Young Folks' History of Rome eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about Young Folks' History of Rome.
It is said that an earthquake shook the ground, and that the eager warriors never perceived it; but again the Romans lost, Flaminius was killed, and there was a dreadful slaughter, for Hannibal had sworn to give no quarter to a Roman.  The only thing that was hopeful for Rome was that neither Gauls, Etruscans, nor Italians showed any desire to rise in favor of Hannibal; and though he was now very near Rome, he durst not besiege it without the help of the people around to bring him supplies, so he only marched southwards, hoping to gain the support of the Greek colonies.  A dictator was appointed, Quintus Fabius Maximus, who saw that, by strengthening all the garrisons in the towns and cutting off all provisions, he should wear the enemy out at last.  As he always put off a battle, he was called Cunctator, or the Delayer; but at last he had the Carthaginians enclosed as in a trap in the valley of the river Vulturnus, and hoped to cut them off, posting men in ambush to fall on them on their morning’s march.  Hannibal guessed that this must be the plan; and at night he had the cattle in the camp collected, fastened torches to their horns, and drove them up the hills.  The Romans, fancying themselves surrounded by the enemy, came out of their hiding-places to fall back on the camp, and Hannibal and his army safely escaped.  This mischance made the Romans weary of the Delayer’s policy, and when the year was out, and two consuls came in, though one of them, Lucius AEmilius Paulus, would have gone on in the same cautious plan of starving Hannibal out without a battle, the other, Caius Terentius Varro, who commanded on alternate days with him, was determined on a battle.  Hannibal so contrived that it was fought on the plain of Cannae, where there was plenty of space to use his Moorish horse.  It was Varro’s day of command, and he dashed at the centre of the enemy; Hannibal opened a space for him, then closed in on both sides with his terrible horse, and made a regular slaughter of the Romans.  The last time that the consul AEmilius was seen was by a tribune named Lentulus, who found him sitting on a stone faint and bleeding, and would have given him his own horse to escape, but AEmilius answered that he had no mind to have to accuse his comrade of rashness, and had rather die.  A troop of enemies coming up, Lentulus rode off, and looking back, saw his consul fall, pierced with darts.  So many Romans had been killed, that Hannibal sent to Carthage a basket containing 10,000 of the gold rings worn by the knights.

[Illustration:  ARCHIMEDES.]

Hannibal was only five days’ march beyond Rome, and his officers wanted him to turn back and attack it in the first shock of the defeat, but he could not expect to succeed without more aid from home, and he wanted to win over the Greek cities of the south; so he wintered in Campania, waiting for the fresh troops he expected from Africa or from Spain, where his brother Mago was preparing an army.  But the

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Young Folks' History of Rome from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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