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I – It was the resistance of Spoletium, the fidelity of our allies, the many losses suffered, the tiredness of his men to induce Hannibal to change his plans.

Abandoned for the moment the idea of going to the attack of Rome, headed for the Adriatic Sea, arrived in the fertile lands of Piceno, once camped, let his army rest for a few days and allowed his men to sack.

Restarted, arriving in Apulia, he devastated the territory of Arpi (near Foggia) and Luceria (Lucera).

With these plunders Hannibal met the wishes of his army, predominantly mercenaries, but at the same time thought to intimidate the populations allied of Rome.

He obtained the opposite result, few allies defected, surrendering to strength, while the fame of the cruelty and malfeasance of the Carthaginians spread among all Italics.


II – In Rome, meanwhile, to reassure the people, the dictator celebrated ancient rites and promised to dedicate to Venus Ericina a new temple on the Capitol, while Praetor Tito Otacilio Crasso voted another temple to the goddess Mente (=Mind).

Goddess Mente

Celebrated the sacred rites, Fabio Massimo ordered all the inhabitants who lived in the countryside to repair in safe places, after having burned down anything that could be useful to Hannibal.

Following the traces of Carthaginians he camped, not intending to collide with the enemy at the time.
Hannibal repeatedly provoked the dictator, hoping to induce him to fight, but nothing left to move Fabio Massimo's firmness.

Yet the devastation of the Carthaginians filled our allies with fury.
In an attempt to induce Italics to defeat, Hannibal went to Irpinia where he looted the land of Benevento and took possession of the city of Telesia (near the current Telese).

Enraged because his plans were not successful, sent Maarbale to devastate Falerno's land up to Sinuessa (the present Mondragone), no less our allies remained faithful to Rome.


III - For the many harm suffered, as faithful, our allies were loudly calling for the order to fight.

They found listening to the commander of the cavalry Marco Minucio Rufo, who in the meantime had been named co-dictator. 

Marco Minucio Rufo

It had never happened before that Rome had two dictators and, moreover, divided by opposing views.

The army was divided between Fabio Massimo and Minucio Rufo.
While Fabio Massimo had gone to Rome, Rufo fell into the trap tangled by Hannibal, who, in order to get him leave open, let a modest confrontation go in favor of Rufo.

A few days later Hannibal sent a small contingent of Carthaginians on the top of a hill, immediately Minucio departed to attack with ever greater strength, until Carthaginian hit the trap and surrounded the hill would destroy Minucio's army if, for the good fortune of the Romans, Fabio Massimo did not come to liberate him.

So Rufo had previously been imprudent, so he showed himself reasonable and deposited the charge set himself under Fabio's command.


IV – That same summer in Spain began again the war.

Asdrubale Barca in order to remove the Romans' rule of the sea, increased the Punica fleet, commanded by Imilcone.


From the winter quarters he went on to Gneo Cornelio Scipione on land and by sea.
Scipio, embarked at Tarraco with thirty-five ships, coming a short distance from the mouth of the Ebro, warned by our Massilioti allies, advanced in exploration, while the enemy, ignorant of all, had encamped on the banks of the Ebro river.

From one of the watchtowers, which abound in Spain, some Carthaginians spotted the Roman fleet, warned Asdrubale, who sent some knights ordering soldiers and sailors, walking on the beach, urgently to embark.

As it happens when time goes on, everything took place in the utmost confusion and as the Roman fleet appeared in battle array, the Carthaginians sought to escape by going up the Ebro, but lacking the space to maneuver, abandoned the ships repairing inside their army.

Scipio captured twenty-five enemy ships, four sank, and the others remained stranded in the slums.
In one clash the Carthaginian fleet had been destroyed.


V – Scipio, no longer opposed by the enemy fleet, stepped freely towards the sea to Cartagena, landed, plundered the territory by making a big booty.

Shortly thereafter from the Balearic islands ambassadors came to ask for peace and friendship, so much the fame of Roman power over the sea had spread.

Returning to Tarraco, Scipio received the ambassadors of one hundred and twenty cities located near Ebro, given the hostages to the Romans, Scipio granted his protection.

Taking advantage of the favorable season, he advanced to the mountains of Castulone (now Sierra Morena) where the richest silver mines in Spain are located.

Meanwhile Asdrubal retired to Lusitania (the present Portugal).

But here is that Indibile, after the Romans had left the mountains for the coast, came up with his brother Mandonio, attacking our allied peoples.


Scipio, knowing that it was a messy mass, sent a tribune with some cohorts of legionaries and auxiliary troops against insurgents, who in short were defeated and disarmed.

