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I – After Canne's victory and Capua's occupation, everything seemed to be propitious to Hannibal, all adverse to us.
Nevertheless, the Republic did not yield to the adverse Fate.

Accustomed to the fickle Spanish tribes, Hannibal thought that, abandoned by our allies, we would have come to terms.
But our most faithful allies did not abandon us and we refused to say of the peace the same word.

In the mountains of Daunia Gaio Terenzio Varrone had shown to Hannibal that we had not given up and the Greek cities on the Tyrrhenian did not defect, depriving the Carthaginian of any landing on the sea.
While in Capua Hannibal rested his army, worn out by so much effort, it is conceivable he realized how far Apulia from Capua was and how difficult it was to control such a large territory with his only forces.

Therefore he sent ambassadors to Filippo V of Macedonia, whose anti-Roman sentiments were well known, announcing him, without false modesty, his magnificent victory and proposing a common alliance to finally crush Rome.

Filippo V

But that's what I'll say later.


II – Because of the death of one of the two consuls, it was necessary to appoint a dictator.

Gaio Terenzio Varrone appointed dictator Marco Giunio Pera, already consul (in 230) and censor (in 225).

Marco Giunio Pera

He ordered the call up and not only enlisted as volunteers the slaves, promising them freedom, but judging however insufficient the available forces, disbanded from all punishment and debt all the detainees, about six thousand, to whom were assigned the armor that Gaio Flaminio had taken to the Insubrians and had been shown in his triumph.

Shortly after he went off to Teanum Sigidinum (Teano).

Later, after hearing the Senate, Gaio Terenzio Varrone appointed as second dictator Marco Fabio Buteone, already consul (in 245) and censor (in 241).

Marco Fabio Buteone

For the second time in its history the Republic was managed by two dictators.

They summoned the assembly for the election of the new consuls.

Lucio Postumio Albino and Tiberio Sempronio Gracco were elected.

Pro-consuls were appointed Gaio Terenzio Varrone and Marco Claudio Marcello.

Tiberio Sempronio Gracco Marco Claudio Marcello

Postumio Albino, who as praetor was then in Cisalpina Gaul, died in battle, defeated by the Boi.

This new defeat caused in Rome a great grief.
The elected consul Sempronio Gracco, summoned the people in the Forum, said that we should think of the most severe danger and this was represented by Hannibal, with the Gauls we would set the accounts in due course.
His firmness resuscitated the People. 

For Albino's death the office was vacant, was called to Rome and elected consul Marcello, but opposed the augurs, asserting that until then never two plebeian consuls were appointed.

Marcello resigned, took over Quinto Fabio Massimo Verrucoso (who was one of the augurs), while Marcello went to Suessula (a missing place not far from Acerra).

We went to Apulia with the pro-consul Gaio Terenzio Varrone, to whom two legions were assigned, with the task of preventing at all costs Hannibal from reaching  Rome following the coast of the Adriatic Sea (over the years the pro-consul office was extended to Varrone Until 212) and at the same time oblige the same Hannibal to detach part of his troops to defend his conquests in Apulia, from our incursions, finally Varrone had to prevent the Gaul mercenaries from descending, along the Adriatic, to reunite with Hannibal.


III - Marcello from Suessula advanced to Casilinum (the present Capua, while the ancient Capua today is named Santa Maria Capua Vetere).

Casilinum is located on the Volturno River, north of Capua, from which it is three miles (about 4.5 km) far.
Marcello's move obliged Annibale to hold a strong garrison at Capua, preventing him from concentrating all his forces to attack coastal cities.

The Carthaginian then folded back on the less ambitious goal of taking Nola, where, as often happened, faced a philo-Roman and anti-Roman party.

Our friends, known that the opposing party was ready to open the gates of the city to Hannibal, sent to Marcello the warning that if he had not intervened promptly Nola would fall.
Marcello did not waste time and not to be intercepted by Hannibal, who at that time was in the Nolano territory, descended over the city from the mountains.

Meanwhile, Hannibal, sure of Nola's defeat, marched on Nuceria (corresponds to the current Lower and Upper Nocera), formerly besieged.

The haughtiness of the Carthaginian allowed Marcello to enter Nola without danger, while Hannibal had to negotiate with the Nocerini their surrender, accepting that they would leave the city free, with only one garment and without arms.

The Nocerini took shelter part in Nola and part in Neapolis.


IV – Destroyed Nuceria, Hannibal again besieged Nola, always confident that his allies would deliver him what he thought was a little Roman garrison.

But the Nocerini who had fled to Nola, bringing the news of the destruction of their city, strengthened the philo-Roman party, while Marcello watched Hannibal's maneuvers to catch him by surprise.

