Ab urbe condita 27.1
Such was the state of affairs in Spain. In Italy, the consul Marcellus, after regaining Salapia, which was betrayed into his hands, took Maronea and Meles from the Samnites by force. As many as three thousand of the soldiers of Hannibal, which were left as a garrison, were here surprised and overpowered. The booty, and there was a considerable quantity of it, was given up to the troops. Also, two hundred and forty thousand pecks of wheat, with a hundred and ten thousand pecks of barley, were found here. The joy, however, thus occasioned, was by no means so great as a disaster sustained a few days afterwards, not far from the town Herdonea. Cneius Fulvius, the consul, was lying encamped there, in the hope of regaining Herdonea, which had revolted from the Romans after the defeat at Cannae, his position being neither sufficiently secure from the nature of the place, nor strengthened by guards. The natural negligence of the general was now increased by the hope that their attachment to the Carthaginians was shaken when they had heard that Hannibal, after the loss of Salapia, had retired from that neighbourhood into Bruttium. Intelligence of all these circumstances being conveyed to Hannibal by secret messengers from Herdonea, at once excited an anxious desire to retain possession of a city in alliance with him, and inspired a hope of attacking the enemy when unprepared. With a lightly equipped force he hastened to Herdonea by forced marches, so as almost to anticipate the report of his approach and in order to strike greater terror into the enemy, came up with his troops in battle-array. The Roman, equal to him in courage, but inferior in strength, hastily drawing out his troops, engaged him. The fifth legion and the left wing of the allied infantry commenced the battle with spirit. But Hannibal ordered his cavalry, on a signal given, to ride round as soon as the foot forces had their eyes and thoughts occupied with the contest before them, and one half of them to attack the camp of the enemy, the other half to fall upon their rear, while busily engaged in fighting. He himself, sarcastically alluding to the similarity of the name Fulvius, as he had defeated Cneius Fulvius, the praetor, two years ago, in the same country, expressed his confidence that the issue of the battle would be similar. Nor was this expectation vain; for after many of the Romans had fallen in the close contest, and in the engagement with the infantry, notwithstanding which they still preserved their ranks and stood their ground; the alarm occasioned by the cavalry on their rear, and the enemy shout, which was heard at the same time from their camp, first put to flight the sixth legion, which being posted in the second line, was first thrown into confusion by the Numidians; and then the fifth legion, and those who were posted in the van. Some fled precipitately, others were slain in the middle space, where also Cneius Fulvius himself, with eleven military tribunes, fell. Who can state with certainty how many thousands of the Romans and their allies were slain in this battle, when I find in some accounts that thirteen, in others that not more than seven, thousand were slain? The conquerors got possession of the camp and the spoil. Finding that Herdonea would have revolted to the Romans, and was not likely to continue faithful to him if he departed thence, he removed all its inhabitants to Metapontum and Thurium, and burnt it. He put to death the chief men who were found to have held secret conferences with Fulvius. Such of the Romans as escaped this dreadful carnage, fled half-armed, by different roads, into Samnium, to the consul Marcellus.
Ab urbe condita 27.2
Marcellus, who was not much discouraged at this so great a disaster, sent a letter to the senate at Rome, with an account of the loss of the general and army at Herdonea; observing, however, "that he who, after the battle of Cannae, had humbled Hannibal when elated with victory, was now marching against him, and that he would cause that his present joy and exultation should not continue long." At Rome, indeed, the grief occasioned by what had occurred, and the fears entertained for the future, were excessive. The consul passing out of Samnium into Lucania, pitched his camp at Numistro, on a plain within view of Hannibal, who occupied a hill. He added also another demonstration of his confidence; for he was the first to lead out his troops to battle, nor did Hannibal decline fighting when he saw the standards carried out from the gates. However, they drew up their forces so that the right wing of the Carthaginians was extended up the hill, while the left wing of the Romans was contiguous to the town. For a long time neither side had any advantage; but the battle having continued from the third hour till night, and the first lines, which consisted, on the part of the Romans, of the first legion and the right wing of the allied infantry, on the part of Hannibal, of the Spanish soldiers, the Balearic slingers, and the elephants, which were driven into the field after the commencement of the battle, being fatigued with fighting, the first legion was relieved by the third, and the right wing of allied infantry by the left; while on the part of the enemy fresh troops took up the battle in place of those who were tired. A new and desperate conflict suddenly arose, instead of that which was so feebly maintained, their minds and bodies being unimpaired by fatigue; but night separated the combatants while the victory was undecided. The following day the Romans stood drawn up for battle from sun-rise till late in the day; but none of the enemy coming out against them, they gathered the spoils at their leisure, and collecting the bodies of their own troops into a heap, burnt them. The following night Hannibal decamped in silence, and moved on into Apulia. As soon as daylight discovered the flight of the enemy, Marcellus, leaving his wounded under the protection of a small garrison at Numistro, in command of which he placed Lucius Furius Purpureo, a military tribune, commenced a close pursuit of Hannibal, and overtook him at Venusia. Here, during several days, parties of troops sallying from the outposts, battles took place between foot and horses promiscuously, rather irregular than important, but which for the most part were favourable to the Romans. The armies were marched thence through Apulia without any engagement worth recording; for Hannibal marched by night, seeking an opportunity for ambuscade, but Marcellus never followed him except in broad daylight, and after having explored the country.
Ab urbe condita 27.3
In the mean time, while Flaccus was detained at Capua in selling the property of the nobles, and letting out the land which had been forfeited, all of which he let for a rent to be paid in corn, lest occasions for exercising severity toward the Campanians should be wanting, a new piece of inquiry which had been ripening in secret, was brought out in evidence. He had compelled his soldiers, withdrawn from the houses, to build for themselves huts after the military manner, near the gates and walls; at once, that the houses of the city might be let and occupied together with the land, also through fear, lest the excessive luxury of the city should enervate his troops as it had those of Hannibal. Now many of these were formed of hurdles or boards, others of reeds interwoven, all being covered with straw, as if combustable materials had been employed on purpose. A hundred and seventy Campanians, headed by the Blosii who were fathers, had formed a conspiracy to set fire to all these at a late hour of the night; but information of the conspiracy having been given by one of the slaves of the Blosii, the gates were suddenly closed by the command of the proconsul, and all the soldiers had been assembled under arms, on a signal given all who were implicated in the guilt were seized, and, after rigorous examination, were condemned and executed, informers were rewarded with liberty and ten thousand asses each. The people of Nuceria and Acerra, who complained that they had no where to dwell, Acerra being partly burnt, and Nuceria demolished, Fulvius sent to Rome to the senate. Permission was given to the people of Acerra to rebuild what had been destroyed by fire. The people of Nuceria were removed to Atella, as they preferred; the people of Atella being ordered to migrate to Calatia. Among the many and important events, sometimes prosperous, sometimes adverse, which occupied men's thoughts, not even the citadel of Tarentum was forgotten. Marcus Ogulnius and Publius Aquillius went into Etruria as commissioners to buy up corn to be conveyed to Tarentum; and one thousand men out of the city troops, an equal number of Romans and allies, were sent to the same place, together with the corn, for its protection.
Ab urbe condita 27.4
The summer was now on the close, and the time for the election of consuls drew nigh; but a letter from Marcellus, in which he stated, that it would not be for the interest of the state that he should depart a single step from Hannibal, whom he was severely pressing while retreating before him and evading an engagement, had excited anxiety, lest they must either recall the consul from the war at that time when he was most actively employed, or consuls should not be appointed for the year. The best course appeared to be to recall in preference the consul Valerius from Sicily, although he was out of Italy. A letter was sent to him by Lucius Manlius, the city praetor, by order of the senate, together with the letter of Marcus Marcellus, the consul, that he might learn from it what reason the senate had for recalling him from his province rather than his colleague. Much about this time ambassadors came to Rome from king Syphax with accounts of the successful battles which he had fought with the Carthaginians. They assured the senate that there was no people to whom the king was more hostile than the Carthaginians, and none to whom he was more friendly than the Romans. They said, that "he had before sent ambassadors into Spain, to Cneius and Publius Cornelius, the Roman generals, but that he was now desirous to solicit the friendship of the Romans, as it were, from the fountain-head itself." The senate not only returned a gracious answer to the ambassadors, but also sent as ambassadors to the king, with presents, Lucius Genucius, Publius Paetelius, and Publius Popillius. The presents they carried were a purple gown and vest, an ivory chair, and a bowl formed out of five pounds of gold. They received orders to proceed forthwith to other petty princes of Africa carrying with them as presents for them gowns bordered with purple, and golden bowls weighing three pounds each. Marcus Atilius and Manius Acilius were also sent as ambassadors to Alexandria, to king Ptolemy and queen Cleopatra, to revive and renew the treaty of friendship with them, carrying with them as presents a gown and purple tunic, with an ivory chair for the king, and an embroidered gown and a purple vest for the queen. During the summer in which these transactions took place, many prodigies were reported from the country and cities in the neighbourhood; at Tusculum it was said that a lamb was yeaned with its dug full of milk; that the roof of the temple of Jupiter was struck with lightning and almost stripped of its entire covering. Much about the same time it was reported that the ground in front of the gate at Anagnia was struck, and that it continued burning for a day and a night without any thing to feed the fire; that at Compitum in the territory of Anagnia, the birds had deserted the nests in the trees in the grove of Diana; that snakes of amazing size had leaped up, like fishes sporting, in the sea at Taracina not far from the port; at Tarquinii, that a pig was produced with a human face; that in the territory of Capena at the grove of Feronia, four statues had sweated blood profusely for a day and a night. These prodigies were expiated with victims of the greater kind, according to a decree of the pontiffs, and a supplication was fixed to be performed for one day at Rome at all the shrines, and another in the territory of Capena at the grove of Feronia.
Ab urbe condita 27.5
Marcus Valerius, the consul, having been summoned by letter, gave the command of the province and his army to Cincius the praetor, sent Marcus Valerius Messala, commander of the fleet, with half of the ships to Africa, at the same time to plunder the country and observe what the Carthaginians were doing, and what preparations they were making, and then set out himself with ten ships for Rome; where, having arrived in safety, he immediately convened the senate. Here he made a recital of his services. That "after hostilities had been carried on, and severe losses often sustained, both by sea and land, through a period of almost sixty years, he had completely terminated the business of the province. That there was not one Carthaginian in Sicily, nor one Sicilian absent of those who through fear had been compelled to go into exile and live abroad; that all of them were brought back to their cities and fields, and were employed in ploughing and sowing; that the land which was deserted was now again inhabited, not only yielding its fruits to its cultivators, but forming a most certain resource for the supply of provisions to the Roman people in peace and war." After this, Mutines and such others as had rendered any services to the Roman people were introduced into the senate, and all received honorary rewards in fulfilment of the consul's engagement. Mutines was also made a Roman citizen, a proposition to that effect having been made to the commons by a plebeian tribune, on the authority of the senate. While these things were going on at Rome, Marcus Valerius Messala, arriving on the coast of Africa before daylight, made a sudden descent on the territory of Utica; and after ravaging it to a great extent, and taking many prisoners, together with booty of every kind, he returned to his ships and sailed over to Sicily. He returned to Lilybaeum on the thirteenth day from the time he left it. From the prisoners, on examination, the following facts were discovered, and all communicated in writing to the consul Laevinus in order, so that he might know in what state the affairs of Africa were. That "five thousand Numidians, with Masinissa, the son of Gala, a youth of extraordinary spirit, were at Carthage, and that other troops were hiring throughout all Africa, to be passed over into Spain to Hasdrubal; in order that he might, as soon as possible, pass over into Italy, with as large a force as could be collected, and form a junction with Hannibal." That the Carthaginians considered their success dependent on this measure. That a very large fleet was also in preparation for the recovery of Sicily, which they believed would sail thither in a short time. The recital of these facts had such an effect upon the senate, that they resolved that the consul ought not to wait for the election, but that a dictator should be appointed to hold it, and that the consul should immediately return to his province. A difference of opinion delayed this, for the consul declared that he should nominate as dictator Marcus Valerius Messala, who then commanded the fleet in Sicily; but the fathers denied that a person could be appointed dictator who was not in the Roman territory, and this was limited by Italy. Marcus Lucretius, a plebeian tribune, having taken the sense of the senate upon the question, it was decreed, "that the consul before he quitted the city, should put the question to the people, as to whom they wished to be appointed dictator, and that he should nominate whomsoever they directed. If the consul were unwilling that the praetor should put the question, and if even he were unwilling to do it, that then the tribunes should make the proposition to the commons." The consul refusing to submit to the people what lay in his own power, and forbidding the praetor to do so, the plebeian tribunes put the question, and the commons ordered that Quintus Fulvius, who was then at Capua, should be nominated dictator. But on the night preceding the day on which the assembly of the people was to be held for that purpose, the consul went off privately into Sicily; and the fathers, thus deserted, decreed that a letter should be sent to Marcus Claudius, in order that he might come to the support of the state, which had been abandoned by his colleague, and appoint him dictator whom the commons had ordered. Thus Quintus Fulvius was appointed dictator by Marcus Claudius, the consul, and in conformity with the same order of the people, Publius Licinius Crassus, chief pontiff, was appointed master of the horse by Quintus Fulvius, the dictator.
Ab urbe condita 27.6
After the dictator had arrived at Rome, he sent Cneius Sempronius Blaesus, who had acted under him as lieutenant general at Capua, into the province of Etruria, to take the command of the army there, in the room of the praetor, Caius Calpurnius, whom he had summoned by letter to take the command of Capua and his own army. He fixed the first date he could for the election: which, however, could not be brought to a conclusion, in consequence of a dispute which arose between the tribunes and the dictator. The junior century of the Galerian tribe, to whose lot it fell to give the votes first, had named Quintus Fulvius and Quintus Fabius as consuls; and the other centuries, on being called upon to vote according to their course, would have inclined the same way, had not the class="battle">plebeian tribunes, Caius and Lucius Arennius interposed. They said, "that it was hardly constitutional that a chief magistrate should be continued in office but that it was a precedent still more shocking, that the very person who held the election should be appointed. Then therefore, if the dictator should allow his own name to appear they would interpose against the election; but if the names of any other persons besides himself were put up, they should not impede it." The dictator defended the election by the authority of the fathers, the order of the commons, and precedents. For, "in the consulate of Cneius Servilius, when the other consul, Caius Flaminius, had fallen at Trasimenus, it was proposed to the people on the authority of the fathers, and the people had ordered, that as long as the war continued in Italy, it should be lawful for the people to elect to the consulship whomsoever they pleased, out of those persons who had been consuls, and as often as they pleased. That he had a precedent of ancient date, which was to the point, in the case of Lucius Posthumius Megellus, who, while he was interrex, had been created consul with Caius Junius Bubulcus, at an election over which he himself presided; and a precedent of recent date, in Quintus Fabius, who certainly would never have allowed himself to be re-elected, had it not been for the good of the state." After the contest had been continued for a long time, by arguments of this kind, at length the tribunes and the dictator came to an agreement, that they should abide by what the senate should decide. The fathers were of opinion, that such was then the condition of the state, that it was necessary that its affairs should be conducted by old and experienced generals, who were skilled in the art of war; and, therefore, that no delay should take place in the election. The tribunes then withdrew their opposition, and the election was held. Quintus Fabius Maximus was declared consul for the fifth time, and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus for the fourth. The praetors were then created; Lucius Veturius Philo, Titus Quintus Crispinus, Caius Hostilius Tubulus, and Caius Aurunculeius. The magistrates for the year being appointed, Quintus Fulvius resigned the dictatorship. At the end of this summer, a Carthaginian fleet of forty ships, under the command of Hamilcar, passed over to Sardinia. At first it laid waste the territory of Olbia, and then Publius Manlius Vulso, with his army, making his appearance, it sailed round thence to the other side of the island, and devastating the territory of Caralis, returned to Africa with booty of every kind. Several Roman priests died this year, and others were substituted. Caius Servilius was appointed pontiff, in the place of Titus Otacilius Crassus. Tiberius Sempronius Longus, son of Tiberius, was appointed as augur, in the place of Titus Otacilius Crassus; and Tiberius Sempronius Longus, son of Tiberius, was appointed decemvir for the performance of sacred rites, in the room of Tiberius Sempronius Longus, son of Caius. Marcus Marcius, king of the sacred rites, and Marcus Aemilius Papus, chief curio, died; but no priests were appointed to succeed them this year. The censors this year were Lucius Veturius Philo, and Publius Licinius Crassus chief pontiff. Licinius Crassus had neither been consul nor praetor before he was appointed censor, he stepped from the aedileship to the censorship. These censors neither chose the senate, nor transacted any public business, the death of Lucius Veturius prevented it; on this Licinius also gave up his office. The curule aediles, Lucius Veturius and Publius Licinius Varus, repeated the Roman games during one day. The plebeian aediles, Quintus Catius and Lucius Porcius Licinius, furnished brazen statues for the temple of Ceres, out of the money arising from fines, and exhibited games with great pomp and splendour, considering the circumstances of the times.
