On terms such as these a treaty was made between the Carthaginian general and the ambassadors of the Macedonians.
And Gisgo and Bostar and Mago, who were sent with them as ambassadors, to reassure the king himself, reached the same place, the Temple of Juno Lacinia, where a ship lay in a hidden anchorage.
Setting out thence and making for the open sea, they were sighted by the Roman fleet which was defending the coasts of Calabria.
And Valerius Flaccus sent light craft to pursue the ship and bring her back; whereupon the king's ambassadors at first attempted to flee. Then, when they saw that they were being outstripped in speed, they surrendered to the Romans and were brought before the admiral of the fleet.
When he asked who they were and whence, and whither they were bound, Xenophanes at first set up the false pretence which had been quite successful once before: that, being sent by Philip to the Romans, he had made his way [p. 119]
to Marcus Valerius, the one man to whom there was1
a safe road; that he had been unable to get across Campania, which was blocked by the enemy's forces.
Then, when Carthaginian dress and appearance cast suspicion on Hannibal's ambassadors, upon being questioned they were betrayed by their speech.
Thereupon their attendants were led aside and frightened by threats; and a letter also from Hannibal to Philip was found, along with agreements between the king of the Macedonians and the Carthaginian general.
So much being established, it seemed best to send the captured men and their attendants as soon as possible to the senate at Rome, or else to the consuls, wherever they might be.
For that purpose five very swift ships were selected and Lucius Valerius Antias was sent to command them. And instructions were given him to distribute the ambassadors among all his ships, to be separately guarded; and he was to see to it that there should be no conversation among them or any interchange of plans.
About the same time at Rome Aulus Cornelius Mammula, on retiring from his province of Sardinia, reported what was the condition of affairs in the island:
that all were aiming at war and rebellion; that Quintus Mucius, his successor, upon arriving was affected by the unwholesome climate and bad water, and having contracted an illness not so dangerous as protracted, would for a long time be useless for the performance of war duties;
also that the army there, while strong enough to garrison a peaceful province, was not so for the war which seemed on the point of breaking out.
The senate thereupon decreed that Quintus Fulvius Flaccus should enlist five thousand [p. 121]
infantry and four hundred cavalry, and should see2
to it that that legion should be transported to Sardinia at the first opportunity;
also that he should send whomever he thought best with full authority, to carry on the war until Mucius should recover.
For that duty Titus Manlius Torquatus was sent, a man who had been consul twice and censor, and in his consulship had conquered the Sardinians.3
About the same time a fleet which had been sent from Carthage also to Sardinia, under command of the Hasdrubal who was surnamed Calvus, was damaged by a terrible storm and driven to the Balearic Islands.
And there the ships were beached, to such an extent had not only the rigging but also the hulls been injured; and while undergoing repairs they caused a considerable loss of time.