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The Consuls Set Out to Iberia and Libya

Such was the state of Celtic affairs from the beginning to the arrival of Hannibal; thus completing the course of events which I have already had occasion to describe.

Meanwhile the Consuls, having completed the necessary

Tiberius Sempronius prepares to attack Carthage.
preparations for their respective missions, set sail at the beginning of summer—Publius to Iberia, with sixty ships, and Tiberius Sempronius to Libya, with a hundred and sixty quinqueremes. The latter thought by means of this great fleet to strike terror into the enemy; and made vast preparations at Lilybaeum, collecting fresh troops wherever he could get them, as though with the view of at once blockading Carthage itself.

Publius Cornelius coasted along Liguria, and crossing in

Publius Scipio lands near Marseilles.
five days from Pisae to Marseilles, dropped anchor at the most eastern mouth of the Rhone, called the Mouth of Marseilles,1 and began disembarking his troops. For though he heard that Hannibal was already crossing the Pyrenees, he felt sure that he was still a long way off, owing to the difficulty of his line of country, and the number of the intervening Celtic tribes. But long before he was expected, Hannibal had arrived at the crossing of the Rhone, keeping the Sardinian Sea on his right as he marched, and having made his way through the Celts partly by bribes and partly by force. Being informed that the enemy were at hand, Publius was at first incredulous of the fact, because of the rapidity of the advance; but wishing to know the exact state of the case,—while staying behind himself to refresh his troops after their voyage, and to consult with the Tribunes as to the best ground on which to give the enemy battle,—he sent out a reconnoitring party, consisting of three hundred of his bravest horse; joining with them as guides and supports some Celts, who chanced to be serving as mercenaries at the time in Marseilles.

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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 21, 26
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