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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 VI - The War under Hannibal from Cannae to Zama


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Page 72

There he halted, and encamped at first at Venusia, then at Canusium: Nero, who had followed closely in his steps, encamped opposite to him at both places. That Hannibal voluntarily halted and was not prevented from advancing by the Roman army, appears to admit of no doubt; the reason for his taking up his position exactly at this point and not farther to the north, must have depended on arrangements concerted between himself and Hasdrubal, or on conjectures as to the route of the latter's march, with which we are not acquainted. While the two armies thus lay inactive, face to face, the despatch from Hasdrubal which was anxiously expected in Hannibal's camp was intercepted by the outposts of Nero.

It stated that Hasdrubal intended to take the Flaminian road, in other words, to keep in the first instance along the coast and then at Fanum to turn across the Apennines towards Narnia, at which place he hoped to meet Hannibal. Nero immediately ordered the reserve in the capital to proceed to Narnia as the point selected for the junction of the two Phoenician armies, while the division stationed at Capua went to the capital, and a new reserve was formed there.

Convinced that Hannibal was not acquainted with the purpose of his brother and would continue to await him in Apulia, Nero resolved on the bold experiment of hastening northward by forced marches with a small but select corps of 7000 men and, if possible, in connection with his colleague, compelling Hasdrubal to fight. He was able to do so, for the Roman army which he left behind still continued strong enough either to hold its ground against Hannibal if he should attack it, or to accompany him and to arrive simultaneously with him at the decisive scene of action, should he depart.

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