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Hannibal was still in the neighbourhood of Tarentum and both the consuls were in Samnium apparently making preparations for besieging Capua. Famine, generally the result of a long siege, was already beginning to press upon the Campanians, as they had been prevented by the Roman armies from sowing their crops.  They sent a message to Hannibal asking him to give orders for corn to be conveyed to Capua from places in the neighbourhood before the consuls sent their legions into their fields and all the roads were rendered impassable by the enemy.  Hannibal ordered Hanno who was in Bruttium to march his army into Campania and see to it that the people of Capua were plentifully supplied with corn.  Hanno accordingly marched into Campania and, carefully avoiding the consuls who were both encamped in Samnium, he selected a position for his camp on some rising ground about three miles from Beneventum. He then issued orders for the corn which had been stored in the friendly cities round to be carried to his camp, and assigned detachments to guard the convoys.  A message was despatched to Capua stating the day on which they were to appear in the camp to receive the corn, bringing with them all the vehicles and beasts they could collect.  The Campanians carried out his instructions with the same slackness and carelessness that they showed in everything else.  Hardly more than four hundred country carts were sent and a few draught cattle. Hanno scolded them severely, telling them that even the hunger which rouses the energies of dumb animals failed to stimulate them to exertion. He then fixed another day for them to come for corn provided with much more efficient means of transport. Everything was reported to the people of Beneventum exactly as it happened.  They at once sent a deputation of ten of their principal citizens to the consuls, both of whom were near Bovianum.  On hearing what was going on at Capua they arranged that one of them should march into Campania. Fulvius, to whom that province had been assigned, made a night march and entered Beneventum.  He was now in Hanno's immediate neighbourhood and was informed that he had left with a portion of his army on a foraging expedition, that corn was supplied to Capua under the superintendence of the head of his commissariat, that two thousand wagons with a disorderly and unarmed crowd had arrived at his camp, that haste and confusion prevailed everywhere, and that the rustics had invaded the camp from all the country round and destroyed all semblance of military order and all chance of military discipline.  When he had satisfied himself that this information was correct, he issued an order for his men to get ready their standards and arms against nightfall-and nothing else-as they would have to attack the Carthaginian camp.  Leaving their kits and all their baggage in Beneventum, they started at the fourth watch and reached the camp just before dawn. Their appearance created such alarm that, had the camp been on level ground, it could undoubtedly have been carried at the first assault.  Its elevated position and its entrenchments saved it; in no direction could it be approached except by steep and difficult climbing.  When day broke a hot fight commenced; the Carthaginians did not confine themselves to defending their lines; but being on more even ground themselves they threw down the enemy who were struggling up the heights.
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