Polybius was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC in detail. The work describes the rise of the Roman Republic to the status of dominance in the ancient Mediterranean world and includes his eyewitness account of the Sack of Carthage in 146 BC. Polybius is important for his analysis of the mixed constitution or the separation of powers in government, influential on Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws and the framers of the United States Constitution. Polybius was born around 200 BC in Megalopolis, when it was an active member of the Achaean League, his father, was a prominent, land-owning politician and member of the governing class who became strategos of the Achaean League. Polybius was able to observe first hand the political and military affairs of Megalopolis, he developed an interest in horse riding and hunting, diversions that commended him to his Roman captors. In 182 BC, he was given quite an honor when he was chosen to carry the funeral urn of Philopoemen, one of the most eminent Achaean politicians of his generation.
In either 169 BC or 170 BC, Polybius was elected hipparchus, an event which presaged election to the annual strategia. His early political career was devoted towards maintaining the independence of Megalopolis. Polybius’ father, was a prominent advocate of neutrality during the Roman war against Perseus of Macedon. Lycortas attracted the suspicion of the Romans, Polybius subsequently was one of the 1,000 Achaean nobles who were transported to Rome as hostages in 167 BC, was detained there for 17 years. In Rome, by virtue of his high culture, Polybius was admitted to the most distinguished houses, in particular to that of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, the conqueror in the Third Macedonian War, who entrusted Polybius with the education of his sons and Scipio Aemilianus. Polybius remained on cordial terms with his former pupil Scipio Aemilianus and was among the members of the Scipionic Circle; when Scipio defeated the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War, Polybius remained his counsellor.
The Achaean hostages were released in 150 BC, Polybius was granted leave to return home, but the next year he went on campaign with Scipio Aemilianus to Africa, was present at the Sack of Carthage in 146, which he described. Following the destruction of Carthage, Polybius journeyed along the Atlantic coast of Africa, as well as Spain. After the destruction of Corinth in the same year, Polybius returned to Greece, making use of his Roman connections to lighten the conditions there. Polybius was charged with the difficult task of organizing the new form of government in the Greek cities, in this office he gained great recognition. In the succeeding years, Polybius resided in Rome, completing his historical work while undertaking long journeys through the Mediterranean countries in the furtherance of his history, in particular with the aim of obtaining firsthand knowledge of historical sites, he interviewed veterans to clarify details of the events he was recording and was given access to archival material.
Little is known of Polybius' life. He wrote about this war in a lost monograph. Polybius returned to Greece in his life, as evidenced by the many existent inscriptions and statues of him there; the last event mentioned in his Histories seems to be the construction of the Via Domitia in southern France in 118 BC, which suggests the writings of Pseudo-Lucian may have some grounding in fact when they state, " fell from his horse while riding up from the country, fell ill as a result and died at the age of eighty-two". Polybius’ Histories cover the period from 264 BC to 146 BC, its main focus is the period from 220 BC to 167 BC, describing Rome's efforts in subduing its arch-enemy and thereby becoming the dominant Mediterranean force. Books I through V of The Histories are the introduction for the years during his lifetime, describing the politics in leading Mediterranean states, including ancient Greece and Egypt, culminating in their ultimate συμπλοκή or interconnectedness. In Book VI, Polybius describes the political and moral institutions that allowed the Romans to succeed.
He describes the Second Punic Wars. Polybius concludes the Romans are the pre-eminent power because they have customs and institutions which promote a deep desire for noble acts, a love of virtue, piety towards parents and elders, a fear of the gods, he chronicled the conflicts between Hannibal and Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus such as the Battle of Ticinus, the Battle of the Trebia, the Siege of Saguntum, the Battle of Lilybaeum, the Battle of Rhone Crossing. In Book XII, Polybius discusses the worth of Timaeus’ account of the same period of history, he asserts Timaeus' point of view is inaccurate and biased in favor of Rome. Therefore, Polybius's Histories is useful in analyzing the different Hellenistic versions of history and of use as a credible illustration of actual events during the Hellenistic period. In the seventh volume of his Histories, Polybius defines the historian's job as the analysis of documentation, the review of relevant geographical information, political experience.
