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

Part 8 out of 10

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first of all a small number, and then more, desired him to give up the
keys, but afterwards all with one consent demanded it, and when he
hesitated and delayed, threatened him furiously, and seemed as though
they would not further delay violent extremities then the praefect
gave the signal agreed upon with his gown and the soldiers, who had
been long anxiously waiting the signal, and in readiness, raising a
shout, ran down, some of them from the higher ground, upon the rear of
the assembly while others blocked up the passages leading out of the
crowded theatre. The people of Enna thus shut up in the pit were put
to the sword, being heaped one upon another not only in consequence of
the slaughter, but also from their own efforts to escape, for some
scrambling over the heads of others, and those that were unhurt
falling upon the wounded, and the living upon the dead, they were
accumulated together. Thence they ran in every direction throughout
the city, when nothing was any where to be seen but flight and
bloodshed, as though the city had been captured, for the rage of the
soldiery was not less excited in putting to the sword an unarmed
rabble, than it would have been had the heat of battle and an equality
of danger stimulated it. Thus possession of Enna was retained, by an
act which was either atrocious or unavoidable. Marcellus did not
disapprove of the deed, and gave up the plunder of the place to the
soldiery, concluding that the Sicilians, deterred by this example,
would refrain from betraying their garrisons. As this city was
situated in the heart of Sicily, and was distinguished both on account
of the remarkable strength of its natural situation, and because every
part of it was rendered sacred by the traces it contained of the rape
of Proserpine of old, the news of its disaster spread though the whole
of Sicily in nearly one day, and as people considered that by this
horrid massacre violence had been done not only to the habitations of
men, but even of the gods, then indeed those who even before this
event were in doubt which side they should take, revolted to the
Carthaginians Hippocrates and Himilco, who had in vain brought up
their troops to Enna at the invitation of the traitors, retired
thence, the former to Murgantia, the latter to Agrigentum. Marcellus
retrograded into the territory of Leontium, and after collecting a
quantity of corn and other provisions in his camp there, left a small
body of troops to protect it, and then went to carry on the siege of
Syracuse. Appius Claudius having been allowed to go from thence to
Rome to put up for the consulship, he appointed Titus Quintus
Crispinus to command the fleet and the old camp in his room. He
himself fortified his camp, and built huts for his troops at a
distance of five miles from Hexapylum, at a place called Leon. These
were the transactions in Sicily up to the beginning of the winter.

40. The same summer the war with king Philip, as had been before
suspected, broke out. Ambassadors from Oricum came to Marcus Valerius,
the praetor, who was directing his fleet around Brundusium and the
neighbouring coasts of Calabria, with intelligence, that Philip had
first made an attempt upon Apollonia, having approached it by sailing
up the river with a hundred and twenty barks with two banks of oars;
after that, not succeeding so speedily as he had hoped, that he had
brought up his army secretly to Oricum by night; which city, as it was
situated on a plain, and was not secured either by fortifications or
by men and arms, was overpowered at the first assault. At the same
time that they delivered this intelligence, they entreated him to
bring them succour, and repel that decided enemy of the Romans by land
or by a naval force, since they were attacked for no other cause than
that they lay over against Italy. Marcus Valerius, leaving Publius
Valerius lieutenant-general charged with the protection of that
quarter, set sail with his fleet equipped and prepared, having put on
board of ships of burthen such soldiers as there was not room for in
the men of war, and reached Oricum on the second day; and as that city
was occupied by a slight garrison, which Philip had left on his
departure thence, he retook it without much opposition. Here
ambassadors came to him from Apollonia, stating that they were
subjected to a siege because they were unwilling to revolt from the
Romans, and that they would not be able any longer to resist the power
of the Macedonians, unless a Roman force were sent for their
protection. Having undertaken to perform what they wished, he sent two
thousand chosen armed men in ships of war to the mouth of the river,
under the command of Quintus Naevius Crista, praefect of the allies, a
man of enterprise, and experienced in military affairs. Having landed
his troops, and sent back the ships to join the rest of the fleet at
Oricum, whence he had come, he marched his troops at a distance from
the river, by a way not guarded at all by the king's party, and
entered the city by night, so that none of the enemy perceived him.
During the following day they remained quiet, to afford time for the
praefect to inspect the youth of Apollonia, together with the arms and
resources of the city. Having derived considerable confidence from a
review and inspection of these, and at the same time discovering from
scouts the supineness and negligence which prevailed among the enemy,
he marched out of the city during the dead of night without any noise,
and entered the camp of the enemy, which was in such a neglected and
exposed state, that it was quite clear that a thousand men had passed
the rampart before any one perceived them, and that had they abstained
from putting them to the sword, they might have penetrated to the
royal pavilion. The killing of those who were nearest the gate aroused
the enemy; and in consequence, they were all seized with such alarm
and dismay, that not only none of the rest attempted to take arms or
endeavour to expel the enemy from the camp, but even the king himself,
betaking himself to flight, in a manner half naked and just as he was
when roused from his sleep, hurried away to the river and his ships in
a garb scarcely decent for a private soldier, much less for a king.
Thither also the rest of the multitude fled with the utmost
precipitation. Little less than three thousand men were slain or made
prisoners in the camp; considerably more, however, were captured than
slain. The camp having been plundered, the Apollonians removed into
their city the catapults, ballistas, and other engines which had been
got together for the purpose of assaulting their city, for the
protection of their walls, in case at any time a similar conjuncture
should arise; all the rest of the plunder which the camp afforded was
given up to the Romans. Intelligence of these events having been
carried to Oricum, Marcus Valerius immediately brought his fleet to
the mouth of the river, that the king might not attempt to make his
escape by ship. Thus Philip, having lost all hope of being able to
cope with his enemies by land or sea, and having either hauled on
shore or burnt his ships, made for Macedonia by land, his troops being
for the most part unarmed and despoiled of their baggage. The Roman
fleet, with Marcus Valerius, wintered at Oricum.

41. The same year the war was prosecuted in Spain with various
success; for before the Romans crossed the Iberus, Mago and Hasdrubal
had routed an immense army of Spaniards; and the farther Spain would
have revolted from the Romans, had not Publius Cornelius, hastily
crossing the Iberus with his army, given a seasonable stimulus to the
wavering resolutions of his allies by his arrival among them. The
Romans first encamped at a place called the High Camp, which is
remarkable for the death of the great Hamilcar. It was a fortress
strongly defended by works, and thither they had previously conveyed
corn; but as the whole circumjacent country was full of enemy's
troops, and the Roman army on its march had been charged by the
cavalry of the enemy without being able to take revenge upon them, two
thousand men, who either loitered behind or had strayed through the
fields, having been slain, the Romans quitted this place to get nearer
to a friendly country, and fortified a camp at the mount of Victory.
To this place came Cneius Scipio with all his forces, and Hasdrubal,
son of Gisgo, and a third Carthaginian general, with a complete army,
all of whom took up a position opposite the Roman camp and on the
other side the river. Publius Scipio, going out with some light troops
to take a view of the surrounding country, was observed by the enemy;
and he would have been overpowered in the open plain, had he not
seized an eminence near him. Here too he was closely invested, but was
rescued from the troops which environed him by the arrival of his
brother. Castulo, a city of Spain, so strong and celebrated, and so
closely connected with the Carthaginians, that Hannibal had taken a
wife from it, revolted to the Romans. The Carthaginians commenced the
siege of Illiturgi, because there was a Roman garrison in it; and it
seemed that they would carry the place, chiefly in consequence of a
lack of provisions. Cneius Scipio, setting out with a legion lightly
equipped, in order to bring succour to his allies and the garrison,
entered the city, passing between the two camps of the enemy, and
slaying a great number of them. The next day also he sallied out and
fought with equal success. Above twelve thousand were slain in the two
battles, more than a thousand made prisoners, and thirty-six military
standards captured. In consequence of this they retired from
Illiturgi. After this the siege of Bigerra, a city which was also in
alliance with the Romans, was commenced by the Carthaginians; but
Scipio coming up, raised the siege without experiencing any

42. The Carthaginians then removed their camp to Munda, whither the
Romans speedily followed them. Here a pitched battle was fought, which
lasted almost four hours; and while the Romans were carrying all
before them in the most glorious manner, the signal for retreat was
sounded, because the thigh of Cneius Scipio had been transfixed with a
javelin. The soldiers round about him were thrown into a state of
great alarm, lest the wound should be mortal. However, there was no
doubt but that if they had not been prevented by the intervention of
this accident, they might have taken the Carthaginian camp that day.
By this time, not only the men, but the elephants, were driven quite
up to the rampart; and even upon the top of it nine and thirty
elephants were pierced with spears. In this battle, too, as many as
twelve thousand are said to have been slain, nearly three thousand
captured, with fifty-seven military standards. The Carthaginians
retired thence to the city Auringis, whither the Romans followed them,
in order to take advantage of their terror. Here Scipio again fought
them, having been carried into the field in a small litter; the
victory was decisive; but not half so many of the enemy were slain as
before, because fewer survived to fight. But this family, which
possessed a natural talent at renewing war and restoring its effects,
in a short time recruited their army, Mago having been sent by his
brother to press soldiers, and assumed courage to try the issue of a
fresh struggle. Though the soldiers were for the most part different,
yet as they fought in a cause which had so often been unsuccessful
within the space of a few days, they carried into the field the same
state of mind as those which had been engaged before, and the issue of
the battle was similar. More than eight thousand were slain, not much
less than a thousand captured, with fifty-eight military standards.
The greater part of the spoils had belonged to the Gauls, consisting
of golden chains and bracelets in great numbers. Also two
distinguished Gallic petty princes, whose names were Moenicaptus and
Civismarus, fell in this battle. Eight elephants were captured and
three slain. When affairs went on so prosperously in Spain, the Romans
began to feel ashamed that Saguntum, on account of which the war had
originated, should continue for now the eighth year in the power of
the enemy. Accordingly, having expelled by force the Carthaginian
garrison, they retook that town, and restored it to such of the
ancient inhabitants as had survived the fury of the war. The
Turditanians also, who had been the cause of the war between that
people and the Carthaginians, they reduced under their power, sold
them as slaves, and razed their city.

43. Such were the achievements in Spain during the consulate of
Quintus Fabius and Marcus Claudius. At Rome, as soon as the new
plebeian tribunes entered upon their office, Lucius Metellus, a
plebeian tribune, immediately appointed a day for impleading the
censors, Publius Furius and Marcus Atilius, before the people. In the
preceding year, when he was quaestor, they had deprived him of his
horse, removed him from his tribe, and disfranchised him, on account
of the conspiracy entered into at Cannae to abandon Italy. But being
aided by the other nine tribunes, they were forbidden to answer while
in office, and were discharged. The death of Publius Furius prevented
their completing the lustrum. Marcus Atilius abdicated his office. An
assembly for the election of consuls was held by Quintus Fabius
Maximus. The consuls elected were Quintus Fabius Maximus, son of the
consul, and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus a second time, both being
absent. The praetors appointed were Marcus Atilius, and the two curule
aediles, Publius Sempronius Tuditanus and Cneius Fulvius Centumalus,
together with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. It is recorded, that the scenic
games were this year, for the first time, celebrated for four days by
the curule aediles. The aedile Tuditanus was the man who made his way
through the midst of the enemy at Cannae when all the rest were
paralysed with fear, in consequence of that dreadful calamity. As soon
as the elections were completed, the consuls elect having been
summoned to Rome, at the instance of Quintus Fabius, the consul,
entered upon their office, and took the sense of the senate respecting
the war, their own provinces as well as those of the praetors, and
also respecting the armies to be employed, and which each of them was
to command.

44. The provinces and armies were thus distributed: the prosecution of
the war with Hannibal was given to the consuls, and of the armies, one
which Sempronius himself had commanded, and another which the consul
Fabius had commanded, each consisting of two legions. Marcus Aemilius,
the praetor, who had the foreign jurisdiction, was to have Luceria as
his province, with the two legions which Quintus Fabius, then consul,
had commanded as praetor, his colleague, Marcus Atilius, the city
praetor, undertaking the duties of his office. The province of
Ariminum fell to the lot of Publius Sempronius, that of Suessula to
Cneius Fulvius, with two legions each likewise; Fulvius taking with
him the city legions; Tuditanus receiving his from Manius Pomponius.
The following generals were continued in command, and their provinces
assigned to them thus: to Marcus Claudius, so much of Sicily as lay
within the limits of the kingdom of Hiero; to Lentulus, the
propraetor, the old province in that island; to Titus Otacilius, the
fleet; no additional troops were assigned to them. Marcus Valerius had
Greece and Macedonia, with the legion and the fleet which he had
there; Quintus Mucius had Sardinia, with his old army, consisting of
two legions; Caius Terentius, Picenum, with one legion which he then
commanded. Besides, orders were given to enlist two legions for the
city, and twenty thousand men from the allies. With these leaders and
these forces did they fortify the Roman empire against the many wars
which had either actually broken out, or were suspected at one and the
same time. After enlisting the city legions and raising troops to make
up the numbers of the others, the consuls, before they quitted the
city, expiated the prodigies which were reported. A wall and a gate
had been struck by lightning; and at Aricia even the temple of Jupiter
had been struck by lightning. Other illusions of the eyes and ears
were credited as realities. An appearance as of ships had been seen in
the river at Tarracina, when there were none there. A clashing of arms
was heard in the temple of Jupiter Vicilinus, in the territory of
Compsa; and a river at Amiternum had flowed bloody. These prodigies
having been expiated according to a decree of the pontiffs, the
consuls set out, Sempronius for Lucania, Fabius for Apulia. The father
of the latter came into the camp at Suessula, as his
lieutenant-general; and when the son advanced to meet him, the
lictors, out of respect for his dignity, went on in silence. The old
man rode past eleven of the fasces, when the consul ordered the lictor
nearest to him to take care and he called to him to dismount; then at
length dismounting, he exclaimed, "I wished to try, my son, whether
you were duly sensible that you are a consul."

