Mago, setting out during the silence of the succeeding night, and marching as far at a time as his wounds would allow him, reached the sea-coast in the territory of the Ingaunian Ligurians.
Here ambassadors from Carthage, who had put into the Gallic bay a few days before, came to him with directions to cross over into Africa with all speed;
informing him that his brother Hannibal, for to him also they said ambassadors had gone with similar directions, would do the same, for the affairs of the Carthaginians were not in a condition to admit of their occupying Gaul and Italy with armies.
Mago, not only influenced by the command of the senate and the danger which threatened his country, but fearful also lest the victorious enemy should be upon him if he delayed, and lest the Ligurians themselves, seeing that the Carthaginians were leaving Italy, should pass over to those under whose power they were likely soon to be placed;
at the same time hoping that his wound would be less irritated by the motion of sailing than marching, and that he would have greater facilities for the cure of it, put his troops on board and set sail. But he had scarcely cleared Sardinia when he died of his wound.
Several also of his ships, which had been dispersed in the main sea, were captured by the Roman fleet which lay near Sardinia. Such were the transactions by sea and land in that part of Italy which is adjacent to the Alps.
The consul, Caius Servilius, without having performed any memorable achievement in Etruria, his province, and in Gaul, for he had advanced thither also, but having rescued from slavery, which they had endured for now the sixteenth year, his father, Caius Servilius, and his uncle,
Caius Lutatius, who had been taken by the Boians at the village of Tanetum, returned to Rome with [p. 1308]
his father on one side of him and his uncle on the other, distinguished by family, rather than by public, honours.
It was proposed to the people, that Caius Servilius should be indemnified for having filled the offices of plebeian tribune and plebeian aedile contrary to what was established by the laws, while his father, who had sat in the curule chair, was still alive, he being ignorant of that circumstance.
This proposition having been carried, he returned to his province. The towns Consentia, Uffugum, Vergae, Besidiae, Hetriculum, Sypheum, Argentanum, Clampetia, and many other inconsiderable states, perceiving that the Carthaginian cause was declining, went over to Cneius Servilius the consul in Bruttium.
The same consul fought a battle with Hannibal, in the territory of Croto. The accounts of this battle are not clear. Valerius Antias states that five thousand men were slain. But this is an event of such magnitude, that either it must be an impudent fiction, or negligently omitted.
It is certain that nothing further was done by Hannibal in Italy; for ambassadors from Carthage, recalling him into Africa, came to him, as it happened, at the same time that they came to Mago.