1. Dum haec in Africa atque in Hispania geruntur, Hannibal in agro Sallentino aestatem consumpsit spe per proditionem urbis Tarentinorum potiundae. ipsorum interim Sallentinorum ignobiles urbes ad eum defecerunt. 2eodem tempore in Bruttiis ex duodecim populis qui anno priore ad Poenos desciverant Consentini et Tauriani in fidem populi Romani redierunt; 3et plures redissent, ni T. Pomponius Veientanus, praefectus socium, prosperis aliquot populationibus in agro Bruttio iusti ducis speciem nactus, tumultuario exercitu coacto cum Hannone conflixisset. 4magna ibi vis hominum sed inconditae turbae agrestium servorumque caesa aut capta est: minimum iacturae fuit quod praefectus inter ceteros est captus, et tum temerariae pugnae auctor et ante publicanus omnibus malis artibus et rei publicae et societatibus infidus damnosusque. 5Sempronius consul in Lucanis multa proelia parva, haud ullum dignum memoratu fecit et ignobilia oppida Lucanorum aliquot expugnavit.
1. While this was going on in Africa and Spain, Hannibal spent the summer in Sallentine territory, hoping to gain possession of the city of Tarentum1 through treachery. Meanwhile some unimportant Sallentine cities themselves defected to him; but at the same time, in Bruttium, two of the twelve peoples that had defected to the Carthaginians the previous year, the Consentini and the Tauriani,2 returned to their allegiance with the Roman people. Even more would have returned but for Titus Pomponius Veientanus, a prefect of the allies who, after some successful plundering expeditions in Bruttian territory, had acquired the stature of a regularly appointed commander, raised a makeshift army, and clashed with Hanno. There large numbers of men—though they were just an ill-organized assortment of peasants and slaves—were killed or taken prisoner. The least important loss was that of the prefect, who was captured with the others: it was he who was at that time responsible for the foolhardy battle, and previously, as a tax gatherer,3 he had been fraudulent and ruinous for both the republic and private companies. The consul Sempronius fought numerous minor engagements in Lucania, none worthy of record, and took a few insignificant Lucanian towns by storm.
- 1The Sallentini lived in the heel of Italy (Barr. 45 H4 [inset]), and Tarentum lay some sixty miles northwest of them.
- 2Both in the toe of Italy (mod. Calabria): for Consentia (mod. Cosenza), see 23.30.5 n. 113; Taurianum, Barr. 46 C5.
- 3He had been one of the publicani. Cf. 23.49.1 and note.