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Quote of the day: Vitellius, on the contrary, was sunk in
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXI Chapter 53: Disagreement among the consuls[218 BC]
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But to no one did it appear more important and just than to the consul himself. He was transported with joy "that he had conquered with that part of the forces with which the other consul had been defeated; that the spirits of the soldiers were restored and revived; that there was no one, except his colleague, who would wish an engagement delayed; and that he, suffering more from disease of mind than body, shuddered, through recollection of his wound, at arms and battle. But others ought not to sink into decrepitude together with a sick man. For why should there be any longer protraction or waste of time? What third consul, what other army did they wait for? The camp of the Carthaginians was in Italy, and almost in sight of the city. It was not Sicily and Sardinia, which had been taken from them when vanquished, nor Spain on this side of the Iberus, that was their object, but that the Romans should be driven from the land of their fathers, and the soil in which they were born. How deeply," he continued, "would our fathers groan, who were wont to wage war around the walls of Carthage, if they should see us their offspring, two consuls and two consular armies, trembling within our camps in the heart of Italy, while a Carthaginian had made himself master of all the country between the Alps and the Apennine!" Such discourses did he hold while sitting beside his sick colleague, and also at the head-quarters, almost in the manner of an harangue. The approaching period of the elections also stimulated him, lest the war should be protracted till the new consuls were chosen, and the opportunity of turning all the glory to himself, while his colleague lay sick. He orders the soldiers, therefore, Cornelius in vain attempting to dissuade him, to get ready for an immediate engagement. Hannibal, as he saw what conduct would be best for the enemy, had scarce at first any hope that the consuls would do any thing rashly or imprudently, but when he discovered that the disposition of the one, first known from report, and afterwards from experience, was ardent and impetuous, and believed that it had been rendered still more impetuous by the successful engagement with his predatory troops, he did not doubt that an opportunity of action was near at hand. He was anxious and watchful not to omit this opportunity, while the troops of the enemy were raw, while his wound rendered the better of the two commanders useless, and while the spirits of the Gauls were fresh; of whom he knew that a great number would follow him with the greater reluctance the farther they were drawn away from home. When, for these and similar reasons, he hoped that an engagement was near and desired to make the attack himself, if there should be any delay; and when the Gauls, who were the safer spies to ascertain what he wished, as they served in both camps, had brought intelligence that the Romans were prepared for battle, the Carthaginian began to look about for a place for an ambuscade.

Event: Hannibal in North Italy. Battle of Ticinus and Trebia