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

Part 9 out of 10

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approaching with a great want of supplies, though inferior in the
number of his ships, resolved to prevent Bomilcar from coming to
Syracuse, lest, blocked up in the city of his enemies, he should be
pressed both by sea and land. The two hostile fleets were stationed
near the promontory of Pachynum, ready to engage as soon as the sea
should become calm enough to admit of their sailing out into the deep.
Accordingly, the east wind, which had blown violently for several
days, now subsiding, Bomilcar got under sail first, his van seeming to
make for the main sea, in order to double the promontory with greater
ease; but seeing the Roman ships bearing down upon him, terrified by
some unexpected occurrence, it is not known what, he sailed away into
the main sea; and sending messengers to Heraclea, to order the
transports to return to Africa, he passed along the coast of Sicily
and made for Tarentum. Epicydes, thus suddenly disappointed in such
great expectations, to avoid returning to endeavour to raise the siege
of a city, a great part of which was already in the hands of the
enemy, sailed to Agrigentum, intending to wait the issue of the
contest, rather than take any new measures when there.

28. Intelligence of these events having been carried into the camp of
the Sicilians, that Epicydes had departed from Syracuse, that the
island was deserted by the Carthaginians, and almost again delivered
up to the Romans; after sounding the inclinations of the besieged in
conferences, they sent ambassadors to Marcellus, to treat about terms
of capitulation. They had not much difficulty in coming to an
agreement, that all the parts of the island which had been under the
dominion of their kings should be ceded to the Romans; that the rest,
with their liberty and their own laws, should be preserved to the
Sicilians. They then invited to a conference the persons who had been
intrusted with the management of affairs by Epicydes; to whom they
said, that they were sent from the army of the Sicilians, at once to
Marcellus and to them, that both those who were besieged and those who
were not might share the same fortune; and that neither of them might
stipulate any thing for themselves separately. They were then allowed
to enter, in order to converse with their relations and friends; when,
laying before them the terms which they had made with Marcellus, and
holding out to them a hope of safety, they induced them to join with
them in an attack upon the prefects of Epicydes, Polyclitus,
Philistion, and Epicydes, surnamed Sindon. Having put them to death,
they summoned the multitude to an assembly; and after complaining of
the famine, at which they had been accustomed to express their
dissatisfaction to each other in secret, they said, that "although
they were pressed by so many calamities, they had no right to accuse
Fortune, because it was at their own option how long they should
continue to suffer them. That the motive which the Romans had in
besieging Syracuse was affection for the Syracusans, and not hatred;
for when they heard that the government was usurped by Hippocrates and
Epicydes, the creatures first of Hannibal and then of Hieronymus, they
took arms and began to besiege the city, in order to reduce not the
city itself, but its cruel tyrants. But now that Hippocrates is slain,
Epicydes shut out of Syracuse, his praefects put to death, and the
Carthaginians driven from the entire possession of Sicily by sea and
land, what reason can the Romans have left why they should not desire
the preservation of Syracuse, in the same manner as they would if
Hiero were still lining, who cultivated the friendship of Rome with
unequalled fidelity? That, therefore, neither the city nor its
inhabitants were in any danger, except from themselves, if they
neglected an opportunity of restoring themselves to the favour of the
Romans; and that no so favourable a one would ever occur as that which
presented itself at the present instant, immediately upon its
appearing that they were delivered from their insolent tyrants."

29. This speech was received with the most unqualified approbation of
all present. It was resolved, however, that praetors should be elected
before the nomination of deputies; which being done, some of the
praetors themselves were sent as deputies to Marcellus, the chief of
whom thus addressed him: "Neither in the first instance did we
Syracusans revolt from you, but Hieronymus, whose impiety towards you
was by no means so great as towards us; nor afterwards was it any
Syracusan who disturbed the peace established by the death of the
tyrant, but Hippocrates and Epicydes, creatures of the tyrant; while
we were overpowered, on the one hand by fear, and on the other by
treachery. Nor can any one say that there ever was a time when we were
in possession of our liberty, when we were not also at peace with you.
In the present instance, manifestly, as soon as ever we became our own
masters, by the death of those persons who held Syracuse in
subjection, we lost no time in coming to deliver up our arms, to
surrender ourselves, our city, and our walls, and to refuse no
conditions which you shall impose upon us. To you, Marcellus, the gods
have given the glory of having captured the most renowned and
beautiful of the Grecian cities. Every memorable exploit which we have
at any time achieved by land or sea accrues to the splendour of your
triumph. Would you wish that it should be known only by fame, how
great a city has been captured by you, rather than that she should
stand as a monument even to posterity; so that to every one who visits
her by sea or land, she may point out at one time our trophies gained
from the Athenians and Carthaginians, at another time those which you
have gained from us; and that you should transmit Syracuse unimpaired
to your family, to be kept under the protection and patronage of the
race of the Marcelli? Let not the memory of Hieronymus have greater
weight with you than that of Hiero. The latter was your friend for a
much longer period than the former was your enemy. From the latter you
have realized even benefits, while the frenzy of Hieronymus only
brought ruin upon himself." At the hands of the Romans all things were
obtainable and secure. There was a greater disposition to war, and
more danger to be apprehended among themselves; for the deserters,
thinking that they were delivered up to the Romans, induced the
mercenary auxiliaries to entertain the same apprehension; and hastily
seizing their arms, they first put the praetors to death, and then ran
through the city to massacre the Syracusans. In their rage they slew
all whom chance threw in their way, and plundered every thing which
presented itself; and then, lest they should have no leaders, they
elected six praetors, so that three might have the command in the
Achradina, and three in the island. At length, the tumult having
subsided, and the mercenary troops having ascertained, by inquiry,
what had been negotiated with the Romans, it began to appear, as was
really the case, that their cause and that of the deserters were

30. The ambassadors returned from Marcellus very opportunely. They
informed them that they had been influenced by groundless suspicions,
and that the Romans saw no reason why they should inflict punishment
upon them. Of the three praefects of the Achradina one was a Spaniard,
named Mericus. To him one of the Spanish auxiliaries was designedly
sent, among those who accompanied the ambassadors. Having obtained an
interview with Mericus in the absence of witnesses, he first explained
to him the state in which he had left Spain, from which he had lately
returned: "That there every thing was in subjection to the Roman arms;
that it was in his power, by doing the Romans a service, to become the
first man among his countrymen, whether he might be inclined to serve
with the Romans, or to return to his country. On the other hand, if he
persisted in preferring to hold out against the siege, what hope could
he have, shut up as he was by sea and land?" Mericus was moved by
these suggestions, and when it was resolved upon to send ambassadors
to Marcellus, he sent his brother among them; who, being brought into
the presence of Marcellus, apart from the rest, by means of the same
Spaniard, after receiving an assurance of protection, arranged the
method of carrying their object into effect, and then returned to the
Achradina. Mericus then, in order to prevent any one from conceiving a
suspicion of treachery, declared, that he did not like that deputies
should be passing to and fro; he thought that they should neither
admit nor send any; and in order that the guards might be kept more
strictly, that such parts as were most exposed should be distributed
among the prefects, each being made responsible for the safety of his
own quarter. All approved of the distribution of the posts. The
district which fell to the lot of Mericus himself extended from the
fountain Arethusa to the mouth of the large harbour, of which he
caused the Romans to be informed. Accordingly, Marcellus ordered a
transport with armed men to be towed by a quadrireme to the Achradina
during the night, and the soldiers to be landed in the vicinity of
that gate which is near the fountain of Arethusa. This order having
been executed at the fourth watch, and Mericus having received the
soldiers when landed at the gate, according to the agreement,
Marcellus assaulted the walls of the Achradina with all his forces at
break of day, so that he not only engaged the attention of those who
occupied the Achradina, but also bands of armed men, quitting their
own posts ran to the spot from the island, in order to repel the
furious attack of the Romans. During this confusion, some light ships
which had been prepared beforehand, and had sailed round, landed a
body of armed men at the island; these suddenly attacking the
half-manned stations and the opened door of the gate at which the
troops had a little before run out, got possession of the island
without much opposition, abandoned as it was, in consequence of the
flight and trepidation of its guards. Nor were there any who rendered
less service, or showed less firmness in maintaining their posts, than
the deserters; for as they did not repose much confidence even in
those of their own party, they fled in the middle of the contest. When
Marcellus learnt that the island was taken, one quarter of the
Achradina in the hands of his troops, and that Mericus, with the men
under his command, had joined them, he sounded a retreat, lest the
royal treasure, the fame of which was greater than the reality, should
be plundered.

31. The impetuosity of the soldiers having been checked, time and
opportunity to escape were given to the deserters in the Achradina;
and the Syracusans, at length delivered from their fears, threw open
the gates of the Achradina, and sent deputies to Marcellus, requesting
only safety for themselves and children. Having summoned a council, to
which the Syracusans were invited who were among the Roman troops,
having been driven from home during the disturbances, Marcellus
replied, "that the services rendered by Hiero through a period of
fifty years, were not more in number than the injuries committed
against the Roman people in these few years by those who had had
possession of Syracuse; but that most of these injuries had justly
recoiled upon their authors, and that they had inflicted much more
severe punishment upon themselves for the violation of treaties, than
the Roman people desired. That he was indeed now besieging Syracuse
for the third year, but not that the Romans might hold that state in a
condition of slavery, but that the ringleaders of the deserters might
not keep it in a state of thraldom and oppression. What the Syracusans
could do was exemplified, either by the conduct of those Syracusans
who were among the Roman troops, or that of the Spanish general,
Mericus, who had delivered up the post which he was appointed to
command, or, lastly, by the late but bold measure adopted by the
Syracusans themselves. That the greatest possible recompence for all
the evils and dangers which he had for so long a time undergone, both
by sea and land, around the walls of Syracuse, was the reflection,
that he had been able to take that city." The quaestor was then sent
with a guard to the island, to receive and protect the royal treasure.
The city was given up to be plundered by the soldiery, after guards
had been placed at each of the houses of those who had been with the
Roman troops. While many acts exhibited horrid examples of rage and
rapacity, it is recorded that Archimedes, while intent on some figures
which he had described in the dust, although the confusion was as
great as could possibly exist in a captured city, in which soldiers
were running up and down in search of plunder, was put to death by a
soldier, who did not know who he was; that Marcellus was grieved at
this event, and that pains were taken about his funeral, while his
relations also for whom diligent inquiry was made, derived honour and
protection from his name and memory. Such, for the most part, was the
manner in which Syracuse was captured. The quantity of booty was so
great, that had Carthage itself, which was carrying on a contest on
equal terms, been captured, it would scarcely have afforded so much. A
few days before the taking of Syracuse, Titus Otacilius passed over
from Lilybaeum to Utica with eighty quinqueremes, and entering the
harbour before it was light, took some transports laden with corn;
then landing, he laid waste a considerable portion of the country
around Utica, and brought back to his ships booty of every
description. He returned to Lilybaeum, the third day after he set out,
with a hundred and thirty transports laden with corn and booty. The
corn he sent immediately to Syracuse; and had it not been for the very
seasonable arrival of this supply, a destructive famine threatened
alike the victors and the vanquished.

32. Nothing very memorable had been done in Spain for about two years,
the operations of the war consisting more in laying plans than in
fighting; but during the same summer in which the events above
recorded took place, the Roman generals, quitting their winter
quarters, united their forces; then a council was summoned; and the
opinions of all accorded, that since their only object hitherto had
been to prevent Hasdrubal from pursuing his march into Italy, it was
now time that an effort should be made to bring the war in Spain to a
termination; and they thought that the twenty thousand Celtiberians,
who had been induced to take arms that winter, formed a sufficient
accession to their strength. There were three armies of the enemy.
Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, and Mago, who had united their forces, were
about a five days' journey from the Romans. Hasdrubal, son of
Hamilcar, who was the old commander in Spain, was nearer to them: he
was with his army near the city Anitorgis. The Roman generals were
desirous that he should be overpowered first; and they hoped that they
had enough and more than enough strength for the purpose. Their only
source of anxiety was, lest the other Hasdrubal and Mago, terrified at
his discomfiture, should protract the war by withdrawing into
trackless forests and mountains. Thinking it, therefore, the wisest
course to divide their forces and embrace the whole Spanish war, they
arranged it so that Publius Cornelius should lead two-thirds of the
Roman and allied troops against Mago and Hasdrubal, and that Cneius
Cornelius, with the remaining third of the original army, and with the
Celtiberians added to them, should carry on the war with the Barcine
Hasdrubal. The two generals and their armies, setting out together,
preceded by the Celtiberians, pitched their camp near the city
Anitorgis, within sight of the enemy, the river only separating them.
Here Cneius Scipio, with the forces above mentioned, halted, but
Publius Scipio proceeded to the portion of the war assigned to him.

