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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 Syracuse 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.
Italy; 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 Romans.

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