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The Rhodian Firing Apparatus

The fire-carrier used by Pausistratus, the navarch of the Rhodians, was a scoop or basket. On either side of the prow two staples were fixed into the inner part of the two sides of the ship, into which poles were fitted with their extremities extending out to sea. To the end of these the scoop filled with fire was attached by an iron chain, in such a way that in charging the enemy's ship, whether on the prow or the broadside, fire was thrown upon it, while it was kept a long way off from his own ship by the slope of the poles. . . .

The Rhodian admiral Pamphilidas was thought to be

Pausistratus beaten by Polyxenidas, the admiral of the king. Livy, 37, 10, 11.
better capable than Pausistratus of adapting himself to all possible contingencies, because his character was more remarkable for its depth and solidity than for its boldness. For most men judge not from any fixed principle but by results. Thus, though they had recently elected Pausistratus to the command, on the ground of his possessing these very qualities of energy and boldness, their opinions at once underwent a complete revolution when he met with his disaster. . . .

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.20
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 10
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