Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
Attack on Africa - Naval Victory of Ecnomus
Weary of a course of operations without results, and impatient to put an end to the war, the senate resolved to change its system, and to assail Carthage in Africa. In the spring of 498 a fleet of 330 ships of the line set sail for the coast of Libya: at the mouth of the river Himera on the south coast of Sicily it embarked the army for landing, consisting of four legions, under the charge of the two consuls Marcus Atilius Regulus and Lucius Manlius Volso, both experienced generals.
The Carthaginian admiral suffered the embarkation of the enemy's troops to take place; but on continuing their voyage towards Africa the Romans found the Punic fleet drawn up in order of battle off Ecnomus to protect its native land from invasion. Seldom have greater numbers fought at sea than were engaged in the battle that now ensued. The Roman fleet: of 330 sail contained at least 100,000 men in its crews, besides the landing army of about 40,000; the Carthaginian of 350 vessels was manned by at least an equal number; so that well-nigh three hundred thousand men were brought into action on this day to decide the contest between the two mighty civic communities.
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