It was then the turn of Asdrubal to have to run in the aid of his allies.
At that time, while encouraged by Scipio, the Celtiberi took up arms against the Carthaginians, in two battles they massacred a lot, four thousand were taken prisoners.

A dramatic summer in Italy ended in Spain with the triumph of Roman arms, thanks to the wisdom and value of Gneo Cornelio Scipione Calvo


VI – While in Spain these things took place, Italy raged against Fabio Massimo.
The Italics indeed saw their lands destroyed, without the dictator had the slightest will to face the enemy.

Fabio's strategy was addressed to wear down Hannibal, but in the meantime the expenses were paid by our allies.
When elections were launched to nominate new consuls, the Italics had come close to the breaking point.

Consuls were elected for the following year (216) Lucio Emilio PaoloandGaio Terenzio Varrone.

Lucio Emilio Paolo Gaio Terenzio Varrone

Lucio Emilio, consul with Livio Salinatore, along with his colleague, had conducted the II Illyrian War (219) at a critical moment for the Republic.

Thanks to a complete and quick victory the triumph was decreed to the consuls, but a few years later they were both accused of having taken part of the booty.

The plebeian Marco Livio Salinatore, condemned, abandoned deceitful Rome; Emilio Paolo, belonging to the powerful gens Emilia was saved.

Marco Livio Salinatore

In spite of this stain, 'cause the lack of experienced commanders, Emilio Paolo was recalled, since Gaio Terenzio Varrone, homo novus, valorous and firm, true leader of the popular party, was already appointed consul, the patrician Emilio Paolo was elected more as antagonist than as a colleague.


VII – The Senate, in order to defeat Hannibal once and for all, to give satisfaction to our allies, ordered each consuls to enroll four legions.

In those days I was in Rome, guest of Lucio Licinio Gladio, back in full health.
Lucius Licinio was one of the first to enlist in the legions of Varrone, followed by many veterans of his cohort, despite my young age invited me to follow him, in short, he told me, I would become one of his centurions.

All my wishes seemed to be true, I would have fought with Lucio Licinio following our beloved consul, and soon I would had the centurion helmet.


VIII – Mustered the legions in two distinct places, the consuls set out to go against Hannibal.

When our allies joined their soldiers, our forces consisted of about seventy thousand foot soldiers and six thousand knights.

Among the allies distinguished Gerone of Siracusa, who sent a thousand archers and slingers, in addition to three hundred thousand wheat bushels (about 2 million and 600 thousand kg).

After a march of ten days we came to Apulia, not far from Arpi (near Foggia), here we fortified ourselves by building two camps.

Considering the great number of soldiers, the consuls were reached as additional commanders by Gneo Servilio Gemino, consul the previous year and Minucio Rufo, already consul (in 221).

Because of the manifest disagreement between the two consuls in office, it was decided that Emilio Paolo and Terenzio Varrone would exercise command on alternate days.

Emilio Paolo's intentions soon became clear, shortly after being fortified, on the day of his command he attacked the Carthaginians dispersed in the fields to harvest the grain.
It was a scarlet scar of which Emilio Paolo boasted, making angry the other consul.

In fact, Gaio Terenzio knew for sure that Hannibal was finishing the provision and since in the vicinity there was nothing left to loot, he would have to retire after a few days.
So we would have pushed the Carthaginians out of Apulia without sacrificing Roman blood.

But Lucio Emilio, still scared by the accusation of bribery, sought every opportunity to regain popular favor.

When the conflict between the two consuls became unmistakable, they agreed to write to the Senate, soliciting its decision.
As was unfortunately predictable, the Senate gave the reason to the patrician and ordered them to attack.
Too late Gaio Terenzio noticed that he had fallen into the trap of Emilio Paolo.

On the first day of his command, Emilio Paolo deployed to the right wing (according to the Roman costume the chief captain stood to the right to have the complete vision of the deployment), decided to advance against Hannibal.

Gaio Terenzio Varrone retreated in his own tent.


IX – Emilio Paolo as a great part of the senators, had an unreasonable confidence in our infantry, but we, veterans from the Trasimeno, had paid a great tribute of blood to the cavalry of Maarbale, and that same Maarbale now waited for us with ten thousand men,  part Gauls and part Numidians.

After leaving the camps we deployed in this way: to the right side, according to our costume, was the commander in chief, Emilio Paolo, with four legions and  in addition the auxiliaries; in the center were placed, with the Italian allies, the three legions of Gaio Terenzio (one was held in reserve), commanded by Marco Minucio Rufo; on the left Gneo Servilio Gemino commanded the cavalry, behind which were the archers and the forbologists, sent by Gerone.

