For Hannibal, after so great a victory at Cannae, being occupied with the cares of a conqueror, rather than one who had a war to prosecute, the
captives having been brought forward and separated, addressed the allies in terms of kindness, as he had done before at the Trebia and the lake Trasimenus, and dismissed them without a ransom; then he addressed the Romans too, who were called to him, in very gentle terms: “That he was not carrying on a war of extermination with the Romans, but was contending for honour and empire.
That his ancestors had yielded to the Roman valour; and that he was endeavouring that others might be obliged to yield, in their turn, to his good fortune and valour together.
Accordingly, he allowed the captives the liberty of ransoming themselves, and that the price per head should be five hundred denarii for a horseman, three hundred for a foot soldier, and one hundred for a slave.”
Although some addition was made to that sum for the cavalry, which they stipulated for themselves when they surrendered, yet they joyfully accepted any terms of entering into the compact.
They determined that ten persons should be selected, by their own votes, who might go to Rome to the senate; nor was any other guarantee of their fidelity taken than that they should swear that they would return.
With these was sent Carthalo, a noble Carthaginian, who might propose terms, if perchance their minds were inclined towards peace.
When they had gone out of the camp, one of their body, a man who had very little of the Roman character, under pretence of having for- gotten something, returned to the camp, for the purpose of [p. 828]
freeing himself from the obligation of his oath, and overtook his companions before night.
When it was announced that they had arrived at Rome, a lictor was 'despatched to meet Carthalo, to tell him, in the words of the dictator, to depart from the Roman territories before night.