Polybius held that historians should only chronicle events whose participants the historian was able to interview, was among the first to champion the notion of factual integrity in historical wri
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus known as Scipio Africanus-Major, Scipio Africanus the Elder and Scipio the Great, was a Roman general and consul, regarded as one of the greatest military commanders and strategists of all time. His main achievements were during the Second Punic War where he is best known for defeating Hannibal at the final battle of Zama in 202 BC, one of the feats that earned him the agnomen Africanus. Prior to this battle Scipio conquered Carthaginian Iberia, culminating in the Battle of Ilipa in 206 BC against Hannibal's brother Mago Barca. Although considered a hero by the general Roman populace for his contributions in the struggle against the Carthaginians, Scipio was reviled by other patricians of his day. In his years, he was tried for bribery and treason, unfounded charges that were only meant to discredit him before the public. Disillusioned by the ingratitude of his peers, Scipio withdrew from public life. Publius Cornelius Scipio was born by Caesarean section into the Scipio branch of the gens Cornelia.
His birth year is calculated from statements made by ancient historians of how old he was when certain events in his life occurred and must have been 235/6 BC stated as circa 236 BC. The Cornelii were one of six major patrician families, along with the gentes Manlia, Aemilia, the Claudia, Valeria, with a record of successful public service in the highest offices extending back at least to the early Roman Republic. Scipio's great-grandfather, Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, grandfather Lucius Cornelius Scipio, had both been consuls and censors, he was the eldest son of the consul Publius Cornelius Scipio by his wife Pomponia, daughter of plebeian consul Manius Pomponius Matho. Scipio joined the Roman struggle against Carthage in the first year of Second Punic War when his father was consul. During the Battle of Ticinus, he saved his father's life by "charging the encircling force alone with reckless daring."He survived the disaster at the Battle of Cannae, where his would-be father-in-law, the consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus, was killed.
After the battle, with the other consul surviving elsewhere and Appius Claudius Pulcher, as military tribunes, took charge of some 10,000 survivors. On hearing that Lucius Caecilius Metellus and other young nobles were planning to go overseas to serve some king, Scipio stormed into the meeting, at sword-point, forced all present to swear that they would not abandon Rome. Scipio offered himself as a candidate for aedilis curulis in 213 BC alongside his cousin Marcus Cornelius Cethegus; the Tribunate of the Plebs objected to his candidacy, saying that he could not be allowed to stand because he had not yet reached the legal age. Scipio known for his bravery and patriotism, was elected unanimously and the Tribunes abandoned their opposition, his cousin won the election. In 211 BC, both Scipio's father, Publius Scipio, uncle, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, were killed at the Battle of the Upper Baetis in Spain against Hannibal's brother, Hasdrubal Barca. At the election of a new proconsul for the command of the new army which the Romans resolved to send to Hispania, Scipio was the only man brave enough to ask for this position, no other candidates wanting the responsibility, considering it a death sentence.
In spite of his youth, his noble demeanour and enthusiastic language had made so great an impression that he was unanimously elected. In the year of Scipio's arrival, all of Hispania south of the Ebro river was under Carthaginian control. Hannibal's brothers Hasdrubal and Mago, Hasdrubal Gisco were the generals of the Carthaginian forces in Hispania, Rome was aided by the inability of these three figures to act in concert; the Carthaginians were preoccupied with revolts in Africa. Scipio landed at the mouth of the Ebro and was able to surprise and capture Carthago Nova, the headquarters of the Carthaginian power in Hispania, he obtained an excellent harbour and base of operations. Scipio's humanitarian conduct toward prisoners and hostages in Hispania helped in portraying the Romans as liberators as opposed to conquerors. Livy tells the story of his troops capturing a beautiful woman, whom they offered to Scipio as a prize of war. Scipio was astonished by her beauty but discovered that the woman was betrothed to a Celtiberian chieftain named Allucius.
