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Hamilcar Besieges the Romans at Eryx

Presently however Fortune, acting like a good umpire in
Siege of Eryx, B. C. 244.
the games, transferred them by a bold stroke from the locality just described, and the contest in which they were engaged, to a struggle of greater danger and a locality of narrower dimensions. The Romans, as we have said, were in occupation of the summit of Eryx, and had a guard stationed at its foot. But Hamilcar managed to seize the town which lay between these two spots. There ensued a siege of the Romans who were on the summit, supported by them with extraordinary hardihood and adventurous daring: while the Carthaginians, finding themselves between two hostile armies, and their supplies brought to them with difficulty, because they were in communication with the sea at only one point and by one road, yet held out with a determination that passes belief. Every contrivance which skill or force could sustain did they put in use against each other, as before; every imaginable privation was submitted to; surprises and pitched battles were alike tried: and finally they left the combat a drawn one, not, as Fabius says, from utter weakness and misery, but like men still unbroken and unconquered. The fact is that before either party had got completely the better of the other, though they had maintained the conflict for another two years, the war happened to be decided in quite a different manner.
B. C. 243-242.

Such was the state of affairs at Eryx and with the forces

The obstinate persistence of the Romans and Carthaginians.
employed there. The two nations engaged were like well-bred game-cocks that fight to their last gasp. You may see them often, when too weak to use their wings, yet full of pluck to the end, and striking again and again. Finally, chance brings them the opportunity of once more grappling, and they hold on until one or other of them drops down dead.

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