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Battle of the Aegusian Islands

That the Romans should have a fleet afloat once more,
The Carthaginians send Hanno with a fleet.
and be again bidding for the mastery at sea, was a contingency wholly unexpected by the Carthaginians. They at once set about fitting out their ships, loaded them with corn and other provisions, and despatched their fleet: determined that their troops round Eryx should not run short of necessary provisions. Hanno, who was appointed to command the fleet, put to sea and arrived at the island called Holy Isle. He was eager as soon as possible, if he could escape the observation of the enemy, to get across to Eryx; disembark his stores; and having thus lightened his ships, take on board as marines those of the mercenary troops who were suitable to the service, and Barcas with them; and not to engage the enemy until he had thus reinforced himself. But Lutatius was informed of the arrival of Hanno's squadron, and correctly interpreted their design. He at once took on board the best soldiers of his army, and crossed to the Island of Aegusa, which lies directly opposite Lilybaeum. There he addressed his forces some words suitable to the occasion, and gave full instructions to the pilots, with the understanding that a battle was to be fought on the morrow.
10th March B. C. 241. A strong breeze is blowing.
At daybreak the next morning Lutatius found that a strong breeze had sprung up on the stern of the enemy, and that an advance towards them in the teeth of it would be difficult for his ships. The sea too was rough and boisterous: and for a while he could not make up his mind what he had better do in the circumstances. Finally, however, he was decided by the following considerations. If he boarded the enemy's fleet during the continuance of the storm, he would only have to contend with Hanno, and the levies of sailors which he had on board, before they could be reinforced by the troops, and with ships which were still heavily laden with stores: but if he waited for calm weather, and allowed the enemy to get across and unite with their land forces, he would then have to contend with ships lightened of their burden, and therefore in a more navigable condition, and against the picked men of the land forces; and what was more formidable than anything else, against the determined bravery of Hamilcar.
Lutatius however decides to fight.
He made up his mind, therefore, not to let the present opportunity slip; and when he saw the enemy's ships crowding sail, he put to sea with all speed. The rowers, from their excellent physical condition, found no difficulty in overcoming the heavy sea, and Lutatius soon got his fleet into single line with prows directed to the foe.

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