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A Fruitless Sortie Meanwhile the Carthaginians at home knew nothing of Hannibal relieves Lilybaeum. what was going on. But they could calculate the requirements of a besieged garrison; and they accordingly filled fifty vessels with soldiers, furnished their commander Hannibal, a son of Hamilcar, and an officer and prime favourite
venturesome to relieve the besieged. He put to sea with his ten
thousand men, and dropped anchor at the islands called
Aegusae, which lie in the course between Lilybaeum and
Carthage, and there looked out for an opportunity of making
Lilybaeum. At last a strong breeze sprang up in exactly the
right quarter: he crowded all sail anLilybaeum. At last a strong breeze sprang up in exactly the
right quarter: he crowded all sail and bore down before the
wind right upon the entrance of the harbour, with his men
upon the decks fully armed and ready for battle. Partly from
astonishment at this sudden appearance, partly from dread of
being carried along with the enemy by the violence of the
gale into the harbour of their opponents, the Romans did not