finally assembled at Carthage, the sum total of
the troops collected together with the cavalry was a little over one hundred and twenty
thousand, according to Timaeus, but three hundred thousand, according to Ephorus.The Carthaginians, in preparation for their crossing over to Sicily, made ready and equipped all their triremes and also
assembled more than a thousand cargo ships, and when they
dispatched in advance forty triremes to Sicily, the
Syracusans speedily appeared with about the same number of warships in the region of Eryx. In the long sea-battle which ensued fifteen of the
Phoenician ships were destroyed and the rest, when night fell, fled for safety to the open sea.
And when word of the defeat was brought to the Carthaginians,
Hannibal the general set out to sea with fifty ships, since he was eager both to prevent the
Syracusans from exploiting their advantage and to make the landing safe for his own armaments.