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The Siege of Aspis

After the battle the Romans took in a fresh supply of victual, repaired and refitted the ships they had captured, bestowed upon the crews the attention which they had deserved by their victory, and then put to sea with a view of continuing their voyage to Libya. Their leading ships made the shore just under the headland called the Hermaeum, which is the extreme point on the east of the Gulf of Carthage, and runs out into the open sea in the direction of Sicily.
Siege of Aspis. (Clupea.)
There they waited for the rest of the ships to come up, and having got the entire fleet together coasted along until they came to the city called Aspis. Here they disembarked, beached their ships, dug a trench, and constructed a stockade round them; and on the inhabitants of the city refusing to submit without compulsion, they set to work to besiege the town. Presently those of the Carthaginians who had survived the sea-fight came to land also; and feeling sure that the enemy, in the flush of their victory, intended to sail straight against Carthage itself, they began by keeping a chain of advanced guards at outlying points to protect the capital with their military and naval forces. But when they ascertained that the Romans had disembarked without resistance and were engaged in besieging Aspis, they gave up the idea of watching for the descent of the fleet; but concentrated their forces, and devoted themselves to the protection of the capital and its environs.

Meanwhile the Romans had taken Aspis, had placed in it a

Aspis taken.
garrison to hold it and its territory, and had besides sent home to Rome to announce the events which had taken place and to ask for instructions as to the future,—what they were to do, and what arrangements they were to make. Having done this they made active preparations for a general advance and set about plundering the country. They met with no opposition in this: they destroyed numerous dwelling houses of remarkably fine construction, possessed themselves of a great number of cattle; and captured more than twenty thousand slaves whom they took to their ships. In the midst of these proceedings the messengers arrived from Rome with orders that one Consul was to remain with an adequate force, the other was to bring the fleet to Rome.
M. Atilius Regulus remains in Africa, winter of B. C. 256-255.
Accordingly Marcus was left behind with forty ships, fifteen thousand infantry, and five hundred cavalry; while Lucius put the crowd of captives on board, and having embarked his men, sailed along the coast of Sicily without encountering any danger, and reached Rome.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ASPIS
    • Smith's Bio, Vulso
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