The consuls, Atilius and Geminus Servilius, having received, the former the army of Fabius, the latter that of Minucius, and fortified their winter quarters in good time, (it was the close of the autumn,) carried on the war with the most perfect unanimity, according to the plans of Fabius.
In many places they fell upon the troops of Hannibal when out on foraging excursions, availing themselves of the opportunity, and both harassing their march and intercepting the stragglers.
They did not come to the chance of a general battle, which the enemy tried by every artifice to bring about. And Hannibal was so straitened by the want of provisions, that had he not feared in retiring the appearance of flight, he would have returned to Gaul, no hope being left of being able to subsist an army in those quarters, if the ensuing consuls should carry on the war upon the same plan.
The war having been arrested in its progress at Geronium, the winter interrupting it, ambassadors from Naples came to Rome.
They carried into the senate-house forty golden goblets, of great weight, and spoke to this effect: “That they knew the treasury of the Romans was exhausted by the war; and since the war was carried on alike in defence of the cities and the lands of the allies, and of the empire and city of Rome, the capital and citadel of Italy, that the Neapolitans thought it but fair that
they should assist the Roman people with whatever gold had been left them by their ancestors as well for the decoration of their temples as for the relief of misfortune. If they had thought that there was any resource in themselves, that they would have offered it with the same zeal.
That the Roman fathers and people would render an acceptable service to them, if they would consider all the goods of the Neapolitans as their own;
and if they would think them deserving, that they should accept a present at their hands, rendered valuable and of consequence rather by the spirit and affection of those who gave it with cheerfulness, than by its intrinsic worth.”
Thanks were given to the ambassadors for their munificence and attention, and the goblet of least weight was accepted.