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History of Rome, Vol III by Titus Livius

Part 8 out of 11

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of the soldiers, some as they came to lodge in their houses, others as
they wandered about their winter quarters, or were on leave of absence
for various purposes. Some were killed on the roads by parties lying
in wait in lurking-places; others were seduced and carried away to
inns, which were left uninhabited, and there put to death. At last
they committed these crimes, not merely out of hatred, but likewise
from a desire of booty; for the soldiers on furlough generally carried
money in their purses for the purpose of trading. At first a few at a
time, afterwards greater numbers used to be missed, until all Boeotia
became notorious for those practices, and a soldier went beyond the
bounds of the camp with more timidity than into an enemy's country.
Quinctius then sent deputies round the states, to make inquiry
concerning the murders committed. The greatest number of murders were
found to have been committed about the lake called Copais; there the
bodies were dug out of the mud, and drawn up out of the marsh, having
had earthen jars or stones tied to them, so as to be dragged to the
bottom by the weight. Many deeds of this sort were discovered to have
been perpetrated at Acrphia and Coronea. Quinctius at first insisted
that the persons guilty should be given up to him, and that, for five
hundred soldiers, (for so many had been cut off,) the Botians should
pay five hundred talents.[1] Neither of these requisitions being
complied with, and the states only making verbal apologies, declaring,
that none of those acts had been authorized by the public; Quinctius
first sent ambassadors to Athens and Achaia, to satisfy the allies,
that the war which he was about to make on the Botians was conformable
to justice and piety; and then, ordering Publius Claudius to
march with one-half of the troops to Acrphia, he himself, with
the remainder, invested Coronea; and these two bodies' marching by
different roads from Elatia, laid waste all the country through which
they passed. The Botians, dismayed by these losses, while every place
was filled with fugitives, and while the terror became universal, sent
ambassadors to the camp; and as these were refused admittance, the
Achaeans and Athenians came to their assistance. The Achaeans had the
greater influence as intercessors; inasmuch as they were resolved, in
case they could not procure peace for the Botians, to join them in
the war. Through the mediation of the Achaeans, however, the Botians
obtained admission and an audience of the Roman general; who, ordering
them to deliver up the guilty, and to pay thirty talents[2] as a fine,
granted them peace, and raised the siege.

[Footnote 1: 96,875l.]

[Footnote 2: 5821l. 10s.]

30. A few days after this, the ten ambassadors arrived from Rome,
in pursuance of whose counsel, peace was granted to Philip on the
following conditions: "That all the Grecian states, as well those in
Asia as those in Europe, should enjoy liberty, and their own laws:
That from such of them as had been in the possession of Philip, he
should withdraw his garrisons, particularly from the following places
in Asia; Euromus, Pedasi, Bargylii, Iassus, Myrina, Abydus; and from
Thasus and Perinthus, for it was determined that these likewise should
be free: That with respect to the freedom of Cius, Quinctius should
write to Prusias, king of Bithynia, the resolutions of the senate, and
of the ten ambassadors: That Philip should return to the Romans
the prisoners and deserters, and deliver up all his decked ships,
excepting five and the royal galley,--of a size almost unmanageable,
being moved by sixteen banks of oars: That he should not keep more
than five hundred soldiers, nor any elephant: That he should not wage
war beyond the bounds of Macedonia without permission from the senate:
That he should pay to the Roman people one thousand talents:[1] one
half at present, the other by instalments, within ten years." Valerius
Antias writes, that there was imposed on him an annual tribute of four
thousand pounds' weight of silver, for ten years, and an immediate
payment of twenty thousand pounds' weight. The same author says that
an article was expressly inserted, that he should not make war on
Eumenes, Attalus's son, who had lately come to the throne. For the
performance of these conditions hostages were received, among whom
was Demetrius, Philip's son. Valerius Antias adds, that the island of
Aegina, and the elephants, were given as a present to Attalus, who was
absent; to the Rhodians, Stratonice, and other cities of Caria which
had been in the possession of Philip; and to the Athenians, the
islands of Paros, Imbros, Delos, and Scyros.

[Footnote 1: 193,750l.]

31. While all the other states of Greece expressed their approbation
of these terms of peace, the Aetolians alone, in private murmurs, made
severe strictures on the determination of the ten ambassadors. They
said, "it consisted merely of an empty piece of writing varnished over
with a fallacious appearance of liberty. For why should some cities
be put into the hands of the Romans without being named, while others
were particularized, and ordered to be enfranchised without such
consignment; unless the intent was, that those in Asia, which, from
their distant situation, were more secure from danger, should be free;
but those in Greece, not being even mentioned by name, should be
made their property: Corinth, Chalcis, and Oreum; with Eretria, and
Demetrias." Nor was this charge entirely without foundation: for there
was some hesitation with respect to Corinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias;
because, in the decree of the senate in pursuance of which the ten
ambassadors had been sent from Rome, all Greece and Asia, except these
three, were expressly ordered to be set at liberty; but, with regard
to these, ambassadors were instructed, that, whatever measures the
exigencies of the state might render expedient, they should determine
to pursue in conformity to the public good and their own honour. King
Antiochus was one of whom they did not doubt that, so soon as he was
satisfied that his forces were adequate, he would cross over into
Europe; and they were unwilling to let these cities, the possession
of which would be so advantageous to him, lie open to his occupation.
Quinctius, with the ten ambassadors, sailed from Elatia to Anticyra,
and thence to Corinth. Here the plans they had laid down respecting
the liberation of Greece were discussed for about three days in a
council of the ten ambassadors. Quinctius frequently urged, that
"every part of Greece ought to be set at liberty, if they wished
to refute the cavils of the Aetolians; if they wished, that sincere
affection and respect for the Roman nation should be universally
entertained; or if they wished to convince the world that they had
crossed the sea with the design of liberating Greece, and not of
transferring the sovereignty of it from Philip to themselves." The
Macedonians alleged nothing in opposition to the arguments made use of
in favour of the freedom of the cities; but "they thought it safer for
those cities themselves that they should remain, for a time, under the
protection of Roman garrisons, than be obliged to receive Antiochus
for a master in the room of Philip." Their final determination was,
that "Corinth be restored to the Achaeans, but that a Roman garrison
should continue in the citadel; and that Chalcis and Demetrias be
retained, until their apprehensions respecting Antiochus should

32. The stated solemnity of the Isthmian games was at hand. These have
ever been attended by very numerous meetings, as well on account of
the universal fondness entertained by this nation for exhibitions of
skill in arts of every kind, as well as of contests in strength
and swiftness of foot; as also, because of the convenience of the
locality, which furnishes commercial advantages of all kinds by its
two opposite seas, and by which it had obtained the character of a
rendezvous for all the population of Asia and Greece. But on this
occasion, all were led thither not only for their ordinary purposes,
but by an eager curiosity to learn what was thenceforward to be the
state of Greece, and what their own condition; while many at the same
time not only formed opinions within themselves but uttered their
conjectures in conversation. Scarcely any supposed that the Romans,
victorious as they were, would withdraw from the whole of Greece.
They took their seats, as spectators; and a herald, preceded by
a trumpeter, according to custom, advanced into the centre of the
theatre, where notice of the commencement of the games is usually
made, in a solemn form of words. Silence being commanded by sound of
trumpet, he uttered aloud the following proclamation: THE SENATE AND
PHTHIOTIS. He then read a list of all the states which had been under
subjection to king Philip. The joy occasioned by hearing these words
of the herald was so great, that the people's minds were unable to
conceive the matter at once. Scarcely could they believe that they had
heard them; and they looked at each other, marvelling as at the
empty illusion of a dream. Each inquired of his neighbours about what
immediately concerned himself, altogether distrusting the evidence
of his own ears. As everyone desired not only to hear, but to see the
messenger of liberty, the herald was called out again; and he again
repeated the proclamation. When they were thus assured of the reality
of the joyful tidings, they raised such a shout, and clapping of
hands, and repeated them so often, as clearly to show that of all
blessings none is more grateful to the multitude than liberty. The
games were then proceeded through with hurry; for neither the thoughts
nor eyes of any attended to the exhibitions, so entirely had the
single passion of joy pre-occupied their minds, as to exclude the
sense of all other pleasures.