33. Hasdrubal perceiving that there were but few Roman troops in the
camp, and that their whole dependence was on the Celtiberian
auxiliaries; and having had experience of the perfidy of the barbarian
nations in general, and particularly of all those nations among which
he had served for so many years; as there was every facility of
intercourse, for both camps were full of Spaniards, by secret
conferences with the chiefs of the Celtiberians, he agreed with them,
for a large consideration, to take their forces away. Nor did they
conceive it to be any great crime; for the object was not that they
should turn their arms against the Romans, while the reward which they
were to receive to abstain from the war was large enough to remunerate
them for their service in it. At the same time the mere rest from
labour, the return to their homes, with the pleasure of seeing their
friends and property, were pleasing to the generality. Accordingly,
the multitude were prevailed upon as easily as their leaders. They
had, moreover, nothing to fear from the Romans, in consequence of the
smallness of their numbers, should they endeavour to detain them by
force. It will indeed be the duty of all Roman generals to take care,
and the instances here recorded should be considered as strong
arguments, never to place so much confidence in foreign auxiliaries,
as not to retain in their camps a preponderance of their own strength
and of that force which is properly their own. The Celtiberians,
suddenly taking up their standards, marched away, replying only to the
Romans, who asked the cause of their departure and entreated them to
stay, that they were called away by a war at home. Scipio seeing that
his allies could be detained neither by prayers nor force, and that he
was neither a match for his enemy without them, nor could again effect
a junction with his brother, no other course which promised safety
offering itself, resolved to retire as far as possible, carefully
using every caution not to encounter the enemy any where on level
ground. On his departing, the enemy, crossing the river, pursued him
almost in his footsteps.

34. During the same period an equal terror and a greater danger
pressed upon Publius Scipio. Masinissa was a young man at that time an
ally of the Carthaginians, whom afterwards the friendship of the
Romans rendered illustrious and powerful. He not only opposed himself
with his Numidian cavalry to Scipio on his approach, but afterwards
harassed him incessantly day and night, so as both to cut off his
stragglers, who had gone out to a distance from the camp in search of
wood and forage, and riding up to the very gates of his camp, and
charging into the midst of his advanced guards, to fill every quarter
with the utmost confusion. By night also alarm was frequently
occasioned in the gates and rampart by his sudden attacks. Nor was
there any time or place at which the Romans were exempt from fear and
anxiety; and driven within their rampart, and deprived of every
necessary, they suffered in a manner a regular siege; and it appeared
that it would have been still straiter, if Indibilis, who it was
reported was approaching with seven thousand five hundred Suessetani,
should form a junction with the Carthaginians. Scipio, though a wary
and provident general, overpowered by difficulties, adopted the rash
measure of going to meet Indibilis by night, with the intention of
fighting him wherever he should meet him. Leaving, therefore, a small
force in his camp, under the command of Titus Fonteius,
lieutenant-general, he set out at midnight, and meeting with the
enemy, came to battle with him. The troops fought in the order of
march rather than of battle. The Romans, however, had the advantage,
though in an irregular fight; but the Numidian cavalry, whose
observation the general supposed that he had escaped, suddenly
spreading themselves round his flanks, occasioned great terror. After
a new contest had been entered into with the Numidians, a third enemy
came up in addition to the rest, the Carthaginian generals having come
up with their rear when they were now engaged in fighting. Thus the
Romans were surrounded on every side by enemies; nor could they make
up their minds which they should attack first, or in what part,
forming themselves into a close body, they should force their way
through. The general, while fighting and encouraging his men, exposing
himself wherever the strife was the hottest, was run through the right
side with a lance; and when the party of the enemy, which, formed into
a wedge, had charged the troops collected round the general, perceived
Scipio falling lifeless from his horse, elated with joy, they ran
shouting through the whole line with the news that the Roman general
had fallen. These words spreading in every direction, caused the enemy
to be considered as victors, and the Romans as vanquished. On the loss
of the general the troops immediately began to fly from the field; but
though it was not difficult to force their way through the Numidians
and the other light-armed auxiliaries, yet it was scarcely possible
for them to escape so large a body of cavalry, and infantry equal to
horses in speed. Almost more were slain in the flight than in the
battle; nor would a man have survived, had not night put a stop to the
carnage, the day by this time rapidly drawing to a close.

35. After this, the Carthaginian generals, who were not slow in
following up their victory, immediately after the battle, scarcely
giving their soldiers necessary rest, hurry their army to Hasdrubal,
son of Hamilcar; confidently hoping, that after uniting their forces
with his, the war might be brought to a conclusion. On their arrival,
the warmest congratulations passed between the troops and their
generals, who were delighted with their recent victory; for they had
not only destroyed one distinguished general and all his men, but
looked forward to another victory of equal magnitude as a matter of
certainty. The intelligence of this great disaster had not yet reached
the Romans; but there prevailed a kind of melancholy silence and mute
foreboding, such as is usually found in minds which have a
presentiment of impending calamity. The general himself, besides
feeling that he was deserted by his allies, and that the forces of the
enemy were so much augmented, was disposed from conjecture and
reasoning rather to a suspicion that some defeat had been sustained,
than to any favourable hopes. "For how could Hasdrubal and Mago bring
up their troops without opposition, unless they had terminated their
part of the war? How was it that his brother had not opposed his
progress or followed on his rear? in order that if he could not
prevent the armies and generals of the enemy from forming a junction,
he might himself join his forces with his brother's." Disturbed with
these cares, he believed that the only safe policy for the present was
to retire as far as possible; and, accordingly, he marched a
considerable distance thence in one night, the enemy not being aware
of it, and on that account continuing quiet. At dawn, perceiving that
their enemy had decamped, they sent the Numidians in advance, and
began to pursue them as rapidly as possible. The Numidians overtook
them before night, and charged; sometimes their rear, at other times
their flanks. They then began to halt and defend themselves as well as
they could; but Scipio exhorted them at once to fight so as not to
expose themselves, and march at the same time, lest the infantry
should overtake them.

36. But having made but little progress for a long time, in
consequence of his making his troops sometimes advance and at others
halt, and night now drawing on, Scipio recalled his troops from the
battle, and collecting them, withdrew to a certain eminence, not very
safe, indeed, particularly for dispirited troops, but higher than any
of the surrounding places. There, at first, his infantry, drawn up
around his baggage and cavalry, which were placed in their centre, had
no difficulty in repelling the attacks of the charging Numidians; but
afterwards, when three generals with three regular armies marched up
in one entire body, and it was evident that his men would not be able
to do much by arms in defending the position without fortifications,
the general began to look about, and consider whether he could by any
means throw a rampart around; but the hill was so bare, and the soil
so rough, that neither could a bush be found for cutting a palisade,
nor earth for making a mound, nor the requisites for making a trench
or any other work; nor was the place naturally steep or abrupt enough
to render the approach and ascent difficult to the enemy, as it rose
on every side with a gentle acclivity. However, that they might raise
up against them some semblance of a rampart, they placed around them
the panniers tied to the burdens, building them up as it were to the
usual height, and when there was a deficiency of panniers for raising
it, they presented against the enemy a heap of baggage of every kind.
The Carthaginian armies coming up, very easily marched up the
eminence, but were stopped by the novel appearance of the
fortification, as by something miraculous, when their leaders called
out from all sides, asking "what they stopped at? and why they did not
tear down and demolish that mockery, which was scarcely strong enough
to impede the progress of women and children; that the enemy, who were
skulking behind their baggage, were, in fact, captured and in their
hands." Such were the contemptuous reproofs of their leaders. But it
was not an easy task either to leap over or remove the burdens raised
up against them, or to cut through the panniers, closely packed
together and covered completely with baggage. When the removal of the
burdens had opened a way to the troops, who were detained by them for
a long time, and the same had been done in several quarters, the camp
was now captured on all sides; the Romans were cut to pieces on all
hands, the few by the many, the dispirited by the victorious. A great
number of the men, however, having fled for refuge into the
neighbouring woods, effected their escape to the camp of Publius
Scipio, which Titus Fonteius commanded. Some authors relate that
Cneius Scipio was slain on the eminence on the first assault of the
enemy; others that he escaped with a few attendants to a castle near
the camp; this, they say, was surrounded with fire, by which means the
doors which they could not force were consumed; that it was thus
taken, and all within, together with the general himself, put to
death. Cneius Scipio was slain in the eighth year after his arrival in
Spain, and on the twenty-ninth day after the death of his brother. At
Rome the grief occasioned by their death was not more intense than
that which was felt throughout Spain. The sorrow of the citizens,
however, was partly distracted by the loss of the armies, the
alienation of the province, and the public disaster, while in Spain
they mourned and regretted the generals themselves, Cneius, however,
the more, because he had been longer in command of them, had first
engaged their affections, and first exhibited a specimen of Roman
justice and forbearance.

37. When it seemed that the Roman armies were annihilated, and Spain
lost, one man recovered this desperate state of affairs. There was in
the army one Lucius Marcius, the son of Septimus, a Roman knight, an
enterprising youth, and possessing a mind and genius far superior to
the condition in which he had been born. To his high talents had been
added the discipline of Cneius Scipio, under which he had been
thoroughly instructed during a course of so many years in all the
qualifications of a soldier. This man, having collected the troops
which had been dispersed in the flight, and drafted some from the
garrisons, had formed an army not to be despised, and united it with
Titus Tonteius, the lieutenant-general of Publius Scipio. But so
transcendent was the Roman knight in authority and honour among the
troops, that when, after fortifying a camp on this side of the Iberus,
it had been resolved that a general of the two armies should be
elected in an assembly of the soldiers, relieving each other in the
guard of the rampart, and in keeping the outposts until every one had
given his vote, they unanimously conferred the supreme command upon
Lucius Marcius. All the intervening time, which was but short, was
occupied in fortifying their camp and collecting provisions, and the
soldiers executed every order not only with vigour, but with feelings
by no means depressed. But when intelligence was brought them that
Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, who was coming to put the finishing stroke to
the war, had crossed the Iberus and was drawing near, and when they
saw the signal for battle displayed by a new commander, then calling
to mind whom they had had for their leaders a little while ago,
relying on what leaders and what forces they used to go out to fight,
they all suddenly burst into tears and beat their heads, some raising
their hands to heaven and arraigning the gods, others prostrating
themselves upon the ground and invoking by name each his own former
commander. Nor could their lamentations be restrained, though the
centurions endeavoured to animate their companies, and though Marcius
himself soothed and remonstrated with them, asking them "why they had
given themselves up to womanish and unavailing lamentations rather
than summon up all their courage to protect themselves and the
commonwealth together, and not suffer their generals to lie
unavenged?" But suddenly a shout and the sound of trumpets were heard;
for by this time the enemy were near the rampart. Upon this, their
grief being suddenly converted into rage, they hastily ran to arms,
and, as it were, burning with fury, rushed to the gates and charged
the enemy, while advancing in a careless and disorderly manner. This
unexpected event instantly struck terror into the Carthaginians, who
wondering whence so many enemies could have sprung up so suddenly, as
the army had been almost annihilated; what could have inspired men who
had been vanquished and routed with such boldness and confidence in
themselves; what general could have arisen now that the two Scipios
were slain; who could command the camp, and who had given the signal
for battle; in consequence of these so many and so unexpected
circumstances, at first, being in a state of complete uncertainty and
amazement, they gave ground; but afterwards, discomfited by the
violence of the charge, they turned their backs; and either there
would have been a dreadful slaughter of the flying enemy, or a rash
and dangerous effort on the part of the pursuers, had not Marcius
promptly given the signal for retreat, and by throwing himself in the
way of the front rank, and even holding some back with his own hands,
repressed the infuriated troops. He then led them back to the camp,
still eager for blood and slaughter. When the Carthaginians, who were
at first compelled to fly with precipitation from the rampart of their
enemy, saw that no one pursued them, concluding that they had stopped
from fear, now on the other hand went away to their camp at an easy
pace, with feelings of contempt for the enemy. There was a
corresponding want of care in guarding their camp; for though the
enemy were near, yet it seemed that they were but the remains of the
two armies which had been cut to pieces a few days before. As in
consequence of this all things were neglected in the enemy's camp,
Marcius having ascertained this, addressed his mind to a measure which
on the first view of it might appear rather rash than bold: it was,
aggressively to assault the enemy's camp, concluding that the camp of
Hasdrubal, while alone, might be carried with less difficulty than his
own could be defended, if the three armies and as many generals should
again unite; taking into consideration also that either if he
succeeded he would retrieve their prostrate fortune, or if repulsed,
still, by making the attack himself, he would rescue himself from

