Panic at the Envoys' Report
The people had no idea what the announcement was going to be, but suspecting it from
Return of the envoys with the last orders from the Consuls.
the expression of the envoys' countenances, they
immediately burst into a storm of cries and
lamentations. . . .
Then all the Senators,1
uttering a cry
of horror, remained as though paralysed by the shock. But
the report having quickly spread among the
people, the general indignation at once found expression.
Some made an attack on the envoys, as the guilty authors of
their misfortunes, while others wreaked their wrath upon all
Italians caught within the city, and others rushed to the town
gates. . . .
The Carthaginians determine to resist, and the consuls, who
had not hurried themselves, because they believed that resistance
from an unarmed populace was impossible, found, when they
approached Carthage, that it was prepared to offer a vigorous
resistance. The scene which followed the announcement of the
Consul's orders, and the incidents of the siege, are chiefly known
to us from Appian, Pun. 91 sq. Livy, Ep. 49. Scipio was
serving as military Tribune, B. C. 149-148; consul, B. C. 147.