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between the two places, could not but know. He refrained from mentioning the consequences which necessarily followed the taking of a city by assault; and with more pleasure took upon him to engage, that, if they would deliver up Nola, together with Marcellus and the garrison, they should themselves dictate the terms on which they were to be received into friendship and alliance with Hannibal.”

XLIV. To this Herennius Bassus replied, that “ for many years past, a friendship had subsisted between the states of Rome and Nola, with which neither party had, to that day, seen reason to be dissatisfied; and that though people's attachments were to follow the changes of fortune, it was now too late for them to change theirs. Men who were afterwards to surrender to Hannibal ought not to have sent for a Roman garrison. Their destiny was now, and would continue to be, to the last, connected, in every particular, with that of the person who came to their support.” This conference took away from Hannibal all hope of gaining Nola by treachery; he therefore invested the city quite round, intending to attack the walls in all parts at once. When Marcellus saw him approach the works, having formed his troops within the gate, he sallied forth with great impetuosity. At the first push, several were beaten down and slain; then others running up to those who were engaged, and their power being brought to an equality, the battle became furious, and would have been memorable among the few which are most celebrated, had not violent rain, attended by a desperate storm, separated the combatants. After this small trial of strength, which served only to irritate their passions, they retired for that day, the Romans into the city, the Carthaginians into their camp. However, on the first irruption, some of the Carthaginians, not above thirty, fell under the shock, and not one of the Romans. The rain continued without intermission through the whole night, and lasted until the third hour of the following day. Wherefore, notwithstanding that both

parties eagerly longed for battle, yet they remained during that day within their works. On the third day, Hannibal sent a part of his forces to ravage the lands of the Nolans; which, when Marcellus observed, he instantly drew out his forces and offered battle, nor did Hannibal decline the challenge. The distance between the city and the camp was about a mile: in this space, which was level, as is all the ground about Nola, the armies met. The shout raised, on both sides, called back the nearest of those cohorts which had gone into the country for plunder, to the battle, which had begun when they arrived. The Nolans joined themselves to the Roman forces; and Marcellus, after commending their zeal, ordered them to take post in reserve, and to carry off the wounded from the line; but, by no means to engage in the fight, unless they received a signal from him.

XLV. The battle was long doubtful, every one exerting himself to the utmost, the officers in encouraging the men, and the men in fighting. Marcellus urged his soldiers to press briskly on those whom they had defeated but three days before; who had been put to flight from Cumæ not many days since, and who, in the last year, had been repulsed from Nola by himself, then likewise in command, though with other troops. “ All the enemy's forces,” he told them,“ were not in the field; some of them were rambling through the country in search of prey; and those who were in the fight were debilitated by Campanian luxury, having exhausted their vigour in the practice of every kind of intemperance and debauchery, through the whole course of the winter. Their former strength was gone, they were no longer possessed of that firmness, either of body or mind, which had enabled them to surmount the Pyrenean and the Alpine heights. Those they had now to engage with, might be called the shadows of those armies: men scarcely able to support their limbs and armour. Capua to Hannibal had not proved a Cannæ. There, warlike courage; there, military discipline;


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on the cavalry: these, therefore, they employed in annoying

the enemy.

