While these things were going on in Spain, Petelia,1
in the land of the Bruttii, was taken by Himilco, Hannibal's prefect, some months after the siege began.
That victory cost the Carthaginians much blood and many wounds, and starvation2
more than any assault overpowered the besieged.
For after they had consumed their food-supply in cereals and flesh, the familiar and the unfamiliar, of four-footed beasts of every kind, they finally lived on hides and grasses and roots and tender bark and leaves stripped off.
And they were not overpowered until they had no strength left to stand on the walls and bear arms.
Having taken Petelia, the Carthaginian led his troops across to Consentia, and as it was less obstinately defended, he received its surrender within a few days.
About the same time an army of the Bruttians also besieged Croton,3
a Greek city formerly rich in arms and men, but even then so crushed by many great disasters that, including all ages, less than two thousand citizens remained.
And so the enemy easily gained possession of the city bereft of its defenders. Only the citadel was still held, and to it some, in the uproar of a captured city, made their escape out of the midst of slaughter.
And Locri went over to the Bruttians and Carthaginians, the populace having been betrayed by the leading men.
Regium alone in that region remained loyal to the Romans and to the very last independent. [p. 103]
The same trend of feeling reached Sicily also, and4
even the house of Hiero did not hold aloof entirely from the revolt.
For Gelo, the eldest son, scorning both the old age of his father and
the Roman alliance since the disaster at Cannae, went over to the Carthaginians.5
And he would have caused an uprising in Sicily, had not death, so timely as to besmirch even his father with suspicion, carried him off as he was arming the populace and trying to gain allies.
Such were the checkered events of that year in Italy, in Africa, in Sicily, in Spain.6
At the end of the year Quintus Fabius Maximus requested of the senate that he be permitted to dedicate the Temple of Venus of Eryx7
which he had vowed in his dictatorship.
The senate decreed that Tiberius Sempronius, consul designate, as soon as he entered upon his office should propose to the people that they order that Quintus Fabius should be a duumvir for the purpose of dedicating the temple.
And in honour of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, who had been consul twice and augur, his three sons, Lucius, Marcus, Quintus, gave funeral games for three days and showed twenty-two pairs of gladiators in the Forum.8
The curule aediles, Gaius Laetorius and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, consul designate, who in his aedileship had been master of the horse, celebrated the Roman Games, and on three of the days they were repeated. The Plebeian Games of the aediles, Marcus Aurelius Cotta and Marcus Claudius Marcellus, were repeated three times.
The third year of the Punic War being at an end,9
Tiberius Sempronius entered upon office as consul on the Ides of March.
Of the praetors Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, who had previously been consul10
and censor, had by lot his assignment as judge between citizens, Marcus Valerius Laevinus had his as judge in the cases of strangers, while to Appius Claudius Pulcher Sicily was allotted, and Sardinia to Quintus Mucius Scaevola.
That Marcus Marcellus should have full military authority as proconsul was ordered by the people, because he alone of the Roman commanders since the disaster at Cannae had met with success in Italy.