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Polybius, Histories, book 3, Gauls Attack the Military Colonies (search)
hile the Consuls were engaged in hastening on the enrolment of their legions and other military preparations, the people were active in bringing to completion the colonies which they had already voted to send into Gaul. They accordingly caused the fortification of these towns to be energetically pushed on, and ordered the colonists to be in residence within thirty days: six thousand having been assigned to each colony. Placentia and Cremona. One of these colonies was on the south bank of the Padus, and was called Placentia; the other on the north bank, called Cremona. But no sooner had these colonies been formed, than the Boian Gauls, who had long been lying in wait to throw off their loyalty to Rome, but had up to that time lacked an opportunity, encouraged by the news that reached them of Hannibal's approach, revolted; thus abandoning the hostages which they had given at the end of the war described in my last book. The ill-feeling still remaining towards Rome enabled them to induce
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Hannibal Addresses His Men (search)
ght by the river-side, and on the morrow, when he was told that the Roman fleet was anchored off the mouths of the river, he detached five hundred Numidian horsemen to reconnoitre the enemy and find out their position, their numbers, and what they were going to do; and at the same time selected suitable men to manage the passage of the elephants. These arrangements made, he summoned a meeting of his army and introduced Magilus and the other chiefs who had come to him from the valley of the Padus, and caused them to declare to the whole army, by means of an interpreter, the resolutions passed by their tribes. Message from friendly Gauls. The points which were the strongest encouragement to the army were, first, the actual appearance of envoys inviting them to come, and promising to take part in the war with Rome; secondly, the confidence inspired by their promise of guiding them by a route where they would be abundantly supplied with necessaries, and which would lead them with speed
Polybius, Histories, book 3, The Descent Into Italy (search)
the snow was beginning to be thick on the heights; and seeing his men in low spirits, owing both to the fatigue they had gone through, and that which still lay before them, Hannibal called them together and tried to cheer them by dwelling on the one possible topic of consolation in his power, namely the view of Italy: which lay stretched out in both directions below those mountains, giving the Alps the appearance of a citadel to the whole of Italy. By pointing therefore to the plains of the Padus, and reminding them of the friendly welcome which awaited them from the Gauls who lived there, and at the same time indicating the direction of Rome itself, he did somewhat to raise the drooping spirits of his men. Next day he began the descent, in which he no longerThe descent. met with any enemies, except some few secret pillagers; but from the dangerous ground and the snow he lost almost as many men as on the ascent. For the path down was narrow and precipitous, and the snow made it impos
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Approach of Scipio (search)
Hannibal there,— than news came that Hannibal had arrived in Italy with his army, and was already besieging certain towns in it. Tiberius Sempronius recalled. Thrown into great alarm by this unexpected turn of affairs, the Roman government sent at once to Tiberius at Lilybaeum, telling him of the presence of the enemy in Italy, and ordering him to abandon the original design of his expedition, and to make all haste home to reinforce the defences of the country. Tiberius at onceExcitement at Rome collected the men of the fleet and sent them off, with orders to go home by sea; while he caused the Tribunes to administer an oath to the men of the legions that they would all appear at a fixed day at Ariminum by bedtime. Ariminum is a town on the Adriatic, situated at the southern boundary of the valley of the Padus. In every direction there was stir and excitement: and the news being a complete surprise to everybody, there was everywhere a great and irrepressible anxiety as to the futur
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Scipio Crosses the Ticinus (search)
Scipio Crosses the Ticinus About the same day Publius Scipio, having now crossed the Padus, and being resolved to make a farther advance across the Ticinus, ordered those who were skilled in such works to construct a bridge across this latter river; and then summoned a meeting of the remainder of his army and addressed them: dwelling principally on the reputation of their country and of the ancestors' achievements. But he referred particularly to their present position, saying, "that they ought to entertain no doubt of victory, though they had never as yet had any experience of the enemy; and should regard it as a piece of extravagant presumption of the Carthaginians to venture to face Romans, by whom they had been so often beaten, and to whom they had for so many years paid tribute and been all but slaves. And when in addition to this they at present knew thus much of their mettle,—that they dared not face them, what was the fair inference to be drawn for the future? Their cavalry,