38. Lest, however, the suddenness of the affair, and the fear of
night, should frustrate a measure which was in itself ill adapted to
his condition, he thought it right that his soldiers should be
addressed and exhorted; and having called an assembly, he discoursed
as follows: "Soldiers, either my veneration for our late commanders,
both living and dead, or our present situation, may impress on every
one the belief that this command, as it is highly honourable to me,
conferred by your suffrages, so is it in its nature a heavy and
anxious charge. For at a time when I should be scarcely so far master
of myself as to be able to find any solace for my afflicted mind, did
not fear deaden the sense of sorrow, I am compelled to take upon
myself alone the task of consulting for the good of you all; a task of
the greatest difficulty when under the influence of grief. And not
even at that critical moment, when I ought to be considering in what
manner I may be enabled to keep together for my country these remains
of two armies, can I divert my mind from the affliction which
incessantly preys upon me. For bitter recollection is ever present,
and the Scipios ever disturb me with anxious cares by day and dreams
by night, frequently rousing me from my sleep, and imploring me not to
suffer themselves nor their soldiers, your companions in war, who had
been victorious in this country for eight years, nor the commonwealth
to remain unrevenged; enjoining me also to follow their discipline and
their plans; and desiring that as there was no one more obedient to
their commands while they were alive than I, so after their death I
would consider that conduct as best, which I might have the strongest
reason for believing they would have adopted in each case. I could
wish also that you, my soldiers, should not show your respect for them
by lamentations and tears, as if they were dead; (for they still live
and flourish in the fame of their achievements;) but that whenever the
memory of those men shall occur to you, you would go into battle as
though you saw them encouraging you and giving you the signal. Nor
certainly could anything else than their image presenting itself
yesterday to your eyes and minds, have enabled you to fight that
memorable battle, in which you proved to the enemy that the Roman name
had not become extinct with the Scipios; and that the energy and
valour of that people, which had not been overwhelmed by the disaster
at Cannae, would, doubtlessly, emerge from the severest storms of
fortune. Now since you have dared so much of your own accord, I have a
mind to try how much you will dare when authorized by your general:
for yesterday, when I gave the signal for retreat while you were
pursuing the routed enemy with precipitation, I did not wish to break
your spirit, but to reserve it for greater glory and more advantageous
opportunities; that you might afterwards, when prepared and armed,
seize an occasion of attacking your enemy while off their guard,
unarmed, and even buried in sleep. Nor do I entertain the hope of
gaining an opportunity of this kind rashly, but from the actual state
of things. Doubtless, if any one should ask even himself, by what
means, though few in number and disheartened by defeat, you defended
your camp against troops superior in number and victorious, you would
give no other answer than that, as this was the very thing you were
afraid of, you had kept every place secured by works and yourselves
ready and equipped. And so it generally happens: men are least secure
against that which fortune causes not to be feared; because you leave
unguarded and exposed what you think is not necessary to be cared
about. There is nothing whatever which the enemy fear less at the
present time, than lest we, who were a little while ago besieged and
assaulted, should aggressively assault their camp ourselves. Let us
dare, then, to do that which it is incredible we should have the
courage to attempt; it will be most easy from the very fact of its
appearing most difficult. At the third watch of the night I will lead
you thither in silence. I have ascertained by means of scouts that
they have no regular succession of watches, no proper outposts. Our
shout at their gates, when heard, and the first assault, will carry
their camp. Then let that carnage be made among men, torpid with
sleep, terrified at the unexpected tumult, and overpowered while lying
defenceless in their beds, from which you were so grieved to be
recalled yesterday. I know that the measure appears to you a daring
one; but in difficult and almost desperate circumstances the boldest
counsels are always the safest. For if when the critical moment has
arrived, the opportunity of seizing which is of a fleeting nature, you
delay ever so little, in vain do you seek for it afterwards when it
has been neglected. One army is near us; two more are not far off. We
have some hopes if we make an attack now; and you have already made
trial of your own and their strength. If we postpone the time and
cease to be despised in consequence of the fame of yesterday's
irruption, there is danger lest all the generals and all the forces
should unite. Shall we be able then to withstand three generals and
three armies, whom Cneius Scipio with his army unimpaired could not
withstand? As our generals have perished by dividing their forces, so
the enemy may be overpowered while separated and divided. There is no
other mode of maintaining the war; let us, therefore, wait for nothing
but the opportunity of the ensuing night. Now depart, with the favour
of the gods, and refresh yourselves, that, unfatigued and vigorous,
you may burst into the enemy's camp with the same spirit with which
you have defended your own." This new enterprise, proposed by their
new general, they received with joy; and the more daring it was the
more it pleased them. The remainder of the day was spent in getting
their arms in readiness and recruiting their strength, the greater
part of the night was given to rest, and at the fourth watch they were
in motion.

39. At a distance of six miles beyond their nearest camp lay other
forces of the Carthaginians. A deep valley, thickly planted with
trees, intervened. Near about the middle of this wood a Roman cohort
and some cavalry were placed in concealment with Punic craft. The
communication between the two armies being thus cut off, the rest of
the forces were marched in silence to the nearest body of the enemy;
and as there were no outposts before the gates, and no guards on the
rampart, they entered quite into the camp, as though it had been their
own, no one any where opposing them. The signals were then sounded and
a shout raised. Some put the enemy to the sword when half asleep;
others threw fire upon the huts, which were covered in with dry straw;
others blocked up the gates to intercept their escape. The enemy, who
were assailed at once with fire, shouting, and the sword, were in a
manner bereaved of their senses, and could neither hear each other,
nor take any measures for their security. Unarmed, they fell into the
midst of troops of armed men: some hastened to the gates; others, as
the passes were flocked up, leaped over the rampart, and as each
escaped they fled directly towards the other camp, where they were cut
off by the cohort and cavalry rushing forward from their concealment,
and were all slain to a man. And even had any escaped from that
carnage, the Romans, after taking the nearer camp, ran over to the
other with such rapidity, that no one could have arrived before them
with news of the disaster. In this camp, as they were far distant from
the enemy, and as some had gone off just before daylight for forage,
wood, and plunder, they found every thing in a still more neglected
and careless state. Their arms only were placed at the outposts, the
men being unarmed, and either sitting and reclining upon the ground,
or else walking up and down before the rampart and the gates. On these
men, thus at their ease and unguarded, the Romans, still hot from the
recent battle, and flushed with victory, commenced an attack; no
effectual opposition therefore could be made to them in the gates.
Within the gates, the troops having rushed together from every part of
the camp at the first shout and alarm, a furious conflict arose; which
would have continued for a long time, had not the bloody appearance of
the Roman shields discovered to the Carthaginians the defeat of the
other forces, and consequently struck them with dismay. This alarm
produced a general flight; and all except those who were overtaken
with the sword, rushing out precipitately wherever they could find a
passage, abandoned their camp. Thus, in a night and a day, two camps
of the enemy were carried, under the conduct of Lucius Marcius.
Claudius, who translated the annals of Acilius out of Greek into
Latin, states that as many as thirty-seven thousand men were slain,
one thousand eight hundred and thirty made prisoners, and a great
booty obtained; among which was a silver shield of a hundred and
thirty-eight pounds' weight, with an image upon it of the Barcine
Hasdrubal. Valerius Antias states, that the camp Of Mago only was
captured, and seven thousand of the enemy slain; and that in the other
battle, when the Romans sallied out and fought with Hasdrubal, ten
thousand were slain, and four thousand three hundred captured. Piso
writes, that five thousand were slain in an ambuscade when Mago
incautiously pursued our troops who retired. With all, the name of the
general, Marcius, is mentioned with great honour, and to his real
glory they add even miracles. They say, that while he was haranguing
his men a stream of fire poured from his head without his perceiving
it, to the great terror of the surrounding soldiers; and that a
shield, called the Marcian, with an image of Hasdrubal upon it,
remained in the temple up to the time of the burning of the Capitol, a
monument of his victory over the Carthaginians. After this, affairs
continued for a considerable time in a tranquil state in Spain, as
both parties, after giving and receiving such important defeats,
hesitated to run the hazard of a general battle.

40. During these transactions in Spain, Marcellus, after the capture
of Syracuse, having settled the other affairs in Sicily with so much
honour and integrity as not only to add to his own renown, but also to
the majesty of the Roman people, conveyed to Rome the ornaments of the
city, together with the statues and pictures with which Syracuse
abounded. These were certainly spoils taken from enemies, and acquired
according to the laws of war; but hence was the origin of the
admiration of the products of Grecian art, and to that freedom with
which at present all places, both sacred and profane, are despoiled;
which at last recoiled upon the Roman gods, and first upon that very
temple which was so choicely adorned by Marcellus. For foreigners were
in the habit of visiting the temples dedicated by Marcellus near the
Capuan gate, on account of their splendid ornaments of this
description, of which a very small portion can be found. Embassies
from almost all the states of Sicily came to him. As their cases were
different, so were also the terms granted to them. Those who had
either not revolted or had returned to the alliance before the capture
of Syracuse, were received and honoured as faithful allies. Those who
had been induced to submit through fear after the capture of Syracuse,
as vanquished, received laws from the conqueror. The Romans, however,
had still remaining a war of no small magnitude at Agrigentum, headed
by Epicydes and Hanno, generals in the late war, and a third new one
sent by Hannibal in the room of Hippocrates, a Libyphoenician by
nation, and a native of Hippo, called by his countrymen Mutines; an
energetic man, and thoroughly instructed in all the arts of war under
the tuition of Hannibal. To this man the Numidian auxiliaries were
assigned by Epicydes and Hanno. With these he so thoroughly overran
the lands of his enemies, and visited his allies with such activity,
in order to retain them in their allegiance, and for the purpose of
bringing them seasonable aid as each required it, that in a short time
he filled all Sicily with his fame, nor was greater confidence placed
in any one else by those who favoured the Carthaginian interest.
Accordingly the Carthaginian and Syracusan generals, who had been
hitherto compelled to keep within the walls of Agrigentum, not more at
the advice of Mutines than from the confidence they reposed in him,
had the courage to go out from the walls, and pitched a camp near the
river Himera. When this was announced to Marcellus, he immediately
advanced and sat down at a distance of about four miles from the
enemy, with the intention of waiting to see what steps they took, and
what they meditated. But Mutines allowed no room or time for delay or
deliberation, but crossed the river, and, charging the outposts of his
enemy, created the greatest terror and confusion. The next day, in an
engagement which might almost be called regular, he compelled his
enemy to retire within their works. Being called away by a mutiny of
the Numidians, which had broken out in the camp, and in which about
three hundred of them had retired to Heraclea Minoa, he set out to
appease them and bring them back; and is said to have earnestly warned
the generals not to engage with the enemy during his absence. Both the
generals were indignant at this conduct, but particularly Hanno, who
was before disturbed at his reputation. "Is it to be borne," said he,
"that a mongrel African should impose restraints upon me, a
Carthaginian general, commissioned by the senate and people?"
Epicydes, who wished to wait, was prevailed upon by him to agree to
their crossing the river and offering battle; for, said he, if they
should wait for Mutines, and the battle should terminate successfully,
Mutines would certainly have the credit of it.

41. But Marcellus, highly indignant that he who had repulsed Hannibal
from Nola, when rendered confident by his victory at Cannae, should
succumb to enemies whom he had vanquished by sea and land, ordered his
soldiers immediately to take arms and raise the standards. While
marshalling his army, ten Numidians rode up rapidly from the enemy's
line with information that their countrymen, first induced by the same
causes which brought on the mutiny, in which three hundred of their
number retired to Heraclea, and secondly, because they saw their
commander, just on the approach of a battle, sent out of the way by
generals who wished to detract from his glory, would not take any part
in the battle. This deceitful nation made good their promise in this
instance. Accordingly the spirits of the Romans were increased by the
intelligence, which was speedily conveyed through the lines, that the
enemy were abandoned by the cavalry, which the Romans principally
feared; while at the same time the enemy were dispirited, not only
because they were deprived of the principal part of their strength,
but further, because they were afraid lest they should themselves be
attacked by their own cavalry. Accordingly, there was no great
resistance made: the first shout and onset determined the business.
The Numidians who stood quiet in the wings during the action, when
they saw their party turning their backs, accompanied them in their
flight only for a short time; but when they perceived that they were
all making for Agrigentum with the most violent haste, they turned off
to the neighbouring towns round about, through fear of a siege. Many
thousand men were slain and captured, together with eight elephants.
This was the last battle which Marcellus fought in Sicily, after which
he returned victorious to Syracuse. The year was now about closing;
the senate therefore decreed that Publius Cornelius, the praetor,
should send a letter to Capua to the consuls, with directions that
while Hannibal was at a distance, and nothing of any great importance
was going on at Capua, one of them, if they thought fit, should come
to Rome to elect new magistrates. On the receipt of the letter, the
consuls arranged it between themselves, that Claudius should hold the
election, and Fulvius remain at Capua. The consuls created by Claudius
were Cneius Fulvius Centumalus, and Publius Sulpicius Galba, the son
of Servius, who had never exercised any curule magistracy. After this
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, Caius Sulpicius,
and Caius Calpurnius Piso, were created praetors. Piso had the city
jurisdiction; Sulpicius, Sicily; Cethegus, Apulia; Lentulus, Sardinia.
The consuls were continued in command for a year longer.