33. But, when the games were finished, every one eagerly passed
towards the Roman general; so that by the crowd rushing to one
spot, all wishing to come near him, and to touch his right hand, and
throwing garlands and ribands, he was in some degree of danger. He was
then about thirty-three years of age; and besides the vigour of youth,
the grateful sensations excited by so eminent a harvest of glory,
increased his strength. Nor was the general exultation exhausted in
the presence of all the assembly, but, through the space of many days,
was continually revived by sentiments and expressions of gratitude.
"There was a nation in the world," they said, "which, at its own
expense, with its own labour, and at its own risk, waged wars for the
liberty of others. And this was performed, not merely for contiguous
states, or near neighbours, or for countries that made parts of the
same continent; but they even crossed the seas for the purpose, that
no unlawful power should subsist on the face of the whole earth; but
that justice, right, and law should every where have sovereign sway.
By one sentence, pronounced by a herald all the cities of Greece and
Asia had been set at liberty. To have conceived hopes of this, argued
a daring spirit; to have carried it into effect, was a proof of the
most consummate bravery and good fortune."

34. Quinctius and the ten ambassadors then gave audience to the
embassies of the several kings, nations, and states. First of all, the
ambassadors of king Antiochus were called. Their proceedings, here,
were nearly the same as at Rome; a mere display of words unsupported
by facts. But the answer given them was not ambiguous as formerly,
during the uncertainty of affairs, and while Philip was unsubdued; for
the king was required in express terms to evacuate the cities of
Asia, which had been in possession either of Philip or Ptolemy; not to
meddle with the free cities, or ever take arms against them, and to
be in a state of peace and equality with all the cities of Greece
wherever they might be. Above all it was insisted on, that he should
neither come himself into Europe, nor transport an army thither.
The king's ambassadors being dismissed, a general convention of
the nations and states was immediately held; and the business was
despatched with the greater expedition, because the resolutions of the
ten ambassadors mentioned the several states by name. To the people
of Orestis, a district of Macedonia, in consideration of their having
been the first who came over from the side of the king, their own
laws were granted. The Magnesians, Perrhaebians, and Dolopians were
likewise declared free. To the nation of the Thessalians, besides
the enjoyment of liberty, the Achaean part of Phthiotis was granted,
excepting Phthiotian Thebes and Pharsalus. The Aetolians, demanding
that Pharsalus and Leucas should be restored to them in conformity
to the treaty, were referred to the senate: but the council united to
these, by authority of a decree, Phocis and Locris, places which had
formerly been annexed to them. Corinth, Triphylia, and Heraea,
another city of Peloponnesus, were restored to the Achaeans. The ten
ambassadors were inclined to give Oreum and Eretria to king Eumenes,
son of Attalus; but Quinctius dissenting, the matter came under the
determination of the senate, and the senate declared those cities
free; adding to them Carystus. Lycus and Parthinia, Illyrian states,
each of which had been under subjection to Philip, were given to
Pleuratus. Amynander was ordered to retain possession of the forts,
which he had taken from Philip during the war.

35. When the convention broke up, the ten ambassadors, dividing the
business among them, set out by different routes to give liberty to
the several cities within their respective districts. Publius Lentulus
went to Bargylii; Lucius Stertinius, to Hephaestia, Thasus, and
the cities of Thrace; Publius Villius and Lucius Terentius to king
Antiochus; and Cneius Cornelius to Philip. The last of these, after
executing his commission with respect to smaller matters, asked
Philip, whether he was disposed to listen to advice, not only useful
but highly salutary. To which the king answered that he was, and would
give him thanks besides, if he mentioned any thing conducive to his
advantage. He then earnestly recommended to him, since he had obtained
peace with the Romans, to send ambassadors to Rome to solicit their
alliance and friendship; lest, in case of Antiochus pursuing any
hostile measure, he might be suspected of having lain in wait and
seized the opportunity of the times for reviving hostilities. This
meeting with Philip was at Tempe in Thessaly; and on his answering
that he would send ambassadors without delay, Cornelius proceeded to
Thermopylae, where all the states of Greece are accustomed to meet
in general assembly on certain stated days. This is called the Pylaic
assembly. Here he admonished the Aetolians, in particular, constantly
and firmly to cultivate the friendship of the Roman people; but some
of the principal of these interrupted him with complaints, that the
disposition of the Romans towards their nation was not the same since
the victory, that it had been during the war; while others censured
them with greater boldness, and in a reproachful manner asserted,
that "without the aid of the Aetolians, the Romans could neither have
conquered Philip, nor even have made good their passage into Greece."
To such discourses the Roman forbore giving an answer, lest the
matter might end in an altercation, and only said, that if they sent
ambassadors to Rome, every thing that was reasonable would be granted
to them. Accordingly, they passed a decree for such mission, agreeably
to his direction.--In this manner was the war with Philip concluded.

36. While these transactions passed in Greece, Macedonia, and Asia,
a conspiracy among the slaves had well nigh made Etruria an hostile
province. To examine into and suppress this, Manius Acilius the
praetor, whose province was the administration of justice between
natives and foreigners, was sent at the head of one of the two city
legions. A number of them, who were by this time formed in a body, he
reduced by force of arms, killing and taking many. Some, who had been
the ringleaders of the conspiracy, he scourged with rods and then
crucified; some he returned to their masters. The consuls repaired
to their provinces. Just as Marcellus entered the frontiers of the
Boians, and while his men were fatigued with marching the whole
length of the day, and as he was pitching his camp on a rising ground,
Corolam, a chieftain of the Boians, attacked him with a very numerous
force, and slew three thousand of his men: several persons of
distinction fell in that tumultuary engagement; amongst others,
Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and Marcus Junius Silanus, praefects of
the allies; and Aulus Ogulnius and Publius Claudius, military tribunes
in the second legion. The Romans, not withstanding, had courage enough
to finish the fortification of their camp, and to defend it, in spite
of an assault made on it by the enemy, elated by their success in the
field. Marcellus remained for some time in the same post, until he
could tend the wounded, and revive the spirits of his men after such
a disheartening blow. The Boians, a nation remarkably impatient of
delay, and quickly disgusted at a state of inaction, separated, and
withdrew to their several forts and villages. Marcellus then, suddenly
crossing the Po, led his legions into the territory of Comum, where
the Insubrians, after rousing the people of the country to arms, lay
encamped. The fierce Boian Gauls attacked him on his march, and they
first onset was so vigorous, as to make a considerable impression on
his van. On perceiving which, and fearing lest, if his men once gave
way, they would be dislodged, he brought up a cohort of Marsians
against the enemy, and ordered every troop of the Latin cavalry to
charge them. The first and second charges of these having checked the
enemy in their furious attack, the other troops in the Roman line,
resuming courage, advanced briskly on the foe. The Gauls no longer
maintained the contest, but turned their backs and fled in confusion.
Valerius Antias relates, that in that battle above forty thousand men
were killed, five hundred and seven military standards taken, with
four hundred and thirty-two chariots, and a great number of gold
chains, one of which, of great weight, Claudius says, was deposited as
an offering to Jupiter, in his temple in the Capitol. The camp of the
Gauls was taken and plundered the same day; and the town of Comum was
reduced in a few days after. In a little time, twenty-eight forts came
over to the consul. There is a doubt among writers, whether the consul
led his legions first against the Boians, or against the Insubrians;
so as to determine, whether the successful battle obliterated the
disgrace of the defeat, or whether the victory obtained at Comum was
tarnished by the disaster incurred among the Boii.

