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Scipio Is Too Late To Stop Hannibal

Three days after Hannibal had resumed his march, the
Scipio finds that Hannibal has escaped him.
Consul Publius arrived at the passage of the river. He was in the highest degree astonished to find the enemy gone: for he had persuaded himself that they would never venture to take this route into Italy, on account of the numbers and fickleness of the barbarians who inhabited the country. But seeing that they had done so, he hurried back to his ships and at once embarked his forces. He then despatched his brother Gnaeus to conduct the campaign in Iberia, while he himself turned back again to Italy by sea, being anxious to anticipate the enemy by marching through Etruria to the foot of the pass of the Alps.

Meanwhile, after four days' march from the passage of the

Hannibal's march to the foot of the Alps.
Rhone, Hannibal arrived at the place called the Island, a district thickly inhabited and exceedingly productive of corn. Its name is derived from its natural features: for the Rhone and Isara flowing on either side of it make the apex of a triangle where they meet, very nearly of the same size and shape as the delta of the Nile, except that the base of the latter is formed by the sea into which its various streams are discharged, while in the case of the former this base is formed by mountains difficult to approach or climb, and, so to speak, almost inaccessible. When Hannibal arrived in this district he found two brothers engaged in a dispute for the royal power, and confronting each other with their armies. The elder sought his alliance and invited his assistance in gaining the crown: and the advantage which such a circumstance might prove to him at that juncture of his affairs being manifest, he consented; and having joined him in his attack upon his brother, and aided in expelling him, he obtained valuable support from the victorious chieftain. For this prince not only liberally supplied his army with provisions, but exchanged all their old and damaged weapons for new ones, and thus at a very opportune time thoroughly restored the efficiency of the troops: he also gave most of the men new clothes and boots, which proved of great advantage during their passage of the mountains. But his most essential service was that, the Carthaginians being greatly alarmed at the prospect of marching through the territory of the Allobroges, he acted with his army as their rearguard, and secured them a safe passage as far as the foot of the pass.

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