Every day the Carthaginians came under Nola's walls, but as the Romans did not give a sign of accepting the challenge, day after day our enemies became more and more neglected.

When Marcello estimated that the times were ripe, gathered his forces behind the three gates of the city, facing the enemy encampment, while the Carthaginians, after challenging the Romans, were about to go back to their camp, suddenly opened the gates ordered the charge.

The enemies, overwhelmed by our rage, left hundreds of dead on the ground, while few were the Romans fallen.

After Gaio Terenzio's blow played to the Carthaginians in Apulia, this was  the second time we won them, and more this happened in the presence of Hannibal himself. 


V – Finally it seemed that the good fortune had abandoned the enemy, who anxious for revenge moved towards Acerra.

Meanwhile Marcello, closed the gates of Nola, prosecuted those who conspired for the delivery of the city to the enemy.
Seventy death sentences were executed.

Finally, left a garrison at Nola, he fortified on the mountains above Suessula, which were then called "Marcello Fields".

Hannibal, arrived  in front of Acerra, invited residents to surrender spontaneously.
But Acerra’s people, wary of the treacherous word of the Carthaginian, closed the gates of the city and prepared for resistance.

Unfortunately, the Acerranians had more courage than strength, so when they realized that the defense of the city was hopelessly, silently nighttime, walking impassable paths, abandoned their homeland, to go to those cities of Campania who had remained faithful to the alliance with the Romans.

Once again mocked Hannibal burnt Acerra.
Not long after, he was informed that Marcello, gone near Casilinum, threatened Capua.

Indeed at Casilinum there was a small Roman garrison formed by a cohort of soldiers from Perugia and another cohort from Preneste. 


VI – It seemed that Marcello would mock Hannibal, constantly anticipating his intents.

The Carthaginian, fearing that the Roman, moving from Casilinum, might be able to subdue Capua, sent to Casilinum a strong contingent of Africans commanded by Isalca. Approached the walls of the city, they were greeted by a complete silence.

Thinking that the inhabitants had fled for fear of siege, the barbarians  attempted to force the gates, in that moment two cohorts attacked them with extreme violence putting them to flight.

Hannibal, flown into a rage, sent Maarbale into attack with great force.
But not even this one could defeat the little garrison that defended the small town.

The same Hannibal went forward and surrounded Casilinum prepared for the siege, promising great prizes to those who first escaladed the city walls.

The garrison resisted tenaciously.

Ridiculed the Carthaginian came back to Capua, where he spent the winter.
The new year, returning the good season, Hannibal was back to Casilinum, besieged by the Carthaginians for over six months.

Hungry the defenders agreed to treat the conditions for the delivery of the city. The Prenestini and the Perugini agreed to a ransom on condition that they were left free.

About half of the sixty-eight Prenestini died in battle, or by hunger, the others returned home with their commander Anicio, to whom a statue was dedicated. 


The Perugini survivors also returned home.


VII – Meanwhile, in Rome, the dictator Marco Fabio Buteone was concerned about reintegrating the number of senators, as large number of them had died in the battles of Trebbia, Trasimeno and Canne.

One hundred seventy seven were the new senators chosen among the consuls, the pro-consuls, the praetors and the pro-praetors, the aediles, the tribunes of the plebs, the quaestors and those who had been awarded with the civic crown (one of the greatest honors granted to a Roman citizen).

In his view, however, the appointment of two dictators was completely irregular, so Buteone, once reinstated the Senate, dropped the office with the applause of all the citizens.
The other dictator was called to Rome to proceed to the election of the new consuls.

In this same time were elected praetors Marco Valerio Levino, Appio Claudio Pulcro, Quinto Fulvio Flacco and Quinto Muzio Scevola.

Marco Valerio Levino Appio Claudio Pulcro

Marco Levino was assigned the fleet that was in the port of Taranto, with the task of patrolling the coast from Taranto to Brundisium and controlling the moves of Filippo V on the other side of the sea.

Appio Claudio Pulcro was assigned to Sicily (the gens Claudia was formed by Pulcri, patricians and Marcelli, plebeians).
Quinto Fulvio Flacco was entrusted with the urban praetorship.
Quinto Muzio Scevola with the Sardegna.

As I was told to Gaio Terenzio Varrone, was extended the command retaining all his army.


VIII – While in Italy these things happened, in Spain the Scipioni shared their tasks in such a way: Gneo, who had been there for a long time, took command of the ground troops, Publius of the fleet.

Asdrubal Barca, trained by previous defeats, considered the forces he had available to be unreliable, repeatedly asked the Carthaginian senate to send him reinforcements.