37. Soon after those matters had passed with such variety of fortune,
Lucius Furius Purpureo, the other consul, came into the country of the
Boians, through the Sappinian tribe. He proceeded almost to the fort
of Mutilus, when, beginning to apprehend that he might be enclosed
between the Boians and Ligurians, he marched back by the road by which
he came; and, making a long circuit, through an open and therefore
safe country, arrived at the camp of his colleague. After this
junction of their forces, they overran the territory of the Boians,
spreading devastation as far as the city of Felsina. This city, with
the other fortresses, and almost all the Boians, excepting only the
young men who kept arms in their hands for the sake of plunder, and
had at that time withdrawn into remote woods, made submission. The
army was then led away against the Ligurians. The Boians thought that
the Romans, as they were supposed to be at a great distance, would be
the more careless in keeping their army together, and thereby afford
an opportunity of attacking them unawares: with this expectation,
they followed them by secret paths through the forests. They did not
overtake them: and therefore, passing the Po suddenly in ships, they
ravaged all the country of the Laevans and Libuans; whence, as they
were returning with the spoil of the country, they fell in with the
Roman army on the borders of Liguria. A battle was begun with more
speed, and with greater fury, than if the parties had met with their
minds prepared, and at an appointed time and place. On this occasion
it appeared to what degree of violence anger can stimulate men; for
the Romans fought with such a desire of slaughter, rather than of
victory, that they scarcely left one of the enemy to carry the news of
their defeat. On account of these successes, when the letters of
the consuls were brought to Rome, a supplication for three days was
decreed. Soon after, Marcellus came to Rome, and had a triumph decreed
him by an unanimous vote of the senate. He triumphed, while in office,
over the Insubrians and Comans. The prospect of a triumph over
the Boians he left to his colleague, because his own arms had been
unfortunate in that country; those of his colleague, successful.
Large quantities of spoils, taken from the enemy, were carried in the
procession in captured chariots, and many military standards; also,
three hundred and twenty thousand _asses_ of brass,[1] two hundred
and thirty-four thousand of silver denarii,[2] stamped with a chariot.
Eighty _asses_[3] were bestowed on each foot soldier, and thrice that
value on each horseman and centurion.

[Footnote 1: 1033l. 6s. 8d.]

[Footnote 2: 2331l. 2s. 6d.]

[Footnote 3: 5s. 2-1/4d.]

38. During that year, king Antiochus, after having spent the winter
at Ephesus, took measures for reducing, under his dominion, all the
cities of Asia, which had formerly been members of the empire. As to
the rest, being either situated in plains, or having neither walls,
arms, nor men in whom they could confide, he supposed they would,
without difficulty, receive the yoke. But Smyrna and Lampsacus openly
asserted their independence: yet there was a danger that if what they
claimed were conceded to these, the rest of the cities in Aetolia and
Ionia would follow the example of Smyrna; and those on the Hellespont
that of Lampsacus. Wherefore he sent an army from Ephesus to invest
Smyrna; and ordered the troops, which were at Abydos, to leave there
only a small garrison, and to go and lay siege to Lampsacus. Nor did
he only alarm them by an exhibition of force. By sending ambassadors,
to make gentle remonstrances, and reprove the rashness and obstinacy
of their conduct, he endeavoured to give them hopes that they might
soon obtain the object of their wishes; but not until it should appear
clearly, both to themselves and to all the world, that they had gained
their liberty through the kindness of the king, and not by any violent
efforts of their own. In answer to which, they said, that "Antiochus
ought neither to be surprised nor displeased, if they did not very
patiently suffer the establishment of their liberty to be deferred to
a distant period." He himself, with his fleet, set sail from Ephesus
in the beginning of spring, and steered towards the Hellespont. His
army he transported to Madytus, a city in the Chersonese, and there
joined his land and sea forces together. The inhabitants having shut
their gates, he surrounded the walls with his troops; and when he was
just bringing up his machines to the walls, a capitulation was entered
into. This diffused such fear through the inhabitants of Sestus and
the other cities of the Chersonese, as induced them to submit. He
then came, with the whole of his united forces, by land and sea, to
Lysimachia; which finding deserted, and almost buried in ruins, (for
the Thracians had, a few years before, taken, sacked, and burned
it,) he conceived a wish to rebuild a city so celebrated, and so
commodiously situated. Accordingly, extending his care to every object
at once, he set about repairing the walls and houses, ransomed some
of the Lysimachians who were in captivity, sought out and brought home
others, who had fled and dispersed themselves through the Chersonese
and Hellespontus, enrolled new colonists, whom he invited by prospects
of advantages, and used every means to repeople it fully. At the same
time, that all fear of the Thracians might be removed, he went, in
person, with one half of the land forces, to lay waste the nearest
provinces of Thrace; leaving the other half, and all the crews of the
ships, employed in the repairs of the city.

39. About this time Lucius Cornelius, who had been commissioned by the
senate to accommodate the differences between the kings Antiochus and
Ptolemy, stopped at Selymbria; and, of the ten ambassadors, Publius
Lentulus from Bargylii, and Publius Villius and Lucius Terentius from
Thasus, came to Lysimachia. Hither came, likewise, Lucius Cornelius
from Selymbria, and a few days after Antiochus from Thrace. His first
meeting with the ambassadors, and an invitation which he afterwards
gave them, were friendly and hospitable; but when the business
intrusted to them and the present state of Asia, came to be treated
of, the minds of both parties were exasperated. The Romans did not
scruple to declare, that every one of his proceedings, from the time
when he set sail from Syria, was displeasing to the senate; and they
required restitution to be made, to Ptolemy, of all the cities which
had been under his dominion. "For, as to what related to the cities
which had been in the possession of Philip, and which Antiochus,
taking advantage of a season when Philip's attention was turned to the
war with Rome, had seized into his own hands, it would surely be an
intolerable hardship, if the Romans were to have undergone such toils
and dangers, on land and sea, for so many years, and Antiochus to
appropriate to himself the prizes of the war. But, though his coming
into Asia might be passed over unnoticed by the Romans, as a matter
not pertaining to them, yet when he proceeded so far as to pass over
into Europe with all his land and naval forces, how much was this
short of open war with the Romans? Doubtless, had he even passed into
Italy, he would deny that intention. But the Romans would not wait to
give him an opportunity of doing so."

40. To this the king replied, that "he wondered how it was, that the
Romans were in the habit of diligently inquiring what ought to be done
by king Antiochus; but never considered how far they themselves ought
to advance on land or sea. Asia was no concernment of the Romans, in
any shape; nor had they any more right to inquire what Antiochus did
in Asia, than Antiochus had to inquire what the Roman people did in
Italy. With respect to Ptolemy, from whom they complained that cities
had been taken, there was a friendly connexion subsisting between him
and Ptolemy, and he was taking measures to effect speedily a connexion
of affinity also; neither had he sought to acquire any spoils from the
misfortunes of Philip, nor had he come into Europe against the Romans,
_but to recover the cities and lands of the Chersonese, which, having
been the property of Lysimachus_,[1] he considered as part of his own
dominion; because, when Lysimachus was subdued, all things belonging
to him became, by the right of conquest, the property of Seleucus.
That, at times, when his predecessors were occupied by cares of
different kinds, Ptolemy first, and afterwards Philip, usurping the
rights of others, possessed themselves of several of these places, but
who could doubt that the Chersonese and the nearest parts of Thrace
belonged to Lysimachus? To restore these to their ancient state, was
the intent of his coming, and to build Lysimachia anew, (it having
been destroyed by an inroad of the Thracians,) in order that his son,
Seleucus, might have it for the seat of his empire."

