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Although most of the senators had relations among the prisoners, there were two considerations which weighed with them at the close of Manlius' speech.  One was the practice of the State which from early times had shown very little indulgence to prisoners of war. The other was the amount of money that would be required, for they were anxious that the treasury should not be exhausted, a large sum having been already paid out in purchasing and arming the slaves, and they did not wish to enrich Hannibal who, according to rumour, was in particular need of money.  When the melancholy reply was given that the prisoners were not ransomed, the prevailing grief was intensified by the loss of so many citizens, and the delegates were accompanied to the gates by a weeping and protesting crowd.  One of them went to his home because he considered himself released from his vow by his pretended return to the camp. When this became known it was reported to the senate, and they unanimously decided that he should be arrested and conveyed to Hannibal under a guard furnished by the State.  There is another account extant as to the fate of the prisoners. According to this tradition ten came at first, and there was a debate in the senate as to whether they should be allowed within the City or not; they were admitted on the understanding that the senate would not grant them an audience.  As they stayed longer than was generally expected, three other delegates arrived-L. Scribonius, C. Calpurnius, and L. Manlius-and a relative of Scribonius who was a tribune of the plebs made a motion in the senate to ransom the prisoners.  The senate decided that they should not be ransomed, and the three who came last returned to Hannibal, but the ten remained in Rome. They alleged that they had absolved themselves from their oath because after starting on their journey they had returned to Hannibal under the pretext of reviewing the list of the prisoners' names.  The question of surrendering them was hotly debated in the senate, and those in favour of this course were beaten by only a few votes.  Under the next censors, however, they were so crushed beneath every mark of disgrace and infamy that some of them immediately committed suicide; the others not only avoided the Forum for all their after life, but almost shunned the light of day and the faces of men.  It is easier to feel astonishment at such discrepancies amongst our authorities than to determine what is the truth. How far that disaster surpassed previous ones is shown by one simple fact. Up to that day the loyalty of our allies had remained unshaken, now it began to waver, for no other reason, we may be certain, than that they despaired of the maintenance of our empire.  The tribes who revolted to the Carthaginians were the Atellani, the Calatini, the Hirpini, a section of the Apulians, all the Samnite cantons with the exception of the Pentri, all the Bruttii and the Lucanians.  In addition to these, the Uzentini and almost the whole of the coast of Magna Graecia, the people of Tarentum Crotona and Locri, as well as all Cisalpine Gaul.  Yet, in spite of all their disasters and the revolt of their allies, no one anywhere in Rome mentioned the word "Peace," either before the consul's return or after his arrival when all the memories of their losses were renewed.  Such a lofty spirit did the citizens exhibit in those days that though the consul was coming back from a terrible defeat for which they knew he was mainly responsible, he was met by a vast concourse drawn from every class of society, and thanks were formally voted to him because he "had not despaired of the republic."  Had he been commander-in-chief of the Carthaginians there was no torture to which he would not have been subjected.
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