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After Hannibal had invaded Italy,1 Marcellus was sent to Sicily with a fleet. And when the disaster at Cannae came,2 and many thousands of Romans had been slain in the battle, and only a few had saved themselves by flying to Canusium, and it was expected that Hannibal would march at once against Rome, now that he had destroyed the flower of her forces,

1 218 B.C.

2 216 B.C. Cf. the Fabius Maximus, xv. f.

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