Their small boats retired first, and arriving at the entrance, and becoming entangled on account of their number, they blocked up the mouth so that when the larger ones arrived they were prevented from entering. They took refuge at a wide quay, which had been built against the city wall for unloading merchant ships some time before, and on which a small parapet had been erected during this war lest the space might sometime be occupied by the enemy. When the Carthaginian ships took refuge here for want of a harbor, they ranged themselves with their bows outward and received the attack of the enemy, some of them standing on the ships, some on the quay, and still others on the parapet. To the Romans the onset was easy, for it is not hard to attack ships that are standing still, but when they attempted to turn around, in order to retire, the movement was slow and difficult on account of the length of the ships, for which reason they received as much damage as they had given; for while they were executing the movement they were exposed to the onset of the Carthaginians. Finally five ships of the city of the Sidetæ, which were in alliance with Scipio, dropped their anchors in the sea at some distance, attaching long ropes to them, by which means they were enabled to dash against the Carthaginian ships by rowing, and having delivered their blow warp themselves back by the ropes stern foremost. Then the whole fleet, catching the idea from the Sidetæ, followed their example and inflicted great damage upon the enemy. Night put an end to the battle, after which the Carthaginians withdrew to the city -- as many of them as survived the engagement.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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