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A Bargain Made with Hannibal

On their next expedition, which they conducted in the same way as the first, they interchanged pledges of fidelity with Hannibal on the following conditions: "He was to set the Tarentines free; and the Carthaginians were neither to exact tribute of any sort from them, nor impose any burden upon them; but the houses and lodgings occupied by Romans should, on their taking possession of the town, be given up to the Carthaginians to plunder." They also arranged on a watch-word at which the sentries were to admit them without delay into the camp whenever they came. After making these arrangements, they got the opportunity of often having interviews with Hannibal: sometimes pretending to be going out of the town on a foray, and sometimes on a hunting expedition. Everything having thus been put in train, the greater part of the conspirators waited for the proper occasions for acting, while they assigned to Philemenus the part of leader of their hunting excursions; for, owing to his excessive taste for that amusement, he had the reputation of thinking hunting the most important thing in life. Accordingly they left it to him, first to win the favour of Gaius Livius the commander of the town by presents of game, and then that of the guards of the gate-tower which protected what were called the Temenid gates. Philemenus undertook the task: and partly by what he caught himself, and partly with what Hannibal supplied, always managed to bring in some game; which he divided between Livius and the guards of the gate, to induce them to be always ready to open the wicket to him. For he generally went and returned from his expeditions after nightfall, under the pretext of being afraid of the enemy, but really with a view of preparing for the plot. When Philemenus then had managed to make it a regular arranged thing with the picket at the gate, that the guards should have no hesitation; but that, whenever he came under the wall and whistled, they should open the wicket to him; he waited for a day on which the Roman commander of the town was engaged to be present at a large party, meeting early in the Musaeum, which is near the agora, and agreed with Hannibal to carry out their plot on that day.

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