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King Grios War (The Sicans)

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King Grios War was a war fought between the Kingdom of Cycae and the Roman Republic between 98 and 95 BCE. While the Cycaens were initially victorious, the economic and militaristic might of the Romans overwhelmed the Cycaens. It is called the King Grios war because King Grios of Cycae is responsible for having started the war.


Prior Events

The Romans and Sican tribes fought before, around 270 BCE. This war resulted in a Roman defeat, due to the Sican tribes bonding together. For a long period of time there was very little interaction between the two groups, until the 110s BCE, when King Palermos opened up trade between his country and Rome. The two groups were somewhat friendly, until 111 BCE, when King Grios took the throne of Cycae.


When King Grios took the throne, he immediately began to build up his army at an unprecidented rate. In 103 BCE, he issued for Sicans to colonize the islands of Malta and parts of Libya and Carthage, some territory that Rome owned.


Outbreak of the War

By 98 BCE, almost 20% of the Sican population lived in their newly settled colonies. This alarmed the Romans, who thought that the Cycaens were going to continually expand into Roman lands, taking valuable resources. Furthermore, the Romans sought to control Sicily (the homeland of the Sicans), a central location in the Mediterranean Sea.


On the Cycaen side, King Grios believed that a war was overdue and that it was King Palermos's wish to see his country battle. King Grios also wanted to experience the glory of battle and become a great hero.


In 98 BCE, the Romans attacked some of the Cycaen colonies in Carthage. The Cycaens held out and forged a counterattack, succesfully capturing Carthage from the Romans in September, 98BCE.


The Beginning of the War

After Carthage was captured, King Grios assumed command of the Cycaen army. He led over 50,000 troops into Southern Italy, where he captured Neapolis in early 97 BCE. Back in Africa, Cycaen troops in Libya were making their way eastward, raiding Roman cities in Cyrene.


The Romans captured Malta in 97 BCE but a year later the Cycaens took it back.


The End of the War

The Cycaens were more strategic and had better trained soldiers, but the Romans had a larger economy and population. By mid-96 BCE, the Romans were sending another 200,000 men off to war, while the Cycaens could only send about 15,000 out that year.


By the end of 96 BCE, Neapolis was back in Roman hands and southern Italy was soon reconquered as well. In March, 95 BCE, Syracuse fell. Even though the Kingdom of Cycae didn't technically fall then, it is the symbolic end of their empire as King Grios died with the city.


For the next two years, the Romans fought rebellions in Sicily and conquered Malta and Sican Africa. 93 BCE is the official end of the war, as the Sican Diaspora occurred.

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