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
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
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.
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
, 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
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.