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Quote of the day: He was looked up to with reverence for h
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXVII Chapter 42: Hannibal withdraws.[207 BC]
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Hannibal had not left his camp, when he heard the noise of the battle. He lost not a moment in leading his force against the enemy. The Roman cavalry had already created a panic amongst the foremost of their assailants, the first legion and the allied contingent on the left wing were coming into action, the enemy in no sort of formation were fighting with infantry or cavalry as they happened to meet them. As their reinforcements and supports came up the fighting became more general, and Hannibal would have succeeded in getting his men into order in spite of the confusion and panic a task almost impossible for any but veteran troops under a veteran commander if they had not heard in their rear the shouts of the cohorts and maniples running down the hill, and saw themselves in danger of being cut off from their camp. The panic spread and flight became general in all parts of the field. The nearness of their camp made their flight easy, and for this reason their losses were comparatively small, considering that the cavalry were pressing on their rear and the cohorts charging along an easy road down the hill were attacking their flank. Still, over 8000 men were killed and 700 made prisoners, nine standards were captured, and of the elephants which had proved useless in the confusion and hurry of the fight four were killed and two captured. About 500 Roman and allies fell. The next day the Carthaginians remained quiet. The Roman general marched in battle order on to the field, but when he saw that no standards were advancing from the opposing camp he ordered his men to gather the spoils of the slain and collect the bodies of their comrades and bury them in one common grave. Then for several days in succession he marched up so close to the gates that it seemed as though he were going to attack the camp, until Hannibal made up his mind to depart. Leaving numerous fires burning and tents standing on the side of the camp facing the Romans, and a few Numidians who were to show themselves on the rampart and at the gates, he set out with the intention of marching into Apulia. As soon as it grew light, the Roman army approached the rampart and the Numidians made themselves visible on the ramparts and at the gates. After deceiving their enemy for some time they rode off at full speed to join their comrades. When the consul found that the camp was silent and that even the few who had been patrolling it at dawn were nowhere visible, he sent two troopers into the camp to reconnoitre. They brought back word that they had examined it and found it safe everywhere, on which he ordered the troops to enter. He waited while the soldiers secured the plunder, and then the signal was given to retire; long before nightfall he had his soldiers back in camp. Very early next morning he started in pursuit and, guided by the local information supplied to him and the traces of their retreat, he succeeded, by making forced marches, in coming up with the enemy not far from Venusia. There a second irregular action took place in which the Carthaginians lost 2000 men. After this Hannibal decided to give no further opportunity of fighting and, in a series of night marches over the mountains, made for Metapontum. Hanno was in command of the garrison here, and he was sent with a few troops into Bruttium to raise a fresh army there. The rest of his force Hannibal incorporated with his own, and retracing his steps reached Venusia, and from there went on to Canusium. Nero never lost touch with him, and while he was following him to Metapontum he sent Quintus Fulvius into Lucania, so that that country might not be left without protection.

Hannibal in South-Italy, 207 BC

Event: Hannibal in South-Italy, 207 BC