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The History of Rome; Books Nine to Twenty-Six by Titus Livius

Part 6 out of 10

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ransomed, being delivered, and fresh grief being added to the former
on account of the loss of so many citizens, the people accompanied the
deputies to the gate with copious tears and lamentations. One of them
went home, because he had evaded his oath by artfully returning to the
camp. But when this was known and laid before the senate, they all
resolved that he should be apprehended and conveyed to Hannibal by
guards, furnished by the state. There is another account respecting
the prisoners, that ten came first, and that, the senate hesitating
whether they should be admitted into the city or not, they were
admitted, on the understanding that they should not have an audience
of the senate. That when these staid longer than the expectation of
all, three more came, Scribonius, Calpurnius, and Manlius. That then
at length a tribune of the people, a relation of Scribonius, laid
before the senate the redemption of the captives, and that they
resolved that they should not be ransomed. That the three last
deputies returned to Hannibal, and the ten former remained, because
they had evaded their oath, having returned to Hannibal after having
set out, under pretence of learning afresh the names of the captives.
That a violent contest took place in the senate, on the question of
surrendering them, and that those who thought they ought to be
surrendered were beaten by a few votes, but that they were so branded
by every kind of stigma and ignominy by the ensuing censors, that some
of them immediately put themselves to death, and the rest, for all
their life afterwards, not only shunned the forum, but almost the
light and publicity. You can more easily wonder that authors differ so
much than determine what is the truth. How much greater this disaster
was than any preceding, even this is a proof, that such of the allies
as had stood firm till that day then began to waver, for no other
cause certainly but that they despaired of the empire. The people who
revolted to the Carthaginians were these: the Atellani, Calatini, the
Hirpini, some of the Apulians, the Samnites, except the Pentrians, all
the Bruttians, and the Lucanians. Besides these the Surrentinians, and
almost the whole coast possessed by the Greeks, the people of
Tarentum, Metapontum, Croton, the Locrians, and all Cisalpine Gaul.
Yet not even these losses and defections of their allies so shook the
firmness of the Romans, that any mention of peace was made among them,
either before the arrival of the consul at Rome, or after he came
thither, and renewed the memory of the calamity they had suffered. At
which very juncture, such was the magnanimity of the state, that the
consul, as he returned after so severe a defeat, of which he himself
was the principal cause, was met in crowds of all ranks of citizens,
and thanks bestowed because he had not despaired of the republic, in
whose case, had he been a Carthaginian commander, no species of
punishment would have been spared.


_The Campanians revolt to Hannibal. Mago is sent to Carthage to
announce the victory of Cannae. Hanno advises the Carthaginian senate
to make peace with the Romans, but is overborne by the Barcine
faction. Claudius Marcellus the praetor defeats Hannibal at Nola.
Hannibal's army is enervated in mind and body by luxurious living at
Capua. Casilinum is besieged by the Carthaginians, and the inhabitants
reduced to the last extremity of famine. A hundred and ninety-seven
senators elected from the equestrian order. Lucius Postumius is, with
his army, cut off by the Gauls. Cneius and Publius Scipio defeat
Hasdrubal in Spain, and gain possession of that country. The remains
of the army, defeated at Cannae, are sent off to Sicily, there to
remain until the termination of the war. An alliance is formed between
Philip, king of Macedon, and Hannibal. Sempronius Gracchus defeats the
Campanians. Successes of Titus Manlius in Sardinia he takes Hasdrubal
the general, Mago, and Hanno prisoners. Claudius Marcellus again
defeats the army of Hannibal at Nola, and the hopes of the Romans are
revived as to the results of the war._

* * * * *

1. After the battle of Cannae, Hannibal, having captured and plundered
the Roman camp, had immediately removed from Apulia into Samnium;
invited into the territory of the Hirpini by Statius, who promised
that he would surrender Compsa. Tiebius, a native of Compsa, was
conspicuous for rank among his countrymen; but a faction of the Mopsii
kept him down--a family of great influence through the favour of the
Romans. After intelligence of the battle of Cannae, and a report of
the approach of Hannibal, circulated by the discourse of Trebius, the
Mopsian party had retired from the city; which was thus given up to
the Carthaginian without opposition, and a garrison received into it.
Leaving there all his booty and baggage, and dividing his forces, he
orders Mago to receive under his protection the cities of that
district which might revolt from the Romans, and to force to defection
those which might be disinclined. He himself, passing through the
territory of Campania, made for the lower sea, with the intention of
assaulting Naples, in order that he might be master of a maritime
city. As soon as he entered the confines of the Neapolitan territory,
he placed part of his Numidians in ambush, wherever he could find a
convenient spot; for there are very many hollow roads and secret
windings: others he ordered to drive before them the booty they had
collected from the country, and, exhibiting it to the enemy, to ride
up to the gates of the city. As they appeared to be few in number and
in disorder, a troop of horse sallied out against them, which was cut
off, being drawn into an ambuscade by the others, who purposely
retreated: nor would one of them have escaped, had not the sea been
near, and some vessels, principally such as are used in fishing,
observed at a short distance from the shore, afforded an escape for
those who could swim. Several noble youths, however, were captured and
slain in that affair. Among whom, Hegeas, the commander of the
cavalry, fell when pursuing the retreating enemy too eagerly. The
sight of the walls, which were not favourable to a besieging force,
deterred the Carthaginian from storming the city.

2. Thence he turned his course to Capua, which was wantoning under a
long course of prosperity, and the indulgence of fortune: amid the
general corruption, however, the most conspicuous feature was the
extravagance of the commons, who exercised their liberty without
limit. Pacuvius Calavius had rendered the senate subservient to
himself and the commons, at once a noble and popular man, but who had
acquired his influence by dishonourable intrigues. Happening to hold
the chief magistracy during the year in which the defeat at the
Trasimenus occurred, and thinking that the commons, who had long felt
the most violent hostility to the senate, would attempt some desperate
measure, should an opportunity for effecting a change present itself;
and if Hannibal should come into that quarter with his victorious
army, would murder the senators and deliver Capua to the
Carthaginians; as he desired to rule in a state preserved rather than
subverted (for though depraved he was not utterly abandoned), and as
he felt convinced that no state could be preserved if bereaved of its
public council, he adopted a plan by which he might preserve the
senate and render it subject to himself and the commons. Having
assembled the senate, he prefaced his remarks by observing, "that
nothing would induce him to acquiesce in a plan of defection from the
Romans, were it not absolutely necessary; since he had children by the
daughter of Appius Claudius, and had a daughter at Rome married to
Livius: but that a much more serious and alarming matter threatened
them, than any consequences which could result from such a measure.
For that the intention of the commons was not to abolish the senate by
revolting to the Carthaginians, but to murder the senators, and
deliver the state thus destitute to Hannibal and the Carthaginians.
That it was in his power to rescue them from this danger, if they
would resign themselves to his care, and, forgetting their political
dissensions, confide in him." When, overpowered with fear, they all
put themselves under his protection, he proceeded: "I will shut you up
in the senate-house, and pretending myself to be an accomplice in the
meditated crime, I will, by approving measures which I should in vain
oppose, find out a way for your safety. For the performance of this
take whatever pledge you please." Having given his honour, he went
out; and having ordered the house to be closed, placed a guard in the
lobby that no one might enter or leave it without his leave.

3. Then assembling the people, he thus addressed them: "What you have
so often wished for, Campanians, the power of punishing an
unprincipled and detestable senate, you now have, not at your own
imminent peril, by riotously storming the houses of each, which are
guarded and garrisoned with slaves and dependants, but free and
without danger. Take them all, shut up in the senate-house, alone and
unarmed; nor need you do any thing precipitately or blindly. I will
give you the opportunity of pronouncing upon the life or death of
each, that each may suffer the punishment he has deserved. But, above
all, it behoves you so to give way to your resentment, as considering
that your own safety and advantage are of greater importance. For I
apprehend that you hate these particular senators, and not that you
are unwilling to have any senate at all; for you must either have a
king, which all abominate, or a senate, which is the only course
compatible with a free state. Accordingly you must effect two objects
at the same time; you must remove the old senate and elect a new one.
I will order the senators to be summoned one by one, and I shall put
it to you to decide whether they deserve to live or die: whatever you
may determine respecting each shall be done; but before you execute
your sentence on the culprit, you shall elect some brave and strenuous
man as a fresh senator to supply his place." Upon this he took his
seat, and, the names having been thrown together into an urn, he
ordered that the name which had the lot to fall out first should be
proclaimed, and the person brought forward out of the senate-house.
When the name was heard, each man strenuously exclaimed that he was a
wicked and unprincipled fellow, and deserved to be punished. Pacuvius
then said, "I perceive the sentence which has been passed on this man;
now choose a good and upright senator in the room of this wicked and
unprincipled one." At first all was silence, from the want of a better
man whom they might substitute; afterwards, one of them, laying aside
his modesty, nominating some one, in an instant a much greater clamour
arose; while some denied all knowledge of him, others objected to him
at one time on account of flagitious conduct, at another time on
account of his humble birth, his sordid circumstances, and the
disgraceful nature of his trade and occupation. The same occurred with
increased vehemence with respect to the second and third senators, so
that it was evident that they were dissatisfied with the senator
himself, but had not any one to substitute for him; for it was of no
use that the same persons should be nominated again, to no other
purpose than to hear of their vices, and the rest were much more mean
and obscure than those who first occurred to their recollection. Thus
the assembly separated, affirming that every evil which was most known
was easiest to be endured, and ordering the senate to be discharged
from custody.

4. Pacuvius, having thus rendered the senators more subservient to
himself than to the commons by the gift of their lives, ruled without
the aid of arms, all persons now acquiescing. Henceforward the
senators, forgetful of their rank and independence, flattered the
commons; saluted them courteously; invited them graciously;
entertained them with sumptuous feasts; undertook those causes, always
espoused that party, decided as judges in favour of that side, which
was most popular, and best adapted to conciliate the favour of the
commons. Now, indeed, every thing was transacted in the senate as if
it had been an assembly of the people. The Capuans, ever prone to
luxurious indulgence not only from natural turpitude, but from the
profusion of the means of voluptuous enjoyment which flowed in upon
them, and the temptations of all the luxuries of land and sea; at that
time especially proceeded to such a pitch of extravagance in
consequence of the obsequiousness of the nobles and the unrestrained
liberty of the commons, that their lust and prodigality had no bounds.
To a disregard for the laws, the magistrates, and the senate, now,
after the disaster of Cannae, was added a contempt for the Roman
government also, for which there had been some degree of respect. The
only obstacles to immediate revolt were the intermarriages which, from
a remote period, had connected many of their distinguished and
influential families with the Romans; and, which formed the strongest
bond of union, that while several of their countrymen were serving in
the Roman armies, particularly three hundred horsemen, the flower of
the Campanian nobility, had been selected and sent by the Romans to
garrison the cities of Sicily.

5. The parents and relations of these men with difficulty obtained
that ambassadors should be sent to the Roman consul. The consul, who
had not yet set out for Canusium, they found at Venusia with a few
half-armed troops, an object of entire commiseration to faithful, but
of contempt to proud and perfidious allies, like the Campanians. The
consul too increased their contempt of himself and his cause, by too
much exposing and exhibiting the disastrous state of his affairs; for
when the ambassadors had delivered their message, which was, that the
senate and people of Capua were distressed that any adverse event
should have befallen the Romans, and were promising every assistance
in prosecuting the war, he observed, "In bidding us order you to
furnish us with all things which are necessary for the war,
Campanians, you have rather observed the customary mode of addressing
allies, than spoken suitably to the present posture of our affairs;
for hath anything been left us at Cannae, so that, as if we possessed
that, we can desire what is wanting to be supplied by our allies? Can
we order a supply of infantry, as if we had any cavalry? Can we say we
are deficient in money, as if that were the only thing we wanted?
Fortune has not even left us anything which we can add to. Our
legions, cavalry, arms, standards, horses, men, money, provisions, all
perished either in the battle, or in the two camps which were lost the
following day. You must, therefore, Campanians, not assist us in the
war, but almost take it upon yourselves in our stead. Call to mind how
formerly at Saticula we received into our protection and defended your
ancestors, when dismayed and driven within their walls; terrified not
only by their Samnite but Sidicinian enemies; and how we carried on,
with varying success, through a period of almost a century, a war with
the Samnites, commenced on your account. Add to this, that when you
gave yourselves up to us we granted you an alliance on equal terms,
that we allowed you your own laws, and lastly, what before the
disaster at Cannae was surely a privilege of the highest value, we
bestowed the freedom of our city on a large portion of you, and held
it in common with you. It is your duty, therefore, Campanians, to look
upon this disaster which has been suffered as your own, and to
consider that our common country must be protected. It is not a
Samnite or Tuscan foe we are engaged with, so that the empire taken
from us might still continue in Italy. A Carthaginian enemy draws
after him from the remotest regions of the world, from the straits of
the ocean and the pillars of Hercules, a body of soldiers who are not
even natives of Africa, destitute of all laws, and of the condition
and almost of the language of men. Savage and ferocious from nature
and habit, their general has rendered them still more so, by forming
bridges and works with heaps of human bodies; and, what the tongue can
scarcely utter, by teaching them to live on human flesh. What man,
provided he were born in any part of Italy, would not abominate the
idea of seeing and having for his masters these men, nourished with
such horrid food, whom even to touch were an impiety; of fetching laws
from Africa and Carthage; and of suffering Italy to become a province
of the Moors and Numidians? It will be highly honourable, Campanians,
that the Roman empire, sinking under this disastrous defeat, should be
sustained and restored by your fidelity and your strength. I conceive
that thirty thousand foot and four thousand horse may be raised in
Campania. You have already abundance of money and corn. If your zeal
corresponds with your means, neither will Hannibal feel that he has
been victorious, nor the Romans that they have been defeated."

