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[98] When the calends came they all set sail at daybreak, Lepidus from Africa with 1000 ships of burden, seventy war vessels, twelve legions of soldiers, 500 Numidian horse, and a great quantity of apparatus; Taurus from Tarentum with only 102 of the 130 ships that Antony had left, since the oarsmen of the remainder had perished during the winter. Octavius sailed from Puteoli, offering sacrifices and pouring out libations from the admiral's ship into the water to the propitious winds, and to Neptune, the guardian, and to the tranquil sea, that they should be his assistants against his father's enemies. Certain ships sent in advance made examination of the bays, and Appius with a large squadron followed as a rear guard. On the third day after their departure a south wind blew with violence and capsized a large number of ships of burden belonging to Lepidus. Nevertheless, he reached the Sicilian coast, laid siege to Plennius in Lilybæum, and got possession of some towns by persuasion and others by force. When the wind began to blow Taurus returned to Tarentum. While Appius was doubling the promontory of Minerva, some of his ships were shattered against the rocks, others ran with violence on the shoals, and the rest were dispersed, not without injury. At the beginning of the storm, Octavius took refuge in the sheltered bay of Elea, except one six-banked ship, which was wrecked on the promontory. The south wind was succeeded by a southwester, which threw the bay into commotion, as it opened toward the west. It was impossible to sail out of the bay with the wind still ahead, nor could the ships be held by oars or anchors. They crashed against each other or against the rocks, and the confusion became worse confounded by night.

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