This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The consul Cnaeus Servilius, fully persuaded that the credit of restoring peace in Italy was due to him, and that it was he who had driven Hannibal out of the country, followed the Carthaginian commander to Sicily, intending to sail from there to Africa.  When this became known in Rome the senate decided that the praetor should write to him and inform him that the senate thought it right that he should remain in Italy.  The praetor said that Servilius would pay no attention to a letter from him, and on this it was resolved to appoint P. Sulpicius Dictator, and he by virtue of his superior authority recalled the consul to Italy.  The Dictator spent the remainder of the year in visiting, accompanied by M. Servilius, his Master of the Horse, the different cities of Italy which had fallen away from Rome during the war, and holding an enquiry in each case.  During the armistice a hundred transports carrying supplies and escorted by twenty warships were despatched from Sardinia by Lentulus the praetor and reached Africa without any damage either from the enemy or from storms. Cnaeus Octavius sailed from Sicily with two hundred transports and thirty warships, but was not equally fortunate.  He had a favourable voyage until he was almost within sight of Africa, when he was becalmed; then a south-westerly wind sprang up which scattered his ships in all directions.  Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the rowers against the adverse waves, Octavius succeeded in making the Promontory of Apollo.  The greater part of the transports were driven to Aegimurus, an island which forms a breakwater to the bay on which Carthage is situated and about thirty miles distant from the city.  Other were carried up to the city itself as far as the Aquae Calidae ("hot-springs"). All this was visible from Carthage, and a crowd gathered from all parts of the city in the forum.  The magistrates convened the senate; the people who were in the vestibule of the senate-house protested against so much booty being allowed to slip out of their hands and out of their sight. Some objected that this would be a breach of faith whilst peace negotiations were going on, others were for respecting the truce which had not yet expired.  The popular assembly was so mixed up with the senate that they almost formed one body, and they unanimously decided that Hasdrubal should proceed to Aegimurum with fifty ships of war and pick up the Roman ships which were scattered along the coast or in the harbours.  Those transports which had been abandoned by their crews at Aegimurum were towed to Carthage, and subsequently others were brought in from Aquae Calidae.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.