He returned the woman to her fiancé, along with the money, offered by her parents to ransom her. This humanitarian act encouraged local chieftains to both reinforce Scipio's small army; the woman's fiancé, who soon married her, responded by bringing over his tribe to support the Roman armies. In 209 BC, Scipio fought his first set piece battle, driving back Hasdrubal Barca from his position at Baecula on the upper Guadalquivir. Scipio surround his small army. Scipio's objective was, therefore, to eliminate one of the armies to give him the luxury of dealing with the other two piecemeal; the battle was decided by a determined Roman infantry charge up the centre of the Carthaginian position. Roman losses are uncertain but may have been considerable in light of an effort by the infantry to scale an elevation defended by Carthaginian light infantry. Scipio orchestrated a frontal attack by the rest of his infantry to draw out the remainder of the Carthaginian forces. Hasdrubal had not noticed Scipio's hidden reserves of cavalry moving behind enemy lines, a Roman cavalry charge created a double envelopment on either flank led by cavalry commander Gaius Laelius and Scipio himsel
Battle of Lilybaeum
The Battle of Lilybaeum was the first naval clash between the navies of Carthage and Rome during the Second Punic War. The Carthaginians had sent 35 quinqueremes to raid Sicily, starting with Lilybaeum; the Romans, warned by Hiero of Syracuse of the coming raid, had time to intercept the Carthaginian contingent with a fleet of 20 quinqueremes and managed to capture several Carthaginian ships. Carthage and the Roman Republic had peaceful, if not friendly, relations since signing the first treaty in 509 BC, which had detailed the rights of each power. Treaties were signed in 348 and 306 BC that further established the spheres of influence of each state. Carthage and Rome cooperated against King Pyrrhus and signed a treaty of cooperation in 279 BC. However, Roman involvement in Messina in Sicily in 264 BC led to the First Punic War, which cost Carthage her Sicilian holdings, naval supremacy and a large indemnity; the Roman actions during the Mercenary War favoured Carthage, but they seized Sardinia and Corsica after that war concluded.
Carthage rebuilt her fortunes by conquering parts of Iberia under the leadership of Hamilcar and Hannibal during 237-218 BC. Rome, at the instigation of Massalia, signed a treaty with Hasdrubal the Fair in 226 BC, which established the Ebro as the limit of Carthaginian power in Iberia; the city of Saguntum, located south of the river, became an ally of Rome some time after 226 BC. When Iberian allies of Hannibal Barca came into conflict with Saguntum, Rome warned Hannibal not to intervene. Faced with the alternative of backing down and losing face, Hannibal opted to attack Saguntum; this was the start of the Second Punic War. The Roman Senate had declared war on Carthage after Hannibal Barca had attacked and taken the city of Saguntum in Iberia in 219 BC. Rome had declared Saguntum an ally but had done nothing to help the city during the eight-month-long siege. Once the siege was over, the combatants started to make ready for the coming struggle, to last 18 years; the Roman navy had been mobilized in 219 BC.
Publius Cornelius Scipio was to sail for Iberia escorted by 60 ships. However, Gauls of the Boii and Insubre tribes in northern Italy attacked the Roman colonies of Placentia and Cremona, causing the Romans to flee to Mutina, which the Gauls besieged. Praetor L. Manlius Vulso marched from Ariminium with two Roman legions, 600 Roman Horse, 10,000 allied infantry and 1,000 allied cavalry towards Cisalpine Gaul; this army was ambushed twice on the way. Although the siege of Mutina was raised, the army itself fell under a loose siege a few miles from Mutina; this event prompted the Roman Senate to send one of Scipio's legions and 5,000 allied troops to aid Vulso. Scipio had to raise troops to replace these and thus could not set out for Iberia until September 218 BC. Consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus received four legions and instructions to sail for Africa, escorted by 160 quinqueremes. Sempronius had set sail for Sicily. Hannibal had dismissed his army to winter quarters after the Siege of Saguntum.
In the summer of 218 BC, Hannibal stationed 15,000 soldiers and 21 elephants in Iberia under his brother Hasdrubal Barca, sent 20,000 soldiers in Africa with 4,000 garrisoning Carthage itself. The army that marched for Italy from Cartagena is supposed to have numbered 90,000 foot and 12,000 cavalry, 37 elephants. Hannibal divided his army into three columns before crossing the Ebro River, attacked the Iberian tribes of Ilergetes and Ausetani in Catalonia. In a two-month-long campaign, Hannibal subdued parts of Catalonia between the Ebro, the Pyrenees and the Sicoris river in a swift, if costly campaign; the Iberian contingent of the Punic navy, which numbered 50 quinqueremes and 5 triremes, remained in Iberian waters, having shadowed Hannibal's army for some way. Carthage mobilized at least 55 Quinqueremes for immediate raids on Italy; the Carthaginian navy struck the first blow of the war when a fleet of 20 quinqueremes, loaded with 1,000 soldiers, raided the Lipari Islands. Another group of eight ships attacked Vulcano island, but was blown off-course in a storm towards the Straits of Messina.
