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Gauls Attack the Military Colonies

While Hannibal was thus engaged in effecting a passage over the Pyrenees, where he was greatly alarmed at the extraordinary strength of the positions occupied by the Celts; the Romans, having heard the result of the embassy to Carthage, and that Hannibal had crossed the Iber earlier than they expected, at the head of an army, voted to send Publius Cornelius Scipio with his legions into Iberia, and Tiberius Sempronius Longus into Libya. And while the Consuls were engaged in hastening on the enrolment of their legions and other military preparations, the people were active in bringing to completion the colonies which they had already voted to send into Gaul. They accordingly caused the fortification of these towns to be energetically pushed on, and ordered the colonists to be in residence within thirty days: six thousand having been assigned to each colony.
Placentia and Cremona.
One of these colonies was on the south bank of the Padus, and was called Placentia; the other on the north bank, called Cremona. But no sooner had these colonies been formed, than the Boian Gauls, who had long been lying in wait to throw off their loyalty to Rome, but had up to that time lacked an opportunity, encouraged by the news that reached them of Hannibal's approach, revolted; thus abandoning the hostages which they had given at the end of the war described in my last book. The ill-feeling still remaining towards Rome enabled them to induce the Insubres to join in the revolt; and the united tribes swept over the territory recently allotted by the Romans, and following close upon the track of the flying colonists, laid siege to the Roman colony of Mutina, in which the fugitives had taken refuge. Among them were the triumviri or three commissioners who had been sent out to allot the lands; of whom one—Gaius Lutatius—was an ex-consul, the other two ex-praetors.
Outrage by Boii and Insubres.
These men having demanded a parley with the enemy, the Boii consented: but treacherously seized them upon their leaving the town, hoping by their means to recover their own hostages. The praetor Lucius Manlius was on guard in the district with an army; and as soon as he heard what had happened, he advanced with all speed to the relief of Mutina. But the Boii, having got intelligence of his approach, prepared an ambuscade; and as soon as his army had entered a certain wood, they rushed out upon it from every side and killed a large number of his men. The survivors at first fled with precipitation: but having gained some higher ground, they rallied sufficiently to enable them with much difficulty to effect an honourable retreat. Even so, the Boii followed close upon their heels, and besieged them in a place called the village of Tannes.1 When the news arrived at Rome, that the fourth legion was surrounded and closely besieged by the Boii, the people in all haste despatched the legions which had been voted to the Consul Publius, to their relief, under the command of a Praetor; and ordered the Consul to enrol two more legions for himself from the allies.

1 Livy, 21, 25, calls it Tannetum, and describes it only as vicus Pado propinquus. It was a few miles from Parma.

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