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Cavalry Engagement on the Ticinus (search)
Cavalry Engagement on the Ticinus Next day both generals led their troops along the river Skirmish of cavalry near the Ticinus, Nov. B. C. 219. Padus, on the bank nearest the Alps, the Romans having the stream on their left, the Carthaginians on their right; and having ascertained on the second day, by means of scouts, that they were near each other, they both halted and remained encamped for that day: but on the next, both taking their cavalry, and Publius his sharp-shooters also, they hurried across the plain to reconnoitre each other's forces. As soon as they came within distance, and saw the dust rising from the side of their opponents, they drew up their lines for battle at once. Publius put his sharp-shooters and Gallic horsemen in front, and bringing the others into line, advanced at a slow pace. Hannibal placed his cavalry that rode with bridles, and was most to be depended on, in his front, and led them straight against the enemy; having put the Numidian cavalry on either wi
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Scipio Crosses the Po (search)
his camp, and marched through the Scipio retires to Placentia on the right bank of the Po. plains to the bridge over the Padus, in haste to get his legions across before the enemy came up. He saw that the level country where he was then was favourar of about six hundred; and being informed that the main army was far on its way, he wheeled round and again ascended the Padus in search of a spot in it which admitted of being easily bridged. After two days' march he halted and constructed a bridgons, and joining the Carthaginian forces. After giving these men a cordial reception, and getting his own army across the Padus, he began to march back again down stream, with an earnest desire of giving the enemy battle. Publius, too, had crossed tnsidered that he had a secure base of operations where he was. A two days' march from the place where he had crossed the Padus brought Hannibal to the neighbourhood of the enemy; and on the third day he drew out his army for battle in full view of
Polybius, Histories, book 3, A Second Disaster in Etruria (search)
A Second Disaster in Etruria About the same time as the battle of Thrasymene, Servilius's advanced guard cut to pieces. the Consul Gnaeus Servilius, who had been stationed on duty at Ariminum,—which is on the coast of the Adriatic, where the plains of Cis-Alpine Gaul join the rest of Italy, not far from the mouths of the Padus,—having heard that Hannibal had entered Etruria and was encamped near Flaminius, designed to join the latter with his whole army. But finding himself hampered by the difficulty of transporting so heavy a force, he sent Gaius Centenius forward in haste with four thousand horse, intending that he should be there before himself in case of need. But Hannibal, getting early intelligence after the battle of Thrasymene of this reinforcement of the enemy, sent Maharbal with his light-armed troops, and a detachment of cavalry, who falling in with Gaius, killed nearly half his men at the first encounter; and having pursued the remainder to a certain hill, on the very nex
Polybius, Histories, book 5, Disturbed State of Achaia (search)
k to Corinth. He then dismissed his Macedonian soldiers to go home through Thessaly for the winter: while he himself putting to sea from Cenchreae, and coasting along Attica, sailed through the Euripus to Demetrias, and there before a jury of Macedonians had Ptolemy tried and put to death, who was the last survivor of the conspiracy of Leontius. It was in this season that Hannibal, having succeeded inB. C. 218. Review of the events of the year in Italy, Asia, Sparta. entering Italy, was lying encamped in presence of the Roman army in the valley of the Padus. Antiochus, after subduing the greater part of Coele-Syria, had once more dismissed his army into winter quarters. The Spartan king Lycurgus fled to Aetolia in fear of the Ephors: for acting on a false charge that he was meditating a coup d'état, they had collected the young men and come to his house at night. But getting previous intimation of what was impending, he had quitted the town accompanied by the members of his household
Polybius, Histories, book 10, Scipio's First Brilliant Success (search)
ose who have lived with him, and contemplated his character, so to speak, in broad daylight. Of such Gaius Laelius was one. He took part in everything he did or said from boyhood to the day of his death; and he it was who convinced me of this truth: because what he said appeared to me to be likely in in itself, and in harmony with the achievements of that great man. He told me that the first brilliant exploit of Publius was when his father fought the cavalry engagement with Hannibal near the Padus. He was then, as it seems, eighteen years old and on his first campaign. His father had given him a squadron of picked cavalry for his protection; but when in the course of the battle he saw his father surrounded by the enemy, with only two or three horsemen near him, and dangerously wounded, he first tried to cheer on his own squadron to go to his father's assistance, but when he found them considerably cowed by the numbers of the enemy surrounding them, he appears to have plunged by himse
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