A contender for the largest naval battle of all time took place off the coast of Sicily, Italy in 256bc. Carthage was one of Rome’s toughest adversaries in regards to control of the Mediterreanean sea.
And so one day, Rome wanted to establish its dominance once and for all. In one epic battle, the Romans (330 ships) fought the Carthaginians (350 ships). Each of the ships had around 300 rowers and 120 combat troops, which adds up to a total of some 300,000 men. Even though they had less ships, the Romans won after a long struggle and only suffered around 10,000 casualties while the Carthaginians lost more than 40,000. The war was not over yet, though. Carthage would stay a formidable archenemy of the Roman Empire for some time to come.
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Photograph by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr