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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


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Page 24

At length he opened up to the exasperated Roman army the eagerly-coveted opportunity of attacking the enemy. When Hannibal had begun his retreat, Fabius intercepted his route near Casilinum (the modern Capua), by strongly garrisoning that town on the left bank of the Volturnus and occupying the heights that crowned the right bank with his main army, while a division of 4000 men encamped on the road itself that led along by the river.

But Hannibal ordered his light- armed troops to climb the heights which rose immediately alongside of the road, and to drive before them a number of oxen with lighted faggots on their horns, so that it seemed as if the Carthaginian army were thus marching off during the night by torchlight. The Roman division, which barred the road, imagining that they were evaded and that further covering of the road was superfluous, marched by a side movement to the same heights.

Along the road thus left free Hannibal then retreated with the bulk of his army, without encountering the enemy; next morning he without difficulty, but with severe loss to the Romans, disengaged and recalled his light troops.

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