6. After the consul had thus spoken, the ambassadors were dismissed;
and as they were returning home, one of them, named Vibius Virius,
observed, "that the time had arrived at which the Campanians might not
only recover the territory once injuriously taken away by the Romans,
but also possess themselves of the sovereignty of Italy. For they
might form a treaty with Hannibal on whatever terms they pleased; and
there could be no question but that after Hannibal, having put an end
to the war, had himself retired victorious into Africa, and had
withdrawn his troops, the sovereignty of Italy would be left to the
Campanians." All assenting to Vibius, as he said this, they framed
their report of the embassy so that all might conclude that the Roman
power was annihilated. Immediately the commons and the major part of
the senate turned their attention to revolt. The measure, however, was
postponed for a few days at the instigation of the elder citizens. At
last, the opinion of the majority prevailed, that the same ambassadors
who had gone to the Roman consul should be sent to Hannibal. I find in
certain annals, that before this embassy proceeded, and before they
had determined on the measure of revolting, ambassadors were sent by
the Campanians to Rome, requiring that one of the consuls should be
elected from Campania if they wished assistance to the Roman cause.
That from the indignation which arose, they were ordered to be removed
from the senate-house, and a lictor despatched to conduct them out of
the city and command them to lodge that day without the Roman
frontier. But as this request is too much like that which the Latins
formerly made, and as Coelius and other writers had, not without
reason, made no mention of it, I have not ventured to vouch for its

7. The ambassadors came to Hannibal and concluded a treaty of peace
with him on the terms, "That no Carthaginian commander should have any
authority over a Campanian citizen, nor any Campanian serve in war or
perform any office against his will: that Capua should have her own
laws and her own magistrates: that the Carthaginian should give to the
Campanians three hundred captives selected by themselves, who might be
exchanged for the Campanian horse who were serving in Sicily." Such
were the stipulations: but in addition to them, the Campanians
perpetrated the following atrocities; for the commons ordered that the
prefects of the allies and other citizens of Rome should be suddenly
seized, while some of them were occupied with military duties, others
engaged in private business, and be shut up in the baths, as if for
the purpose of keeping them in custody, where, suffocated with heat
and vapour, they might expire in a horrid manner. Decius Magius, a man
who wanted nothing to complete his influence except a sound mind on
the part of his countrymen, had resisted to the uttermost the
execution of these measures, and the sending of the embassy to
Hannibal, and when he heard that a body of troops was sent by
Hannibal, bringing back to their recollection, as examples, the
haughty tyranny of Pyrrhus and the miserable slavery of the
Tarentines, he at first openly and loudly protested that the troops
should not be admitted, then he urged either that they should expel
them when received, or, if they had a mind to expiate, by a bold and
memorable act, the foul crime they had committed in revolting from
their most ancient and intimate allies, that leaving slain the
Carthaginian troops they should give themselves back to the Romans.
These proceedings, having been reported to Hannibal, for they were not
carried on in secret, he at first sent persons to summon Magius into
his presence at his camp, then, on his vehemently refusing to come, on
the ground that Hannibal had no authority over a Campanian, the
Carthaginian, excited with rage, ordered that the man should be seized
and dragged to him in chains, but afterwards, fearing lest while force
was employed some disturbance might take place, or lest, from
excitement of feeling, some undesigned collision might occur, he set
out himself from the camp with a small body of troops, having sent a
message before him to Marius Blosius, the praetor of Campania, to the
effect, that he would be at Capua the next day. Marius calling an
assembly, issued an order that they should go out and meet Hannibal in
a body, accompanied by their wives and children. This was done by all,
not only with obedience, but with zeal, with the full agreement of the
common people, and with eagerness to see a general rendered
illustrious by so many victories. Decius Magius neither went out to
meet him, nor kept himself in private, by which course he might seem
to indicate fear from a consciousness of demerit, he promenaded in the
forum with perfect composure, attended by his son and a few
dependants, while all the citizens were in a bustle to go to see and
receive the Carthaginian. Hannibal, on entering the city, immediately
demanded an audience of the senate; when the chief men of the
Campanians, beseeching him not to transact any serious business on
that day, but that he would cheerfully and willingly celebrate a day
devoted to festivity in consequence of his own arrival, though
naturally extremely prone to anger, yet, that he might not deny them
any thing at first, he spent a great part of the day in inspecting the

8. He lodged at the house of the Ninii Celeres, Stenius and Pacuvius,
men distinguished by their noble descent and their wealth. Thither
Pacuvius Calavius, of whom mention has already been made, who was the
head of the party which had drawn over the state to the Carthaginian
cause, brought his son, a young man, whom he had forced from the side
of Decius Magius, in conjunction with whom he had made a most
determined stand for the Roman alliance in opposition to the league
with the Carthaginians; nor had the leaning of the state to the other
side, or his father's authority, altered his sentiments. For this
youth his father procured pardon from Hannibal, more by prayers than
by clearing him. Hannibal, overcome by the entreaties and tears of his
father, even gave orders that he should be invited with his father to
the banquet; to which entertainment he intended to admit no Campanian
besides his hosts, and Jubellius Taurea, a man distinguished in war.
They began to feast early in the day, and the entertainment was not
conformable to the Carthaginian custom, or to military discipline, but
as might be expected in a city and in a house both remarkable for
luxury, was furnished with all the allurements of voluptuousness.
Perolla, the son of Calavius, was the only person who could not be won
either by the solicitations of the masters of the house, or those
which Hannibal sometimes employed. The youth himself pleaded ill
health as an apology, while his father urged as an excuse the
disturbed state of his mind, which was not surprising. About sunset,
Calavius, who had gone out from the banquet, was followed by his son;
and when they had arrived at a retired place, (it was a garden at the
back part of the house,) he said, "I have a plan to propose to you, my
father, by which we shall not only obtain pardon from the Romans for
our crime, in that we revolted from them to the Carthaginian, but
shall be held in much higher esteem, than we Campanians ever have
been." When the father inquired with surprise what that plan could be,
he threw back his gown off his shoulder and exposed to view his side,
which was girt with a sword. "Forthwith will I ratify the alliance
with Rome with the blood of Hannibal. I was desirous that you should
be informed of it first, in case you might prefer to be absent while
the deed is performing."

9. On hearing and seeing which the old man, as though he were actually
present at the transactions which were being named to him, wild with
fear, exclaimed, "I implore, I beseech you, my son, by all the ties
which unite children to parents, that you will not resolve to commit
and to suffer every thing that is horrible before the eyes of a
father. Did we but a few hours ago, swearing by every deity, and
joining right hands, pledge our fidelity to Hannibal, that immediately
on separating from the conference we should arm against him the hands
which were employed as the sacred pledges of our faith? Do you rise
from the hospitable board to which as one of three of the Campanians
you have been admitted by Hannibal, that you may ensanguine that very
board with the blood of your host. Could I conciliate Hannibal to my
son, and not my son to Hannibal? But let nothing be held sacred by
you, neither our pledges, nor the sense of religion, nor filial duty;
let the most horrid deeds be dared, if with guilt they bring not ruin
upon us. Will you singly attack Hannibal? What will that numerous
throng of freemen and slaves be doing? What the eyes of all intent on
him alone? What those so many right hands? Will they be torpid amidst
your madness? Will you be able to bear the look of Hannibal himself,
which armed hosts cannot sustain, from which the Roman people shrink
with horror? And though other assistance be wanting, will you have the
hardihood to strike me when I oppose my body in defence of Hannibal's?
But know that through my breast you must strike and transfix him.
Suffer yourself to be deterred from your attempt here, rather than to
be defeated there. May my entreaties prevail with you, as they did for
you this day." Upon this, perceiving the youth in tears, he threw his
arms around him, and kissing him affectionately, ceased not his
entreaties until he prevailed upon him to lay aside his sword and give
his promise that he would do no such thing. The young man then
observed, "I will indeed pay to my father the debt of duty which I owe
to my country, but I am grieved for you on whom the guilt of having
thrice betrayed your country rests; once when you sanctioned the
revolt from the Romans; next when you advised the alliance with
Hannibal; and thirdly, this day, when you are the delay and impediment
of the restoration of Capua to the Romans. Do thou, my country,
receive this weapon, armed with which in thy behalf I would fain have
defended this citadel, since a father wrests it from me." Having thus
said, he threw the sword into the highway over the garden wall, and
that the affair might not be suspected, himself returned to the

10. The next day an audience of a full senate was given to Hannibal,
when the first part of his address was full of graciousness and
benignity, in which he thanked the Campanians for having preferred his
friendship to an alliance with the Romans, and held out among his
other magnificent promises "that Capua should soon become the capital
of all Italy, and that the Romans as well as the other states should
receive laws from it. That there was, however, one person who had no
share in the Carthaginian friendship and the alliance formed with him,
Decius Magius, who neither was nor ought to be called a Campanian. Him
he requested to be surrendered to him, and that the sense of the
senate should be taken respecting his conduct, and a decree passed in
his presence." All concurred in this proposition, though a great many
considered him as a man undeserving such severe treatment; and that
this proceeding was no small infringement of their liberty to begin
with. Leaving the senate-house, the magistrate took his seat on the
consecrated bench, ordered Decius Magius to be apprehended, and to be
placed by himself before his feet to plead his cause. But he, his
proud spirit being unsubdued, denied that such a measure could be
enforced agreeably to the conditions of the treaty; upon which he was
ironed, and ordered to be brought into the camp before a lictor. As
long as he was conducted with his head uncovered, he moved along
earnestly haranguing and vociferating to the multitude which poured
around him on all sides. "You have gotten that liberty, Campanians,
which you seek; in the middle of the forum, in the light of day,
before your eyes, I, a man second to none of the Campanians, am
dragged in chains to suffer death. What greater outrage could have
been committed had Capua been captured? Go out to meet Hannibal,
decorate your city to the utmost, consecrate the day of his arrival,
that you may behold this triumph over a fellow-citizen." As the
populace seemed to be excited by him, vociferating these things, his
head was covered, and he was ordered to be dragged away more speedily
without the gate. Having been thus brought to the camp, he was
immediately put on board a ship and sent to Carthage, lest if any
commotion should arise at Capua on account of the injustice of the
proceeding, the senate also should repent of having given up a leading
citizen; and lest if an embassy were sent to request his restoration,
he must either offend his new allies by refusing their first petition,
or, by granting it, be compelled to retain at Capua a promoter of
sedition and disturbance. A tempest drove the vessel to Cyrenae, which
was at that time under the dominion of kings. Here flying for refuge
to the statue of king Ptolemy, he was conveyed thence in custody to
Alexandria to Ptolemy; and having instructed him that he had been
thrown into chains by Hannibal, contrary to the law of treaties, he
was liberated and allowed to return to whichever place he pleased,
Rome or Capua. But Magius said, that Capua would not be a safe place
for him, and that Rome, at a time when there was war between the
Romans and Capuans, would be rather the residence of a deserter than a
guest. That there was no place that he should rather dwell in, than in
the dominions of him whom he esteemed an avenger and the protector of
his liberty.

11. While these things were carrying on, Quintus Fabius Pictor, the
ambassador, returned from Delphi to Rome, and read the response of the
oracle from a written copy. In it both the gods were mentioned, and in
what manner supplication should be made. It then stated, "If you do
thus, Romans, your affairs will be more prosperous and less perplexed;
your state will proceed more agreeably to your wishes; and the victory
in the war will be on the side of the Roman people. After that your
state shall have been restored to prosperity and safety, send a
present to the Pythian Apollo out of the gains you have earned, and
pay honours to him out of the plunder, the booty, and the spoils.
Banish licentiousness from among you." Having read aloud these words,
translated from the Greek verse, he added, that immediately on his
departure from the oracle, he had paid divine honours to all these
deities with wine and frankincense; and that he was ordered by the
chief priest of the temple, that, as he had approached the oracle and
performed the sacred ceremonies decorated with a laurel crown, so he
should embark wearing the crown, and not put it off till he had
arrived at Rome. That he had executed all these injunctions with the
most scrupulous exactness and diligence, and had deposited the garland
on the altar of Apollo at Rome. The senate decreed that the sacred
ceremonies and supplications enjoined should be carefully performed
with all possible expedition. During these events at Rome and in
Italy, Mago, the son of Hamilcar, had arrived at Carthage with the
intelligence of the victory at Cannae. He was not sent direct from the
field of battle by his brother, but was detained some days in
receiving the submission of such states of the Bruttii as were in
revolt. Having obtained an audience of the senate he gave a full
statement of his brother's exploits in Italy: "That he had fought
pitched battles with six generals, four of whom were consuls, two a
dictator and master of the horse, with six consular armies; that he
had slain above two hundred thousand of the enemy, and captured above
fifty thousand. That out of the four consuls he had slain two; of the
two remaining, one was wounded, the other, having lost his whole army,
had fled from the field with scarcely fifty men; that the master of
the horse, an authority equal to that of consul, had been routed and
put to flight; that the dictator, because he had never engaged in a
pitched battle, was esteemed a matchless general; that the Bruttii,
the Apulians, part of the Samnites and of the Lucanians had revolted
to the Carthaginians. That Capua, which was the capital not only of
Campania, but after the ruin of the Roman power by the battle of
Cannae, of Italy also, had delivered itself over to Hannibal. That in
return for these so many and so great victories, gratitude ought
assuredly to be felt and thanks returned to the immortal gods."

