He set out into Sicily with thirty ships of war, with [p. 1229]
about seven thousand volunteers on board.
Publius Licinius came into Bruttium to the two consular armies, of which he selected for himself that which Lucius Veturius, the consul, had commanded.
He allowed Metellus to continue in the command of those legions which were before under him, concluding that he could act more easily with the troops accustomed to his command. The praetors also went to their different provinces.
As there was a scarcity of money to carry on the war, the quaestors were ordered to sell a district of the Campanian territory extending from the Grecian trench to the sea, with permission to receive information as to what land belonged to a native Campanian, in order that it might be put into the possession of the Roman people.
The reward fixed upon for the informer was a tenth part of the value of the lands so discovered.
Cneius Servilius, the city praetor was also charged with seeing that the Campanians dwelt where they were allowed, according to the decree of the senate, and to punish such as dwelt anywhere else.
The same summer, Mago, son of Amilcar, setting out from the lesser of the Balearian islands, where he had wintered, having put on board his fleet a chosen body of young men, conveyed over into Italy twelve thousand foot, and about two thousand horse, with about thirty ships of war, and a great number of transports. By the suddenness of his arrival he took Genoa, as there were no troops employed in protecting the sea-coast.
Thence he brought his fleet to shore, on the coast of the Alpine Ligurians, to see if he could create any commotion there.
The Ingaunians, a tribe of the Ligurians, were at that juncture engaged in war with the Epanterians, a people inhabiting the mountains.
The Carthaginian, therefore, having deposited his plunder at Savo, an Alpine town, left ten ships of war for its protection. He sent the rest to Carthage to guard the seacoast, as it was reported that Scipio intended to pass over thither; formed an alliance with the Ingaunians, whose friendship he preferred; and commenced an attack upon the mountaineers.
His army increased daily, the Gauls flocking to his standard from all sides, from the splendour of his fame.
When the senate received information of these things, by a letter fron Spurius Lucretius, they were filled with the most intense anxiety, lest the joy they had experienced on the destruction of Hasdrubal and his army, two years before, should [p. 1230]
be rendered vain by another war's springing up in the same quarter, equal in magnitude, but under a new leader.
They therefore ordered Marcus Livius, proconsul, to march his army of volunteer slaves out of Etruria to Ariminum, and gave in charge to Cneius Servilius to issue orders, if he thought it necessary for the safety of the state, that the city legions should be marched out under the command of any person he thought proper. Marcus Valerius Laevinus led those legions to Arretium.
About the same time, as many as eighty transports of the Carthaginians were captured, near Sardinia, by Cneius Octavius, who had the government of that province. Caelius states that they were laden with corn and provisions, sent for Hannibal; Valerius, that they were conveying the plunder of Etruria, and the Ligurian mountaineers who had been captured, to Carthage. In Bruttium scarcely any thing was done this year worth recording.
A pestilence had attacked both Romans and Carthaginians with equal violence; but the Carthaginian army, in addition to sickness, was distressed by famine.
Hannibal passed the summer near the temple of Juno Lacinia, where he erected and dedicated an altar with an inscription engraved in Punic and Greek characters, setting forth, in pompous terms, the achievements he had performed.