[Footnote 1: Here is a chasm in the original, which is supplied from

41. These disputes had been carried on for several days, when a rumour
reached them, but without any sufficiently certain authority, that
Ptolemy was dead; which prevented the conferences coming to any issue:
for both parties made a secret of their having heard it; and Lucius
Cornelius, who was charged with the embassy to the two kings,
Antiochus and Ptolemy, requested to be allowed a short space of time,
in which he could have a meeting with the latter; because he wished
to arrive in Egypt before any change of measures should take place
in consequence of the new succession to the crown: while Antiochus
believed that Egypt would be his own, if at that time he should take
possession of it. Wherefore, having dismissed the Romans, and left
his son Seleucus, with the land forces, to finish the rebuilding of
Lysimachia, as he had intended to do, he sailed, with his whole fleet,
to Ephesus; sent ambassadors to Quinctius to treat with him about an
alliance, assuring him that the king would attempt no innovations,
and then, coasting along the shore of Asia, proceeded to Lycia. Having
learned at Patarae that Ptolemy was living, he dropped the design of
sailing to Egypt, but nevertheless steered towards Cyprus; and, when
he had passed the promontory of Chelidonium, was detained some little
time in Pamphylia, near the river Eurymedon, by a mutiny among his
rowers. When he had sailed thence as far as the headlands, as they are
called, of Sarus, such a dreadful storm arose as almost buried him
and his whole fleet in the deep. Many ships were broken to pieces, and
many cast on shore; many swallowed so entirely in the sea, that not
one man of their crews escaped to land. Great numbers of his men
perished on this occasion; not only persons of mean rank, rowers and
soldiers, but even of his particular friends in high stations. When he
had collected the relics of the general wreck, being in no capacity of
making an attempt on Cyprus, he returned to Seleucia, with a far less
numerous force than he had set out with. Here he ordered the ships
to be hauled ashore, for the winter was now at hand, and proceeded to
Antioch, where he intended to pass the winter.--In this posture stood
the affairs of the kings.

42. At Rome, in this year, for the first time, were created offices
called _triumviri epulones_;[1] these were Caius Licinius Lucullus,
who, as tribune, had proposed the law for their creation, Publius
Manlius, and Publius Porcius Laeca. These triumvirs, as well as
the pontiffs, were allowed by law the privilege of wearing the
purple-bordered gown. The body of the pontiffs had this year a warm
dispute with the city quaestors, Quintus Fabius Labeo and Lucius
Aurelius. Money was wanted; an order having been passed for making the
last payment to private persons of that which had been raised for the
support of the war; and the quaestors demanded it from the augurs and
pontiffs, because they had not contributed their share while the
war subsisted. The priests in vain appealed to the tribunes; and the
contribution was exacted for every year in which they had not paid.
During the same year two pontiffs died, and others were substituted
in their room: Marcus Marcellus, the consul, in the room of Caius
Sempronius Tuditanus, who had been a praetor in Spain; and Lucius
Valerius, in the room of Marcus Cornelius Cethegus. An augur also,
Quintius Fabius Maximus, died very young, before he had attained to
any public office; but no augur was appointed in his place during that
year. The consular election was then held by the consul Marcellus. The
persons chosen were, Lucius Valerius Flaccus and Marcus Porcius Cato.
Then were elected praetors, Caius Fabricius Luscinus, Caius Atinius
Labeo, Cneius Manlius Vulso, Appius Claudius Nero, Publius Manlius,
and Publius Porcius Laeca. The curule aediles, Marcus Fulvius Nobilior
and Caius Flaminius, made a distribution to the people of one million
pecks of wheat, at the price of two asses. This corn the Sicilians had
brought to Rome, out of respect to Caius Flaminius and his father;
and he gave share of the credit to his colleague. The Roman games
were solemnized with magnificence, and exhibited thrice entire. The
plebeian aediles, Cneius Domitius Aenobarbus and Caius Scribonius,
chief curio, brought many farmers of the public pastures to trial
before the people. Three of these were convicted; and out of the money
accruing from fines imposed on them, they built a temple of Faunus in
the island. The plebeian games were exhibited for two days, and there
was a feast on occasion of the games.

[Footnote 1: It was their office to regulate the feasts of the gods.]

43. Lucius Valerius Flaccus and Marcus Porcius, on the ides of March,
the day of their entering into office, consulted the senate respecting
the provinces; who resolved, that "whereas the war in Spain was grown
so formidable, as to require a consular army and commander; it was
their opinion, therefore, that the consuls should either settle
between themselves, or cast lots, for Hither Spain and Italy as
their provinces. That he to whom Spain fell should carry with him two
legions, five thousand of the Latin confederates, and five hundred
horse; together with a fleet of twenty ships of war. That the other
consul should raise two legions; for these would be sufficient to
maintain tranquillity in the province of Gaul, as the spirits of the
Insubrians and Boians had been broken the year before." The lots gave
Spain to Cato, and Italy to Valerius. The praetors then cast lots
for their provinces: to Caius Fabricius Luscinus fell the city
jurisdiction; Caius Atinius Labeo obtained the foreign; Cneius Manlius
Vulso, Sicily; Appius Claudius Nero, Farther Spain; Publius Porcius
Laeca, Pisa, in order that he might be at the back of the Ligurians;
and Publius Manlius was sent into Hither Spain, as an assistant to
the consul. Quinctius was continued in command for the year, as
apprehensions were entertained, not only of Antiochus and the
Aetolians, but likewise of Nabis, tyrant of Lacedaemon; and it was
ordered that he should have two legions, for which, if there was any
necessity for a further supply, the consuls were ordered to raise
recruits, and send them into Macedonia. Appius Claudius was permitted
to raise, in addition to the legion which Quintius Fabius had
commanded, two thousand foot and two hundred horse. The like number of
new-raised foot and horse was assigned to Publius Manlius for Hither
Spain; and the legion was given to him which had been under the
command of Minucius, the praetor. To Publius Porcius Laeca, for
Etruria, near Pisa, were decreed two thousand foot and five hundred
horse, out of the army in Gaul. Sempronius Longus was continued in
command in Sardinia.

44. The provinces being thus distributed, the consuls, before their
departure from the city, were ordered, in accordance with a decree
of the pontiffs, to proclaim a sacred spring, which Aulus Cornelius
Mammula, praetor, had vowed in pursuance of a vote of the senate, and
an order of the people, in the consulate of Cneius Servilius and Caius
Flaminius. It was celebrated twenty-one years after the vow had been
made. About the same time, Caius Claudius Pulcher, son of Appius,
was chosen and inaugurated into the office of augur, in the room of
Quintus Fabius Maximus, who died the year before. While people, in
general, wondered that, though Spain had arisen in arms, they were
neglecting the war, a letter was brought from Quintus Minucius,
announcing "that he had fought a pitched battle with the Spanish
generals, Budar and Besasis, near the town of Tura, and had gained the
victory: that twelve thousand of the enemy were slain; their general,
Budar, taken; and the rest routed and dispersed." After the reading of
this letter less alarm prevailed with respect to Spain, where a very
formidable war had been apprehended. The whole anxiety of the public
was directed towards king Antiochus, especially after the arrival
of the ten ambassadors. These, after relating the proceedings with
Philip, and the conditions on which peace had been granted him, gave
information, that "there still subsisted a war of no less magnitude to
be waged with Antiochus; that he had come over into Europe with a very
numerous fleet and a powerful army; that, had not a delusive prospect
of an opportunity of invading Egypt, raised by a more delusive rumour,
diverted him to another quarter, all Greece would have quickly been
involved in the flames of war. Nor would even the Aetolians remain
quiet, a race as well restless by nature as full of anger against the
Romans. That, besides, there was another evil, of a most dangerous
nature, lurking in the bowels of Greece: Nabis, tyrant at present
of Lacedaemon, but who would soon if suffered, become tyrant of
all Greece, equalling in avarice and cruelty all the tyrants most
remarkable in history. For, if he were allowed to keep possession of
Argos, which served as a citadel commanding the Peloponnesus, when the
Roman armies should be brought home to Italy, Greece would have been
in vain delivered out of bondage to Philip; because, instead of that
king, who, supposing no other difference, resided at a distance, she
would have for a master, a tyrant, close to her side."

