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UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

munched the bones of the Carthaginians, trembled at the name of the Gaul. Even

the gods of the city were excited and sent forth omens and portents. The Capitol

was struck with lightning, and the Sibylline books were found to contain the

following prophecy; "Beware of the Gauls, when the lightning strikes the

Capitol." Another tradition of the augurs said that the Roman Forum should one

day be occupied by the Gauls and the Greeks. Then came the priests, and said that

the prophecy might be averted if two Greeks and two Gauls should be buried alive

in the Forum. So Superstition lifted her horrid spade, and Rome, who had

conquered Italy and faced Hamilcar's elephants, felt relieved when four innocent

human beings were entombed alive in her public square.

Nevertheless the Republic-so wise does human reason grow, even in the presence of

the priest-failed not to prepare what human agencies so ever she could, to meet

and repel the northern invaders. New legions were enrolled and sent to the front.

Every city was required to accumulate supplies and put itself in a position of

defense. And then, when all her preparations were complete, crafty Rome sent

emissaries among the Cenomani and Veneti, advising those nations, as soon as the

Gauls should begin the invasion of Italy, to fall upon their rear and despoil

their country.

The Roman army of defense was stationed at Ariminum, from which direction it was

expected that the attack of the Gauls would be made. The allied states joined

their contingents, and made common cause for the protection of their homes. The

Gauls, however, disappointed the expectation of the Roman consul, and, moving to

the west, advanced on Rome by an undefended highway. While making the advance,

they fell in with the reserves, who were on their way to join the army at

Ariminum, and inflicted on them a severe defeat. The surrounding districts were

then pillaged; but the barbarians, now laden with spoils, concluded to make good

what was already gained by carrying away their plunder into Cisalpine Gaul. By

this time, however, the consul Atilius Regulus, commanding at the north, was hard

on their track; and the other consul, having landed at Pisa, with his army

recently from Sardinia, intercepted the enemy's retreat. The Gauls were thus

hemmed between the two consular armies, and in a decisive battle at Telamon, were

utterly routed and dispersed.

Meanwhile, in B. G. 232, the question of the distribution of public lands was

again agitated, and led to the adoption of a new agrarian law. After the previous

victory gained over the Gauls at the Vadimonian lake, a large portion of the aged

publicus in Northern Italy had remained unoccupied. To preserve the quiet of

these regions the Romans had planted on the frontier the two important colonies

of Sena and Ariminum. In the year above mentioned, the tribune Caius Flaminlus

secured the passage of a law by which these public lands of the North were

distributed among the veterans of the army and the poorer classes of citizens.

The Senate, although that body had not for a long time claimed the right of

annulling an act of the people, violently opposed the adoption of the statute

proposed by Flaminius; but the measure was carried, and the public domain opened

to the occupation of colonists. The same tribune then signalized his

administration by the construction, as far as Ariminum, of the great military

road known as the Flaminian Way.

It was not to be expected that the Romans, after the overthrow of the Gauls,

would forbear to press their advantage by extending the dominions of the Republic

in the direction of the Alps. In B. C. 222, a successful campaign, conducted by

the consul Marcus Clatjdius Marcellus, was made against the Insubres, and their

capital, Mediolanum, was taken. Expeditions were then made in different

directions, until the whole valley of the Po was overrun, and the territorial

limit of Rome carried completely around the vast region of Cisalpine Gaul. To

secure these great conquests the two additional colonies of Placentia and Cremona

were established, and occupied by settlers from the capital.

While these movements were taking place in Italy, Demetrius, by whose

instrumentality the Romans had secured their foothold on the Illyrian coast,

renounced his alliance with