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As soon as Crispinus found that Hannibal had withdrawn to Bruttium he ordered M. Marcellus to take the army which his late colleague had commanded back to Venusia.  Though hardly able to bear the motion of the litter owing to his serious wounds, he started with his legions for Capua.  In a despatch which he sent to the senate, after alluding to his colleague's death and the critical condition he himself was in, he explained that he could not go to Rome for the elections because he did not think he could bear the fatigue of the journey, and also because he was anxious about Tarentum in case Hannibal should leave Bruttium and direct his armies against it. He also requested that some men of wisdom and experience might be sent to him, as it was necessary for him to confer with them as to the policy of the Republic.  The reading of this despatch evoked a feeling of deep regret at the death of the one consul and serious apprehensions for the life of the other. In accordance with his wish they sent young Q. Fabius to the army at Venusia, and three representatives to the consul, viz. Sextus Julius Caesar, L. Licinius Pollio and L. Cincius Alimentus who had returned from Sicily a few days previously.  Their instructions were to tell the consul that if he could not come to Rome to conduct the elections, he was to nominate a Dictator in Roman territory for the purpose.  If the consul had gone to Tarentum, the praetor Q. Claudius was required to withdraw the legions stationed there, and march with them into that district in which he could protect the greatest number of cities belonging to the allies of Rome.  During the summer M. Valerius sailed across to Africa with a fleet of a hundred vessels. Landing his men near the city of Clupea, he ravaged the country far and wide without meeting with any resistance. The news of the approach of a Carthaginian fleet caused the pillagers to return in haste to their ships.  This fleet consisted of eighty-three ships, and the Roman commander successfully engaged it not far from Clupea. After capturing eighteen ships and putting the rest to flight, he returned to Lilybaeum with a great quantity of booty.  In the course of the summer Philip lent armed assistance to the Achaeans, who had implored his aid against Machanidas, tyrant of the Lacedaemonians, and against the Aetolians. Machanidas was harassing them with a border warfare, and the Aetolians had crossed the narrow sea between Naupactus and Patrae-the local name of the latter is Rhion-and were making forays in Achaia.  There were rumours also of an intention on the part of Attalus, king of Asia, to visit Europe, as the Aetolians had at the last meeting of their national council made him one of their two supreme magistrates.
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