Hannibal had routed the Romans twice, and killed three of its imperators, all in short order, and the citizens, unsure what to do, had formed a commitee. (This calls for immediate discussion!)
Maesta igitur cīvitās ac prope inops cōnsiliī comitiōrum diē in campum dēscendit.
Therefore the gloomy (state)citizens, and the almost lack of ideas from the commitee, during the day descended onto the plain.
That makes no sense. The lack of ideas didn't go down into the the plain. What is 'ac' doing there? Can ac mean 'because of'? The citizens, sad because of the lack of ideas... but I don't think it does.
Can someone help?