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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


IV. The Revolution

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 I - The Subject Countries Down to the Times of the Gracchi


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Page 53

The Siege

The consuls accordingly had by no means an easy task to perform, when they now found themselves compelled to commence a regular siege. Manius Manilius, who commanded the land army, pitched his camp opposite the wall of the citadel, while Lucius Censorinus stationed himself with the fleet on the lake and there began operations on the tongue of land. The Carthaginian army, under Hasdrubal, encamped on the other side of the lake near the fortress of Nepheris, whence it obstructed the labours of the Roman soldiers despatched to cut timber for constructing machines, and the able cavalry-leader in particular, Himilco Phameas, slew many of the Romans.

Censorinus fitted up two large battering-rams on the tongue, and made a breach with them at this weakest place of the wall; but, as evening had set in, the assault had to be postponed. During the night the besieged succeeded in filling up a great part of the breach, and in so damaging the Roman machines by a sortie that they could not work next day. Nevertheless the Romans ventured on the assault; but they found the breach and the portions of the wall and houses in the neighbourhood so strongly occupied, and advanced with such imprudence, that they were repulsed with severe loss and would have suffered still greater damage, had not the military tribune Scipio Aemilianus, foreseeing the issue of the foolhardy attack, kept together his men in front of the walls and with them intercepted the fugitives. Manilius accomplished still less against the impregnable wall of the citadel. The siege thus lingered on.

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