_Hannibal encamps on the banks of the Amo, within three miles of
Rome. Attended by two thousand horsemen, he advances close to the
Colline gate to take a view of the walls and situation of the city. On
two successive days the hostile armies are hindered from engaging by
the severity of the weather. Capua taken by Quintus Fulvius and Appius
Claudius, the chief nobles die, voluntarily, by poison. Quintus
Fulvius having condemned the principal senators to death, at the
moment they are actually tied to the stakes, receives despatches from
Rome, commanding him to spare their lives, which he postpones reading
until the sentence is executed. Publius Scipio, offering himself for
the service, is sent to command in Spain, takes New Carthage in one
day. Successes in Sicily. Treaty of friendship with the Aetolians. War
with Philip, king of Macedonia, and the Acarnanians._

* * * * *

1. The consuls, Cneius Fulvius Centumalus and Publius Sulpicius Galba,
having entered on their office on the ides of March, assembled the
senate in the Capitol, and took the opinion of the fathers on the
state of the republic, the manner of conducting the war, and on what
related to the provinces and the armies. Quintus Fulvius and Appius
Claudius, the consuls of the former year, were continued in command;
and the armies which they before had were assigned to them, it being
added that they should not withdraw from Capua, which they were
besieging, till they had taken it. The Romans were now solicitously
intent upon this object, not from resentment so much, which was never
juster against any city, as from the consideration that as this city,
so celebrated and powerful, had by its defection drawn away several
states, so when reduced it would bring back their minds to respect for
the former supreme government. Two praetors also of the former year,
Marcus Junius and Publius Sempronius, were each continued in command
of the two legions which they had under them, the former in Etruria,
the latter in Gaul. Marcus Marcellus also was continued in command,
that he might, as proconsul, finish the war in Sicily with the army he
had there. If he wanted recruits he was to take them from the legions
which Publius Cornelius, the propraetor, commanded in Sicily, provided
he did not choose any soldier who was of the number of those whom the
senate had refused to allow to be discharged, or to return home till
the war was put an end to. To Caius Sulpicius, to whose lot Sicily had
fallen, the two legions which Publius Cornelius had commanded were
assigned, to be recruited from the army of Cneius Fulvius, which had
been shamefully beaten, and had experienced a dreadful loss the year
before in Apulia. To soldiers of this description the senate had
assigned the same period of service as to those who fought at Cannae;
and as an additional mark of ignominy upon both, they were not allowed
to winter in towns, or to build huts for wintering within the distance
of ten miles from any town. To Lucius Cornelius, in Sardinia, the two
legions which Quintus Mucius had commanded were assigned; if recruits
were wanted, the consuls were ordered to enlist them. To Titus
Otacilius and Marcus Valerius was allotted the protection of the
coasts of Sicily and Greece, with the legions and fleets which they
had commanded. The Greek coast had fifty ships with one legion; the
Sicilian, a hundred ships with two legions. Twenty-three legions were
employed by the Romans in carrying on the war this year by land and

2. In the beginning of the year, on a letter from Lucius Marcius being
laid before the senate, they considered his achievements as most
glorious; but the title of honour which he assumed (for though he was
neither invested with the command by the order of the people, nor by
the direction of the fathers, his letter ran in this form, "The
propraetor to the senate") gave offence to a great many. It was
considered as an injurious precedent for generals to be chosen by the
armies, and for the solemn ceremony of elections, held under auspices,
to be transferred to camps and provinces, and (far from the control of
the laws and magistrates) to military thoughtlessness. And though some
gave it as their opinion, that the sense of the senate should be taken
on the matter, yet it was thought more advisable that the discussion
should be postponed till after the departure of the horsemen who
brought the letter from Marcius. It was resolved, that an answer
should be returned respecting the corn and clothing of the army,
stating, that the senate would direct its attention to both those
matters; but that the letter should not be addressed to Lucius
Marcius, propraetor, lest he should consider that as already
determined which was the very point they reserved for discussion.
After the horsemen were dismissed, it was the first thing the consuls
brought before the senate; and the opinions of all to a man coincided,
that the plebeian tribunes should be instructed to consult the commons
with all possible speed, as to whom they might resolve to send into
Spain to take the command of that army which had been under the
conduct of Cneius Scipio. The plebeian tribunes were instructed
accordingly, and the question was published. But another contest had
pre-engaged the minds of the people: Caius Sempronius Blaesus, having
brought Cneius Fulvius to trial for the loss of the army in Apulia,
harassed him with invectives in the public assemblies: "Many
generals," he reiterated, "had by indiscretion and ignorance brought
their armies into most perilous situations, but none, save Cneius
Fulvius, had corrupted his legions by every species of excess before
he betrayed them to the enemy; it might therefore with truth be said,
that they were lost before they saw the enemy, and that they were
defeated, not by Hannibal, but by their own general. No man, when he
gave his vote, took sufficient pains in ascertaining who it was to
whom he was intrusting an army. What a difference was there between
this man and Tiberius Sempronius! The latter having been intrusted
with an army of slaves, had in a short time brought it to pass, by
discipline and authority, that not one of them in the field of battle
remembered his condition and birth, but they became a protection to
our allies and a terror to our enemies. They had snatched, as it were,
from the very jaws of Hannibal, and restored to the Roman people,
Cumae, Beneventum, and other towns. But Cneius Fulvius had infected
with the vices peculiar to slaves, an army of Roman citizens, of
honourable parentage and liberal education; and had thus made them
insolent and turbulent among their allies, inefficient and dastardly
among their enemies, unable to sustain, not only the charge, but the
shout of the Carthaginians. But, by Hercules, it was no wonder that
the troops did not stand their ground in the battle, when their
general was the first to fly; with him, the greater wonder was that
any had fallen at their posts, and that they were not all the
companions of Cneius Fulvius in his consternation and his flight.
Caius Flaminius, Lucius Paullus, Lucius Posthumius, Cneius and Publius
Scipio, had preferred falling in the battle to abandoning their armies
when in the power of the enemy. But Cneius Fulvius was almost the only
man who returned to Rome to report the annihilation of his army. It
was a shameful crime that the army of Cannae should be transported
into Sicily, because they fled from the field of battle, and not be
allowed to return till the enemy has quitted Italy; that the same
decree should have been lately passed with respect to the legions of
Cneius Fulvius; while Cneius Fulvius himself has no punishment
inflicted upon him for running away, in a battle brought about by his
own indiscretion; that he himself should be permitted to pass his old
age in stews and brothels, where he passed his youth, while his
troops, whose only crime was that they resembled their general, should
be sent away in a manner into banishment, and suffer an ignominious
service. So unequally," he said, "was liberty shared at Rome by the
rich and the poor, by the ennobled and the common people."

3. The accused shifted the blame from himself to his soldiers; he
said, "that in consequence of their having in the most turbulent
manner demanded battle, they were led into the field, not on the day
they desired, for it was then evening, but on the following; that they
were drawn up at a suitable time and on favourable ground; but either
the reputation or the strength of the enemy was such, that they were
unable to stand their ground. When they all fled precipitately, he
himself also was carried away with the crowd, as had happened to Varro
at the battle of Cannae, and to many other generals. How could he, by
his sole resistance, benefit the republic, unless his death would
remedy the public disasters? that he was not defeated in consequence
of a failure in his provisions; that he had not, from want of caution,
been drawn into a disadvantageous position; that he had not been cut
off by an ambuscade in consequence of not having explored his route,
but had been vanquished by open force, and by arms, in a regular
engagement. He had not in his power the minds of his own troops, or
those of the enemy. Courage and cowardice were the result of each
man's natural constitution." He was twice accused, and the penalty was
laid at a fine. On the third accusation, at which witnesses were
produced, he was not only overwhelmed with an infinity of disgraceful
charges, but a great many asserted on oath, that the flight and panic
commenced with the praetor, that the troops being deserted by him, and
concluding that the fears of their general were not unfounded, turned
their backs; when so strong a feeling of indignation was excited, that
the assembly clamorously rejoined that he ought to be tried capitally.
This gave rise to a new controversy; for when the tribune, who had
twice prosecuted him as for a finable offence, now, on the third
occasion, declared that he prosecuted him capitally; the tribunes of
the commons being appealed to, said, "they would not prevent their
colleague from proceeding, as he was permitted according to the custom
of their ancestors, in the manner he himself preferred, whether
according to the laws or to custom, until he had obtained judgment
against a private individual, convicting him either of a capital or
finable offence." Upon this, Sempronius said, that he charged Cneius
Fulvius with the crime of treason; and requested Caius Calpurnius, the
city praetor, to appoint a day for the comitia. Another ground of hope
was then tried by the accused, viz. if his brother, Quintus Fulvius,
could be present at his trial, who was at that time flourishing in the
fame of his past achievements and in the near expectation of taking
Capua. Fulvius wrote to the senate, requesting the favour in terms
calculated to excite compassion, in order to save the life of his
brother; but the fathers replied, that the interest of the state would
not admit of his leaving Capua. Cneius Fulvius, therefore, before the
day appointed for the comitia arrived, went into exile to Tarquinii,
and the commons resolved that it was a legal exile.

4. Meanwhile all the strength of the war was directed against Capua.
It was, however, more strictly blockaded than besieged. The slaves and
populace could neither endure the famine, nor send messengers to
Hannibal through guards so closely stationed. A Numidian was at length
found, who, on undertaking to make his way with it, was charged with a
letter; and going out by night, through the midst of the Roman camp,
in order to fulfil his promise, he inspired the Campanians with
confidence to try the effect of a sally from every quarter, while they
had any strength remaining. In the many encounters which followed,
their cavalry were generally successful, but their infantry were
beaten: however, it was by no means so joyful to conquer, as it was
miserable to be worsted in any respect by a besieged and almost
subdued enemy. A plan was at length adopted, by which their deficiency
in strength might be compensated by stratagem. Young men were selected
from all the legions, who, from the vigour and activity of their
bodies, excelled in swiftness; these were supplied with bucklers
shorter than those worn by horsemen, and seven javelins each, four
feet in length, and pointed with steel in the same manner as the
spears used by light-armed troops. The cavalry taking one of these
each upon their horses, accustomed them to ride behind them, and to
leap down nimbly when the signal was given. When, by daily practice,
they appeared to be able to do this in an orderly manner, they
advanced into the plain between the camp and the walls, against the
cavalry of the Campanians, who stood there prepared for action. As
soon as they came within a dart's cast, on a signal given, the light
troops leaped down, when a line of infantry formed out of the body of
horse suddenly rushed upon the cavalry of the enemy, and discharged
their javelins one after another with great rapidity; which being
thrown in great numbers upon men and horses indiscriminately, wounded
a great many. The sudden and unsuspected nature of the attack,
however, occasioned still greater terror; and the cavalry charging
them, thus panic-struck, chased them with great slaughter as far as
their gates. From that time the Roman cavalry had the superiority; and
it was established that there should be velites in the legions. It is
said that Quintus Navius was the person who advised the mixing of
infantry with cavalry, and that he received honour from the general on
that account.

5. While affairs were in this state at Capua, Hannibal was perplexed
between two objects, the gaining possession of the citadel of
Tarentum, and the retaining of Capua. His concern for Capua, however,
prevailed, on which he saw that the attention of every body, allies
and enemies, was fixed; and whose fate would be regarded as a proof of
the consequences resulting from defection from the Romans. Leaving
therefore, a great part of his baggage among the Bruttians, and all
his heavier armed troops, he took with him a body of infantry and
cavalry, the best he could select for marching expeditiously, and bent
his course into Campania. Rapidly as he marched he was followed by
thirty-three elephants. He took up his position in a retired valley
behind Mount Tifata, which overhung Capua. Having at his coming taken
possession of fort Galatia, the garrison of which he dislodged by
force, he then directed his efforts against those who were besieging
Capua. Having sent forward messengers to Capua stating the time at
which he would attack the Roman camp, in order that they also, having
gotten themselves in readiness for a sally, might at the same time
pour forth from all their gates, he occasioned the greatest possible
terror; for on one side he himself attacked them suddenly, and on the
other side all the Campanians sallied forth, both foot and horse,
joined by the Carthaginian garrison under the command of Bostar and
Hanno. The Romans, lest in so perilous an affair they should leave any
part unprotected, by running together to any one place, thus divided
their forces: Appius Claudius was opposed to the Campanians; Fulvius
to Hannibal; Caius Nero, the propraetor, with the cavalry of the sixth
legion, placed himself in the road leading to Suessula; and Caius
Fulvius Flaccus, the lieutenant-general, with the allied cavalry, on
the side opposite the river Vulturnus. The battle commenced not only
with the usual clamour and tumult, but in addition to the din of men,
horses, and arms, a multitude of Campanians, unable to bear arms,
being distributed along the walls, raised such a shout together with
the clangour of brazen vessels, similar to that which is usually made
in the dead of night when the moon is eclipsed, that it diverted the
attention even of the combatants. Appius easily repulsed the
Campanians from the rampart. On the other side Hannibal and the
Carthaginians, forming a larger force, pressed hard on Fulvius. There
the sixth legion gave way; being repulsed, a cohort of Spaniards with
three elephants made their way up to the rampart. They had broken
through the centre of the Roman line, and were in a state of anxious
and perilous suspense, whether to force their way into the camp, or be
cut off from their own army. When Fulvius saw the disorder of the
legion, and the danger the camp was in, he exhorted Quintus Navius,
and the other principal centurions, to charge the cohort of the enemy
which was fighting under the rampart; he said, "that the state of
things was most critical; that either they must retire before them, in
which case they would burst into the camp with less difficulty than
they had experienced in breaking through a dense line of troops, or
they must cut them to pieces under the rampart: nor would it require a
great effort; for they were few, and cut off from their own troops,
and if the line which appeared broken, now while the Romans were
dispirited, should turn upon the enemy on both sides, they would
become enclosed in the midst, and exposed to a twofold attack."
Navius, on hearing these words of the general, snatched the standard
of the second company of spearmen from the standard-bearer, and
advanced with it against the enemy, threatening that he would throw it
into the midst of them unless the soldiers promptly followed him and
took part in the fight. He was of gigantic stature, and his arms set
him off; the standard also, raised aloft, attracted the gaze both of
his countrymen and the enemy. When, however, he had reached the
standards of the Spaniards, javelins were poured upon him from all
sides, and almost the whole line was turned against him; but neither
the number of his enemies nor the force of the weapons could repel the
onset of this hero.

