By Franck Bonnet, Mitton
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Additional info for Attila... mon amour, Tome 6 : Voir Rome et mourir
After this the Romans approached to coast of Sicily and learning of the disaster that had befallen Gnaeus, at once communicated with Gaius Duilius, the commander of the land forces, and awaited his arrival. At the same time, hearing that the enemy's fleet was not far distant, they began to get ready for sea-battle. As their ships were ill-built and slow in their movements, someone suggested to them as a help in fighting the engines which afterwards came to be called "ravens". They were constructed as follows: On the prow stood a round pole four fathoms in height and three palms in diameter.
They were therefore in great apprehension lest, if they also became masters of Sicily, they would be most troublesome and dangerous neighbours, hemming them in on all sides and threatening every part of Italy. That they would soon be supreme in Sicily, if the Mamertines were not helped, was evident; for once Messene had fallen into their hands, they would shortly subdue Syracuse also, as they were absolute lords of almost all the rest of Sicily. The Romans, foreseeing this and viewing it as a necessity for themselves not to abandon Messene and thus allow the Carthaginians as it were to build a bridge for crossing over to Italy, debated the matter for long, and, even at the end, the Senate did not sanction the proposal for the reason given above, considering that the objection on the score of inconsistency was equal in weight to the advantage to be derived from intervention.
How striking and grand is the spectacle presented by the period with which I purpose to deal, will be most clearly apparent if we set beside and compare with the Roman dominion the most famous empires of the past, those which have formed the chief theme of historians. Those worthy of being thus set beside it and compared are these. The Persians for a certain period possessed a great rule and dominion, but so often as they ventured to overstep the boundaries of Asia they imperilled not only the security of this empire, but their own existence.
Attila... mon amour, Tome 6 : Voir Rome et mourir by Franck Bonnet, Mitton