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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 38

In the spring of 500 the Roman fleet, numbering 300 vessels mostly new, appeared on the north coast of Sicily; Panormus, the most important town in Carthaginian Sicily, was acquired through a successful attack from the seaboard, and the smaller places there, Soluntum, Cephaloedium, and Tyndaris, likewise fell into the hands of the Romans, so that along the whole north coast of the island Thermae alone was retained by the Carthaginians. Panormus became thenceforth one of the chief stations of the Romans in Sicily. The war by land, nevertheless, made no progress; the two armies stood face to face before Lilybaeum, but the Roman commanders, who knew not how to encounter the mass of elephants, made no attempt to compel a pitched battle.

In the ensuing year (501) the consuls, instead of pursuing sure advantages in Sicily, preferred to make an expedition to Africa, for the purpose not of landing but of plundering the coast towns. They accomplished their object without opposition; but, after having first run aground in the troublesome, and to their pilots unknown, waters of the Lesser Syrtis, whence they with difficulty got clear again, the fleet encountered a storm between Sicily and Italy, which cost more than 150 ships. On this occasion also the pilots, notwithstanding their representations and entreaties to be allowed to take the course along the coast, were obliged by command of the consuls to steer straight from Panormus across the open sea to Ostia.

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