Page 0811

811

ROME-THE PUNIC WARS.

latter in their turn avoided battle in this unfavorable locality, and made

their way into Apulia through another pass. In effecting this movement

Hannibal outwitted his antagonist by tying torches to the horns of oxen and

driving them to the hill-tops by night, thus deceiving the Romans in regard

to the course which he was taking. Hannibal proceeded without molestation

into Apulia, and, having pitched his camp at Geronium, sent out a part of

his forces to gather supplies from the surrounding country, and with the

remainder continued to confront Fabius.

With the apparently overdone caution of the latter the Senate and people

now became greatly dissatisfied. The belief gained ground that in the case

of the dictator strategy and inefficiency meant the same thing. An anti-

Fabian party arose, both in Rome and in the army. A certain Minucius, who

was master of the horse, gained a small success over the enemy, and was

immediately proclaimed the champion of a new policy by which Hannibal was

to be overthrown. The assembly of the tribes at Rome voted to divide the

command between this parvenu officer and the experienced Fabius. The latter

bore the interference with equanimity, and when Minucius at the earliest

opportunity rushed rashly into battle, and was about to be destroyed, the

old general came promptly to his aid, and the disaster was avoided. It was

the end of the fiasco. Minucius returned to his command, and the former

policy was resumed. The title of