After due appeasement of the gods the consuls conducted the levy more vigorously and more strictly than anyone remembered its conduct in previous years.
For the terror of the war was doubled by the coming of a new enemy into Italy, [p. 363]
and also there were fewer young men from whom to1
Accordingly they compelled even the men of the seaboard colonies, who, it was said, had an exemption that could not be touched, to furnish soldiers. When they refused, the consuls named a date for them to report to the senate on what basis each state had exemption.
On that day these came before the senate: Ostia, Alsium, Antium, Anxur, Minturnae, Sinuessa, and from the Upper2
Sea, Sena. Although each state3
read the evidence of its exemption, in no case except Antium and Ostia was exemption respected so long as the enemy was in Italy;
and in the case of these colonies the younger men were made to swear that they would not pass the night outside the walls of their colony for more than thirty days, so long as the enemy was in Italy.
All the senators were indeed of the opinion that the consuls must take the field at the earliest possible moment. For they felt that Hasdrubal must be met as he came down from the Alps, to prevent his stirring up the Cisalpine Gauls or Etruria, which was already aroused to the hope of rebellion, and likewise that
Hannibal must be kept busy with a war of his own, that he might not be able to leave the country of the Bruttii and go to meet his brother.
Nevertheless Livius was hesitating, having small confidence in the armies of his provinces, while his colleague, he thought, had his choice between two excellent consular armies and a third army4
which Quintus Claudius commanded at Tarentum. Livius had also mentioned a proposal to recall the slave volunteers5
to their standards.
The senate gave the [p. 365]
consuls unlimited power both to supplement from6
any source they pleased, and to choose out of all the armies men whom they preferred, and to exchange them, and to transfer them from their provinces whithersoever they thought to the advantage of the state.
All of this was done with the greatest harmony on the part of the consuls.
The slave volunteers were enrolled in the nineteenth and twentieth legions. Auxiliary forces of great strength, according to some of the authorities for this war, were sent from Spain as well to Marcus Livius by Publius Scipio, namely, eight thousand Spaniards and Gauls and two thousand legionary soldiers, one thousand eight' hundred cavalry, partly Numidians, partly Spanish.
They report that Marcus Lucretius brought these troops by sea; and that about three thousand archers and slingers were sent from Sicily by Gaius Mamilius.