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454 B.C.When Ariston was archon in Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Quintus Fabius Vibulanus and Lucius Cornelius Curitinus. This year the Athenians and Peloponnesians agreed to a truce of five years, Cimon the Athenian having conducted the negotiations. In Sicily a war arose between the peoples of Egesta and Lilybaeum over the land on the Mazarus River, and in a sharp battle which ensued both cities lost heavily but did not slacken their rivalry. And after the enrolment of citizens which had taken place in the citiesCp. chap. 76. and the redistribution of the lands, since many had been added to the roll of citizens without plan and in a haphazard fashion, the cities were in an unhealthy state and falling back again into civil strife and disorders; and it was especially in Syracuse that this malady prevailed. For a man by the name of Tyndarides, a rash fellow full of effrontery, began by gathering about him many of the
Siege of Lilybaeum The announcement of this success at Rome was received with extreme delight; not so much at the blow inflicted on the enemy by the loss of their elephants, as at the confidence inspired in their own troops by a victory over these animals. With their confidence thus restored, the Roman government recurred to their original plan of sending out the Consuls upon this service with a fleet and naval forces; for they were eager, by all means in their power, to put a period to the wa
e fourteenth year of the war, the supplies necessary for
the despatch of the expedition were got ready, and the Consuls set sail for Sicily with two hundred ships. B. C. 250. C. Caecilius Regulus II., L. Manlius Vulso II.
They dropped anchor at Lilybaeum; and the
army having met them there, they began to
besiege it by sea and land. Their view was
that if they could obtain possession of this
town they would have no difficulty in transferring the seat
of war to Libya. The Carthaginian leaders wer
The Topography of Lilybaeum Sicily, then, lies towards Southern Italy very much in the same relative position as the Peloponnese does to the rest of Greece. The only difference is that the one is an island, the other a peninsula; and consequently in the former case there is no communication except by sea, in the latter there is a
es which cover Carthage, at a
distance of about a thousand stades: it looks somewhat south
of due west, dividing the Libyan from the Sardinian Sea, and
is called Lilybaeum. On this last there is a city of the same
name. It was this city that the Romans were now besieging.
It was exceedingly strongly fortified: for besides its walls cted by lagoons, to steer through which into
the harbour was a task requiring much skill and practice.
The Romans made two camps, one on each side of theSiege of Lilybaeum, B. C. 250.
town, and connected them with a ditch,
stockade, and wall. Having done this, they
began the assault by advancing their siege-works
in the direction o
Treason in Lilybaeum But about this time some of the officers of highest Attempted treason in Lilybaeum. rank in the mercenary army discussed among themselves a project for surrendering the town to the Romans, being fully persuaded that the men under their command would obey their orders. They got out of the city at night, went to the enemy's camp, and held a parley with the Roman commander on the subject. But Alexon the Achaean, who on a former occasion had saved Agrigentum from destruction wLilybaeum. rank in the mercenary army discussed among themselves a project for surrendering the town to the Romans, being fully persuaded that the men under their command would obey their orders. They got out of the city at night, went to the enemy's camp, and held a parley with the Roman commander on the subject. But Alexon the Achaean, who on a former occasion had saved Agrigentum from destruction when the mercenary troops of Syracuse made a plot to betray it, was on this occasion once more the first to detect this treason, and to report it to the general of the Carthaginians. The latter no sooner heard it than he at once summoned a meeting of those officers who were still in their quarters; and exhorted them to loyalty with prayers and promises of liberal bounties and favours, if they would only remain faithful to him, and not join in the treason of the officers who had left the town. T