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After his return to Bruttium, Hanno, with the assistance and guidance of the Bruttians, made an attempt on the Greek cities. They were steadfast in their adherence to Rome, and all the more so because they saw that the Bruttians, whom they feared and hated, were taking sides with the Carthaginians.  Rhegium was the first place he attempted, and several days were spent there without any result. Meanwhile the Locrians were hastily carrying their corn and wood and everything else they might want out of the fields into the city, not only for safety, but also that no plunder whatever might be left for the enemy.  Every day larger numbers of people poured out of all the gates, till at last only those remained in the city whose duty it was to repair the walls and gates and provide a store of weapons on the ramparts.  Against this miscellaneous crowd of all ranks and ages wandering through the fields mostly unarmed, Hamilcar sent his cavalry with orders not to injure any one but simply to scatter them in flight and then cut them off from returning to the city.  He had taken up his position upon some high ground where he had a view of the country and the city, and he sent orders to one of the Bruttian cohorts to go up to the walls and invite the principal men of the place to a conference, and if they consented they were to endeavour to persuade them to betray the city, promising them, if they did so, Hannibal's friendship.  The conference took place, but no credence was placed in what the Bruttians said, until the Carthaginians showed themselves on the hills and a few who escaped to the city brought the news that the whole population was in the hands of the enemy.  Unnerved by terror they replied that they would consult the people, and a meeting was at once convened. All who were restless and discontented preferred a fresh policy and a fresh alliance, whilst those whose kinsfolk had been shut out of the city by the enemy felt as much pledged as though they had given hostages.  A few were in favour of maintaining their loyalty to Rome, but they kept silence rather than venture to defend their opinion.  A resolution was passed with apparent unanimity in favour of surrendering to the Carthaginians. L. Atilius, the commandant of the garrison, and his men were conducted down to the harbour and placed on board ship for conveyance to Regium; Hamilcar and his Carthaginians were received into the city on the understanding that a treaty with equal rights should be at once concluded.  This condition was within a very little of being broken, for the Carthaginians charged the Locrians with treachery in sending away the Romans, whilst the Locrians pleaded that they had escaped.  Some cavalry went in pursuit in case the tide in the straits should either delay the departure of the ships or drift them ashore. They did not overtake those whom they were in pursuit of, but they saw some other ships crossing the straits from Messana to Regium. These were Roman soldiers who had been sent by Claudius to hold the city.  So the Carthaginians at once retired from Regium. By Hannibal's orders peace was granted to the Locrians; they were to be independent and live under their own laws;  the city was to be open to the Carthaginians, the Locrians were to have sole control of the harbour, and the alliance was to be based on the principle of mutual support: the Carthaginians were to help the Locrians and the Locrians the Carthaginians in peace and in war.
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