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Better Success in Spain

Fully aware of the nature of his disaster, but wishing to conceal its extent as well as he could from the people at home, Tiberius sent messengers to announce that a battle had taken place, but that the storm had deprived them of the victory. For the moment this news was believed at Rome; but when soon afterwards it became known that the Carthaginians were in possession of the Roman camp, and that all the Celts had joined them: while their own troops had abandoned their camp, and, after retiring from the field of battle, were all collected in the neighbouring cities; and were besides being supplied with necessary provisions by sea up the Padus, the Roman people became only too certain of what had really happened in the battle.
Winter of B.C. 218-217. Great exertions at Rome to meet the danger.
It was a most unexpected reverse, and it forced them at once to urge on with energy the remaining preparations for the war. They reinforced those positions which lay in the way of the enemy's advance; sent legions to Sardinia and Sicily, as well as garrisons to Tarentum, and other places of strategical importance; and, moreover, fitted out a fleet of sixty quinqueremes. The Consuls designate, Gnaeus Servilius and Gaius Flaminius, were collecting the allies and enrolling the citizen legions, and sending supplies to Ariminum and Etruria, with a view of going to the seat of war by those two routes. They sent also to king Hiero asking for reinforcements, who sent them five hundred Cretan archers and a thousand peltasts. In fact they pushed on their preparations in every direction with energy. For the Roman people are most formidable, collectively and individually, when they have real reason for alarm.

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