Polyxenidas, when the news was brought that the enemy was coming, rejoicing at the opportunity of fighting, himself drew the left wing out into the open sea, ordered the ship-captains to extend the right flank towards the land, and advanced to the fight in a regular line.
When the Roman saw this he took in sail, lowered his masts and at the same time stowing his tackle he awaited the oncoming ships.
There were now about thirty of his ships in front, and in order to bring his left wing into line with them, hoisting his top-sails he tried to get out into deep water, ordering the following ships, opposing the enemy's right wing, to steer towards the shore.
Eumenes was in the rear, but as soon as he saw the confusion caused by clearing for action he too urged his ships forward at their utmost speed.
Now they were in sight of all. Two Carthaginian ships were ahead of the Roman fleet, and three ships of the king encountered them;
and, their numbers being unequal, two of the king's ships attacked one, and first they sheared off the oars on both sides, then armed men boarded it, and throwing overboard and killing the defenders, took the ship;
the one which was fighting in equal combat, when it saw that the other ship was taken, fled to the fleet before it should be surrounded by three. Livius, inflamed with passion, made for [p. 283]
the enemy with the flagship.
When the two which1
had just surrounded the Carthaginian ship came up, hoping to repeat their tactics, he ordered the rowers on both sides to trail their oars in the water to steady the ship and the men to throw iron grappling-hooks upon the approaching hostile ships, and when they had made the engagement like one on land, he bade them remember Roman valour and not to consider the king's slaves as men.
With greater ease than the two had captured one before, the one ship at this time defeated and captured two. And now the fleets had clashed everywhere and with the ships intermingled the battle was raging on every side.
Eumenes, who had arrived late, when the battle had already begun, seeing that the
left wing of the enemy had been thrown into confusion by Livius, himself attacked their right, where the battle was evenly matched.