Ab urbe condita 27.7
At the close of this year, Caius Laelius, the lieutenant general of Scipio, came to Rome on the thirty-fourth day after he set out from Tarraco, and entering the city accompanied by a train of captives, drew together a great concourse of people. The next day, on being brought into the senate, he stated that Carthage, the capital of Spain, had been captured in one day, that several cities which had revolted were regained, and that fresh ones had been received into alliance. From the prisoners, information was gained, corresponding for the most part with what was contained in the letter of Marcus Valerius Messala. What produced the greatest effect upon the fathers, was the march of Hasdrubal into Italy, which was with difficulty resisting Hannibal and his forces. Laelius also, who was brought before the general assembly, gave a particular statement of the same things. The senate decreed a supplication for one day, on account of the successes of Publius Scipio, and ordered Caius Laelius to return as soon as possible to Spain, with the ships he had brought with him. I have laid the taking of Carthage in this year, on the authority of many writers, although aware that some have stated that it was taken the following year, because it appeared to me hardly probable that Scipio should have spent an entire year in Spain in doing nothing. Quintus Fabius Maximus for the fifth time, and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus for the fourth having entered on their offices of consuls on the ides of March, on the same day, Italy was decreed as the province of both, their command, however, was distributed to separate districts. Fabius was appointed to carry on the war at Tarentum; Fulvius in Lucania and Bruttium. Marcus Claudius was continued in command for the year. The praetors then cast lots for their provinces. Caius Hostilius Tubulus obtained the city jurisdiction; Lucius Veturius Philo the foreign, with Gaul; Titus Quinctius Crispinus, Capua; Caius Aurunculeius, Sardinia. The troops were thus distributed through the provinces: Fulvius received the two legions which Marcus Valerius Laevinus had in Sicily; Quintus Fabius, those which Caius Calpurnius had commanded in Etruria. The city troops were to succeed those in Etruria; Caius Calpurnius commanding the same province and the army. Titus Quinctius was to take the command of Capua, and the army which had served under Quintus Fulvius there. Lucius Veturius was to succeed Caius Laetorius, propraetor, in his province and the command of the army, which was then at Ariminum. Marcus Marcellus had the legions with which he had been successful when consul. To Marcus Valerius together with Lucius Cincius, for these also were continued in command in Sicily, the troops which had fought at Cannae were given, with orders to recruit them out of the surviving soldiers of the legions of Cneius Fulvius. These were collected and sent by the consuls into Sicily, and the same ignominious condition of service was added, under which the troops which had fought at Cannae served, and to those troops belonging to the army of Cneius Fulvius, the praetor, which had been sent thither by the senate through displeasure occasioned by a similar flight. Caius Aurunculeius was appointed to command, in Sardinia, the same legions with which Publius Manlius Vulso had occupied that province. Publius Sulpicius was continued in command for the year, with orders to hold Macedonia with the same legion and fleet. Orders were given to send thirty quinqueremes from Sicily to Tarentum, to the consul Fabius. With the rest of the ships, orders were given that Marcus Valerius Laevinus should either pass over himself into Africa to ravage the country, or send either Lucius Cincius or Marcus Valerius Messala. With regard to Spain, no alteration was made, except that Scipio and Silanus were continued in command, not for the year, but until they should be recalled by the senate. In such manner were the provinces and the commands of the armies distributed for this year.
Ab urbe condita 27.8
Amid concerns of greater importance, an old dispute was revived at the election of a chief curio, when a priest was appointed to succeed Marcus Aemilius; the patricians denying that Caius Mamilius Vitulus, who was a plebeian candidate, ought to be allowed to stand, because no one before his time had held that priesthood who was not a patrician. The tribunes, on being appealed to, referred the matter to the senate. The senate left it to the decision of the people. Thus Caius Mamilius Vitulus was the first plebeian created chief curio. Publius Licinius, chief pontiff, compelled Caius Valerius Flaccus to be inaugurated flamen of Jupiter, against his will. Caius Valerius Laetorius was created decemvir for the performance of sacred rites, in the room of Quintus Mucius Scaevola, deceased. I should willingly have passed over in silence the reason of a flamen's being compelled to be inaugurated, had he not become a good, from having been a bad character. In consequence of having spent his youth in idleness and debauchery, vices for which he had incurred the displeasure of his own brother, Lucius Flaccus, and the rest of his kinsmen, Caius Flaccus was chosen flamen by Publius Licinius, chief pontiff. As soon as his mind became occupied with the care of the sacred rites and ceremonies, he soon so completely divested himself of his former habits, that no one among all the youth was more esteemed, or enjoyed in a greater degree the approbation of the chief of the patricians, whether relations or aliens. Being raised by this generally good character to a proper confidence in himself, he claimed to be admitted into the senate; a thing intermitted for many years, on account of the worthlessness of former flamens. On entering the senate, Lucius Licinius, the praetor, led him out; on which the flamen appealed to the tribunes of the people. He demanded back the ancient privilege of his priesthood, which was given, together with the purple-bordered robe, and the curule chair, to the office of flamen. The praetor wished the question to rest not on the precedents contained in the annals, which were obsolete from their antiquity, but on the usual practice in all the cases of most recent date; urging, that no flamen of Jupiter, in the memory of their fathers or their grandfathers, had taken up that privilege. The tribunes giving it as their opinion, that justice required, that as the obliteration of the privilege was occasioned by the negligence of the flamens, the consequences ought to fall upon the flamens themselves, and not upon the office, led the flamen into the senate, with the general approbation of the fathers, and without any opposition, even from the praetor himself; while all were of opinion that the flamen had obtained his object more from the purity of his life, than any right appertaining to the priesthood. The consuls, before they departed to their provinces, raised two legions for the city, and as many soldiers as were necessary to make up the numbers of the other armies. The consul Fulvius appointed his brother, Caius Fulvius Flaccus, lieutenant-general, to march the old city army into Etruria, and to bring to Rome the legions which were in Etruria. And the consul Fabius ordered his son, Quintus Fabius Maximus, to lead the remains of the army of Fulvius, which had been collected, amounting to three thousand three hundred and thirty-six, into Sicily to Marcus Valerius, the proconsul, and to receive from him two legions and thirty quinqueremes. The withdrawing of these legions from the island did not at all diminish the force employed for the protection of that province, either in effect or appearance; for though, in addition to two veteran legions which were most effectively reinforced, he had a great number of Numidian deserters, both horse and foot, he raised also a body of Sicilian troops, consisting of men who had served in the armies of Epicydes and the Carthaginians, and were experienced in war. Having added these foreign auxiliaries to each of the Roman legions, he preserved the appearance of two armies. With one he ordered Lucius Cinctius to protect that portion of the island which had formed the kingdom of Hiero, with the other he himself guarded the rest of the island, which was formerly divided by the boundary of the Roman and Carthaginian dominions. He divided also the fleet of seventy ships, in order that it might protect the sea-coast, through the entire extent of its shores. He himself went through the island with the cavalry of Mutines to inspect the lands, observe those which were cultivated and those which were not, and, accordingly, either praise or reprove the owners. By this diligence so large a quantity of corn was produced, that he both sent some to Rome, and collected at Catana corn which might serve as a supply for the army, which was about to pass the summer at Tarentum.
Ab urbe condita 27.8
But the transportation of the soldiers into Sicily, and they consisted chiefly of Latins and allies, had very nearly caused a serious commotion; from such trifling circumstances do events of great importance frequently arise. A murmuring arose among the Latins and allies at their meetings. They said, that "they had been drained by levies and contributions for ten years. That almost every year they fought with the most disastrous consequences. That some of them were slain in the field, others were carried off by disease. That a countryman of theirs who was enlisted by the Romans was more lost to them than one who was taken prisoner by the Carthaginians; for the latter was sent back to his country by the enemy without ransom, while the former was sent beyond the limits of Italy, into exile rather than military service. That the troops which fought at Cannae were growing old there, for eight years, and would die there before the enemy, who was now more than ever flourishing and vigorous would depart from Italy. If the old soldiers did not return to their country, and fresh ones were enlisted, that in a short time there would be no one left. That, therefore, they must refuse to the Roman people, before they came to utter desolation and want, what shortly their very condition would refuse. If the Romans saw their allies unanimous on this point that they would then certainly think of making peace with the Carthaginians; otherwise, Italy would never be without war while Hannibal was alive." Thus they discoursed in their meetings. The Roman people had at that time thirty colonies. Twelve of these, for they all had embassies in Rome, told the consuls that they had not whence to furnish either men or money. The twelve were Ardea, Nepete Sutrium, Alba, Carseoli, Cora, Suessa, Cerceii, Setia, Cales Narnia, Interamna. The consuls, astonished at this new proceeding, were desirous to deter them from so hateful a measure and, considering that they could effect this better by censure and remonstrance than by mild means, said that "they had dared to say to the consuls what the consuls could not bring their minds to declare in the senate; for that this was not refusal to perform military service, but an open defection from the Roman people. They desired, therefore, that they would return to their colonies speedily, and that, considering the subject as untouched, as they had only spoken of, but not attempted, so impious a business, they would consult with their countrymen. That they would warn them that they were not Campanians or Tarentines, but Romans; that from thence they derived their origin, and thence were sent out into colonies and lands captured from the enemy, for the purpose of increasing the population. That they owed to the Romans what children owed to parents, if they possessed any natural affection, or any gratitude towards their mother country. That they should, therefore, consider the matter afresh; for that certainly what they then so rashly meditated, was the betraying the Roman empire, and putting the victory in the hands of Hannibal." The consuls having spent a long time in exchanging arguments of this kind, the ambassadors, who were not at all moved by what they said, declared, that "they had nothing which they could carry home, nor had their senate any thing fresh to devise, having neither men to be enlisted, nor money to be furnished for pay." The consuls, seeing that they were inflexible, laid the matter before the senate; where the alarm excited in the minds of all was so great, that "the greater part declared it was all over with the empire; that the rest of the colonies would take the same course, and that all the allies had conspired to betray the city of Rome to Hannibal."
Ab urbe condita 27.10
The consuls endeavoured to encourage and console the senate, telling them that "the other colonies would maintain their allegiance, and continue in their former state of dutiful obedience, and that those very colonies who had renounced their allegiance, would be inspired with respect for the empire, if ambassadors were sent round to them to reprove and not entreat them." The senate having given them permission to do and to act as they might conceive best for the state; after sounding the intentions of the other colonies, the consuls summoned their ambassadors, and asked them whether they had their soldiers ready according to the roll? Marcus Sextilius of Fregellae replied, in behalf of the eighteen colonies, that "they both had their soldiers ready according to the roll, and if more were wanting would furnish more, and would perform with all diligence whatever else the Roman people commanded and wished; that to do this they wanted not means, and of inclination they had more than enough." The consuls, having first told them that any praises bestowed by themselves alone seemed too little for their deserts, unless the whole body of the fathers should thank them in the senate-house, led them before the senate. The senate, having voted an address to them conceived in the most honourable terms, charged the consuls to take them before the assembly of the people; and, among the many other distinguished services rendered to themselves and their ancestors, to make mention also of this recent obligation conferred upon the state. Nor even at the present day, after the lapse of so many ages let their names be passed over in silence, nor let them be defrauded of the praise due to them. They were the people of Signia, Norba, Saticulum, Brundusium, Fregellae, Lucerium Venusia, Adria, Firma, Ariminum; on the other sea, Pontius Paestum, and Cosa; and in the inland parts Beneventum, Aesernia, Spoletum, Placentia, and Cremona. By the support of these colonies the empire of the Roman people then stood; and the thanks both of the senate and the people were given to them. As to the twelve other colonies which refused obedience, the fathers forbade that their names should be mentioned, that their ambassadors should either be dismissed or retained, to be addressed by the consuls. Such a tacit reproof appears most consistent with the dignity of the Roman people. While the consuls were getting in readiness all the other things which were necessary for the war, it was resolved that the vicesimary gold, which was preserved in the most sacred part of the treasury as a resource in cases of extreme exigencies should be drawn out. There were drawn out as many as four thousand pounds of gold, from which five hundred pounds each were given to the consuls, to Marcus Marcellus and Publius Sulpicius, proconsuls, and Lucius Veturius, the praetor, who had by lot obtained Gaul as his province; and in addition, one hundred pounds of gold were given to the consul Fabius, as an extraordinary grant to be carried into the citadel of Tarentum. The rest they employed in contracts, for ready money, for clothing for the army which was carrying on the war in Spain, to their own and their general glory.
Ab urbe condita 27.11
It was resolved also, that the prodigies should be expiated before the consuls set out from the city. In the Alban mount, the statue of Jupiter and a tree near the temple were struck by lightning; at Ostia, a grove; at Capua, a wall and the temple of Fortune; at Sinuessa, a wall and a gate. Some also asserted, that water at Alba had flowed tinged with blood. That at Rome, within the cell of Fors Fortuna, an image, which was in the crown of the goddess, had fallen spontaneously from her head into her hands. At Privernum, it was satisfactorily established that an ox spoke, and that a vulture flew down into a shop, while the forum was crowded. And that a child was born at Sinuessa, of ambiguous sex, between a male and female, such as are commonly called Androgynes, a term derived from the Greek language, which is better adapted, as for most other purposes, so for the composition of words; also that it rained milk, and that a boy was born with the head of an elephant. These prodigies were then expiated with victims of the larger kind, and a supplication at every shrine and an offering up of prayers, was proclaimed for one day. It was also decreed, that Caius Hostilius, the praetor, should vow and perform the games in honour of Apollo as they had of late years been vowed and performed. During the same time, Quintus Fulvius, the consul, held an election for the creation of censors. Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, and Publius Sempronius Tuditanus, both of whom had not yet been consuls, were created censors. The question was put to the people on the authority of the fathers, and the people ordered that these censors should let to farm the Campanian lands. The choosing of the senate was delayed by a dispute which arose between the censors about the selection of a chief of the senate. The choice belonged to Sempronius; but Cornelius contended that the custom handed down by their fathers must be followed, which was, that they should choose him as chief of the senate who was first censor of those who were then alive; this was Titus Manlius Torquatus. Sempronius rejoined, that to whom the gods had given the lot of choosing, to him the same gods had given the right of exercising his discretion freely. That he would act in this affair according to his own free will, and would choose Quintus Fabius Maximus, whom he would prove to be the first man in the Roman state, even in the judgment of Hannibal. After a long verbal dispute, his colleague giving up the point, Quintus Fabius Maximus, the consul, was chosen, by Sempronius, chief of the senate. Another senate was then chosen, and eight names were passed over; among which was that of Lucius Caecilius Metellus, disrespected as the adviser of the abandonment of Italy, after the defeat at Cannae. In censuring those of the equestrian order, the same ground was acted upon, but there were very few to whom that disgrace belonged. All of the equestrian order belonging to the legions who had fought at Cannae, and were then in Sicily, were deprived of their horses. To this severe punishment they added another relating to time, which was, that the past campaign which they had served on horses furnished at the public expense should not be reckoned to them, but that they should serve ten campaigns on horses furnished at their own expense. They also searched for, and discovered, a great number of those who ought to have served in the cavalry; and all those who were seventeen years old at the beginning of the war and had not served, they disfranchised. They then contracted for the restoration of the seven shops, the shamble and the royal palace, situated round the forum, and which had been consumed by fire.
