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The Battle of Eryx was fought in 278 BC during Pyrrhus of Epirus' Sicilian expedition.

Background[]

In 278 BC, Pyrrhus of Epirus was invited to Sicily by the local Greek Cities, which requested his aid against the mercenary Mamertines and the expansionist Carthaginians. Pyrrhus left southern Italy with just 10,000 troops, but he liberated much of Sicily and lifted the Carthaginian siege of Syracuse, leading to his army swelling to 30,000 infantry, 2,500 cavalry, and 200 Syracusan ships with the help of his local allies in Magna Graecia. After storming the Carthaginian garrison of Heraclea Minoa and Azones, Pyrrhus accepted the surrender of Selinus, Halicyae, Segesta, and other cities, and he prepared for a fight when he besieged Eryx.

Battle[]

The fortress city of Eryx on the northwest coast was held by a large Carthaginian garrison and had strong natural defensive features. Pyrrhus at first besieged Eryx with catapults and ballistae, and then with scaling ladders. He was first to climb the walls and fought heroically, pushing many defenders back himself. After a hard-fought siege, the city was taken. Pyrrhus then went on to take Panormus, but his failed Siege of Lilybaeum led to his defeat in Sicily.

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