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LIVIUS AND CLAUDIUS ENJOY A TRIUMPH
 HANNIBAL had not discovered that the Consul had left Venusia
before he had returned.
As soon as the battle of Metaurus was over, Claudius
had marched back to his camp, carrying with him the
head of Hasdrubal. This, with cruelty unworthy of a
conqueror, he ordered to be thrown into Hannibal's
Two prisoners he also set free, that they might go to
the Carthaginian camp and tell how their comrades had
In this terrible way Hannibal first knew what had
befallen his brother and the army he had brought from
Claudius, before he marched to the camp of Livius had
sent to Rome to tell the Senate what he hoped to do.
As the news of his hasty march became known, the
greatest anxiety was felt.
No one was able to work. The Forum, indeed, was
crowded with people; but they assembled, not to do
business, but to talk of the desperate action of the
Consul, of the hopes and fears that clustered around
After a time the women betook themselves to the temple,
and spent the hours in prayers to their gods, that now
at length they would send victory to Roman arms.
As hope was changing into fear, a messenger was seen
spurring his horse toward the city. When he rode in at
the gates the people crowded round him to try to gather
A messenger was seen spurring his horse toward the city.
Good! It seemed that the news was good. The face,
the whole bearing of the messenger proclaimed it so,
 the people were afraid to believe. They had grown used
to such evil tidings. How could they believe all at
once that the gods had at length sent them victory!
Yet so it was.
The messenger made his way through the crowds to the
Senate-house, and then for a little while the people
were left to their vague hopes and fears.
At length the door of the Senate-house was opened, and
down the steps into the Forum stepped one of the
senators, to tell the breathless multitude that the
tidings were good indeed. Hasdrubal was slain and his
army was destroyed.
Then at last the people believed, and a great shout
rent the air, a shout of triumph.
Public thanksgivings were at once ordained, to last for
three days. The people in their joy never stayed to
think that Hannibal was still alive, and in their land
Hannibal, indeed, stayed in Italy four years longer,
yet he fought no more great battles there. The towns,
too, that he had won were, one after another, gradually
reconquered by Rome.
After the defeat of Hasdrubal, Hannibal withdrew to
Lacinium with his troops. They remained loyal to their
great leader in his misfortune as in his prosperity.
Claudius and Livius, to whom the great victory was due,
were both given a triumph.
But as the battle had been fought in the province of
which Livius had charge, and as it was he who had
commanded on the battlefield, he entered the city on a
triumphal car drawn by four horses, his army marching
in the procession, while Claudius rode on horseback by
the side of the car, and his army, being needed on the
field, was not with him.
But it was the Consul who rode on horseback at whom the
people for the most part gazed, and it was for him that
the crowd cheered its loudest. For the people knew
that it was Claudius whose decision had made the battle
so complete a triumph.