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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter II - The War between Rome and Carthage Concerning Sicily


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Page 29

The Phoenicians were placed in a single widely-extended line, with their left wing resting on the Sicilian coast. The Romans arranged themselves in a triangle, with the ships of the two consuls as admirals at the apex, the first and second squadrons drawn out in oblique line to the right and left, and a third squadron, having the vessels built for the transport of the cavalry in tow, forming the line which closed the triangle. They thus bore down in close order on the enemy. A fourth squadron placed in reserve followed more slowly.

The wedge-shaped attack broke without difficulty the Carthaginian line, for its centre, which was first assailed, intentionally gave way, and the battle resolved itself into three separate engagements. While the admirals with the two squadrons drawn up on the wings pursued the Carthaginian centre and were closely engaged with it, the left wing of the Carthaginians drawn up along the coast wheeled round upon the third Roman squadron, which was prevented by the vessels which it had in tow from following the two others, and by a vehement onset in superior force drove it against the shore; at the same time the Roman reserve was turned on the open sea, and assailed from behind, by the right wing of the Carthaginians.

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