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Quote of the day: Britain contains gold and silver and oth
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXI Chapter 22: Hasdrubal gets Spain[218 BC]
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Thinking also that Spain ought not to be neglected (and the less because he was aware that it had been traversed by the Roman ambassadors, to influence the minds of the chiefs,) he assigns that province to his brother Hasdrubal, a man of active spirit, and strengthens him chiefly with African troops: eleven thousand eight hundred and fifty African infantry, three hundred Ligurians, and five hundred Balearians. To these forces of infantry were added four hundred horsemen of the Libyphoenicians, a mixed race of Carthaginians and Africans; of the Numidians and Moors, who border on the ocean, to the number of one thousand eight hundred, and a small band of Ilergetes from Spain, amounting to two hundred horse: and, that no description of land force might be wanting, fourteen elephants. A fleet was given him besides to defend the sea-coast, (because it might be supposed that the Romans would then fight in the same mode of warfare by which they had formerly prevailed,) fifty quinqueremes, two quadriremes, five triremes: but only thirty-two quinqueremes and five triremes were properly fitted out and manned with rowers. From Gades he returned to the winter quarters of the army at Carthage; and thence setting out, he led his forces by the city Etovissa to the Iberus and the sea-coast. There, it is reported, a youth of divine aspect was seen by him in his sleep, who said, "that he was sent by Jupiter as the guide of Hannibal into Italy, and that he should, therefore, follow him, nor in any direction turn his eyes away from him." At first he followed in terror, looking no where, either around or behind: afterwards, through the curiosity of the human mind, when he revolved in his mind what that could be on which he was forbidden to look back, he could not restrain his eyes; then he beheld behind him a serpent of wonderful size moving along with an immense destruction of trees and bushes, and after it a cloud following with thunderings from the skies; and that then inquiring "what was that great commotion, and what the cause of the prodigy," he heard in reply: "That it was the devastation of Italy: that he should continue to advance forward, nor inquire further, but suffer the Fates to remain in obscurity."

Event: Hannibal prepares for war