45. To this camp came Dasias Altinius of Arpi privately and by night,
attended by three slaves, with a promise that if he should receive a
reward for it, he would engage to betray Arpi to them. Fabius having
laid the matter before a council, some were of opinion that "he ought
to be scourged and put to death as a deserter, as a man of unstable
mind, and a common enemy to both sides; who, after the defeat at
Cannae, had gone over to Hannibal and drawn Arpi into revolt, as if it
were right that a man's fidelity should vary according to the
fluctuations of fortune; and who now, when the Roman cause, contrary
to his hopes and wishes, was as it were rising up again, would seem to
aggravate his baseness by recompensing those whom he had formerly
betrayed, by fresh betrayal. That a man whose custom it was to espouse
one side, while his heart was on another, was unworthy of confidence
as an ally, and contemptible as an enemy; that he ought to be made a
third example to deserters, in addition to the betrayers of Falerii
and Pyrrhus." On the other hand, Fabius, the father of the consul,
observed, that, "forgetful of circumstances, men were apt to exercise
a free judgment on every question in the heat of war, as in time of
peace; for though in the present instance that which ought rather to
form the object of their endeavours and to occupy their thoughts, is
by what means it may be brought about that none of the allies may
revolt from the Roman people, yet that they never think of; but, on
the contrary, they urge that an example ought to be made of any who
might repent and look back upon their former alliance. But if it is
allowable to forsake the Romans, and not allowable to return to them,
who can doubt but that in a short time the Romans, deserted by their
allies, will see every state in Italy united in leagues with the
Carthaginians. Not, however, that he was of opinion that any
confidence was to be reposed in Altinius, but he would invent some
middle course of proceeding. Treating him neither as an enemy nor as a
friend for the present, his wish was, that he should be kept during
the war in some city whose fidelity could be relied on, at a short
distance from the camp, in a state of easy restraint; and that when
the war was concluded, they should then deliberate whether he more
deserved to be punished for his former defection, or pardoned for his
present return." The opinion of Fabius was approved of. Altinius was
bound in chains and given into custody, together with his companions,
and a large quantity of gold which he brought with him was ordered to
be kept for him. He was kept at Cales, where, during the day, he was
unconfined, but attended by guards who locked him up at night. He was
first missed and inquired for at his house at Arpi. but afterwards,
when the report of his absence had spread through the city, a violent
sensation was excited, as if they had lost their leader, and, from the
apprehension of some attempt to alter the present state of things,
messengers were immediately despatched to Hannibal. With this the
Carthaginian was far from being displeased, both because he had long
regarded the man himself with suspicion, as one of doubtful fidelity,
and because he had now been lucky enough to get a pretext for
possessing himself of the property of so wealthy a person. But that
the world might suppose that he had yielded to resentment more than to
avarice, he added cruelty to rapacity; for he summoned his wife and
children to the camp, and after having made inquiry, first, respecting
the flight of Altinius, and then, touching the quantity of gold and
silver which was left at his house, and informed himself on all these
points, he burned them alive.

46. Fabius, setting out from Suessula, first set about the siege of
Arpi; and having pitched his camp about half a mile from it, he took a
near view of the site and walls of the city, and resolved to attack
it, in preference, in that quarter where it was most secured by works,
and where the least care was taken in guarding it. After getting all
things together which could be of use in besieging a city, he selected
the most efficient of the centurions out of the whole army, placing
them under the command of tribunes of approved valour, and giving them
six hundred soldiers, a number which was thought sufficient for the
purpose. These he ordered to bring the scaling ladders to the place
which he had marked out, as soon as the signal of the fourth watch had
sounded. In this part there was a low and narrow gate, opening into a
street which was little frequented, and which led through a deserted
part of the city. He ordered them, after scaling the wall, to proceed
to this gate, and break down the bars on the inside by force, and when
they were in possession of that part of the city, to give a signal
with a cornet, that the rest of the troops might be brought up,
observing that he would have every thing prepared and ready. These
orders were executed promptly, and that which seemed likely to impede
their operations, served more than any thing to conceal them. A shower
of rain, which came on suddenly at midnight, compelled the guards and
watches to slip away from their posts and take shelter in the houses;
and the noise of the shower, which was somewhat copious, at first
prevented their hearing that which was made by the men in breaking
open the gate. Afterwards, when it fell upon the ear more gently and
uniformly, it lulled a great number of the men to sleep. After they
had secured possession of the gate, they placed cornet-players in the
street at equal distances, and desired them to sound, in order to call
the consul. This being done according to the plan previously agreed
upon, the consul ordered the troops to march, and a little before
daylight entered the city through the broken gate.

47. Then at length the enemy were roused, the shower was now
subsiding, and daylight coming on. Hannibal had a garrison of about
five thousand armed men in the city, and the inhabitants themselves
had three thousand men in arms; these the Carthaginians placed in
front against the enemy, to guard against any treachery on their rear.
The fight was carried on at first in the dark, and in the narrow
streets, the Romans having seized not only the streets, but the houses
also nearest the gate, that they might not be struck or wounded by any
thing discharged at them from above. Some of the Arpinians and Romans
recognised each other, which led to conversations, in which the Romans
asked them, what it was they meant? for what offence on the part of
the Romans, or what service on that of the Carthaginians, they, who
were Italians, made war in favour of foreigners and barbarians,
against their ancient allies the Romans, and endeavoured to render
Italy tributary and stipendiary to Africa? The Arpinians urged in
excuse of themselves, that in ignorance of all the circumstances, they
had been sold to the Carthaginians by their nobility, and that they
were kept in a state of thraldom and oppression by the few. A
beginning having been made, greater numbers on both sides entered into
conversation; and at length the praetor of Arpi was brought by his
countrymen before the consul, and after exchanging assurances in the
midst of the standards and the troops, the Arpinians suddenly turned
their arms against the Carthaginians, in favour of the Romans. Some
Spaniards also, little less than a thousand in number, after only
stipulating with the consul that the Carthaginian garrison might be
allowed to march out unhurt, passed over to the consul. The gates were
therefore thrown open for the Carthaginians; and being allowed to go
out unmolested, in conformity with the stipulation, they joined
Hannibal in Salapia. Thus was Arpi restored to the Romans, without the
loss of a life, except that of one man, who was formerly a traitor,
and recently a deserter. The Spaniards were ordered to receive a
double allowance of provisions, and on very many occasions the
republic availed itself of their brave and faithful services. While
one of the consuls was in Apulia, and the other in Lucania, a hundred
and twelve Campanian noblemen, having gone out of Capua, with the
permission of the magistrates, under pretence of collecting booty from
the enemy's lands, came into the Roman camp, which lay above Suessula.
They told the soldiers, forming the vanguard, that they wished to
speak with the praetor. Cneius Fulvius commanded the camp; who, on
being informed of the circumstance, ordered ten of them to be brought
into his presence unarmed; and after hearing their request, (and all
they asked was, that when the Romans should recover Capua, their
property might be restored to them,) they were all received under his
protection. The other praetor, Sempronius Tuditanus, took by force the
town of Aternum; more than seven thousand were captured, with a
considerable quantity of coined brass and silver. A dreadful fire
happened at Rome, which continued for two nights and a day; every
thing was burnt to the ground between the Salinae and the Carmental
gate, with the Aequimaelium and the Jugarian street. In the temples of
Fortune, Mater Matuta, and Hope, which latter stood without the gate,
the fire, spreading to a wide extent, consumed much both sacred and

48. The same year, the two Cornelii, Publius and Cneius, as affairs
were now in a prosperous state in Spain, and they had recovered many
ancient allies, and attached fresh ones to them, extended their views
even to Africa. Syphax was a king of the Numidians, who had suddenly
become hostile to the Carthaginians; to him they sent three centurions
as ambassadors, to form a treaty of friendship and alliance with him;
and to promise, that, if he persevered in pressing the war against the
Carthaginians, he would render an acceptable service to the senate and
people of Rome, and they would endeavour to requite the favour with
large additions, and at a seasonable time. This embassy was gratifying
to the barbarian; and when conversing with the ambassadors on the art
of war he heard the observations of those experienced soldiers, by
comparing his own practice with so regular a system of discipline, he
became sensible of how many things he himself was ignorant. Then he
entreated them to give the first proof of their being good and
faithful allies, "by letting two of them carry back the result of
their embassy to their generals, while one remained with him as his
instructor in military science, observing that the Numidian nation
were unacquainted with the method of carrying on war with foot forces,
being useful only as mounted soldiers. That it was in this manner that
their ancestors had carried on war even from the first origin of their
nation, and to this they were habituated from their childhood. But
that they had to contend with an enemy who relied upon the prowess of
their infantry; with whom, if they wished to be placed upon an
equality in respect of efficient strength, they must also furnish
themselves with infantry. That his dominions abounded with a large
quantity of men fit for the purpose, but that he was unacquainted with
the art of arming, equipping, and marshalling them; that all his
infantry were unwieldy and unmanageable, like a rabble collected
together by chance." The ambassadors answered, that they would comply
with his request for the present, on his engaging to send him back
immediately, if their generals did not approve of what they had done.
The name of the person who staid behind with the king was Quintus
Statorius. With the two other Romans, the Numidian sent ambassadors
into Spain, to receive the ratification of the alliance from the Roman
generals. He gave it in charge to the same persons, forthwith to
induce the Numidians, who were serving as auxiliaries among the
Carthaginian troops, to go over to the other side. Statorius raised a
body of infantry for the king out of the large number of young men
which he found; and having formed them into companies, in close
imitation of the Roman method, taught them to follow their standards
and keep their ranks when being marshalled, and when performing their
evolutions; and he so habituated them to military works and other
military duties, that in a short time the king relied not more on his
cavalry than on his infantry; and in a regular and pitched battle,
fought on a level plain, he overcame his enemies, the Carthaginians.
In Spain also the arrival of the king's ambassadors was of the
greatest advantage to the Romans, for at the news thereof the
Numidians began rapidly to pass over. Thus the Romans and Syphax were
united in friendship, which the Carthaginians hearing of, immediately
sent ambassadors to Gala, who reigned in another part of Numidia, over
a nation called Massylians.

49. Gala had a son named Masinissa, seventeen years of age, but a
youth of such talents, that even at that time it was evident that he
would render the kingdom more extensive and powerful than when he
received it. The ambassadors represented that, "since Syphax had
united himself with the Romans, that by their alliance he might
strengthen his hands against the kings and nations of Africa, it would
be better for Gala also to unite with the Carthaginians as soon as
possible, before Syphax crossed over into Spain, or the Romans into
Africa; that Syphax might be overpowered, while as yet he derived
nothing from his league with the Romans but the name of it." Gala, his
son claiming to be intrusted with the conduct of the war, was easily
prevailed upon to send an army, which, joined by the legions of the
Carthaginians, totally defeated Syphax in a great battle. In this
thirty thousand men are said to have been slain. Syphax, with a few
horsemen, fled from the field, and took refuge among the Maurusian
Numidians, a nation dwelling at the extremity of Africa, near the
ocean, and over against Gades. But the barbarians flocking to his
standard from all sides, in consequence of his great renown, he
speedily armed a very large force. Before he passed over with these
forces into Spain, which was separated only by a narrow strait,
Masinissa came up with his victorious army; and here he acquired great
glory in the prosecution of the war with Syphax, in which he acted
alone and unsupported by any aid from the Carthaginians. In Spain
nothing worth mentioning was performed, except that the Romans drew
over to their side the Celtiberian youth, by giving them the same pay
which they had stipulated with the Carthaginians to pay them. They
also sent above three hundred Spaniards of the greatest distinction
into Italy, to bring over their countrymen, who served among the
auxiliary troops of Hannibal. The only memorable circumstance of this
year in Spain was, that the Romans then, for the first time, employed
mercenary troops in their camp, namely, the Celtiberians.


