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The Romans Capture the Carthaginian Foragers

It was then that Minucius, seeing the great part of
Carthaginian foragers cut off.
the enemy scattered about the country on these services, selected the exact hour of the day when they would be away to lead out his army. Having come close to the Carthaginian lines he drew out his heavy-armed troops there; and then, dividing his cavalry and light-armed into detachments, sent them in search of the foragers, ordering them to give no quarter. This put Hannibal into a great difficulty: for he was not strong enough to accept battle with the enemy drawn up outside his lines, or to relieve those of his men who were scattered about the country. The Romans meanwhile who had been sent to take the foragers found a great number of them scattered about, and killed them; while the troops drawn up in front of the camp grew so contemptuous of the enemy, that they even began to pull down their palisade, and all but assaulted the Carthaginians. Hannibal was in a very dangerous position: but in spite of the storm that had suddenly fallen on him, he held his ground, repulsing the enemy when they approached and defending, though with difficulty, the rampart; until Hasdrubal came to his relief with about four thousand of the foraging parties, who had fled for refuge from the country and collected within the lines near Geronium. This encouraged Hannibal to make a sally: and having got into order of battle a short distance from the camp, he just managed with difficulty to avert the threatened danger. After killing large numbers of the enemy in the struggle at the camp, and still more in the open country, Minucius for the present retired, but with great hopes for the future; and on the morrow, the Carthaginians having abandoned their lines on the hill, he went up and occupied their position. For Hannibal being alarmed lest the Romans should go by night and find the camp at Geronium undefended, and become masters of his baggage and stores, determined to retire thither himself and again fix his quarters there. After this the Carthaginians were more timid and cautious in their manner of foraging; while the Romans on the other hand acted with greater boldness and recklessness.

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