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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 40

Siege of Lilybaeum

Peace was declined, and it was resolved to prosecute in earnest the siege of the two Sicilian cities and for this purpose to send to sea once more a fleet of 200 sail. The siege of Lilybaeum, the first great and regular siege undertaken by Rome, and one of the most obstinate known in history, was opened by the Romans with an important success: they succeeded in introducing their fleet into the harbour of the city, and in blockading it on the side facing the sea.

The besiegers, however, were not able to close the sea completely. In spite of their sunken vessels and their palisades, and in spite of the most careful vigilance, dexterous mariners, accurately acquainted with the shallows and channels, maintained with swift-sailing vessels a regular communication between the besieged in the city and the Carthaginian fleet in the harbour of Drepana.

In fact after some time a Carthaginian squadron of 50 sail succeeded in running into the harbour, in throwing a large quantity of provisions and a reinforcement of 10,000 men into the city, and in returning unmolested. The besieging land army was not much more fortunate.

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