The Carthaginians, however, considered the war in Italy a priority, only after many persistent requests sent four thousand infantrymen and a thousand knights.

Asdrubal, taken courage again, left the fortified positions behind which he had held himself, advancing to Gneo Scipione’s camp, but right then the commanders of the ships of his fleet, enduring the Carthaginians' accusations of having in time abandoned the ships on the Ebro, deserted, joining the people of the Tartessi (who lived in the present Cádiz), who have always been hostile to the Punici (the same as Carthaginians).

Asdrubal, afraid of being caught between the Romans in the north and the Tartessi in the south, making a conversion prepared to attack them, without success because the Spaniards fighting with great vigour forced the Carthaginians on the defensive.

However, to so much vigour did not match the same discipline, it was then the turn of Asdrubal to have the best, killing a lot of enemies and forcing them to yield.
Not long after the Carthaginians, according to the orders, went away to go to Italy, the Tartessi, resumed their weapons, followed by other Spanish peoples.

Asdrubal then informed Carthage what a disaster had caused the only news of his departure, so if they did not want the whole of Spain to fall into Roman hands, it was necessary that a powerful army be sent with his successor.

Meanwhile, the Tartessi revolt delayed his departure, he had to travel three hundred and fifty miles (530 km) to reach Cartagena from the south of the Spain.

Then with the bulk of the army he went to the Ebro.


IX – The Carthaginian senate did not modify the earlier deliberation, anyway sent to Spain with a fleet and new troops Imilcone who, reached Asdrubal, updated him about the senate's deliberations.


Asdrubal extorted the Spanish populations, fallen under his dominion, all the money he could, started for Italy.

The Scipioni, who became aware of the Carthaginians' deliberations, united  their forces, decided to prevent Asdrubal from getting to Italy.

After several skirmishes came the decisive clash in the vicinity of Dertosa (now Tortosa not far from Tarragona).

The two armies were of almost equal strength, but the bulk of Asdrubal's troops was made up of Spaniards, deployed at the center of the array.
Once the Spaniards realized that they would be driven away from home, faced the Romans with an uncertain mind, otherwise ours knew to fight for the salvation of the homeland.
The Scipioni, observing the enemy deployment, ordered the legionaries to rush against the center, where the Spaniards were concentrated.

These in the first clash began first to retreat, then to flee.
The enemy knights, just seen the center surrender, fled, leaving their wings at the mercy of the Romans.

Asdrubal, as enraged the massacre, left the battlefield to the end.
Defeated the enemies, their camps were looted by ours.

As soon as the news came to Rome, great were the celebrations, not only for the victory, but above all because the Scipioni had prevented  Asdrubal from reaching Italy.   


X –The Praetor Quinto Muzio Scevola, just come to Sardinia, fell ill in a critical moment, in fact, the Sardinians, intolerant of the Roman rule, at the command of Ampsicora prepared the rebellion.


This fellow, informed the Carthaginians of his intentions, urged their help.

While awaiting Muzio's healing in his place was appointed commander Tito Manlio Torquato, who previously ruled Sardinia.

Tito Manlio Torquato

Almost at the same time, came to the Carthaginians senate, the news of the defeat of Dertosa and that of the rebellion of the Sardinians.

Turned the scenario, Magone Barca, who with twelve thousand infantry men and a thousand knights had embarked to lead new troops to his brother Hannibal, received the order to change destination and go to Spain, where Asdrubal, named Calvo (bald), was waiting for him with a fleet in order to reach Ampsicora in Sardinia. 

Asdrubal Calvo docked at Sardinia, sent back the fleet to Carthage.

Asdrubal Calvo

Manlio, knowing that the Carthaginians had landed, fortified at Carali (the present Cagliari), whose population was allied to the Roman people.

Driven by Ampsicora, Asdrubal advanced towards Carali to devastate the territory.

To prevent the fertile plain being scot-free looted, Manlio advanced against the enemy.
Asdrubal, relying on his numerical superiority, accepted the battle.

For a few hours, the combat enraged with uncertain outcome, but when the struggle came to the hand to hand, the enemy line began to slip, in that moment our impetus broke through the enemy line.

As always happens in these cases everyone thought of his own salvation, giving a rush to escape.
Asdrubal Calvo was captured and with him many other noble Carthaginians.
Ampsicora killed himself.

Accepted the surrender of the rebel cities, Manlio, imposed a tribute of wheat and money, returned to Carali, embarked, bringing to Rome with the good news the grain, the money and the prisoners, who handed over to the urban Praetorian Quinto Fulvio Flacco.


