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Forces Available to the Romans

But in order that we may learn from actual facts how
The Roman resources.
great the power was which Hannibal subsequently ventured to attack, and what a mighty empire he faced when he succeeded in inflicting upon the Roman people the most severe disasters, I must now state the amount of the forces they could at that time bring into the field. The two Consuls had marched out with four legions, each consisting of five thousand two hundred infantry and three hundred cavalry. Besides this there were with each Consul allies to the number of thirty thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry. Of Sabines and Etruscans too, there had come to Rome, for that special occasion, four thousand horse and more than fifty thousand foot. These were formed into an army and sent in advance into Etruria, under the command of one of the Praetors. Moreover, the Umbrians and Sarsinatae, hill tribes of the Apennine district, were collected to the number of twenty thousand; and with them were twenty thousand Venĕti and Cenomani. These were stationed on the frontier of the Gallic territory, that they might divert the attention of the invaders, by making an incursion into the territory of the Boii. These were the forces guarding the frontier. In Rome itself, ready as a reserve in case of the accidents of war, there remained twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse of citizens, and thirty thousand foot and two thousand horse of the allies. Lists of men for service had also been returned, of Latins eighty thousand foot and five thousand horse; of Samnites seventy thousand foot and seven thousand horse; of Iapygians and Messapians together fifty thousand foot and sixteen thousand horse; and of Lucanians thirty thousand foot and three thousand horse; of Marsi, and Marrucini, and Ferentani, and Vestini, twenty thousand foot and four thousand horse. And besides these, there were in reserve in Sicily and Tarentum two legions, each of which consisted of about four thousand two hundred foot, and two hundred horse. Of the Romans and Campanians the total of those put on the roll was two hundred and fifty thousand foot and twentythree thousand horse; so that the grand total of the forces actually defending Rome was over 150,000 foot, 6000 cavalry:1 and of the men able to bear arms, Romans and allies, over 700,000 foot and 70,000 horse; while Hannibal, when he invaded Italy, had less than twenty thousand to put against this immense force.

1 This clause is bracketed by Hultsch, Mommsen, and Strachan-Davidson. See the essay of the last named in his Polybius, p. 22. Livy, Ep. 20, gives the number of Romans and Latins as 300,000.

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