It is very probable that these bronze rams belonged to ships that were sunk in the final battle of the First Punic War, fought near the Aegates Islands in 241 B.C. So far, 11 rams have been found in the sea near the islands, of which seven had Latin inscriptions and one had a Punic inscription. This is somewhat unexpected, because the outcome of the battle was a clear victory for the Romans; one theory is that the Carthaginians, in order equip a fleet at short notice, used ships that they had captured from the Romans in previous battles.
The translations are taken from the full commentary on the inscriptions by J.Prag, "Bronze rostra from the Egadi Islands off NW Sicily: the Latin inscriptions" ( JRA,2014 - academia.edu ); he shows that M.Publicius, mentioned as quaestor in 4 and 6, may possibly be identified as M. Publicius Malleolus, who was Roman consul in 232 B.C.
The one Punic inscription (Egadi_3) has been translated as "We pray to Baal that this ram will go into the enemy ship and make a big hole", but this is disputed; see S.Tusa and J.Royal, "The landscape of the Naval Battle at Egadi", page 43 ( JRA, 2012 - PDF ).
[Egadi_1] . . . Gaius Sestius, son Publius, and Quintus Salonius, son of Quintus, (?) board of six [for . . .], approved this ram.
[Egadi_4] Marcus Publicius, son of Lucius, and Gaius Papirius, son of Tiberius, quaestors, approved this ram.
[Egadi_6] Gaius Papirius, son of Tiberius, and Marcus Publicius, son of Lucius, quaestors, approved this ram.
[Egadi_7] . . ., son of Gaius, quaestor, approved this ram.
[Egadi_8] Lucius Quinctius, son of Gaius, quaestor, approved this ram.
[Egadi_10] Lucius Quinctius, son of Gaius, quaestor, approved this ram.
[Egadi_11] . . . son of Lucius, [and] . . . [Papir]ius, son of Tiberius, quaestors, approved this ram.
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