Ab urbe condita 27.12
Having finished every thing which was to be done in Rome, the consuls set out for the war. Fulvius first went advance to Capua; in a few days Fabius followed. He implored his colleague in person, and Marcellus by a letter use the most vigorous measures to detain Hannibal, while he was making an attack upon Tarentum. That when that city was taken from the enemy, who had been repulsed on all sides and had no place where he might make a stand or look back up as a safe retreat, he would not then have even a pretext for remaining in Italy. He also sent a messenger to Rhegium, the praefect of the garrison, which had been placed there the consul Laevinus, against the Bruttians, and consisted eight thousand men, the greater part of whom had been brought from Agathyrna in Sicily, as has been before mentioned, and were men who had been accustomed to live by rapine. To these were added fugitives of the Bruttians natives of that country, equal to them in daring, and under an equal necessity of braving every thing. This band ordered to be marched, first, to lay waste the Bruttian territory, and then to attack the city Caulonia. After having executed the order, not only with alacrity, but avidity, and having pillaged and put to flight the cultivators of the land they attacked the city with the utmost vigour. Marcellus incited by the letter of the consul, and because he had made up his mind that no Roman general was so good a match for Hannibal as himself, set out from his winter quarters as soon as there was plenty of forage in the fields, and met Hannibal at Canusium. The Carthaginian was then endeavouring to induce the Canusians to revolt, but as soon as he heard that Marcellus was approaching, he decamped thence. The country was open, without any covers adapted for an ambuscade; he therefore began to retire thence into woody districts. Marcellus closely pursued him, pitched his camp close to his, and when he had completed his works, led out his troops into the field. Hannibal engaged in slight skirmishes, and sent out single troops of horse and the spearmen from his infantry, not considering it necessary to hazard a general battle. He was, however, drawn on to a contest of that kind which he was avoiding. Hannibal had decamped by night, but was overtaken by Marcellus in a plain and open country. Then, while encamping, Marcellus, by attacking the workmen on all hands, prevented the completion of his works. Thus a pitched battle ensued, and all their forces were brought into action; but night coming on, they retired from an equal contest. They then hastily fortified their camps, which were a small space apart, before night. The next day, as soon as it was light, Marcellus led out his troops into the field; nor did Hannibal decline the challenge, but exhorted his soldiers at great length, desiring them "to remember Trasimenus and Cannae, and thus quell the proud spirit of their enemies." He said, "the enemy pressed upon him, and trod upon their heels; that he did not allow them to pass unmolested, pitch their camp, or even take breath and look around them; that every day, the rising sun and the Roman troops in battle-array were to be seen together on the plains. But if in one battle he should retire from the field, not without loss of blood, he would then prosecute the war more steadily and quietly." Fired by these exhortations, and at the same time wearied with the presumption of the enemy, who daily pressed upon them and provoked them to an engagement, they commenced the battle with spirit. The battle continued for more than two hours, when the right wing of the allies and the chosen band began to give way on the part of the Romans; which Marcellus perceiving, led the eighteenth legion to the front. While some were retiring in confusion, and others were coming up reluctantly, the whole line was thrown into disorder, and afterwards completely routed; while their fears getting the better of their sense of shame, they turned their backs. In the battle and in the flight there fell as many as two thousand seven hundred of the citizens and allies; among which were four Roman centurions and two military tribunes, Marcus Licinius and Marcus Helvius. Four military standards were lost by the wing which first fled, and two belonging to the legion which came up in place of the retiring allies.
Ab urbe condita 27.13
Marcellus, on his return to the camp, delivered an address to his soldiers so severe and acrimonious, that the words of their exasperated general were more painful to them than what they had suffered in the unsuccessful battle during the whole day. "I praise and thank the immortal gods," said he "that in such an affair the victorious enemy did not assail our very camp, when you were hurrying into the rampart and the gates with such consternation. There can be no doubt but you would have abandoned the camp with the same cowardice with which you gave up the battle. What panic was this? What terror? What sudden forgetfulness of who you are, and who the persons with whom you were fighting, took possession of your minds? Surely these are the same enemies in conquering and pursuing whom when conquered you spent the preceding summer; whom latterly you have been closely pursuing while they fled before you night and day; whom you have wearied by partial battles; whom yesterday you would not allow either to march or encamp. I pass over those things in which you might be allowed to glory; I will mention a circumstance which of itself ought to fill you with shame and remorse. Yesterday you separated from the enemy on equal terms. What alteration has last night, what on this day, produced? Have your forces been diminished by them, or theirs increased? I verily do not seem to be talking to my own troops, or to Roman soldiers. The bodies and the arms are the same. Had you possessed the same spirit, would the enemy have seen your backs? Would they have carried off a standard from any company or cohort? Hitherto he was wont to boast of having cut to pieces the Roman legions, but yesterday you gave him the glory, for the first time, of having put to flight an army." On this many soldiers began to call upon him to pardon them for that day, and entreat that he would now, whenever he pleased, make trial of the courage of his soldiers. "I will indeed make trial of you," said he, "and to-morrow I will lead you into the field, that in the character of conquerors, rather than conquered men, you may obtain the pardon you seek." To the cohorts which had lost their standards, he ordered that barley should be given. The centurions of the Campanians, whose standards were lost, he left to stand without their girdles and with their swords drawn; and gave orders that all, both horse and foot, should be ready under arms on the following day. Thus the assembly was dismissed; the soldiers confessing that they had been justly and deservedly rebuked; and that there was no one in the whole Roman army who had acquitted himself like a man, except the general, to whom they were bound to make atonement, either by their death or a glorious victory. The next day they appeared in readiness, according to the order, armed and equipped. The general praised them, and gave out, that "he should lead into the first line those who had commenced the flight on the preceding day, and those cohorts which had lost their standards. He now charged them all to fight and conquer, and exert every effort, one and all, that the intelligence of yesterday's flight might not arrive at Rome before that of this day's victory." They were then ordered to refresh themselves with food, in order that, if the fight should continue longer than might be expected, their strength might not fail. After every thing had been done and said, by which the courage of the soldiers might be roused, they advanced into the field.
Ab urbe condita 27.14
Hannibal, on receiving intelligence of this, said, "surely the enemy we have to do with can neither bear good nor bad fortune. If he is victorious, he fiercely pursues the vanquished. If conquered, he renews the contest with the victors." He then ordered the signal to be given, and led out his forces. The battle was fought on both sides with much more spirit than the day before. The Carthaginians exerting themselves to the utmost, to keep the glory they had acquired yesterday; the Romans, to remove their disgrace. On the side of the Romans, the left wing, and the cohorts which had lost their standards, fought in the first line, and the twentieth legion was drawn up on the right wing. Lucius Cornelius Lentulus and Caius Claudius Nero, lieutenant-generals, commanded the wings, Marcellus gave vigour to the centre by his presence, as an encourager and a witness. On the part of Hannibal, the Spaniards, who were the flower of his whole army, occupied the front line. After the battle had continued doubtful for a long time, Hannibal ordered the elephants to be advanced into the front line, if by that means any confusion or panic could be created. At first, they threw the troops into confusion and broke their ranks, and treading some under foot, and dispersing others who were round them by the alarm they created, had made an opening in one part of the Roman line; and the flight would have spread more widely had not Caius Decimus Flavius, a military tribune seizing the standard of the first maniple of the spearmen ordered that maniple to follow him. He led them to the spot where the elephants, collected in a body, were creating the greatest confusion, and ordered them to discharge their javelins at them. As there was no difficulty in hitting such bulky bodies at a short distance, and where so many were crowded together, all their javelins stuck in them. But they were not all wounded, so those in whose hides the javelins stuck, as that race of animals is not to be depended on, by taking themselves to flight, drove away those also which were untouched. At that moment not only one maniple, but all the soldiers who could but overtake the body of retreating elephants, threw their javelins at them, each man exerting himself to his utmost. With so much greater impetuosity did the animals rush upon their own men, and so much greater carnage did they make amongst them than they had made amongst their enemies, in proportion as the violence with which they are impelled, and the consternation produced by them when under the influence of fear, is greater than when they are ruled by their masters seated on their backs. The Roman infantry bore their standards against the line of the enemy when thrown into disorder by the elephants which had crossed over to them, and, thus scattered and confused, led them to flight without any great opposition. Marcellus sent his cavalry after them as they fled; nor did they desist from the pursuit till they were driven in consternation to their camp. For in addition to the other causes which occasioned terror and dismay, two elephants had fallen just by the gate, and the soldiers were compelled to rush into the camp over the ditch and rampart. Here the greatest slaughter of the enemy occurred. There fell as many as eight thousand men and five elephants. Nor did the Romans gain a bloodless victory; about seventeen hundred of the two legions, and thirteen hundred of the allies were slain; a great number of the Romans and allies were wounded. The following night Hannibal decamped. The great number of the wounded prevented Marcellus from following him, as he desired.
Ab urbe condita 27.15
TThe spies who were sent to watch his movements brought word back the next day that Hannibal was making for Bruttium. Much about the same time the Hirpinians, Lucanians, and Volcentes surrendered themselves to the consul, Quintus Fulvius, delivering up the garrisons of Hannibal which they had in their cities. They were mildly received by the consul, with only a verbal reproof for their past error. To the Bruttians also similar hopes of pardon were held out, when two brothers, Vibius and Pactius, by far the most illustrious persons of that nation, came from them to solicit the same terms of surrender which had been given to the Lucanians. Quintus Fabius, the consul, took by storm Manduria, a town in the territory of Sallentum, where as many as four thousand men were made prisoners, and much booty taken besides. Proceeding thence to Tarentum, he pitched his camp in the very mouth of the harbour: of the ships which Livius had employed for protecting convoys, some he loaded with engines and implements for attacking walls, others he furnished with machines for discharging missiles, and with stones and missiles of every kind; not only those which were impelled with oars, but the storeships also, in order that some might carry the engines and ladders to the walls, while others might wound the defenders of the walls by discharging missiles from the ships at a distance. These ships were fitted up and prepared to attack the town from the open sea; and the sea was free from the Carthaginian fleet, which had crossed over to Corcyra on account of Philip's preparing to attack the Aetolians. Meanwhile, those who were attacking Caulon, in the territory of Bruttium, fearful lest they should be overpowered, had retired on the approach of Hannibal to an eminence, secure from an immediate attack. While Fabius was besieging Tarentum, he received assistance in the accomplishment of that great object by a circumstance which in the mere mention, is unimportant. Tarentum was occupied by a garrison of Bruttians, given them by Hannibal and the commander of that garrison was desperately in love with a girl, whose brother was in the army of the consul Fabius. Being informed, by a letter from his sister, of the new acquaintance she had formed with a wealthy stranger and one so honoured among his countrymen, and conceiving a hope that the lover, by means of his sister, might be induced to any thing she pleased, he acquainted the consul with the hope he had formed. His reasoning appeared not altogether unfounded, and he was desired to go to Tarentum as a deserter and having gained the confidence of the praefect by means of his sister, he began by sounding his disposition in a covert manner, and then, having sufficiently ascertained his weakness, induced him, by the aid of female fascinations, to the betrayal of that custody of the place to which he was appointed. After the method to be pursued and the time for putting the plan into effect had been agreed upon, a soldier, who was sent out of the city by night clandestinely, through the intervals between the guards, related to the consul what had been done, and what had been agreed upon to be done. At the first watch, Fabius, on a signal given to those who were in the citadel, and those who had the custody of the harbour went himself round the harbour, and took up a position of concealment, on the side of the city which faced the east. Then the trumpets began to sound at once from the citadel, the harbour, and the ships which had been brought to the shore from the open sea, and a shout was purposely raised, accompanied with the greatest confusion, in whatever quarter there was the least danger. Meanwhile, the consul kept the men in silence. Democrates, therefore, who had formerly commanded the fleet, and happened to be in command in the quarter, seeing that all was quiet around him, while other parts of the city resounded with such a din that sometimes shout like that of a captured city was raised, and fearing loss while he hesitated, the consul should make some attack and advance his standards, led his party over to the citadel, from which the most alarming noise proceeded. Fabius, concluding that the guard was withdrawn, both from the time which had elapsed and from the silence which prevailed, for not a voice met the ear from a quarter where a little while ago the noise and bustle of men resounded, rousing and calling each other to arms, ordered the ladders to be carried to that part of the wall where the person who had contrived the plot for betraying the city, had informed him that the Bruttian cohort kept guard. The wall was first captured in that quarter, the Bruttians aiding and receiving the Romans; and here they got over into the city: after which the nearest gate was broken open in order that the troops might enter in a large body. Then raising a shout, they proceeded to the forum, where they arrived much about daybreak, without meeting a single armed man; and drew upon themselves the attention of all the troops in every quarter, which were fighting at the citadel and at the harbour.
Ab urbe condita 27.16
A battle was fought in the entrance of the forum, with greater impetuosity than perseverance. The Tarentines were not equal to the Romans in spirit, in their arms, in tactics, in activity or strength of body. Accordingly, having just discharged their javelins, they turned their backs almost before they had joined battle, and escaped in different directions through the streets of the city, with which they were acquainted, to their own houses and those of their friends. Two of their leaders, Nico and Democrates, fell while fighting bravely. Philomenus, who was the author of the plot for betraying the city to Hannibal, rode away from the battle at full speed. Shortly after, his horse, which was loose and straying through the city, was recognised, but his body could not be found any where. It was generally believed that he had pitched headlong from his horse into an open well. Carthalo, the praefect of the Carthaginian garrison, while coming to the consul unarmed, to put him in mind of a connexion of hospitality which subsisted between their fathers, was put to death by a soldier who met him. The rest were put to the sword on all hands, armed and unarmed indiscriminately, Carthaginians and Tarentines without distinction. Many of the Bruttians also were slain either by mistake or on account of an old grudge entertained against them, or else with a view to the report that the city was betrayed; in order that Tarentum might rather appear to have been captured by force of arms. The troops then ran off in all directions from the slaughter, to plunder the city. Thirty thousand slaves are said to have been captured; an immense quantity of silver, wrought and coined; eighty-three thousand pounds of gold; of statues and pictures so many that they almost equalled the decorations of Syracuse. But Fabius, with more magnanimity than Marcellus, abstained from booty of that kind. When his secretary asked him what he wished to be done with the statues of their gods, which are of immense size and represented as fighting, each having his peculiar habit, he gave orders that their angry gods should be left in the possession of the Tarentines. After this, the wall which separated the city from the citadel was razed and demolished. While things were going on thus at Tarentum, Hannibal, to whom the troops engaged in the siege of Caulonia had surrendered themselves, hearing of the siege of Tarentum, marched with the greatest expedition both night and day; but hearing that the city was taken, as he was hastening to bring assistance to it, he exclaimed, "the Romans too have their Hannibal. We have lost Tarentum by the same arts by which we took it." However, that he might not appear to have turned his army in the manner of a fugitive, he encamped where he had halted, about five miles from the city. After staying there a few days, he retired to Metapontum, from which place he sent two Metapontines with letters from the principal men in the state to Fabius at Tarentum, to the effect, that they would accept of his promise that their past conduct should be unpunished, on condition of their betraying Metapontum together with the Carthaginian garrison into his hands. Fabius, who supposed that the communication they brought was genuine, appointed a day on which he would go to Metapontum, and gave the letters to the nobles, which were put into the hands of Hannibal. He, forsooth, delighted at the success of his stratagem, which showed that not even Fabius was proof against his cunning, planted an ambuscade not far from Metapontum. But when Fabius was taking the auspices, before he took his departure from Tarentum, the birds more than once refused approval. Also, on consulting the gods after sacrificing a victim, the aruspex forewarned him to be on his guard against hostile treachery and ambuscade. After the day fixed for his arrival had passed without his coming, the Metapontines were sent again to encourage him, delaying, but they were instantly seized, and, from apprehension of a severer mode of examination, disclosed the plot.
Ab urbe condita 27.17
In the beginning of the summer during which these events occurred, after Publius Scipio had employed the whole of the winter in Spain in regaining the affections of the barbarians, partly by presents, and partly by sending home their hostages and prisoners, Edesco, a man distinguished among the Spanish commanders, came to him. His wife and children were in the hands of the Romans; but besides this motive, he was influenced by that apparently fortuitous turn in the state of feeling which had converted the whole of Spain from the Carthaginian to the Roman cause. The same motive induced Indibilis and Mandonius, who were undoubtedly the principal men in all Spain, to desert Hasdrubal and withdraw with the whole body of their countrymen to the eminences which overhung his camp, from which they had a safe retreat along a chain of hills to the Romans. Hasdrubal, perceiving that the strength of the enemy was increasing by such large accessions, while his own was diminishing, and that events would continue to flow in the same course they had taken, unless by a bold effort he effected some alteration, resolved to come to an engagement as soon as possible. Scipio was still more eager for a battle, as well from hope which the success attending his operations had increased, as because he preferred, before the junction of the enemy's forces, to fight with one general and one army, rather than with their united troops. However, in case he should be obliged to fight with more armies than one at the same time, he had with some ingenuity augmented his forces; for seeing that there was no necessity for ships, as the whole coast of Spain was clear of Carthaginian fleets, he hauled his ships on shore at Tarraco and added his mariners to his land forces. He had plenty of arms for them, both those which had been captured at Carthage, and those which he had caused to be made after its capture, so large a number of workmen having been employed. With these forces, setting out from Tarraco at the commencement of the spring, for Laelius had now returned from Rome, without whom he wished nothing of very great importance to be attempted, Scipio marched against the enemy. Indibilis and Mandonius, with their forces, met him while on his march; passing through every place Without molestation, his allies receiving him courteously, and escorting him as he passed the boundaries of each district. Indibilis, who spoke for both, addressed him by no means stupidly and imprudently like a barbarian, but with a modest gravity, rather excusing the change as necessary, than glorying that the present opportunity had been eagerly seized as the first which had occurred. "For he well knew," he said, "that the name of a deserter was an object of execration to former allies, and of suspicion to new ones; nor did he blame the conduct of mankind in this respect, provided, however, that the cause, and not the name, occasioned the twofold hatred." He then recounted the services they had rendered the Carthaginian generals, and on the other hand their rapacity and insolence, together with the injuries of every kind committed against themselves and their countrymen. "On this account," he said, "his person only up to that time had been with them, his heart had long since been on that side where he believed that right and justice were respected. That people sought for refuge, as suppliants, even with the gods when they could not endure the oppression and injustice of men. What he had to entreat of Scipio was, that their passing over to him might neither be the occasion of a charge of fraud nor a ground for respect, but that he would estimate their services according to what sort of men he should find them to be from experience from that day." The Roman replied, that "he would do so in every particular; nor would he consider those men as deserters who did not look upon an alliance as binding where no law, divine or human, was unviolated." Their wives and children were then brought before them and restored to them; on which occasion they wept for joy. On that day they were conducted to a lodging; on the following they were received as allies, by a treaty, after which they were sent to bring up their forces. From that time they had their tents in the same camp with the Romans, until under their guidance they had reached the enemy.
