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It was a very fortunate circumstance for Hannibal at the outset of his campaign that the Taurini, the first people he came to, were at war with the Insubres. But he was unable to bring his army into the field to assist either side, for it was whilst they were recovering from the ills and misfortunes which had gathered upon them that they felt them most.  Rest and idleness instead of toil, plenty following upon starvation, cleanliness and comfort after squalor and emaciation, affected their filthy and well-nigh bestialised bodies in various ways.  It was this state of things which induced P. Cornelius Scipio, the consul, after he had arrived with his ships at Pisa and taken over from Manlius and Atilius an army of raw levies disheartened by their recent humiliating defeats, to push on with all speed to the Po that he might engage the enemy before he had recovered his strength.  But when he reached Placentia Hannibal had already left his encampment and taken by storm one of the cities of the Taurini, their capital, in fact, because they would not voluntarily maintain friendly relations with him.  He would have secured the adhesion of the Gauls in the valley of the Po, not by fear but by their own choice, if the sudden arrival of the consul had not taken them by surprise whilst they were waiting for a favourable moment to revolt.  Just at the time of Scipio's arrival, Hannibal moved out of the country of the Taurini, for, seeing how undecided the [7??] Gauls were as to whose side they should take, he thought that if he were on the spot they would follow him.  The two armies were now almost within sight of one another, and the commanders who were confronting each other, though not sufficiently acquainted with each other's military skill, were even then imbued with mutual respect and admiration. Even before the fall of Saguntum the name of Hannibal was on all men's lips in Rome, and in Scipio Hannibal recognised a great leader, seeing that he had been chosen beyond all others to oppose him.  This mutual esteem was enhanced by their recent achievements; Scipio, after Hannibal had left him in Gaul, was in time to meet him on his descent from the Alps; Hannibal had not only dared to attempt but had actually accomplished the passage of the Alps.  Scipio, however, made the first move by crossing the Po and shifting his camp to the Ticinus. Before leading his men into battle he addressed them in a speech full of encouragement, in the following terms:
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