12. Then, in proof of this such joyful news, he ordered the golden
rings to be poured out in the vestibule of the senate-house, of which
there was such a heap that some have taken upon themselves to say that
on being measured they filled three pecks and a half. The statement
has obtained and is more like the truth, that there were not more than
a peck. He then added, by way of explanation, to prove the greater
extent of the slaughter, that none but knights, and of these the
principal only, wore that ornament. The main drift of his speech was,
"that the nearer the prospect was of bringing the war to a conclusion,
the more should Hannibal be aided by every means, for that the seat of
war was at a long distance from home and in the heart of the enemy's
country. That a great quantity of corn was consumed and money
expended; and that so many pitched battles, as they had annihilated
the armies of the enemy, had also in some degree diminished the forces
of the victor. That a reinforcement therefore ought to be sent; and
money for the pay, and corn for the soldiers who had deserved so well
of the Carthaginian name." After this speech of Mago's, all being
elated with joy, Himilco, a member of the Barcine faction, conceiving
this a good opportunity for inveighing against Hanno, said to him,
"What think you now, Hanno? do you now also regret that the war
against the Romans was entered upon? Now urge that Hannibal should be
given up; yes, forbid the rendering of thanks to the immortal gods
amidst such successes; let us hear a Roman senator in the senate-house
of the Carthaginians." Upon which Hanno replied, "I should have
remained silent this day, conscript fathers, lest, amid the general
joy, I should utter any thing which might be too gloomy for you. But
now, to a senator, asking whether I still regret the undertaking of
the war against the Romans, if I should forbear to speak, I should
seem either arrogant or servile, the former of which is the part of a
man who is forgetful of the independence of others, the latter of his
own. I may answer therefore to Himilco, that I have not ceased to
regret the war, nor shall I cease to censure your invincible general
until I see the war concluded on some tolerable terms; nor will any
thing except a new peace put a period to my regret for the loss of the
old one. Accordingly those achievements, which Mago has so boastingly
recounted, are a source of present joy to Himilco and the other
adherents of Hannibal; to me they may become so; because successes in
war, if we have a mind to make the best use of fortune, will afford us
a peace on more equitable terms; for if we allow this opportunity to
pass by, on which we have it in our power to appear to dictate rather
than to receive terms of peace, I fear lest even this our joy should
run into excess, and in the end prove groundless. However, let us see
of what kind it is even now. I have slain the armies of the enemy,
send me soldiers. What else would you ask if you had been conquered? I
have captured two of the enemy's camps, full, of course, of booty and
provisions; supply me with corn and money. What else would you ask had
you been plundered and stripped of your camp? And that I may not be
the only person perplexed, I could wish that either Himilco or Mago
would answer me, for it is just and fair that I also should put a
question, since I have answered Himilco. Since the battle at Cannae
annihilated the Roman power, and it is a fact that all Italy is in a
state of revolt; in the first place, has any one people of the Latin
confederacy come over to us? In the next place, has any individual of
the five and thirty tribes deserted to Hannibal?" When Mago had
answered both these questions in the negative, he continued: "there
remains then still too large a body of the enemy. But I should be glad
to know what degree of spirit and hope that body possesses."

13. Mago declaring that he did not know; "Nothing," said he, "is
easier to be known. Have the Romans sent any ambassadors to Hannibal
to treat of peace? Have you, in short, ever heard that any mention has
been made of peace at Rome?" On his answering these questions also in
the negative: "We have upon our hands then, said he, a war as entire
as we had on the day on which Hannibal crossed over into Italy. There
are a great many of us alive now who remember how fluctuating the
success was in the former Punic war. At no time did our affairs appear
in so prosperous a condition as they did before the consulship of
Caius Lutatius and Aulus Posthumius. In the consulship of Caius
Lutatius and Aulus Posthumius we were completely conquered at the
islands Aegates. But if now, as well as then, (oh! may the gods avert
the omen!) fortune should take any turn, do you hope to obtain that
peace when we shall be vanquished which no one is willing to grant now
we are victorious. I have an opinion which I should express if any one
should advise with me on the subject of proffering or accepting terms
of peace with the enemy; but with respect to the supplies requested by
Mago, I do not think there is any necessity to send them to a
victorious army; and I give it as my opinion that they should far less
be sent to them, if they are deluding us by groundless and empty
hopes." But few were influenced by the harangue of Hanno, for both the
jealousy which he entertained towards the Barcine family, made him a
less weighty authority; and men's minds being taken up with the
present exultation, would listen to nothing by which their joy could
be made more groundless, but felt convinced, that if they should make
a little additional exertion the war might be speedily terminated.
Accordingly a decree of the senate was made with very general
approbation, that four thousand Numidians should be sent as a
reinforcement to Hannibal, with four hundred elephants and many
talents of silver. Moreover, the dictator was sent forward into Spain
with Mago to hire twenty thousand foot and four thousand horse, to
recruit the armies in Italy and Spain.

14. But these resolutions, as generally happens in the season of
prosperity, were executed in a leisurely and slothful manner. The
Romans, in addition to their inborn activity of mind, were prevented
from delaying by the posture of their affairs. For the consul was not
wanting in any business which was to be done by him; and the dictator,
Marcus Junius Pera, after the sacred ceremonies were concluded, and
after having, as is usual, proposed to the people that he might be
allowed to mount his horse; besides the two legions which had been
enlisted by the consuls in the beginning of the year, and besides the
cohorts collected out of the Picenian and Gallic territories,
descended to that last resort of the state when almost despaired of,
and when propriety gives place to utility, and made proclamation, that
of such persons as had been guilty of capital crimes or were in prison
on judgment for debt, those who would serve as soldiers with him, he
would order to be released from their liability to punishment and
their debts. These six thousand he armed with the Gallic spoils which
were carried in the procession at the triumph of Caius Flaminius. Thus
he marched from the city at the head of twenty-five thousand men.
Hannibal, after gaining Capua, made a second fruitless attempt upon
the minds of the Neapolitans, partly by fear and partly by hope: and
then marched his troops across into the territory of Nola: not
immediately in a hostile attitude, for he did not despair of a
voluntary surrender, yet intending to omit nothing which they could
suffer or fear, if they delayed the completion of his hopes. The
senate, and especially the principal members of it, persevered
faithfully in keeping up the alliance with the Romans; the commons, as
usual, were all inclined to a change in the government and to espouse
the cause of Hannibal, placing before their minds the fear lest their
fields should be devastated, and the many hardships and indignities
which must be endured in a siege; nor were there wanting persons who
advised a revolt. In this state of things, when a fear took possession
of the senate, that it would be impossible to resist the excited
multitude if they went openly to work, devised a delay of the evil by
secret simulation. They pretended that they were agreeable to the
revolt to Hannibal; but that it was not settled on what terms they
should enter into the new alliance and friendship. Thus having gained
time, they promptly sent ambassadors to the Roman praetor, Marcellus
Claudius, who was at Casilinum with his army, and informed him what a
critical situation Nola was in; that the fields were already in the
possession of Hannibal and the Carthaginians, and that the city soon
would be, unless succour were sent; that the senate, by conceding to
the commons that they would revolt when they pleased, had caused them
not to hasten too much to revolt. Marcellus, after bestowing high
commendations on the Nolans, urged them to protract the business till
his arrival by means of the same pretences; in the mean time, to
conceal what had passed between them, as well as all hope of succour
from the Romans. He himself marched from Casilinum to Calatia, and
thence crossing the Vulturnus, and passing through the territories of
Saticula and Trebula, pursuing his course along the mountains above
Suessula, he arrived at Nola.

15. On the approach of the Roman praetor, the Carthaginians retired
from the territory of Nola and marched down to the sea close upon
Naples, eager to get possession of a maritime town to which there
would be a safe course for ships from Africa. But hearing that Naples
was held by a Roman prefect, Marcus Junius Silanus, who had been
invited thither by the Neapolitans themselves, he left Naples as he
had left Nola, and directed his course to Nuceria, which he at length
starved into capitulation, after having besieged it for a considerable
time, often by open force, and often by soliciting to no purpose
sometimes the commons, at other times the nobles; agreeing that they
should depart with single garments and without arms. Then, as wishing
to appear from the beginning to show lenity to all the inhabitants of
Italy except the Romans, he proposed rewards and honours to those who
might remain with him, and would be willing to serve with him. He
retained none, however, by the hopes he held out; they all dispersed
in different directions throughout the cities of Campania, wherever
either hospitable connexions or the casual impulse of the mind
directed them, but principally to Nola and Naples. About thirty
senators, including as it happened all of the first rank, made for
Capua; but being shut out thence, because they had closed their gates
on Hannibal, they betook themselves to Cumae. The plunder of Nuceria
was, given to the soldiery, the city sacked and burned. Marcellus
continued to hold possession of Nola, relying not more from confidence
in his own troops than from the favourable disposition of the leading
inhabitants. Apprehensions were entertained of the commons,
particularly Lucius Bantius, whose having been privy to an attempt at
defection, and dread of the Roman praetor, stimulated sometimes to the
betrayal of his country, at others, should fortune fail him in that
undertaking, to desertion. He was a young man of vigorous mind, and at
that time enjoying the greatest renown of almost any of the allied
cavalry. Found at Cannae half dead amid a heap of slain, Hannibal had
sent him home, after having had him cured, with the kindest attention,
and even with presents. In gratitude for this favour, he had conceived
a wish to put Nola under the power and dominion of the Carthaginian;
but his anxiety and solicitude for effecting a change did not escape
the notice of the praetor. However, as it was necessary that he should
be either restrained by penal inflictions or conciliated by favours,
he preferred attaching to himself a brave and strenuous ally, to
depriving the enemy of him; and summoning him into his presence, in
the kindest manner said, "that the fact that he had many among his
countrymen who were jealous of him, might be easily collected from the
circumstance that not one citizen of Nola had informed him how many
were his splendid military exploits. But that it was impossible for
the valour of one who served in the Roman camp to remain in obscurity;
that many who had served with him had reported to him how brave a man
he was, how often and what dangers he had encountered for the safety
and honour of the Roman people; and how in the battle of Cannae he had
not given over fighting till, almost bloodless, he was buried under a
heap of men, horses, and arms which fell upon him. Go on then," says
he, "and prosper in your career of valour, with me you shall receive
every honour and every reward, and the oftener you be with me, the
more you shall find it will be to your honour and emolument." He
presented the young man, delighted with these promises, with a horse
of distinguished beauty, ordered the quaestor to give him five hundred
denarii, and commanded the lictors to allow him to approach him
whenever he might please.

16. The violent spirit of the youth was so much soothed by the
courteous treatment of Marcellus, that thenceforward no one of the
allies displayed greater courage or fidelity in aiding the Roman
cause. Hannibal being now at the gates, for he had moved his camp back
again from Nuceria to Nola, and the commons beginning to turn their
attention to revolt afresh, Marcellus, on the approach of the enemy,
retired within the walls; not from apprehension for his camp, but lest
he should give an opportunity for betraying the city, which too many
were anxiously watching for. The troops on both sides then began to be
drawn up; the Romans before the walls of Nola, the Carthaginians
before their own camp. Hence arose several battles of small account
between the city and the camp, with varying success, as the generals
were neither willing to check the small parties who inconsiderately
challenged the enemy, nor to give the signal for a general engagement.
While the two armies continued to be thus stationed day after day, the
chief men of the Nolans informed Marcellus, that conferences were held
by night between the commons of Nola and the Carthaginians; and that
it was fixed, that, when the Roman army had gone out at the gates,
they should make plunder of their baggage and packages, then close the
gates and post themselves upon the walls, in order that when in
possession of the government and the city, they might then receive the
Carthaginian instead of the Roman. On receiving this intelligence
Marcellus, having bestowed the highest commendations on the senators,
resolved to hazard the issue of a battle before any commotion should
arise within the city. He drew up his troops in three divisions at the
three gates which faced the enemy; he gave orders that the baggage
should follow close by, that the servants, suttlers' boys, and
invalids should carry palisades; at the centre gate he stationed the
choicest of the legionary troops and the Roman cavalry, at the two
gates on either side, the recruits, the light-armed, and the allied
cavalry. The Nolans were forbidden to approach the walls and gates,
and the troops designed for a reserve were set over the baggage, lest
while the legions were engaged in the battle an attack should be made
upon it. Thus arranged they were standing within the gates. Hannibal,
who had waited with his troops drawn up in battle-array, as he had
done for several days, till the day was far advanced, at first was
amazed that neither the Roman army marched out of the gates, nor any
armed man was to be seen on the walls, but afterwards concluding that
the conferences had been discovered, and that they were quiet through
fear, he sent back a portion of his troops into the camp, with orders
to bring into the front line, with speed, every thing requisite for
assaulting the city; satisfied that if he urged them vigorously while
they were indisposed to action, the populace would excite some
commotion in the city. While, in the van, the troops were running up
and down in a hurried manner in discharge of their several duties, and
the line was advancing up to the gates, suddenly throwing open the
gate, Marcellus ordered that the signal should be given, and a shout
raised, and that first the infantry and after them the cavalry should
burst forth upon the enemy with all possible impetuosity. They had
occasioned abundant terror and confusion in the centre of the enemy's
line, when, at the two side gates, the lieutenant-generals, Publius
Valerius Flaccus and Caius Aurelius, sallied forth upon the wings. The
servants, suttlers' boys, and the other multitude appointed to guard
the baggage, joined in the shout, so that they suddenly exhibited the
appearance of a vast army to the Carthaginians, who despised chiefly
their paucity of numbers. For my own part I would not take upon me to
assert what some authors have declared, that two thousand eight
hundred of the enemy were slain, and that the Romans lost not more
than five hundred. Whether the victory was so great or not; it is
certain that a very important advantage, and perhaps the greatest
during the war, was gained on that day: for not to be vanquished by
Hannibal was then a more difficult task to the victorious troops, than
to conquer him afterwards.