_Publius Cornelius Scipio, afterwards called Africanus, elected
aedile before he had attained the age required by the law. The citadel
of Tarentum, in which the Roman garrison had taken refuge, betrayed to
Hannibal. Games instituted in honour of Apollo, called Apollinarian.
Quintus Fulvius and Appius Claudius, consuls, defeat Hanno the
Carthaginian general. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus betrayed by a
Lucanian to Mago, and slain. Centenius Penula, who had been a
centurion, asks the senate for the command of an army, promising to
engage and vanquish Hannibal, is cut off with eight thousand men.
Cneius Fulvius engages Hannibal, and is beaten, with the loss of
sixteen thousand men slain, he himself escapes with only two hundred
horsemen. Quintus Fulvius and Appius Claudius, consuls, lay siege to
Capua. Syracuse taken by Claudius Marcellus after a siege of three
years. In the tumult occasioned by taking the city, Archimedes is
killed while intently occupied on some figures which he had drawn in
the sand. Publius and Cornelius Scipio, after having performed many
eminent services in Spain, are slain, together with nearly the whole
of their armies, eight years after their arrival in that country; and
the possession of that province would have been entirely lost, but for
the valour and activity of Lucius Marcius, a Roman knight, who,
collecting the scattered remains of the vanquished armies, utterly
defeats the enemy, storming their two camps, killing thirty-seven
thousand of them, and taking eighteen hundred together with an immense

* * * * *

1. Hannibal passed the summer during which these events occurred in
Africa and Italy, in the Tarentine territory, with the hope of having
the city of the Tarentines betrayed to him. Meanwhile some
inconsiderable towns belonging to them, and to the Sallentines,
revolted to him. At the same time, of the twelve states of the
Bruttians, which had in a former year gone over to the Carthaginians,
the Consentians and Thurians returned to the protection of the Roman
people. And more would have done the same, had not Titus Pomponius
Veientanus, praefect of the allies, having acquired the appearance of
a regular general, in consequence of several successful predatory
expeditions in the Bruttian territory, got together a tumultuary band,
and fought a battle with Hanno. In that battle, a great number of men,
consisting, however, of a disorderly rabble of slaves and rustics,
were slain or captured. The least part of the loss was, that the
praefect himself was taken prisoner; for he was not only in the
present instance guilty of having rashly engaged the enemy, but
previously, in the capacity of farmer of the revenue, by iniquitous
practices of every description, had shown himself faithless and
injurious to the state, as well as the companies. Among the Lucanians,
the consul, Sempronius, fought several small battles, but none worthy
of being recorded, he also took several inconsiderable towns. In
proportion as the war was protracted, and the sentiments no less than
the circumstances of men fluctuated accordingly as events flowed
prosperously or otherwise, the citizens were seized with such a
passion for superstitious observances, and those for the most part
introduced from foreign countries, that either the people or the gods
appeared to have undergone a sudden change. And now the Roman rites
were growing into disuse, not only in private, and within doors, but
in public also; in the forum and Capitol there were crowds of women
sacrificing, and offering up prayers to the gods, in modes unusual in
that country. A low order of sacrificers and soothsayers had enslaved
men's understandings, and the numbers of these were increased by the
country people, whom want and terror had driven into the city, from
the fields which were lain uncultivated during a protracted war, and
had suffered from the incursions of the enemy, and by the profitable
cheating in the ignorance of others which they carried on like an
allowed and customary trade. At first, good men gave protest in
private to the indignation they felt at these proceedings, but
afterwards the thing came before the fathers, and formed a matter of
public complaint. The aediles and triumviri, appointed for the
execution of criminals, were severely reprimanded by the senate for
not preventing these irregularities, but when they attempted to remove
the crowd of persons thus employed from the forum, and to overthrow
the preparations for their sacred rites, they narrowly escaped
personal injury. It being now evident, that the evil was too powerful
to be checked by inferior magistrates, the senate commissioned Marcus
Atilius, the city praetor, to rid the people of these superstitions.
He called an assembly, in which he read the decree of the senate, and
gave notice, that all persons who had any books of divination, or
forms of prayer, or any written system of sacrificing, should lay all
the aforesaid books and writings before him before the calends of
April; and that no person should sacrifice in any public or
consecrated place according to new or foreign rites.

2. Several of the public priests too died this year: Lucius Cornelius
Lentulus, chief pontiff, Caius Papirius Maso, son of Caius, a pontiff,
Publius Furius Philo, an augur, and Caius Papirius Maso, son of
Lucius, a decemvir for the superintendence of sacred rites. In lieu of
Lentulus, Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, in lieu of Papirius Cnaeius,
Servilius Caepio, were created pontiffs. Lucius Quinctius Flaminius
was created augur, and Lucius Cornelius Lentulus decemvir for the
superintendence of sacred rites. The time for the election of consuls
was now approaching; but as it was not thought proper to call the
consuls away from the war with which they were intently occupied,
Tiberius Sempronius, the consul, nominated Caius Claudius Centho as
dictator to hold the election. He appointed Quintus Fulvius Flaccus as
his master of the horse. On the first day on which the election could
be held, the dictator appointed as consuls, Quintus Fulvius Flaccus,
his master of the horse, and Appius Claudius Pulcher, who had held the
government of Sicily as praetor. The praetors created were Cneius
Fulvius Flaccus, Caius Claudius Nero, Marcus Junius Silanus, Publius
Cornelius Sulla. The election completed, the dictator retired from his
office. This year, Publius Cornelius Scipio, afterwards surnamed
Africanus, held the office of curule aedile, with Marcus Cornelius
Cethegus; and when the tribunes of the people opposed his pretensions
to the aedileship, alleging, that no notice ought to be taken of him,
because he had not attained the legal age for candidateship, he
observed, "if the citizens in general are desirous of appointing me
aedile, I am old enough." Upon this the people ran to their respective
tribes to give their votes, with feelings so strongly disposed in his
favour, that the tribunes on a sudden abandoned their attempt. The
largesses bestowed by the aediles were the following: the Roman games
were sumptuously exhibited, considering the present state of their
resources; they were repeated during one day, and a gallon of oil was
given to each street. Lucius Villius Tapulus, and Marcus Fundanius
Fundulus, the plebeian aediles, accused some matrons of misconduct
before the people, and some of them they convicted and sent into
exile. The plebeian games were repeated during two days, and a feast
in honour of Jupiter was celebrated on occasion of the games.

3. Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, for the third time, and Appius Claudius
entered upon the office of consuls. The praetors determined their
provinces by lot. Publius Cornelius Sulla received both the city and
the foreign jurisdiction, formerly allotted to two persons, Cneius
Fulvius Flaccus, Apulia, Caius Claudius Nero, Suessula, and Marcus
Junius Silanus, Tuscany. To the consuls the conduct of the war with
Hannibal was decreed with two legions each, one taking the troops of
Quintus Fabius, the consul of the former year, the other those of
Fulvius Centumalus. Of the praetors, Fulvius Flaccus was to have the
legions which were in Luceria under Aemilius the praetor, Nero
Claudius those in Picenum under Caius Terentius, each raising recruits
for himself to fill up the number of his troops. To Marcus Junius the
city legions of the former year were assigned, to be employed against
the Tuscans. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and Publius Sempronius
Tuditanus were continued in command in their provinces of Lucania and
Gaul with the armies they had, as was also Publius Lentulus in that
part of Sicily which formed the ancient Roman province. Marcus
Marcellus had Syracuse, and that which was the kingdom of Hiero. Titus
Otacilius was continued in the command of the fleet, Marcus Valerius
in that of Greece, Quintus Mucius Scaevola in that of Sardinia. The
Cornelii, Publius and Cneius, were continued in the command of Spain.
In addition to the armies already existing, two legions for the
service of the city were levied by the consuls, and a total of
twenty-three legions was made up this year. The levy of the consuls
was impeded by the conduct of Marcus Posthumius Pyrgensis, almost
accompanied with a serious disturbance. Posthumius was a farmer of the
revenue, who, for knavery and rapacity, practised through a course of
many years, had no equal except Titus Pomponius Veientanus, who had
been taken prisoner the former year by the Carthaginians under the
conduct of Hanno, while carelessly ravaging the lands in Lucania. As
the state had taken upon itself the risk of any loss which might arise
from storms to the commodities conveyed to the armies, not only had
these two men fabricated false accounts of shipwrecks, but even those
which had really occurred were occasioned by their own knavery, and
not by accident. Their plan was to put a few goods of little value
into old and shattered vessels, which they sank in the deep, taking up
the sailors in boats prepared for the purpose, and then returning
falsely the cargo as many times more valuable than it was. This
fraudulent practice had been pointed out to Marcus Atilius, the
praetor in a former year, who had communicated it to the senate; no
decree, however, had been passed censuring it, because the fathers
were unwilling that any offence should be given to the order of
revenue farmers while affairs were in such a state. The people were
severer avengers of the fraud; and at length two tribunes of the
people, Spurius and Lucius Carvilius, being moved to take some active
measure, as they saw that this conduct excited universal disgust, and
had become notorious, proposed that a fine of two hundred thousand
asses should be imposed on Marcus Posthumius. When the day arrived for
arguing the question, the people assembled in such numbers, that the
area of the Capitol could scarcely contain them; and the cause having
been gone through, the only hope of safety which presented itself was,
that Caius Servilius Casca, a tribune of the people, a connexion and
relation of Posthumius, should interpose his protest before the tribes
were called to give their votes. The witnesses having been produced,
the tribunes caused the people to withdraw, and the urn was brought,
in order that the tribes should draw lots which should give the vote
first. Meanwhile, the farmers of the revenue urged Casca to stop the
proceedings for that day. The people, however, loudly opposed it; and
Casca happened to be sitting on the most prominent part of the
rostrum, whose mind fear and shame were jointly agitating. Seeing that
no dependence was to be placed in him for protection, the farmers of
the revenue, forming themselves into a wedge, rushed into the void
space occasioned by the removal of the people for the purpose of
causing disturbance, wrangling at the same time with the people and
the tribunes. The affair had now almost proceeded to violence, when
Fulvius Flaccus, the consul, addressing the tribunes, said, "Do you
not see that you are degraded to the common rank, and that an
insurrection will be the result, unless you speedily dismiss the
assembly of the commons."

4. The commons being dismissed, the senate was assembled, when the
consuls proposed the consideration of the interruption experienced by
the assembly of the commons, in consequence of the violence and
audacity of the farmers of the revenue. They said, that "Marcus Furius
Camillus, whose banishment was followed by the downfall of the city,
had suffered himself to be condemned by his exasperated countrymen.
That before him, the decemviri, according to whose laws they lived up
to the present day, and afterwards many men of the first rank in the
state, had submitted to have sentence passed upon them by the people.
But Posthumius Pyrgensis had wrested from the Roman people their right
of suffrage, had dissolved the assembly of the commons, had set at
nought the authority of the tribunes, had drawn up a body of men in
battle-array against the Roman people; and seized upon a post, in
order to cut off the tribunes from the commons, and prevent the tribes
being called to give their votes. That the only thing which had
restrained the people from bloodshed and violence, was the forbearance
of the magistrates in giving way for the moment to the fury and
audacity of a few individuals, and suffering themselves and the Roman
people to be overcome; and that no opportunity might be afforded those
who were seeking an occasion of violence, in dissolving, agreeably to
the wish of the defendant himself, that assembly which he was about to
interrupt by force of arms." Observations of this kind having been
urged with a warmth proportioned to the atrocity of the conduct which
called them forth, by all the most respectable persons, and the senate
having passed a decree to the effect that the violence offered was
prejudicial to the state, and a precedent of pernicious tendency,
immediately the Carvilii, tribunes of the people, giving up the action
for a fine, appointed a day on which Posthumius should be tried
capitally, and ordered, that unless he gave bail, he should be
apprehended by the beadle, and carried to prison. Posthumius gave
bail, but did not appear. The tribunes then proposed to the commons,
and the commons resolved, that if Marcus Posthumius did not appear
before the calends of May, and if on being cited on that day he did
not answer, and sufficient cause were not shown why he did not, he
would be adjudged an exile, his goods would be sold, and himself
interdicted from water and fire. They then proceeded to indict
capitally, and demand bail of each of the persons who had been the
promoters of the disorder and riot. At first they threw into prison
those who did not give bail, and afterwards even such as could; upon
which the greater part of them went into exile, to avoid the danger to
which this proceeding exposed them.

5. The knavery of the revenue farmers, and their subsequent audacious
conduct to screen themselves from its effects, thus terminated. An
assembly was then held for the creation of a chief pontiff. The new
pontiff, Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, presided. The election was
contested with the greatest obstinacy by three candidates, Quintus
Fulvius Flaccus, the consul, who had been twice consul before and
censor, Titus Manhus Torquatus, who had himself also been
distinguished by two consulships and the censorship, and Publius
Licinius Ciassus, who was about to stand for the office of curule
aedile. In this contest, the last-mentioned candidate, though a young
man, beat the others, who were his superiors in years, and had filled
offices of honour. Before him there had not been a man for a hundred
and twenty years, except Publius Cornelius Calussa, who had been
created chief pontiff without having sat in the curule chair. Though
the consuls found great difficulty in completing the levy, for in
consequence of the scarcity of young men, it was not easy to procure
enough for the two purposes of forming the new city legions, and
recruiting the old ones, the senate forbade them to desist from the
attempt, and ordered two triumvirates to be appointed, one of which
within, the other without the fiftieth mile from the city, might
ascertain the utmost number of free-born men which were to be found in
the villages, and market towns, and hamlets, and enlist whom they
thought strong enough to bear arms, though they had not attained the
military age. That the tribunes of the people, if they thought proper,
should propose to the people, that such as should take the military
oath being under seventeen years, should be allowed to reckon their
period of service in the same manner as if they had enlisted at
seventeen or older. The two triumvirates, created agreeably to this
decree of the senate, enlisted free-born men throughout the country.
At the same time a letter from Marcellus from Sicily, respecting the
petition of the troops who served with Publius Lentulus, was read in
the senate. These troops were the relics of the disaster at Cannae,
and had been sent out of the way into Sicily, as has been mentioned
before, on an understanding that they should not be brought home
before the conclusion of the Carthaginian war.

