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Siege of Ambracia

The Aetolians being besieged by the consul Marcus
Siege of Ambracia, and the gallant resistance of the Aetolians.
Fulvius, offered a gallant resistance to the assault of the siege artillery and battering rams. Marcus having first strongly secured his camp began the siege on an extensive scale; he opened three separate parallel works across the plain against the Pyrrheium, and a fourth opposite the temple of Asclepius, and a fifth directed against the Acropolis. And the attack being pushed on energetically at all these points at once, the besieged became terribly alarmed at the prospect before them. Still, as the rams vigorously battered the walls, and the long poles with their iron sickles tore off the battlements, they tried to invent machines to baffle them, letting down huge masses of lead and stones and oak logs by means of levers upon the battering rams; and putting iron hooks upon the sickles and hauling them inside the walls, so that the poles to which they were fastened broke against the battlements, and the sickles fell into their hands. Moreover they made frequent sallies, in which they fought with great courage: sometimes making a descent by night upon the pickets quartered at the works, and at others attacking in broad daylight the day-parties of the besiegers: and by these means they managed to protract the siege. . . .

Nicander was outside the city, and sent five hundred horse into it. They carried the intervening entrenchment of the enemy and forced their way into the town. With these he had fixed on a day on which they were to sally out, and he was to be ready to support them. They accordingly made the sally with great courage and fought gallantly; but either from fear of the danger, or because he conceived that what he was engaged upon at the time could not be neglected, Nicander failed to come up to time, and accordingly the attempt failed. . . .1

1 The text of this fragment is much dislocated.

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