Aquilius Florus was voted in for an unprecedented second term as Consul of Rome in a landslide victory for isolationists. Cornelius Blasio assumed Megellus’s role and Proconsul of little note filled the ranks of Consul and Proconsul.
The Roman economy boomed, its border secured, She relished prosperity, ignoring the gathering storm. No one noticed the creepingly higher prices of goods and services, as well as growing scarcity. Florus decreed the Senate would supplement the poor from its own granaries. This would hold the tone in Rome long enough to sue for peace.
Florus had several agitators silenced who raised questions about the enormous fleet sitting in Syracusae under Punic flags.
No Legions were raised. The Second Consular Army was disbanded and sent home discharged from duty, to pay for the poor’s grain no doubt.
The Siculi Revolt of 261 took many by surprise. Including Hiero. The troop raising he was conducting and his focus on the potential enemy emboldened the Siculi. They would be dealt a harsh blow. But not this year. They would have to wait until Roman made her move. Of all the times for the Punic master race to change leaders it was now! Just as his relationship and their armies training was beginning to pay off! What were they thinking?
Another Fleet and more soldiers joined under Hieros banner in Syracuse. Soone he would filed an army capable of taking on even a Roman Legion or 2!
Carthage- Sicca Venera
Hanno Hamilcar was furious.
He rode straight from Carthage ignoring the Summons of the Council to find Gisgo.
“Uncle, how dare you…how dare you shame me and recall me!” White knuckled, the gold wired pommel of his long dagger broke the skin on Hamilcars palm such was the force of his grip. “We are ….”
“SILENCE Pup.” Gisgo launched to his feet crossing the space between them like cheetah on the hunt. From nowhere the slap sounded off the helm of Hamilcar. ” Shut your mewling face” The words slammed home into his still ringing ears, Hanno was stunned. “How can I recall that Barca bastard and not you without starting another blood war between the two families?
They two glared at each other, neither flinching, nor giving a hairs breadth of space. Officers for both men watched, hands on swords. Deadly intent was in each and every mans eyes.
“I yield to your wisdom Uncle. To give a Barca the glory at sea or land is not what we want” Hamilcars shoulders did not slump Gisgo noted. Good! The boy was proud and wise. He will make a fine General.
“There will be time enough for blood and glory Nephew. Perhaps more than we can handle, sit with me now , have a date and tell me of Massanas defenses!
The dispatcher sat waiting, for the second day in full dress uniform, sweltering. He surveyed his surroundings. The First Consular Armies Legions looked fat and happy. Too happy. This too would go into his report if he ever had his audience with the fop running this Circus. Just two lax Legions stand between the might of Carthage and Rome. What would happen next?
Wow….3 out of four Leaders are 1 rated for Rome. They fail to raise Legions, they fail to REPLACE their disbanded Legion. Disaster.
Down to 1 Consular Army they sit tight for the year.
Carthage makes a great show of raising nominal troops to replace attrition losses. They ponder attacking Rhegium, or raiding Locri, with no real intent to do anything but wait out the storm of chits to 260 B.C. The enemy is none the wiser so far. All is in position.
In an effort to prevent too much gazing at the board in my absence I readily agree to reconvene on the morrow! 260 B.C. will be make or break for a quick win or a longer affair!