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marching body was thrown into disorder by the tumult which itself created, principally from the horses being terrified, thinking that whatever terror they added would suffice for the destruction of the enemy, they scramble along the dangerous rocks, as being accustomed alike to pathless and circuitous ways. Then indeed the Carthaginians were opposed at once by the enemy and by the difficulties of the ground; and each striving to escape first from the danger, there was more fighting among themselves than with their opponents. The horses, in particular, created danger in the lines, which, being terrified by the discordant clamors which the groves and reëchoing valleys augmented, fell into confusion; and if by chance struck or wounded, they were so dismayed that they occasioned a great loss both of men and baggage of every description : and as the pass on both sides was broken and precipitous, this tumult threw many down to an immense depth, some even of the armed men ; but the beasts of burden, with their loads, were rolled down like the fall of some vast fabric. Though these disasters were shocking to view, Hannibal, however, kept his place for a little, and kept his men together, lest he might augment the tumult and disorder; but afterwards, when he saw the line broken, and that there was danger that he should bring over his army preserved to no purpose if deprived of their baggage, he hastened down from the higher ground; and though he had routed the enemy by the first onset alone, he at the same time increased the disorder in his own army : but that tumult was composed in a moment, after the roads were cleared by the flight of the mountaineers ; and presently the whole army was conducted through, not only without being disturbed, but almost in silence. He then took a fortified place, which was the capital of that district, and the little villages that lay around it, and fed his army for three days with the corn and cattle he had taken; and during these three days, as the soldiers were neither obstructed by the mountaineers, who had been daunted by the first engagement, nor yet much by the ground, he made considerable way.
He then came to another state, abounding, for a mountainous country, with inhabitants; where he was nearly overcome, not by open war, but by his own arts of treachery and ambuscade. Some old men, governors of forts, came as deputies to the Carthaginian, professing, “ that having been warned by the useful example of the calamities of others, they wished rather to experience the friendship than the hostilities of the Carthaginians: they would, therefore, obediently execute his commands, and begged that he would accept of a supply of provisions, guides of his march, and hostages for the sincerity of their promises.” Hannibal, when he had answered them in a friendly manner, thinking that they should neither be rashly trusted nor yet rejected, lest if repulsed they might openly become enemies, having received the hostages whom they proffered, and made use of the provisions which they of their own accord brought down to the road, follows their guides, by no means as among a people with whom he was at peace, but with his line of march in close order. The elephants and cavalry formed the van of the marching body; he himself, examining everything around, and intent on every circumstance, followed with the choicest of the infantry. When they came into a narrower pass, lying on one side beneath an overhanging eminence, the barbarians, rising at once on all sides from their ambush, assail them in front and rear, both at close quarters and from a distance, and roll down huge stones on the army. The most numerous body of men pressed on the rear; against whom the infantry facing about and directing their attack made it very obvious that, had not the rear of the army been well supported, a great loss must have been sustained in that pass. Even as it was, they came to the extremity of danger, and almost to destruction ; for while Hannibal hesitates to lead down his division into the defile, because, though he himself was a protection to the cavalry, he had not in the same way left any aid to the infantry in the rear, the mountaineers, charging obliquely, and on having broken through the middle of the army, took possession of the road ; and one night was spent by Hannibal without his cavalry and baggage.
Next day, the barbarians running in to the attack between (the two divisions) less vigorously, the forces were reunited, and the defile passed, not without loss, but yet with a greater destruction of beasts of burden than of men. . From that time the mountaineers fell upon them in smaller parties, more like an attack of robbers than war, sometimes on the van, sometimes on the rear, according as the ground afforded them advantage, or stragglers advancing or loitering gave them an opportunity. Though the elephants were driven through steep and narrow roads with great loss of time, yet wherever they went they rendered the army safe from the enemy, because men unacquainted with such animals were afraid of approaching too nearly. On the ninth day they came to a summit of the Alps, chiefly through places trackless; and after many mistakes of their way, which were caused either by the treachery of the guides, or, when they were not trusted, by entering valleys at random on their own conjectures of the route. For two days they remained encamped on the summit; and rest was given to the soldiers, exhausted with toil and fighting; and several beasts of burden, which had fallen down among the rocks, by following the track of the army arrived at the camp. A fall of snow, it being now the season of the setting of the constellation of the Pleiades, caused great fear to the soldiers, already worn out with weariness of so many hardships. On the standards being moved forward at daybreak, when the army proceeded slowly over all places entirely blocked up with snow, and languor and despair strongly appeared in the countenances of all, Hannibal, having advanced before the standards, and ordered the soldiers to halt on a certain eminence, whence there was a prospect far and wide, points out to them Italy and the plains of the Po, extending themselves beneath the Alpine mountains, and said, “that they were now surmounting not only the ramparts of Italy, but also of the city of Rome ; that the rest of the journey would be smooth and downhill ; that after one, or, at most, a second battle, they would have the citadel and capital of Italy in their power and possession.” The army then began to advance, the enemy now making no attempts beyond petty thefts, as opportunity offered. But the journey proved much more difficult than it had been in the ascent, as the declivity of the Alps, being generally shorter on the side of Italy, is consequently steeper ; for nearly all the road was precipitous, narrow, and slippery, so that neither those who made the least stumble could prevent themselves from falling, nor, when fallen, remain in the same place, but rolled, both men and beasts of burden, one upon another.