6. With the permission of Lentulus, these men sent the most
distinguished of the cavalry and centurions, and a select body of the
legionary infantry, as ambassadors to Marcellus, to his winter
quarters. Having obtained leave to speak, one of them thus addressed
him: "We should have approached you, Marcus Marcellus, when consul in
Italy, as soon as that decree of the senate was passed respecting us,
which, though not unjust, was certainly severe, had we not hoped, that
being sent into a province which was in a state of disorder in
consequence of the death of its kings, to carry on an arduous war
against the Sicilians and Carthaginians together, we should make
atonement to the state by our blood and wounds, in the same manner as,
within the memory of our fathers, those who were taken prisoners by
Pyrrhus at Heraclea, made atonement by fighting against the same
Pyrrhus. And yet, for what fault of ours, conscript fathers, did you
then, or do you now, feel displeasure towards us; for when I look upon
you, Marcus Marcellus, I seem to behold both the consuls and the whole
body of the senate; and had you been our consul at Cannae, a better
fate would have attended the state as well as ourselves. Permit me, I
entreat you, before I complain of the hardship of our situation, to
clear ourselves of the guilt with which we are charged. If it was
neither by the anger of the gods, nor by fate, according to whose laws
the course of human affairs is unalterably fixed, but by misconduct
that we were undone at Cannae; but whose was that misconduct; the
soldiers', or that of their generals? For my own part, I, as a
soldier, will never say a word of my commander, particularly when I
know that he received the thanks of the senate for not having
despaired of the state; and who has been continued in command through
every year since his flight from Cannae. We have heard that others
also who survived that disaster, who were military tribunes, solicit
and fill offices of honour, and have the command of provinces. Do you
then, conscript fathers, pardon yourselves and your children, while
you exercise severity towards such insignificant persons as we are? It
was no disgrace to a consul and other leading persons in the state, to
fly when no other hope remained; and did you send your soldiers into
the field as persons who must of necessity die there? At the Allia
nearly the whole army fled; at the Caudine Forks the troops delivered
up their arms to the enemy, without even making an effort; not to
mention other disgraceful defeats of our armies. Yet, so far from any
mark of infamy being sought for, which might be fixed upon these
troops, the city of Rome was recovered by means of those very troops
who had fled to Veii from the Allia; and the Caudine legions, which
had returned to Rome without their arms, being sent back armed to
Samnium, brought under the yoke that very enemy who had exulted in the
disgrace which, in this instance, attached to them. But is there a man
who can bring a charge of cowardice or running away against the army
which fought at Cannae, where more than fifty thousand men fell; from
whence the consul fled with only seventy horsemen; where not a man
survived, except perchance those whom the enemy left, being wearied
with killing? When the proposal to ransom the prisoners was negatived,
we were the objects of general commendation, because we reserved
ourselves for the service of the state; because we returned to the
consul to Venusia, and exhibited an appearance of a regular army. Now
we are in a worse condition than those who were taken prisoners in the
time of our fathers; for they only had their arms, the nature of their
service, and the place where they might pitch their tents in the camp
altered; all which, however, they got restored by one service rendered
to the state, and by one successful battle. Not one of them was sent
away into banishment; not one was deprived of the hope of completing
the period of his service; in short, an enemy was assigned to them,
fighting with whom they might at once terminate their life or their
disgrace. We, to whom nothing can be objected, except that it is owing
to us that any Roman soldier has survived the battle of Cannae, are
removed far away, not only from our country and Italy, but even from
an enemy; where we may grow old in exile, where we can have no hope or
opportunity of obliterating our disgrace, of appeasing the indignation
of our countrymen, or, in short, of obtaining an honourable death. We
seek neither to have our ignominy terminated, nor our virtue rewarded,
we only ask to be allowed to make trial of our courage, and to
exercise our virtue. We seek for labour and danger that we may
discharge the duty of men and soldiers. A war is carrying on in
Sicily, now for the second year, with the utmost vigour on both sides.
The Carthaginians are storming some cities, the Romans others, armies
of infantry and horse are engaging in battle, at Syracuse the war is
prosecuted by sea and by land. We hear distinctly the shout of the
combatants, and the din of arms, while we ourselves lie inactive and
unemployed, as if we had neither hands nor arms. The consul,
Sempronius has now fought many pitched battles with the enemy with
legions of slaves. They receive as the fruits of their exertion their
liberty, and the rights of citizens. Let us at least be employed by
you as slaves purchased for the service of this war, let us be allowed
to combat with the enemy and acquire our freedom by fighting. Do you
wish to make trial of our valour by sea, by land, in a pitched battle,
or in the assault of towns? We ask as our portion all those
enterprises which present the greatest difficulty and danger, that
what ought to have been done at Cannae may be done as soon as
possible, for the whole of our subsequent lives has been doomed to

7. At the conclusion of this speech they prostrated themselves at the
knees of Marcellus. Marcellus replied, that the question was neither
within his authority nor his power, that he would, however, write to
the senate, and be guided in every thing he did by the judgment of the
fathers. This letter was brought to the new consuls, and by them read
in the senate, and, on the question being put relative to this letter,
they decreed, "that the senate saw no reason why the interests of the
republic should be intrusted to the hands of soldiers who had deserted
then comrades, in battle, at Cannae. If Marcus Marcellus, the
proconsul, thought otherwise, that he should act as he deemed
consistent with the good of the republic and his own honour, with this
proviso, however, that none of these men should be exempt from
service, nor be presented with any military reward in consideration of
valour, or be conveyed back to Italy, while the enemy was in that
country." After this, agreeably to the decree of the senate, and the
order of the people, an election was held by the city praetor, at
which five commissioners were created for the purpose of repairing the
walls and turrets, and two sets of triumviri, one to search for the
property belonging to the temples, and to register the offerings, the
other for repairing the temples of Fortune and Mother Matuta within
the Carmental gate, and also that of Hope without the gate, which had
been destroyed by fire the year before. Dreadful storms occurred at
this time. It rained stones for two days without intermission in the
Alban mount. Many places were struck by lightning; two buildings in
the Capitol, the rampart in the camp above Suessula in many places,
and two of the men on guard were killed. A wall and certain towers at
Cannae were not only struck with lightning, but demolished. At Reate,
a vast rock was seen to fly about; the sun appeared unusually red and
blood-like. On account of these prodigies there was a supplication for
one day, and the consuls employed themselves for several days in
sacred rites; at the same time there was a sacred rite performed
through nine days. An accidental circumstance which occurred at a
distance, hastened the revolt of Tarentum, which had now for a long
time been the object of the hopes of Hannibal and of the suspicion of
the Romans. Phileas, a native of Tarentum, who had been a long time at
Rome under the pretence of an embassy, being a man of a restless mind,
and ill brooking that inactive state in which he considered that his
powers had been for too long a time sinking into imbecility,
discovered for himself a means of access to the Tarentine hostages.
They were kept in the court of the temple of Liberty, and guarded with
less care, because it was neither the interest of themselves nor of
their state to escape from the Romans. By corrupting two of the
keepers of the temple, he was enabled to hold frequent conferences
with them, at which he solicited them to come into this design; and
having brought them out of their place of confinement as soon as it
was dark, he became the companion of their clandestine flight, and got
clear away. As soon as day dawned, the news of their escape spread
through the city, and a party sent in pursuit, having seized them all
at Tarracina, brought them back. They were led into the Comitium, and
after being scourged with rods, with the approbation of the people,
were thrown down from the rock.

8. The severity of this punishment exasperated the inhabitants of two
of the most distinguished Greek states in Italy, not only publicly as
communities, but privately as individuals, according as each was
connected, either by relationship or friendship, with those who had
been so disgracefully put to death. Of these about thirteen noble
Tarentine youths formed a conspiracy, the chief of whom were Nico and
Philemenus. Concluding that it would be right to confer with Hannibal
before they took any step, they went to him, having been allowed to go
out of the city by night on pretence of hunting. When they were now
not far from the camp, all the rest hid themselves in a wood by the
road side; but Nico and Philemenus, proceeding to the advanced guard,
were seized, and at their own request brought before Hannibal. Having
laid before him the motives of their plan, and the object they had in
view, they received the highest commendation, and were loaded with
promises; and that their countrymen might believe that they had gone
out of the city to obtain plunder, they were desired to drive to the
city some cattle of the Carthaginians which had been sent out to
graze. A promise was given them that they might do this without danger
or interruption. The booty of the young men attracted notice, and less
astonishment was therefore felt that they should frequently repeat the
attempt. At a second meeting with Hannibal they entered into a solemn
engagement, that the Tarentines should be free, enjoying their own
laws, and all their rights uninterfered with; that they should neither
pay any tribute to the Carthaginians, nor receive a garrison against
their will; that their present garrison should be delivered up to the
Carthaginians. These points being agreed upon, Philemenus then began
to repeat more frequently his customary practice of going out and
returning to the city followed by his dogs, and furnished with the
other requisites for hunting; for he was remarkable for his fondness
of hunting; and generally bringing home something which he had
captured or taken away from the enemy, who had purposely placed it in
his way he presented it to the commander or the guards of the gates.
They supposed that he preferred going and returning by night through
fear of the enemy. After this practice had become so familiar, that at
whatever time of the night he gave a signal, by whistling, the gate
was opened, Hannibal thought that it was now time to put the plan in
execution. He was at the distance of three days' journey, and to
diminish the wonder which would be felt at his keeping his camp fixed
in one and the same place so long, he feigned himself ill. Even to the
Romans who formed the garrison of Tarentum, his protracted inactivity
had ceased to be an object of suspicion.

9. But after he determined to proceed to Tarentum, selecting from his
infantry and cavalry ten thousand men, whom, from activity of body,
and lightness of arms, he judged best adapted for the expedition, he
began his march in the fourth watch of the night; and sending in
advance about eighty Numidian horsemen, ordered them to scour the
country on each side of the road, and narrowly examine every place,
lest any of the rustics who might have observed his army at a distance
should escape; to bring back those who were got before, and kill those
whom they met, that they might appear to the neighbouring inhabitants
to be a plundering party, rather than a regular army. Hannibal
himself, marching at a rapid pace, pitched his camp about fifteen
miles from Tarentum; and without telling his soldiers even there, what
was their destination, he only called them together and admonished
them to march all of them in the road, and not to suffer any one to
turn aside or deviate from the line; and above all, that they would be
on the watch, so as to catch the word of command, and not do any thing
without the order of their leaders; that in due time he would issue
his commands as to what he wished to be done. About the same hour a
rumour reached Tarentum, that a few Numidian horsemen were devastating
the fields, and had terrified the rustics through a wide extent of
country; at which intelligence the Roman praefect took no further step
than to order a division of his cavalry to go out the following day at
sunrise to check the depredations of the enemy; and so far was he from
directing his attention to any thing else on this account, that on the
contrary, this excursion of the Numidians was a proof to him that
Hannibal and his army had not moved from his camp. Early in the night
Hannibal put his troops in motion, and Philemenus, with his customary
burden of prey taken in hunting, was his guide. The rest of the
conspirators waited the accomplishment of what had been concerted; and
the agreement was, that Philemenus, while bringing in his prey through
the small gate by which he was accustomed to pass, should introduce
some armed men, while Hannibal in another quarter approached the gate
called Temenis, which faced the east, in that quarter which was
towards the continent, near the tombs which were within the walls.
When he drew near to the gate, Hannibal raised a fire according to
agreement, which made a blaze; the same signal was returned by Nico,
and the fires were extinguished on both sides. Hannibal led his troops
on in silence to the gate. Nico suddenly fell upon the guards while
asleep, slew them in their beds, and opened the gate. Hannibal then
entered with his infantry, ordering his cavalry to stay behind, that
they might be able to bring their assistance wherever it was required
without obstruction. Philemenus also in another quarter approached the
small gate by which he was accustomed to pass and re-pass. His voice,
which was well known, for he said he could scarcely bear the weight of
the huge beast he had gotten, and his signal, which had now become
familiar, having roused the guard, the small gate was opened. Two
youths carrying in a boar, Philemenus himself followed, with a
huntsman, unencumbered, and while the attention of the guard was
incautiously turned upon those who carried the boar, in consequence of
its astonishing size, he transfixed him with a hunting spear. About
thirty armed men then entering, slew the rest of the guards, and broke
open the adjoining gate, when a body of troops, in regular array,
instantly rushed in. Being conducted hence in silence to the forum,
they joined Hannibal. The Carthaginian then sent the Tarentines, with
two thousand Gauls formed into three divisions, in different
directions through the city, with orders to occupy the most frequented
streets. A confusion arising, the Romans were put to the sword on all
hands. The townsmen were spared; but in order to insure this, he
instructed the Tarentine youths, when they saw any of their friends at
a distance, to bid them be quiet and silent, and be of good courage.

