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After crossing the Volturnus Hannibal fixed his camp a short distance from the river, and the next day he marched past Cales into the Sidicine territory.  One day was devoted to laying waste the district, and then he proceeded along the Latin Road through the lands of Suessa, Allifae, and Casinum up to the walls of the last-mentioned place. Here he remained encamped for two days and ravaged the whole of the surrounding country.  From there he went on past Interamna and Aquinum into the territory of Fregellae as far as the Liris. Here he found that the bridge had been destroyed by the people of Fregellae in order to delay his advance.  Fulvius too had been delayed at the Volturnus, owing to Hannibal having burnt his boats, and he had considerable difficulty in procuring rafts for the transport of his troops, owing to the lack of timber.  When, however, he had once crossed, the remainder of his march was uninterrupted, as he found ample supplies of provisions waiting for him in each city he came to, and also put out by the side of the road in the country districts.  His men, too, in their eagerness urged one another to march more quickly, for they were going to defend their homes. A messenger who had travelled from Fregellae for a day and a night without stopping created great alarm in Rome, and the excitement was increased by people running about the City with wildly exaggerated accounts of the news he had brought.  The wailing cry of the matrons was heard everywhere, not only in private houses but even in the temples.  Here they knelt and swept the temple-floors with their dishevelled hair and lifted up their hands to heaven in piteous entreaty to the gods that they would deliver the City of Rome out of the hands of the enemy and preserve its mothers and children from injury and outrage.  The senators remained in session in the Forum so as to be at hand should the magistrates wish to consult them. Some received orders and went off to execute their commissions, others offered their services in case they could be of use anywhere. Troops were posted at the Capitol, on the walls, round about the City and even as far as the Alban Mount and the fortress of Aesula. In the midst of all this excitement word was brought that the proconsul Q. Fulvius was on his way from Capua with an army.  As proconsul he could not hold command in the City, the senate therefore passed a decree conferring upon him consular powers.  After completely destroying the territory of Fregellae in revenge for the destruction of the bridge over the Liris, Hannibal continued his march through the districts of Frusinum, Ferentinum and Anagnia into the neighbourhood of Labicum.  He then crossed Algidus and marched on Tusculum, but he was refused admittance, so he turned to the right below Tusculum towards Gabii, and still descending, came into the district of Pupinia where he encamped, eight miles from Rome.  The nearer his approach the greater was the slaughter of those who were fleeing to the City at the hands of the Numidians who rode in front of the main body. Many, too, of all ages and conditions were made prisoners.
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