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Just at the time when the consuls were withdrawing from Casilinum after their success, Gracchus sent some cohorts, which he had raised in Lucania under an officer of the allies, on a plundering expedition in the enemy's territory.  Whilst they were scattered in all directions Hanno attacked them and inflicted on them as great a loss as he had suffered at Beneventum, after which he hurriedly retreated into Bruttium lest Gracchus should be on his track.  Marcellus went back to Nola, Fabius marched into Samnium to lay waste the country and to recover by force of arms the cities which had revolted.  His hand fell most heavily on Caudium; the crops were burnt far and wide, cattle and men were driven away as plunder, their towns were taken by assault;  Compulteria, Telesia, Compsa, and after these Fugifulae and Orbitanium, amongst the Lucanians Blandae and the Apulian town of Aecae, were all captured.  In these places 25,000 of the enemy were either killed or made prisoners and 370 deserters were taken, whom the consul sent on to Rome; they were all scourged in the Comitium and then flung from the rock. All these successes were gained by Q. Fabius within a few days.  Marcellus was compelled to remain quiet at Nola owing to illness. The praetor, Q. Fabius, was also meeting with success; he was operating in the country round Luceria and captured the town of Acuca, after which he established a standing camp at Ardaneae.  While the Roman generals were thus engaged elsewhere Hannibal had reached Tarentum, utterly ruining and destroying everything as he advanced.  It was not till he was in the territory of Tarentum that his army began to advance peaceably;  no injury was inflicted, no foragers or plunderers left the line of march, and it was quite apparent that this self-restraint on the part of the general and his men was solely with a view to winning the sympathies of the Tarentines. When, however, he went up to the walls and there was no such movement as he expected at the sight of his army, he went into camp about a mile from the city.  Three days before his arrival M. Valerius, the propraetor, who was in command of the fleet at Brundisium, had sent M. Livius to Tarentum.  He speedily embodied a force out of the young nobility, and posted detachments at the gates and on the walls wherever it [13??] seemed necessary, and by being ever on the alert day and night gave no chance to either the enemy or the untrustworthy allies of making any attempt themselves or hoping for anything from Hannibal.  After spending some days there fruitlessly and finding that none of those who had paid him a visit at Lake Avernus either came in person or sent any messenger or letter, he recognised that he had been misled by empty promises and withdrew his army. He still abstained from doing any injury to the Tarentine territory, although this affectation of mildness had done him no good so far.  He still clung to the hope of undermining their loyalty to Rome. When he came to Salapia the summer was now over, and as the place seemed suitable for winter quarters he provisioned it with corn collected from the country round Metapontum and Heraclea.  From this centre the Numidians and Moors were sent on marauding expeditions through the Sallentine district and the pasture lands bordering on Apulia; they brought away mostly quantities of horses, not much plunder of other kinds, and as many as 4000 of these were distributed amongst the troopers to be trained.
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