Battle of the Aegates, 241 BC

A bronze ram from a Carthaginian quinquereme, recovered from the site of the Battle of the Aegates. Photo uploaded to wikimedia by user Sb2s3.

Location Aegates Islands, Sicily
Year
241
AD/BC
BC
History

During the First Punic War, the Roman Republic was besieging the Carthaginians on Sicily, and both sides had been worn down by the War. Rome built a fleet of 200 quinqueremes to blockade the Carthaginians, who sent a fleet of 250 to break it. The resulting Battle of the Aegates was a massive clash, but the Romans were well drilled, and the Carthaginians were unprepared. Their ships were loaded with supplies for their forces ashore, and the ships did not have their full compliment of troops, which were to have been picked up after unloading the supplies. Battle was joined on 10 March, and the lighter Roman ships were able to outmaneuver the Carthaginians, despite the latter having the wind advantage. The Romans lost thirty quinqueremes, while the Carthaginians lost fifty sunk, and seventy captured. Its naval power crippled, Carthage was forced to negotiate an end to the First Punic War.