Shortly before the battle Lucio Licinio Gladio, called to him the centurions, the signiferi (bearers of the insignia of each cohort) and the antesignani (the most valiant legionaries, placed in defense of the signiferi), said that Maarbale would attack and if he had run away the Roman cavalry, our left flank would be discovered, to avoid this incident, our only hope was to open a gap in the enemy infantry, dragging behind us the other two legions, so we would have to round off the enemy cavalry by taking away any chance of maneuver to Maarbale.

In truth, Minucio Rufo seemed uncertain about what he should do, just as Servilio Gemino, because the commanding chief, for the large number of our soldiers and the huge area occupied, could not send orders promptly.

I then found out that someone said that the blame was the wind, that filled the eyes of the Romans with dust.   


X –While in our part reigned this confusion, Hannibal looked at the battlefield to grasp our weaknesses.

Given that the cavalry commanded by Servilio Gemino was unusually numerous, he decided to sacrifice the Gauls, while Maarbale with the Numidians was held in reserve.


From the very beginning, the battle was entrusted to the respective cavalry.
The Gauls came to the attack with great baldness, but behind our cavalry, as I said, were the archers and the bullies of Gerone.

Between the exultation of our soldiers the Gauls fell like ripe pears, but ours also left not few knights on the ground.

When Hannibal estimated that losses had weakened sufficiently our cavalry, sent Maarbale to the attack.
Stressed by our centurions, first of all Licinius Gladio, Minucio Rufo ordered the advance.

When the veliti approached the enemies launched the javelins, shortly afterwards we flew over the enemies, who surprised by the vigour of our assault began to retreat, until more than a retreat it was a real flight.

Broken through the line of the Carthaginian infantry we turned our steps to stop Maarbale.

Too late.

The Numidians had in turn put our cavalry to flight.
We then found ourselves in a bad condition, we could not chase by feet the Carthaginian knights, while the enemy infantry tried to dress.

Minucio Rufo, while riding inconsiderately with his guard in search of Maarbale, fell into an ambush with all his men.

Left without commander and with inexperienced tribunes the command was taken by Licinio Gladio, who in order to save us ordered to occupy a nearby rise, calling out to the auxiliaries of Gerone to join us.
Maarbale, seen our maneuver, attempted to cut our way.

Those of our soldiers who were in the rearguard were massacred.


XI – From the rise we just occupied we tried to see where Emilio Paolo was with his four legions, but the distances were so great that we could not even distinguish the insignia.

It seemed probable that Maarbale, for how many fallen could have had the Carthaginian infantry, fired our cavalry, remained master of the camp.

When the shadows of the evening approached, declined every our hope,  seeing advancing in the plain on horseback, festively greeted by his soldiers, Hannibal.

In that tragic moment came to resurrect us a knight sent by Terenzio Varrone, who ordered us to remain hidden until the midnight, then Gaio Terenzio would send men of his confidence to take us to salvation at Canusium (Canosa), where he was waiting for us and where he expected to gather all the survivors.

Emilio Paolo had died, Servilio Gemino had died, Minucio Rufo had died.

The Roman Knights did not know where they had fled.

In such a disastrous catastrophe, sometime later, I knew with certainty that some nobles were about to flee to save themselves serving foreign kings.
Indignant Publio Cornelio Scipione, the son of the proconsul, threatened to kill them with his own sword.

Publio Cornelio Scipione

Meanwhile, as the darkness of the night advanced, the song of the Carthaginians came up from the plain, and harrowing to hear, the lamentations of our wounded.

We were impotent.


XII – Finally came the midnight and came the guides sent by Gaio Terenzio.
In the Carthaginian camp, where mercenaries of all races were guzzling, nobody noticed that almost three Roman legions were rescuing themselves.

Moreover they were now certain to have the same Rome in their hands.

To the legionaries commanded by Emilio Paolo touched a very sad fate, in fact to conceal the mistakes of the commander, those who were not dead or injured, were accused of cowardice and sent to Sicily in punishment, almost since the end of the war.

After a few hours of march we arrived in Canusium, rescued by the local population.
When Gaio Terenzio Varrone evaluated that no other legionaries would arrive, discovered his plan.

Canusium was too close to Canne, so it would have been extremely dangerous for the people who had generously welcomed us and for ourselves, to stay there, we had to resume the journey and head to Venusiam (Venosa), which with its mighty walls could welcome us without risk.

At the first lights of dawn we set off and walking without stopping, after about two hours we came to Venusiam, where Varrone had preceded us.

