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all the corn from the neighbourhood of Metapontum and Heraclea, he returned northwards and took up his winter quarters at Salapia.
Meanwhile, Fabius the consul had taken advantage of Hannibal's absence to besiege Casilinum, and as the Capuans from their proximity might annoy the besieging force, Marcellus came from Nola to observe Capua and to cover the siege. The place was garrisoned by 700 of Hannibal's veterans, and by 2000 Capuans; but it surrendered after an obstinate defence, on condition that the garrison should be allowed to retire to Capua. But Marcellus appears to have acted with treachery, and having seized the gate through which the garrison was defiling, killed many, and sent the rest as prisoners to Bome.
After this, Marcellus returned to Nola, while Fabius, the consul, advanced into Samnium, combining his operations with his son in Apulia, and with Gracchus in Lucania. Hanno had withdrawn into Bruttium, and the three Roman armies ravaged the country far and wide wherever it had submitted to Hannibal, and regained the towns of Telesia and Compsa in Samnium, of Blanda in Lucania, and of CEcae in Apulia, besides taking or killing 25,000 of Hannibal's adherents. They then went into winter quarters: Fabius in his old position at Suessula, Marcellus at Nola, Gracchus in Lucania, and Fabius the praetor at Herdonea in Apulia, watching Hannibal.
In the course of this year, Hieronymus, successor to Hiero king of Syracuse, who had deserted the Roman cause, was slain by his subjects, and the Roman alliance was restored: but a fresh revolution had placed the partisans of Carthage at the head of the government, and Syracuse finally declared war, and attacked the Roman troops. Several other cities followed the example, and the Roman dominion in the island was in danger. Marcellus was .therefore sent to Sicily with his two legions to meet the threatening storm.
In another quarter, Philip king of Macedon had prepared everything for a descent on Italy; but previous to embarking he besieged Apollonia, on the west coast of Illyria: M. Valerius, informed of this, sailed from Brundusium, entered Apollonia, dispersed the Macedonian army in a sally, and burnt the fleet which had been prepared for the expedition. Philip returned into Macedon with a dispirited army, and danger from that quarter was for the present averted.
In Spain, also, the two Scipios had gained two great victories during the year, retaken Saguntum, and, after strengthening the defences, had recalled to the town such of the inhabitants as had survived the siege of the year 218 B.C.
The consuls chosen for this year were Gracchus and Q. Fabius, son of the consul, who had been praetor in the preceding year. The distribution of the Roman forces was as follows:—
Legions. Gracchus, in Lucania, continued in command of his two
Fabius, who had wintered at Herdonea watching Hannibal,
kept his old command in Apulia 2
M. Emilius, praetor, commanded two legions likewise in Apulia,
having his head quarters at Luceria 2
Cn. Fulvius, prsetor, succeeded Fabius the elder in command
of the army at Suessula 2
Varro still remained in Picenum 1
In Sicily two armies were employed, one commanded by Mar
cellus, the other by P. Lentulus 4
P. Sempronius in Cisalpine Gaul 2
Q. Mucius in Sardinia ........ 2
P. Scipio in Spain 2
Garrison of Rome 2
Employed in Greece under M. Valerius 1
It is impossible clearly to make out the operations of the present year. Early in the season, Fabius the consul, with whom his father acted as his lieutenant, surprised Arpi: the inhabitants who were instrumental in aiding the Romans to gain the city, returned to their allegiance, and 1000 Spaniards of the garrison joined Fabius and fought in the Roman ranks to the end of the war. Hannibal had wintered at Salapia, and by turning to the map it will be now seen how hazardous was his position. With one Roman army at Arpi, another at Herdonea which might have advanced to Canusium, these two towns forming safe points of operation for these armies respectively, and having the army of Gracchus in Lucania, which might have been called up to complete the girdle by taking post across the road to Tarentum behind the Aufidus river, it certainly appears as if the war should have been terminated in. that corner of ltaly; but we are judging in ignorance of many facts, and Hannibal's superiority in cavalry enabled him to do many things which -would otherwise have been impossible.
Vttmoketed by his numerous enemies, Hannibal marched to Tarentum, and passed the whole summer in the neighbourhood of that town, in the hope of its being delivered up to him by the inhabitants. Capua was thus left to its own resources; but nothing seems to have been undertaken against that city.*
Meanwhile, Gracchus was engaged in Lucania in a partisan warfare, the result of which was the reduction of a few villages and castles.
In Bruttium, a reaction had commenced in favour of Rome; but a Roman contractor or prefect in that province, who had been empowered to raise soldiers, was rash enough to engage with his raw levies in an action against Hanno, and was defeated and made prisoner; which checked the reaction in Bruttium for the time.
In Spain nothing important occurred, except that Syphax, king of Numidia, transferred his alliance from Carthage to Rome, and sent orders to such of his troops as were serving in the Carthaginian armies in Spain, to go over to the Roman generals.
In Sicily a violent struggle was being carried on, and the siege of Syracuse, made famous by the genius and death of Archimedes, was commenced.
* See Observation 3.
In the course of the winter, the town of Tarentum was taken by Hannibal through the connivance of the inhabitants; but the citidel was still held by a Roman garrison.
The consuls of the year were Fulvius Flaccus and Appius Claudius. So great had been the drain on the population, that it was impossible to recruit the Roman armies with soldiers of the regulated age. Two Commissions were appointed the one to visit all the country tribes within fifty miles of Rome, and the other, such as were more remote, to pass in review every free-born citizen, and to enlist all who were physically not incapable, even below the age of seventeen.
The requirements of the army having been thus satisfied, Q. Fulvius, one consul, succeeded to the command of the army of Fabius in Apulia, while the other, Appius Claudius, took command of that of the ex-praetor Fulvius, at Suessula.
Gracchus was still in Lucania with his two legions holding Hanno in check.
Claudius Nero, now first mentioned, guarded the camp above Suessula with two legions which Varro had raised in Picenum; while the army of Appius Claudius, the consul, marched to Bovianum, and there united with that of the other consul from Apulia.
Cn. Fulvius Flaccus, brother of the consul, as praetor, succeeded the ex-praetor M. Emilius in the command of his two legions in Apulia.