17. When Hannibal, all hope of getting possession of Nola being lost,
had retired to Acerrae, Marcellus, having closed the gates and posted
guards in different quarters to prevent any one from going out,
immediately instituted a judicial inquiry in the forum, into the
conduct of those who had been secretly in communication with the
enemy. He beheaded more than seventy who were convicted of treason,
and ordered their foods to be confiscated to the Roman state; and then
committing the government to the senate, set out with all his forces,
and, pitching a camp, took up a position above Suessula. The
Carthaginian, having at first endeavoured to win over the people of
Acerrae to a voluntary surrender, but finding them resolved, makes
preparations for a siege and assault. But the people of Acerrae had
more spirit than power. Despairing therefore, of the defence of the
city, when they saw their walls being circumvallated, before the lines
of the enemy were completed, they stole off in the dead of night
through the opening in the works, and where the watches had been
neglected; and pursuing their course through roads and pathless
regions, accordingly as design or mistake directed each, made their
escape to those towns of Campania which they knew had not renounced
their fidelity. After Acerrae was plundered and burnt, Hannibal,
having received intelligence that the Roman dictator with the
new-raised legions was seen at some distance from Casilinum, and
fearing lest, the camp of the enemy being so near, something might
occur at Capua, marched his army to Casilinum. At that time Casilinum
was occupied by five hundred Praenestines, with a few Romans and
Latins, whom the news of the defeat at Cannae had brought to the same
place. These men setting out from home too late, in consequence of the
levy at Praeneste not being completed at the appointed day, and
arriving at Casilinum before the defeat was known there, where they
united themselves with other troops, Romans and allies, were
proceeding thence in a tolerably large body, but the news of the
battle at Cannae them back to Casilinum. Having spent several days
there in evading and concerting plots, in fear themselves and
suspected by the Campanians, and having now received certain
information that the revolt of Capua and the reception of Hannibal
were in agitation, they put the townsmen to the sword by night, and
seized upon the part of the town on this side the Vulturnus, for it is
divided by that river. Such was the garrison the Romans had at
Casilinum; to these was added a cohort of Perusians, in number four
hundred and sixty, who had been driven to Casilinum by the same
intelligence which had brought the Praenestines a few days before.
They formed a sufficient number of armed men for the defence of walls
of so limited extent, and protected on one side by the river. The
scarcity of corn made them even appear too numerous.

18. Hannibal having now advanced within a short distance of the place,
sent forward a body of Getulians under a commander named Isalca, and
orders them in the first place, if an opportunity of parley should be
given, to win them over by fair words, to open the gates, and admit a
garrison; but, if they persisted in obstinate opposition, to proceed
to action, and try if in any part he could force an entrance into the
city. When they had approached the walls, because silence prevailed
there appeared a solitude; and the barbarian, supposing that they had
retired through fear, made preparation for forcing the gates and
breaking away the bars, when, the gates being suddenly thrown open,
two cohorts, drawn up within for that very purpose, rushed forth with
great tumult, and made a slaughter of the enemy. The first party being
thus repulsed, Maharbal was sent with a more powerful body of troops;
but neither could even he sustain the sally of the cohorts. Lastly,
Hannibal, fixing his camp directly before the walls, prepared to
assault this paltry city and garrison, with every effort and all his
forces, and having completely surrounded the city with a line of
troops, lost a considerable number of men, including all the most
forward, who were shot from the walls and turrets, while he pressed on
and provoked the enemy. Once he was very near cutting them off, by
throwing in a line of elephants, when aggressively sallying forth, and
drove them in the utmost confusion into the town; a good many, out of
so small a number, having been slain. More would have fallen had not
night interrupted the battle. On the following day, the minds of all
were possessed with an ardent desire to commence the assault,
especially after a golden mural crown had been promised, and the
general himself had reproached the conquerors of Saguntum with the
slowness of their siege of a little fort situated on level ground;
reminding them, each and all, of Cannae, Trasimenus, and Trebia. They
then began to apply the vineae and to spring mines: nor was any
measure, whether of open force or stratagem, unemployed against the
various attempts of the enemy. These allies of the Romans erected
bulwarks against the vineae, cut off the mines of the enemy by
cross-mines, and met their efforts both covertly and openly, till, at
last, shame compelled Hannibal to desist from his undertaking; and,
fortifying a camp in which he placed a small guard, that the affair
might not appear to have been abandoned, he retired into winter
quarters to Capua. There he kept, under cover, for the greater part of
the winter, that army, which, though fortified by frequent and
continued hardships against every human ill, had yet never experienced
or been habituated to prosperity. Accordingly, excess of good fortune
and unrestrained indulgence were the ruin of men whom no severity of
distress had subdued; and so much the more completely, in proportion
to the avidity with which they plunged into pleasures to which they
were unaccustomed. For sleep, wine, feasting, women, baths, and ease,
which custom rendered more seductive day by day, so completely
unnerved both mind and body, that from henceforth their past victories
rather than their present strength protected them; and in this the
general is considered by those who are skilled in the art of war to
have committed a greater error than in not having marched his troops
to Rome forthwith from the field of Cannae: for his delay on that
occasion might be considered as only to have postponed his victory,
but this mistake to have bereaved him of the power of conquering.
Accordingly, by Hercules, as though he marched out of Capua with
another army, it retained in no respect any of its former discipline;
for most of the troops returned in the embrace of harlots; and as soon
as they began to live under tents, and the fatigue of marching and
other military labours tried them, like raw troops, they failed both
in bodily strength and spirit. From that time, during the whole period
of the summer campaign, a great number of them slunk away from the
standards without furloughs, while Capua was the only retreat of the

19. However, when the rigour of winter began to abate, marching his
troops out of their winter quarters he returned to Casilinum; where,
although there had been an intermission of the assault, the
continuance of the siege had reduced the inhabitants and the garrison
to the extremity of want. Titus Sempronius commanded the Roman camp,
the dictator having gone to Rome to renew the auspices. The swollen
state of the Vulturnus and the entreaties of the people of Nola and
Acerrae, who feared the Campanians if the Roman troops should leave
them, kept Marcellus in his place; although desirous himself also to
bring assistance to the besieged. Gracchus, only maintaining his post
near Casilinum, because he had been enjoined by the dictator not to
take any active steps during his absence, did not stir; although
intelligence was brought from Casilinum which might easily overcome
every degree of patience. For it appeared that some had precipitated
themselves from the walls through famine and that they were standing
unarmed upon the walls, exposing their undefended bodies to the blows
of the missile weapons. Gracchus, grieved at the intelligence, but not
daring to fight contrary to the injunctions of the dictator, and yet
aware that he must fight if he openly attempted to convey in
provisions, and having no hope of introducing them clandestinely,
collected corn from all parts of the surrounding country, and filling
several casks sent a message to the magistrate to Casilinum, directing
that they might catch the casks which the river would bring down. The
following night, while all were intent upon the river, and the hopes
excited by the message from the Romans, the casks sent came floating
down the centre of the stream, and the corn was equally distributed
among them all. This was repeated the second and third day; they were
sent off and arrived during the same night; and hence they escaped the
notice of the enemy's guards. But afterwards, the river, rendered more
than ordinarily rapid by continual rains, drove the casks by a cross
current to the bank which the enemy were guarding; there they were
discovered sticking among the osiers which grew along the banks; and,
it being reported to Hannibal, from that time the watches were kept
more strictly, that nothing sent to the city by the Vulturnus might
escape notice. However, nuts poured out at the Roman camp floated down
the centre of the river to Casilinum, and were caught with hurdles. At
length they were reduced to such a degree of want, that they
endeavoured to chew the thongs and skins which they tore from their
shields, after softening them in warm water; nor did they abstain from
mice or any other kind of animals. They even dug up every kind of herb
and root from the lowest mounds of their wall; and when the enemy had
ploughed over all the ground producing herbage which was without the
wall, they threw in turnip seed, so that Hannibal exclaimed, Must I
sit here at Casilinum even till these spring up? and he, who up to
that time had not lent an ear to any terms, then at length allowed
himself to be treated with respecting the ransom of the free persons.
Seven ounces of gold for each person were agreed upon as the price;
and then, under a promise of protection, they surrendered themselves.
They were kept in chains till the whole of the gold was paid, after
which they were sent back to Cumae, in fulfilment of the promise. This
account is more credible than that they were slain by a body of
cavalry, which was sent to attack them as they were going away. They
were for the most part Praenestines. Out of the five hundred and
seventy who formed the garrison, almost one half were destroyed by
sword or famine; the rest returned safe to Praeneste with their
praetor Manicius, who had formerly been a scribe. His statue placed in
the forum at Praeneste, clad in a coat of mail, with a gown on, and
with the head covered, formed an evidence of this account; as did also
three images with this legend inscribed on a brazen plate, "Manicius
vowed these in behalf of the soldiers who were in the garrison at
Casilinum." The same legend was inscribed under three images placed in
the temple of Fortune.

20. The town of Casilinum was restored to the Campanians, strengthened
by a garrison of seven hundred soldiers from the army of Hannibal,
lest on the departure of the Carthaginian from it, the Romans should
assault it. To the Praenestine soldiers the Roman senate voted double
pay and exemption from military service for five years. On being
offered the freedom of the state, in consideration of their valor,
they would not make the exchange. The account of the fate of the
Perusians is less clear, as no light is thrown upon it by any monument
of their own, or any decree of the Romans. At the same time the
Petelini, the only Bruttian state which had continued in the Roman
alliance, were attacked not only by the Carthaginians, who were in
possession of the surrounding country, but also by the rest of the
Bruttian states, on account of their having adopted a separate policy.
The Petelini, unable to bear up against these distresses, sent
ambassadors to Rome to solicit aid, whose prayers and entreaties (for
on being told that they must themselves take measures for their own
safety, they gave themselves up to piteous lamentations in the
vestibule of the senate-house) excited the deepest commiseration in
the fathers and the people. On the question being proposed a second
time to the fathers by Manius Pomponius, the praetor, after examining
all the resources of the empire, they were compelled to confess that
they had no longer any protection for their distant allies, and bid
them return home, and having done every thing which could be expected
from faithful allies, as to what remained to take measures for their
own security in the present state of fortune. On the result of this
embassy being reported to the Petelini, their senate was suddenly
seized with such violent grief and dismay, that some advised that they
should run away wherever each man could find an asylum, and abandon
the city. Some advised, that as they were deserted by their ancient
allies, they should unite themselves with the rest of the Bruttian
states, and through them surrender themselves to Hannibal. The opinion
however which prevailed was that of those who thought that nothing
should be done in haste and rashly, and that they should take the
whole matter into their consideration again. The next day, when they
had cooled upon it, and their trepidation had somewhat subsided, the
principal men carried their point that they should collect all their
property out of the fields, and fortify the city and the walls.

21. Much about the same time letters were brought from Sicily and
Sardinia. That of Titus Otacilius the propraetor was first read in the
senate. It stated that Lucius Furius the praetor had arrived at
Lilybaeum from Africa with his fleet. That he himself, having been
severely wounded, was in imminent danger of his life; that neither pay
nor corn was punctually furnished to the soldiers or the marines; nor
were there any resources from which they could be furnished. That he
earnestly advised that such supplies should be sent with all possible
expedition; and that, if it was thought proper, they should send one
of the new praetors to succeed him.

