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Hannibal In Sight of Rome

But presently, when the Consuls ventured to encamp
Hannibal starts on his return.
within ten stades of him, Hannibal broke up his quarters before daylight. He did so for three reasons:—first, because he had collected an enormous booty; secondly, because he had given up all hope of taking Rome; and lastly, because he reckoned that the time had now come at which he expected, according to his original idea, that Appius would have learnt the danger threatening Rome, and would have raised the siege of Capua and come with his whole force to the relief of the city; or at any rate would hurry up with the greater part, leaving a detachment to carry on the siege.
The passage of the Anio.
Publius had caused the bridges over the Anio to be broken down, and thus compelled Hannibal to get his army across by a ford; and he now attacked the Carthaginians as they were engaged in making the passage of the stream and caused them great distress. They were not able however to strike an important blow, owing to the number of Hannibal's cavalry, and the activity of the Numidians in every part of the field. But before retiring to their camp they wrested the greater part of the booty from them, and killed about three hundred men; and then, being convinced that the Carthaginians were beating a hasty retreat in a panic, they followed in their rear, keeping along the line of hills.
Hannibal turns upon his pursuers.
At first Hannibal continued to march at a rapid pace, being anxious to meet the force which he expected; but at the end of the fifth day, being informed that Appius had not left the siege of Capua, he halted; and waiting for the enemy to come up, made an attack upon his camp before daylight, killed a large number of them, and drove the rest out of their camp. But when day broke, and he saw the Romans in a strong position upon a steep hill, to which they had retired, he decided not to continue his attack upon them; but marching through Daunia and Bruttium he appeared at Rhegium, so unexpectedly, that he was within an ace of capturing the city, and did cut off all who were out in the country; and during this excursion captured a very large number of the Rhegini.

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