Crispinus, on learning that Hannibal had1
set out for the country of the Bruttii, ordered Marcus Marcellus, tribune of the soldiers, to lead away to Venusia the army which his colleague had commanded.
He himself set out with his legions for Capua, although on account of his serious wounds he was barely able to endure the motion of his litter.
But he sent a letter to Rome in regard to the death of his colleague, stating also in what danger he was himself; that he was unable to come to Rome for the elections, because it seemed that he would not be able to endure the strain of the journey, also because he was concerned about Tarentum, lest Hannibal, leaving the land of the Bruttii, should head his column in that direction.
It was necessary, he wrote, that envoys be sent to him, men of foresight with whom he might say what he wished to say about the state. The reading of this letter caused at the same time great grief for the death of one consul and great fear in regard to the other. Accordingly they sent Quintus Fabius the son to the army at Venusia, and also three legates were sent to the consul, namely, Sextus Iulius Caesar, Lucius Licinius Pollio and Lucius Cincius Alimentus, the last named having returned from Sicily a few days before.
These men were bidden to report to the consul that, if he could not come himself to Rome for the elections, he should on Roman territory name a dictator for the purpose of the elections;
that if the consul should go to Tarentum, it was the will of the senate that Quintus Claudius, the praetor, should lead his legions away to a region in which he could defend the greatest number of cities of the allies.
The same summer Marcus Valerius2
crossed over [p. 331]
from Sicily to Africa with a fleet of a hundred ships,3
and making a landing at the city of Clupea,4
he ravaged the country far and wide, meeting hardly any armed men. Then the foragers were hurriedly brought back to the ships, because suddenly came the report that a Carthaginian fleet was approaching.
There were eighty-three ships. With these the Roman fought with success not far from Clupea. After capturing eighteen ships and putting the rest to flight, he returned to Lilybaeum with a great quantity of booty from the land and from the ships.
The same summer5
Philip, in response to their appeal, lent aid to the Achaeans, whom Machanidas, tyrant of Lacedaemon, was harassing with a war on their border, while the Aetolians also, sending their army on ships across the strait —the inhabitants call it Rhion —which flows between Naupactus and Patrae, had devastated their country.
Furthermore Attalus, King of Asia, it was reported, was about to cross over into Europe, since the Aetolians had at their last council conferred upon him the highest magistracy of their nation.