Duilius - Encyclopedia




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DUILIUS (or [[Duellius), Gaius]], Roman general during the first Carthaginian War and commander in the first Roman naval victory. In 260 B.C., when consul in command of the land forces in Sicily, he was appointed to supersede his colleague Cn. Cornelius Scipio Asina, commander of the fleet, who had been captured in the harbour of Lipara. Recognizing that the only chance of victory lay in fighting under conditions as similar as possible to those of a land engagement, he invented a system of grappling irons (corvi) and boarding bridges, and gained a brilliant victory over the Carthaginian fleet off Ztlylae on the north coast of Sicily. He was accorded a triumph and the distinction of being accompanied, when walking in the streets during the evening, by a torchbearer and a flute-player. A memorial column (columna rostrata), adorned with the beaks of the captured ships, was set up in honour of his victory. The inscription upon it (see Latin Language, section 3, "The Language as Recorded") has been preserved in a restored form in pseudo-archaic language, ascribed to the reign of Claudius.

See Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, i. No. 195; Polybius i. 22; Diod. Sic. xvii. 44; Frontinus, Strat. ii. 3; Florus ii. 2; Cicero, De senectute, 13; Silius Italieus vi. 667; and Punic Wars.

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