10. The tumult and clamour was now such as usually takes place in a
captured city, but no man knew for certain what was the occasion. The
Tarentines supposed that the Romans had suddenly risen to plunder the
city. To the Romans it appeared, that some commotion had been set on
foot by the townsmen with a treacherous design. The praefect, who was
awakened at the first alarm, escaped to the port, whence getting into
a boat he was conveyed round to the citadel. The sound of a trumpet
also from the theatre excited alarm; for it was a Roman trumpet,
prepared by the conspirators for this very purpose; and as it was
blown unskilfully by a Grecian, it could not be ascertained who gave
the signal, or to whom it was given. At dawn of the day, the Romans
recognised the Carthaginian and Gallic arms, which removed all doubt;
and the Greeks, seeing the bodies of slain Romans spread about in all
directions, perceived that the city had been taken by Hannibal. When
the light had increased, so that they could discriminate with greater
certainty, and the Romans who survived the carnage had taken refuge in
the citadel, the tumult now beginning to subside a little, Hannibal
gave orders to assemble the Tarentines without their arms. All of them
attended the assembly, except those who had accompanied the Romans in
their retreat to the citadel, to share every fortune with them. Here
Hannibal having addressed the Tarentines in terms of kindness, and
appealed to the services he had rendered to those of their countrymen
whom he had captured at the Trasimenus and at Cannae, and having at
the same time inveighed against the haughty domination of the Romans,
desired that they would every one of them retire to their respective
houses, and inscribe their names upon their doors; declaring, that he
should give orders that those houses which had not the names written
upon them should be plundered. That if any man should write his name
upon the house of a Roman, (and the Romans occupied houses by
themselves,) he should treat him as an enemy. Having dismissed the
assembly, and the names inscribed upon the doors having made it easy
to distinguish the house of an enemy from that of a friend, on a
signal given, the troops ran in every direction to plunder the
lodgings of the Romans, and a considerable booty was found.

11. The next day he led his troops to assault the citadel; but seeing
that it was protected by very high rocks towards the sea, which washed
the greater part of it, and formed it into a sort of peninsula, and
towards the city by a wall and ditch, and consequently that it could
not be taken by assault or by works; lest the design to protect the
Tarentines should detain him from the prosecution of more important
objects, and lest the Romans should have the power of sallying from
the citadel whenever they pleased against the Tarentines, if left
without a strong protecting force, he resolved to cut off the
communication between the citadel and city by a rampart; not without a
hope that he might have an opportunity of fighting with the Romans,
when attempting to obstruct the work; and if they should sally forth
too eagerly, that by killing many of them the strength of the garrison
would be so far reduced, that the Tarentines alone would be easily
able to defend themselves from them. After they had begun, the Romans,
suddenly throwing open the gate, rushed in upon the workmen. The guard
stationed before the works allowed itself to be driven back, in order
that their boldness might be increased by success, and that they might
pursue them when driven back, in greater numbers, and to a greater
distance. Then on a signal given, the Carthaginians, whom Hannibal
kept in readiness for this purpose, sprang up on all sides; nor could
the Romans sustain the attack, but were prevented from precipitate
flight by the narrowness of the ground, by impediments occasioned in
some places by the works already commenced, in others by the
preparations for the work. Most of them were driven headlong into the
ditch, and more were killed in the flight than in the battle. After
this the work was commenced without any attempt to obstruct it. A
large ditch was formed, within which a rampart was thrown up. He
prepared also to add a wall at a small distance, and on the same side,
that they might defend themselves from the Romans even without a
garrison. He, however, left them a small force, at once for their
protection and to assist in building the wall. The general himself,
setting out with the rest of his forces, pitched his camp at the river
Galaesus, five miles from the city. Returning from this position to
inspect the work, which had gone on somewhat faster than he had
anticipated, he conceived a hope that the citadel might even be taken
by storm; for it was not protected by an elevated situation as the
other parts were, but placed upon a plain, and separated from the city
only by a wall and ditch. While subjected to an attack from every kind
of military engine and work, a reinforcement sent from Metapontum
inspired the Romans with courage to assault the works of the enemy, by
a sudden attack, under cover of the night. Some of them they threw
down, others they destroyed by fire, and thus there was an end to
Hannibal's attempts against the citadel in that quarter. His only
remaining hope was in a siege; nor did that afford a good prospect of
success, because, occupying a citadel which was placed on a peninsula
and commanded the entrance of the harbour, they had the sea open to
them, while the city, on the contrary, was deprived of any supplies by
sea: and thus the besiegers were in greater danger of want than the
besieged. Hannibal assembled the chief men of the Tarentines, and laid
before them all the present difficulties. He said, "That he could
neither discover any method by which a citadel so well fortified could
be taken, nor could he hope for any favourable result from a siege,
while the enemy was master of the sea; but that if ships could be
obtained, by which the introduction of supplies might be prevented,
the enemy would either immediately evacuate it, or surrender
themselves." The Tarentines agreed with him; but were of opinion, that
"he who gave the advice ought also to assist in carrying it into
execution; for if the Carthaginian ships were brought there from
Sicily, they would be able to effect it; but by what means could their
own ships, shut up as they were in a confined harbour, the mouth of
which was in the command of the enemy, be brought out into the open
sea." "They shall be brought out," said Hannibal. "Many things which
are difficult in themselves, are easily effected by contrivance. You
have a city situated upon a plain; you have level and sufficiently
wide roads extending in every direction. By the road which runs
through the midst of the city from the harbour to the sea I will
convey your ships in waggons without any great difficulty, and the sea
will be ours which the enemy now commands. We will invest the citadel
on one side by sea, on the other by land; nay, rather, in a short
time, we will take it either abandoned by the enemy, or with the enemy
in it." This speech not only inspired hopes of accomplishing the
object, but excited the greatest admiration of the general. Waggons
were immediately collected from every quarter and joined together;
machines were employed to haul the ships on shore, and the road was
prepared, in order that the waggons might run more easily, and thus
the difficulty of passing be diminished. Beasts of burden and men were
next collected, and the work was actively commenced. After the lapse
of a few days, the fleet, equipped and ready for action, sailed round
the citadel, and cast anchor just before the mouth of the harbour.
Such was the state of things at Tarentum, when Hannibal left it and
returned to his winter quarters. Authors, however, are divided as to
whether the defection of the Tarentines took place in the present or
former year. The greater number, and those who, from their age, were
more able to recollect these events, represent it to have occurred in
the present year.

12. The Latin holidays detained the consuls and praetors at Rome till
the fifth of the calends of May; on which day, having completed the
solemnities on the mount, they proceeded to their respective
provinces. Afterwards a new difficulty respecting religious matters
arose out of the prophetic verses of Marcius, who had been a
distinguished soothsayer; and on a search being made the year before,
for books of this description, agreeably to a decree of the senate,
these verses had fallen into the hands of Marcus Atilius, the city
praetor, who had the management of that business, and he had
immediately handed them over to the new praetor, Sulla. The importance
attached to one of the two predictions of Marcius, which was brought
to light after the event to which it related had occurred, and the
truth of which was confirmed by the event, attached credence to the
other, the time of whose fulfilment had not yet arrived. In the former
prophecy, the disaster at Cannae was predicted in nearly these words:
"Roman of Trojan descent, fly the river Canna, lest foreigners should
compel thee to fight in the plain of Diomede. But thou wilt not
believe me until thou shalt have filled the plain with blood, and the
river carries into the great sea, from the fruitful land, many
thousands of your slain countrymen, and thy flesh becomes a prey for
fishes, birds, and beasts inhabiting the earth. For thus hath Jupiter
declared to me." Those who had served in that quarter recognised the
correspondence with respect to the plains of the Argive Diomede and
the river Canna, as well as the defeat itself. The other prophecy was
then read, which was more obscure, not only because future events are
more uncertain than past, but also from being more perplexed in its
style of composition. "Romans, if you wish to expel the enemy and the
ulcer which has come from afar, I advise, that games should be vowed,
which may be performed in a cheerful manner annually to Apollo; when
the people shall have given a portion of money from the public
coffers, that private individuals then contribute, each according to
his ability. That the praetor shall preside in the celebration of
these games, who holds the supreme administration of justice to the
people and commons. Let the decemviri perform sacrifice with victims
after the Grecian fashion. If you do these things properly you will
ever rejoice, and your affairs will be more prosperous, for that deity
will destroy your enemies who now, composedly, feed upon your plains."
They took one day to explain this prophecy. The next day a decree of
the senate was passed, that the decemviri should inspect the books
relating to the celebration of games and sacred rites in honour of
Apollo. After they had been consulted, and a report made to the
senate, the fathers voted, that "games should be vowed to Apollo and
celebrated; and that when the games were concluded, twelve thousand
_asses_ should be given to the praetor to defray the expense of
sacred ceremonies, and also two victims of the larger sort." A second
decree was passed, that "the decemviri should perform sacrifice in the
Grecian mode, and with the following victims: to Apollo, with a gilded
ox, and two white goats gilded; to Latona, with a gilded heifer." When
the praetor was about to celebrate the games in the Circus Maximus, he
issued an order, that during the celebration of the games, the people
should pay a contribution, as large as was convenient, for the service
of Apollo. This is the origin of the Apollinarian games, which were
vowed and celebrated in order to victory, and not restoration to
health, as is commonly supposed. The people viewed the spectacle in
garlands; the matrons made supplications; the people in general
feasted in the courts of their houses, throwing the doors open; and
the day was distinguished by every description of ceremony.

13. While Hannibal was in the neighbourhood of Tarentum, and both the
consuls in Samnium, though they seemed as if they were about to
besiege Capua, the Campanians were experiencing famine, that calamity
which is the usual attendant of a protracted siege. It was occasioned
by the Roman armies' having prevented the sowing of the lands. They
therefore sent ambassadors to Hannibal, imploring him to give orders
that corn should be conveyed to Capua from the neighbouring places,
before both the consuls led their legions into their fields, and all
the roads were blocked up by the troops of the enemy. Hannibal ordered
Hanno to pass with his army from Bruttium into Campania, and to take
care that the Campanians were supplied with corn. Hanno, setting out
from Bruttium with his army, and carefully avoiding the camp of the
enemy and the consuls who were in Samnium, when he drew near to
Beneventum, pitched his camp on an eminence three miles from the city.
He next ordered that the corn which had been collected during the
summer, should be brought from the neighbouring people in alliance
with him, into his camp, assigning a guard to escort those supplies.
He then sent a messenger to the Capuans, fixing a day when they should
attend at his camp to receive the corn, bringing with them vehicles
and beasts of every description, collected from every part of their
country. The Campanians executed this business with their usual
indolence and carelessness. Somewhat more than four hundred vehicles,
with a few beasts of burden besides, were sent. After receiving a
reproof from Hanno for this conduct, who told them, that not even
hunger, which excited dumb animals to exertion, could stimulate them
to diligence, another day was named when they were to fetch the corn
after better preparation. All these transactions being reported to the
Beneventans, just as they occurred, they lost no time in sending ten
ambassadors to the Roman consuls, who were encamped in the
neighbourhood of Bovianum. The consuls, hearing what was going on at
Capua, arranged it so that one of them should lead an army into
Campania; and Fulvius, to whose lot that province had fallen, setting
out by night, entered the walls of Beneventum. Being now near the
enemy, he obtained information that Hanno had gone out to forage with
a portion of his troops; that the Campanians were supplied with corn
by a quaestor; that two thousand waggons had arrived together with an
undisciplined and unarmed rabble; that every thing was done in a
disorderly and hurried manner; and that the form of a camp, and all
military subordination, were destroyed by the intermixture of rustics
out of the neighbourhood. This intelligence being sufficiently
authenticated, the consul ordered his soldiers to get ready only their
standards and arms against the next night, as he must attack the
Carthaginian camp. They set out at the fourth watch of the night,
leaving all their packages and baggage of every description at
Beneventum; and arriving a little before daylight at the camp, they
occasioned such a panic, that, had the camp been situated on level
ground, it might doubtlessly have been taken on the first assault. The
height of its situation and the works defended it; for they could not
be approached on any side except by a steep and difficult ascent. At
break of day a hot engagement commenced, when the Carthaginians not
only defended their rampart, but having more even ground, threw down
the enemy as they attempted to ascend the steep.

