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As there was no hope of his getting possession of Nola, Hannibal withdrew to Acerrae. No sooner had he departed than Marcellus shut the gates and posted guards to prevent any one from leaving the city.  He then opened a public inquiry in the forum into the conduct of those who had been holding secret interviews with the enemy.  Above seventy were found guilty of treason and beheaded and their property confiscated. Then, after handing the government over to the senate, he left with his entire force and took up a position above Suessula, where he encamped.  At first the Carthaginian tried to persuade the men of Acerrae to make a voluntary surrender, but when he found that their loyalty remained unshaken he made preparations for a siege and an assault.  The Acerrans possessed more courage than strength, and when they saw that the blockade was being carried round their walls and that it was hopeless to attempt any further defence, they decided to escape before the enemies' line of [6??] circumvallation was closed, and stealing away in the dead of night through any unguarded gaps in the earthworks they fled, regardless of roads or paths, as chance or design led them.  They escaped to those cities of Campania which they had every reason to believe had not changed their allegiance. After plundering and burning Acerrae Hannibal marched to Casilinum in consequence of information he received of the Dictator's march on Capua with his legions. He was apprehensive that the proximity of the Roman army might create a counter-revolution in Capua.  At that time Casilinum was held by 500 Praenestines with a few Roman and Latin troops, who had gone there when they heard of the disaster at Cannae.  The levy at Praeneste had not been completed by the appointed day, and these men started from home too late to be of use at Cannae. They reached Casilinum before news of the disaster arrived, and, joined by Romans and allies, they advanced in great force. Whilst on the march they heard of the battle and its result and returned to Casilinum.  Here, suspected by the Campanians and fearing for their own safety, they passed some days in forming and evading plots. When they were satisfied that Capua was in revolt and that Hannibal would be admitted, they massacred the townsmen of Casilinum at night and took possession of the part of the city on this side of the Vulturnus-the river divides the city in two-and held it as a Roman garrison.  They were joined also by a cohort of Perusians numbering 460 men who were driven to Casilinum by the same intelligence that sent the Praenestines there a few days previously.  The force was quite adequate for the small circuit of walls, protected, too, as they were on one side by the river, but the scarcity of corn made even that number appear too large.
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