45. On this intelligence being received from men of such respectable
authority, and who had, besides, examined into all the matters which
were reported, the senate, although they deemed the business relating
to Antiochus the more important, yet, as the king had, for some
reason or other, gone home into Syria, they thought that the affair
respecting the tyrant ought to be more promptly attended to. After
debating, for a long time, whether they should judge the grounds which
they had at present sufficient whereon a declaration of war should be
decreed, or whether they should empower Titus Quinctius to act, in the
case respecting Nabis the Lacedaemonian, in such manner as he should
judge conducive to the public interest; they left it in his hands. For
they thought the business of such a nature, that whether expedited or
delayed, it could not very materially affect the general interest
of the Roman people. It was deemed more important to endeavour to
discover what line of conduct Hannibal and the Carthaginians would
pursue, in case of a war breaking out with Antiochus. Persons of the
faction which opposed Hannibal wrote continually to their several
friends, among the principal men in Rome, that "messages and letters
were sent by Hannibal to Antiochus, and that envoys came secretly from
the king to him. That, as some wild beasts can never be tamed, so
the disposition of this man was irreclaimable and implacable. That
he sometimes complained, that the state was debilitated by ease and
indolence, and lulled by sloth into a lethargy, from which nothing
could rouse it but the sound of arms." These accounts were deemed
probable, when people recollected the former war, which had not more
been carried on than at first set on foot by the efforts of that
single man. Besides, he had by a recent act provoked the resentment of
many men in power.

46. The order of judges possessed, at that time, absolute power in
Carthage; and this was owing chiefly to their holding the office
during life. The property, character, and life of every man was in
their disposal. He who incurred the displeasure of one of that order,
found an enemy in every one of them; nor were accusers wanting in a
court where the justices were disposed to condemn. While they were
in possession of this despotism, (for they did not exercise their
exorbitant power constitutionally,) Hannibal was elected praetor and
he summoned the quaestor before him. The quaestor disregarded the
summons, for he was of the opposite faction; and besides, as the
practice was that, after the quaestorship men were advanced into the
order of judges, the most powerful of all, he already assumed a spirit
suited to the powers which he was shortly to possess. Hannibal, highly
offended Hereat, sent an officer to apprehend the quaestor; and,
bringing him forth into an assembly of the people, he made heavy
charges not against him alone, but on the whole order of judges; in
consequence of whose arrogance and power neither the magistracy nor
the laws availed any thing. Then perceiving that his discourse was
with willing ears attended to, and that the conduct of those men was
incompatible with the freedom of the lowest classes, he proposed a
law, and procured it to be enacted, that the "judges should be
elected annually; and that no person should hold the office two years
successively." But, whatever degree of favour he acquired among
the commons by this proceeding, he roused, in a great part of the
nobility, an equal degree of resentment. To this he added another act,
which, while it was for the advantage of the people, provoked personal
enmity against himself. The public revenues were partly wasted through
neglect, partly embezzled, and divided among some leading men and
magistrates; insomuch, that there was not money sufficient for the
regular annual payment of the tribute to the Romans, so that private
persons seemed to be threatened with a heavy tax.

47. When Hannibal had informed himself of the amount of the revenues
arising from taxes and port duties, for what purposes they were
issued from the treasury, what proportion of them was consumed by
the ordinary expenses of the state, and how much was alienated by
embezzlement; he asserted in an assembly of the people, that if
payment were enforced of the residuary funds, the taxes might be
remitted to the subjects; and that the state would still be rich
enough to pay the tribute to the Romans: which assertion he proved
to be true. But now those persons who, for several years past, had
maintained themselves by plundering the public, were greatly enraged;
as if this were ravishing from them their own property, and not as
dragging out of their hands their ill-gotten spoil. Accordingly, they
instigated the Romans against Hannibal, who were seeking a pretext
for indulging their hatred against him. A strenuous opposition was,
however, for a long time made to this by Scipio Africanus, who
thought it highly unbecoming the dignity of the Roman people to make
themselves a party in the animosities and charges against Hannibal;
to interpose the public authority among factions of the Carthaginians,
not deeming it sufficient to have conquered that commander in the
field, but to become as it were his prosecutors[1] in a judicial
process, and preferring an action against him. Yet at length the point
was carried, that an embassy should be sent to Carthage to represent
to the senate there, that Hannibal, in concert with king Antiochus,
was forming plans for kindling a war. Three ambassadors were sent,
Caius Servilius, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, and Quintus Terentius
Culleo. These, when they had arrived at Carthage, by the advice of
Hannibal's enemies, ordered, that any who inquired the cause of
their coming should be told, that they came to determine the disputes
subsisting between the Carthaginians and Masinissa, king of Numidia;
and this was generally believed. But Hannibal was not ignorant that he
was the sole object aimed at by the Romans; and that, though they
had granted peace to the Carthaginians, their war against him,
individually, remained irreconcilable. He therefore determined to
give way to fortune and the times; and having already made every
preparation for flight, he showed himself that day in the forum, in
order to guard against suspicion; and, as soon as it grew dark, went
in his common dress to one of the gates, with his two attendants, who
knew nothing of his intention.

[Footnote 1: _Subscribere actioni_ is to join the prosecutor as an
assistant; and the prosecutors were obliged _calumniam jurare_, to
swear that they did not carry on the prosecution through malice, or
a vexatious design. Scipio, therefore, means to reprobate the
interference of the Roman state, which could bring it into the
situation of a common prosecutor in a court of justice.]

48. Finding horses in readiness at a spot where he had ordered, he
traversed by night a district which the Africans denominated Byzacium,
and arrived, in the morning of the following day, at a castle of his
own between Acholla and Thapsus. There a ship, ready fitted out and
furnished with rowers, took him on board. In this manner did Hannibal
leave Africa, lamenting the misfortunes of his country oftener than
his own. He sailed over, the same day, to the island of Cercina, where
he found in the port a number of merchant ships, belonging to the
Phoenicians, with their cargoes; and on landing was surrounded by a
concourse of people, who came to pay their respects to him; on which
he gave orders that, in answer to any inquiries, it should be said
that he had been sent as ambassador to Tyre. Fearing, however, lest
some of these ships might sail in the night to Thapsus or Adrumetum,
and carry information of his having been seen at Cercina, he ordered
a sacrifice to be prepared, and the masters of the ships, with the
merchants, to be invited to the entertainment, and that the sails and
yards should be collected out of the ships to form a shade on shore
for the company at supper, as it happened to be the middle of summer.
The feast of the day was as sumptuous, and well attended, as the time
and circumstances allowed; and the entertainment was prolonged, with
plenty of wine, until late in the night. As soon as Hannibal saw an
opportunity of escaping the notice of those who were in the harbour,
he set sail. The rest were fast asleep, nor was it early, next day,
when they arose from their sleep, full of the illness of intoxication;
and then, when it was too late, they set about replacing the sails in
the ships, and fitting up the rigging, which employed several hours.
At Carthage, those who were accustomed to visit Hannibal met in a
crowd, at the porch of his house; and when it was publicly known that
he was not to be found, the whole multitude assembled in the forum,
eager to gain intelligence of the man who was considered as the first
in the state. Some surmised that he had fled, as the case was; others,
that he had been put to death through the treachery of the Romans;
and there was visible in the expression of their countenances, that
variety which might naturally be expected in a state divided into
factions, whereof each supported a different interest. At length
intelligence was brought, that he had been seen at Cercina.

49 The Roman ambassadors represented to the council, that "proof had
been laid before the senate at Rome, that formerly king Philip had
been moved, principally by the instigation of Hannibal, to make war on
the Roman people; and that lately, Hannibal had, besides, sent letters
and messages to king Antiochus, that he had entered into plans for
driving Carthage to revolt, and that he had now gone no whither but to
king Antiochus. That he was a man who would never be content, until
he had excited war in every part of the globe. That such conduct ought
not to be suffered to pass with impunity, if the Carthaginians wished
to convince the Roman people that none of those things were done
with their consent, or with the approbation of the state." The
Carthaginians answered, that they were ready to do whatever the Romans
required them.