Ab urbe condita 27.18
The army of Hasdrubal, which was the nearest of the Carthaginian armies, lay near the city Baecula. Before his camp he had outposts of cavalry. On these the light-armed, those who fought before the standards and those who composed the vanguard, as they came up from their march, and before they chose the ground for their camp, commenced an attack in so contemptuous a manner, that it was perfectly evident what degree of spirit each party possessed. The cavalry were driven into their camp in disorderly flight, and the Roman standards were advanced almost within their very gates. Their minds on that day having only been excited to a contest, the Romans pitched their camp. At night Hasdrubal withdrew his forces to an eminence, on the summit of which extended a level plain. There was a river on the rear, in front and on either side a kind of steep bank completely surrounded its extremity. Beneath this and lower down was another plain of gentle declivity, which was also surrounded by a similar ridge equally difficult of ascent. Into this lower plain Hasdrubal, the next day, when he saw the troops of the enemy drawn up before their camp, sent his Numidian cavalry and light-armed Baleares. Scipio riding out to the companies and battalions, pointed out to them, that "the enemy having abandoned, beforehand, all hope of being able to withstand them on level ground, had resorted to hills: where they stood in view, relying on the strength of their position, and not on their valour and arms." But the walls of Carthage, which the Roman soldiers had scaled, were still higher. That neither hills, nor a citadel, nor even the sea itself, had formed an impediment to their arms. That the heights which the enemy had occupied would only have the effect of making it necessary for them to leap down crags and precipices in their flight, but he would even cut off that kind of retreat. He accordingly gave orders to two cohorts, that one of them should occupy the entrance of the valley down which the river ran, and that the other should block up the road which led from the city into the country, over the side of the hill. He himself led the light troops, which the day before had driven in the advanced guard of the enemy, against the light-armed troops which were stationed on the lower ridge. At first they marched through rugged ground, impeded by nothing except the road; afterwards, when they came within reach of the darts, an immense quantity of weapons of every description was showered upon them; while on their part, not only the soldiers, but a multitude of servants mingled with the troops, threw stones furnished by the place, which were spread about in every part, and for the most part convenient as missiles. But though the ascent was difficult, and they were almost overwhelmed with stones and darts, yet from their practice in approaching walls and their inflexibility of mind, the foremost succeeded in getting up. These, as soon as they got upon some level ground and could stand with firm footing, compelled the enemy, who were light-armed troops adapted for skirmishing, and could defend themselves at a distance, where an elusive kind of fight is carried on by the discharge of missiles, but yet wanted steadiness for a close action, to fly from their position; and, killing a great many, drove them to the troops which stood above them on the higher eminence. Upon this Seipio, having ordered the victorious troops to mount up and attack the centre of the enemy, divided the rest of his forces with Laelius; whom he directed to go round the hill to the right till he could find a way of easier ascent, while he himself, making a small circuit to the left, charged the enemy in flank. In consequence of this their line was first thrown into confusion, while they endeavoured to wheel round and face about their ranks towards the shouts which resounded from every quarter around them. During this confusion Laelius also came up, and while the enemy were retreating, that they might not be exposed to wounds from behind, their front line became disjoined, and a space was left for the Roman centre to mount up; who, from the disadvantage of the ground, never could have done so had their ranks stood unbroken with the elephants stationed in front. While the troops of the enemy were being slain on all sides, Scipio, who with his left wing had charged the right of the enemy, was chiefly employed in attacking their naked flank. And now there was not even room to fly; for parties of the Roman troops had blocked up the roads on both sides, right and left, and the gate of the camp was closed by the flight of the general and principal officers; added to which was the fright of the elephants, who, when in consternation, were as much feared by them as the enemy were. There were, therefore, slain as many as eight thousand men.
Ab urbe condita 27.19
Hasdrubal, having seized upon the treasure before he engaged, now sent the elephants in advance, and collecting as many of the flying troops as he could, directed his course along the river Tagus to the Pyrenees. Scipio, having got possession of the enemy's camp, and giving up all the booty to the soldiers, except the persons of free condition, found, on counting the prisoners, ten thousand foot and two thousand horse. Of these, all who were Spaniards he sent home without ransom; the Africans he ordered the quaestor to sell. After this, a multitude of Spaniards, consisting of those who had surrendered to him before and those whom he had captured the preceding day, crowding around, one and all saluted him as king; when Scipio, after the herald had obtained silence, declared that "in his estimation the most honourable title was that of general, which his soldiers had conferred upon him. That the name of king, which was in other countries revered, could not be endured at Rome. That they might tacitly consider his spirit as kingly, if they thought that the highest excellence which could be attributed to the human mind, but that they must abstain from the use of the term." Even barbarians were sensible of the greatness of mind which could from such an elevation despise a name, at the greatness of which the rest of mankind were overawed. Presents were then distributed to the petty princes and leading men of the Spaniards, and out of the great quantity of horses which were captured, he desired Indibilis to select those he liked best to the number of three hundred. While the quaestor was selling the Africans, according to the command of the general, he found among them a full-grown youth remarkably handsome; and hearing that he was of royal blood, he sent him to Scipio. On being asked by Scipio "who he was, of what country, and why at that age he was in the camp?" he replied, "that he was a Numidian, that his countrymen called him Massiva; that being left an orphan by his father, he was educated by his maternal grandfather, Gala, the king of the Numidians. That he had passed over into Spain with his uncle Masinissa, who had lately come with a body of cavalry to assist the Carthaginians. That having been prohibited by Masinissa on account of his youth, he had never before been in battle. That the day on which the battle took place with the Romans, he had clandestinely taken a horse and arms, and, without the knowledge of his uncle, gone out into the field, where his horse falling forward, he was thrown headlong, and taken prisoner by the Romans." Scipio, having ordered that the Numidian should be taken care of, completed the business which remained to be done on the tribunal, and returning to his pavilion, asked him, when he had been called to him, whether he wished to return to Masinissa? Upon his replying, with tears of joy, that he did indeed desire it, he presented the youth with a gold ring, a vest with a broad purple border, a Spanish cloak with a gold clasp, and a horse completely caparisoned, and then dismissed him, ordering a party of horse to escort him as far as he chose.
Ab urbe condita 27.20
A council was then held respecting the war; when some advised that he should endeavour to overtake Hasdrubal forthwith. But thinking that hazardous, lest Mago and the other Hasdrubal should unite their forces with his, he sent a body of troops to occupy the pass of the Pyrenees, and employed the remainder of the summer in receiving the states of Spain into his alliance. A few days after the battle of Baecula, when Scipio on his return to Tarraco had now cleared the pass of Castulo, the generals, Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, and Mago came from the farther Spain and joined Hasdrubal; a late assistance after the defeat he had sustained, though their arrival was somewhat seasonable, for counsel with respect to the further prosecution of the war. They then consulted together as to what was the feeling of the Spaniards in the quarters where their several provinces were situated, when Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, alone gave it as his opinion, that the remotest tract of Spain which borders on the ocean and Gades, was, as yet, unacquainted with the Romans, and might therefore be somewhat friendly to the Carthaginians. Between the other Hasdrubal and Mago it was agreed, that "Scipio by his good offices had gained the affections of all, both publicly and privately; and that there would be no end of desertions till all the Spanish soldiers were removed to the remotest parts of Spain, or were marched over into Gaul. That, therefore, though the Carthaginian senate had not decreed it, Hasdrubal must, nevertheless, march into Italy, the principal seat and object of the war; and thus at the same time lead away all the Spanish soldiers out of Spain far from the name of Scipio. That the army, which had been diminished by desertions and defeats, should be recruited by Spanish soldiers. That Mago, having delivered over his army to Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, should himself pass over to the Baleares with a large sum of money to hire auxiliaries; that Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, should retire with the army into the remotest part of Lusitania, and avoid an encounter with the Romans. That a body of three thousand horse should be made up for Masinissa, the flower of the whole cavalry; and that he, shifting about from place to place throughout hither Spain should succour their allies and commit depredations on the towns and lands of their enemies." Having adopted these resolutions, the generals departed to put in execution what they had resolved on. Such were the transactions in Spain of this year. At Rome the reputation of Scipio increased daily. The capture of Tarentum, though effected by artifice more than valour, was considered honourable to Fabius. The fame of Fulvius was on the wane. Marcellus was even under an ill report, not only because he had failed in his first battle, but further, because while Hannibal was going wherever he pleased throughout Italy, he had led his troops to Venusia in the midst of summer to lodge in houses. Caius Publicius Bibulus, a tribune of the people, was hostile to him. This man, ever since the time of his first battle which had failed, had in constant harangues made Claudius obnoxious and odious to the people; and now his object was to deprive him of his command. The connexions of Marcellus, however, then obtained leave that Marcellus, leaving a lieutenant-general at Venusia, should return to Rome to clear himself of the charges which his enemies were urging, and that the question of depriving him of his command should not be agitated during his absence. It happened that nearly at the same time, Marcellus, and Quintius Fulvius the consul, came to Rome, the former to exonerate himself from ignominy, the latter on account of the elections.
Ab urbe condita 27.21
The question touching Marcellus's command was debated in the Flaminian circus, in the presence of an immense concourse of plebeians and persons of every rank. The plebeian tribune accused, not only Marcellus, but the nobility generally. "It was owing," he said, "to their dishonesty and dilatory conduct, that Hannibal occupied Italy, as though it were his province, for now ten years; that he had passed more of his life there than at Carthage. That the Roman people were enjoying the fruits of the prolonged command of Marcellus; that his army, after having been twice defeated, was now spending the summer at Venusia lodged in houses." Marcellus so completely destroyed the effect of this harangue of the tribune, by the recital of the services he had rendered, that not only the bill for depriving him of his command was thrown out, but the following day he was created consul by the votes of all the centuries with wonderful unanimity. Titus Quinctius Crispinus, who was then praetor, was joined with him as his colleague. The next day Publius Licinius Crassus Dives, then chief pontiff, Publius Licinius Varus, Sextus Julius Caesar, and Quintus Claudius Flamen were created praetors. At the very time of the election, the public were thrown into a state of anxiety relative to the defection of Etruria. Caius Calpurnius, who held that province as propraetor, had written word that the Arretians had originated such a scheme. Accordingly Marcellus, consul elect, was immediately sent thither to look into the affair, and if it should appear to him of sufficient consequence, to send for his army and transfer the war from Apulia to Etruria. The Tuscans, checked by the alarm thus occasioned, desisted. To the ambassadors of Tarentum, who solicited a treaty of peace securing to them their liberty and the enjoyment of their own laws, the senate answered, that they might return when the consul Fabius came to Rome. The Roman and plebeian games were this year repeated each for one day. The curule aediles were, Lucius Cornelius Caudinus and Servius Sulpicius Galba; the plebeian aediles, Caius Servilius and Quintus Caecilius Metellus. It was asserted that Servilius was not qualified to be plebeian tribune or aedile, because it was satisfactorily established that his father, who, for ten years, was supposed to have been killed by the Boii in the neighbourhood of Mutina, when acting as triumvir for the distribution of lands, was alive and in the hands of the enemy.
Ab urbe condita 27.22
In the eleventh year of the Punic war, Marcus Marcellus, for the fifth time, reckoning in the consulate in which he did not act in consequence of an informality in his creation, and Titus Quinctius Crispinus entered upon the office of consuls. To both the consuls the province of Italy was decreed, with both the consular armies of the former year; (the third was then at Venusia, being that which Marcus Marcellus had commanded.) That out of the three armies the consuls might, choose whichever two they liked, and that the third should be delivered to him to whose lot the province of Tarentum and the territory of Sallentum fell. The other provinces were thus distributed among the praetors: Publius Licinius Varus had the city jurisdiction, Publius Licinius Crassus, chief pontiff, the foreign, and wherever the senate though proper. Sextus Julius Caesar had Sicily, and Quintus Claudius Flamen, Tarentum. Quintus Fulvius Flaccus was to continue in command for a year, and hold the province of Capua, which had been held by Titus Quinctius, with one legion. Caius Hostilius Tubulus was also continued in command, with orders to go into Etruria, in the capacity of propraetor, and succeed Caius Calpurnius in the command of the two legions there. Lucius Veturius Philo was also continued in command, to hold in the capacity of propraetor the same province of Gaul with the same two legions with which he had held it as praetor. The senate decreed the same with respect to Caius Aurunculeius, who, as praetor, had held the province of Sardinia with two legions, which it did in the case of Lucius Veturius, and the question of the continuation of his command was proposed to the people. He had in addition, for the protection of the province, fifty ships which Publius Scipio had sent from Spain. To Publius Scipio and Marcus Silanus, their present province of Spain and their present armies were assigned. Of the eighty ships which he had with him, some taken from Italy and others captured at Carthage, Scipio was ordered to send fifty to Sardinia, in consequence of a report that great naval preparations were making at Carthage that year; and that the intention of the Carthaginians was to blockade the whole coasts of Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia with two hundred ships. In Sicily also the following distribution was made: to Sextus Caesar the troops of Cannae were assigned; Marcus Valerius Laevinus, who was also continued in command, was to have the fleet of seventy ships which was at Sicily, adding to it the thirty ships which the preceding year were stationed at Tarentum. With this fleet of a hundred ships he was ordered to pass over into Africa, if he thought proper, and collect booty. Publius Sulpicius was also continued in command for a year, to hold the province of Macedonia and Greece, with the same fleet. No alteration was made with regard to the two legions which were at Rome. Permission was given to the consuls to enlist as many troops as were necessary to complete the numbers. This year the Roman empire was defended by twenty-one legions. Publius Licinius Varus, the city praetor, was also commissioned to repair the thirty old men of war which lay at Ostia, and to man twenty new ones with full complements, in order that he might defend the sea-coast in the neighbourhood hood of Rome with a fleet of fifty ships. Caius Calpurnius was ordered not to move his army from Arretium till his successor had arrived. Both he and Tubulus were ordered to be particularly careful, lest any new plots should be formed in that quarter.
Ab urbe condita 27.23
The praetors set out for their provinces. The consul were detained by religious affairs; for receiving intelligence of several prodigies, they could not easily obtain a favourable appearance from the victims. It was reported from Campania, that two temples, those of Fortune and Mars, and several sepulchres, had been struck by lightning. From Cumae, so does superstition connect the deities with the most trifling circumstances, that mice had gnawed some gold in the temple of Jupiter. That an immense swarm of bees had settled in the forum at Casinum. That at Ostia a wall and gate had been struck by lightning. At Caere, that a vulture had flown into the temple of Jupiter. That blood had flowed from a lake at Volsinii. On account of these prodigies, a supplication was performed for one day. For several days, victims of the larger kind were sacrificed without any favourable appearance, and for a long time the good will of the gods could not be obtained. The fatal event indicated by these portents pointed to the persons of the consuls, the state being unaffected. The Apollinarian games were first celebrated by Publius Cornelius Sulla, the city praetor, in the consulate of Quintus Fulvius and Appius Claudius; from that time all the city praetors in succession had performed them; but they vowed them for one year only, and fixed no day for their performance. This year a grievous pestilence attacked the city and the country; it showed itself, however, in protracted rather than fatal diseases. On account of this pestilence supplication was performed in every street throughout the city; and Publius Licinius Varus, the city praetor, was ordered to propose to the people a law to the effect, that a vow should be made to perform these games on a stated day for ever. He himself was the first who vowed them in this manner, and he celebrated them on the third day of the nones of July, a day which was henceforth kept sacred.
