The Spectator

The Spectator at war: A naval howler

A reader’s letter from The Spectator, 12 September 1914:

[To the Editor of The Spectator]

Sir, I am afraid your correspondent “Ex-Scholar” (Spectator, September 5th), in quoting a “howler,” has committed a little one himself. The incident of the sacred chickens to which he alludes did not take place in the “first sea fight between Romans and Carthaginians,” nor was Duilins the commander who flouted the State system of auguries. It was Claudius Pulcher who (as the Romans thought, in consequence of his blasphemy) was defeated in 249 B.C. by the Carthaginians under Adherbal off Drepana (Lilybaeum) in Sicily. It was his sister, a true scion of the arrogant Clandian stock, who, incommoded by the crowds leaving the games, said : “Oh that my brother were alive and in command of our ships!” —I am, &c


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