14. Persevering courage, however, at length prevailed over every
impediment, and they made their way up to the ditch and rampart in
several parts at the same time, but with many wounds and much loss of
soldiers. The consul, therefore assembling the military tribunes, said
they must desist from this inconsiderate enterprise; and that it
appeared to him to be the safer course, that the troops should be led
back to Beneventum for that day, and then on the following day to
pitch his camp close to that of the enemy, so that the Campanians
could not quit it, nor Hanno return to it; and in order that that
object might be attained with the greater ease, that he should send
for his colleague and his army; and that they would direct their whole
force on that point. This plan of the general was disconcerted, after
the signal began to sound for a retreat, by the clamours of the
soldiery, who despised so pusillanimous an order. Nearest to the gate
of the enemy's camp was a Pelignian cohort, whose commander, Vibius
Accuaeus, seizing the standard, threw it over the rampart. Then
pronouncing a curse upon himself and his cohort, if the enemy got
possession of that standard, he rushed forward before the rest, and
crossing the ditch and rampart, burst into the camp of the enemy. The
Pelignians were now fighting within the rampart, when in another
quarter Valerius Flaccus, a military tribune of the third legion,
taunting the Romans with cowardice for conceding to allies the honour
of taking the camp. Titus Pedanius, first centurion of the first
century, snatched the standard out of the hands of the
standard-bearer, and cried out, "Soon shall this standard, and this
centurion, be within the rampart of the enemy; let those follow who
would prevent the standard's being captured by the enemy." Crossing
the ditch, he was followed first by the men of his own maniple, and
then by the whole legion. By this time the consul also, changing his
plan on seeing them crossing the rampart, began to incite and
encourage his soldiers, instead of calling them off; representing to
them, how critical and perilous was the situation of the bravest
cohort of their allies and a legion of their countrymen. All,
therefore, severally exerting themselves to the utmost, regardless
whether the ground were even or uneven, while showers of weapons were
thrown against them from all sides, the enemy opposing their arms and
their persons to obstruct them, made their way and burst in. Many who
were wounded, even those whose blood and strength failed them, pressed
forward, that they might fall within the rampart of the enemy. The
camp, therefore, was taken in an instant, as if it had been situated
upon level ground, and not completely fortified. What followed was a
carnage rather than a battle. The troops of both sides being huddled
together within the rampart, above six thousand of the enemy were
slain; above seven thousand, together with the Campanians who fetched
the corn, and the whole collection of waggons and beasts of burden,
were captured. There was also a great booty, which Hanno in his
predatory excursions, which he had been careful to make in every
quarter, had drawn together from the lands of the allies of the
Romans. After throwing down the camp of the enemy, they returned
thence to Beneventum; and there both the consuls (for Appius Claudius
came thither a few days after) sold the booty and distributed it,
making presents to those by whose exertions the camp of the enemy had
been captured; above all, to Accuaeus the Pelignian, and Titus
Pedanius, first centurion of the third legion. Hanno, setting off from
Cominium in the territory of Cere, whither intelligence of the loss of
the camp had reached him, with a small party of foragers, whom he
happened to have with him, returned to Bruttium, more after the manner
of a flight than a march.

15. The Campanians, when informed of the disaster which had befallen
themselves and their allies, sent ambassadors to Hannibal to inform
him, that "the two consuls were at Beneventum, which was a day's march
from Capua; that the war was all but at their gates and their walls;
and that if he did not hasten to their assistance, Capua would fall
into the power of the enemy sooner than Arpi had; that not even
Tarentum itself, much less its citadel, ought to be considered of so
much consequence as to induce him to deliver up to the Roman people,
abandoned and undefended, Capua, which he used to place on an equal
footing with Carthage." Hannibal, promising that he would not neglect
the interest of the Campanians, sent, for the present, two thousand
horse, with the ambassadors, aided by which, they might secure their
lands from devastation. The Romans, meanwhile, among the other things
which engaged their attention, had an eye to the citadel of Tarentum,
and the garrison besieged therein. Caius Servilius,
lieutenant-general, having been sent, according to the advice of the
fathers, by Publius Cornelius, the praetor, to purchase corn in
Etruria, made his way into the harbour of Tarentum, through the
guard-ships of the enemy, with some ships of burden. At his arrival,
those who before, having very slight hopes of holding out, were
frequently invited by the enemy, in conferences, to pass over to them,
now, on the contrary, were the persons to invite and solicit the enemy
to come over to them; and now, as the soldiers who were at Metapontum
had been brought to assist in guarding the citadel of Tarentum, the
garrison was sufficiently powerful. In consequence of this measure,
the Metapontines, being freed from the fears which had influenced
them, immediately revolted to Hannibal. The people of Thurium,
situated on the same coast, did the same. They were influenced not
more by the defection of the Metapontines and Tarentines, with whom
they were connected, being sprung from the same country, Achaia, than
by resentment towards the Romans, in consequence of the recent
execution of the hostages. The friends and relations of these hostages
sent a letter and a message to Hanno and Mago, who were not far off
among the Bruttii, to the effect, that if they brought their troops up
to the walls, they would deliver the city into their hands. Marcus
Atinius was in command at Thurium, with a small garrison, who they
thought might easily be induced to engage rashly in a battle, not from
any confidence which he reposed in his troops, of which he had very
few, but in the youth of Thurium, whom he had purposely formed into
centuries, and armed against emergencies of this kind. The generals,
after dividing their forces between them, entered the territory of
Thurium; and Hanno, with a body of infantry, proceeded towards the
city in hostile array. Hanno staid behind with the cavalry, under the
cover of some hills, conveniently placed for the concealment of an
ambush. Atinius, having by his scouts discovered only the body of
infantry, led his troops into the field, ignorant both of the domestic
treachery and of the stratagem of the enemy. The engagement with the
infantry was particularly dull, a few Romans in the first rank
engaging while the Thurians rather waited than helped on the issue.
The Carthaginian line retreated, on purpose that they might draw the
incautious enemy to the back of the hill, where their cavalry were
lying in ambush; and when they had come there, the cavalry rising up
on a sudden with a shout, immediately put to flight the almost
undisciplined rabble of the Thurians, not firmly attached to the side
on which they fought. The Romans, notwithstanding they were surrounded
and hard pressed on one side by the infantry, on the other by the
cavalry, yet prolonged the battle for a considerable time; but at
length even they were compelled to turn their backs, and fled towards
the city. There the conspirators, forming themselves into a dense
body, received the multitude of their countrymen with open gates; but
when they perceived that the routed Romans were hurrying towards the
city, they exclaimed that the Carthaginian was close at hand, and that
the enemy would enter the city mingled with them, unless they speedily
closed the gates. Thus they shut out the Romans, and left them to be
cut up by the enemy. Atinius, however, and a few others were taken in.
After this for a short time there was a division between them, some
being of opinion that they ought to defend the city, others that they
ought, after all that had happened, to yield to fortune, and deliver
up the city to the conquerors; but, as it generally happens, fortune
and evil counsels prevailed. Having conveyed Atinius and his party to
the sea and the ships, more because they wished that care should be
taken of him, in consequence of the mildness and justice of his
command, than from regard to the Romans, they received the
Carthaginians into the city. The consuls led their legions from
Beneventum into the Campanian territory, with the intention not only
of destroying the corn, which was in the blade, but of laying siege to
Capua; considering that they would render their consulate illustrious
by the destruction of so opulent a city, and that they would wipe away
the foul disgrace of the empire, from the defection of a city so near
remaining unpunished for three years. Lest, however, Beneventum should
be left without protection, and that in case of any sudden emergency,
if Hannibal should come to Capua, in order to bring assistance to his
friends, which they doubted not he would do, the cavalry might be able
to sustain his attack, they ordered Tiberius Gracchus to come from
Lucania to Beneventum with his cavalry and light-armed troops and to
appoint some person to take the command of the legions and stationary
camp, for the defence of Lucania.

16. An unlucky prodigy occurred to Gracchus, while sacrificing,
previous to his departure from Lucania. Two snakes gliding from a
secret place to the entrails, after the sacrifice was completed, ate
the liver; and after having been observed, suddenly vanished out of
sight. The sacrifice having been repeated according to the admonition
of the aruspices, and the vessel containing the entrails being watched
with increased attention, it is reported that the snakes came a
second, and a third time, and, after tasting the liver, went away
untouched. Though the aruspices forewarned him that the portent had
reference to the general, and that he ought to be on his guard against
secret enemies and machinations, yet no foresight could avert the
destiny which awaited him. There was a Lucanian, named Flavius, the
leader of that party which adhered to the Romans when the others went
over to Hannibal; he was this year in the magistracy, having been
created praetor by the same party. Suddenly changing his mind, and
seeking to ingratiate himself with the Carthaginians, he did not think
it enough that he himself should pass over to them, or that he should
induce the Lucanians to revolt with him, unless he ratified his league
with the enemy with the head and blood of the general, betrayed to
them, though his guest. He entered into a secret conference with Mago,
who had the command in Bruttium, and receiving a solemn promise from
him, that he would take the Lucanians into his friendship, without
interfering with their laws, if he should betray the Roman general to
the Carthaginians, he conducted Mago to a place to which he was about
to bring Gracchus with a few attendants. He then directed Mago to arm
his infantry and cavalry, and to occupy the retired places there, in
which he might conceal a very large number of troops. After thoroughly
inspecting and exploring the place on all sides, a day was agreed upon
for the execution of the affair. Flavius came to the Roman general,
and said, that "he had begun a business of great importance, for the
completion of which, it was necessary to have the assistance of
Gracchus himself. That he had persuaded the praetors of all the states
which had revolted to the Carthaginians in the general defection of
Italy, to return into the friendship of the Romans, since now the
Roman power too, which had almost come to ruin by the disaster at
Cannae. was daily improving and increasing, while the strength of
Hannibal was sinking into decay, and was almost reduced to nothing. He
had told them that the Romans would be disposed to accept an atonement
for their former offence; that there never was any state more easy to
be entreated, or more ready to grant pardon; how often, he had
observed to them, had they forgiven rebellion even in their own
ancestors! These considerations," he said, "he had himself urged, but
that they would rather hear the same from Gracchus himself in person,
and touching his right hand, carry with them that pledge of faith.
That he had agreed upon a place with those who were privy to the
transaction, out of the way of observation, and at no great distance
from the Roman camp; that there the business might be settled in few
words, so that all the Lucanian states might be in the alliance and
friendship of the Romans." Gracchus, not suspecting any treachery
either from his words or the nature of the proposal, and being caught
by the probability of the thing, set out from the camp with his
lictors and a troop of horse, under the guidance of his host, and fell
headlong into the snare. The enemy suddenly arose from their
lurking-place, and Flavius joined them; which made the treachery
obvious. A shower of weapons was poured from all sides on Gracchus and
his troop. He immediately leaped from his horse, and ordering the rest
to do the same, exhorted them, that "as fortune had left them only one
course, they would render it glorious by their valour. And what is
there left," said he, "to a handful of men, surrounded by a multitude,
in a valley hemmed in by a wood and mountains, except death? The only
question was, whether, tamely exposing themselves to be butchered like
cattle, they should die unavenged; or whether, drawing the mind off
from the idea of suffering and anticipation of the event, and giving
full scope to fury and resentment, they should fall while doing and
daring, covered with hostile blood, amid heaps of arms and bodies of
their expiring foes." He desired that "all would aim at the Lucanian
traitor and deserter;" adding, that "the man who should send that
victim to the shades before him, would acquire the most distinguished
glory, and furnish the highest consolation for his own death." While
thus speaking, he wound his cloak round his left arm, for they had not
even brought their shields out with them, and then rushed upon the
enemy. The exertion made in the fight was greater than could be
expected from the smallness of the number. The bodies of the Romans
were most exposed to the javelins, with which, as they were thrown on
all sides from higher ground into a deep valley, they were transfixed.
The Carthaginians seeing Gracchus now bereft of support, endeavoured
to take him alive; but he having descried his Lucanian host among the
enemy, rushed with such fury into their dense body that it became
impossible to save his life without a great loss. Mago immediately
sent his corpse to Hannibal, ordering it to be placed, with the fasces
which were taken at the same time, before the tribunal of the general.
This is the true account; Gracchus fell in Lucania, near the place
called the Old Plains.

17. There are some who have put forth an account, stating, that when
in the territory of Beneventum, near the river Calor, having gone out
from his camp with his lictors and three servants, for the purpose of
bathing, he was slain while naked and unarmed, and endeavouring to
defend himself with the stones which the river brought down, by a
party of the enemy which happened to be concealed among the osiers
which grew upon the banks. Others state, that having gone out five
hundred paces from the camp, at the instance of the aruspices, in
order to expiate the prodigies before mentioned on unpolluted ground,
he was cut off by two troops of Numidians who happened to be lying in
ambush there. So different are the accounts respecting the place and
manner of the death of so illustrious and distinguished a man. Various
also are the accounts of the funeral of Gracchus. Some say that he was
buried by his own friends in the Roman camp; others relate, and this
is the more generally received account, that a funeral pile was
erected by Hannibal, in the entrance of the Carthaginian camp; that
the troops under arms performed evolutions, with the dances of the
Spaniards, and motions of the arms and body, which were customary with
the several nations; while Hannibal himself celebrated his obsequies
with every mark of respect, both in word and deed. Such is the account
of those who assert that the affair occurred in Lucania. If you are
disposed to credit the statement of those who relate that he was slain
at the river Calor, the enemy got possession only of the head of
Gracchus; which being brought to Hannibal, he immediately despatched
Carthalo to convey it into the Roman camp to Cneius Cornelius, the
quaestor, who buried the general in the camp, the Beneventans joining
the army in the celebration.

