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Hannibal Crosses the Pyrenees

These measures satisfactorily accomplished while he was
B.C. 218. Hannibal breaks up his winter quarters and starts for Italy.
in winter quarters, and the security of Libya and Iberia being sufficiently provided for; when the appointed day arrived, Hannibal got his army in motion, which consisted of ninety thousand infantry and about twelve thousand cavalry. After crossing the Iber, he set about subduing the tribes of the Ilurgetes and Bargusii, as well as the Aerenosii and Andosini, as far as the Pyrenees. When he had reduced all this country under his power, and taken certain towns by storm, which he did with unexpected rapidity, though not without severe fighting and serious loss; he left Hanno in chief command of all the district north of the Iber, and with absolute authority over the Burgusii, who were the people that gave him most uneasiness on account of their friendly feeling towards Rome. He then detached from his army ten thousand foot and a thousand horse for the service of Hanno,—to whom also he entrusted the heavy baggage of the troops that were to accompany himself,—and the same number to go to their own land. The object of this last measure was twofold: he thereby left a certain number of well-affected persons behind him; and also held out to the others a hope of returning home, both to those Iberians who were to accompany him on his march, and to those also who for the present were to remain at home, so that there might be a general alacrity to join him if he were ever in want of a reinforcement. He then set his remaining troops in motion unencumbered by heavy baggage, fifty thousand infantry and nine thousand cavalry, and led them through the Pyrenees to the passage of the river Rhone. The army was not so much numerous, as highly efficient, and in an extraordinary state of physical training from their continuous battles with the Iberians.

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