With 33 elephants and his best troops he departed by
forced marches from Tarentum for Campania, captured the Roman post at
Caiatia, and took up his camp on Mount Tifata close by Capua, in the
confident expectation that the Roman generals would, now raise the
siege as they had done the year before. But the Romans, who had had
time to entrench their camps and their lines like a fortress, did not
stir, and looked on unmoved from their ramparts, while on one side
the Campanian horsemen, on the other the Numidian squadrons, dashed
against their lines.
A serious assault could not be thought of by
Hannibal; he could foresee that his advance would soon draw the other
Roman armies after him to Campania, if even before their arrival the
scarcity of supplies in a region so systematically foraged did not
drive him away. Nothing could be done in that quarter.