18. The consuls having entered the Campanian territory, while
devastating the country on all sides, were alarmed, and thrown into
confusion, by an eruption of the townsmen and Mago with his cavalry.
They called in their troops to their standards from the several
quarters to which they were dispersed, but having been routed when
they had scarcely formed their line, they lost above fifteen hundred
men. The confidence of the Campanians, who were naturally
presumptuous, became excessive in consequence of this event, and in
many battles they challenged the Romans; but this one battle, which
they had been incautiously and imprudently drawn into, had increased
the vigilance of the consuls. Their spirits were restored, while the
presumption of the other party was diminished, by one trifling
occurrence; but in war nothing is so inconsiderable as not to be
capable, sometimes, of producing important consequences. Titus
Quinctius Crispinus was a guest of Badius, a Campanian, united with
him by the greatest intimacy. Their acquaintance had increased from
the circumstance of Badius having received the most liberal and kind
attentions at the house of Crispinus, in a fit of illness, at Rome,
before the Campanian revolt. On the present occasion, Badius,
advancing in front of the guards, which were stationed before the
gate, desired Crispinus to be called; and Crispinus, on being informed
of this, thinking that a friendly and familiar interview was
requested, and the memory of their private connexion remaining even
amidst the disruption of public ties, advanced a little from the rest.
When they had come within view of each other, Badius exclaimed, "I
challenge you to combat, Crispinus; let us mount our horses, and
making the rest withdraw, let us try which is the better soldier." In
reply, Crispinus said, that "neither of them were in want of enemies
to display their valour upon; for his own part, even if he should meet
him in the field he would turn aside, lest he should pollute his
right-hand with the blood of a guest;" and then turning round, was
going away. But the Campanian, with increased presumption, began to
charge him with cowardice and effeminacy, and cast upon him reproaches
which he deserved himself, calling him "an enemy who sheltered himself
under the title of host, and one who pretended to spare him for whom
he knew himself not to be a match. If he considered; that when public
treaties were broken, the ties of private connexion were not severed
with them, then Badius the Campanian openly, and in the hearing of
both armies, renounced his connexion of hospitality with Titus
Quinctius Crispinus the Roman. He said, that there could exist no
fellowship or alliance with him and an enemy whose country and
tutelary gods, both public and private, he had come to fight against.
If he was a man, he would meet him." Crispinus hesitated for a long
time; but the men of his troop at length prevailed upon him not to
allow the Campanian to insult him with impunity. Waiting, therefore,
only to ask his generals whether they would allow him to fight,
contrary to rule, with an enemy who had challenged him; having
obtained their permission, he mounted his horse, and addressing Badius
by name, called him out to the combat. The Campanian made no delay.
They engaged with their horses excited to hostility. Crispinus
transfixed Badius with his spear in the left shoulder, over his
shield. He fell from his horse in consequence of the wound; and
Crispinus leaped down to despatch him as he lay, on foot. But Badius,
before his enemy was upon him, ran off to his friends, leaving his
horse and buckler. Crispinus, decorated with the spoils, and
displaying the horse and arms which he had seized together with the
bloody spear, was conducted amid the loud plaudits and congratulations
of the soldiery into the presence of the consuls, where he was highly
commended, and was presented with gifts.

19. Hannibal, having moved his camp from the territory of Beneventum
to Capua, drew out his troops in order of battle the third day after
his arrival; not entertaining the least doubt but that, as the
Campanians had fought successfully a few days ago when he was absent,
the Romans would be still less able to withstand him and his army,
which had been so often victorious. After the battle had commenced,
the Roman line was distressed chiefly from the attack of the cavalry,
being overwhelmed with their darts, till the signal was given to the
Roman cavalry to direct their horses against the enemy; thus it was a
battle of the cavalry. But at this time the Sempronian army, commanded
by Cneius Cornelius the quaestor, being descried at a distance,
excited alarm in both parties equally, lest those who were approaching
should be fresh enemies. As if by concert, therefore, both sounded a
retreat; and the troops were withdrawn from the field to their camps,
in an equal condition; a greater number, however, of the Romans fell
in the first charge of the cavalry. The consuls, to divert the
attention of Hannibal from Capua, departed thence on the following
night in different directions, Fulvius into the territory of Cuma,
Claudius into Lucania. The next day Hannibal, having received
intelligence that the camp of the Romans was deserted, and that they
had gone off in different directions in two divisions, doubtful at
first which he should follow, commenced the pursuit of Appius; who,
after leading him about whichever way he pleased, returned by another
route to Capua. Hannibal, while in this quarter, had another
opportunity of gaining an advantage. Marcus Centenius, surnamed
Penula, was distinguished among the centurions of the first rank by
the size of his person, and his courage. Having gone through his
period of service, he was introduced to the senate by Publius
Cornelius Sulla, when he requested of the fathers that five thousand
men might be placed at his disposal. He said, that "as he was
acquainted with the character of the enemy, and the nature of the
country, he should speedily perform some service; and that he would
employ those arts by which our generals and armies had been hitherto
ensnared against the inventor of them." This was not promised more
foolishly than it was believed; as if the qualifications of a soldier
and a general were the same. Instead of five, eight thousand men were
given him, half Romans, half allies. He himself also got together a
considerable number of volunteers, in the country, on his march; and
having almost doubled his force, arrived in Lucania, where Hannibal
had halted after having in vain pursued Claudius. No doubt could be
entertained of the issue of a contest which was to take place between
Hannibal, as general on one side, and a centurion on the other;
between armies, one of which had grown old in victory, the other
entirely inexperienced, and for the most part even tumultuary and
half-armed. As soon as the troops came within sight of each other,
and neither of them declined an engagement, the lines were formed. The
battle, notwithstanding the utter disparity of the contending parties,
lasted more than two hours, the Roman troops acting with the greatest
spirit as long as their general survived. But after that he had
fallen, for he continually exposed himself to the weapons of the
enemy, not only from regard to his former character, but through fear
of the disgrace which would attach to him if he survived a disaster
occasioned by his own temerity, the Roman line was immediately routed.
But so completely were they prevented from flying, every way being
beset by the cavalry, that scarcely a thousand men escaped out of so
large an army; the rest were destroyed on all hands, in one way or

20. The siege of Capua was now resumed by the consuls with the utmost
energy. Every thing requisite for the business was conveyed thither
and got in readiness. A store of corn was collected at Casilinum; at
the mouth of the Vulturnus, where a town now stands, a strong post was
fortified; and a garrison was stationed in Puteoli, which Fabius had
formerly fortified, in order to have the command of the neighbouring
sea and the river. Into these two maritime forts, the corn recently
sent from Sicily, with that which Marcus Junius, the praetor, had
bought up in Etruria, was conveyed from Ostia, to supply the army
during the winter. But, in addition to the disaster sustained in
Lucania, the army also of volunteer slaves, who had served during the
life of Gracchus with the greatest fidelity, as if discharged from
service by the death of their general, left their standards. Hannibal
was not willing that Capua should be neglected, or his allies
deserted, at so critical a juncture; but, having obtained such success
from the temerity of one Roman general, his attention was fixed on the
opportunity which presented itself of crushing the other general and
his army. Ambassadors from Apulia reported that Cneius Fulvius, the
praetor, had at first conducted his measures with caution, while
engaged in besieging certain towns of Apulia, which had revolted to
Hannibal; but that afterwards, in consequence of extraordinary
success, both himself and his soldiers, being glutted with booty, had
so given themselves up to licentiousness and indolence, that all
military discipline was disregarded. Having frequently on other
occasions, as well as but a few days ago, experienced what an army was
good for, when conducted by an unskilful commander, he moved his camp
into Apulia.

21. The Roman legions, and the praetor, Fulvius, were in the
neighbourhood of Herdonia, where, receiving intelligence of the
approach of the enemy, they had nearly torn up the standards and gone
out to battle without the praetor's orders; nor did any thing tend
more to prevent it than the assured hope they entertained that they
could do so whenever they pleased, consulting only their own will. The
following night, Hannibal having obtained information that the camp
was in a state of tumult, and that most of the troops were in a
disorderly manner urging the general to give the signal, and calling
out to arms, and therefore feeling convinced that an opportunity
presented itself for a successful battle, distributed three thousand
light troops in the houses in the neighbourhood, and among the thorns
and woods. These, on a signal being given, were to rise up from their
lurking-place with one accord; and Mago, with about two thousand
horse, was ordered to occupy all the roads in the direction in which
he supposed their flight would be directed. Having made these
preparations during the night, he led his troops into the field at
break of day. Nor did Fulvius decline the challenge; not so much from
any hope of success entertained by himself, as drawn by the blind
impetuosity of his soldiers. Accordingly, the line itself was formed
with the same want of caution with which they entered the field,
agreeably to the whim of the soldiers, who came up as chance directed,
and took their stations just where they pleased; which they afterwards
abandoned, as fear or caprice suggested. The first legion and the left
wing of the allied troops were drawn up in front. The line was
extended to a great length, the tribunes remonstrating, that there was
no strength in it, and that wherever the enemy made the charge they
would break through it: but no salutary advice reached their minds,
nor even their ears. Hannibal was now come up, a general of a totally
different character, with an army neither similar in its nature, nor
similarly marshalled. The consequence was, that the Romans did not so
much as sustain their shout and first attack. Their general, equal to
Centenius in folly and temerity, but by no means to be compared with
him in courage, when he saw things going against him, and his troops
in confusion, hastily mounting his horse, fled from the field with
about two hundred horsemen. The rest of the troops, beaten in front,
and surrounded on the flank and rear, were slaughtered to such a
degree, that out of eighteen thousand men, not more than two thousand
escaped. The enemy got possession of the camp.

22. When these disastrous defeats, happening one upon another, were
reported at Rome, great grief and consternation seized the city. But
still, as the consuls had been hitherto successful when it was most
important, they were the less affected by these disasters. Caius
Lastorius and Marcus Metilius were sent as ambassadors to the consuls,
with directions carefully to collect the remains of the two armies,
and use every endeavour to prevent their surrendering themselves to
the enemy, through fear or despair, (which was the case after the
battle of Cannae,) and to search for the deserters from the army of
volunteer slaves. Publius Cornelius was charged with the same
business; to him also the levy was intrusted. He caused an order to be
issued throughout the market and smaller towns, that search should be
made for the volunteer slaves, and that they should be brought back to
their standards. All these things were executed with the most vigilant
care. The consul, Appius Claudius, having placed Decius Junius in
command at the mouth of the Vulturnus, and Marcus Aurelius Cotta at
Puteoli, with directions to send off the corn immediately to the camp,
as each of the ships from Etruria and Sardinia arrived with it,
returned himself to Capua, and found his colleague Quintus Fulvius at
Casilinum, conveying every requisite thence, and making every
preparation for the siege of Capua. Both of them then joined in
besieging the city, summoning Claudius Nero, the praetor, from the
Claudian camp at Suessula; who, leaving a small garrison there,
marched down to Capua with all the rest of his forces. Thus there were
three generals' tents erected round Capua; and three armies, applying
themselves to the work in different parts, proceeded to surround the
city with a ditch and rampart, erecting forts at moderate intervals.
The Campanians attempting to obstruct the work, a battle was fought in
several places at once; the consequence of which was, that at length
the Campanians confined themselves within their gates and walls.
Before, however, these works were carried quite round, ambassadors
were sent to Hannibal to complain that Capua was abandoned, and almost
given up to the Romans, and to implore him, that he would now, at
least, bring them assistance, when they were not only besieged, but
surrounded by a rampart. A letter was sent to the consuls from Publius
Cornelius, the praetor, directing that before they completely enclosed
Capua with their works, they should grant permission to such of the
Campanians as chose to quit Capua, and take their property with them.
That those should retain their liberty, and all their possessions, who
quitted it before the ides of March, but that those who quitted it
after that day, as well as those who continued there, would be
considered as enemies. Proclamation was made to the Campanians to this
effect, but it was received with such scorn, that they spontaneously
used insulting language and menaces. Hannibal had marched his legions
from Herdonea to Tarentum, with the hope of getting possession of the
citadel of that place, by force or stratagem. But not succeeding
there, he turned his course to Brundusium, thinking that town would be
betrayed to him, but, while fruitlessly spending time there also, the
Campanian ambassadors came to him with complaints and entreaties.
Hannibal answered them in a proud manner, that he had before raised
the siege of Capua, and that now the consuls would not sustain his
approach. The ambassadors, dismissed with these hopes, with difficulty
effected their return to Capua, which was by this time surrounded by a
double trench and rampart.

