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P. Furius Philus and M. Pomponius, the praetors, called a meeting of the senate to take measures for the defence of the City, for no doubt was felt that after [2??] wiping out the armies the enemy would set about his one remaining task and advance to attack Rome.  In the presence of evils the extent of which, great as they were, was still unknown, they were unable even to form any definite plans, and the cries of wailing women deafened their ears, for as the facts were not yet ascertained the living and the dead were being indiscriminately bewailed in almost every house.  Under these circumstances Q. Fabius Maximus gave it as his opinion that swift horsemen should be sent along the Appian and Latin roads to make inquiries of those they met, for there would be sure to be fugitives scattered about the country, and bring back tidings as to what had befallen the consuls and the armies, and if the gods out of compassion for the empire had left any remnant of the Roman nation, to find out where those forces were.  And also they might ascertain whither Hannibal had repaired after the battle, what plans he was forming, what he was doing or likely to do.  They must get some young and active men to find out these things, and as there were hardly any magistrates in the City, the senators must themselves take steps to calm the agitation and alarm which prevailed.  They must keep the matrons out of the public streets and compel them to remain indoors; they must suppress the loud laments for the dead and impose silence on the City; they must see that all who brought tidings were taken to the praetors, and that the citizens should, each in his own house, wait for any news which affected them personally.  Moreover, they must station guards at the gates to prevent any one from leaving the City, and they must make it clear to every man that the only safety he can hope for lies in the City and its walls. When the tumult has once been hushed, then the senate must be again convened and measures discussed for the defence of the City.
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