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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXII Chapter 36: More soldiers and more omens.[217 BC]
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|The forces also were augmented. But how great was the augmentation of infantry and cavalry authors vary so much, that I scarcely dare positively assert. Some state, that ten thousand soldiers were levied as a reinforcement; others, four fresh legions, that there might be eight legions in service. It is said also, that the complement of the legion was increased in respect both to foot and horse, one thousand foot and one hundred horse being added to each, so that each might contain five thousand foot and three hundred horse; and that the allies furnished twice as many cavalry, and an equal number of infantry. Some authorities affirm that there were eighty-seven thousand two hundred soldiers in the Romancamp when the battle of Cannae was fought. There is no dispute, that the war was prosecuted with greater energy and spirit than during former years, because the dictator had given them a hope that the enemy might be subdued. Before, however, the new-raised legions marched from the city, the decemviri were ordered to have recourse to and inspect the sacred volumes, on account of persons having been generally alarmed by extraordinary prodigies; for intelligence was brought, that it had rained stones on the Aventine at Rome and at Aricia at the same time. That among the Sabines, statues had sweated blood copiously, and at Caere the waters had flowed warm, from a fountain. The latter prodigy excited a greater degree of alarm, because it had frequently occurred. In a street called the Arched Way, near the Campus Martius, several men were struck by lightning and killed. These prodigies were expiated according to the books. Ambassadors from Paestum brought some golden goblets to Rome; they were thanked, as the Neapolitans were, but the gold was not accepted.||
Foot:a. part of the body (3379). b. infantry (6534).
Horse:a. the animal. b. cavalry.