But the goodness of their ships, and the expertness of their men in nautical business, quickly freed the Rhodians from all embarrassment.
They pushed out hastily towards the main, and each made room next the land for the one immediately behind; and when any made a stroke with its beak against a ship of the enemy, it either shattered its prow, or swept off its oars; or passing by it in the clear space [p. 1680]
between the vessels, made an attack on its stern.
One of the king's seven-banked ships being sunk with one stroke, by a Rhodian vessel of much smaller size, discouraged them very much.
Therefore the right wing of the enemy was now undoubtedly verging to flight. Hannibal, in the open sea, by means chiefly of his superior number of ships, pressed hard on Eudamus, who surpassed him in every other respect: and he would have surrounded him were it not that, on the signal being given from the admiral's fleet, (by which it is usual to collect together the fleet when dispersed,) all the ships which had conquered on the right wing came speedily to bear aid to their own party.
This made Hannibal himself, with all his division, betake themselves to flight; while the Rhodians could not pursue, because their rowers being most of them sick, were therefore the sooner wearied.
When they were recruiting their strength with food on the sea where they brought to, Eudamus, observing the enemy towing, by means of their open vessels, several damaged and crippled ships, and seeing little more than twenty that were going off uninjured, commanded silence from the castle of the commander's ship, and then called out, “Arise, and feast your eyes with an extraordinary sight.”
They all started up, and perceiving the disorderly flight of the enemy, cried out, almost with one voice, that they ought to pursue.
Eudamus's ship was bulged in many places; he therefore ordered Pamphilidas and Chariclitus to pursue as far as they should think it safe.
They, accordingly, pursued for a considerable time: but after that Hannibal make-in close to the land, fearing to be wind-bound on an enemy's coast, they steered back to Eudamus, and with difficulty towed to Phaselis a captured seven-banked ship, which had been damaged in the beginning of the engagement.
They then sailed home to Rhodes, not so much exulting in their victory as blaming one another because the entire fleet had not been taken or sunk, when it could have been done.
Hannibal, disheartened by the loss of this one battle, did not even then dare to sail past the coast of Lycia, though he wished to join the king's main fleet as soon as possible.
And that this action might not be unimpeded, the Rhodians sent Chariclitus with twenty ships of war to Patara and the harbour of Megiste.
They then ordered Eudamus, with seven of the largest vessels belonging to the fleet which he had com- [p. 1681]
manded, to rejoin the Romans at Samos, and to endeavour by every argument, and by all his influence, to prevail on the Romans to besiege Patara.