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which he commanded to the Romans, who were directing their engines against it. In this way the Romans again got possession of Tarentum, a place admirably situated for the purposes of war both by land and by sea. Hannibal was hastening to its relief when he learned of its capture. He turned aside to Thurii greatly disappointed, and proceeded thence to Venusia. There Claudius Marcellus, who had conquered Sicily and was now consul for the fifth time, and Titus Crispinus took the field B.C. 208 against him, not venturing, however, to fight a pitched battle. But Marcellus happening to see a party of Numidians carrying off plunder, and thinking that they were only a few, attacked them confidently with three hundred horse. He led the attack in person, being a man of daring courage in battle and ever despising danger. Suddenly, a large body of Africans started up and attacked him on all sides. Those Romans who were in the rear early took to flight, but Marcellus, who thought that they w
from taking the camp. After this, the Romans ravaged the country of the revolted Apulians, and Hannibal that of the Campanians, all of whom had returned to the Roman allegiance except the Atell├Ži. The latter he settled in Thurii in order that they might not suffer by the war that was raging in Bruttium, Lucania, and Apulia. The Romans settled the exiles of Nuceria in Atella and then, continuing their attacks on Y.R. 545 Hannibal's allies, they took Aulonia and overran the territory B.C. 209 of the Bruttians. They also laid siege by land and sea to Tarentum, which was under the command of Carthalo. The latter, as he had few Carthaginian soldiers present, had taken Bruttians into his service. The captain of these Bruttians was in love with a woman whose brother was serving with the Romans, and the latter managed, by means of his sister, that this captain should surrender that part of the wall which he commanded to the Romans, who were directing their engines against it. In this wa
, they drew up the portcullis as though they were gladly welcoming Marcellus. When they had admitted as many as they thought they could easily master, they dropped the portcullis and slew all those who had gained entrance. Upon those who were still standing around outside the walls they hurled missiles from above and covered them with wounds. Hannibal, having failed in his second attempt against the city, now withdrew. Y.R. 547 In the meantime his brother Hasdrubal, with the B.C. 207 army he had enlisted in Celtiberia, marched to Italy. Being received in a friendly way by the Gauls he had passed over the Alps by the road that Hannibal had opened, accomplishing in two months the journey which had previously taken Hannibal six. He debouched in Etruria with 48,000 foot, 8000 horse, and fifteen elephants. He sent letters to his brother announcing his arrival. These letters were intercepted by the Romans so that the consuls, Salinator and Nero, learned the number of his forces