ir ranks and had killed the large
part of those that fell: and they were in such terror of them,
that though during two years running after that time they
had on many occasions, in the territory either of Lilybaeum or
Selinus, found themselves in order of battle within five or six
stades of the enemy, they never plucked up courage to begin
an attack, or in fact to come down upon level ground at all,
all because of their fear of an elephant charge.
B. C. 252-251. And in these two seasons all they did was to
reduce Therma and Lipara by siege, keeping close all the
while to mountainous districts and such as were difficult to
cross. The timidity and want of confidence thus displayed
by their land forces induced the Roman government to
change their minds and once more to attempt
success at sea. B. C. 250. Accordingly, in the second consulship of Caius Atilius and Lucius Manlius, we find them
ordering fifty ships to be built, enrolling sailors and energetically collecting a naval armament.
inspired in their own troops by a victory over these animals. With
their confidence thus restored, the Roman government recurred
to their original plan of sending out the Consuls upon this service
with a fleet and naval forces; for they were eager, by all means
in their power, to put a period to the war. Accordingly, in
the fourteenth year of the war, the supplies necessary for
the despatch of the expedition were got ready, and the Consuls set sail for Sicily with two hundred ships. B. C. 250. C. Caecilius Regulus II., L. Manlius Vulso II.
They dropped anchor at Lilybaeum; and the
army having met them there, they began to
besiege it by sea and land. Their view was
that if they could obtain possession of this
town they would have no difficulty in transferring the seat
of war to Libya. The Carthaginian leaders were of the same
opinion, and entirely agreed with the Roman view of the value
of the place. They accordingly subordinated everything else
to this; devoted themselves to the r
st, dividing the Libyan from the Sardinian Sea, and
is called Lilybaeum. On this last there is a city of the same
name. It was this city that the Romans were now besieging.
It was exceedingly strongly fortified: for besides its walls there
was a deep ditch running all round it, and on the side of the
sea it was protected by lagoons, to steer through which into
the harbour was a task requiring much skill and practice.
The Romans made two camps, one on each side of theSiege of Lilybaeum, B. C. 250.
town, and connected them with a ditch,
stockade, and wall. Having done this, they
began the assault by advancing their siege-works
in the direction of the tower nearest the sea, which commands
a view of the Libyan main. They did this gradually, always
adding something to what they had already constructed; and
thus bit by bit pushed their works forward and extended them
laterally, till at last they had brought down not only this tower,
but the six next to it also; and at the same time began b