Lilybaeum (lĭlĭbēˈəm) [key], ancient city of Sicily, on the extreme western coast. It is the modern Marsala. It was founded (396 B.C.) by Carthage and became a stronghold. In the First Punic War it resisted a long Roman siege (250–242 B.C.). Rome finally won (241 B.C.) the city and used it as a base for the African campaign of Scipio Africanus Major. The city was famous for its harbor.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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