6. Marcus Atilius, the lieutenant-general, also caused the standard of
the first company of principes of the same legion to be borne against
a cohort of the Spaniards. Lucius Portius Licinus and Titus Popilius,
the lieutenant-generals, who had the command of the camp, fought
valiantly in defence of the rampart, and slew the elephants while in
the very act of crossing it. The carcasses of these filling up the
ditch, afforded a passage for the enemy as effectually as if earth had
been thrown in, or a bridge erected over it; and a horrid carnage took
place amid the carcasses of the elephants which lay prostrate. On the
other side of the camp, the Campanians, with the Carthaginian
garrison, had by this time been repulsed, and the battle was carried
on immediately under the gate of Capua leading to Vulturnus. Nor did
the armed men contribute so much in resisting the Romans, who
endeavoured to force their way in, as the gate itself, which, being
furnished with ballistas and scorpions, kept the enemy at bay by the
missiles discharged from it. The ardour of the Romans was also clamped
by the general, Appius Claudius, receiving a wound; he was struck by a
javelin in the upper part of his breast, beneath the left shoulder,
while encouraging his men before the front line. A great number,
however, of the enemy were slain before the gate, and the rest were
driven in disorder into the city. When Hannibal saw the destruction of
the cohort of Spaniards, and that the camp of the enemy was defended
with the utmost vigour, giving up the assault, he began to withdraw
his standards, making his infantry face about, but throwing out his
cavalry in the rear lest the enemy should pursue them closely. The
ardour of the legions to pursue the enemy was excessive, but Flaccus
ordered a retreat to be sounded, considering that enough had been
achieved to convince the Campanians, and Hannibal himself, how unable
he was to afford them protection. Some who have undertaken to give
accounts of this battle, record that eight thousand of the army of
Hannibal, and three thousand Campanians, were slain; that fifteen
military standards were taken from the Carthaginians, and eighteen
from the Campanians. In other authors I find the battle to have been
by no means so important, and that there was more of panic than
fighting; that a party of Numidians and Spaniards suddenly bursting
into the Roman camp with some elephants, the elephants, as they made
their way through the midst of the camp, threw down their tents with a
great noise, and caused the beasts of burden to break their halters
and run away. That in addition to the confusion occasioned, a
stratagem was employed; Hannibal having sent in some persons
acquainted with the Latin language, for he had some such with him, who
might command the soldiers, in the name of the consuls, to escape
every one as fast as he could to the neighbouring mountains, since the
camp was lost; but that the imposture was soon discovered, and
frustrated with a great slaughter of the enemy; that the elephants
were driven out of the camp by fire. However commenced, and however
terminated, this was the last battle which was fought before the
surrender of Capua. Seppius Lesius was Medixtuticus, or chief
magistrate of Capua, that year, a man of obscure origin and slender
fortune. It is reported that his mother, when formerly expiating a
prodigy which had occurred in the family in behalf of this boy, who
was an orphan, received an answer from the aruspex, stating, that "the
highest office would come to him;" and that not recognising, at Capua,
any ground for such a hope, exclaimed, "the state of the Campanians
must be desperate indeed, when the highest office shall come to my
son." But even this expression, in which the response was turned into
ridicule, turned to be true, for those persons whose birth allowed
them to aspire to high offices, refusing to accept them when the city
was oppressed by sword and famine, and when all hope was lost, Lesius,
who complained that Capua was deserted and betrayed by its nobles,
accepted the office of chief magistrate, being the last Campanian who
held it.

7. But Hannibal, when he saw that the enemy could not be drawn into
another engagement, nor a passage be forced through their camp into
Capua, resolved to remove his camp from that place and leave the
attempt unaccomplished, fearful lest the new consuls might cut off his
supplies of provision. While anxiously deliberating on the point to
which he should next direct his course, an impulse suddenly entered
his mind to make an attack on Rome, the very source of the war. That
the opportunity of accomplishing this ever coveted object, which
occurred after the battle of Cannae, had been neglected, and was
generally censured by others, he himself did not deny. He thought that
there was some hope that he might be able to get possession of some
part of the city, in consequence of the panic and confusion which his
unexpected approach would occasion, and that if Rome were in danger,
either both the Roman generals, or at least one of them, would
immediately leave Capua; and if they divided their forces, both
generals being thus rendered weaker, would afford a favourable
opportunity either to himself or the Campanians of gaining some
advantage. One consideration only disquieted him, and that was, lest
on his departure the Campanians should immediately surrender. By means
of presents he induced a Numidian, who was ready to attempt any thing,
however daring, to take charge of a letter; and, entering the Roman
camp under the disguise of a deserter, to pass out privately on the
other side and go to Capua. As to the letter, it was full of
encouragement. It stated, that "his departure, which would be
beneficial to them, would have the effect of drawing off the Roman
generals and armies from the siege of Capua to the defence of Rome.
That they must not allow their spirits to sink; that by a few days'
patience they would rid themselves entirely of the siege." He then
ordered the ships on the Vulturnus to be seized, and rowed up to the
fort which he had before erected for his protection. And when he was
informed that there were as many as were necessary to convey his army
across in one night, after providing a stock of provisions for ten
days, he led his legions down to the river by night, and passed them
over before daylight.

8. Fulvius Flaccus, who had discovered from deserters that this would
happen, before it took place, having written to Rome to the senate to
apprize them of it, men's minds were variously affected by it
according to the disposition of each. As might be expected in so
alarming an emergency, the senate was immediately assembled, when
Publius Cornelius, surnamed Asina, was for recalling all the generals
and armies from every part of Italy to protect the city, disregarding
Capua and every other concern. Fabius Maximus thought that it would be
highly disgraceful to retire from Capua, and allow themselves to be
terrified and driven about at the nod and menaces of Hannibal. "Was it
probable that he, who, though victorious at Cannae, nevertheless dared
not approach the city, now, after having been repulsed from Capua, had
conceived hopes of making himself master of Rome? It was not to
besiege Rome, but to raise the siege of Capua that he was coming.
Jupiter, the witness of treaties violated by Hannibal, and the other
deities, would defend the city of Rome with that army which is now at
the city." To these opposite opinions, that of Publius Valerius
Flaccus, which recommended a middle course, was preferred. Regardful
of both objects, he thought that a letter should be written to the
generals at Capua, informing them of the force they had at the city
for its protection, and stating, that as to the number of forces which
Hannibal was bringing with him, or how large an army was necessary to
carry on the siege of Capua, they themselves knew. If one of the
generals and a part of the army could be sent to Rome, and at the same
time Capua could be efficiently besieged by the remaining general and
army, that then Claudius and Fulvius should settle between themselves
which should continue the siege of Capua, and which should come to
Rome to protect their capital from being besieged. This decree of the
senate having been conveyed to Capua, Quintus Fulvius, the proconsul,
who was to go to Rome, as his colleague was ill from his wound,
crossed the Vulturnus with a body of troops, to the number of fifteen
thousand infantry and a thousand horse, selected from the three
armies. Then having ascertained that Hannibal intended to proceed
along the Latin road, he sent persons before him to the towns on and
near the Appian way, Setia, Cora, and Lanuvium, with directions that
they should not only have provisions ready in their towns, but should
bring them down to the road from the fields which lay out of the way,
and that they should draw together into their towns troops for their
defence, in order that each state might be under its own protection.

9. On the day he crossed the Vulturnus, Hannibal pitched his camp at a
small distance from the river. The next day, passing by Cales, he
reached the Sidicinian territory, and having spent a day there in
devastating the country, he led his troops along the Latin way through
the territory of Suessa, Allifae, and Casinum. Under the walls of
Casinum he remained encamped for two days, ravaging the country all
around; thence passing by Interamna and Aquinum, he came into the
Fregellan territory, to the river Liris, where he found the bridge
broken down by the Fregellans in order to impede his progress. Fulvius
also was detained at the Vulturnus, in consequence of Hannibal's
having burnt the ships, and the difficulty he had in procuring rafts
to convey his troops across that river from the great scarcity of
materials. The army having been conveyed across by rafts, the
remainder of the march of Fulvius was uninterrupted, a liberal supply
of provisions having been prepared for him, not only in all the towns,
but also on the sides of the road; while his men, who were all
activity, exhorted each other to quicken their pace, remembering that
they were going to defend their country. A messenger from Fregella,
who had travelled a day and a night without intermission, arriving at
Rome, caused the greatest consternation; and the whole city was thrown
into a state of alarm by the running up and down of persons who made
vague additions to what they heard, and thus increased the confusion
which the original intelligence created. The lamentations of women
were not only heard from private houses, but the matrons from every
quarter, rushing into the public streets, ran up and down around the
shrines of the gods, sweeping the altars with their dishevelled hair,
throwing themselves upon their knees and stretching their uplifted
hands to heaven and the gods, imploring them to rescue the city of
Rome out of the hands of their enemies, and preserve the Roman mothers
and their children from harm. The senate sat in the forum near the
magistrates, in case they should wish to consult them. Some were
receiving orders and departing to their own department of duty; others
were offering themselves wherever there might be occasion for their
aid. Troops were posted in the citadel, in the Capitol, upon the walls
around the city, and also on the Alban mount, and the fort of Aesula.
During this confusion, intelligence was brought that Quintus Fulvius,
the proconsul, had set out from Capua with an army; when the senate
decreed that Quintus Fulvius should have equal authority with the
consuls, lest on entering the city his power should cease. Hannibal,
having most destructively ravaged the Fregellan territory, on account
of the bridge having been broken down, came into the territory of the
Lavici, passing through those of Frusino, Ferentinum, and Anagnia;
thence passing through Algidum he directed his course to Tusculum; but
not being received within the walls, he went down to the right below
Tusculum to Gabii; and marching his army down thence into the
territory of the Pupinian tribe, he pitched his camp eight miles from
the city. The nearer the enemy came, the greater was the number of
fugitives slain by the Numidians who preceded him, and the greater the
number of prisoners made of every rank and age.

10. During this confusion, Fulvius Flaccus entered the city with his
troops through the Capuan gate, passed through the midst of the city,
and through Carinae, to Esquiliae; and going out thence, pitched his
camp between the Esquiline and Colline gates. The plebeian aediles
brought a supply of provisions there. The consuls and the senate came
to the camp, and a consultation was held on the state of the republic.
It was resolved that the consuls should encamp in the neighbourhood of
the Colline and Esquiline gates; that Caius Calpurnius, the city
praetor, should have the command of the Capitol and the citadel; and
that a full senate should be continually assembled in the forum, in
case it should be necessary to consult them amidst such sudden
emergencies. Meanwhile, Hannibal advanced his camp to the Anio, three
miles from the city, and fixing his position there, he advanced with
two thousand horse from the Colline gate as far as the temple of
Hercules, and riding up, took as near a view as he could of the walls
and site of the city. Flaccus, indignant that he should do this so
freely, and so much at his ease, sent out a party of cavalry, with
orders to displace and drive back to their camp the cavalry of the
enemy. After the fight had begun, the consuls ordered the Numidian
deserters who were on the Aventine, to the number of twelve hundred,
to march through the midst of the city to the Esquiliae, judging that
no troops were better calculated to fight among the hollows, the
garden walls, and tombs, or in the enclosed roads which were on all
sides. But some persons, seeing them from the citadel and Capitol as
they filed off on horseback down the Publician hill, cried out that
the Aventine was taken. This circumstance occasioned such confusion
and terror, that if the Carthaginian camp had not been without the
city, the whole multitude, such was their alarm, would have rushed
out. They then fled for refuge into their houses and upon the roofs,
where they threw stones and weapons on their own soldiers as they
passed along the streets, taking them for enemies. Nor could the
tumult be repressed, or the mistake explained, as the streets were
thronged with crowds of rustics and cattle, which the sudden alarm had
driven into the city. The battle between the cavalry was successful,
and the enemy were driven away; and as it was necessary to repress the
tumults which were arising in several quarters without any cause, it
was resolved that all who had been dictators, consuls, or censors,
should be invested with authority till such time as the enemy had
retired from the walls. During the remainder of the day and the
following night, several tumults arose without any foundation, and
were repressed.

