Caius Claudius Nero


" The consul Nero, who made the unequalled march which deceived Hannibal and deceived Hasdrubal, thereby accomplishing an achievement almost unrivaled in military annals. The first intelligence of his return, to Hannibal, was the sight of Hasdrubal' s head thrown into his camp. When Hannibal saw this, he exclaimed, with a sigh, that ' Rome would now be the mistress of the world.' To this victory of Nero's it might be owing that his imperial namesake reigned at all. But the infamy of the one has eclipsed the glory of the other. When the name of Nero is heard, who thinks of the consul? But such are human things." -BYRON.

A patrician of one of the families of the great Claudian house and Roman general. He was lieutenant of Marcellus (216 BC), Praetor in Spain, consul with his political enemy Livius Salinator, in 207. Reconciled, the consuls defeated Hasdrubal at Metaurus. Nero had the head of Hasdrubal thrown in the Hannibal's camp. He was Censor in 204. Tthere is no record no successes as having been achieved by him either before or after this great campaign.

Nero achieved surprise at Metaurus by very fast forced marches. He marched back from the engagement on the Metaurus to Apulia even more quickly than he had come: less than six days (Livy XXVII.50 and XXVIII.9). The distance from Canusium to the site of the battle with Hasdrubal was 250 miles, and the march time 7 days, which equates to 35 miles per day. Nero took only picked men, about 6,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry. The men ate and fulfilled other necessary physical necessities in rank. According to Livy the populace along the route supplied them with provisions, which meant no pack animals or wasted foraging time.


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