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Quote of the day: What, pray, would have happened if his l
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXVII Chapter 38: Marcus Livius and his army[207 BC]
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After the deities had been duly appeased, the consuls proceeded with the levy and conducted it with a rigour and exactitude such as no one could remember in former years. The appearance of a fresh enemy in Italy redoubled the apprehensions generally felt as to the issue of the war, and at the same time there was a smaller population from which to obtain the men required. Even the maritime colonies which were declared to have been solemnly and formally exempted from military service were called upon to furnish soldiers, and on their refusal a day was fixed on which they were to appear before the senate and state, each for themselves, the grounds on which they claimed exemption. On the appointed day representatives attended from Ostia, Alsium, Antium, Anxur, Menturnae, Sinuessa, and from Sena on the upper sea. Each community produced its title to exemption, but as the enemy was in Italy, the claim was disallowed in the case of all but two and Ostia and in the case of these, the men of military age were compelled to take an oath that they would not sleep outside their walls for more than thirty nights as long as the enemy was in Italy. Everybody was of opinion that the consuls ought to take the field at the earliest possible moment; for Hasdrubal must be met on his descent from the Alps, otherwise he might foment a rising amongst the Cisalpine Gauls and in Etruria, and Hannibal must be kept fully employed, so as to prevent his leaving Bruttium and meeting his brother. Still Livius delayed. He did not feel confidence in the troops assigned to him, and complained that his colleague had his choice of three splendid armies. He also suggested the recall to the standards of the volunteer slaves. The senate gave the consuls full powers to obtain reinforcements in any way they thought best, to select what men they wanted from all the armies and to exchange and transfer troops from one province to another as they thought best in the interest of the State. The consuls acted in perfect harmony in carrying out all these measures. The volunteer slaves were incorporated in the nineteenth and twentieth legions. Some authorities assert that Publius Scipio sent Marcus Livius strong reinforcements from Spain including 8000 Gauls and Spaniards,2000 legionaries, and 1000 Numidian and Spanish horse, and that this force was transported to Italy by Marcus Lucretius. It is further stated that Gaius Mamilius sent 3000 bowmen and slingers from Sicily.

Note 1: consuls = Gaius Claudius Nero and Marcus Livius