Hannibal, after a prosperous voyage, arrived at Tyre; where, as a man
illustrated by every description of honours, he was received by those
founders of Carthage, as if in a second native country, and here he
staid a few days. He then sailed to Antioch; where, hearing that the
king had already left the place, he procured an interview with his
son, who was celebrating the solemnity of the games at Daphne, and
who treated him with much kindness; after which, he set sail without
delay. At Ephesus, he overtook the king, who was still hesitating in
his mind, and undetermined respecting a war with Rome: but the
arrival of Hannibal proved an incentive of no small efficacy to the
prosecution of that design. At the same time, the inclinations of the
Aetolians also were alienated from the Roman alliance in consequence
of the senate having referred to Quinctius their ambassadors, who
demanded Pharsalus and Leucas, and some other cities, in conformity
with the first treaty.


_The Oppian law, respecting the dress of the women, after much
debate, repealed, notwithstanding it was strenuously supported
by Marcus Porcius Cato, the consul. The consul's successes in
Spain. Titus Quinctius Flamininus finishes the war with the
Lacedaemonians and the tyrant Nabis; makes peace with them,
and restores liberty to Argos. Separate seats at the public
games, for the first time, appointed for the senator. Colonies
sent forth. Marcus Porcius Cato triumphs on account of his
successes in Spain. Further successes in Spain against the
Boians and Insubrian Gauls. Titus Quinctius Flamininus,
having subdued Philip, king of Macedonia, and Nabis, the
Lacedaemonian tyrant, and restored all Greece to freedom,
triumphs for three days. Carthaginian ambassadors bring
intelligence of the hostile designs of Antiochus and

1. Amid the serious concerns of important wars, either scarcely
brought to a close or impending, an incident intervened, trivial
indeed to be mentioned, but which, through the zeal of the parties
concerned, issued in a violent contest. Marcus Fundanius and Lucius
Valerius, plebeian tribunes, proposed to the people the repealing of
the Oppian law. This law, which had been introduced by Caius Oppias,
plebeian tribune, in the consulate of Quintus Fabius and Tiberius
Sempronius, during the heat of the Punic war, enacted that "no woman
should possess more than half an ounce of gold, or wear a garment of
various colours, or ride in a carriage drawn by horses, in a city,
or any town, or any place nearer thereto than one mile; except on
occasion of some public religious solemnity." Marcus and Publius
Junius Brutus, plebeian tribunes, supported the Oppian law, and
declared, that they would never suffer it to be repealed; while
many of the nobility stood forth to argue for and against the motion
proposed. The Capitol was filled with crowds, who favoured or opposed
the law; nor could the matrons be kept at home, either by advice or
shame, nor even by the commands of their husbands; but beset every
street and pass in the city, beseeching the men as they went down to
the forum, that in the present flourishing state of the commonwealth,
when the private fortune of all was daily increasing they would suffer
the women to have their former ornaments of dress restored. This
throng of women increased daily, for they arrived even from the
country towns and villages; and they had at length the boldness to
come up to the consuls, praetors, and magistrates, to urge their
request. One of the consuls, however, they found especially
inexorable--Marcus Porcius Cato, who, in support of the law proposed
to be repealed, spoke to this effect:--

2. "If, Romans, every individual among us had made it a rule to
maintain the prerogative and authority of a husband with respect to
his own wife, we should have less trouble with the whole sex. But now,
our privileges, overpowered at home by female contumacy, are, even
here in the forum, spurned and trodden under foot; and because we are
unable to withstand each separately, we now dread their collective
body. I was accustomed to think it a fabulous and fictitious tale,
that, in a certain island, the whole race of males was utterly
extirpated by a conspiracy of the women. But the utmost danger may be
apprehended equally from either sex, if you suffer cabals, assemblies,
and secret consultations to be held: scarcely, indeed, can I
determine, in my own mind, whether the act itself, or the precedent
that it affords, is of more pernicious tendency. The latter of these
more particularly concerns us consuls, and the other magistrates:
the former, yourselves, my fellow-citizens. For, whether the measure
proposed to your consideration be profitable to the state or not, is
to be determined by you, who are about to go to the vote. As to the
outrageous behaviour of these women, whether it be merely an act of
their own, or owing to your instigations, Marcus Fundanius and Lucius
Valerius, it unquestionably implies culpable conduct in magistrates. I
know not whether it reflects greater disgrace on you, tribunes, or on
the consuls: on you certainly, if you have, on the present occasion,
brought these women hither for the purpose of raising tribunitian
seditions; on us, if we suffer laws to be imposed on us by a secession
of women, as was done formerly by that of the common people. It was
not without painful emotions of shame, that I, just now, made my way
into the forum through the midst of a band of women. Had I not been
restrained by respect for the modesty and dignity of some individuals
among them, rather than of the whole number, and been unwilling that
they should be seen rebuked by a consul, I should have said to them,
'What sort of practice is this, of running out into public, besetting
the streets, and addressing other women's husbands? Could not
each have made the same request to her husband at home? Are your
blandishments more seducing in public than in private; and with other
women's husbands, than with your own? Although if the modesty of
matrons confined them within the limits of their own rights, it did
not become you, even at home, to concern yourselves about what laws
might be passed or repealed here.' Our ancestors thought it not
proper that women should perform any, even private business, without
a director; but that they should be ever under the control of parents,
brothers, or husbands. We, it seems, suffer them, now, to interfere in
the management of state affairs, and to introduce themselves into the
forum, into general assemblies, and into assemblies of election. For,
what are they doing, at this moment, in your streets and lanes? What,
but arguing, some in support of the motion of the plebeian tribunes;
others, for the repeal of the law? Will you give the reins to their
intractable nature, and their uncontrolled passions, and then expect
that themselves should set bounds to their licentiousness, when you
have failed to do so? This is the smallest of the injunctions laid on
them by usage or the laws, all which women bear with impatience: they
long for liberty; or rather, to speak the truth, for unbounded freedom
in every particular. For what will they not attempt, if they now come
off victorious?

3. "Recollect all the institutions respecting the sex, by which
our forefathers restrained their undue freedom, and by which they
subjected them to their husbands; and yet, even with the help of all
these restrictions, you can scarcely keep them within bounds. If,
then, you suffer them to throw these off one by one, to tear them all
asunder, and, at last, to be set on an equal footing with yourselves,
can you imagine that they will be any longer tolerable by you? The
moment they have arrived at an equality with you, they will have
become your superiors. But, forsooth, they only object to any new
law being made against them: they mean to deprecate, not justice,
but severity. Nay, their wish is, that a law which you have admitted,
established by your suffrages, and confirmed by the practice and
experience of so many years to be beneficial, should now be repealed;
that is, that, by abolishing one law, you should weaken all the
rest. No law perfectly suits the convenience of every member of the
community: the only consideration is, whether, upon the whole, it be
profitable to the greater part. If because a law proves obnoxious to
a private individual, that circumstance should destroy and sweep it
away, to what purpose is it for the community to enact general laws,
which those, with reference to whom they were passed, could presently
repeal? I should like, however, to hear what this important affair
is which has induced the matrons thus to run out into public in this
excited manner, scarcely restraining from pushing into the forum and
the assembly of the people. Is it to solicit that their parents, their
husbands, children, and brothers may be ransomed from captivity
under Hannibal? By no means: and far be ever from the commonwealth so
unfortunate a situation. Yet, even when such was the case, you refused
this to their prayers. But it is not duty, nor solicitude for their
friends; it is religion that has collected them together. They
are about to receive the Idaean Mother, coming out of Phrygia from
Pessinus! What motive, that even common decency will allow to be
mentioned, is pretended for this female insurrection? Why, say they,
that we may shine in gold and purple; that, both on festal and common
days, we may ride through the city in our chariots, triumphing over
vanquished and abrogated law, after having captured and wrested from
you your suffrages; and that there may be no bounds to our expenses
and our luxury.

