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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter V - The War under Hannibal to the Battle of Cannae


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Hannibal and the Italian Celts ||| Scipio in the Valley of the Po - Conflict on the Ticino - The Armies at Placentia ||| Battle on the Trebia ||| Hannibal Master of Northern Italy ||| Military and Political Position of Hannibal ||| Hannibal Crosses the Apennines ||| Flaminius ||| Battle on the Trasimene Lake ||| Hannibal on the East Coast - Reorganization of the Carthaginian Army ||| War in Lower Italy - Fabius ||| March to Capua and Back to Apulia - War in Apulia ||| Fabius and Minucius ||| New War-like Preparations in Rome - Paullus and Varro ||| Battle at Cannae ||| Consequences of the Battle of Cannae - Prevention of Reinforcements from Spain ||| Reinforcements from Spain ||| Alliance between Carthage and Macedonia ||| Alliance between Carthage and Syracuse ||| Capua and Most of the Communities of Lower Italy Pass over to Hannibal ||| Attitude of the Romans

Hannibal and the Italian Celts

The appearance of the Carthaginian army on the Roman side of the Alps changed all at once the situation of affairs, and disconcerted the Roman plan of war. Of the two principal armies of the Romans, one had landed in Spain and was already engaged with the enemy there: it was no longer possible to recall it. The second, which was destined for Africa under the command of the consul Tiberius Sempronius, was fortunately still in Sicily: in this instance Roman delay for once proved useful.

Of the two Carthaginian squadrons destined for Italy and Sicily, the first was dispersed by a storm, and some of its vessels were captured by the Syracusans near Messana; the second had endeavoured in vain to surprise Lilybaeum, and had thereafter been defeated in a naval engagement off that port. But the continuance of the enemy's squadrons in the Italian waters was so inconvenient, that the consul determined, before crossing to Africa, to occupy the small islands around Sicily, and to drive away the Carthaginian fleet operating against Italy.

The summer passed away in the conquest of Melita, in the chase after the enemy's squadron, which he expected to find at the Lipari islands while it had made a descent near Vibo (Monteleone) and pillaged the Bruttian coast, and, lastly, in gaining information as to a suitable spot for landing on the coast of Africa; so that the army and fleet were still at Lilybaeum, when orders arrived from the senate that they should return with all possible speed for the defence of their homes.

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