11. The next day Hannibal, crossing the Anio, drew out all his forces
in order of battle; nor did Flaccus and the consuls decline to fight.
When the troops on both sides were drawn up to try the issue of a
battle, in which Rome was to be the prize of the victors, a violent
shower of rain mingled with hail created such disorder in both the
lines, that the troops, scarcely able to hold their arms, retired to
their camps, less through fear of the enemy than of any thing else. On
the following day, likewise, a similar tempest separated the armies
marshalled on the same ground; but after they had retired to their
camps the weather became wonderfully serene and tranquil. The
Carthaginians considered this circumstance as a Divine interposition,
and it is reported that Hannibal was heard to say, "That sometimes he
wanted the will to make himself master of Rome, at other times the
opportunity." Two other circumstances also, one inconsiderable, the
other important, diminished his hopes. The important one was, that
while he lay with his armed troops near the walls of the city, he was
informed that troops had marched out of it with colours flying, as a
reinforcement for Spain; that of less importance was, that he was
informed by one of his prisoners, that the very ground on which his
camp stood was sold at this very time, without any diminution in its
price. Indeed, so great an insult and indignity did it appear to him
that a purchaser should be found at Rome for the very soil which he
held and possessed by right of conquest, that he immediately called a
crier, and ordered that the silversmiths' shops, which at that time
stood around the Roman forum, should be put up for sale. Induced by
these circumstances he retired to the river Tutia, six miles from the
city, whence he proceeded to the grove of Feronia, where was a temple
at that time celebrated for its riches. The Capenatians and other
states in the neighbourhood, by bringing here their first-fruits and
other offerings according to their abilities, kept it decorated with
abundance of gold and silver. Of all these offerings the temple was
now despoiled. After the departure of Hannibal, vast heaps of brass
were found there, as the soldiers, from a religious feeling, had
thrown in pieces of uncoined brass. The spoliation of this temple is
undoubted by historians; but Caelius asserts, that Hannibal, in his
progress to Rome, turned out of his way to it from Eretum. According
to him his route commenced with Amiternum, Caetilii, and Reate. He
came from Campania into Samnium, and thence into Pelignia; then
passing the town Sulmio, he entered the territory of the Marrucini;
thence through the Alban territory he came to that of the Marsi, from
which he came to Amiternum and the village of Foruli. Nor is this
diversity of opinion a proof that the traces of so great an army could
be confounded in the lapse of so brief a period. That he went that way
is evident. The only question is, whether he took this route to the
city, or returned by it from the city into Campania?

12. With regard to Capua, Hannibal did not evince such obstinate
perseverance in raising the siege of it as the Romans did in pressing
it; for quitting Lucania, he came into the Bruttian territory, and
marched to the strait and Rhegium with such rapidity, that he was very
near taking the place by surprise, in consequence of the suddenness of
his arrival. Though the siege had been urged with undiminished vigour
during his absence, yet Capua felt the return of Flaccus; and
astonishment was excited that Hannibal had not returned with him.
Afterwards they learnt, by conversations, that they were abandoned and
deserted, and that the Carthaginians had given up all hopes of
retaining Capua. In addition to this a proclamation was made by the
proconsul, agreeably to a decree of the senate, and published among
the enemy, that any Campanian citizen who came over before a stated
day should be indemnified. No one, however, came over, as they were
held together by fear more than fidelity; for the crimes they had
committed during their revolt were too great to admit of pardon. As
none of them passed over to the enemy, consulting their own individual
interest, so no measure of safety was taken with regard to the general
body. The nobility had deserted the state, nor could they be induced
to meet in the senate, while the office of chief magistrate was filled
by a man who had not derived honour to himself from his office, but
stripped the office of its influence and authority by his own
unworthiness. Now none of the nobles made their appearance even in the
forum, or any public place, but shut themselves up in their houses, in
daily expectation of the downfall of their city, and their own
destruction together. The chief responsibility in every thing devolved
upon Bostar and Hanno, the praefects of the Punic garrison, who were
anxious on account of their own danger, and not that of their allies.
They addressed a letter to Hannibal, in terms, not only of freedom,
but severity, charging him with "delivering, not only Capua into the
hands of the enemy, but with treacherously abandoning themselves also,
and their troops, to every species of torture;" they told him "he had
gone off to the Bruttians, in order to get out of the way, as it were,
lest Capua should be taken before his eyes; while, by Hercules, the
Romans, on the contrary, could not be drawn off from the siege of
Capua, even by an attack upon their city. So much more constant were
the Romans in their enmity than the Carthaginians in their friendship.
If he would return to Capua and direct the whole operations of the war
to that point, that both themselves and the Campanians would be
prepared for a sally. That they had crossed the Alps not to carry on a
war with the people of Rhegium nor Tarentum. That where the Roman
legions were, there the armies of the Carthaginians ought to be. Thus
it was that victories had been gained at Cannae and Trasimenus; by
uniting, by pitching their camp close to that of the enemy, by trying
their fortune." A letter to this effect was given to some Numidians
who had already engaged to render their services for a stated reward.
These men came into the camp to Flaccus under pretence of being
deserters, with the intention of quitting it by seizing an
opportunity, and the famine, which had so long existed at Capua,
afforded a pretext for desertion which no one could suspect. But a
Campanian woman, the paramour of one of the deserters, unexpectedly
entered the camp, and informed the Roman general that the Numidians
had come over according to a preconcerted plan of treachery, and were
the bearers of letters to Hannibal; that she was prepared to convict
one of the party of that fact, as he had discovered it to her. On
being brought forward, he at first pretended, with considerable
pertinacity, that he did not know the woman; but afterwards, gradually
succumbing to the force of truth, when he saw the instruments of
torture called for and preparing, he confessed that it was so. The
letters were produced, and a discovery was made of an additional fact,
before concealed, that other Numidians were strolling about in the
Roman camp, under pretence of being deserters. Above seventy of these
were arrested, and, with the late deserters, scourged with rods; and
after their hands had been cut off, were driven back to Capua. The
sight of so severe a punishment broke the spirit of the Campanians.

13. The people, rushing in crowds to the senate-house, compelled
Lesius to assemble a senate, and openly threatened the nobles, who had
now for a long time absented themselves from the public deliberations,
that unless they attended the meeting of the senate, they would go
round to their houses and drag them all before the public by force.
The fear of this procured the magistrate a full senate. Here, while
the rest contended for sending ambassadors to the Roman generals,
Vibius Virrius, who had been the instigator of the revolt from the
Romans, on being asked his opinion, observed, that "those persons who
spoke of sending ambassadors, and of peace, and a surrender, did not
bear in mind either what they would do if they had the Romans in their
power, or what they themselves must expect to suffer. What! do you
think," says he, "that your surrender will be like that in which
formerly we placed ourselves and every thing belonging to us at the
disposal of the Romans, in order that we might obtain assistance from
them against the Samnites? Have you already forgotten at what a
juncture we revolted from the Romans, and what were their
circumstances? Have you forgotten how at the time of the revolt we put
to death, with torture and indignity, their garrison, which might have
been sent out? How often, and with determined hostility, we have
sallied out against them when besieging us, and assaulted their camp?
How we invited Hannibal to come and cut them off? And how most
recently we sent him hence to lay siege to Rome? But come, retrace on
the other hand what they have done in hostility towards us, that you
may learn therefrom what you have to hope for. When a foreign enemy
was in Italy, and that enemy Hannibal; when the flame of war was
kindled in every quarter; disregarding every other object,
disregarding even Hannibal himself, they sent two consuls with two
consular armies to lay siege to Capua. This is the second year, that,
surrounded with lines and shut up within our walls, they consume us by
famine, having suffered in like manner with ourselves the extremest
dangers and the severest hardships, having frequently had their troops
slain near their rampart and trenches, and at last having been almost
deprived of their camp. But I pass over these matters. It has been
usual, even from of old, to suffer dangers and hardships in besieging
an enemy's city. The following is a proof of their animosity and
bitter hatred. Hannibal assaulted their camp with an immense force of
horse and foot, and took a part of it. By so great a danger they were
not in the least diverted from the siege. Crossing the Vulturnus, he
laid waste the territory of Cales with fire. Such calamities inflicted
upon their allies had no effect in calling them off. He ordered his
troops to march in hostile array to the very city of Rome. They
despised the tempest which threatened them in this case also. Crossing
the Anio, he pitched his camp three miles from the city, and lastly,
came up to the very walls and gates. He gave them to understand that
he would take their city from them, unless they gave up Capua. But
they did not give it up. Wild beasts, impelled by headlong fury and
rage, you may divert from their object to bring assistance to those
belonging to them, if you attempt to approach their dens and their
young. The Romans could not be diverted from Capua by the blockade of
Rome, by their wives and children, whose lamentations could almost be
heard from this place, by their altars, their hearths, the temples of
their gods, and the sepulchres of their ancestors profaned and
violated. So great was their avidity to bring us to punishment, so
insatiable their thirst for drinking our blood. Nor, perhaps, without
reason. We too would have done the same had the opportunity been
afforded us. Since, however, the gods have thought proper to determine
it otherwise, though I ought not to shrink from death, while I am
free, while I am master of myself, I have it in my power, by a death
not only honourable but mild, to escape the tortures and indignities
which the enemy hope to inflict upon me. I will not see Appius
Claudius and Quintus Fulvius in the pride and insolence of victory,
nor will I be dragged in chains through Rome as a spectacle in a
triumph, that afterwards in a dungeon, or tied to a stake, after my
back has been lacerated with stripes, I may place my neck under a
Roman axe. I will neither see my native city demolished and burnt, nor
the matrons, virgins, and free-born youths of Campania dragged to
constupration. Alba, from which they themselves derived their origin,
they demolished from her foundations, that there might remain no trace
of their rise and extraction, much less can I believe they will spare
Capua, towards which they bear a more rancorous hatred than towards
Carthage. For such of you, therefore, as have a mind to yield to fate,
before they behold such horrors, a banquet is furnished and prepared
at my house. When satiated with wine and food, the same cup which
shall have been given to me shall be handed round to them. That potion
will rescue our bodies from torture, our minds from insult, our eyes
and ears from seeing and hearing all those cruelties and indignities
which await the vanquished. There will be persons in readiness who
will throw our lifeless bodies upon a large pile kindled in the
court-yard of the house. This is the only free and honourable way to
death. Our very enemies will admire our courage, and Hannibal will
learn that those whom he deserted and betrayed were brave allies."

14. More of those who heard this speech of Virrius approved of the
proposal contained in it, than had strength of mind to execute what
they approved. The greater part of the senate being not without hopes
that the Romans, whose clemency they had frequently had proof of in
many wars, would be exorable by them also, decreed and sent
ambassadors to surrender Capua to the Romans. About twenty-seven
senators, following Vibius Virrius to his home, partook of the banquet
with him; and after having, as far as they could, withdrawn their
minds, by means of wine, from the perception of the impending evil,
all took the poison. They then rose from the banquet, after giving
each other their right hands, and taking a last embrace, mingling
their tears for their own and their country's fate; some of them
remained, that they might be burned upon the same pile, and the rest
retired to their homes. Their veins being filled in consequence of
what they had eaten, and the wine they drank, rendered the poison less
efficacious in expediting death; and accordingly, though the greater
part of them languished the whole of that night and part of the
following day, all of them, however, breathed their last before the
gates were opened to the enemy. The following day the gate of Jupiter,
which faced the Roman camp, was opened by order of the proconsul, when
one legion and two squadrons of allies marched in at it, under the
command of Caius Fulvius, lieutenant-general. When he had taken care
that all the arms and weapons to be found in Capua should be brought
to him; having placed guards at all the gates to prevent any one's
going or being sent out, he seized the Carthaginian garrison, and
ordered the Campanian senators to go into the camp to the Roman
generals. On their arrival they were all immediately thrown into
chains, and ordered to lay before the quaestor an account of all the
gold and silver they had. There were seventy pounds of gold, and three
thousand two hundred of silver. Twenty-five of the senators were sent
to Cales, to be kept in custody, and twenty-eight to Teanum; these
being the persons by whose advice principally it appeared that the
revolt from the Romans had taken place.

