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Approach of Scipio

When he heard, while engaged on this design, that Publius had already crossed the Padus with his army, and was at no great distance, he was at first inclined to disbelieve the fact, reflecting that it was not many days since he had left him near the passage of the Rhone, and that the voyage from Marseilles to Etruria was a long and difficult one. He was told, moreover, that from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Alps through Italian soil was a long march, without good military roads. But when messenger after messenger confirmed the intelligence with increased positiveness, he was filled with amazement and admiration at the Consul's plan of campaign, and promptness in carrying it out. The feelings of Publius were much the same: for he had not expected that Hannibal would even attempt the passage of the Alps with forces of different races, or, if he did attempt it, that he could escape utter destruction. Entertaining such ideas he was immensely astonished at his courage and adventurous daring, when he heard that he had not only got safe across, but was actually besieging certain towns in Italy. Similar feelings were entertained at Rome when the news arrived there. For scarcely had the last rumour about the taking of Saguntum by the Carthaginians ceased to attract attention, and scarcely had the measures adopted in view of that event been taken,—namely the despatch of one Consul to Libya to besiege Carthage, and of the other to Iberia to meet 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 once
Excitement 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 future.

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