Nearly the same intelligence respecting corn and pay was conveyed in a
letter from Aulus Cornelius Mammula, the propraetor, from Sardinia.
The answer to both was, that there were no resources from whence they
could be supplied, and orders were given to them that they should
themselves provide for their fleets and armies. Titus Otacilius having
sent ambassadors to Hiero, the only source of assistance the Romans
had, received as much money as was wanting to pay the troops and a
supply of corn for six months. In Sardinia, the allied states
contributed liberally to Cornelius. The scarcity of money at Rome also
was so great, that on the proposal of Marcus Minucius, plebeian
tribune, a financial triumvirate was appointed, consisting of Lucius
Aemilius Papus, who had been consul and censor, Marcus Atilius
Regulus, who had been twice consul, and Lucius Scribonius Libo, who
was then plebeian tribune. Marcus and Caius Atilius were also created
a duumvirate for dedicating the temple of Concord, which Lucius
Manlius had vowed when praetor. Three pontiffs were also created,
Quintus Caecilius Metellus, Quintus Fabius Maximus, and Quintus
Fulvius Flaccus, in the room of Publius Scantinius deceased, and of
Lucius Aemilius Paulus the consul, and of Quintus Aelius Paetus, who
had fallen in the battle of Cannae.

22. The fathers having repaired, as far as human counsels could effect
it, the other losses from a continued series of unfortunate events, at
length turned their attention on themselves, on the emptiness of the
senate-house, and the paucity of those who assembled for public
deliberation. For the senate-roll had not been reviewed since the
censorship of Lucius Aemilius and C. Flaminius, though unfortunate
battles, during a period of five years, as well as the private
casualties of each, had carried off so many senators. Manius
Pomponius, the praetor, as the dictator was now gone to the army after
the loss of Casilinum, at the earnest request of all, brought in a
bill upon the subject. When Spurius Carvilius, after having lamented
in a long speech not only the scantiness of the senate, but the
fewness of citizens who were eligible into that body, with the design
of making up the numbers of the senate and uniting more closely the
Romans and the Latin confederacy, declared that he strongly advised
that the freedom of the state should be conferred upon two senators
from each of the Latin states, if the Roman fathers thought proper,
who might be chosen into the senate to supply the places of the
deceased senators. This proposition the fathers listened to with no
more equanimity than formerly to the request when made by the Latins
themselves. A loud and violent expression of disapprobation ran
through the whole senate-house. In particular, Manlius reminded them
that there was still existing a man of that stock, from which that
consul was descended who formerly threatened in the Capitol that he
would with his own hand put to death any Latin senator he saw in that
house. Upon which Quintus Fabius Maximus said, "that never was any
subject introduced into the senate at a juncture more unseasonable
than the present, when a question had been touched upon which would
still further irritate the minds of the allies, who were already
hesitating and wavering in their allegiance. That that rash suggestion
of one individual ought to be annihilated by the silence of the whole
body; and that if there ever was a declaration in that house which
ought to be buried in profound and inviolable silence, surely that
above all others was one which deserved to be covered and consigned to
darkness and oblivion, and looked upon as if it had never been made."
This put a stop to the mention of the subject. They determined that a
dictator should be created for the purpose of reviewing the senate,
and that he should be one who had been a censor, and was the oldest
living of those who had held that office. They likewise gave orders
that Caius Terentius, the consul, should be called home to nominate a
dictator; who, leaving his troops in Apulia, returned to Rome with
great expedition; and, according to custom, on the following night
nominated Marcus Fabius Buteo dictator, for six months, without a
master of the horse, in pursuance of the decree of the senate.

23. He having mounted the rostrum attended by the lictors, declared,
that he neither approved of there being two dictators at one time,
which had never been done before, nor of his being appointed dictator
without a master of the horse; nor of the censorian authority being
committed to one person, and to the same person a second time; nor
that command should be given to a dictator for six months, unless he
was created for active operations. That he would himself restrain
within proper bounds those irregularities which chance, the exigencies
of the times, and necessity had occasioned. For he would not remove
any of those whom the censors Flaminius and Aemilius had elected into
the senate; but would merely order that their names should be
transcribed and read over, that one man might not exercise the power
of deciding and determining on the character and morals of a senator;
and would so elect in place of deceased members, that one rank should
appear to be preferred to another, and not man to man. The old
senate-roll having been read, he chose as successors to the deceased,
first those who had filled a curule office since the censorship of
Flaminius and Aemilius, but had not yet been elected into the senate,
as each had been earliest created. He next chose those who had been
aediles, plebeian tribunes, or quaestors; then of those who had never
filled the office of magistrate, he selected such as had spoils taken
from an enemy fixed up at their homes, or had received a civic crown.
Having thus elected one hundred and seventy-seven senators, with the
entire approbation of his countrymen, he instantly abdicated his
office, and, bidding the lictors depart, he descended from the rostrum
as a private citizen, and mingled with the crowd of persons who were
engaged in their private affairs, designedly wearing away this time,
lest he should draw off the people from the forum for the purpose of
escorting him home. Their zeal, however, did not subside by the delay,
for they escorted him to his house in great numbers. The consul
returned to the army the ensuing night, without acquainting the
senate, lest he should be detained in the city on account of the

24. The next day, on the proposition of Manius Pomponius the praetor,
the senate decreed that a letter should be written to the dictator, to
the effect, that if he thought it for the interest of the state, he
should come, together with the master of the horse and the praetor,
Marcus Marcellus, to hold the election for the succeeding consuls, in
order that the fathers might learn from them in person in what
condition the state was, and take measures according to circumstances.
All who were summoned came, leaving lieutenant-generals to hold
command of the legions. The dictator, speaking briefly and modestly of
himself, attributed much of the glory Of the campaign to the master of
the horse, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. He then gave out the day for
the comitia, at which the consuls created were Lucius Posthumius in
his absence, being then employed in the government of the province of
Gaul, for the third time, and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, who was
then master of the horse and curule aedile. Marcus Valerius Laevinus,
Appius Claudius Pulcher, Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, and Quintus Mucius
Scaevola, were then created praetors. After the election of the
magistrates, the dictator returned to his army, which was in winter
quarters at Teanum, leaving his master of the horse at Rome, to take
the sense of the fathers relative to the armies to be enlisted and
embodied for the service of the year, as he was about to enter upon
the magistracy after a few days. While busily occupied with these
matters, intelligence arrived of a fresh disaster--fortune crowding
into this year one calamity after another--that Lucius Posthumius,
consul elect, himself with all his army was destroyed in Gaul. He was
to march his troops through a vast wood, which the Gauls called
Litana. On the right and left of his route, the natives had sawed the
trees in such a manner that they continued standing upright, but would
fall when impelled by a slight force. Posthumius had with him two
Roman legions, and besides had levied so great a number of allies
along the Adriatic Sea, that he led into the enemy's country
twenty-five thousand men. As soon as this army entered the wood, the
Gauls, who were posted around its extreme skirts, pushed down the
outermost of the sawn trees, which falling on those next them, and
these again on others which of themselves stood tottering and scarcely
maintained their position, crushed arms, men, and horses in an
indiscriminate manner, so that scarcely ten men escaped. For, most of
them being killed by the trunks and broken boughs of trees, the Gauls,
who beset the wood on all sides in arms killed the rest, panic-struck
by so unexpected a disaster. A very small number, who attempted to
escape by a bridge, were taken prisoners, being intercepted by the
enemy who had taken possession of it before them. Here Posthumius
fell, fighting with all his might to prevent his being taken. The Boii
having cut off his head, carried it and the spoils they stole off his
body, in triumph into the most sacred temple they had. Afterwards they
cleansed the head according to their custom, and having covered the
skull with chased gold, used it as a cup for libations in their solemn
festivals, and a drinking cup for their high priests and other
ministers of the temple. The spoils taken by the Gauls were not less
than the victory. For though great numbers of the beasts were crushed
by the falling trees, yet as nothing was scattered by flight, every
thing else was found strewed along the whole line of the prostrate

25. The news of this disaster arriving, when the state had been in so
great a panic for many days, that the shops were shut up as if the
solitude of night reigned through the city; the senate gave it in
charge to the aediles to go round the city, cause the shops to be
opened, and this appearance of public affliction to be removed. Then
Titus Sempronius, having assembled the senate, consoled and encouraged
the fathers, requesting, "that they who had sustained the defeat at
Cannae with so much magnanimity would not now be cast down with less
calamities. That if their arms should prosper, as he hoped they would,
against Hannibal and the Carthaginians, the war with the Gauls might
be suspended and deferred without hazard. The gods and the Roman
people would have it in their power to revenge the treachery of the
Gauls another time. That they should now deliberate about the
Carthaginian foe, and the forces with which the war was to be
prosecuted." He first laid before them the number of foot and horse,
as well citizens as allies, that were in the dictator's army. Then
Marcellus gave an account of the amount in his. Those who knew were
asked what troops were in Apulia with Caius Terentius Varro the
consul. But no practicable plan could be devised for raising consular
armies sufficient to support so important a war. For this reason,
notwithstanding a just resentment irritated them, they determined that
Gaul should be passed over for that year. The dictator's army was
assigned to the consul; and they ordered such of the troops of
Marcellus's army as had fled from Cannae, to be transported into
Sicily, to serve there as long as the war continued in Italy. Thither,
likewise, were ordered to be sent as unfit to serve with him, the
weakest of the dictator's troops, no time of service being appointed,
but the legal number of campaigns. The two legions in the city were
voted to the other consul who should be elected in the room of
Posthumius; and they resolved that he should be elected as soon as the
auspices would permit. Besides, two legions were immediately to be
recalled from Sicily, out of which the consul, to whom the city
legions fell, might take what number of men he should have occasion
for. The consul Caius Terentius Varro was continued in his command for
one year, without lessening the army he had for the defence of Apulia.

26. During these transactions and preparations in Italy, the war in
Spain was prosecuted with no less vigour; but hitherto more favourably
to the Romans. The two generals had divided their troops, so that
Cneius acted by land, and Publius by sea. Hasdrubal, general of the
Carthaginians, sufficiently trusting to neither branch of his forces,
kept himself at a distance from the enemy, secured by the intervening
space and the strength of his fortifications, until, after much
solicitation, four thousand foot and five hundred horse were sent him
out of Africa as a reinforcement. At length, inspired with fresh
hopes, he moved nearer the enemy; and himself also ordered a fleet to
be equipped and prepared for the protection of the islands and
sea-coasts. In the very onset of renewing the war, he was greatly
embarrassed by the desertion of the captains of his ships, who had
ceased to entertain a sincere attachment towards the general and the
Carthaginian cause, ever since they were severely reprimanded for
abandoning the fleet in a cowardly manner at the Iberus. These
deserters had raised an insurrection among the Tartessians, and at
their instigation some cities had revolted; they had even taken one by
force. The war was now turned from the Romans into that country, which
he entered in a hostile manner, and resolved to attack Galbus, a
distinguished general of the Tartessians, who with a powerful army
kept close within his camp, before the walls of a city which had been
captured but a few days before. Accordingly, he sent his light-armed
troops in advance to provoke the enemy to battle, and part of his
infantry to ravage the country throughout in every direction, and to
cut off stragglers. There was a skirmish before the camp, at the same
time that many were killed and put to flight in the fields. But having
by different routes returned to their camp, they so quickly shook off
all fear, that they had courage not only to defend their lines, but
challenge the enemy to fight. They sallied out, therefore, in a body
from the camp, dancing according to their custom. Their sudden
boldness terrified the enemy, who a little before had been the
assailants. Hasdrubal therefore drew off his troops to a tolerably
steep eminence, and secured further by having a river between it and
the enemy. Here the parties of light-armed troops which had been sent
in advance, and the horse which had been dispersed about, he called in
to join him. But not thinking himself sufficiently secured by the
eminence or the river, he fortified his camp completely with a
rampart. While thus fearing and feared alternately, several skirmishes
occurred, in which the Numidian cavalry were not so good as the
Spanish, nor the Moorish darters so good as the Spanish targetteers,
who equalled them in swiftness, but were superior to them in strength
and courage.

27. The enemy seeing they could not, by coming up to Hasdrubal's camp,
draw him out to a battle, nor assault it without great difficulty,
stormed Asena, whither Hasdrubal, on entering their territories, had
laid up his corn and other stores. By this they became masters of all
the surrounding country. But now they became quite ungovernable, both
when on march and within their camp.

Hasdrubal, therefore, perceiving their negligence, which, as usual,
was the consequence of success, after having exhorted his troops to
attack them while they were straggling and without their standards,
came down the hill, and advanced to their camp in order of battle. On
his approach being announced in a tumultuous manner, by men who fled
from the watchposts and advanced guards, they shouted to arms; and as
each could get his arms, they rushed precipitately to battle, without
waiting for the word, without standards, without order, and without
ranks. The foremost of them were already engaged, while some were
running up in parties, and others had not got out of their camp.
However, at first, the very boldness of their attack terrified the
enemy. But when they charged their close ranks with their own which
were thin, and were not able to defend themselves for want of numbers,
each began to look out for others to support him; and being repulsed
in all quarters they collected themselves in form of a circle, where
being so closely crowded together, body to body, armour to armour,
that they had not room to wield their arms, they were surrounded by
the enemy, who continued to slaughter them till late in the day. A
small number, having forced a passage, made for the woods and hills.
With like consternation, their camp was abandoned, and next day the
whole nation submitted. But they did not continue long quiet, for
immediately upon this, Hasdrubal received orders from Carthage to
march into Italy with all expedition. The report of which, spreading
over Spain, made almost all the states declare for the Romans.
Accordingly he wrote immediately to Carthage, to inform them how much
mischief the report of his march had produced. "That if he really did
leave Spain, the Romans would be masters of it all before he could
pass the Iberus. For, besides that he had neither an army nor a
general whom he could leave to supply his place, so great were the
abilities of the Roman generals who commanded there, that they could
scarcely be opposed with equal forces. If, therefore, they had any
concern for preserving Spain, they ought to send a general with a
powerful army to succeed him. To whom, however prosperous all things
might prove, yet the province would not be a position of ease."

