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his suggestion, sent to that country from Africa, to be commanded during his absence by his brother Hasdrubal, while he sent Spanish troops to defend the territory of Carthage, in order that the soldiers of each nation, being quartered among foreigners, should be deprived of the temptation, or the opportunity to revolt.
He was also, in all probability, actuated by the consideration that his bitterest enemies were to be found in that faction of his fellow citizens which was headed by Hanno. And he was, therefore, not sorry to hold that faction in check by the presence of a force which, on account of its personal attachment to himself, owed an allegiance to Hannibal rather than to Carthage.
A third army, consisting, like the two first, of two Roman legions and the usual proportion of allies, and amounting to about 20,000 men, was sent to Cisalpine Gaul under the Praetor L. Manlius; and in order further to restrain the disaffected Gauls, the military colonists of two Roman colonies to the number of 12,000 men, were despatched to occupy the important posts of Placentia and Cremona, on opposite sides of the Po. Thus the Roman force which was actually assembled in Cisalpine Gaul so early as the end of May of the year 218, amounted to 32,000 men and was considered amply sufficient to preserve tranquillity. But before Scipio had set out from Rome> to assume his consular command, news arrived that the Boian and Insubrian Gauls had risen, that they had defeated Manlius and blockaded him in one of his towns, and that they had moreover dispersed the colonists of Placentia and Cremona, and driven them to take refuge in Mutina, another Roman colony on the road between Placentia and Ariminum.
One of Scipio's legions was immediately sent off under another praetor, Caius Atilius, to relieve and .reinforce Manlius, while Scipio's army was raised to its original strength by new levies.
Thus when Scipio arrived in Cisalpine Gaul, towards the end of the year, he found the army of the praetors in the field amounting to about 25,000 men, and the military colonists re-established in Placentia and Cremona; and it was of this aggregate force that he took the command.
It was now the middle of December, and unusually late for military operations, but Scipio being anxious by a rapid advance to prevent a general rising of the Gauls in favour of Hannibal, crossed the Po at Placentia, and marched up its northern bank; while Hannibal on the other hand knowing well that the Gauls were prevented from joining him by fear alone, and certain that his first success against the Roman arms would draw multitudes to his standard, descended the northern bank to meet Scipio, who, having crossed the Ticinus by a bridge he had constructed, continued to advance westward with the river on his left.
Thus was brought on accidentally a cavalry action, which has been magnified by the name of the battle of theTicinus, in which the Numidians, supported by the Gaulish heavy cavalry, completely defeated the Roman horse, and in which Scipio himself was dangerously wounded. Here was first established the superiority of the cavalry of Hannibal over that of the Romans, to which he owed much of his subsequent success; and the country being level and open, and peculiarly favourable to the action of that arm in which they were so evidently inferior, the Romans retired behind the Ticinus, over the bridge which they had made, and which they now broke down behind them; but this operation was attended with so much confusion that 600 men were left on the wrong side of the river, and fell into the hands of the enemy.
Hannibal, not judging it prudent to attempt the passage of such a river as the Ticinus in the face of the Romans, retraced his steps up the northern bank of the Po until he found a convenient place, where he transported his army to the southern bank by means of the river boats. The Romans now fearing to be turned, and lest Hannibal should reach Placentia before them, retreated in all haste on that city and encamped under its walls.
Hannibal marching down the Po came in sight of the Roman camp two days after crossing the river, and after vainly endeavouring to provoke the enemy to an engagement, he placed his army about five miles to the south-east of Placentia, cutting off Scipio's communication with Ariminum and Rome.* Hannibal was here in a friendly country, for, as he expected would be the case, he was received with open arms by the natives on the south of the Po, and indeed the Romans had no hold on the territory of Cisalpine Gaul but by their garrisons or colonies.
Hannibal's appearance in Italy took the Roman senate by surprise. They judged that the difficulties
* See Observation 5.
of the march must delay his arrival until the following spring. But they no sooner received intelligence that he was actually in Cisalpine Gaul than they sent for Sempronius and his army from Sicily, and despatched them to reinforce Scipio on the Po.
Sempronius was with his army at Lilybaeum, the furthest point of Sicily, when he received his orders; and it may give a small idea of the immensely increased facilities which science has imparted to military operations, that rather than encounter the dangers of a winter navigation — instead of embarking at Lilybaeum and sailing to Ariminum, the troops marched through Sicily to Messana, there crossed the straits, and proceeded through the whole length of Italy by Ariminum to the scene of conflict on the Po, which they reached in about forty days. In our time the operation would probably be effected in four.
Sempronius effected his junction with Scipio unimpeded by Hannibal, and the army of the consuls then moving westward crossed to the left bank of the Trebbia, where it encamped. This movement was probably made by the Romans in order to draw near the magazines, of which they possessed several south of the Po, and on which they depended for their subsistence; for, as it has been already remarked, they had no hold on the country excepting by their garrisons, and without these the Roman army might have starved while Hannibal had all his wants amply supplied by the goodwill of the inhabitants.
The army of the consuls amounted to about 40,000 men; and that of Hannibal had been so reinforced by m-a. a: nt- sunseaufim success: and the country being r=r-= waiL aiteu. mid T*ecuhar}v favourable to the action ■r tra- wrn Xl 'wind. xbev -were so evidently inferior, -c— 3»inuui^ -wrpw- behind the Ticinus, over the bridge T-i.v.u tie*- Jiml. Tm■fU- snc -which they now broke down •-•iiL* insai: -ran xhif nnexation was attended with so x. u.n i--uniaiiiL -nae f».*v■ men were left on the wrong ■s .e ■f -£its rr»»sE. Ioje ieZ into the hands of the enemy.
HuaaJjjiL. ai--« injirt■r it pmdent to attempt the T*3ks»c?i jt sua. A rr^sr *s the Ticinus in the face of the Humuo&. 2rfc=sc»£ ii> Sktc Tj» the nonheni bank of the B»j Tncl ie 5; ami a icn.T«i5ent place, where he transput***! -jis nj % tz* 3c<nheni bank by means of the ri-^r buac&. Tie R.caas ih>w fearing to be turned, ami lest ffiM«:--«-- sb.tji natch Pl¢ia before them, retreaeed in. all basse oa that city and encamped under its walk.
Hannibal marching down the Po came in sight of the Roman camp two days after crossing the river, and after Tainly endeavouring to provoke the enemy to an engagement, he placed his army about five miles to the south-east of Placentia, cutting off Scipio's communication with Ariminum and Rome.* Hannibal was here in a friendly country, for, as he expected would be the case, he was received with open arms by the natives on the south of the Po, and indeed the Romans had no hold on the territory of Cisalpine Gaul but by their garrisons or colonies.
appearance in Italy took the Eoman
iqiafc urprise. They judged that the difficulties
* See Observation 5.