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New Consuls Elected

The Consular elections being now come, the Romans
B.C. 216. Coss. C. Terentius Varro and L. Aemilius Paulus.
elected Lucius Aemilius and Gaius Terentius. On their appointment the Dictators laid down their offices, and the Consuls of the previous year, Gnaeus Servilius and Marcus Regulus— who had been appointed after the death of Flaminius,—were invested with pro-consular authority by Aemilius; and, taking the command at the seat of war, administered the affairs of the army independently. Meanwhile Aemilius, in consultation with the Senate, set at once to work to levy new soldiers, to fill up the numbers of the legions required for the campaign, and despatched them to headquarters; enjoining at the same time upon Servilius that he should by no means hazard a general engagement, but contrive detailed skirmishes, as sharp and as frequent as he could, for the sake of practising the raw recruits, and giving them courage for a pitched battle: for they held the opinion that their former defeats were owing, as much as anything else, to the fact that they were employing troops newly levied and entirely untrained. The Senate also sent the Praetor Lucius Postumius into Gaul, to affect a diversion there, and induce the Celts who were with Hannibal to return home. They also took measures for recalling the fleet that had wintered at Lilybaeum, and for sending to the commanders in Iberia such supplies as were necessary for the service. Thus the Consul and Senate were busied with these and other preparations for the campaign; and Servilius, having received his instructions from the Consuls, carried them out in every particular. The details of this part of the campaign, therefore, I shall omit to record; for nothing of importance or worth remembering occurred, partly in consequence of these instructions, and partly from circumstances; but there were a considerable number of skirmishes and petty engagements, in which the Roman commanders gained a high reputation for courage and prudence.

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