15. Fulvius and Claudius were far from being agreed as to the
punishment of the Campanian senators. Claudius was disposed to grant
their prayer for pardon, but Fulvius was more inclined to severity.
Appius, therefore, was for referring the entire disposal of the
question to the Roman senate. He thought it right also, that the
fathers should have the opportunity of asking them whether any of the
Latin confederates, or of the municipal towns, had taken part in these
designs, and whether they had derived any assistance from them in the
war. Fulvius, on the contrary, urged that they ought by no means to
run the hazard of having the minds of faithful allies harassed by
doubtful accusations, and subjected to informers who never cared at
all what they did or what they said. For this reason he said that he
should prevent and put a stop to any such inquiry. After this
conversation they separated; Appius not doubting but that his
colleague, though he expressed himself so warmly, would, nevertheless,
wait for a letter from Rome, in an affair of such magnitude. But
Fulvius, fearing that his designs would be frustrated by that very
means, dismissed his council, and commanded the military tribunes and
the praefects of the allies to give notice to two thousand chosen
horsemen to be in readiness at the third trumpet. Setting out for
Teanum with this body of cavalry, he entered the gate at break of day,
and proceeded direct to the forum; and a number of people having
flocked together at the first entrance of the horsemen, he ordered the
Sidicinian magistrate to be summoned; when he desired him to bring
forth the Campanians whom he had in custody. These were all
accordingly brought forth, scourged, and beheaded. He then proceeded
at full speed to Cales; where, when he had taken his seat on the
tribunal, and while the Campanians, who had been brought forth, were
being bound to the stake, an express arrived from Rome, and delivered
to him a letter from Caius Calpurnius, the praetor, and a decree of
the senate. A murmur immediately pervaded the whole assembly,
beginning at the tribunal, that the entire question respecting the
Campanians was referred to the decision of the fathers, and Fulvius,
suspecting this to be the case, took the letter, and without opening
it put it into his bosom, and then commanded the crier to order the
lictor to do his duty. Thus punishment was inflicted on those also who
were at Cales. The letter was then read, together with the decree of
the senate, when it was too late to prevent the business which was
already executed, and which had been accelerated by every means to
prevent its being obstructed. When Fulvius was now rising from his
seat, Jubellius Taurea, a Campanian making his way through the middle
of the city and the crowd, called upon him by name, and when Flaccus,
who wondered greatly what he could want, had resumed his seat, he
said, "Order me also to be put to death, that you may be able to
boast, that a much braver man than yourself has been put to death by
you." Fulvius at first said, that the man could not certainly be in
his senses, then, that he was restrained by a decree of the senate,
even though he might wish it, when Jubellius exclaimed "Since, after
the capture of my country, and the loss of my relations and friends,
after having killed, with my own hand, my wife and children to prevent
their suffering any indignity, I am not allowed even to die in the
same manner as these my countrymen, let a rescue be sought in courage
from this hated existence." So saying, he thrust a sword, which he had
concealed under his garment, right through his breast, and fell
lifeless at the general's feet.

16. Because not only what related to the punishment of the Campanians,
but most of the other particulars of this affair, were transacted
according to the judgment of Flaccus alone, some authors affirm that
Appius Claudius died about the time of the surrender of Capua, and
that this same Taurea neither came to Cales voluntarily nor died by
his own hand, but that while he was being tied to the stake among the
rest, Flaccus, who could not distinctly hear what he vociferated from
the noise which was made, ordered silence, when Taurea said the things
which have been before related "that he, a man of the greatest
courage, was being put to death by one who was by no means his equal
in respect to valour." That immediately on his saying this, the
herald, by command of the proconsul, pronounced this order. "Lictor,
apply the rods to this man of courage, and execute the law upon him
first." Some authors also relate, that he read the decree of the
senate before he beheaded them, but that as there was a clause in it,
to the effect, that if he thought proper he should refer the entire
question to the senate, he construed it that the decision as to what
was most for the interest of the state was left to himself. He
returned from Cales to Capua. Atella and Calatia surrendered
themselves, and were received. Here also the principal promoters of
the revolt were punished. Thus eighty principal members of the senate
were put to death, and about three hundred of the Campanian nobles
thrown into prison. The rest were distributed through the several
cities of the Latin confederacy, to be kept in custody, where they
perished in various ways. The rest of the Campanian citizens were
sold. The remaining subject of deliberation related to the city and
its territory. Some were of opinion that a city so eminently powerful,
so near, and so hostile, ought to be demolished. But immediate utility
prevailed, for on account of the land, which was evidently superior to
any in Italy from the variety and exuberance of its produce, the city
was preserved that it might become a settlement of husbandmen. For the
purpose of peopling the city, a number of sojourners, freed-men,
dealers, and artificers, were retained, but all the land and buildings
were made the property of the Roman state. It was resolved, however,
that Capua should only be inhabited and peopled as a city, that there
should be no body-politic, nor assembly of the senate or people, nor
magistrates. For it was thought that a multitude not possessing any
public council, without a ruling power, and unconnected by the
participation of any common rights, would be incapable of combination.
They resolved to send a praefect annually from Rome to administer
justice. Thus were matters adjusted at Capua, upon a plan in every
respect worthy of commendation. Punishment was inflicted upon the most
guilty with rigour and despatch, the populace dispersed beyond all
hope of return, no rage vented in fire and ruins upon the unoffending
houses and walls. Together also with advantage, a reputation for
clemency was obtained among the allies, by the preservation of a city
of the greatest celebrity and opulence, the demolition of which, all
Campania, and all the people dwelling in the neighbourhood of
Campania, would have bewailed, while their enemies were compelled to
admit the ability of the Romans to punish their faithless allies, and
how little assistance could be derived from Hannibal towards the
defence of those whom he had taken under his protection.

17. The Roman senate having gone through every thing which required
their attention relative to Capua, decreed to Caius Nero six thousand
foot and three hundred horse, whichever he should himself choose out
of those two legions which he had commanded at Capua, with an equal
number of infantry, and eight hundred horse of the Latin confederacy.
This army Nero embarked at Puteoli, and conveyed over into Spain.
Having arrived at Tarraco with his ships, landed his troops, hauled
his ships ashore, and armed his mariners to augment his numbers, he
proceeded to the river Iberus, and received the army from Titus
Fonteius and Lucius Marcius. He then marched towards the enemy.
Hasdrubal, son of Hamilcar, was encamped at the black stones in
Ausetania, a place situated between the towns Illiturgi and Mentissa.
The entrance of this defile Nero seized, and Hasdrubal, to prevent his
being shut up in it, sent a herald to engage that, if he were allowed
to depart thence, he would convey the whole of his army out of Spain.
The Roman general having received this proposition gladly, Hasdrubal
requested the next day for a conference, when the Romans might draw up
conditions relative to the surrender of the citadels of the towns, and
the appointment of a day on which the garrisons might be withdrawn,
and the Carthaginians might remove every thing belonging to them
without imposition. Having obtained his point in this respect,
Hasdrubal gave orders that as soon as it was dark, and during the
whole of the night afterwards, the heaviest part of his force should
get out of the defile by whatever way they could. The strictest care
was taken that many should not go out that night, that the very
fewness of their numbers might both be more adapted to elude the
notice of the enemy from their silence, and to an escape through
confined and rugged paths. Next day they met for the conference; but
that day having been spent, on purpose, in speaking and writing about
a variety of subjects, which were not to this point, the conference
was put off to the next day. The addition of the following night gave
him time to send still more out; nor was the business concluded the
next day. Thus several days were spent in openly discussing
conditions, and as many nights in privately sending the Carthaginian
troops out of their camp; and after the greater part of the army had
been sent out, he did not even keep to those terms which he had
himself proposed; and his sincerity decreasing with his fears, they
became less and less agreed. By this time nearly all the infantry had
cleared the defile, when at daybreak a dense mist enveloped the whole
defile and the neighbouring plains; which Hasdrubal perceiving, sent
to Nero to put off the conference to the following day, as the
Carthaginians held that day sacred from the transaction of any serious
business. Not even then was the cheat suspected. Hasdrubal having
gained the indulgence he sought for that day also, immediately quitted
his camp with his cavalry and elephants, and without creating any
alarm escaped to a place of safety. About the fourth hour the mist,
being dispelled by the sun, left the atmosphere clear, when the Romans
saw that the camp of the enemy was deserted. Then at length Claudius,
recognising the Carthaginian perfidy, and perceiving that he had been
caught by trickery, immediately began to pursue the enemy as they
moved off, prepared to give battle; but they declined fighting. Some
skirmishes, however, took place between the rear of the Carthaginians
and the advanced guard of the Romans.

18. During the time in which these events occurred, neither did those
states of Spain which had revolted after the defeat that was
sustained, return to the Romans, nor did any others desert them. At
Rome, the attention of the senate and people, after the recovery of
Capua, was not fixed in a greater degree upon Italy than upon Spain.
They resolved that the army there should be augmented and a general
sent. They were not, however, so clear as to the person whom they
should send, as that, where two generals had fallen within the space
of thirty days, he who was to supply the place of them should be
selected with unusual care. Some naming one person, and others
another, they at length came to the resolution that the people should
assemble for the purpose of electing a proconsul for Spain, and the
consuls fixed a day for the election. At first they waited in
expectation that those persons who might think themselves qualified
for so momentous a command would give in their names, but this
expectation being disappointed, their grief was renewed for the
calamity they had suffered, and then regret for the generals they had
lost. The people thus afflicted, and almost at their wits' end, came
down, however, to the Campus Martius on the day of the election,
where, turning towards the magistrates, they looked round at the
countenances of their most eminent men, who were earnestly gazing at
each other, and murmured bitterly, that their affairs were in so
ruinous a state, and the condition of the commonwealth so desperate,
that no one dared undertake the command in Spain. When suddenly
Publius Cornelius, son of Publius who had fallen in Spain, who was
about twenty-four years of age, declaring himself a candidate, took
his station on an eminence from which he could be seen by all. The
eyes of the whole assembly were directed towards him, and by
acclamations and expressions of approbation, a prosperous and happy
command were at once augured to him. Orders were then given that they
should proceed to vote, when not only every century, but every
individual to a man, decided that Publius Scipio should be invested
with the command in Spain. But after the business had been concluded,
and the ardour and impetuosity of their zeal had subsided, a sudden
silence ensued, and a secret reflection on what they had done, whether
their partiality had not got the better of their judgment? They
chiefly regretted his youth, but some were terrified at the fortune
which attended his house and his name, for while the two families to
which he belonged were in mourning, he was going into a province where
he must carry on his operations between the tombs of his father and
his uncle.

19. Perceiving the solicitude and anxiety which people felt, after
performing the business with so much ardour, he summoned an assembly,
in which he discoursed in so noble and high minded a manner, on his
years, the command intrusted to him, and the war which he had to carry
on, as to rekindle and renew the ardour which had subsided, and
inspire the people with more confident hopes than the reliance placed
on human professions, or reasoning on the promising appearance of
affairs, usually engenders. For Scipio was not only deserving of
admiration for his real virtues, but also for his peculiar address in
displaying them, to which he had been formed from his earliest
years;--effecting many things with the multitude, either by feigning
nocturnal visions or as with a mind divinely inspired; whether it was
that he was himself, too, endued with a superstitious turn of mind, or
that they might execute his commands and adopt his plans without
hesitation, as if they proceeded from the responses of an oracle. With
the intention of preparing men's minds for this from the beginning, he
never at any time from his first assumption of the manly gown
transacted any business, public or private, without first going to the
Capitol, entering the temple, and taking his seat there; where he
generally passed a considerable time in secret and alone. This
practice, which was adhered to through the whole of his life,
occasioned in some persons a belief in a notion which generally
prevailed, whether designedly or undesignedly propagated, that he was
a man of divine extraction; and revived a report equally absurd and
fabulous with that formerly spread respecting Alexander the Great,
that he was begotten by a huge serpent, whose monstrous form was
frequently observed in the bedchamber of his mother, but which, on any
one's coming in, suddenly unfolding his coils, glided out of sight.
The belief in these miraculous accounts was never ridiculed by him,
but rather increased by his address; neither positively denying any
such thing nor openly affirming it. There were also many other things,
some real and others counterfeit, which exceeded in the case of this
young man the usual measure of human admiration, in reliance on which
the state intrusted him with an affair of so much difficulty, and with
so important a command, at an age by no means ripe for it. To the
forces in Spain, consisting of the remains of the old army, and those
which had been conveyed over from Puteoli by Claudius Nero, ten
thousand infantry and a thousand horse were added; and Marcus Junius
Silanus, the propraetor, was sent to assist in the management of
affairs. Thus with a fleet of thirty ships, all of which were
quinqueremes, he set sail from the mouth of the Tiber, and coasting
along the shore of the Tuscan Sea, the Alps, and the Gallic Gulf, and
then doubling the promontory of the Pyrenees, landed his troops at
Emporiae, a Greek city, which also derived its origin from Phocaea.
Ordering his ships to attend him, he marched by land to Tarraco; where
he held a congress of deputies from all the allies; for embassies had
poured forth from every province on the news of his arrival. Here he
ordered his ships to be hauled on shore, having sent back the four
triremes of the Massilians which had, in compliment to him, attended
him from their home. After that, he began to give answers to the
embassies of the several states, which had been in suspense on account
of the many vicissitudes of the war; and this with so great dignity,
arising from the great confidence he had in his own talents, that no
presumptuous expression ever escaped him; and in every thing he said
there appeared at once the greatest majesty and sincerity.

