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Immediately after the battle of Cannae and the capture and plunder of the Roman camp, Hannibal moved out of Apulia into Samnium, in consequence of an invitation he had received from a man named Statius Trebius, who promised to hand over Compsa to him if he would visit the territory of the Hirpini.  Trebius was a native of Compsa, a man of note amongst his people, but his influence was less than that of the faction of the Mopsii, a family which owed its predominance to the favour and support of Rome.  After the report of the battle of Cannae had reached the town, and Trebius was telling everybody that Hannibal was coming, the Mopsian party left the city.  It was then peacefully handed over to the Carthaginian and a garrison placed in it. There Hannibal left all his booty and his baggage, and then forming his army into two divisions, gave Mago the command of one and retained the other himself.  He gave Mago instructions to receive the submission of the cities in the district which were revolting from Rome and to compel those which were hanging back to revolt, whilst he himself marched through the Campanian district towards the Lower Sea with the view of attacking Neapolis so that he might have a city accessible from the sea.  When he entered the confines of Neapolis he placed some of his Numidians wherever he conveniently could in ambuscade, for the roads are mostly deep, with many unseen windings.  The others he ordered to ride up to the gates driving ostentatiously before them the plunder they had collected from the fields. As they appeared to be a small and disorganised force, a troop of cavalry came out against them, they were drawn on by the retreating Numidians into the ambuscade and surrounded.  Not a man would have escaped had not the proximity of the sea, and some ships, mostly fishing vessels, which they saw not far from the shore, afforded a means of escape to those who were good swimmers.  Several young nobles, however, were either taken or killed in the skirmish, amongst them Hegeas, the commandant of the cavalry, who fell whilst following the retreating foe too incautiously.  The aspect of the walls deterred the Carthaginian from attacking the city; they by no means offered facilities for an assault.
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