28. Though this letter made at first a great impression on the senate,
yet, as their interest in Italy was first and most important, they did
not at all alter their resolution in relation to Hasdrubal and his
troops. However, they despatched Himilco with a complete army, and an
augmented fleet, to preserve and defend Spain both by sea and land.
When he had conveyed over his land and naval forces, he fortified a
camp; and having drawn his ships upon dry land, and surrounded them
with a rampart, he marched with a chosen body of cavalry, with all
possible expedition; using the same caution when passing through
people who were wavering, and those who were actually enemies; and
came up with Hasdrubal. As soon as he had informed him of the
resolutions and orders of the senate, and in his turn been thoroughly
instructed in what manner to prosecute the war in Spain, he returned
to his camp; his expedition more than any thing else saving him, for
he quitted every place before the people could conspire. Before
Hasdrubal quitted his position he laid all the states in subjection to
him under contribution. He knew well that Hannibal purchased a passage
through some nations; that he had no Gallic auxiliaries but such as
were hired; and that if he had undertaken so arduous a march without
money, he would scarcely have penetrated so far as the Alps. For this
reason, having exacted the contributions with great haste, he marched
down to the Iberus. As soon as the Roman generals got notice of the
Carthaginian senate's resolution, and Hasdrubal's march, they gave up
every other concern, and uniting their forces, determined to meet him
and oppose his attempt. They reflected, that when it was already so
difficult to make head against Hannibal alone in Italy, there would be
an end of the Roman empire in Spain, should Hasdrubal join him with a
Spanish army. Full of anxiety and care on these accounts, they
assembled their forces at the Iberus, and crossed the river; and after
deliberating for some time whether they should encamp opposite to the
enemy, or be satisfied with impeding his intended march by attacking
the allies of the Carthaginians, they made preparations for besieging
a city called Ibera, from its contiguity to the river, which was at
that time the wealthiest in that quarter. When Hasdrubal perceived
this, instead of carrying assistance to his allies, he proceeded
himself to besiege a city which had lately placed itself under the
protection of the Romans; and thus the siege which was now commenced
was given up by them, and the operations of the war turned against
Hasdrubal himself.

29. For a few days they remained encamped at a distance of five miles
from each other, not without skirmishes, but without going out to a
regular engagement. At length the signal for battle was given out on
both sides on one and the same day, as though by concert, and they
marched down into the plain with all their forces. The Roman army
stood in triple line; a part of the light troops were stationed among
the first line, the other half were received behind the standards, the
cavalry covering the wings. Hasdrubal formed his centre strong with
Spaniards, and placed the Carthaginians in the right wing, the
Africans and hired auxiliaries in the left. His cavalry he placed
before the wings, attaching the Numidians to the Carthaginian
infantry, and the rest to the Africans. Nor were all the Numidians
placed in the right wing, but such as taking two horses each into the
field are accustomed frequently to leap full armed, when the battle is
at the hottest, from a tired horse upon a fresh one, after the manner
of vaulters: such was their own agility, and so docile their breed of
horses. While they stood thus drawn up, the hopes entertained by the
generals on both sides were pretty much upon an equality; for neither
possessed any great superiority, either in point of the number or
quality of the troops. The feelings of the soldiers were widely
different. Their generals had, without difficulty, induced the Romans
to believe, that although they fought at a distance from their
country, it was Italy and the city of Rome that they were defending.
Accordingly, they had brought their minds to a settled resolution to
conquer or die; as if their return to their country had hinged upon
the issue of that battle. The other army consisted of less determined
men; for they were principally Spaniards, who would rather be
vanquished in Spain, than be victorious to be dragged into Italy. On
the first onset, therefore, ere their javelins had scarcely been
thrown, their centre gave ground, and the Romans pressing on with
great impetuosity, turned their backs. In the wings the battle
proceeded with no less activity; on one side the Carthaginians, on the
other the Africans, charged vigorously, while the Romans, in a manner
surrounded, were exposed to a twofold attack. But when the whole of
the Roman troops had united in the centre, they possessed sufficient
strength to compel the wings of the enemy to retire in different
directions; and thus there were two separate battles, in both of which
the Romans were decidedly superior, as after the defeat of the enemy's
centre they had the advantage both in the number and strength of their
troops. Vast numbers were slain on this occasion; and had not the
Spaniards fled precipitately from the field ere the battle had scarce
begun, very few out of the whole army would have survived. There was
very little fighting of the cavalry, for as soon as the Moors and
Numidians perceived that the centre gave way, they fled immediately
with the utmost precipitation, leaving the wings uncovered, and also
driving the elephants before them. Hasdrubal, after waiting the issue
of the battle to the very last, fled from the midst of the carnage
with a few attendants. The Romans took and plundered the camp. This
victory united with the Romans whatever states of Spain were wavering,
and left Hasdrubal no hope, not only of leading an army over into
Italy, but even of remaining very safely in Spain. When these events
were made generally known at Rome by letters from the Scipios, the
greatest joy was felt, not so much for the victory, as for the stop
which was put to the passage of Hasdrubal into Italy.

30. While these transactions were going on in Spain, Petilia, in
Bruttium, was taken by Himilco, an officer of Hannibal's, several
months after the siege of it began. This victory cost the
Carthaginians much blood and many wounds, nor did any power more
subdue the besieged than that of famine; for after having consumed
their means of subsistence, derived from fruits and the flesh of every
kind of quadrupeds, they were at last compelled to live upon skins
found in shoemakers' shops, on herbs and roots, the tender barks of
trees, and berries gathered from brambles: nor were they subdued until
they wanted strength to stand upon the walls and support their arms.
After gaining Petilia, the Carthaginian marched his forces to
Consentia, which being less obstinately defended, he compelled to
surrender within a few days. Nearly about the same time, an army of
Bruttians invested Croton, a Greek city, formerly powerful in men and
arms, but at the present time reduced so low by many and great
misfortunes, that less than twenty thousand inhabitants of all ages
remained. The enemy, therefore, easily got possession of a city
destitute of defenders: of the citadel alone possession was retained,
into which some of the inhabitants fled from the midst of the carnage
during the confusion created by the capture of the city. The Locrians
too revolted to the Bruttians and Carthaginians, the populace having
been betrayed by the nobles. The Rhegians were the only people in that
quarter who continued to the last in faithful attachment to the
Romans, and in the enjoyment of their independence. The same
alteration of feeing extended itself into Sicily also; and not even
the family of Hiero altogether abstained from defection; for Gelo, his
oldest son, conceiving a contempt for his father's old age, and, after
the defeat of Cannae, for the alliance with Rome, went over to the
Carthaginians; and he would have created a disturbance in Sicily, had
he not been carried off, when engaged as arming the people and
soliciting the allies, by a death so seasonable that it threw some
degree of suspicion even upon his father. Such, with various result,
were the transactions in Italy, Africa, Sicily, and Spain during this
year. At the close of the year, Quintus Fabius Maximus requested of
the senate, that he might be allowed to dedicate the temple of Venus
Erycina, which he had vowed when dictator. The senate decreed, that
Tiberius Sempronius, the consul elect, as soon as ever he had entered
upon his office, should propose to the people, that they should create
Quintus Fabius duumvir, for the purpose of dedicating the temple.
Also, in honour of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, who had been consul twice
and augur, his three sons, Lucius, Marcus, and Quintus exhibited
funeral games and twenty-two pairs of gladiators for three days in the
forum. The curule aediles, Caius Laetorius, and Tiberius Sempronius
Gracchus consul elect, who during his aedileship had been master of
the horse, celebrated the Roman games, which were repeated for three
days. The plebeian games of the aediles, Marcus Aurelius Cotta and
Marcus Claudius Marcellus, were thrice repeated. At the conclusion of
the third year of the Punic war, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus the
consul entered upon his office on the ides of March. Of the praetors,
Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, who had before been consul and censor, had by
lot the city jurisdiction; Marcus Valerius Laevinus, the foreign.
Sicily fell to the lot of Appius Claudius Pulcher; Sardinia to Quintus
Mucius Scaevola. The people ordered that Marcus Marcellus should be in
command as proconsul, because he was the only Roman general who had
been successful in his operations in Italy since the defeat at Cannae.

31. The senate decreed, the first day they deliberated in the Capitol,
that double taxes should be imposed for that year, one moiety of which
should be immediately levied, as a fund from which pay might be given
forthwith to all the soldiers, except those who had been at Cannae.
With regard to the armies they decreed, that Tiberius Sempronius the
consul should appoint a day for the two city legions to meet at Cales,
whence these legions should be conveyed into the Claudian camp above
Suenula. That the legions which were there, and they consisted
principally of the troops which had fought at Cannae, Appius Claudius
Pulcher, the praetor, should transport into Sicily; and that those in
Sicily should be removed to Rome. Marcus Claudius Marcellus was sent
to the army, which had been ordered to meet at Cales on a certain day,
with orders to march the city legions thence to the Claudian camp.
Titus Metilius Croto, lieutenant-general, was sent by Appius Claudius
Pulcher to receive the old army and remove it into Sicily. People at
first had expected in silence that the consul would hold an assembly
for the election of a colleague, but afterwards perceiving that Marcus
Marcellus, whom they wished above all others to be consul this year,
on account of his brilliant success during his praetorship, was
removed to a distant quarter, as it were on purpose, a murmuring arose
in the senate-house, which the consul perceiving, said "Conscript
fathers, it was conducive to the interest of the state, both that
Marcus Marcellus should go into Campania to make the exchange of the
armies, and that the assembly should not be proclaimed before he had
returned thence after completing the business with which he was
charged, in order that you might have him as consul whom the situation
of the republic required and yourselves prefer." Thus nothing was said
about the assembly till Marcellus returned. Meanwhile Quintus Fabius
Maximus and Titus Otacilius Crassus were created duumvirs for
dedicating temples, Otacilius to Mens, Fabius to Venus Erycina. Both
are situated in the Capitol, and separated by one channel. It was
afterwards proposed to the people, to make Roman citizens of the three
hundred Campanian horsemen who had returned to Rome after having
faithfully served their period, and also that they should be
considered to have been citizens of Cumae from the day before that on
which the Campanians had revolted from the Roman people. It had been a
principal inducement to this proposition, that they themselves said
they knew not to what people they belonged, having left their former
country, and being not yet admitted into that to which they had
returned. After Marcellus returned from the army, an assembly was
proclaimed for electing one consul in the room of Lucius Posthumius.
Marcellus was elected with the greatest unanimity, and was immediately
to enter upon his office, but as it thundered while he entered upon
it, the augurs were summoned, who pronounced that they considered the
creation formal, and the fathers spread a report that the gods were
displeased, because on that occasion, for the first time, two
plebeians had been elected consuls. Upon Marcellus's abdicating his
office, Fabius Maximus, for the third time, was elected in his room.
This year the sea appeared on fire; at Sinuessa a cow brought forth a
horse foal; the statues in the temple of Juno Sospita Lanuvium flowed
down with blood; and a shower of stones fell in the neighbourhood of
that temple: on account of which shower the nine days' sacred rite was
celebrated, as is usual on such occasions, and the other prodigies
were carefully expiated.