Ab urbe condita 27.24
The reports respecting the people of Arretium became daily more serious, and the anxiety of the fathers increased. A letter was therefore written to Caius Hostilius, directing him not to delay taking hostages from that people; and Caius Terentius Varro was sent, with a command, to receive from him the hostages and convey them to Rome. On his arrival, Hostilius immediately ordered one legion, which was encamped before the city, to march into it; and having posted guards in suitable places, he summoned the senate into the forum and demanded hostages of them. On the senate's requesting a delay of two days to consider the matter, he declared that they must themselves give them forthwith, or he would the next day take all the children of the senators. After this the military tribunes, the praefects of the allies, and the centurions, were ordered to keep watch at the gates, that no one might go out by night. This duty was not performed with sufficient care and attention, for seven of the principal senators, with their children, escaped before night, and before the guards were posted at the gates. The next day, as soon as it was light, the senate began to be summoned into the forum, when they were missed and their goods were sold. From the rest of the senators one hundred and twenty hostages, consisting of their own children, were taken and delivered over to Caius Terentius to be conveyed to Rome. Before the senate he made every thing more suspected than before. Considering, therefore, that there was imminent danger of a commotion in Tuscany, they ordered Caius Terentius himself to lead one of the city legions to Arretium, and to employ it for the protection of the city. It was also resolved, that Caius Hostilius, with the other army, should traverse the whole province, and use precautions, that no opportunity might be afforded to those who were desirous of altering the state of things. On his arrival at Arretium with the legion, Terentius asked the magistrates for the keys of the gates, when they declared they could not be found; but he, believing that they had been put out of the way with some bad intention rather than lost through negligence, took upon himself to have fresh locks put upon all the gates, and used diligent care to keep every thing in his own power. He earnestly cautioned Hostilius to rest his hope in this; that the Tuscans would remain quiet, if he should take care that not a step could be taken.
Ab urbe condita 27.25
The case of the Tarentines was then warmly debated in the senate, Fabius being present, and himself defending those whom he had subdued by force of arms, while others entertained an angry feeling towards them; the greater part comparing them with the Campanians in guilt and punishment. A decree of the senate was passed conformably to the opinion of Manius Acilius, that the town should be guarded by a garrison, and that all the Tarentines should be kept within their walls; and further, that the question touching their conduct should be hereafter laid before the senate afresh when the state of Italy should be more tranquil. The case of Marcus Livius, praefect of the citadel of Tarentum, was also debated with no less warmth; some proposing a vote of censure against the praefect on the ground that Tarentum was betrayed to the enemy through his negligence, others proposing rewards for having defended the citadel for five years, and because Tarentum had been recovered chiefly by his single efforts; while some, adopting an intermediate course, declared that it appertained to the censors, and not to the senate, to take cognizance of his case; and of this latter opinion was Fabius, who added, however, "that he admitted that the recovery of Tarentum was owing to the efforts of Livius, as his friends openly boasted in the senate, but that there would have been no necessity for its recovery, had it not been lost." One of the consuls, Titus Quinctius Crispinus, set out for Lucania, with some troops to make up the numbers, to take the command of the army which had served under Quintus Fulvius Flaccus. Marcellus was detained by a succession of religious scruples, which presented themselves to his mind. One of which was, that when in the Gallic war at Clastidium he had vowed a temple to Honour and Valour, its dedication was impeded by the pontiffs, who said, that one shrine could not with propriety be dedicated to two deities; because if it should be struck with lightning or any kind of portent should happen in it, the expiation would be attended with difficulty as it could not be ascertained to which deity sacrifice ought to be made; nor could one victim be lawfully offered to two deities, unless in particular cases. Accordingly another temple to Virtue was erected with all speed. Nevertheless, these temples were not dedicated by Marcellus himself. Then at length he set out, with the troops raised to fill up the numbers, to the army he had left the preceding year at Venusia. Crispinus, who endeavoured to reduce Locri in Bruttium by a siege, because he considered that the affair of Tarentum had added greatly to the fame of Fabius, had sent for every kind of engine and machine from Sicily; he also sent for ships from the same place to attack that part of the city which lay towards the sea. But this siege was raised by Hannibal's bringing his forces to Lacinium, and in consequence of a report, that his colleague, with whom he wished to effect a junction, had now led his army from Venusia. He therefore returned from Bruttium into Apulia, and the consuls took up a position in two separate camps, distant from each other less than three miles, between Venusia and Bantia. Hannibal, after diverting the war from Locri, returned also into the same quarter. Here the consuls, who were both of sanguine temperament, almost daily went out and drew up their troops for action, confidently hoping, that if the enemy would hazard an engagement with two consular armies united, they might put an end to the war.
Ab urbe condita 27.26
As Hannibal, who gained one and lost the other of the two battles which he fought the preceding year with Marcellus, would have equal grounds for hope and fear, should he encounter the same general again; so was he far from thinking himself a match for the two consuls together. Directing his attention, therefore, wholly to his own peculiar arts, he looked out for an opportunity for planting an ambuscade. Slight battles, however, were fought between the two camps with varying success. But the consuls, thinking it probable that the summer would be spun out in engagements of this kind, and being of opinion that the siege of Locri might be going on notwithstanding, wrote to Lucius Cincius to pass over to Locri with his fleet from Sicily. And that the walls might be besieged by land also, they ordered one half of the army, which formed the garrison of Tarentum, to be marched thither. Hannibal having found from certain Thurians that these things would be done, sent a body of troops to lie in ambush on the road leading from Tarentum. There, under the hill of Petelia, three thousand cavalry and two thousand foot were placed in concealment. The Romans, who proceeded without exploring their way, having fallen into the ambuscade, as many as two thousand soldiers were slain, and about twelve hundred made prisoners. The others, who were scattered in flight through the fields and forests, returned to Tarentum. There was a rising ground covered with wood situated between the Punic and Roman camps, which was occupied at first by neither party, because the Romans were unacquainted with its nature on that side which faced the enemy's camp, while Hannibal had supposed it better adapted for an ambuscade than a camp. Accordingly, he had sent thither, by night, several troops of Numidians, concealing them in the midst of the wood. Not one of them stirred from his position by day, lest their arms or themselves should be observed from a distance. There was a general murmur in the Roman camp, that this eminence ought to be occupied and secured by a fort, lest if it should be seized by Hannibal they should have the enemy, as it were, immediately over their heads. Marcellus was moved by this consideration, and observed to his colleague, "Why not go ourselves with a few horsemen and reconnoitre? The matter being examined with our own eyes, will make our measures more certain." Crispinus consenting, they set out with two hundred and twenty horsemen, of which forty were Fregellans, the rest Tuscans. Marcus Marcellus, the consul's son, and Aulus Manlius, military tribunes, together with two prefects of the allies, Lucius Arennius and Manius Aulius, accompanied them. Some historians have recorded, that Marcellus had offered sacrifices on that day, and that in the first victim slain, the liver was found without its head; in the second, that all the usual parts were present, and that there was also an excrescence in the head. That the aruspex was not, indeed, pleased that the entrails should first have appeared mutilated and foul, and then too exuberant.
Ab urbe condita 27.27
But the consul Marcellus was influenced by so ardent a desire of engaging with Hannibal, that he never thought their camps close enough. At that time also, as he quitted the rampart, he gave orders that the troops should be ready when occasion required, in order that if the hill, which they were going to examine, were thought convenient, they might collect their baggage and follow them. Before the camp there was a small plain; the road thence to the hill was open and exposed to view on all sides. A watchman who was stationed, not under the expectation of so important an event, but in order that they might be able to intercept any stragglers who had gone too far from the camp in search of wood or forage, gave a signal to the Numidians to rise simultaneously one and all from their concealment. Those who were to rise from the very summit of the hill, and meet the enemy, did not show themselves until those whose business it was to intercept their passage in the rear, had gone round. Then they all sprang up from every side, and, raising a shout, commenced an attack. Although the consuls were in such a position in the valley that they could neither make good their way up the hill, which was occupied by the enemy, nor retreat as they were intercepted in the rear, yet the contest might have been continued longer had not a retreat, commenced by the Tuscans, dismayed the rest of the troops. The Fregellans, however, did not give over fighting, though deserted by the Tuscans, while the consuls, uninjured, kept up the battle by encouraging their men and fighting themselves. But when they saw both the consuls wounded, and Marcellus transfixed with a lance and falling lifeless from his horse, then they too, and but a very few survived, betook themselves to flight, together with Crispinus the consul, who had received two javelin wounds, and young Marcellus, who was himself also wounded. Aulus Manlius, a military tribune, was slain, and of the two praefects of allies, Manius Aulius was slain, Lucius Arennius made prisoner. Five of the consul's lictors fell into the enemy's hands alive, the rest were either slain or fled with the consul. Forty-three horsemen fell in the battle or in the flight, and eighteen were taken alive. An alarm had been excited in the camp, and the troops were hastening to go and succour the consuls, when they saw one of the consuls and the son of the other wounded, and the scanty remains of this unfortunate expedition returning to the camp. The death of Marcellus was an event to be deplored, as well from other circumstances which attended it, as because that in a manner unbecoming his years, for he was then more than sixty, and inconsistently with the prudence of a veteran general, he had so improvidently plunged into ruin himself, his colleague, and almost the whole commonwealth. I should launch out into too many digressions for a single event, were I to relate all the various accounts which authors give respecting the death of Marcellus. To pass over others, Lucius Caelius gives three narratives ranged under different heads; one as it is handed down by tradition; a second, written in the panegyric of his son, who was engaged in the affair; a third, which he himself vouched for, being the result of his own investigation. The accounts, however, though varying in other points, agree for the most part in the fact, that he went out of the camp for the purpose of viewing the ground; and all state that he was cut off by an ambuscade.
Ab urbe condita 27.28
Hannibal, concluding that the enemy were greatly dismayed by one of their consuls being slain and the other wounded, that he might not be wanting on any opportunity presenting itself, immediately transferred his camp to the eminence on which the battle had been fought. Here he found the body of Marcellus, and interred it. Crispinus, disheartened by the death of his colleague and his own wound, set out during the silence of the following night, and encamped upon the nearest mountains he could reach, in a position elevated and secured on all sides. Here the two generals exerted their sagacity, the one in effecting, the other in guarding against, a deception. Hannibal got possession of the ring of Marcellus, together with his body. Crispinus, fearing lest any artifice should be practised by the Carthaginian's employing this signet as the means of deception, had sent round messengers to the neighbouring states, informing them, that "his colleague had been slain, and that the enemy were in possession of his seal, and that they must not give credit to any letters written in the name of Marcellus." This message of the consul arrived at Salapia a little before a letter was brought from Hannibal, written in the name of Marcellus, to the effect, that "he should come to Salapia on the night which followed that day; that the soldiers in the garrison should hold themselves in readiness, in case he might want to employ them on any service." The Salapians were aware of the fraud, and concluding that an opportunity for punishing them was sought by Hannibal, from resentment, not only on account of their defection, but also because they slew his horsemen, sent his messenger, who was a deserter from the Romans, back again, in order that the soldiers might do what was thought necessary, without his being privy to it, and then placed the townsmen in parties to keep guard along the walls, and in convenient parts of the city. The guards and watches they formed with extraordinary care for that night, and on each side of the gate at which they supposed the enemy would come, they opposed to them the choicest of the troops in the garrison. About the fourth watch, Hannibal approached the city. His vanguard was composed of Roman deserters, with Roman arms. These, all of whom spoke the Latin language, when they reached the gate, called up the guards, and ordered the gate to be opened, for the consul had arrived. The guards, as if awakened at their call, began to be in a hurry and bustle, and exert themselves in opening the gate, which was closed by letting down the portcullis; some raised this with levers, others drew it up with ropes to such a height that the men could come in without stooping. The opening was scarcely wide enough, when the deserters eagerly rushed through the gate, and after about six hundred had got in, the rope being let go by which it was suspended, the portcullis fell with a loud noise. Some of the Salapians fell upon the deserters, who were carrying their arms carelessly suspended upon their shoulders, as is customary after a march, as if among friends; others frightened away the enemy by discharging stones, pikes, and javelins from the tower adjoining the gate and from the walls. Thus Hannibal withdrew, having been caught by his own stratagem, and proceeded to raise the siege of Locri, which Cincius was carrying on with the greatest vigour, with works and engines of every kind, which were brought from Sicily. Mago, who by that time almost despaired of retaining and defending the town, derived his first gleam of hope on the death of Marcellus being reported. This was followed by a message, that Hannibal had despatched his Numidian cavalry in advance, and was himself following them with all possible speed with a body of infantry. As soon, therefore, as he was informed, by a signal displayed from the watch-towers, that the Numidians were drawing near, suddenly throwing open the gate he sallied out boldly upon the enemy, and at first, more because he had done it unexpectedly than from the equality of his strength, the contest was doubtful; but afterwards, when the Numidians came up, the Romans were so dismayed that they fled on all hands to the sea and their ships, leaving their works and the engines with which they battered the walls. Thus the siege of Locri was raised by the approach of Hannibal.
Ab urbe condita 27.29
When Crispinus found that Hannibal had gone into Bruttium, he ordered Marcus Marcellus, a military tribune, to march the army, which his colleague had commanded, to Venusia. Having set out himself with his own legions for Capua, though scarcely able to endure the motion of the litter, from the severity of his wounds, he sent a letter to Rome stating the death of his colleague, and in how great danger he himself was. He said, "it was impossible for him to go to Rome to hold the election, both because he did not think he could bear the fatigue of the journey, and because he was anxious about Tarentum, lest Hannibal should direct his course thither from Bruttium. That it was expedient that commissioners should be sent to him, men of sound judgment, with whom he might communicate, when he pleased, respecting the commonwealth." The reading of this letter excited great grief for the death of one of the consuls, and apprehension for the safety of the other. They therefore sent Quintus Fabius the younger to Venusia to the army; and to the consul three commissioners, Sextus Julius Caesar, Lucius Licinius Pollio, and Lucius Cincius Alimentus, though but a few days before he had returned from Sicily. These were directed to convey a message to the consul, to the effect, that if he could not himself go to Rome to hold the election, he should nominate a dictator within the Roman territory for that purpose. If the consul should have gone to Tarentum, that it was the pleasure of the senate that Marcus Claudius, the praetor, should march off his legions to that quarter in which he could protect the greatest number of the cities of the allies. The same summer Marcus Valerius crossed over from Sicily into Africa with a fleet of a hundred ships, and making a descent near the city Clupea, devastated the country to a wide extent, scarcely meeting with a single person in arms. Afterwards the troops employed in making these depredations were hastily led back to their ships, and a report had suddenly reached them that a Carthaginian fleet was drawing near. It consisted of eighty-three ships. With these the Romans fought successfully, not far from the city Clupea, and after taking eighteen and putting the rest to flight, returned to Lilybaeum with a great deal of booty gained both by land and sea. The same summer also Philip gave assistance to the suppliant Achaeans. They were harassed by Machanidas, tyrant of the Lacedaemonians, with a war in their immediate neighbourhood; and the Aetolians, having passed over an army in ships through the strait which runs between Naupactus and Patrae, called by the neighbouring people Rhion, had devastated their country. It was reported also, that Attalus, king of Asia, would pass over into Europe, because the Aetolians, in their last council, had offered to him the office of chief magistrate of their nation.
Ab urbe condita 27.30
Philip, when marching down into Greece, for these reasons, was met at the city Lamia by the Aetolians, under the command of Pyrrhias, who had been created praetor that year jointly with Attalus, who was absent. They had with them also auxiliaries from Attalus, and about a thousand men sent from the Roman fleet by Publius Sulpicius. Against this general and these forces, Philip fought twice successfully, and slew full a thousand of his enemies in each battle. Whence, as the Aetolians were compelled by fear to keep themselves under the walls of Lamia, Philip led back his army to Phalara. This place is situated in the Malian bay, and was formerly thickly inhabited on account of its excellent harbour, the safe anchorage in its neighbourhood, and other conveniences of sea and land. Hither came ambassadors from Ptolemy, king of Egypt, the Rhodians, Athenians, and Chians, to put a stop to hostilities between the Aetolians and Philip. The Aetolians also called in one of their neighbours as a mediator, Amynander, king of the Athamanians. But all these were less concerned for the Aetolians, whose arrogance of disposition exceeded that of any other nation of Greece, than lest Philip and his empire, which was likely to prove injurious to the cause of liberty, should be intermixed with the affairs of Greece. The deliberations concerning a peace were put off, to a council of the Achaeans, for which a place and certain day were fixed upon; for the mean time a truce of thirty days was obtained. The king, setting out thence, went through Thessaly and Boeotia to Chalcis in Euboea, to prevent Attalus, who he heard was about to come to Euboea with a fleet, from entering the harbours and approaching the coasts. Leaving a force to oppose Attalus, in case he should cross over in the mean time, he set out thence with a small body of cavalry and light-armed troops, and came to Argos. Here the superintendence of the Heraean and Nemaean games having been conferred upon him by the suffrages of the people, because the kings of the Macedonians trace their origin from that state, after completing the Heraean games, he set out directly after the celebration for Aegium, to the council of allies, fixed some time before. Here measures were proposed for putting an end to the Aetolian war, in order that neither the Romans nor Attalus might have a pretext for entering Greece; but they were all upset by the Aetolians, before the period of the truce had scarcely expired, after they heard that Attalus had arrived at Aegina, and that a Roman fleet was stationed at Naupactus. For when called into the council of the Achaeans, where the same embassies were present which had negotiated for peace at Phalara, they at first complained of some trifling acts committed during the period of the truce, contrary to the faith of the convention; but at last they asserted, that it was impossible the war could be terminated unless the Achaeans gave back Pylus to the Messenians, unless Atintania was restored to the Romans, and Ardyaea to Scerdilaedus and Pleuratus. But Philip, conceiving it an indignity that the vanquished should presumptuously dictate terms to him the victor, said, "that he did not before either listen to proposals for peace, or agree to a truce, from any hope he entertained that the Aetolians would remain quiet, but in order that he might have all the allies as witnesses that he was desirous of peace, and that they were the occasion of this war." Thus, without effecting a peace, he dismissed the council; and leaving four thousand troops for the protection of the Achaeans, and receiving five men of war, with which, if he could have joined them to the fleet of the Carthaginians lately sent to him, and the ships which were coming from Bithynia, from king Prusias, he had resolved to challenge the Romans, who had long been masters of the sea in that quarter, to a naval battle, the king himself went back from the congress to Argos; for now the time for celebrating the Nemaean games was approaching, which he wished to be celebrated in his presence.