The Syracusan navy at Messina, managed to capture three of the ships, which surrendered without resistance. Learning from the captured crew that a Carthaginian fleet was to attack Lilybaeum, Hiero II, at Messina awaiting the arrival of Sempronius, warned the Roman praetor Marcus Amellius at Lilybaeum about the impending raid; the Carthaginian fleet was hampered by bad weather and had to wait before commencing their operation. Although the Romans only had 20 ships present at Lilybaeum, the praetor, after receiving the warning from Hiero, provisioned his ships for a long sail and put a proper contingent of Roman legionaries on board each ship before the Carthaginian fleet appeared, he posted lookouts along the coast to watch out for the Carthaginian ships, giving him early warning and minimizing the risk of surprise. The Carthaginians had broken their journey at the Aegates Islands, when they sailed for Lilybaeum on a moonlit night, they intended to make their approach coincide with the dawn.
The Roman lookouts spotted them well. As the Romans sallied forth, the Carthaginians lowered their sails for battle and moved to the open sea; the Carthaginians outnumbered the Romans, but their ships were undermanned and the Romans had the advantage of containing a larger number of soldiers aboard their ships
Battle of Baecula
The Battle of Baecula was a major field battle in Iberia during the Second Punic War. Roman Republican and Spanish auxiliary forces under the command of Scipio Africanus routed the Carthaginian army of Hasdrubal Barca. According to Polybius after Scipio’s surprise attack and capture of Carthago Nova, the three Carthaginian armies in Iberia remained separated, their generals at odds with each other, thus giving the Romans a chance to deal with them one by one. Early in 208 BC, with 30,000 Roman and Italian troops and 10,000 Spanish auxiliaries, moved against Hasdrubal Barca, whose 30,000-strong force had wintered at Baecula, on the upper reaches of the river Baetis. On learning of the Roman approach, Hasdrubal shifted his camp to a strong defensive position — a high and deep plateau south of Baecula, protected by ravines on the flanks and the river to the front and rear. Moreover, the plateau was formed into two steps, on which Hasdrubal posted his light troops on the lower one and his main camp behind.
After his arrival, Scipio was at first uncertain as to how to attack such a formidable position, but concerned that the other two Carthaginian armies might take advantage of his inaction and join with Hasdrubal, he took action on the third day. Before his main attack, Scipio sent one detachment to block the entrance to the valley separating the two armies and one to the road leading north to Baecula, thus providing security to his main force, while harassing any Carthaginian attempt to retreat. After these preliminary deployments were done, the Roman light troops advanced against their Carthaginian counterparts on the first step. Despite the steep slope, under a shower of missile attack, the Romans had little difficulty driving back the Carthaginian light troops once they got into hand-to-hand combat. After reinforcing his leading force, Scipio derived a pincer attack on the flanks of the Carthaginian main camp by ordering Gaius Laelius to lead half of the remaining heavy foot to the right of the enemy position, he himself scaling the left.
Hasdrubal, was under the impression that the Roman attack was only a skirmish and failed to properly deploy his main force, thus his ill-prepared army was caught on three sides by the Romans. Despite being trapped, Hasdrubal was able to retreat unmolested with his elephants, main baggage train, some of his Carthaginian troops, it appeared that his main losses in the battle were the majority of his light troops and Iberian allies. This was due to the legionnaires' choice to plunder the Carthaginian camp rather than pursue Hasdrubal with any earnestness. After the battle, Hasdrubal led his depleted army over the western passes of the Pyrenees into Gaul, subsequently into Italy in an attempt to join his brother Hannibal. Scipio's failure to stop Hasdrubal's march to Italy was criticized by the Roman Senate. Scipio did not exploit his victory at Baecula to drive out the Carthaginians from Spain, instead choosing to withdraw to his base at Tarraco, he secured alliances with many of the Spanish tribes, who switched sides after the Roman successes at Carthago Nova and Baecula.
Carthaginian reinforcements landed in Iberia in 207 BC, would soon launch a final attempt to recover their losses at the Battle of Ilipa in 206 BC. Polybius. Ian Scott-Kilvert. Mastering the West: Rome and Carthage at War. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-986010-4. Nigel Bagnall. Antonia Nevill. H. Liddell Hart.