4. "Often have you heard me complain of the profuse expenses of the
women--often of those of the men; and that not only of men in private
stations, but of the magistrates: and that the state was endangered by
two opposite vices, luxury and avarice; those pests, which have
been the ruin of all great empires. These I dread the more, as the
circumstances of the commonwealth grow daily more prosperous and
happy; as the empire increases; as we have now passed over into Greece
and Asia, places abounding with every kind of temptation that can
inflame the passions; and as we have begun to handle even royal
treasures: so much the more do I fear that these matters will bring
us into captivity, rather than we them. Believe me, those statues from
Syracuse were brought into this city with hostile effect. I already
hear too many commending and admiring the decorations of Athens and
Corinth, and ridiculing the earthen images of our Roman gods that
stand on the fronts of their temples. For my part I prefer these
gods,--propitious as they are, and I hope will continue to be, if
we allow them to remain in their own mansions. In the memory of
our fathers, Pyrrhus, by his ambassador Cineas, made trial of the
dispositions, not only of our men, but of our women also, by offers of
presents: at that time the Oppian law, for restraining female luxury,
had not been made; and yet not one woman accepted a present. What,
think you, was the reason? That for which our ancestors made no
provision by law on this subject: there was no luxury existing which
needed to be restrained. As diseases must necessarily be known before
their remedies, so passions come into being before the laws which
prescribe limits to them. What called forth the Licinian law,
restricting estates to five hundred acres, but the unbounded desire
for enlarging estates? What the Cincian law, concerning gifts and
presents, but that the plebeians[1] had become vassals and tributaries
to the senate? It is not therefore in any degree surprising, that no
want of the Oppian law, or of any other, to limit the expenses of the
women, was felt at that time, when they refused to receive gold and
purple that was thrown in their way, and offered to their acceptance.
If Cineas were now to go round the city with his presents, he would
find numbers of women standing in the public streets to receive them.
There are some passions, the causes or motives of which I can no
way account for. For that that should not be lawful for you which
is permitted to another, may perhaps naturally excite some degree of
shame or indignation; yet, when the dress of all is alike, why should
any one of you fear, lest she should not be an object of observation?
Of all kinds of shame, the worst, surely, is the being ashamed of
frugality or of poverty; but the law relieves you with regard to both;
since that which you have not it is unlawful for you to possess. This
equalization, says the rich matron, is the very thing that I cannot
endure. Why do not I make a figure, distinguished with gold and
purple? Why is the poverty of others concealed under this cover of
a law, so that it should be thought that, if the law permitted, they
would have such things as they are not now able to procure? Romans,
do you wish to excite among your wives an emulation of this sort,
that the rich should wish to have what no other can have; and that
the poor, lest they should be despised as such should extend their
expenses beyond their means? Be assured, that when a woman once begins
to be ashamed of what she ought not to be ashamed of, she will not be
ashamed of what she ought. She who can, will purchase out of her own
purse; she who cannot, will ask her husband. Unhappy is the husband,
both he who complies with the request, and he who does not; for what
he will not give himself, he will see given by another. Now, they
openly solicit favours from other women's husbands; and, what is more,
solicit a law and votes. From some they obtain them; although, with
regard to yourself, your property, or your children, they would be
inexorable. So soon as the law shall cease to limit the expenses of
your wife, you yourself will never be able to do so. Do not suppose
that the matter will hereafter be in the same state in which it was
before the law was made on the subject. It is safer that a wicked man
should even never be accused, than that he should be acquitted; and
luxury, if it had never been meddled with, would be more tolerable
than it will be, now, like a wild beast, irritated by having been
chained, and then let loose. My opinion is, that the Oppian law ought,
on no account, to be repealed. Whatever determination you may come to,
I pray all the gods to prosper it."

[Footnote 1: Previous to the passing of the Cincian law, about ten
years before this time, the advocates who pleaded in the courts
received fees and presents: and as all or most of these were senators,
the plebeians are here represented as tributary to the senate. By the
above law they were forbidden to receive either fees or presents.]

5. After him the plebeian tribunes, who had declared their intention
of protesting, added a few words to the same purport. Then Lucius
Valerius spoke thus in support of the measure which he himself had
introduced:--"If private persons only had stood forth to argue for and
against the proposition which we have submitted to your consideration,
I for my part, thinking enough to have been said on both sides, would
have waited in silence for your determination. But since a person of
most respectable judgment, the consul, Marcus Porcius, has reprobated
our motion, not only by the influence of his opinion, which, had he
said nothing, would carry very great weight, but also in a long and
careful discourse, it becomes necessary to say a few words in answer.
He has spent more words in rebuking the matrons, than in arguing
against the measure proposed; and even went so far as to mention a
doubt, whether the matrons had committed the conduct which he censured
in them spontaneously or at our instigation. I shall defend the
measure, not ourselves: for the consul threw out those insinuations
against us, rather for argument's sake than as a serious charge.
He has made use of the terms cabal and sedition; and, sometimes,
secession of the women: because the matrons had requested of you, in
the public streets, that, in this time of peace, when the commonwealth
is flourishing and happy, you would repeal a law that was made against
them during a war, and in times of distress. I know that these and
other similar strong expressions, for the purpose of exaggeration, are
easily found; and, mild as Marcus Cato is in his disposition, yet in
his speeches he is not only vehement, but sometimes even austere. What
new thing, let me ask, have the matrons done in coming out into public
in a body on an occasion which nearly concerns themselves? Have
they never before appeared in public? I will turn over your own
Antiquities,[1] and quote them against you. Hear, now how often they
have done the same, and always to the advantage of the public. In the
earliest period of our history, even in the reign of Romulus, when the
Capitol had been taken by the Sabines, and a pitched battle was fought
in the forum, was not the fight stopped by the interposition of the
matrons between the two armies? When, after the expulsion of the
kings, the legions of the Volscians, under the command of Marcius
Coriolanus, were encamped at the fifth stone, did not the matrons turn
away that army, which would have overwhelmed this city? Again, when
Rome was taken by the Gauls, whence was the city ransomed? Did not
the matrons, by unanimous agreement, bring their gold into the public
treasury? In the late war, not to go back to remote antiquity, when
there was a want of money, did not the funds of the widows supply the
treasury? And when even new gods were invited hither to the relief of
our distressed affairs, did not the matrons go out in a body to the
sea-shore to receive the Idaean Mother? The cases, you will say, are
dissimilar. It is not my purpose to produce similar instances; it is
sufficient that I clear these women of having done any thing new. Now,
what nobody wondered at their doing in cases which concerned all in
common, both men and women, can we wonder at their doing in a case
peculiarly affecting themselves? But what have they done? We have
proud ears, truly, if, though masters disdain not the prayers of
slaves, we are offended at being asked a favour by honourable women.

[Footnote 1: Alluding to a treatise by Cato, upon the antiquities of
Italy, entitled "Origines," which is the word used here by Valerius.]