20. Setting out from Tarraco, he visited the states of his allies and
the winter quarters of his army; and bestowed the highest
commendations upon the soldiers, because, though they had received two
such disastrous blows in succession, they had retained possession of
the province, and not allowing the enemy to reap any advantage from
their successes, had excluded them entirely from the territory on this
side of the Iberus, and honourably protected their allies. Marcius he
kept with him, and treated him with such respect, that it was
perfectly evident there was nothing he feared less than lest any one
should stand in the way of his own glory. Silanus then took the place
of Nero, and the fresh troops were led into winter quarters. Scipio
having in good time visited every place where his presence was
necessary, and completed every thing which was to be done, returned to
Tarraco. The reputation of Scipio among his enemies was not inferior
to that which he enjoyed among his allies and countrymen. They felt
also a kind of presentiment of what was to come, which occasioned the
greater apprehension, the less they could account for their fears,
which had arisen without any cause. They had retired to their winter
quarters in different directions. Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, had gone
quite to the ocean and Gades; Mago into the midland parts chiefly
above the forest of Castulo; Hasdrubal, son of Hamilcar, wintered in
the neighbourhood of Saguntum, close upon the Iberus. At the close of
the summer in which Capua was recovered and Scipio entered Spain, a
Carthaginian fleet, which had been fetched from Sicily to Tarentum, to
cut off the supplies of the Roman garrison in the citadel of that
place, had blocked up all the approaches to the citadel from the sea;
but by lying there too long, they caused a greater scarcity of
provisions to their friends than to their enemies. For so much corn
could not be brought in for the townsmen, along the coasts which were
friendly to them, and through the ports which were kept open through
the protection afforded by the Carthaginian fleet, as the fleet itself
consumed, which had on board a crowd made up of every description of
persons. So that the garrison of the citadel, which was small in
number, could be supported from the stock they had previously laid in
without importing any, while that which they imported was not
sufficient for the supply of the Tarentines and the fleet. At length
the fleet was sent away with greater satisfaction than it was
received. The scarcity of provisions, however, was not much relieved
by it; because when the protection by sea was removed corn could not
be brought in.

21. At the close of the same summer, Marcus Marcellus arriving at the
city from his province of Sicily, an audience of the senate was given
him by Caius Calpurnius, the praetor, in the temple of Bellona. Here,
after discoursing on the services he had performed, and complaining in
gentle terms, not on his own account more than that of his soldiers,
that after having completely reduced the province, he had not been
allowed to bring home his army, he requested that he might be allowed
to enter the city in triumph; this he did not obtain. A long debate
took place on the question, whether it was less consistent to deny a
triumph on his return to him, in whose name, when absent, a
supplication had been decreed and honours paid to the immortal gods,
for successes obtained under his conduct; or, when they had ordered
him to deliver over his army to a successor, which would not have been
decreed unless there were still war in the province, to allow him to
triumph, as if the war had been terminated, when the army, the
evidence of the triumph being deserved or undeserved, were absent. As
a middle course between the two opinions, it was resolved that he
should enter the city in ovation. The plebeian tribunes, by direction
of the senate, proposed to the people, that Marcus Marcellus should be
invested with command during the day on which he should enter the city
in ovation. The day before he entered the city he triumphed on the
Alban mount; after which he entered the city in ovation, having a
great quantity of spoils carried before him, together with a model of
the capture of Syracuse. The catapultas and ballistas, and every other
instrument of war were carried; likewise the rich ornaments laid up by
its kings during a long continuance of peace; a quantity of wrought
silver and brass, and other articles, with precious garments, and a
number of celebrated statues, with which Syracuse had been adorned in
such a manner as to rank among the chief Grecian cities in that
respect. Eight elephants were also led as an emblem of victory over
the Carthaginians. Sosis, the Syracusan, and Mericus, the Spaniard,
who preceded him with golden crowns, formed not the least interesting
part of the spectacle; under the guidance of one of whom the Romans
had entered Syracuse by night, while the other had betrayed to them
the island and the garrison in it. To both of them the freedom of the
city was given, and five hundred acres of land each. Sosis was to have
his portion in the Syracusan territory, out of the lands which had
belonged either to the kings or the enemies of the Roman people,
together with a house at Syracuse, which had belonged to any one of
those persons who had been punished according to the laws of war.
Mericus and the Spaniards who had come over with him were ordered to
have a city and lands assigned to them in Sicily, which had belonged
to some of those who had revolted from the Romans. It was given in
charge to Marcus Cornelius to assign them the city and lands wherever
he thought proper. In the same country, four hundred acres of land
were decreed to Belligenes, by whose means Mericus had been persuaded
to come over. After the departure of Marcellus from Sicily, a
Carthaginian fleet landed eight thousand infantry and three thousand
Numidian cavalry. To these the Murgantian territories revolted; Hybla,
Macella, and certain other towns of less note followed their
defection. The Numidians also, headed by Mutines, ranging without
restraint through the whole of Sicily, ravaged with fire the lands of
the allies of the Romans. In addition to these unfortunate
circumstances, the Roman soldiers, incensed partly because they had
not been taken from the province with their general, and partly
because they had been forbidden to winter in towns, discharged their
duties negligently, and wanted a a leader more than inclination for a
mutiny. Amid these difficulties Marcus Cornelius, the praetor,
sometimes by soothing, at other times by reproving them, pacified the
minds of the soldiers; and reduced to obedience all the states which
had revolted; out of which he gave Murgantia to those Spaniards who
were entitled to a city and land, in conformity with the decree of the

22. As both the consuls had Apulia for their province, and as there
was now less to be apprehended from Hannibal and the Carthaginians,
they were directed to draw lots for the provinces of Apulia and
Macedonia. Macedonia fell to the lot of Sulpicius, who succeeded
Laevinus. Fulvius having been called to Rome on account of the
election, held an assembly to elect new consuls; when the junior
Veturian century, which had the right of voting first, named Titus
Manlius Torquatus and Titus Otacilius. A crowd collecting round
Manlius, who was present, to congratulate him, and it being certain
that the people would concur in his election, he went, surrounded as
he was with a multitude of persons, to the tribunal of the consul, and
requested that he would listen to a few words from him; and that he
would order the century which had voted to be recalled. While all
present were waiting impatiently to hear what it was he was going to
ask, he alleged as an excuse the weakness of his eyes; observing, that
"a pilot or a general might fairly be charged with presumption who
should request that the lives and fortunes of others might be
intrusted to him, when in every thing which was to be done he must
make use of other people's eyes. Therefore he requested, that, if it
seemed good to him, he would order the junior Veturian century to come
and vote again; and to recollect, while electing consuls, the war
which they had in Italy, and the present exigencies of the state. That
their ears had scarcely yet ceased to ring with the noise and tumult
raised by the enemy, when but a few months ago they nearly scaled the
walls of Rome." This speech was followed by the century's shouting
out, one and all, that "they would not in the least alter their vote,
but would name the same persons for consuls;" when Torquatus replied,
"neither shall I as consul be able to put up with your conduct, nor
will you be satisfied with my government. Go back and vote again, and
consider that you have a Punic war in Italy, and that the leader of
your enemies is Hannibal." Upon this the century, moved by the
authority of the man and the shouts of admirers around, besought the
consul to summon the elder Veturian century; for they were desirous of
conferring with persons older than themselves, and to name the consuls
in accordance with their advice. The elder Veturian century having
been summoned, time was allowed them to confer with the others by
themselves in the _ovile_. The elders said that there were three
persons whom they ought to deliberate about electing, two of them
having already served all the offices of honour, namely, Quintus
Fabius and Marcus Marcellus; and if they wished so particularly to
elect some fresh person as consul to act against the Carthaginians,
that Marcus Valerius Laevinus had carried on operations against king
Philip by sea and land with signal success. Thus, three persons having
been proposed to them to deliberate about, the seniors were dismissed,
and the juniors proceeded to vote. They named as consuls, Marcus
Claudius Marcellus, then glorious with the conquest of Sicily, and
Marcus Valerius, both in their absence. All the centuries followed the
recommendation of that which voted first. Let men now ridicule the
admirers of antiquity. Even if there existed a republic of wise men,
which the learned rather imagine than know of; for my own part I
cannot persuade myself that there could possibly be a nobility of
sounder judgment, and more moderate in their desire of power, or a
people better moralled. Indeed that a century of juniors should have
been willing to consult their elders, as to the persons to whom they
should intrust a command by their vote, is rendered scarcely probable
by the contempt and levity with which the parental authority is
treated by children in the present age.

23. The assembly for the election of praetors was then held, at which
Publius Manlius Vulso, Lucius Manlius Acidinus, Caius Laetorius, and
Lucius Cincius Alimentus were elected. It happened that just as the
elections were concluded, news was brought that Titus Otacilius, whom
it seemed the people would have made consul in his absence, with Titus
Manlius, had not the course of the elections been interrupted, had
died in Sicily. The games in honour of Apollo had been performed the
preceding year, and on the motion of Calpurnius, the praetor, that
they should be performed this year also, the senate decreed that they
should be vowed every year for the time to come. The same year several
prodigies were seen and reported. At the temple of Concord, a statue
of Victory, which stood on the roof, having been struck by lightning
and thrown down, stuck among the figures of Victory, which were among
the ornaments under the eaves, and did not fall to the ground from
thence. Both from Anagnia and Fregellae it was reported that a wall
and some gates had been struck by lightning. That in the forum of
Sudertum streams of blood had continued flowing through a whole day;
at Eretum, that there had been a shower of stones; and at Reate, that
a mule had brought forth. These prodigies were expiated with victims
of the larger sort, the people were commanded to offer up prayers for
one day, and perform the nine days' sacred rite. Several of the public
priests died off this year, and fresh ones were appointed. In the room
of Manius Aemilius Numida, decemvir for sacred rites, Marcus Aemilius
Lepidus was appointed; in the room of Manius Pomponius Matho, the
pontiff, Caius Livius; in the room of Spurius Carvilius Maximus, the
augur, Marcus Servilius. As Titus Otacilius Crassus, a pontiff, died
after the year was concluded, no person was nominated to succeed him.
Caius Claudius, flamen of Jupiter, retired from his office, because he
had distributed the entrails improperly.

24. During the same time Marcus Valerius Laevinus, having first
sounded the intentions of the leading men by means of secret
conferences, came with some light ships to a council of the Aetolians,
which had been previously appointed to meet for this very purpose.
Here having proudly pointed to the capture of Syracuse and Capua, as
proofs of the success of the Roman arms in Sicily and Italy, he added,
that "it was a custom with the Romans, handed down to them from their
ancestors, to respect their allies; some of whom they had received
into their state, and had admitted to the same privileges they enjoyed
themselves, while others they treated so favourably that they chose
rather to be allies than citizens. That the Aetolians would be
honoured by them so much the more, because they were the first of the
nations across the sea which had entered into friendship with them.
That Philip and the Macedonians were troublesome neighbours to them,
but that he had broken their strength and spirits already, and would
still further reduce them to that degree, that they should not only
evacuate the cities which they had violently taken from the Aetolians,
but have Macedonia itself disturbed with war. And that as to the
Acarnanians, whose separation from their body was a source of grief to
the Aetolians, he would place them again under their ancient system of
jurisdiction and dominion." These assertions and promises of the Roman
general, Scopas, who was at that time praetor of the nation, and
Dorymachus, a leading man among the Aetolians, confirmed on their own
authority, extolling the power and greatness of the Roman people with
less reserve, and with greater force of conviction. However, the hope
of recovering Acarnania principally moved them. The terms, therefore,
were reduced to writing, on which they should enter into alliance and
friendship with the Roman people, and it was added, that "if it were
agreeable to them and they wished it, the Eleans and Lacedaemonians,
with Attalus, Pleuratus, and Scerdilaedas, should be included on the
same conditions." Attalus was king of Asia; the latter, kings of the
Thracians and Illyrians. The conditions were, that "the Aetolians
should immediately make war on Philip by land, in which the Romans
should assist, with not less than twenty quinqueremes. That the site
and buildings, together with the walls and lands, of all the cities as
far as Corcyra, should become the property of the Aetolians, every
other kind of booty, of the Romans. That the Romans should endeavour
to put the Aetolians in possession of Acarnania. If the Aetolians
should make peace with Philip, they should insert a stipulation that
the peace should stand good only on condition that they abstained from
hostilities against the Romans, their allies, and the states subject
to them. In like manner, if the Romans should form an alliance with
the king, that they should provide that he should not have liberty to
make war upon the Aetolians and their allies." Such were the terms
agreed upon; and copies of them having been made, they were laid up
two years afterwards by the Aetolians at Olympia, and by the Romans in
the Capitol, that they might be attested by these consecrated records.
The delay had been occasioned by the Aetolian ambassadors' having been
detained at Rome. This, however, did not form an impediment to the
war's proceeding. Both the Aetolians immediately commenced war against
Philip, and Laevinus taking, all but the citadel, Zacynthus, a small
island near to Aetolia, and having one city of the same name with the
island; and also taking Aeniadae and Nasus from the Acarnanians,
annexed them to the Aetolians; and also considering that Philip was
sufficiently engaged in war with his neighbours to prevent his
thinking of Italy, the Carthaginians, and his compact with Hannibal,
he retired to Corcyra.

25. To Philip intelligence of the defection of the Aetolians was
brought while in winter quarters at Pella. As he was about to march an
army into Greece at the beginning of the spring, he undertook a sudden
expedition into the territories of Oricum and Apollonia, in order that
Macedonia might not be molested by the Illyrians, and the cities
bordering upon them, in consequence of the terror he would thus strike
them with in turn. The Apollonians came out to oppose him, but he

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