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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 39

Suspension of the Maritime War - Roman Victory at Panormus

Despondency now seized the fathers of the city; they resolved to reduce their war-fleet to sixty sail, and to confine the war by sea to the defence of the coasts, and to the convoy of transports. Fortunately, just at this time, the languishing war in Sicily took a more favourable turn. In the year 502, Thermae, the last point which the Carthaginians held on the north coast, and the important island of Lipara, had fallen into the hands of the Romans, and in the following year (summer of 503) the consul Lucius Caecilius Metellus achieved a brilliant victory over the army of elephants under the walls of Panormus.

These animals, which had been imprudently brought forward, were wounded by the light troops of the Romans stationed in the moat of the town; some of them fell into the moat, and others fell back on their own troops, who crowded in wild disorder along with the elephants towards the beach, that they might be picked up by the Phoenician ships.

One hundred and twenty elephants were captured, and the Carthaginian army, whose strength depended on these animals, was obliged once more to shut itself up in its fortresses. Eryx soon fell into the hands of the Romans (505), and the Carthaginians retained nothing in the island but Drepana and Lilybaeum. Carthage a second time offered peace; but the victory of Metellus and the exhaustion of the enemy gave to the more energetic party the upper hand in the senate.

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