They then came to a rock much more narrow, and formed of such perpendicular ledges that a light-armed soldier, carefully making the attempt, and clinging with his hands to the bushes and roots around, could with difficulty lower himself down. The ground, even before very steep by nature, had been broken by a recent falling away of the earth into a precipice of nearly a thousand feet in depth. Here, when the cavalry had halted, as if at the end of their journey, it is announced to Hannibal, wondering what obstructed the march, that the rock was impassable. Having then gone himself to view the place, it seemed clear to him that he must lead his army round it, by however great a circuit, through the pathless and untrodden regions around. But this route also proved impracticable; for while the new snow of a moderate depth remained on the old, which had not been removed, their footsteps were planted with ease as they walked upon the new snow, which was soft and not too deep; but when it was dissolved by the trampling of so many men and beasts of burden, they then walked on the bare ice below, and through the dirty fluid formed by the melting snow. Here there was a wretched struggle, both on account of the slippery ice not affording any hold to the step, and giving way beneath the foot more readily by reason of the slope ; and whether they assisted themselves in rising by their hands or their knees, their supports themselves giving way, they would tumble again; nor were there any stumps or roots near by pressing against which one might with hand or foot support himself; so that they only floundered on the smooth ice and amidst the melted snow. The beasts of burden sometimes also cut into this lower ice by merely treading upon it, at others they broke it completely through by the violence with which they struck in their hoofs in their struggling, so that most of them, as if taken in a trap, stuck in the hardened and deeply frozen ice.
At length, after the men and beasts of burden had been fatigued to no purpose, the camp was pitched on the summit, the ground being cleared for that purpose with great difficulty, so much snow was there to be dug out and carried away. The soldiers being then set to make a way down the cliff, by which alone a passage could be effected, and it being necessary that they should cut through the rocks, having felled and lopped a number of large trees which grew around, they make a huge pile of timber; and as soon as a strong wind fit for exciting the flames arose, they set fire to it, and, pouring vinegar on the heated stones, they render them soft and crumbling. They then open a road through the incandescent rock with iron tools, and reduce the grades by moderate windings, so that not only the draft animals but the elephants also can be brought down. Four days being spent around the cliff, the draft animals had nearly perished with hunger; for the peaks were almost bare, and what little forage there was, the snows buried up. The lower levels have valleys and sunny knolls, and brooks near woods, and still more suitable spots under human cultivation. There the draft animals are turned out to pasture, and rest is given to the men tired out with fatigue duty.
THE ESCAPE BY THE STRATAGEM OF THE OXEN. It happened that on that day Minucius had formed a junction with Fabius, having been sent to secure with a guard the pass above Tarracina, which, contracted into a narrow gorge, overhangs the sea, in order that Hannibal might not be able to get into the Roman territory by the Appian Way's being unguarded. The dictator and master of the horse, uniting their forces, lead them down into the road through which Hannibal was about to march his troops. The enemy was two miles from that place.
The following day the Carthaginian filled the whole road between the two camps with his troops in marching order ; and though the Romans had taken their stand immediately under their rampart, having a decidedly superior position, yet the Carthaginian came up with his light horse, and, with a view to provoke the enemy, carried on a kind of desultory attack, first charging and then retreating. The Roman line remained in its position. The battle was slow, and more conformable to the wish of the dictator than of Hannibal. On the part of the Romans there fell two hundred, on the part of the enemy eight hundred. It now began to appear that Hannibal was hemmed in, the road to Casilinum being blockaded; and that while Capua, and Samnium, and so many wealthy allies in the rear of the Romans might supply them with provisions, the Carthaginian, on the other hand, must winter amidst the rocks of Formiæ and the sands and hideous swamps of Liternum. Nor did it escape Hannibal that he was assailed by his own arts ; wherefore, since he could not escape by way of Casilinum, and since it was necessary to make for the mountains and
the summit of Callicula, lest in any place the Romans should attack his troops while inclosed in valleys ; having hit upon a stratagem calculated to deceive the sight, and excite terror from its appearance, by means of which he might baffle the enemy, he resolved to come up by stealth to the mountains at the commencement of night. The preparation of his wily stratagem was of this description. Torches, collected from every part of the country, and bundles of rods and dry cuttings, are fastened before the horns of oxen, of which, wild and