This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The consuls followed the Carthaginians, carefully examining the roads as they marched, and when they reached Cannae and had the enemy in view they formed two entrenched camps separated by the same interval as at Gereonium, and with the same distribution of troops in each camp.  The river Aufidus, flowing past the two camps, furnished a supply of water which the soldiers got as they best could, and they generally had to fight for it.  The men in the smaller camp, which was on the other side of the river, had less difficulty in obtaining it, as that bank was not held by the enemy.  Hannibal now saw his hopes fulfilled, that the consuls would give him an opportunity of fighting on ground naturally adapted for the movements of cavalry, the arm in which he had so far been invincible, and accordingly he placed his army in order of battle, and tried to provoke his foe to action by repeated charges of his Numidians.  The Roman camp was again disturbed by a mutinous soldiery and consuls at variance, Paulus bringing up against Varro the fatal rashness of Sempronius and Flaminius, Varro retorting by pointing to Fabius as the favourite model of cowardly and inert commanders, and calling gods and men to witness that it was through no fault of his that Hannibal had acquired, so to speak, a prescriptive right to Italy;  he had had his hands tied by his colleague; his soldiers, furious and eager for fight, had had their swords and arms taken away from them.  Paulus, on the other hand, declared that if anything happened to the legions flung recklessly and betrayed into an ill-considered and imprudent action, he was free from all responsibility for it, though he would have to share in all the consequences. "See to it," he said to Varro, "that those who are so free and ready with their tongues are equally so with their hands in the day of battle."
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.