23. At the time when the circumvallation of Capua was carrying on with
the greatest activity, the siege of Syracuse, which had been forwarded
by intestine treachery, in addition to the efforts and bravery of the
general and his army, was brought to a conclusion. For in the
beginning of spring, Marcellus being in doubt whether he should direct
the operations of the war against Himilco and Hippocrates at
Agrigentum, or press the siege of Syracuse, though he saw that it was
impossible to take the city by force, which, from its situation, both
with respect to sea and land, was impregnable, nor by famine, as it
was supported by an uninterrupted supply of provisions from Carthage,
yet that he might leave no course untried, directed the Syracusan
deserters (and there were in the Roman camp some men in this situation
of the highest rank, who had been driven out of the city during the
defection from the Romans, because they were averse to a change of
measures) to sound the feelings of those who were of the same party in
conferences, and to promise them, that if Syracuse was delivered up,
they should have their liberty, and be governed by their own laws.
There was no opportunity however, of having a conference; for as many
were suspected of disaffection, the attention and observation of all
were exerted, lest any thing of the kind should occur unknown to them.
One of the exiles, who was a servant, having been allowed to enter the
city in the character of a deserter, assembled a few persons, and
opened a conversation upon the subject. After this, certain persons,
covering themselves with nets in a fishing smack, were in this way
conveyed round to the Roman camp, and conferred with the fugitives.
The same was frequently repeated by different parties, one after
another; and at last they amounted to eighty. But after every thing
had been concerted for betraying the city, the plot was reported to
Epicydes, by one Attalus, who felt hurt that he had not been intrusted
with the secret; and they were all put to death with torture. This
attempt having miscarried, another hope was immediately raised. One
Damippus, a Lacedaemonian, who had been sent from Syracuse to king
Philip, had been taken prisoner by the Roman fleet. Epicydes was
particularly anxious to ransom this man above any other; nor was
Marcellus disinclined to grant it; the Romans, even at this time,
being desirous of gaining the friendship of the Aetolians, with whom
the Lacedaemonians were in alliance. Some persons having been sent to
treat respecting his ransom, the most central and convenient place to
both parties for this purpose appeared to be at the Trogilian port,
near the tower called Galeagra. As they went there several times, one
of the Romans, having a near view of the wall, and having determined
its height, as nearly as it could be done by conjecture, from counting
the stones, and by forming an estimate, in his own mind, what was the
height of each stone in the face of the work; and having come to the
conclusion that it was considerably lower than he himself and all the
rest had supposed it, and that it was capable of being scaled with
ladders of moderate size, laid the matter before Marcellus. It
appeared a thing not to be neglected; but as the spot could not be
approached, being on this very account guarded with extraordinary
care, a favourable opportunity of doing it was sought for. This a
deserter suggested, who brought intelligence that the Syracusans were
celebrating the festival of Diana; that it was to last three days, and
that as there was a deficiency of other things during the siege, the
feasts would be more profusely celebrated with wine, which was
furnished by Epicydes to the people in general, and distributed
through the tribes by persons of distinction. When Marcellus had
received this intelligence, he communicated it to a few of the
military tribunes; then having selected, through their means, such
centurions and soldiers as had courage and energy enough for so
important an enterprise, and having privately gotten together a number
of scaling-ladders, he directed that a signal should be given to the
rest of the troops to take their refreshment, and go to rest early,
for they were to go upon an expedition that night. Then the time, as
it was supposed, having arrived, when, after having feasted from the
middle of the day, they would have had their fill of wine, and have
begun to sleep, he ordered the soldiers of one company to proceed with
the ladders, while about a thousand armed men were in silence marched
to the spot in a slender column. The foremost having mounted the wall,
without noise or confusion, the others followed in order; the boldness
of the former inspiring even the irresolute with courage.

24. The thousand armed men had now taken a part of the city, when the
rest, applying a greater number of ladders, mounted the wall on a
signal given from the Hexapylos. To this place the former party had
arrived in entire solitude; as the greater part of them, having
feasted in the towers, were either asleep from the effects of wine, or
else, half asleep, were still drinking. A few of them, however, they
surprised in their beds, and put to the sword. They began then to
break open a postern gate near the Hexapylos, which required great
force; and a signal was given from the wall by sounding a trumpet, as
had been agreed upon. After this, the attack was carried on in every
quarter, not secretly, but by open force; for they had now reached
Epipolae, a place protected by numerous guards, where the business was
to terrify the enemy, and not to escape their notice. In effect they
were terrified; for as soon as the sound of the trumpets was heard,
and the shouts of the men who had got possession of the walls and a
part of the city, the guards concluded that every part was taken, and
some of them fled along the wall, others leaped down from it, or were
thrown down headlong by a crowd of the terrified townsmen. A great
part of the inhabitants, however, were ignorant of this disastrous
event, all of them being overpowered with wine and sleep; and because,
in a city of so wide extent, what was perceived in one quarter was not
readily made known through the whole city. A little before day,
Marcellus having entered the city with all his forces, through the
Hexapylos, which was forced open roused all the townsmen; who ran to
arms, in order, if possible, by their efforts, to afford succour to
the city, which was now almost taken. Epicydes advanced with a body of
troops at a rapid pace from the Insula, which the Syracusans
themselves call Nasos, not doubting but that he should be able to
drive out what he supposed a small party, which had got over the wall
through the negligence of the guards. He earnestly represented to the
terrified inhabitants who met him, that they were increasing the
confusion, and that in their accounts they made things greater and
more important than they really were. But when he perceived that every
place around Epipolae was filled with armed men, after just teasing
the enemy with the discharge of a few missiles, he marched back to the
Achradina, not so much through fear of the number and strength of the
enemy, as that some intestine treachery might show itself, taking
advantage of the opportunity, and he might find the gates of the
Achradina and island closed upon him in the confusion. When Marcellus,
having entered the walls, beheld this city as it lay subjected to his
view from the high ground on which he stood, a city the most
beautiful, perhaps, of any at that time, he is said to have shed tears
over it; partly from the inward satisfaction he felt at having
accomplished so important an enterprise, and partly in consideration
of its ancient renown. The fleets of the Athenians sunk there, and two
vast armies destroyed, with two generals of the highest reputation, as
well as the many wars waged with the Carthaginians with so much peril
arose before his mind; the many and powerful tyrants and kings; but
above all Hiero, a king who was not only fresh in his memory, but who
was distinguished for the signal services he had rendered the Roman
people, and more than all by the endowments which his own virtues and
good fortune had conferred. All these considerations presenting
themselves at once to his recollection, and reflecting, that in an
instant every thing before him would be in flames, and reduced to
ashes; before he marched his troops to the Achradina, he sent before
him some Syracusans, who, as was before observed, were among the Roman
troops, to induce the enemy, by a persuasive address, to surrender the

25. The gates and walls of the Achradina were occupied principally by
deserters, who had no hopes of pardon in case of capitulation. These
men would neither suffer those who were sent to approach the walls,
nor to address them. Marcellus, therefore, on the failure of this
attempt, gave orders to retire to the Euryalus, which is an eminence
at the extremity of the city, at the farthest point from the sea, and
commanding the road leading into the fields and the interior of the
island, and is conveniently situated for the introduction of supplies.
This fort was commanded by Philodemus, an Argive, who was placed in
this situation by Epicydes. Marcellus sent Sosis, one of the
regicides, to him. After a long conversation, being put off for the
purpose of frustrating him, he brought back word to Marcellus, that
Philodemus had taken time to deliberate. This man postponing his
answer day after day, till Hippocrates and Himilco should quit their
present position, and come up with their legions; not doubting but
that if he should receive them into the fort, the Roman army, shut up
as it was within the walls, might be annihilated, Marcellus, who saw
that the Euryalus would neither be delivered up to him, nor could be
taken by force, pitched his camp between Neapolis and Tycha, which are
names of divisions of the city, and are in themselves like cities;
fearful lest if he entered populous parts of the city, he should not
be able to restrain his soldiers, greedy of plunder, from running up
and down after it. When three ambassadors came to him from Tycha and
Neapolis with fillets and other badges of supplicants, imploring him
to abstain from fire and slaughter, Marcellus, having held a council
respecting these entreaties, for so they were, rather than demands,
ordered his soldiers, according to the unanimous opinion of the
council, not to offer violence to any free person, but told them that
every thing else might be their booty. The walls of the houses forming
a protection for his camp, he posted guards and parties of troops at
the gates, which were exposed, as they faced the streets, lest any
attack should be made upon his camp while the soldiers were dispersed
in pursuit of plunder. After these arrangements, on a signal given,
the soldiers dispersed for that purpose; and though they broke open
doors and every place resounded in consequence of the alarm and
confusion created, they nevertheless refrained from blood. They did
not desist from plunder till they had gutted the houses of all the
property which had been accumulated during a long period of
prosperity. Meanwhile, Philodemus also, who despaired of obtaining
assistance, having received a pledge that he might return to Epicydes
in safety, withdrew the garrison, and delivered up the fortress to the
Romans. While the attention of all was engaged by the tumult
occasioned in that part of the city which was captured, Bomilcar,
taking advantage of the night, when, from the violence of the weather
the Roman fleet was unable to ride at anchor in the deep, set out from
the bay of Syracuse, with thirty-five ships, and sailed away into the
main without interruption; leaving fifty-five ships for Epicydes and
the Syracusans; and having informed the Carthaginians in what a
critical situation Syracuse was placed, returned, after a few days,
with a hundred ships; having, as report says, received many presents
from Epicydes out of the treasure of Hiero.

26. Marcellus, by gaining possession of the Euryalus, and placing a
garrison in it, was freed from one cause of anxiety; which was, lest
any hostile force received into that fortress on his rear might annoy
his troops, shut up and confined as they were within the walls. He
next invested the Achradina, erecting three camps in convenient
situations, with the hope of reducing those enclosed within it to the
want of every necessary. The outposts of both sides had remained
inactive for several days, when the arrival of Hippocrates and Himilco
suddenly caused the Romans to be attacked aggressively on all sides;
for Hippocrates, having fortified a camp at the great harbour, and
given a signal to those who occupied the Achradina, attacked the old
camp of the Romans, in which Crispinus had the command; and Epicydes
sallied out against the outposts of Marcellus, the Carthaginian fleet
coming up to that part of the shore which lay between the city and the
Roman camp, so that no succour could be sent by Marcellus to
Crispinus. The enemy, however, produced more tumult than conflict; for
Crispinus not only drove back Hippocrates from his works, but pursued
him as he fled with precipitation, while Marcellus drove Epicydes into
the city; and it was considered that enough was now done even to
prevent any danger arising in future from their sudden sallies. They
were visited too by a plague; a calamity extending to both sides, and
one which might well divert their attention from schemes of war. For
as the season of the year was autumn, and the situation naturally
unwholesome, though this was much more the case without than within
the city, the intolerable intensity of the heat had an effect upon the
constitution of almost every man in both the camps. At first they
sickened and died from the unhealthiness of the season and climate;
but afterwards the disease was spread merely by attending upon, and
coming in contact with, those affected; so that those who were seized
with it either perished neglected and deserted, or else drew with them
those who sat by them and attended them, by infecting them with the
same violence of disease. Daily funerals and death were before the
eye; and lamentations were heard from all sides, day and night. At
last, their feelings had become so completely brutalized by being
habituated to these miseries, that they not only did not follow their
dead with tears and decent lamentations, but they did not even carry
them out and bury them; so that the bodies of the dead lay strewed
about, exposed to the view of those who were awaiting a similar fate;
and thus the dead were the means of destroying the sick, and the sick
those who were in health, both by fear and by the filthy state and the
noisome stench of their bodies. Some preferring to die by the sword,
even rushed alone upon the outposts of the enemy. The violence of the
plague, however, was much greater in the Carthaginian than the Roman
army; for the latter, from having been a long time before Syracuse,
had become more habituated to the climate and the water. Of the army
of the enemy, the Sicilians, as soon as they perceived that diseases
had become very common from the unwholesomeness of the situation,
dispersed to their respective cities in the neighbourhood; but the
Carthaginians, who had no place to retire to, perished, together with
their generals, Hippocrates and Himilco, to a man. Marcellus, on
seeing the violence with which the disease was raging, had removed his
troops into the city, where their debilitated frames were recruited in
houses and shade. Many however, of the Roman army were cut off by this

27. The land forces of the Carthaginians being thus destroyed, the
Sicilians, who had served under Hippocrates retired to two towns of no
great size, but well secured by natural situation and fortifications;
one was three miles, the other fifteen, from Syracuse. Here they
collected a store of provisions from their own states, and sent for
reinforcements. Meanwhile, Bomilcar, who had gone a second time to
Carthage, by so stating the condition of their allies as to inspire a
hope that they might not only render them effectual aid, but also that
the Romans might in a manner be made prisoners in the city which they
had captured, induced the Carthaginians to send with him as many ships
of burden as possible, laden with every kind of provisions, and to
augment the number of his ships. Setting sail, therefore, from
Carthage with a hundred and thirty men of war and seven hundred
transports, he had tolerably fair winds for crossing over to Sicily,
but was prevented by the same wind from doubling Cape Pachynum. The
news of the approach of Bomilcar, and afterwards his unexpected delay,
excited alternate fear and joy in the Romans and Syracusans. Epicydes,
apprehensive lest if the same wind which now detained him should
continue to blow from the east for several days, the Carthaginian
fleet would return to Africa, put the Achradina in the hands of the
generals of the mercenary troops, and sailed to Bomilcar; whom he at
length prevailed upon to try the issue of a naval battle, though he
found him with his fleet stationed in the direction of Africa, and
afraid of fighting, not so much because he was unequal in the strength
or the number of his ships, for he had more than the Romans, as
because the wind was more favourable to the Roman fleet than to his
own. Marcellus also seeing that an army of Sicilians was assembling
from every part of the island, and that the Carthaginian fleet was

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