32. The consuls divided the armies between them. The army which Marcus
Junius the dictator had commanded fell to the lot of Fabius. To that
of Sempronius fell the volunteer slaves, with twenty-five thousand of
the allies. To Marcus Valerius the praetor were assigned the legions
which had returned from Sicily. Marcus Claudius, proconsul, was sent
to that army which lay above Suessula for the protection of Nola. The
praetors set out for Sicily and Sardinia. The consuls issued a
proclamation, that as often as they summoned a senate, the senators
and those who had a right to give their opinion in the senate, should
assemble at the Capuan gate. The praetors who were charged with the
administration of justice, fixed their tribunals in the public fish
market; there they ordered sureties to be entered into, and here
justice was administered this year. Meanwhile news was brought to
Carthage, from which place Mago, Hannibal's brother, was on the point
of carrying over into Italy twelve thousand foot, fifteen hundred
horse, twenty elephants, and a thousand talents of silver, under a
convoy of sixty men of war, that the operations of the war had not
succeeded in Spain, and that almost all the people in that province
had gone over to the Romans. There were some who were for sending Mago
with that fleet and those forces into Spain, neglecting Italy, when an
unexpected prospect of regaining Sardinia broke upon them. They were
informed, that "the Roman army there was small, that Aulus Cornelius,
who had been praetor there, and was well acquainted with the province,
was quitting it, and that a new one was expected. Moreover, that the
minds of the Sardinians were now wearied with the long continuance of
rule; and that during the last year it had been exercised with
severity and rapacity. That the people were weighed down with heavy
taxes, and an oppressive contribution of corn: that there was nothing
wanting but a leader to whom they might revolt." This secret embassy
had been sent by the nobles, Hampsicora being the chief contriver of
the measure, who at that time was first by far in wealth and
influence. Disconcerted and elated almost at the same time by these
accounts, they sent Mago with his fleet and forces into Spain, and
selecting Hasdrubal as general for Sardinia, assigned to him about as
large a force as to Mago. At Rome, the consuls, after transacting what
was necessary to be done in the city now prepared themselves for the
war. Tiberius Sempronius appointed a day for his soldiers to assemble
at Sinuessa; and Quintus Fabius also, having first consulted the
senate, issued a proclamation, that all persons should convey corn
from the fields into fortified towns, before the calends of June next
ensuing: if any neglected to do so he would lay waste his lands, sell
his slaves by auction, and burn his farm-houses. Not even the
praetors, who were created for the purpose of administering justice,
were allowed an exemption from military employments. It was resolved
that Valerius the praetor should go into Apulia, to receive the army
from Terentius, and that, when the legions from Sicily had arrived, he
should employ them principally for the protection of that quarter.
That the army of Terentius should be sent into Sicily, with some one
of the lieutenant-generals. Twenty-five ships were given to Marcus
Valerius, to protect the sea-coast between Brundusium and Tarentum. An
equal number was given to Quintus Fulvius, the city praetor, to
protect the coasts in the neighbourhood of the city. To Caius
Terentius, the proconsul, it was given in charge to press soldiers in
the Picenian territory, and to protect that part of the country; and
Titus Otacilius Crassus, after he had dedicated the temple of Mens in
the Capitol, was invested with command, and sent into Sicily to take
the conduct of the fleet.

33. On this contest, between the two most powerful people in the
world, all kings and nations had fixed their attention. Among them
Philip, king of the Macedonians, regarded it with greater anxiety, in
proportion as he was nearer to Italy, and because he was separated
from it only by the Ionian Sea. When he first heard that Hannibal had
crossed the Alps, as he was rejoiced that a war had arisen between the
Romans and the Carthaginians, so while their strength was yet
undetermined, he felt doubtful which he should rather wish to be
victorious. But after the third battle had been fought and the third
victory had been on the side of the Carthaginians, he inclined to
fortune, and sent ambassadors to Hannibal. These, avoiding the
harbours of Brundusium and Tarentum, because they were occupied by
guards of Roman ships, landed at the temple of Juno Lacinia. Thence
passing through Apulia, on their way to Capua, they fell in with the
Roman troops stationed to protect the country, and were conveyed to
Marcus Valerius Laevinus, the praetor, who lay encamped in the
neighbourhood of Luceria. Here Xenophanes, who was at the head of the
embassy, fearlessly stated, that he was sent by King Philip to
conclude a treaty of alliance and friendship with the Roman people,
and that he had commissions to the Roman consuls, senate, and people.
The praetor, highly delighted with this new alliance with a
distinguished potentate, amidst the desertions of her old allies,
courteously entertained these enemies as guests, and furnished them
with persons to accompany them carefully to point out the roads, and
inform them what places, and what passes, the Romans or the enemy
occupied. Xenophanes passing through the Roman troops came into
Campania, whence, by the shortest way, he entered the camp of
Hannibal, and concluded a treaty of alliance and friendship with him
on the following terms: That "King Philip, with as large a fleet as he
could, (and it was thought he could make one of two hundred ships,)
should pass over into Italy, and lay waste the sea-coast, that he
should carry on the war by land and sea with all his might; when the
war was concluded, that all Italy, with the city of Rome itself,
should be the property of the Carthaginians and Hannibal, and that all
the booty should be given up to Hannibal. That when Italy was
completely subdued they should sail into Greece, and carry on war with
such nations as the king pleased. That the cities on the continent and
the islands which border on Macedonia, should belong to Philip, and
his dominions."

34. A treaty was concluded between the Carthaginian general and the
ambassadors, upon nearly these terms; and Gisgo, Bostar, and Mago were
sent as ambassadors with them to receive the ratification of the king
in person. They arrived at the same place, near the temple of Juno
Lacinia, where the vessel lay concealed in a creek. Setting out
thence, when they had got into the open sea, they were descried by the
Roman fleet, which was guarding the coasts of Calabria. Publius
Valerius Flaccus having sent fly-boats to pursue and bring back the
ship, the king's party at first attempted to fly; but afterwards,
finding that they were overmatched in swiftness, they delivered
themselves up to the Romans, and were brought to the commander of the
fleet. Upon being asked by him who they were, whence they came, and
whither they were going, Xenophanes, having once been pretty
successful, made up a fictitious story and said, "that he was sent
from Philip to the Romans; that he had succeeded in reaching Marcus
Valerius, to whom alone he had safe access; that he was unable to make
his way through Campania, which was beset with the troops of the
enemy." But afterwards the Carthaginian dress and manners excited
suspicions of the messengers of Hannibal, and when interrogated, their
speech betrayed them; then on their companions being removed to
separate places, and intimidated by threats, even a letter from
Hannibal to Philip was discovered, and the agreement made between the
king of the Macedonians and the Carthaginian. These points having been
ascertained, the best course appeared to be, to convey the prisoners
and their companions as soon as possible to the senate at Rome, or to
the consuls, wheresoever they might be; for this service five of the
fastest sailing vessels were selected, and Lucius Valerius Antias sent
in command of them, with orders to distribute the ambassadors through
all the ships separately, and take particular care that they should
hold no conversation or consultation with each other. About the same
time Aulus Cornelius Mammula, on his return from the province of
Sardinia, made a report of the state of affairs in the island; that
every body contemplated war and revolt; that Quintus Mucius who
succeeded him, being on his arrival affected by the unwholesomeness of
the air and water, had fallen into a disorder rather lingering than
dangerous, and would for a long time be incapable of sustaining the
violent exertion of the war; that the army there, though strong enough
for the protection of a province in a state of tranquillity, was,
nevertheless, not adequate to the maintenance of the war which seemed
to be about to break out. Upon which the fathers decreed, that Quintus
Fulvius Flaccus should enlist five thousand foot and four hundred
horse, and take care that the legion thus formed should be transported
as soon as possible into Sardinia, and send invested with command
whomsoever he thought fit to conduct the business of the war until
Mucius had recovered. For this service Titus Manlius Torquatus was
sent; he had been twice consul and censor, and had subdued the
Sardinians during his consulate. Nearly about the same time a fleet
sent from Carthage to Sardinia under the conduct of Hasdrubal,
surnamed the Bald, having suffered from a violent tempest, was driven
upon the Balearian islands, where a good deal of time was lost in
refitting the ships, which were hauled on shore, so much were they
damaged, not only in their rigging but also in their hulls.

35. As the war was carried on in Italy with less vigour since the
battle of Cannae, the strength of one party having been broken, and
the energy of the other relaxed, the Campanians of themselves made an
attempt to subjugate Cumae, at first by soliciting them to revolt from
the Romans, and when that plan did not succeed, they contrived an
artifice by which to entrap them. All the Campanians had a stated
sacrifice at Hamae. They informed the Cumans that the Campanian senate
would come there, and requested that the Cuman senate should also be
present to deliberate in concert, in order that both people might have
the same allies and the same enemies; they said that they would have
an armed force there for their protection, that there might be no
danger from the Romans or Carthaginians. The Cumans, although they
suspected treachery, made no objection, concluding that thus the
deception they meditated might be concealed. Meanwhile Tiberius
Sempronius, the Roman consul, having purified his army at Sinuessa,
where he had appointed a day for their meeting, crossed the Vulturnus,
and pitched his camp in the neighbourhood of Liternum. As his troops
were stationed here without any employment, he compelled them
frequently to go through their exercise, that the recruits, which
consisted principally of volunteer slaves, might accustom themselves
to follow the standards, and know their own centuries in battle While
thus engaged, the general was particularly anxious for concord, and
therefore enjoined the lieutenant-generals and the tribunes that "no
disunion should be engendered among the different orders, by casting
reproaches on any one on account of his former condition. That the
veteran soldier should be content be placed on an equal footing with
the tiro, the free-man with the volunteer slave; that all should
consider those men sufficiently respectable in point of character and
birth, to whom the Roman people had intrusted their arms and
standards; that the measures which circumstances made it necessary to
adopt, the same circumstances also made it necessary to support when
adopted." This was not more carefully prescribed by the generals than
observed by the soldiers; and in a short time the minds of all were
united in such perfect harmony, that the condition from which each
became a soldier was almost forgotten. While Gracchus was thus
employed, ambassadors from Cumas brought him information of the
embassy which had come to them from the Campanians, a few days before,
and the answer they had given them; that the festival would take place
in three days from that time; that not only the whole body of their
senate, but that the camp and the army of the Campanians would be
there. Gracchus having directed the Cumans to convey every thing out
of their fields into the town, and to remain within their walls,
marched himself to Cumae, on the day before that on which the
Campanians were to attend the sacrifice. Hamae was three miles distant
from his position. The Campanians had by this time assembled there in
great numbers according to the plan concerted; and not far off Marius
Alfius, Medixtuticus, which is the name of the chief magistrate of the
Campanians, lay encamped in a retired spot with fourteen thousand
armed men, considerably more occupied in making preparation for the
sacrifice and in concerting the stratagem to be executed during it,
than in fortifying his camp or any other military work. The sacrifice
at Hamae lasted for three days. It was a nocturnal rite, so arranged
as to be completed before midnight. Gracchus, thinking this the proper
time for executing his plot, placed guards at the gates to prevent any
one from carrying out intelligence of his intentions; and having
compelled his men to employ the time from the tenth hour in taking
refreshment and sleep, in order that they might be able to assemble on
a signal given as soon as it was dark. He ordered the standards to be
raised about the first watch, and marching in silence, reached Hamae
at midnight; where, finding the Campanian camp in a neglected state,
as might be expected during a festival, he assaulted it at every gate
at once; some he butchered while stretched on the ground asleep,
others as they were returning unarmed after finishing the sacrifice.
In the tumultuous action of this night more than two thousand men were
slain, together with the general himself, Marius Alfius, and
thirty-four military standards were captured.

36. Gracchus, having made himself master of the enemy's camp with the
loss of less than a hundred men, hastily returned to Cumae, fearful of
an attack from Hannibal, who lay encamped above Capua on Tifata; nor
did his provident anticipation of the future deceive him; for as soon
as intelligence was brought to Capua of this loss, Hannibal,
concluding that he should find at Hamae this army, which consisted for
the most part of recruits and slaves, extravagantly elated with its
success, despoiling the vanquished and collecting booty, marched by
Capua at a rapid pace, ordering those Campanians whom he met in their
flight to be conducted to Capua under an escort, and the wounded to be
conveyed in carriages. He found at Hamae the camp abandoned by the
enemy, where there was nothing to be seen but the traces of the recent
carnage, and the bodies of his allies strewed in every part. Some
advised him to lead his troops immediately thence to Cumae, and
assault the town. Though Hannibal desired, in no ordinary degree, to
get possession of Cumae at least, as a maritime town, since he could
not gain Neapolis; yet as his soldiers had brought out with them
nothing besides their arms on their hasty march, he retired to his
camp on Tifata. But, wearied with the entreaties of the Campanians, he
returned thence to Cumae the following day, with every thing requisite
for besieging the town; and having thoroughly wasted the lands of
Cumae, pitched, his camp a mile from the town, in which Gracchus had
stayed more because he was ashamed to abandon, in such an emergency,
allies who implored his protection and that of the Roman people, than
because he felt confidence in his army. Nor dared the other consul,
Fabius, who was encamped at Cales, lead his troops across the
Vulturnus, being employed at first in taking new auspices, and
afterwards with the prodigies which were reported one after another;
and while expiating these, the aruspices answered that they were not
easily atoned.