XLVII. Among a great number of Campanian horsemen, of high reputation, was Cerrinus Jubellius, surnamed Taurea. He was a native there, and celebrated for his abilities as a horseman far beyond all the others of that country, insomuch that while he acted in the service of Rome, there was but one Roman, Claudius Asellus, who had an equal reputation in that line. For this man, Taurea long searched as he rode before the squadrons of the enemy. At last, demanding attention, he inquired where was Claudius Asellus, and why, since he had been accustomed to assert himself to be his equal, did he not decide the point with the sword; and either by suffering a defeat give glorious spoils, or by victory acquire them? When this was reported, in the camp, to Asellus, he only waited to ask the consul's leave to engage, though out of rule, with the challenger. Having obtained permission, he instantly armed himself, and riding out beyond the advanced guards, called on Taurea by name, and dared him to the field. The Romans had now come in crowds to behold the fight; and the Campanians, to gain a view of it, had filled not only the rampart of the camp, but likewise the walls of the city. After a prelude of furious expressions, to give the business an air of the greater consequence, they spurred on their horses, with their spears prepared for action. Having free space, wherein they parried each other's assaults, the fight lasted for some time without a wound on either side. At length the Campanian said to the Roman, “ this will be but a trial of skill between our horses, not between their riders, unless we descend into yon hollow way. There, as there will be no room for wheeling to one side or another, we may meet hand to hand.” Scarcely were the words uttered, when Claudius leaped his horse down into the road, on which Taurea, more daring in words than in action, said, “Never be an ass in a dyke,” which expression became afterwards proverbial among rustics. Claudius, riding up again into the plain, traversed the ground to a considerable distance from the road, without meeting any antagonist; and then, exclaiming against the cowardice of his foe, returned victorious to the camp, amidst general rejoicing and congratulations. To this encounter, some histories add a wonderful circumstance, (how far worthy of belief, the reader may judge for himself,) that Claudius, pursuing Taurea, as he fled back to the city, rode in at one of the enemy's gates which stood open, and escaped unhurt through another; while the soldiers stood motionless through astonishment.

XLVIII. From this time the troops remained without employment, and the consul even drew back his camp to a distance, that the Campanians might till their grounds; nor did he offer any injury to the lands, until the blades in the corn fields were sufficiently grown to serve as forage. He then conveyed the corn in this state into the Claudian camp over Suessula, where he erected huts against the winter. He gave orders to Marcus Claudius, pro-consul, that, retaining at Nola a garrison sufficient for the defence of the place, he should send the rest of his force to Rome, lest they should be a burden to the allies, and an expense to the state. In another quarter, Tiberius Gracchus having led his legions from Cumæ to Luceria in Apulia, detached thence the prætor, Marcus Valerius, to Brundusium, with the troops which he had commanded at Luceria, ordering him to guard the coast of the Sallentine territory, and carefully pursue all such measures as should be found requisite with respect to Philip, and the Macedonian war. Towards the close of that summer, in which happened those events which we have related, letters arrived from the Scipios, Publius and Cneius, setting forth the great importance and successful issue of their operations in Spain; but that they were in want of every thing, pay, clothing, and corn for the army, and the crews of the ships. With regard to the pay, they observed, that, if the treasury were low, they would themselves devise some method of procuring it from the Spaniards; but that the other articles must, at all events, be sent from Rome, otherwise, neither the army, nor the province, could be preserved. When the letters were read, both the truth of the facts represented, and the reasonableness of the demands, were universally acknowledged; but they were struck by the following considerations: “ What numerous forces on land and sea they were obliged to maintain; and, what a large additional fleet must soon be provided, in case of a war with Macedonia breaking out. That Sicily and Sardinia, which, before, had yielded a revenue, now scarcely maintained the troops employed in their own defence. That the public expenses were supplied by a tax; but as the number of those who contributed to this tax, had been diminished by the great slaughter of the troops at Trasimenus, and at Cannæ; so the surviving few, if loaded with multiplied impositions, must perish likewise, only by a different malady. It was therefore concluded, that, if the state did not find support in credit, it could find none in money; and it was judged proper, that the prætor, Fulvius, should go out to the assembly of the commons, and lay before the people the necessitous situation of the country; exhorting them, that such as had increased their estates by farming the public revenues, should now assist that government, to which they owed their prosperity, with indulgence in respect of time; and that they should engage to furnish, by contract, the supplies necessary for the army in Spain, on condition, when money should come into the treasury, of being the first paid.” These matters the prætor explained in the assembly, and gave public notice of the day, on which he would contract for the supplying of clothing, and corn, for the army in Spain, and such other things as were necessary for the men on board the fleet.

XLIS. When the time came, three companies, consisting of nineteen men, attended, in order to engage in the contract.

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