Appius Drives Off the Carthaginians
Next morning, when Appius was assured of their
Encouraged by this success, he attacks and drives off the Carthaginians.
flight, his confidence was strengthened, and he
made up his mind to attack the Carthaginians
without delay. Accordingly, he issued orders
to the soldiers to despatch their preparations
early, and at daybreak commenced his sally.
Having succeeded in engaging the enemy, he killed a large
number of them, and forced the rest to fly precipitately to the
neighbouring towns. These successes sufficed to raise the
siege of Messene
: and thenceforth he scoured the territory of
and her allies with impunity, and laid it waste without finding any one to dispute the possession of the open
country with him; and finally he sat down before Syracuse
itself and laid siege to it.
Such was the nature and motive of the first warlike expedition of the Romans beyond the shores of
Such preliminary sketches are necessary for clearness, and my readers must not be surprised if I follow the same system in the case of other towns.
; and this was the period at which it took
place. I thought this expedition the most
suitable starting-point for my whole narrative,
and accordingly adopted it as a basis; though
I have made a rapid survey of some anterior
events, that in setting forth its causes no point
should be left obscure. I thought it necessary,
if we were to get an adequate and comprehensive view of
their present supreme position, to trace clearly how and when
the Romans, after the disaster which they sustained in the loss of
their own city, began their upward career; and how and when,
once more, after possessing themselves of Italy
, they conceived
the idea of attempting conquests external to it. This must
account in future parts of my work for my taking, when treating of the most important states, a preliminary survey of their
previous history. In doing so my object will be to secure
such a vantage-ground as will enable us to see with clearness
from what origin, at what period, and in what circumstances
they severally started and arrived at their present position.
This is exactly what I have just done with regard to the