Punic Wars > Lilybaeum
In 397 BCE the Phoenician colony of Motya on the southwestern coast of Sicily was invaded and destroyed by the Syracusan tyrant Dionysius I. The survivors founded a town on the mainland nearby that they called Lilybaion (Lilybaeum in Latin), "The town that looks at Libya", on the site of modern-day Marsala.
The First Punic War began here when the Punic army landed at Lilybaion in 265/264 BCE, then marched across Sicily to Messina, where the opening clash of the war took place.
Route taken by Punic army in order to reach Messana.
Lilybaion was conquered by the Romans in 241 BCE and became one of the most important towns in Sicily. The commercial centre was enriched with mansions and public buildings and dubbed splendidissima urbs by Cicero, who served as quaestor in the region between 76 and 75 BC.