XI – Lost the hope to resume Sardinia, considering the critical situation in Spain, the Carthaginian senate resolved to send a new army commanded by Asdrubal Gisgone.

Asdrubal Gisgone

Meanwhile Asdrubal Barca with his brother Magone, anticipating the moves of the Scipioni, attacked and defeated several Spaniards our allies.

Crossing the Ebro, the Scipioni chased the enemies who reached Castro Albo (near Alicante), where also came with his army Asdrubale Gisgone.

The Carthaginians, always pursued by the Scipioni, attempted to take the city of Iliturgi (now Mengibar in Andalusia), put in flight by the Romans, they had to give up the assault, then attempted to surprise Bigerra (today Becerra, a small center of Old Castille), but approaching Gneo Scipione gave up the siege.

Finally it arrived at the frontal confrontation at Munda (today Montilla in Andalusia), where our victory was blurred by the injury of Publius Scipione, severely affected by a wound to the femur.
The enemies fled to Orongi (near Jimena de la Frontera in Andalusia), where it raged a new battle.

Publius, who had been led onto a litter on the battlefield, got a new victory.
But the Barca did not renounce the fight, Asdrubal, sent his brother to enroll new troops, completed his army with the recruits.

It did not change the outcome, while the Carthaginians withdrew from the territory of the Oretani (including East Andalusia and Murcia) they were again defeated and thrown out again in Cartagena.

Once in the vicinity of Sagunto, the Scipioni, put the enemy garrison to flight, set free the city, that had been the origin of this war, returned it to those few Saguntini who had escaped the many disasters, the remaining survivors, who Hannibal had sold as slaves, they searched for wherever, released,  drove them back to their beloved homeland.

Finally, the Turdetani, who had prominently caused Hannibal's intervention against Sagunto, taken prisoners, were sold as slaves.


XII – In Rome the weight of the war began more and more heavy.

The coffers of the State were empty and there was no way to pay salaries to the soldiers of so many armies, there was also no money to buy wheat, clothing, and anything else needed for the armies.
The Scipioni wrote to the Senate that they would provide the money with the help of the Spaniards, but everything else needed to be promptly sent.

It was then decided that the supplies were to be auctioned, provided that the winners had to pay for the expenses, which would be reimbursed in due course.

Contractors accepted these conditions, provided they did not respond to shipwrecks that carried the same shipments.


XIII – Hannibal in Italy, angry for the lack of landings on the Tyrrhenian Sea, sent Annone to convince the Greek cities on the Bruttio coast to go to the Carthaginians, but these, seeing that the Bruttii, their ancient enemies, were Punic's allies, the more willingly remained faithful to Rome.

Annone then attempted to take Rhegium by force, but unable to attack the harbor, that was guarded by the Roman fleet sent opportunely by Appio Claudio Pulcro, had to give up the attempt.

Then he turned to Locri, here taking with a stratagem hostages the inhabitants, who, ignorant of all, wandered for the countryside, forced to surrender the Locresi, intimidated by the presence of Hannibal, who with forced marches had reached Annone. Locresi was assured that they would be considered allies, as long as they were allied to the future. The Locresi accepted such conditions, not without helping Lucio Atilio to fly by sea with the Roman garrison.

Roughly scolded by Annone, the Locresi justify by saying that Atilio had fled on his own.
But the Bruttii, who had escorted Annone hoping to plunder Rhegium and Locri, protested strongly and in an attempt to make justice they decided to take Crotone, anyway, fearing Hannibal's reaction, asked for his permission.

Hannibal sent them back to Annone, who trying to save such a famous city from destruction, proposed to the Crotoniati to welcome the Bruttii, to repopulate in this way a city that over time had depopulated.
But the Crotoniati replied that at no cost they would have mixed with the Bruttii, then Annone persuaded the Locresi to welcome in their town the Crotoniati, who under these conditions left the ancient homeland.

These were not great conquests for the Carthaginians, as Locri and Crotone are two little harbors exposed to winds and storms, but at least Annibale could save his face.


XIV  - In that year the Roman armies were arranged in this way: the consul Fabio Massimo fortified with two legions above Suessula in those camps occupied previously by the proconsul Marcello, who at that time was in Nola. The consul Sempronio Gracco with two legions of voluntary slaves attested near Luceria, facing Hannibal who, left Capua, fortified in Arpi. The proconsul Terenzio Varrone, with his two legions, from the Daunia mountains, at one time prevented Hannibal from advancing along the Adriatic and keep the Apule cities, conquered by the same Hannibal, in check.

The Carthaginian had left in Casilinum a garrison formed by two thousand Capuani and seven hundred Carthaginians, thinking that he had thus secured Capua itself.

