|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXVII Chapter 50: The news arrives in Rome[207 BC]
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The night after the battle Nero started off at a more rapid pace than he had come, and in six days reached his camp and was once more in touch with Hannibal. His march was not watched by the same crowds as before, because no messengers preceded him, but his return was welcomed with such extravagant delight that people were almost beside themselves for joy. As to the state of feeling in Rome, it is impossible to describe it, or to picture the anxiety with which the citizens waited for the result of the battle or the enthusiasm which the report of the victory aroused. Never from the day when the news came that Nero had commenced his march had any senator left the House, or the people the Forum from sunrise to sunset. The matrons, as they could give no active help, betook themselves to prayers and intercessions; they thronged all the shrines and assailed the gods with supplications and vows. Whilst the citizens were in this state of anxious suspense, a vague rumour was started to the effect that two troopers belonging to Narnia had gone from the battle-field to the camp there which was holding the road to Umbria with the announcement that the enemy had been cut to pieces. People listened to the rumour, but they could not take it in, the news was too great, too joyful for them to realise or to accept as true, and the very speed at which it had travelled made it less credible, for the battle was reported as having taken place only two days previously. Then followed a despatch from Lucius Manlius Acidinus, reporting the arrival of the two troopers in his camp. When this despatch was carried through the Forum to the praetor's tribunal the senators left their seats, and such was the excitement of the people as they pushed and struggled round the door of the senate-house that the courier could not get near it. He was dragged away by the crowd, who demanded with loud shouts that the despatch should be read from the rostra before it was read in the senate-house. At last the magistrates succeeded in forcing back and restraining the populace, and it became possible for all to share in the joyous news they were so impatient to learn. The despatch was read first in the senate-house, and then in the Assembly. It was listened to with different feelings according to each man's temperament; some regarded the news as absolutely true, others would not believe it till they had the consul's despatch and the report of the envoys.
Battle of Metaurus, 207 BC
Event: Battle of Metaurus, 207 BC