Battle of Crotona
The battle or, more the battles of Croton in 204 and 203 BC were, as well as the raid in Cisalpine Gaul, the last larger scale engagements between the Romans and the Carthaginians in Italy during the Second Punic War. After Hannibal’s retreat to Bruttium due to the Metaurus debacle, the Romans continuously tried to block his forces from gaining access to the Ionian Sea and cut his eventual escape to Carthage by capturing Croton; the Carthaginian commander struggled to retain his hold on the last efficient port which had remained in his hands after years of fighting and was successful. The last exploits of Hannibal in Italy are recorded by Titus Livius in his Ab urbe condita; the other comparatively detailed account belongs to Appian, who dedicated a special part of his Roman History to the Hannibal's invasion. Some additional sketches provides another "Roman History", written by Cassius Dio. By 204 BC, the Romans were winning the war. Three years earlier, they had destroyed the army of Hasdrubal Barca, who had marched from Iberia through the Alps into Italy to help his brother Hannibal.
Publius Cornelius Scipio had taken advantage of Hasdrubal's departure and broke the Carthaginian power on the Iberian peninsula as a result of the battle at Ilipa. The final victory was just a matter of time. Following the battle of the Metaurus river, Hannibal decided to concentrate all his remaining forces and supporters in Bruttium, “the remotest corner of Italy”, he relinquished his other possessions in Lucania and Magna Graecia because they lost their strategical importance and he deemed them indefensible against Rome's superior forces. Furthermore, having lost many troops in cities taken by the Romans in the previous years, he wanted to diminish his losses. A mountainous region entirely surrounded by the sea, Bruttium provided Hannibal with a perfect base to check the Roman advance and force the Senate to keep a large standing army against him, thus he resorted to the same tactics his father Hamilcar Barca used for seven years during the First Punic war in Sicily. According to the military historian Hans Delbrück, the strategic goal behind these tactics was to induce Rome to an acceptable peace treaty in return for relinquishing the Punic base in Italy.
Livy describes the character of the ensuing warfare in this way: “The struggle in Bruttium had assumed the character of brigandage much more than that of regular warfare. The Numidians had commenced the practice, the Bruttians followed their example, not so much because of their alliance with the Carthaginians as because it was their traditional and natural method of carrying on war. At last the Romans were infected by the passion for plunder and, as far as their generals allowed them, used to make predatory incursions on the enemy's fields.”At this point, Rome had to decide how to proceed. After much debating in the Senate, elected consul for 205 BC, was authorized to invade Africa. Scipio's point was that only by this invasion would he induce Carthage to recall Hannibal and Mago, who had set up another Carthaginian stronghold in Italy by landing in Liguria, he was not given sufficient resources though and had to spend a year in preparations for the expedition from Sicily. With time, Scipio's assessment proved correct.
For four years the main Roman forces were entangled in Bruttium and some were diverted to Etruria and Cisalpine Gaul to face Mago. In 206 BC, Bruttium was assigned to both of the consuls. Cassius Dio explains their inaction: “Hannibal for a time was keeping quiet, satisfied if he might only retain such advantages as were his, and the consuls, believing that his power would waste away without a battle waited.” Appian states. This did not come, for a large convoy of 100 ships with soldiers and supplies was driven off its course by high winds and routed by the Roman fleet at Sardinia. Hannibal had to collect more resources by confiscations; these measures undermined his popularity among the local population and were the cause for several cases of defection. The deportation of unreliable citizens from strategic fortresses, referred by Appian, produced more security for Hannibal but not in the case of Locri. In 205 BC, a Roman detachment, sent from Rhegium by Scipio, managed to capture a part of the town by a sudden assault.
Hannibal moved to expel the enemy “and the Romans would not have held out had not the population, embittered by the tyranny and rapacity of the Carthaginians, taken their side.”Pressed by the loss of the strategic port, Hannibal set his base “at Croton, which he found to be well situated for his operations and where he established his magazines and his headquarters against the other towns”. As in the previous year, he was confronted by two armies of two legions each, one commanded by the consul Publius Licinius Crassus, the other by the proconsul Q. Caecilius. According to Appian, Crassus managed to detach from Hannibal seven towns in Bruttium, Consentia among them, it is open to debate whether he did this by persuasion. It is debatable whether Crassus accomplished anything, for Livy narrates that Consentia surrendered after the battles at Croton in the following year. For Livy, the most memorable event in Bruttium in 205 BC was a pestilence that “attacked the Romans and the Carthaginians and was fatal to both, but in addition to the epidemic, the Carthaginians were suffering from scarcity of food”.