Ab urbe condita 27.31
While the king was occupied with the exhibition of the games, and was indulging himself during the days devoted to festivity with more freedom than in time of war, Publius Sulpicius, setting out from Naupactus, brought his fleet to the shore, between Sicyon and Corinth, and devastated without restraint a country of the most renowned fertility. Intelligence of this proceeding called Philip away from the games. He set out hastily with his cavalry, ordering his infantry to follow him closely; and attacking the Romans as they were scattered through the fields and loaded with booty, like men who feared nothing of the kind, drove them to their ships. The Roman fleet returned to Naupactus by no means pleased with their booty. The fame of a victory gained by Philip over the Romans, of whatever magnitude, increased the celebrity of the remaining part of the games. The festival was celebrated with extraordinary mirth, the more so as the king, in order to please the people, took the diadem off his head, and laid aside his purple robe with the other royal apparel, and placed himself, with regard to appearance, on an equality with the rest, than which nothing is more gratifying to free states. By this conduct he would have afforded the strongest hopes of the enjoyment of liberty, had he not debased and marred all by his intolerable lust; for he ranged night and day through the houses of married people with one or two companions, and in proportion as he was less conspicuous by lowering his dignity to a private level, the less restraint he felt; thus converting that empty show of liberty, which he had made to others, into a cover for the gratification of his own unbounded desires. For neither did he obtain his object in all cases by money or seductive arts, but he also employed violence in the accomplishment of his flagitious purposes; and it was dangerous both to husbands and parents to have presented any impediment to the gratification of royal lust, by an unseasonable strictness. From one man, Aratus, of the highest rank among the Achaeans, his wife, named Polycratia, was taken away and conveyed into Macedonia under the hope of a matrimonial connexion with royalty. After passing the time appointed for the celebration of the Nemaean games, and a few days more, in the commission of these profligate acts, he set out for Dymae to expel the garrison of the Aetolians, which had been invited by the Eleans, and received into the town. Cycliadas, who had the chief direction of affairs, met the king at Dymae, together with the Achaeans, who were inflamed with hatred against the Eleans, because they had disunited themselves from the rest of the Achaeans, and were incensed against the Aetolians, because they considered that they had stirred up a Roman war against them. Setting out from Dymae, and uniting their forces, they passed the river Larissus, which separates the Elean from the Dymaean territory.
Ab urbe condita 27.32
The first day on which they entered upon the enemy's confines, they employed in plundering. The following day they approached the city in battle-array, having sent their cavalry in advance, in order that, by riding up to the gates, they might provoke the Aetolians to make a sally, a measure to which they were naturally inclined. They were not aware that Sulpicius had passed over from Naupactus to Cyllene with fifteen ships, and landing four thousand armed men, had entered Elis during the dead of night, that his troops might not be seen. Accordingly, when they recognised the Roman standards and arms among the Aetolians, so unexpected an event occasioned the greatest terror; and at first the king had wished to withdraw his troops; but afterwards, an engagement having taken place between the Aetolians and Trallians, a tribe of Illyrians, when he saw his men hard pressed, the king himself with his cavalry charged a Roman cohort. Here his horse being pierced with a javelin threw the king, who fell over his head; when a conflict ensued, which was desperate on both sides; the Romans making a furious attack upon the king, and the royal party protecting him. His own conduct was highly meritorious, when though on foot he was obliged to fight among horsemen. Afterwards, when the contest was unequal, many were falling and being wounded around him, he was snatched away by his soldiers, and, being placed upon another horse, fled from the field. On that day he pitched his camp five miles from the city of the Eleans, and the next day led out all his forces to a fort called Pyrgus, whither he had heard that a multitude of rustics had resorted through fear of being plundered. This unorganized and unarmed multitude he took immediately on his approach, from the first effects of alarm; and by this capture compensated for the disgrace sustained at Elis. While engaged in distributing the spoil and captives, and there were four thousand men and as many as twenty thousand head of cattle of every kind, intelligence reached him from Macedonia that one Eropus had gained possession of Lychnidus by bribing the praefect of the citadel and garrison; that he held also certain towns of the Dassaretians, and that he was endeavouring to incite the Dardanians to arms. Desisting from the Achaean war, therefore, but still leaving two thousand five hundred armed troops of every description under the generals Menippus and Polyphantas for the protection of his allies, he set out from Dymae, and passing through Achaea, Boeotia, and Euboea, arrived on the tenth day at Demetrias in Thessaly.
Ab urbe condita 27.33
Here he was met by other messengers with intelligence of still greater commotions; that the Dardanians, having poured into Macedonia, were in possession of Orestis, and had descended into the Argestaean plain; and that there was a general report among the barbarians that Philip was slain. In that expedition in which he fought with the plundering party near Sicyon, being carried by the fury of his horse against a tree, he broke off the extremity of one of the horns of his helmet against a projecting branch; which being found by a certain Aetolian and carried into Aetolia to Scerdilaedus, who knew it to be the ornament of his helmet, spread the report that the king was killed. After the king had departed from Achaea, Sulpicius, going to Aegina with his fleet, formed a junction with Attalus. The Achaeans fought successfully with the Aetolians and Eleans not far from Messene. King Attalus and Publius Sulpicius wintered at Aegina. In the close of this year Titus Quinctius Crispinus, the consul, after having nominated Titus Manlius Torquatus dictator for the purpose of holding the election and celebrating the games, died of his wound. Some say that he died at Tarentum, others in Campania. The death of the two consuls, who were slain without having fought any memorable battle, a coincidence which had never occurred in any former war, had left the commonwealth in a manner orphan. The dictator, Manlius, appointed as his master of the horse Caius Servilius, then curule aedile. On the first day of its meeting the senate ordered the dictator to celebrate the great games which Marcus Aemilius, the city praetor, had celebrated in the consulship of Caius Flaminius and Cneius Servilius, and had vowed to be repeated after five years. The dictator then both performed the games and vowed them for the following lustrum. But as the two consular armies without commanders were so near the enemy, disregarding every thing else, one especial care engrossed the fathers and the people, that of creating the consuls as soon as possible; and that they might create those in preference whose valour was least in danger from Carthaginian treachery; since, through the whole period of the war, the precipitate and hot tempers of their generals had been detrimental, and this very year the consuls had fallen into a snare for which they were not prepared, in consequence of their excessive eagerness to engage the enemy, but the immortal gods, in pity to the Roman name, had spared the unoffending armies, and doomed the consuls to expiate their temerity with their own lives.
Ab urbe condita 27.34
On the fathers' looking round to see whom they should appoint as consuls, Caius Claudius Nero appeared pre-eminently. They then looked out for a colleague for him, and although they considered him a man of the highest talents, they also were of opinion that he was of a more forward and vehement disposition than the circumstances of the war, or the enemy, Hannibal, required, they resolved that it would be right to qualify the impetuosity of his temper by uniting with him a cool and prudent colleague. The person fixed upon was Marcus Livius, who, many years ago, was, on the expiration of his consulship, condemned in a trial before the people; a disgrace which he took so much to heart, that he retired into the country, and for many years absented himself from the city, and avoided all public assemblies. Much about the eighth year after his condemnation, Marcus Claudius Marcellus and Marcus Valerius Laevinus, the consuls, had brought him back into the city; but he appeared in a squalid dress, his hair and beard allowed to grow, and exhibiting in his countenance and attire the deep impression of the disgrace he had sustained. Lucius Veturius and Publius Licinius, the censors, compelled him to have his beard and hair trimmed, to lay aside his squalid garb, to come into the senate, and discharge other public duties. But even then he either gave his assent by a single word, or signified his vote by walking to one side of the house, till the trial of Marcus Livius Macatus, a kinsman of his, whose character was at stake, obliged him to deliver his sentiments in the senate upon his legs. On being heard in the senate on this occasion, after so long an interval, he drew the eyes of all upon him, and gave occasion to conversations to the following effect: "That the people had injuriously disgraced a man who was undeserving of it and that it had been greatly detrimental to the state that, in so important a war, it had not had the benefit of the service and counsels of such a man. That neither Quintus Fabius nor Marcus Valerius Laevinus could be given to Caius Nero as colleagues, because it was not allowed for two patricians to be elected. That the same cause precluded Titus Manlius, besides that he had refused a consulship when offered to him, and would refuse it. That they would have two most distinguished consuls if they should add Marcus Livius as a colleague to Caius Claudius." Nor did the people despise a proposal, the mention of which originated with the fathers. The only person in the state who objected to the measure was the man to whom the honour was offered, who accused his countrymen of inconstancy, saying, "that, having withheld their pity from him when arrayed in a mourning garment and a criminal, they now forced upon him the white gown against his will; that honours and punishments were heaped upon the same person. If they esteemed him a good man, why had they thus passed a sentence of condemnation upon him as a wicked and guilty one? If they had proved him a guilty man, why should they thus trust him with a second consulate after having improperly committed to him the first?" While thus remonstrating and complaining, the fathers rebuked him, putting him in mind, that "Marcus Furius too, being recalled from exile, had reinstated his country when shaken from her very base. That we ought to soothe the anger of our country as we would that of parents, by patience and resignation." All exerting themselves to the utmost, they succeeded in uniting Marcus Livius in the consulate with Caius Claudius.
Ab urbe condita 27.35
The third day afterwards the election of praetors was held. The praetors created were, Lucius Porcius Licinus, Caius Mamilius, Aulus Hostilius Cato, and Caius Hostilius Cato. The election completed, and the games celebrated, the dictator and master of the horse abdicated their offices. Caius Terentius Varro was sent as propraetor into Etruria, in order that Caius Hostilius might quit that province and go to Tarentum to that army which Titus Quinctius, the consul, had commanded, and that Lucius Manlius might go as ambassador across the sea, and observe what was going on there; and at the same time, as the games at Olympia, which were attended by the greatest concourse of persons of any solemnity in Greece, were about to take place that summer, that if he could without danger from the enemy, he might go to that assembly, in order that any Sicilians who might be there, having been driven away by the war, or any Tarentine citizens banished by Hannibal, might return to their homes, and be informed that the Roman people would restore to them every thing which they had possessed before the war. As a year of the most dangerous character seemed to threaten them, and there were no consuls to direct the government, all men fixed their attention on the consuls elect, wishing them to draw lots for their provinces, as soon as possible, and determine beforehand what province and what enemy each should have. The senate also took measures, at the instance of Quintus Fabius Maximus, to effect a reconciliation between them. For the enmity between them was notorious; and in the case of Livius his misfortunes rendered it more inveterate and acrimonious, as he considered that in that situation he had been treated with contempt. He was, therefore, the more inexorable, and said, "that there was no need of a reconciliation, for that they would use greater diligence and activity in every thing they did for fear lest they should give their colleague, who was an enemy, an opportunity of advancing himself at their expense." However, the authority of the senate prevailed; and, laying aside their private differences, they conducted the affairs of the state in friendship and unanimity. Their provinces were not districts bordering upon each other, as in former years, but quite separate, in the remotest confines of Italy. To one was decreed Bruttium and Lucania, to act against Hannibal; to the other Gaul, to act against Hasdrubal, who, it was reported, was now approaching the Alps; and that he to whose lot Gaul fell should choose whichever he pleased of the two armies, one of which was in Gaul, the other in Etruria, and receive the city legions in addition; and that he to whose lot Bruttium fell, should, after enlisting fresh legions for the city, take the army of whichever of the consuls of the former year he pleased. That Quintus Fulvius, proconsul, should take the army which was left by the consul, and that his command should last for a year. To Caius Hostilius, to whom they had given the province of Tarentum in exchange for Etruria, they gave Capua instead of Tarentum, with one legion which Fulvius had commanded the preceding year.
Ab urbe condita 27.36
The anxiety respecting the approach of Hasdrubal to Italy increased daily. At first, ambassadors from the Massilians had brought word that he had passed over into Gaul and that the expectations of the Gauls were raised by his coming, as he was reported to have brought a large quantity of gold for the purpose of hiring auxiliaries. Afterwards, Sextus Antistius and Marcus Raecius, who were sent from Rome, together with these persons, as ambassadors, to look into the affair, had brought word back that they had sent persons with Massilian guides, who, through the medium of Gallic chieftains connected with them by hospitality, might bring back all ascertained particulars; that they found that Hasdrubal, who had already collected an immense army, would cross the Alps the ensuing spring; and that the only cause which delayed him there was, that the passage of the Alps was closed by winter. Publius Aelius Paetus was created and inaugurated in the office of augur in the room of Marcus Marcellus and Cneius Cornelius Dolabella was inaugurated king of the sacred rites in the room of Marcus Marcius, who had died two years before. This same year, for the first time since Hannibal came into Italy, the lustrum was closed by the censors Publius Sempronius Tuditanus and Marcus Cornelius Cethegus. The citizens numbered in the census were one hundred and thirty-seven thousand one hundred and eight, a number considerably smaller than before the war. This year it is recorded that the Comitium was covered, and that the Roman games were repeated once by the curule aediles, Quintus Metellus and Caius Servilius; and that the plebeian games were repeated twice by Quintus Mamilius and Marcus Caecilius Metellus, plebeian aediles. The same persons also gave three statues for the temple of Ceres, and there was a feast in honour of Jupiter on occasion of the games. After this Caius Claudius Nero and Marcus Livius a second time entered upon their consulate; and as they had already, while consuls elect, drawn lots for their provinces, they ordered the praetors to draw lots for theirs. Caius Hostilius had the city jurisdiction, to which the foreign was added, in order that three praetors might go out to the provinces. Aulus Hostilius had Sardinia, Caius Mamilius, Sicily, Lucius Porcius, Gaul. The total amount of legions employed in the provinces was twenty-three, which were so distributed that the consuls might have two each; Spain, four; the three praetors in Sicily, Sardinia, and Gaul, two each; Caius Terentius, two in Etruria; Quintus Fulvius, two in Bruttium; Quintus Claudius two in the neighbourhood of Tarentum and the territory of Sallentum; Caius Hostilius Tubulus, one at Capua; and two were ordered to be enlisted for the city. For the first four legions the people elected tribunes, the consuls sent those for the rest.
