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Polybius, Histories, book 1, Misrepresentations of Philinus and Fabius (search)
defeated and besieged, he concludes by describing as engaging in a pursuit, as promptly seizing the open places, and finally as besieging Syracuse. Nothing can reconcile these statements. It is impossible. Either his initial statement, or his account of the subsequent events, must be false. In point of fact the latter part of his story is the true one. The Syracusans and Carthaginians did abandon the open country, and the Romans did immediately afterwards commence a siege of Syracuse and of Echetla, which lies in the district between the Syracusan and Carthaginian pales. For the rest it must necessarily be acknowledged that the first part of his account is false; and that whereas the Romans were victorious in the engagements under Messene, they have been represented by this historian as defeated. Through the whole of this work we shall find Philinus acting in a similar spirit: and much the same may be said of Fabius, as I shall show when the several points arise. I have now said what