The next day, deployed the troops, the consul comforted his soldiers, his words remained carved in my mind:
“... the dreadful days pass by, from today, from here, we will prevent this snappy Hannibal from going back to the Adriatic Sea, we will return him to the fields he plundered, among people who hate and despise his duplicity and cruelty.
Only by mercenaries is made the enemy army, the sword of Rome, our sword will fall on these rogues”.

Gaio Terenzio rewarded with the “Corona Vallare” Licinio Gladio (the Corona Vallare was assigned to those who first entered the enemy camp) and awarded prizes to the most valiant.

I was also rewarded.


XIII – If we subvert a tremendous defeat, also innumerable enemies were dead or injured.
Moreover the need for supplies was increasingly urgent.

In order to find new territories to be plundered, Hannibal sent a strong contingent to Arpi, where he had been informed that we had accumulated a large amount of wheat.

As soon as the Carthaginians advanced, the inhabitants surrendered and opened the gates of the city delivering all the wheat required.
Loaded the bags on the wagons, without harassing the citizens, pleased, the enemies were preparing to return to their camps.

But from the top of a nearby hill we could observe all their moves.

Gaio Terenzio ordered that five cohorts would follow them in utmost silence.
Meanwhile, our explorers were ahead of the Punici, looking for a place suitable for ambushes.
Found, they went back to us galloping.

Then Gaio Terenzio ordered us to outflank the enemies, who, 'cause of the wagons, moved slowly, to precede them where the explorers led us.

Here we came to tend the ambush.

When the Punics were in our range we attacked them, with that furious violence that burned our hearts.
Few of their knights escaped by fleeing, we massacred all the others.
Taken the wagons with wheat, we drove them to our field.
When Hannibal was informed of the incident, shaken by anger, thinking that those of Arpi were our accomplices, ordered to take the city.

The notable of Arpi implored the Carthaginians to save them, nothing they knew, they had not seen a single Roman, even ignored that there were survivors.
Their accents were so sincere to convince the same Hannibal of their innocence.

Meanwhile he occupied the city.


XIV  -The smacking prompted the enemies to stop any other action to come up against us.

They went forward unknowingly, thinking that a group of hungry and dispersed Romans had attacked the wagons.
We went back to the camp a short time ago fortified on the Daunia Mountains, north of Siponto.

Here, climbing up the ascent, without resting, we had set up a series of short, irregular fences, parallel to each other, to have a line of defense, though retreating.

The Carthaginians saw us from afar, but by the thick vegetation, that hidden us, they could not estimate how many we were.
Still being convinced of hunting for a few dispersed, they began climbing the mountain without much thought.

Great was then their surprise when our veliti attacked them by throwing a jumble of javelins.
Finally, figuring out what the reality of things was, they asked Hannibal to send reinforcements. But before these arrived, the the Gerone's archers and slingers  began to torment them, when their confusion was highest, Gaio Terenzio ordered the attack.
Favored from the ground, we rushed to the Carthaginians massacring our enemies.

When their reinforcements came could only collect the fugitives, informing Hannibal of the incident.
The Carthaginian wanting a quick revenge sent new and substantial reinforcements.
But meanwhile we were gone up again and expected the enemy behind the fences.

The Carthaginians, strong at number, at least so believed, continued to climb up the mountain, until a lot of them fell in one of our fences was overwhelmed by stones, javelins and arrows and repelled downstream.

The battle took place in an unusual way, when we were forced to leave one of the fences, we burned it, so that would not provide refuge to the enemy, who ignoring where our other fences were, arranged as said irregularly, fell continually into the traps we had made.

Wounded and scorned, dropped numerous soldiers on the ground, the Carthaginians renounced to the battle and Hannibal to the immediate revenge. 


XV – Hannibal's first design had been to tighten Rome in a vice, going along the Adriatic Sea from one side and advancing from the south on the other side, while at the same time trying to cause our allies to defeat.

But the resistance we faced in this first clash made him understand that at the moment he did not have enough strength to implement his plan.

Therefore Hannibal sent to Carthage his brother Magone to announce the great victory, testifying to which he brought two hundred golden rings taken to noble Romans fallen into battle.

At the same time, having magnified the enterprise, Magone asked the Carthaginian senate to send his brother money, food and reinforcements.

Meanwhile, Hannibal hoping that the tremendous defeat would bend our soul, sent to Rome an embassy that granted moderate peace conditions.
But the Roman Senate, after consulting the people, refused any negotiations.
The use of the word peace was forbidden.
Public mourning events were banned.

Was named dictator Marco Giunio Pera, already consul (230) and censor (in 225), consul Gaio Terenzio Varrone appointed a second dictator, Marco Fabio Buteone already consul (in 245) and censor (in 241).


