and there was no other time in the war when Carthaginians and Romans, equally involved in changing fortunes, were in a more uncertain state of hope and fear.
that is, for the Romans, in the provinces, defeat in Spain on the one hand, success in Sicily on the other, had mingled sorrow and rejoicing;
so also in Italy the capture of Tarentum brought loss and grief, while the retention of the citadel and garrison contrary to expectation brought joy.
and the sudden alarm and panic when the city of Rome was beset and attacked was turned into gladness by the taking of Capua a few days later.
overseas also were events balanced with a certain alternation: [p. 141]
Philip's turning enemy at an inopportune moment,1
the addition of the Aetolians and Attalus, King of Asia, as new allies, just as if fortune were now pledging to the Romans rule over the East.
the Carthaginians likewise balanced the capture of Tarentum against the loss of Capua;2
and although they made it their boast that they had reached the walls of the city of Rome with no one preventing, yet they were annoyed at the failure of their undertaking and ashamed to find
themselves so scorned that, while they were sitting before the walls of Rome, out of another gate marched a Roman army bound for Spain.
as for their Spanish provinces, the nearer they had come to the hope that, after the slaughter of two great commanders and armies, the war there was over and the Romans driven out, the more indignation did those very provinces arouse that the victory had been rendered null and void by Lucius Marcius, an emergency commander.
Thus with Fortune maintaining the balance, there was general suspense for both sides, hope remaining unchanged, fear unchanged, as though they were then for the first time beginning the war.