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. . . .