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Hannibal, after an uninterrupted march of four days and three nights,

arrives in Etruria, through the marshes, in which he lost an eye. Cai-

us Flaminius, the consul, an inconsiderate man, having gone forth in

opposition to the omens, dug up the standards which could not other-

wise be raised, and being thrown from his horse immediately after he

had mounted, is ensnared by Hannibal, and cut off by his army near

the Thrasimene lake. Three thousand who had escaped are placed in

chains by Hannibal, in violation of pledges given. Distress occasioned

in Rome by the intelligence. The Sibylline books consulted, and a

sacred spring decreed. Fabius Maximus sent as dictator against Han-

nibal, whom he frustrates by caution and delay. Marcus Minucius,

the master of the horse, a rash and impetuous man, inveighs against

the caution of Fabius, and obtains an equality of command with him.

The army is divided between them, and Minucius engaging Hannibal

in an unfavorable position is reduced to the extremity of danger, and

is rescued by the dictator, and places himself under his authority.

Hannibal, after ravaging Campania, is shut up by Fabius in a valley

near the town of Casilinum, but escapes by night, putting to flight the

Romans on guard by oxen with lighted fagots attached to their horns.

Hannibal attempts to excite a suspicion of the fidelity of Fabius by

sparing his farm while ravaging with fire the whole country around it.

Emilius Paulus and Terentius Varro are routed at Cannæ, and forty

thousand men slain, among whom were Paulus the consul, eighty Sen-

ators, and thirty who had served the office of consul, prætor, or edile.

A design projected by some noble youths of quitting Italy in despair

after this calamity, is intrepidly quashed by Publius Cornelius Scipio, a

military tribune, afterwards surnamed Africanus. Successes in Spain;

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