37. While these causes detained Fabius, Sempronius was besieged, and
now works were employed in the attack. Against a very large wooden
tower which was brought up to the town, the Roman consul raised up
another considerably higher from the wall itself; for he had made use
of the wall, which was pretty high of itself, as a platform, placing
strong piles as supports. From this the besieged at first defended
their walls and city, with stones, javelins, and other missiles; but
lastly, when they perceived the tower advanced into contact with the
wall they threw upon it a large quantity of fire, making use of
blazing fire-brands; and while the armed men were throwing themselves
down from the tower in great numbers, in consequence of the flames
thus occasioned, the troops sallying out of the town at two gates at
once, routed the enemy, and drove them back to their camp; so that the
Carthaginians that day were more like persons besieged than besiegers.
As many as one thousand three hundred of the Carthaginians were slain,
and fifty-nine made prisoners, having been unexpectedly overpowered,
while standing careless and unconcerned near the walls and on the
outposts, fearing any thing rather than a sally. Gracchus sounded a
retreat, and withdrew his men within the walls, before the enemy could
recover themselves from the effects of this sudden terror. The next
day Hannibal, supposing that the consul, elated with his success,
would engage him in a regular battle, drew up his troops in
battle-array between the camp and the city; but finding that not a
man was removed from the customary guard of the town, and that nothing
was hazarded upon rash hopes, he returned to Tifata without
accomplishing any thing. At the same time that Cumae was relieved from
siege, Tiberius Sempronius, surnamed Longus, fought successfully with
the Carthaginian general, Hanno, at Grumentum in Lucania. He slew
above two thousand of the enemy, losing two hundred and eighty of his
own men. He took as many as forty-one military standards. Hanno,
driven out of the Lucanian territory, drew back among the Bruttii.
Three towns belonging to the Hirpinians, which had revolted from the
Romans, were regained by force by the praetor, Marcus Valerius,
Vercellius and Sicilius, the authors of the revolt, were beheaded;
above a thousand prisoners sold by auction; and the rest of the booty
having been given up to the soldiery, the army was marched back to

38. While these things were taking place in Lucania and Hirpinia, the
five ships, which were conveying to Rome the captured ambassadors of
the Macedonians and Carthaginians, after passing round the whole coast
of Italy from the upper to the lower sea, were sailing by Cumae, when,
it not being known whether they belonged to enemies or allies,
Gracchus despatched some ships from his fleet to meet them. When it
was ascertained, in the course of their mutual inquiries that the
consul was at Cumae, the ships put in there, the captives were brought
before the consul, and their letters placed in his hands. The consul,
after he had read the letters of Philip and Hannibal, sent them all,
sealed up, to the senate by land, ordering that the ambassadors should
be conveyed thither by sea. The ambassadors and the letters arriving
at Rome nearly on the same day, and on examination the answers of the
ambassadors corresponding with the contents of the letters, at first
intense anxiety oppressed the fathers, on seeing what a formidable war
with Macedonia threatened them, when with difficulty bearing up
against the Punic war; yet so far were they from sinking under their
calamities, that they immediately began to consider how they might
divert the enemy from Italy, by commencing hostilities themselves.
After ordering the prisoners to be confined in chains, and selling
their attendants by public auction, they decreed, that twenty more
ships should be got ready, in addition to the twenty-five ships which
Publius Valerius Flaccus had been appointed to command. These being
provided and launched, and augmented by the five ships which had
conveyed the captive ambassadors to Rome, a fleet of fifty ships set
sail from Ostia to Tarentum. Publius Valerius was ordered to put on
board the soldiers of Varro, which Lucius Apustius,
lieutenant-general, commanded at Tarentum; and, with this fleet of
fifty ships, not only to protect the coast of Italy, but also to make
inquiry respecting the Macedonian war. If the plans of Philip
corresponded with his letter, and the discoveries made by his
ambassadors, he was directed to acquaint the praetor, Marcus Valerius,
with it, who, leaving Lucius Apustius, lieutenant-general, in command
of the army, and going to Tarentum to the fleet, was to cross over to
Macedonia with all speed, and endeavour to detain Philip in his own
dominions. The money which had been sent into Sicily to Appius
Claudius, to be repaid to Hiero, was assigned for the support of the
fleet and the maintenance of the Macedonian war. This money was
conveyed to Tarentum, by Lucius Apustius, lieutenant-general, and with
it Hiero sent two hundred thousand pecks of wheat, and a hundred
thousand of barley.

39. While the Romans were engaged in these preparations and
transactions, the captured ship, which formed one of those which had
been sent to Rome, made its escape on the voyage and returned to
Philip; from which source it became known that the ambassadors with
their letters had been made prisoners. Not knowing, therefore, what
had been agreed upon between Hannibal and his ambassadors, or what
proposals they were to have brought back to him, he sent another
embassy with the same instructions. The ambassadors sent to Hannibal
were Heraclitus, surnamed Scotinus, Crito of Beraea, and Sositheus of
Magnesia; these successfully took and brought back their commissions,
but the summer had passed before the king could take any step or make
any attempt. Such an influence had the capture of one vessel, together
with the ambassadors, in deferring a war which threatened the Romans.
Fabius crossed the Vulturnus, after having at length expiated the
prodigies, and both the consuls prosecuted the war in the
neighbourhood of Capua. Fabius regained by force the towns
Compulteria, Trebula, and Saticula, which had revolted to the
Carthaginians; and in them were captured the garrisons of Hannibal and
a great number of Campanians. At Nola, as had been the case the
preceding year, the senate sided with the Romans, the commons with
Hannibal; and deliberations were held clandestinely on the subject of
massacring the nobles and betraying the city; but to prevent their
succeeding in their designs, Fabius marched his army between Capua and
the camp of Hannibal on Tifata, and sat down in the Claudian camp
above Suessula, whence he sent Marcus Marcellus, the proconsul, with
those forces which he had under him, to Nola for its protection.

40. In Sardinia also the operations of the war, which had been
intermitted from the time that Quintus Mucius, the praetor, had been
seized with a serious illness, began to be conducted by Titus Manlius,
the praetor. Having hauled the ships of war on shore at Carale, and
armed his mariners, in order that he might prosecute the war by land,
and received the army from the praetor, he made up the number of
twenty-two thousand foot and twelve hundred horse. Setting out for the
territory of the enemy with these forces of foot and horse, he pitched
his camp not far from the camp of Hamsicora. It happened that
Hampsicora was then gone among the Sardinians, called Pelliti, in
order to arm their youth, whereby he might augment his forces. His
son, named Hiostus, had the command of the camp, who coming to an
engagement, with the presumption of youth, was routed and put to
flight. In that battle as many as three thousand of the Sardinians
were slain, and about eight hundred taken alive. The rest of the army
at first wandered in their flight through the fields and woods, but
afterwards all fled to a city named Cornus, the capital of that
district, whither there was a report that their general had fled; and
the war in Sardinia would have been brought to a termination by that
battle, had not the Carthaginian fleet under the command of Hasdrubal,
which had been driven by a storm upon the Balearian islands, come in
seasonably for inspiring a hope of renewing the war. Manlius, after
hearing of the arrival of the Punic fleet, returned to Carale, which
afforded Hampsicora an opportunity of forming a junction with the
Carthaginian. Hasdrubal, having landed his forces and sent back his
fleet to Carthage, set out under the guidance of Hampsicora, to lay
waste the lands of the allies of the Romans; and he would have
proceeded to Carale, had not Manlius, meeting him with his army,
restrained him from this wide-spread depredation. At first their camps
were pitched opposite to each other, at a small distance; afterwards
skirmishes and slight encounters took place with varying success;
lastly, they came down into the field and fought a regular pitched
battle for four hours. The Carthaginians caused the battle to continue
long doubtful, for the Sardinians were accustomed to yield easily; but
at last, when the Sardinians fell and fled on all sides around them,
the Carthaginians themselves were routed. But as they were turning
their backs, the Roman general, wheeling round that wing with which he
had driven back the Sardinians, intercepted them, after which it was
rather a carnage than a battle. Two thousand of the enemy, Sardinians
and Carthaginians together, were slain, about three thousand seven
hundred captured, with twenty-seven military standards.

41. Above all, the general, Hasdrubal, and two other noble
Carthaginians having been made prisoners, rendered the battle glorious
and memorable; Mago, who was of the Barcine family, and nearly related
to Hannibal, and Hanno, the author of the revolt of the Sardinians,
and without doubt the instigator of this war. Nor less did the
Sardinian generals render that battle distinguished by their
disasters; for not only was Hiostus, son of Hampsicora, slain in the
battle, but Hampsicora himself flying with a few horse, having heard
of the death of his son in addition to his unfortunate state,
committed suicide by night, lest the interference of any person should
prevent the accomplishment of his design. To the other fugitives the
city of Cornus afforded a refuge, as it had done before; but Manlius,
having assaulted it with his victorious troops, regained it in a few
days. Then other cities also which had gone over to Hampsicora and the
Carthaginians, surrendered themselves and gave hostages, on which
having imposed a contribution of money and corn, proportioned to the
means and delinquency of each, he led back his troops to Carale. There
launching his ships of war, and putting the soldiers he had brought
with him on board, he sailed to Rome, reported to the fathers the
total subjugation of Sardinia, and handed over the contribution of
money to the quaestors, of corn to the aediles, and the prisoners to
the praetor Fulvius. During the same time, as Titus Otacilius the
praetor, who had sailed over with a fleet of fifty ships from
Lilybaeum to Africa, and laid waste the Carthaginian territory, was
returning thence to Sardinia, to which place it was reported that
Hasdrubal had recently crossed over from the Baleares, he fell in with
his fleet on its return to Africa; and after a slight engagement in
the open sea, captured seven ships with their crews. Fear dispersed
the rest far and wide, not less effectually than a storm. It happened
also, at the same time, that Bomilcar arrived at Locri with soldiers
sent from Carthage as a reinforcement, bringing with him also
elephants and provisions. In order to surprise and overpower him,
Appius Claudius, having hastily led his troops to Messana, under
pretext of making the circuit of the province, crossed over to Locri,
the tide being favourable. Bomilcar had by this time left the place,
having set out for Bruttium to join Hanno. The Locrians closed their
gates against the Romans, and Appius Claudius returned to Rome without
achieving any thing, by his strenuous efforts. The same summer
Marcellus made frequent excursions from Nola, which he was occupying
with a garrison, into the lands of the Hirpini and Caudine Samnites,
and so destroyed all before him with fire and sword, that he renewed
in Samnium the memory of her ancient disasters.

42. Ambassadors were therefore despatched from both nations at the
same time to Hannibal, who thus addressed the Carthaginian: "Hannibal,
we carried on hostilities with the Roman people, by ourselves and from
our own resources, as long as our own arms and our own strength could
protect us. Our confidence in these failing, we attached ourselves to
king Pyrrhus. Abandoned by him, we accepted of a peace, dictated by
necessity, which we continued to observe up to the period when you
arrived in Italy, through a period of almost fifty years. Your valour
and good fortune, not more than your unexampled humanity and kindness
displayed towards our countrymen, whom, when made prisoners, you
restored to us, so attached us to you, that while you our friend were
in health and safety, we not only feared not the Romans, but not even
the anger of the gods, if it were lawful so to express ourselves. And
yet, by Hercules, you not only being in safety and victorious, but on
the spot, (when you could almost hear the shrieks of our wives and
children, and see our buildings in flames,) we have suffered, during
this summer, such repeated devastations, that Marcellus, and not
Hannibal, would appear to have been the conqueror at Cannae; while the
Romans boast that you had strength only to inflict a single blow; and
having as it were left your sting, now lie torpid. For near a century
we waged war with the Romans, unaided by any foreign general or army;
except that for two years Pyrrhus rather augmented his own strength by
the addition of our troops, than defended us by his. I will not boast
of our successes, that two consuls and two consular armies were sent
under the yoke by us, nor of any other joyful and glorious events
which have happened to us. We can tell of the difficulties and
distresses we then experienced, with less indignation than those which
are now occurring. Dictators, those officers of high authority, with
their masters of horse, two consuls with two consular armies, entered
our borders, and, after having reconnoitred and posted reserves, led
on their troops in regular array to devastate our country. Now we are
the prey of a single propraetor, and of one little garrison, for the
defence of Nola. Now they do not even confine themselves to plundering
in companies, but, like marauders, range through our country from one
end to the other, more unconcernedly than if they were rambling
through the Roman territory. And the reason is this, you do not
protect us yourself, and the whole of our youth, which, if at home,
would keep us in safety, is serving under your banners. We know
nothing either of you or your army, but we know that it would be easy
for the man who has routed and dispersed so many Roman armies, to put
down these rambling freebooters of ours, who roam about in disorder to
whatsoever quarter the hope of booty, however groundless, attracts
them. They indeed will be the prey of a few Numidians, and a garrison
sent to us will also dislodge that at Nola, provided you do not think
those men undeserving that you should protect them as allies, whom you
have esteemed worthy of your alliance."

43. To this Hannibal replied, "that the Hirpini and Samnites did every
thing at once: that they both represented their sufferings, solicited
succours, and complained that they were undefended and neglected.
Whereas, they ought first to have represented their sufferings, then
to have solicited succours; and lastly, if those succours were not
obtained, then, at length, to make complaint that assistance had been
implored without effect. That he would lead his troops not into the
fields of the Hirpini and Samnites, lest he too should be a burthen to
them, but into the parts immediately contiguous, and belonging to the
allies of the Roman people, by plundering which, he would enrich his
own soldiers, and cause the enemy to retire from them through fear.
With regard to the Roman war, if the battle of Trasimenus was more
glorious than that at Trebia, and the battle of Cannae than that of
Trasimenus, that he would eclipse the fame of the battle of Cannae by
a greater and more brilliant victory." With this answer, and with
munificent presents, he dismissed the ambassadors. Having left a
pretty large garrison in Tifata, he set out with the rest of his
troops to go to Nola. Thither came Hanno from the Bruttii with
recruits and elephants brought from Carthage. Having encamped not far
from the place, every thing, upon examination, was found to be widely
different from what he had heard from the ambassadors of the allies.
For Marcellus was doing nothing, in such a way that he could be said

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