XVI – In Carthage, the Punic senate exulted for the memorable victory, which Magone had awfully inflated.
Then the friends of the Barca began to provoke Annone.
Imilcone said, “Do you still think, Annone, that we must give Hannibal to the Romans?”

Annone replied, “I would not have embarrassed so much joy if Imilcone had not called me into question.
I rejoice over our victory that allows us to grant, rather than ask for peace, however, I ask you, this your invincible general, by the mouth of his brother, tells: I have broken the enemy armies.
Send me reinforcements.

What ever would he ask if he was defeated?

I plundered the Roman camps,
Send me food and money.

What ever would he ask if he had lost his camps?

But now I too would like to ask a question to Magone, if the power of Rome was destroyed, which of his Latin allies passed on to us? ”
Magon had to answer: no one.
“What ambassadors did the Romans send to Hannibal to ask for peace?”
Magone replied that he did not know anything about it.
“So we are still as we were at the beginning of the war.”

Annone's words fell into the void, the majority of the Senate resolved to send to Hannibal what he had requested.

But deliberating is easy, making is difficult, in addition to the innate laziness of the Carthaginians all deliberate measures were started very slowly.


XVII – While were late to arrive the aids sought in Carthage, Hannibal rescued an unexpected fortune.

The echo of Roman defeat was spreading throughout Italy, with several outcomes.
Even in the northern part of Italy, those Gauls, who are traditionally our enemies, had no reason to rejoice, as in Canne, among dead and wounded, they had left much of their knights on the ground.
But from Capua to the south the situation became for us extremely difficult.

The Bruttio passed entirely to Hannibal, it is true that we never considered the Bruttii our allies, but now we had to count them among the enemies.

However, ignoring the smaller centers, Capua and Taranto were our worry.

Indeed, in these cities faced two parties, one filo-Roman, the other anti-Roman, which became ipso facto filo-Carthaginian.

Taking advantage of our difficulties, Hannibal advanced with part of his army towards Capua.
With the help of Carthaginians, the Capuani's betrayal was done.

The leaders of the pro-Romans faction either were assassinated or forced to flee, the Romans who were in the city were massacred, while three hundred Capuani Knights, who in Sicily served in our army, sought asylum in Rome.


XVIII – Campania extends over a plain that is the most favorite of all, surrounded by fertile hills and the mountains of the Sannites and the Oscus.

It is said that this land was inhabited by the Opici, who also were named Ausoni, then it was occupied by a people of the Osci, who were defeated by the Cumani, in turn defeated by the Etruscans.
In fact, the plain, for its fertility, was the subject of many contests.

The Etruscans founded twelve cities, the wider of which was named Capua, but for the excessive ease, they had to surrender Campania to the Sannites, who later were thrown out by us.

A sign of soil fertility is that here grows a beautiful wheat, namely a wheat from which is obtained a flour superior to any other cereal product.

Now the Romans bring the best wines out there, such as the Falerno, the Statano and the Caleno, but the Surrentino is now comparable with these, after recently experiencing it lends itself to aging.

Capua, as mentioned, is the main town of Campania (Capuania), in fact all other cities, in comparison, can be considered small, with the exception of Teanum Sidicinum.

The expansion of Rome to the south led to a first confrontation with Capua (in 338). After the Sannitian wars (288) Capua for its loyalty was recognized the status of "Civitas Optimo Iure" (it means that its citizens were recognized the right to vote in the Romans' assembly) and included among the thirty-five Roman tribes (the Falerna tribe), but also Capua maintained its own institutions and traditions.


XIX – The defection of Capua from the alliance with Rome, guaranteed to Hannibal secure buses and at the same time opened his way to the Urb.

Moreover, the Carthaginian, fearing the resignation of the pro-Romans party, took possession of the city, demonstrating to the Capuans that not an ally, but a master they had stubbornly hosted.

Having become Capua his headquarters, hence opened negotiations with the Cumans, the Napoletans, the Paestani to have a large port on the Tyrrhenian Sea, but all these peoples, for the ancient hatred of the Greeks towards the Carthaginians and moreover instructed by Capua's experience, remained faithful to the alliance with Rome.

Hannibal then passed to the threats and not sorting out the expected results gave the word to the weapons, but for the fierce resistance encountered could not capture any of these cities.

Indeed, the resistance of the Greek cities along the Tyrrhenian Sea: Cuma, Neapolis, Paestum, Velia, Vibo Valentia, Rhegium was one of the keys to our recovery, in fact Hannibal, without any landing on the Tyrrhenian Sea, could not receive any aid by sea, neither from Carthage, nor from Spain.



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