1. Ut ex Campania in Bruttios reditum est, Hanno adiutoribus et ducibus Bruttiis Graecas urbes temptavit, eo facilius in societate manentes Romana quod Bruttios, quos et oderant et metuebant, Carthaginiensium partis factos cernebant. 2Regium primum temptatum est diesque aliquot ibi nequiquam absumpti. interim Locrenses frumentum lignaque et cetera necessaria usibus ex agris in urbem rapere, etiam ne quid relictum praedae hostibus esset, 3et in dies maior omnibus portis multitudo effundi; postremo sescenti modo relicti in urbe erant, qui reficere muros portas telaque in propugnacula congerere cogebantur. 4in permixtam omnium aetatium ordinumque multitudinem et vagantem in agris magna ex parte inermem Hamilcar Poenos1 equites emisit, qui violare quemquam vetiti, tantum ut ab urbe excluderent fuga dissipatos, turmas obiecere.
5Dux ipse loco superiore capto unde agros urbemque posset conspicere, Bruttiorum cohortem adire muros atque
1. Returning from Campania to Bruttium, Hanno, having the Bruttii as his helpers and guides,1 launched an attack on the Greek cities which, after seeing that the Bruttii (whom they both loathed and feared) supported the Carthaginian cause, found it much easier to remain in their Roman alliance. Rhegium was the first targeted, and a number of days were spent there without success. Meanwhile the people of Locri2 hurriedly gathered grain, wood, and all other vital supplies into the city from their fields (also in order to leave the enemy with nothing to plunder), and every day the crowd pouring out from all its gates increased; finally the only people left in town were six hundred men who were forced to repair the walls and gates and stockpile weapons on the battlements. As this motley crowd of people of all ages and classes roamed the countryside, mostly unarmed, Hamilcar sent his Carthaginian cavalry out against them with orders not to inflict injury but merely set some squadrons as a barrier to keep away from the city those who had scattered in flight.
The commander himself took up a position on higher ground from which he could observe the countryside and the city, and he ordered a cohort of Bruttii to approach the