This occurred toward the year's end. The disease was so serious that Crassus could not return to Rome for conducting the elections of the next consuls and recommended to the Senate to disband one of the armies in Bruttium, so as to preserve the soldiers’ lives; the Senate let Crassus
Battle of Ager Falernus
The Battle of Ager Falernus was a skirmish during the Second Punic War between the armies of Rome and Carthage. After winning the Battle of Lake Trasimene in Italy in 217 BC, the army commanded by Hannibal marched south and reached Campania; the Carthaginians moved into the district of Falernum, a fertile river valley surrounded by mountains. Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, elected Roman dictator and commander of the Roman field forces after the disastrous defeat at Lake Trasimene, had dogged Hannibal and stuck to a strategy to fight only under favourable conditions, he now occupied all the river crossings and mountain passes leading out of the valley, thus blocking the Carthaginians inside. After stripping the area of grain and other supplies, Hannibal displayed brilliant tactics to provoke the Roman guard to leave one of the passes. Despite the protests of his staff officers Fabius, camped near the pass with his main forces, refused to attack the Carthaginian army and it escaped the trap unscathed.
The Carthaginian victory in the Battle of Lake Trasimene had removed the Roman consular army which had prevented the Carthaginians from marching on Rome. The second Roman consular army in Northern Italy, under Gnaeus Servilius Geminus, was on the other side of the Apennine Mountains, near Ariminum, it was in no position to hinder Hannibal from marching south; this force had lost most of its reconnaissance capabilities as its cavalry of 4,000 men had been destroyed in an ambush by Hannibal's lieutenant Maharbal near Assisi after the battle of Lake Trasimene. The Roman army retreated back to Ariminum after this debacle, was busy checking the Gallic raids taking place near the Po valley; the initiative now rested with Hannibal, the Romans had temporarily lost the ability to defend their Italian socii allies until a new army could be raised. Hannibal chose not to march on Rome after the victory at Trasimene; the Carthaginian army instead marched south-east into Umbria, through Perugia, although Livy refers to a failed siege of Spoletum, a Latin colony, Polybius does not mention it, it is that only Carthaginian raiders troubled the Latin colony.
Hannibal ordered his men to kill all military-aged males they came across as they marched through Picenum towards the Adriatic coast, reaching Herita 10 days after leaving Lake Trasimene. Here Hannibal rested his army, suffering from scurvy, refitted the Libyan/African troops with captured Roman equipment and retrained them, by using low grade local wine as an ointment, brought the cavalry horses back to health. With no Roman army situated near him, Hannibal was free to choose his next course of action unhindered. There was panic and disorder in Rome when rumors about Trasimene spread among the city population, which were confirmed when the praetor Marcus Pomponius curtly announced in the Forum "We have been defeated in a great battle"; the Senate met in continual session to debate the next course of action until three days the news of the defeat of the Roman cavalry by Maharbal arrived in Rome. The Roman senate and the people, realizing the gravity of the situation, decided to elect a dictator to direct the war effort.
As one of the elected consuls was dead and the other one away with his army, the dictator was elected by the senate instead of being nominated by one of the consuls. Quintus Fabius Maximus, a member of the patrician Fabii, who had suggested that an election should be held, was elected into office by the assembled centuries of the people, his term in office being set for the next six months. Fabius, 58 years of age, 28 years older than Hannibal, at that time carried the nickname "Verrucosus" or "Spotty" because of a wart on his face, his past political record was anything but spotty. A dictator chose his own deputy, the Master of Horse, but Fabius received as his Master of Horse Marcus Minucius Rufus, in an unusual political gesture, it was suggested that the post of Fabius was that of a pro-dictator, but it seems Fabius enjoyed all the powers of a dictator during his term. The Romans needed to prepare a proper reception should Hannibal decided to show up outside Rome with his army. Fabius first set about restoring the morale of the Roman people and tackled the task of preparing the defences of Rome after receiving his post.
He took meticulous care in observing all the religious procedures attached to state affairs and all the civil procedures related to state administration to boost the morale of the city population, after having blamed the Trasimene disaster on the lack of proper religious observations by the dead consul Flaminius. The senate consulted the Sibylline Books at the suggestion of Fabius and a praetor was assigned to appease the Roman gods through generous sacrifices. Divine duties taken care of, Fabius next went about preparing for Hannibal's anticipated visit to Latium, being ignorant of his location and intention at that time; the city walls were repaired. The unwalled towns in Latium were ordered to be abandoned, their inhabitants were moved into walled towns. Certain bridges were torn down to deny the Carthaginians easy passage through Latium. Once it was clear that Hannibal was not marching towards Rome, Fabius ordered the army of Servilius into Latium. Fabius left Rome and took over command of the army of Ser