Ab urbe condita 27.37
Before the consuls set out, the nine days' sacred rite was performed, as a shower of stones had fallen from the sky at Veii. After the mention of one prodigy, others also were reported, as usual. At Minturnae, that the temple of Jupiter and the grove of Marica, and at Atella also that a wall and gate, had been struck by lightning. The people of Minturnae added what was more alarming, that a stream of blood had flowed at their gate. At Capua, a wolf, which had entered at the gate by night, had torn a watchman. These prodigies were expiated with victims of the larger kind, and a supplication for one day was made, according to a decree of the pontiffs. The nine days' sacred rite was then performed again, because a shower of stones had been seen to fall in the armilustrum. After the people's minds had been freed from superstitious fears, they were again disturbed by intelligence that an infant had been born at Frusino as large as a child of four years old, and not so much an object of wonder from its size, as that it was born without any certain mark of distinction whether it was male or female, which was the case two years before at Sinuessa. Aruspices, called in from Etruria, declared this to be indeed a foul and ill-omened prodigy, which ought to be removed out of the Roman territory, and, being kept far from coming in contact with the earth, to be plunged into the deep. They shut it up alive in a chest, and carrying it away, threw it into the sea. The pontiffs also decreed, that thrice nine virgins should go through the city singing a hymn. While in the temple of Jupiter Stator they were learning this hymn, which was composed by the poet Livius, the temple of Juno Regina, on the Aventine, was struck by lightning; and the aruspices, on being consulted, having replied that that prodigy appertained to the matrons, and that the goddess must be appeased by a present, such of the matrons as dwelt within the city and within the tenth milestone from it, were summoned to the Capitol by an edict of the curule aediles; when they themselves chose twenty-five out of their own body, to whom they paid a contribution out of their dowries, from which a golden basin was made, as a present, and carried to the Aventine, where a sacrifice was performed by the matrons in a pure and chaste manner. Immediately a day was given out by the decemviri for another sacrifice to the same goddess, which was performed in the following order: two white heifers were led from the temple of Apollo into the city through the Carmental gate; after these, two cypress images of Juno Regina were carried; after these went seven and twenty virgins, arrayed in white vestments, and singing in honour of Juno Regina a hymn, which to the uncultivated minds of that time might appear to have merit, but if repeated now would seem inelegant and uncouth. The train of virgins was followed by the decemvirs, crowned with laurel, and in purple-bordered robes. From the gate they proceeded by the Jugarian street into the forum: in the forum the procession stopped, and the virgins, linked together by a cord passed through their hands, moved on, beating time with their feet to the music of their voices. They then proceeded by the Tuscan street and the Velabrum, through the cattle market, up the Publician hill, and to the temple of Juno Regina; where two victims were immolated by the decemviri, and the cypress images carried into the temple.
Ab urbe condita 27.38
After the deities were appeased in due form, the consuls made the levy with greater diligence and strictness than any one remembered it to have been made in former years; for the war was now doubly formidable, in consequence of the advance of a new enemy into Italy, while the number of the youth from which they could enlist soldiers was diminished. They therefore resolved to compel the settlers upon the sea-coast, who were said to possess an exemption from service solemnly granted, to furnish soldiers; and on their refusing to do so, appointed that they should severally lay before the senate, on a certain day, the grounds on which they claimed exemption. On the appointed day the following people came to the senate: the people of Ostia, Alsia, Antium, Anxur, Minturnae, and Sinuessa, and, on the upper sea, Sena. After each people had stated their grounds of exemption, the exemption of none was allowed, as the enemy was in Italy, except those of Antium and Ostia, and of these colonies the young men were bound by oath that they would not lodge without the walls of their colony, while the enemy was in Italy, more than thirty days. Although it was the opinion of all that the consuls ought to proceed to the war as soon as possible, (for Hasdrubal ought to be met on his descent from the Alps, lest he might seduce the Cisalpine Gauls and Etruria, which was anxiously looking forward to a revolution; while it was necessary to occupy Hannibal with a war in his own quarters, lest he should emerge from Bruttium, and advance to meet his brother;) yet Livius delayed, not having sufficient confidence in the armies destined for his provinces. He said his colleague had his option to take which he pleased out of two excellent consular armies, and a third which Quintus Claudius commanded at Tarentum. He also made mention of recalling the volunteer slaves to their standards. The senate gave the consuls unrestricted liberty of filling up their numbers from what source they pleased, of selecting out of all the armies such as they liked, and of exchanging and removing from one province to another, as they thought conducive to the good of the state. In all these affairs the consuls acted with the most perfect harmony. The volunteer slaves were enlisted into the nineteenth and twentieth legions. Some authors state that very efficient auxiliaries were sent out of Spain also to Marcus Livius by Publius Scipio; namely, eight thousand Spaniards and Gauls, two thousand legionary soldiers, a thousand horse of Numidians and Spaniards together. That Marcus Lucretius brought these forces in ships, and that Caius Mamilius sent as many as four thousand bowmen and slingers out of Sicily.
Ab urbe condita 27.39
A letter which was brought out of Gaul from Lucius Porcius, the praetor, increased the alarm at Rome. It stated that Hasdrubal had quitted his winter quarters, and was now crossing the Alps; that eight thousand Ligurians had been enlisted and armed, which would join him when he had crossed over into Italy, unless some general were sent into Liguria to engage them with a war. That he would himself advance as far as he thought it safe with his small forces. This letter obliged the consuls hastily to conclude the levy, and go earlier than they had determined into their provinces, with the intention that each should keep his enemy in his own province, and not allow them to form a junction or concentrate their forces. This object was much aided by an opinion possessed by Hannibal; for although he felt assured that his brother would cross over into Italy that summer, yet when he recollected what difficulties he had himself experienced through a period of five months, first in crossing the Rhone, then the Alps, contending against men, and the nature of the ground, he was far from expecting that his transit would be so easy and expeditious, and this was the cause of his moving more slowly from his winter quarters. But all things were done by Hasdrubal with less delay and trouble than he himself or any others expected. For the Arverni, and after them the other Gallic and Alpine nations in succession, not only gave him a friendly reception, but followed him to the war; and not only had roads been formed during the passage of his brother in most of the countries through which he marched, and which were before impassable, but also as the Alps had been passable for a period of twelve years, he marched through tribes of less ferocious dispositions. For before that time, being never visited by foreigners, nor accustomed, themselves, to see a stranger in their country, they were unsociable to the whole human race. And at first, not knowing whither the Carthaginian was going, they had imagined that their own rocks and forts, and the plunder of their cattle and people, were his objects; but afterwards, the report of the Punic war with which Italy was being desolated for now ten years, had convinced them that the Alps were only a passage, and that two very powerful nations, separated from each other by a vast tract of sea and land, were contending for empire and power. These were the causes which opened the Alps to Hasdrubal. But the advantage which he gained by the celerity of his march he lost by his delay at Placentia, while he carried on a fruitless siege, rather than an assault. He had supposed that it would be easy to take by storm a town situated on a plain; and the celebrity of the colony induced him to believe that by destroying it he should strike great terror into the rest. This siege not only impeded his own progress, but had the effect of restraining Hannibal, who was just on the point of quitting his winter quarters, after hearing of his passage, which was so much quicker than he expected; for he not only revolved in his mind how tedious was the siege of towns, but also how ineffectual was his attempt upon that same colony, when returning victorious from the Trebia.
Ab urbe condita 27.40
The consuls, on departing from the city in different directions, had drawn the attention of the public, as it were, to two wars at once, while they called to mind the disasters which Hannibal's first coming had brought upon Italy, and at the same time, tortured with anxiety, asked themselves what deities would be so propitious to the city and empire as that the commonwealth should be victorious in both quarters at once. Hitherto they had been enabled to hold out to the present time by compensating for their misfortunes by their successes. When the Roman power was laid prostrate at the Trasimenus and at Cannae in Italy, their successes in Spain had raised it up from its fallen condition. Afterwards, when in Spain one disaster after another had in a great measure destroyed two armies, with the loss of two distinguished generals, the many successes in Italy and Sicily had, as it were, afforded a haven for the shattered state; and the mere interval of space, as one war was going on in the remotest quarter of the world, gave them time to recover their breath. Whereas now two wars were received into Italy; two generals of the highest renown were besetting the Roman city; while the whole weight of the danger and the entire burden pressed upon one point. Whichever of these generals should be first victorious, he would in a few days unite his camp with the other. The preceding year also, saddened by the deaths of two consuls, filled them with alarm. Such were the anxious feelings with which the people escorted the consuls on their departure to their provinces. It is recorded that Marcus Livius, still teeming with resentment against his countrymen, when setting out to the war, replied to Fabius, who warned him not rashly to come to an action till he had made himself acquainted with the character of his enemy, that as soon as ever he had got sight of the troops of the enemy he would engage them. When asked what was his reason for such haste, he said, "I shall either obtain the highest glory from conquering the enemy, or the greatest joy from the defeat of my countrymen, a joy which they have deserved, though it would not become me." Before the consul Claudius arrived in his province, Caius Hostilius Tubulus, attacking Hannibal with his light cohorts while marching his army through the extreme borders of the territory of Larinum into that of Sallentum, caused terrible confusion in his unmarshalled troops; he killed as many as four thousand, and captured nine military standards. Quintus Claudius, who had his camps distributed through the towns of the Sallentine territory, had quitted his winter quarters on hearing of the enemy; and Hannibal, fearing on that account lest he should have to engage with two armies at once, decamped by night, and retired from the Tarentine to the Bruttian territory. Claudius turned his army to the Sallentine territory. Hostilius, on his way to Capua, met the consul Claudius at Venusia. Here forty thousand infantry and two thousand five hundred horse were selected from both armies, with which the consul might carry on the war against Hannibal. The rest of the troops Hostilius was directed to march to Capua to deliver them over to Quintus Fulvius, proconsul.
Ab urbe condita 27.41
Hannibal, having drawn together his forces from all quarters, both those which he had in winter quarters, and those which he had in the garrisons of the Bruttian territory, came to Grumentum in Lucania, with the hope of regaining the towns which through fear had revolted to the Romans. To the same place the Roman consul proceeded from Venusia, exploring the way as he went, and pitched his camp about fifteen hundred paces from the enemy. The rampart of the Carthaginians seemed almost united with the walls of Grumentum, though five hundred paces intervened. Between the Carthaginian and Roman camps lay a plain; and overhanging the left wing of the Carthaginians and the right of the Romans were some naked hills, which were not objects of suspicion to either party, as they had no wood upon them, nor any hiding-places for an ambuscade. In the plain which lay between them skirmishes hardly worth mentioning took place between parties sallying from the outposts. It was evident that what the Roman aimed at was to prevent the enemy from going off, while Hannibal, who was desirous of escaping thence, came down with all his forces, and formed in order of battle. Upon this the consul, imitating the crafty character of his enemy, ordered five cohorts, with the addition of five maniples, to pass the summit by night and sit down in the valleys on the opposite side; a measure to which he was prompted the more strongly in proportion as he felt that there could exist no suspicion of an ambuscade in hills so uncovered. Of the time for rising up from their retreat and of falling upon the enemy he informed Tiberius Claudius Asellus, a military tribune, and Publius Claudius, praefect of the allies, whom he sent with them. The general himself, at break of day, drew out all his forces, both foot and horse, for battle. Shortly after, the signal for battle was given out by Hannibal, and a noise was raised in the camp, from the troops running hastily to arms; then both horse and foot eagerly rushed through the gates, and spreading themselves over the plain, hastened to the enemy. The consul perceiving them thus disordered, gave orders to Caius Aurunculeius, a military tribune of the third legion, to send out the cavalry of the legion to charge the enemy with all possible vehemence, for that the enemy had spread themselves like cattle in such disorder throughout the whole plain, that they might be knocked down and trampled under foot before they could be formed.
Ab urbe condita 27.42
Hannibal had not yet gone out of the camp, when he heard the shout of his troops engaged; and thus roused by the alarm, he hastily led his forces against the enemy. Already had the Roman horse spread terror through the Carthaginian van; the first legion also of the infantry and the right wing were commencing the action, while the troops of the Carthaginians, in disorder, engaged just as chance threw each in the way of horse or foot. The battle became more general by reinforcements, and the number of those who ran out to the combat. Hannibal, amid the terror and confusion, would have drawn up his troops while fighting, (which would not have been an easy task unless to a veteran general with veteran soldiers,) had not the shouts of the cohorts and maniples, running down from the hills, which was heard in their rear, created an alarm lest they should be cut off from their camp. After this they were seized with a panic, and a flight commenced in every part; but the number slain was less, because the nearness of the camp offered to the terrified troops a shorter distance to fly. For the cavalry hung upon their rear, and the cohorts, running down the declivities of the hills by an unobstructed and easy path, charged them transversely in flank. However, above eight thousand men were slain, above seven hundred made prisoners, and eight military standards taken. Of the elephants also, which had been of no use in such a sudden and irregular action, four were killed and two captured. The conquerors lost about five hundred Romans and allies. The following day the Carthaginian remained quiet. The Roman having led out his troops into the field, when he saw that no one came out to meet him, gave orders that the spoils of those of the enemy who were slain should be collected, and that the bodies of his own men should be gathered into one place and buried. After this, for several days following in succession, he came up so near the enemy's gates that he almost seemed to be carrying in his standards. But at length Hannibal at the third watch, leaving a number of fires and tents in that part of the camp which faced the enemy, and also a few Numidians who might show themselves in the rampart and the gates, decamped and proceeded towards Apulia. As soon as it dawned, the Roman army came up to the trenches, and the Numidians, according to the plan concerted, took care to show themselves for a little time on the rampart and in the gates; and having deceived the enemy for some time, rode off at full speed, and overtook their friends on their march. The consul, when all was silence in the camp, and he could now no where see even the few who at break of day had walked up and down, sent two horsemen in advance to reconnoitre; and after he had ascertained that all was safe enough, ordered his troops to march in; and after staying there only while his men distributed themselves for plunder, sounded a retreat and led back his forces long before night. The next day he set out as soon as it was light, and following the rumour and the track of the enemy by forced marches, came up with them not far from Venusia. Here also an irregular battle took place, in which two thousand of the Carthaginians were slain. The Carthaginian quitting this place made for Metapontum, marching by night and over mountainous districts in order to avoid a battle. Thence Hanno, who commanded the garrison of that place, was sent into Bruttium with a small party to raise a fresh army. Hannibal, after adding his forces to his own, went back to Venusia by the same route by which he came, and proceeded thence to Canusium. Nero had never quitted the enemy's steps, and when he himself went to Metapontum, had sent for Quintus Fulvius into Lucania, lest that region should be left without protection.
Ab urbe condita 27.43
Meanwhile four Gallic horsemen and two Numidians, who were sent to Hannibal with a letter from Hasdrubal, after he had retired from the siege of Placentia, having traversed nearly the whole length of Italy through the midst of enemies, while following Hannibal as he was retiring to Metapontum, were taken to Tarentum by mistaking the roads; where they were seized by some Roman foragers, who were straggling through the fields, and brought before the proprietor, Caius Claudius. At first they endeavoured to baffle him by evasive answers, but threats of applying torture being held out to them, they were compelled to confess the truth; when they fully admitted that they were the bearers of a letter from Hasdrubal to Hannibal. They were delivered into the custody of Lucius Virginius, a military tribune, together with the letter sealed as it was, to be conveyed to the consul Claudius. At the same time two troops of Samnites were sent with them as an escort. Having made their way to the consul, the letter was read by means of an interpreter, and the captives were interrogated; when Claudius, coming to the conclusion that the predicament of the state was not such as that her generals should carry on the war, each within the limits of his own province, and with his own troops, according to the customary plans of warfare, and with an enemy marked out for him by the senate, but that some unlooked for and unexpected enterprise must be attempted, which, in its commencement, might cause no less dread among their countrymen than their enemies, but which, when accomplished, might convert their great fear into great joy, sent the letter of Hasdrubal to Rome to the senate; and at the same time informed the conscript fathers what his intentions were; and recommended that, as Hasdrubal had written to his brother that he should meet him in Umbria, they should send for the legion from Capua to Rome, enlist troops at Rome, and oppose the city forces to the enemy at Narnia. Such was his letter to the senate. Messengers were sent in advance through the territory of Larinum, Marrucia, Frentana, and Praetutia, where he was about to march his army, with orders that they should all bring down from their farms and towns to the road-side provisions ready dressed for the soldiers to eat; and that they should bring out horses and other beasts of burden, so that those who were tired might have plenty of conveyances. He then selected the choicest troops out of the whole army of the Romans and allies, to the amount of six thousand infantry and one thousand horse; and gave out that he intended to seize on the nearest town in Lucania and the Carthaginian garrison in it, and that they should all be in readiness to march. Setting out by night he turned off towards Picenum, and making his marches as long as possible, led his troops to join his colleague, having left Quintus Catius, lieutenant-general, in command of the camp.
Ab urbe condita 27.44
At Rome the alarm and consternation were not less than they had been two years before, when the Carthaginian camp was pitched over against the Roman walls and gates; nor could people make up their minds whether they should commend, or censure, this so bold march of the consul. It was evident that the light in which it would be viewed would depend upon its success; than which nothing can be more unfair. They said, "that the camp was left near to the enemy, Hannibal, without a general, and with an army from which all the flower and vigour had been withdrawn; and that the consul had pretended an expedition into Lucania, when he was in reality going to Picenum and Gaul, leaving his camp secured only by the ignorance of the enemy, who were not aware that the general and part of his army were away. What would be the consequence if that should be discovered, and Hannibal should think proper either to pursue Nero with his whole army, who had gone off with only six thousand armed men, or to assault the camp, which was left as a prey for him, without strength, without command, without auspices?" The disasters already experienced in the war, the deaths of two consuls the preceding year, augmented their fears. Besides, all these events had occurred "when there was only one general and one army of the enemy in Italy; whereas now they had two Punic wars, two immense armies, and in a manner two Hannibals in Italy, inasmuch as Hasdrubal was descended from the same father, Hamilcar, was a general equally enterprising, having been trained in a Roman war during so many years in Spain, and rendered famous by a double victory, having annihilated two armies with two most renowned generals. For he could glory even more than Hannibal himself, on account of the celerity with which he had effected his passage out of Spain, and his success in stirring up the Gallic nations to arms, inasmuch as he had collected an army in those very regions in which Hannibal lost the major part of his soldiers by famine and cold, the most miserable modes of death." Those who were experienced in the events which had occurred in Spain, added, that "he would not have to engage with Caius Nero, the general, as an unknown person, whom, when accidentally caught in a difficult defile, he had eluded and baffled like a little child, by drawing up fallacious terms of peace." Under the dictation of fear, which always puts the worst construction upon things, they magnified all the advantages which the enemy possessed, and undervalued their own.
