made to rule over the Tyrrhenians in the "inmost recess of the holy islands," or, according to a more recent version, Latinus was called the son of Ulysses and Circe, and Auson the son of Ulysses and Calypso we recognize in these legends ancient sailors' tales of the seafarers of Ionia, who thought of their native home as they traversed the Tyrrhene Sea.
When the internal disturbances that followed the death of Dionysius in Syracuse gave the Carthaginians freer scope, and their fleet resumed in the Tyrrhene sea that ascendency which with but slight interruptions they thenceforth maintained, it proved a burden no less grievous to Etruscans than to Greeks; so that, when Agathocles of Syracuse in 444 was making preparations for war with Carthage, he was even joined by eighteen Tuscan vessels of war.
The spear flies on; where haply stood opposite in ninefold brotherhood all the beautiful sons of one faithful Tyrrhene wife, borne of her to Gylippus the Arcadian, one of them, midway where the sewn belt rubs on the flank and the clasp bites the fastenings of the side, one of them, excellent in beauty and glittering in arms, it pierces clean through the ribs and stretches on the yellow sand.
The high promontory of Sorrento with the cliff of Capri which is still more precipitous but destitute of any harbour a station thoroughly adapted for corsairs on the watch, commanding a prospect of the Tyrrhene Sea between the bays of Naples and Salerno was early occupied by the Etruscans.
It was not without reason that the Greeks reckoned the grapnel as an Etruscan invention, and called the western sea of Italy the sea of the Tuscans. The rapidity with which these wild corsairs multiplied and the violence of their proceedings in the Tyrrhene Sea in particular, are very clearly shown by their establishment on the Latin and Campanian coasts.
This alone, moreover, explains how Etruscan corsairs could render the Adriatic unsafe till far into the fifth century, and why not only Dionysius of Syracuse covered its coasts with colonies, but even Athens, as a remarkable document recently discovered informs us, resolved about 429 to establish a colony in the Adriatic for the protection of seafarers against the Tyrrhene pirates.
More than race to the Roman; more than power to the statesman; yet helpless beside the grave, "Non, Torquate, genus, non te facundia, non te, Restitvet pietas." Nay, also what it stands for as an attribute, not only of men, but of gods; nor of those only as merciful, but also as avenging. Against AEneas himself, Dido invokes the waves of the Tyrrhene Sea, "si quid pia numina possunt."