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The Siege of Capua

For the Roman army did not venture to come out
Carthaginian difficulties.
and give battle, from fear of the enemy's horse, but remained resolutely within their entrenchment; well knowing that the cavalry, by which they had been worsted in the battles, could not hurt them there. While the Carthaginians, again, naturally could not remain any longer encamped with their cavalry, because all the pastures in the surrounding country had been utterly destroyed by the Romans with that very view; and it was impossible for animals to come from such a distance, carrying on their backs hay and barley for so large a body of cavalry, and so many beasts of burden; nor again did they venture, when encamped without their cavalry, to attack an enemy protected by a palisade and fosse, with whom a contest, even without these advantages in their favour, was likely to be a doubtful one if they had not got their cavalry. Besides this they were much alarmed about the new Consuls, lest they should come and encamp against them, and reduce them to serious straits by cutting off their supplies of provisions.

These considerations convinced Hannibal that it was

Hannibal determines on creating a diversion by threatening Rome.
impossible to raise the siege by an open attack, and he therefore changed his tactics. He imagined that if by a secret march he could suddenly appear in the neighbourhood of Rome, he might by the alarm which he would inspire in the inhabitants by his unexpected movement, perhaps do something worth while against the city itself; or, if he could not do that, would at least force Appius either to raise the siege of Capua, in order to hasten to the relief of his native town, or to divide the Roman forces; which would then be easier for him to conquer in detail.

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), JUSJURANDUM
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