Consul Fabio, wanting to resume Casilinum, let the fortifications, went down to the Volturno River.

The Capuani, fearing the Roman revenge, invoked Hannibal's help, who, left Arpi, in forced marches got to Mount Tifata, from which he dominated Capua.

Fabio Massimo, known for the departure of Hannibal from Arpi, asked the consul Sempronio Gracco to defend Benevento, undermined by Annone coming from Bruttio with large forces.

He also asked proconsul Varrone to threaten Arpi, to oblige the Carthaginians to keep there a strong garrison.

When Hannibal came to Mount Tifata, seeing no trace of the Romans, it was short he nearly frustrate the Capuani who had come to pay him homage.

In the wile having failed to occupy one of the cities of the Tyrrhenian coast, the Carthaginian attacked Puteoli (Pozzuoli), bravely defended by a garrison of six thousand men.

Taken by irrepressible wrath Annibale then devastated the territory of the Neapolitani, who had no intention of surrendering and subsequently that of Nola, where he was expected by Marcello.

This one, ordained to Gaio Claudio Nero, cavalry commander, to leave the city by night to outflank the enemy, at the first dawn Marcello attacked and defeated the Carthaginians, but Nero not knowing that area came late on the battlefield, so what could have been a memorable victory vanished.

Gaio Claudio Nerone

Marcello scolded Claudio Nero, but meanwhile Hannibal had time to retire and shortly return to Apulia. 


XV – While these things happened around Nola, at Benevento  Annone and Sempronio Gracco prepared for the battle.

As I said, Sempronio commanded two legions of voluntary slaves, among whom the discontent was spreading, in fact despite the discipline and the value so far shown, the promise of freedom was still a chimera.
The consul therefore wrote to the Senate asking for instructions.

It was responded to act as he felt.

Then Sempronio summoned the army to announce that the next day would be fought a decisive battle, in which each could have shown his value, but only the victory would testify their right to freedom.

“Give me the victory, I’ll give you the freedom”.

The words of the consul were greeted by uncontrollable enthusiasm.
The rest of the day was spent preparing the weapons.

At the new sun, when Sempronio left the camp with his army, he found in front  seventeen thousand infantrymen, mostly Bruttii and Lucani and a thousand Carthaginians knights.

The battle was violent, bloody and long, but the hope of freedom was so strong that the ours, neither overcome by wounds, nor by strains, broke the enemy line, first began to flee the Carthaginians, followed by all the others and not even they stopped in their camps, but after a messy escape, many fell under our swords.

Thirty-eight enemy insignia were taken, made countless prisoners, caught a great booty.

Tiberio Sempronio Gracco ordered all the slaves to be freed, making a vote that good day brought good, joy and fortune to the Republic and to themselves.


XVI – For the rest of the year, great events did not occur in Italy, but only modest clashes, that the commanders of their respective armies magnify according to the outcome.

Fabio Massimo advanced to Casilinum, encountering a tough resistance abandoned the assault. But Marcello said that a commander when starts an enterprise must take it to accomplishment, so with his army besieged the town.

The Carthaginian garrison, considering Marcello's determination, asked the proconsul to give them the permission to go back to Capua, but the Capuano contingent opposed the departure of the Carthaginians.
While the gates were unattended, inside Casilinum between Carthaginians and Capuani inflamed a disordered scuffle.

Marcello did not miss the opportunity and without meeting any resistance occupied the town.
Strongly worried the Capuani wrote to Hannibal invoking his help.

Once again the Carthaginian marched along the road that from Apulia brought to Capua and climbed up Mount Tifata, became able to protect Capua itself.


XVII – In Rome, summoned the assembly, were elected consuls for the following year Quinto Fabio Massimo, son of Verrucoso and Marco Claudio Marcello.

Gaio Terenzio Varrone was extended for the third time proconsul, but as the Senate feared that Asdrubal Barca would leave Spain, to reach his brother Hannibal, Varrone was assigned to Piceno, with the task of preventing Asdrubal from reuniting with his brother.

Moreover we also had to protect the fertile fields of Piceno from the looting of the Gaul mercenaries, who engaged by Hannibal descended from Gallia Cisalpina to the south.

Negotiations between Hannibal and Filippo V of Macedonia continued, so the Valerio Levino praetorship was extended to command the navy moored in Taranto, with the task of preventing any landings of Carthaginians and monitoring the movements of Filippo V.

Levino informed that the king of Macedonia had captured the Epirotic harbor of Oricum, fearing that he would soon attack the much more important Apollonia (today Walloon), immediately embarked, regained Oricum, released Apollonia from the siege.



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