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Shipwreck of the Roman Fleet

In complete ignorance of what had happened to his advanced squadron, the Consul, who had remained behind at Syracuse, after completing all he meant to do there, put to sea; and, after rounding Pachynus, was proceeding on his voyage to Lilybaeum. The appearance of the enemy was once more signalled to the Carthaginian admiral by his look-out men, and he at once put out to sea, with the view of engaging them as far as possible away from their comrades. Junius saw the Carthaginian fleet from a considerable distance, and observing their great numbers did not dare to engage them, and yet found it impossible to avoid them by flight because they were now too close. He therefore steered towards land, and anchored under a rocky and altogether dangerous part of the shore; for he judged it better to run all risks rather than allow his squadron, with all its men, to fall into the hands of the enemy. The Carthaginian admiral saw what he had done; and determined that it was unadvisable for him to engage the enemy, or bring his ships near such a dangerous place. He therefore made for a certain headland between the two squadrons of the enemy, and there kept a look out upon both with equal vigilance. Presently, however, the weather became rough, and there was an appearance of an unusually dangerous disturbance setting in from the sea. The Carthaginian pilots, from their knowledge of the particular localities, and of seamanship generally, foresaw what was coming; and persuaded Carthalo to avoid the storm and round the promontory of Pachynus.1
The Roman fleet is wrecked.
He had the good sense to take their advice: and accordingly these men, with great exertions and extreme difficulty, did get round the promontory and anchored in safety; while the Romans, being exposed to the storm in places entirely destitute of harbours, suffered such complete destruction, that not one of the wrecks even was left in a state available for use. Both of their squadrons in fact were completely disabled to a degree past belief.

1 The dangerous nature of the S. Coast of Sicily was well known to the pilots. See above, ch. 37.

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