Ab urbe condita 27.45
When Nero had got such a distance from the enemy that his plan might be disclosed without danger, he briefly addressed his soldiers, observing, that "there never was a measure adopted by any general which was in appearance more daring than this, but in reality more safe. That he was leading them on to certain victory. For as his colleague had not set out to prosecute the war which he conducted, until forces both of horse and foot had been assigned to him by the senate to his own satisfaction, and those greater and better equipped than if he had been going against Hannibal himself, that they would, by joining him, however small the quantity of force which they might add, completely turn the scale. That when it was only heard in the field of battle (and he would take care that it should not be heard before) that another consul and another army had arrived, it would insure the victory. That rumour decided war; and that the most inconsiderable incidents had power to excite hope and fear in the mind. That they would themselves reap almost the entire glory which would be obtained if they succeeded, for it was invariably the case that the last addition which is made is supposed to have effected the whole. That they themselves saw with what multitudes, what admiration, and what good wishes of men their march was attended." And, by Hercules, they marched amid vows, prayers, and commendations, all the roads being lined with ranks of men and women, who had flocked there from all parts of the country. They called them the safeguards of the state, the protectors of the city and empire of Rome. They said that the safety and liberty of themselves and their children were treasured up in their arms and right hands. They prayed to all the gods and goddesses to grant them a prosperous march, a successful battle, and a speedy victory over their enemies; and that they might be bound to pay the vows which they had undertaken in their behalf; so that as now they attended them off with anxiety, go after a few days' interval they might joyfully go out to meet them exulting in victory. Then they severally and earnestly invited them to accept, offered them, and wearied them with entreaties, to take from them in preference to another, whatever might be requisite for themselves or their cattle. They generously gave them every thing in abundance, while the soldiers vied with each other in moderation, taking care not to accept any thing beyond what was necessary for use. They did not make any delay nor quit their ranks when taking food; they continued the march day and night, scarcely giving as much to rest as was necessary to the requirements of the body. Messengers were also despatched in advance to his colleague, to inform him of his approach, and to ask whether he wished that he should come secretly or openly, by day or night, whether they should lodge in the same or different camps. It appeared most advisable that they should come into the camp secretly by night.
Ab urbe condita 27.46
A private signal was sent through the camp by the consul Livius, that each tribune should receive a tribune, each centurion a centurion, each horseman a horseman, each foot-soldier a foot-soldier; for it was not expedient that the camp should be enlarged, lest the enemy should discover the arrival of the other consul, while the crowding together of several persons, who would have their tents in a confined place, would be attended with less inconvenience, because the army of Claudius had brought with them on their expedition scarcely any thing except their arms. Claudius, on the very march, had augmented his numbers by volunteers; for not only veteran soldiers, who had completed their period of service, but young men also offered themselves without solicitation; and, as they vied with each other in giving in their names, he had enlisted those whose personal appearance and bodily strength seemed fit for military service. The camp of the other consul was near Sena, and Hasdrubal's position was about five hundred paces from it. Nero, therefore, when he was now drawing near, halted under cover of the mountains, in order that he might not enter the camp before night. Having entered when all was still, they were severally conducted into their tents by the men of their own description, where they were hospitably entertained with the utmost joy on the part of all. The next day a council was held, at which Lucius Porcius Licinus, the praetor, was present. He had his camp joined to that of the consuls, and before their arrival, by leading his army along the heights, sometimes occupying narrow defiles that he might intercept his passage, at other times harassing his troops while marching by attacking their flank or rear, he had baffled the enemy by all the arts of war. This man was, on the present occasion, one of the council. Many inclined to the opinion that an engagement should be deferred till Nero had recruited his soldiers, who were weary with marching and watching, and had employed a few days in acquiring a knowledge of his enemy. Nero urged, not only by persuasion, but with the most earnest entreaties, "that they would not render rash by delay that measure of his which despatch had made safe. That Hannibal, who lay in a state of torpid inactivity in consequence of a delusion which would not continue long, had neither attacked his camp, left as it was without a leader, nor had directed his course in pursuit of him. That the army of Hasdrubal might be annihilated, and he might retire into Apulia before he stirred a step. The man who by delay gave time to the enemy both betrayed the camp to Hannibal, and opened a way to him into Gaul, so that he might effect a junction with Hasdrubal at his leisure, and when he pleased. That they ought to give the signal for battle instantly, and march out into the field, and take advantage of the delusion of their enemies present and absent, while neither those were aware that they had fewer, nor these that they had more and stronger forces to encounter." On the breaking up of the council the signal for battle was displayed, and the troops immediately led into the field.
Ab urbe condita 27.47
The Carthaginians were already standing before their camp in battle-array. This circumstance delayed the battle: Hasdrubal, who had advanced before the line with a few horsemen, remarked some old shields among the enemy, which he had not seen before, and some horses leaner than the rest their numbers also appeared greater than usual. Suspecting therefore, what was really the case, he hastily sounded a retreat, and sent a party to the river from which they got their water, where some of them might be intercepted, and notice taken whether there were perchance any there whose complexions were more than ordinarily sun-burnt, as from a recent march. At the same time he ordered a party to ride round the camp at a distance, and note whether the rampart was extended in any part, and also observe whether the signal sounded once or twice. Having received a report of all these particulars, the fact of the camp's not being enlarged led him into error. There were now two camps, as there were before the other consul arrived, one belonging to Marcus Livius, the other to Lucius Porcius, and to neither of them had any addition been made to give more room for the tents. But the veteran general, who was accustomed to a Roman enemy, was much struck by their reporting that the signal sounded once in the praetor's camp, and twice in the consul's; there must therefore be two consuls, and felt the most painful anxiety as to the manner in which the other had got away from Hannibal. Least of all could he suspect, what was really the case, that he had got away from Hannibal by deceiving him to such an extent, as that he knew not where the general was, and where the army whose camp stood opposite to his own. Surely, he concluded, deterred by a defeat of no ordinary kind, he has not dared to pursue him; and he began to entertain the most serious fears that he had himself come too late with assistance, now that affairs were desperate, and lest the same good fortune attended the Roman arms in Italy which they had experienced in Spain. Sometimes he imagined that his letter could not have reached him, and that, it having been intercepted, the consul had hastened to overpower him. Thus anxious and perplexed, having put out the fires, he issued a signal at the first watch to collect the baggage in silence, and gave orders to march. In the hurry and confusion occasioned by a march by night, their guides were not watched with sufficient care and attention. One of them stopped in a place of concealment which he had beforehand fixed upon in his mind, the other swam across the river Metaurus, at a ford with which he was acquainted. The troops, thus deserted by their guides, at first wandered up and down through the fields; and some of them, overpowered with sleep, and fatigued with, watching, stretched themselves on the ground here and there, leaving their standards thinly attended. Hasdrubal gave orders to march along the bank of the river until the light should discover the road; but, pursuing a circuitous and uncertain course along the turnings and windings of that tortuous river, with the intention of crossing it as soon as the first light should discover a place convenient for the purpose he made but little progress; but wasting the day in a fruitless attempt to discover a ford, for the further he went from the sea the higher he found the banks which kept the river in its course, he gave the enemy time to overtake him.
Ab urbe condita 27.48
First Nero arrived with the whole body of his cavalry, then Porcius came up with him, with the light infantry. And while these were harassing his weary troops on every side, and charging them, and the Carthaginian, stopping his march, which resembled a flight, was desirous of encamping on an eminence, on the bank of the river, Livius came up with all his foot forces, not after the manner of troops on march, but armed and marshalled for immediate action. When they had united all their forces, and the line was drawn out, Claudius took the direction of the battle in the right wing, Livius in the left; the management of the centre was given to the praetor. Hasdrubal, when he saw that an engagement was inevitable, giving over the fortification of a camp, placed his elephants in the front line, before the standards; on either side these he placed in the left wing the Gauls to oppose Claudius, not so much from any confidence he reposed in them, as because he believed them to be dreaded by the enemy; the right wing he took to himself against M. Livius, together with the Spaniards, in whom, as being veteran troops, he placed his greatest hopes. Behind the elephants, in the centre, the Ligurians were posted; but his line was rather long than deep. The Gauls were covered by a hill, which extended in front. That part of the line which was occupied by the Spaniards, engaged the left wing of the Romans, the whole of whose right wing, extending beyond the line of battle, was unengaged. The hill before them prevented their making an attack either in front or flank. Between Livius and Hasdrubal a furious contest arose, and the slaughter on both sides was dreadful. Here were both generals, here the major part of the Roman horse and infantry, here the Spaniards, veteran troops, and experienced in the Roman manner of fighting, and the Ligurians, a nation inured to war. The elephants were also driven to the same place which, on the first onset, disordered the van, and had made even dislodged the standards; but afterwards, the contest growing hotter, and the shout increasing, they became less submissive to their riders, and ranged to and fro between the two lines, as if not knowing to which side they belonged, like ships floating about without rudders. Claudius, when he had striven in vain to advance up the hill, repeatedly calling out to his soldiers, "To what purpose then have we performed so long a march with such expedition?" when he found it impossible to make his way to the enemy in that quarter, withdrawing several cohorts from the right wing, where he saw they would occupy an inactive station, rather than join in the fight, led them round the rear of the line, and, to the surprise not only of the enemy but his own party, charged their right flank; and such was their rapidity, that after showing themselves on their flank, they almost immediately made an attack on their rear. Thus on all sides, in front, flank, and rear, the Spaniards and Ligurians were cut to pieces; and now the carnage had even reached the Gauls. Here the least opposition was found; for a great number of them had quitted their standards, having slunk off during the night, and laid themselves down to sleep up and down the fields, while even those who were present, being tired with marching and watching, for their bodies are most intolerant of fatigue, could scarcely carry their arms upon their shoulders. And now it was mid-day, and thirst and heat gave them over to the enemy to be killed or captured in multitudes.
Ab urbe condita 27.49
More elephants were killed by their guides than by the enemy. They used to have with them a workman's knife, with a mallet. When these beasts began to grow furious, and attack their own party, the rider, placing this knife between the ears, just on the joint by which the neck is connected with the head, used to drive it in, striking it with all the force he could. This was found to be the most expeditious mode of putting these bulky animals to death, when they had destroyed all hope of governing them. This method was first practised by Hasdrubal, a general whose conduct both frequently on other occasions, and especially in this battle, deserved to be recorded. By encouraging the men when fighting, and sharing equally in every danger, he kept up the battle. Sometimes by entreating, at other times by rebuking, the troops, when tired and indisposed to fight from weariness and over-exertion, he rekindled their spirits. He called back the flying, and restored the battle in many places when it had been given up. At length, when fortune decidedly declared for the Romans, lest he should survive so great an army which had been collected under the influence of his name, he put spurs to his horse and rushed upon a Roman cohort, where he fell fighting, as was worthy of the son of Hamilcar and the brother of Hannibal. At no time during that war were so many of the enemy slain in one battle; so that a defeat equal to that sustained at Cannae, whether in respect of the loss of the general or the troops, was considered to have been retorted upon him. Fifty-six thousand of the enemy were slain, five thousand four hundred captured. The other booty was great, both of every other kind, and also of gold and silver. In addition to the rest, there were recovered above four thousand Roman citizens, who had been taken by the enemy, which formed some consolation for the soldiers lost in that battle. For the victory was by no means bloodless. Much about eight thousand of the Romans and the allies were slain; and so completely were even the victors satiated with blood and slaughter, that the next day, when Livius the consul received intelligence that the Cisalpine Gauls and Ligurians, who had either not been present at the battle or had made their escape from the carnage, were marching off in one body without a certain leader without standards, without any discipline or subordination; that if one squadron of horse were sent against them they might be all destroyed, he replied, "Let some survive to bear the news of the enemy's losses and of our valour."
Ab urbe condita 27.50
Nero set out on the night following the battle, and marching at a more rapid rate than when he came, arrived at his camp before the enemy on the sixth day. As he was not preceded by a messenger, fewer people attended him on the march; but the joy felt was so great, that they were almost insane with delight. Neither state of feeling at Rome can be well described or told, whether that in which the citizens were when in doubtful expectation of the issue, or when they received the intelligence of victory. Every day, from the time that news arrived that the consul Claudius had set out, from sun-rise to sun-set, none of the senators ever quitted the senate-house, or did the people depart from the forum. The matrons, as they had themselves no means of affording assistance, had recourse to prayers and entreaties, and going about to all the temples, wearied the gods with vows and supplications. While the city was in this state of solicitude and suspense, a vague report first arrived that two Narnian horsemen had come from the field of battle into the camp which stood as a defence in the entrance to Umbria, with intelligence that the enemy were cut to pieces. At first they rather heard than credited this news, as being too great and too joyful for the mind to take in, or obtain a firm belief. Even the very rapidity with which it had arrived formed an obstacle to its reception; for it was stated that the battle took place two days before. After this a letter was brought which had been sent by Lucius Manlius Acidinus, from his camp, on the subject of the arrival of the Narnian horsemen. This letter being conveyed through the forum to the tribunal of the praetor, drew the senators out of the senate-house; and with such eagerness and hurry did the people crowd to the doors of the senate-house, that the messenger could not approach, but was dragged off by persons who asked him questions, and demanded vociferously that the letter should be read on the rostrum before it was read in the senate. At length they were put back and restrained by the magistrates; and thus the joy was gradually dispensed to their overpowered spirits. The letter was read first in the senate, and then in the assembly of the people. The effect was various, according to the difference in the cast of men's minds, some thinking that there were already sure grounds for rejoicing, while others would place no confidence in the news, till they listened to ambassadors, or a letter from the consuls.
Ab urbe condita 27.51
After this, news came that the ambassadors themselves were on the point of arriving. Then, indeed, people of all ages ran to meet them, each man being eager to be the first to receive an assurance of such joyful tidings, by the evidence of his eyes and ears. One continued train extended as far as the Mulvian bridge. The ambassadors, Lucius Veturius Philo, Publius Licinius Varus, and Quintus Caecilius Metellus, made their way into the forum, surrounded by a crowd of persons of every description; when some asked the ambassadors themselves, others their attendants, what had been done; and, as soon as each had heard that the army and general of the enemy had been cut off, that the Roman legions were safe, and the consuls unhurt, he immediately imparted the joyful intelligence to others, imparting to them the joy he felt himself. Having with difficulty made their way into the senate-house, and the crowd with still more difficulty being removed, that they might not mix with the fathers, the letter was read in the senate; after which the ambassadors were brought into the general assembly. Lucius Veturius Philo, after reading the letter himself, gave a more explicit account of all that had occurred, amidst great approbation, and at last of general shouting from the assembly, while their minds could scarcely contain their joy. They then ran off in various directions, some to the different temples of the gods, to return thanks, others to their homes, to impart the joyful intelligence to their wives and children. The senate decreed a supplication for three days, because Marcus Livius and Caius Claudius, the consuls, had cut off the general and legions of the enemy, their own army being safe. This supplication Caius Hostilius, the praetor, proclaimed in the assembly, and was celebrated both by men and women. During the whole three days all the temples were uniformly crowded, whilst the matrons, dressed in their richest robes, and accompanied by their children, just as though the war had been brought to a conclusion, and free from every apprehension, offered thanksgivings to the immortal gods. This victory produced an alteration also in the condition of the state, so that immediately from this event, just as though it had been a time of peace, men were not afraid to do business with each other, buying, selling, lending, and paying borrowed money. Caius Claudius, the consul, on his return to his camp, ordered the head of Hasdrubal, which he had carefully kept and brought with him, to be thrown before the advanced guards of the enemy, and the African prisoners to be shown to them bound just as they were. Two of these also he unbound, and bid them go to Hannibal and tell him what had occurred. Hannibal, smitten by such severe distress, at once public and domestic, is said to have declared that he recognised the destiny of Carthage; and decamping thence with the intention of drawing together into Bruttium, the remotest corner of Italy, all his auxiliaries which he could not protect when widely scattered, removed into Bruttium the whole state of the Metapontines, summoned away from their former habitations, and also such of the Lucanians as were under his authority.