The armies also were augmented. But how large were the additions of infantry and cavalry I should hardly venture to declare with any certainty —so greatly do historians differ in regard to the numbers and kinds of troops.
Some say that ten thousand new soldiers were enlisted as replacements; others that four new legions were enrolled, so that they took the field with eight.
Some assert that the legions were also increased in the numbers of their infantry and cavalry, and that each received an additional thousand foot and a hundred horse, bringing up the total of every one to five thousand [p. 321]
foot and three hundred horse;
and that double the1
number of horse and an equal number of foot were furnished by the allies.
One thing is not disputed —that they proceeded with more energy and enthusiasm than in former years, because the dictator had given them ground for hoping that they would be able to defeat the enemy.
Before, however, the new legions marched out2
from the City, the decemvirs were instructed to consult the Sacred Books, on account of a general alarm occasioned by strange portents.
For a shower of stones had been reported as having fallen at Rome on the Aventine, and about the same time at Aricia; in the Sabine country the images of the gods, and at Caere the waters that flowed from the hot spring had been drenched with blood —a
prodigy all the more alarming from its having occurred so often;3
and in the arched way which used to lead to the Campus Martius some men had been struck by lightning and killed. These prodigies were expiated as the Books directed.
Ambassadors came from Paestum, bringing golden bowls to Rome. They were thanked, as the Neapolitans had been, but the gold was not accepted.