6. "I come now to the question in debate, with respect to which the
consul's argument is twofold: for, first, he is displeased at the
thought of any law whatever being repealed; and then, particularly,
of that law which was made to restrain female luxury. His former
argument, in support of the laws in general, appeared highly becoming
of a consul; and that on the latter, against luxury, was quite
conformable to the rigid strictness of his morals. There is,
therefore, a danger lest, unless I shall show what, on each subject,
was inconclusive, you may probably be led away by error. For while
I acknowledge, that of those laws which are instituted, not for any
particular time, but for eternity, on account of their perpetual
utility, not one ought to be repealed; unless either experience evince
it to be useless, or some state of the public affairs render it so; I
see, at the same time, that those laws which particular seasons have
required, are mortal, (if I may use the term,) and changeable with the
times. Those made in peace are generally repealed by war; those made
in war, by peace; as in the management of a ship, some implements are
useful in good weather, others in bad. As these two kinds are thus
distinct in their nature, of which kind does that law appear to be
which we now propose to repeal? Is it an ancient law of the kings,
coeval with the city itself? Or, what is next to that, was it written
in the twelve tables by the decemvirs, appointed to form a code of
laws? Is it one, without which our ancestors thought that the honour
of the female sex could not be preserved? and, therefore, have we also
reason to fear, that, together with it, we should repeal the modesty
and chastity of our females? Now, is there a man among you who does
not know that this is a new law, passed not more than twenty years
ago, in the consulate of Quintus Fabius and Tiberius Sempronius? And
as, without it, our matrons sustained, for such a number of years,
the most virtuous characters, what danger is there of their abandoning
themselves to luxury on its being repealed? For, if that law had been
passed for the purpose of setting a limit to the passions of the sex,
there would be reason to fear lest the repeal of it might operate as
an incitement to them. But the real reason of its being passed,
the time itself will show Hannibal was then in Italy, victorious at
Cannae: he already held possession of Tarentum, of Arpi, of Capua, and
seemed ready to bring up his army to the city of Rome. Our allies
had deserted us. We had neither soldiers to fill up the legions, nor
seamen to man the fleet, nor money in the treasury. Slaves, who were
to be employed as soldiers, were purchased on condition of their price
being paid to the owners at the end of the war. The farmers of the
revenues had declared, that they would contract to supply corn and
other matters, which the exigencies of the war required, to be paid
for at the same time. We gave up our slaves to the oar, in numbers
proportioned to our properties, and paid them out of our own incomes.
All our gold and silver, in imitation of the example given by the
senators, we dedicated to the use of the public. Widows and minors
lodged their money in the treasury. It was provided by law that we
should not keep in our houses more than a certain quantity of wrought
gold or silver, or more than a certain sum of coined silver or brass.
At such a time as this, were the matrons so eagerly engaged in
luxury and dress, that the Oppian law was requisite to repress such
practices; when the senate, because the sacrifice of Ceres had been
omitted, in consequence of all the matrons being in mourning, ordered
the mourning to end in thirty days? Who does not clearly see, that
the poverty and distress of the state, requiring that every private
person's money should be converted to the use of the public, enacted
that law, with intent that it should remain in force so long only as
the cause of enacting the law should remain? For if all the decrees
of the senate and orders of the people, which were then made to answer
the necessities of the times, are to be of perpetual obligation, why
do we refund their money to private persons? Why do we contract for
public works for ready money? Why are not slaves brought to serve in
the army? Why do not we, private subjects, supply rowers as we did

7. "Shall, then, every other class of people, every individual, feel
the improvement in the condition of the state; and shall our wives
alone reap none of the fruits of the public peace and tranquillity?
Shall we men have the use of purple, wearing the purple-bordered gown
in magistracies and priests' offices? Shall our children wear gowns
bordered with purple? Shall we allow the privilege of wearing the toga
praetexta to the magistrates of the colonies and borough towns, and
to the very lowest of them here at Rome, the superintendents of the
streets; and not only of wearing such an ornament of distinction while
alive, but of being buried with it when dead; and shall we interdict
the use of purple to women alone? And when you, the husband, may wear
purple in your great coat, will you not suffer your wife to have a
purple mantle? Shall your horse be more splendidly caparisoned than
your wife is clothed? But with respect to purple, which will be worn
out and consumed, I can see an unjust, indeed, but still a sort of
reason, for parsimony; but with respect to gold, in which, excepting
the price of the workmanship, there is no waste, what objection can
there be? It rather serves as a reserve fund for both public and
private exigencies, as you have already experienced. He says there
will be no emulation between individuals, when no one is possessed
of it. But, in truth, it will be a source of grief and indignation to
all, when they see those ornaments allowed to the wives of the Latin
confederates of which they themselves have been deprived; when they
see those riding through the city in their carriages, and decorated
with gold and purple, while they are obliged to follow on foot, as
if the seat of empire were in the country of the others, not in their
own. This would hurt the feelings even of men, and what do you think
must be its effect on those of weak women, whom even trifles can
disturb? Neither offices of state, nor of the priesthood, nor
triumphs, nor badges of distinction, nor military presents, nor
spoils, can fall to their share. Elegance of appearance, and
ornaments, and dress, these are the women's badges of distinction; in
these they delight and glory; these our ancestors called the women's
world. What else do they lay aside when in mourning, except their gold
and purple? And what else do they resume when the mourning is over?
How do they distinguish themselves on occasion of public thanksgivings
and supplications, but by adding unusual splendour of dress? But then,
(it may be said,) if you repeal the Oppian law, should you choose to
prohibit any of those particulars which the law at present prohibits,
you will not have it in your power; your daughters, wives, and even
the sisters of some, will be less under control. The bondage of
women is never shaken off without the loss of their friends; and they
themselves look with horror on that freedom which is purchased with
the condition of the widow or the orphan. Their wish is, that their
dress should be under your regulation, not under that of the law; and
it ought to be your wish to hold them in control and guardianship, not
in bondage; and to prefer the title of father or husband to that of
master. The consul just now made use of some invidious terms, calling
it a female sedition and secession; because, I suppose, there is
danger of their seizing the sacred mount, as formerly the angry
plebeians did; or the Aventine. Their feeble nature must submit
to whatever you think proper to enjoin; and, the greater power you
possess, the more moderate ought you to be in the exercise of your

8. Although all these considerations had been urged against the motion
and in its favour, the women next day poured out into public in much
greater numbers, and in a body beset the doors of the tribunes who had
protested against the measure of their colleagues; nor did they retire
until this intervention was withdrawn. There was then no further doubt
but that every one of the tribes would vote for the repeal of the law.
Thus was this law annulled, in the twentieth year after it had
been made. The consul Marcus Porcius, as soon as the Oppian law was
abolished, sailed immediately, with twenty-five ships of war, of which
five belonged to the allies, to the port of Luna, where he ordered the
troops to assemble; and having sent an edict along the sea-coast, to
collect ships of every description, at his departure from Luna he left
orders that they should follow him to the harbour of Pyrenaeus, as
he intended to proceed thence against the enemy with his collective
fleet. They accordingly, after sailing by the Ligurian mountains and
the Gallic bay, congregated together on the day appointed. From thence
they went to Rhoda, and forcibly dislodged a garrison of Spaniards
that were in that fortress. From Rhoda they proceeded with a
favourable wind to Emporiae, and there landed all the forces,
excepting the crews of the ships.

9. At that time, as at present, Emporiae consisted of two towns,
separated by a wall. One was inhabited by Greeks from Phocaea, whence
the Massilians also derive their origin; the other by Spaniards. The
Greek town, being open towards the sea, had but a small extent of
wall, not above four hundred paces in circuit; but the Spanish town,
being farther back from the sea, had a wall three thousand paces in
circumference. A third kind of inhabitants was added by the deified
Caesar settling a Roman colony there, after the final defeat of the
sons of Pompey. At present they are all incorporated in one mass; the
Spaniards first, and, at length, the Greeks; having been adopted
into the Roman citizenship. Whoever had, at that period, observed the
Greeks exposed on one side to the open sea, and on the other to the
Spaniards, a fierce and warlike race, would have wondered by what
cause they were preserved. Deficient in strength, they guarded against
danger by regular discipline; of which, among even more powerful
people, the best preservative is fear. That part of the wall which
faced the country, they kept strongly fortified, having but one gate,
at which some one of the magistrates was continually on guard. During
the night, a third part of the citizens kept watch on the walls,
posting their watches, and going their rounds, not merely from the
force of custom, or in compliance with the law, but with as much
vigilance as if an enemy were at their gates. They never admitted
any Spaniard into the city, nor did they go outside the walls without
precaution. The passage to the sea was open to every one: but, through
the gate, next to the Spanish town, none ever passed, but in a large
body; these were generally the third division, which had watched on
the walls the preceding night. The cause of their going out was this:
the Spaniards, ignorant of maritime affairs, were fond of trafficking
with them, and glad of an opportunity of purchasing, for their own
use, the foreign goods, which the others imported in their ships; and,
at the same time, of finding a market for the produce of their lands.
The desire of this mutual intercourse caused the Spanish town to be
freely open to the Greeks. They were thus the more protected as being
sheltered under the friendship of the Romans, which they cultivated
with as much cordial zeal, though not possessed of equal resources,
as the Massilians. On this account they received the consul, and his
army, with kindness and cordiality. Cato staid there a few days, until
he could learn what force the enemy had, and where they lay; and, not
to be idle during even that short delay, he spent the whole time in
exercising his men. It happened to be the season of the year when
the Spaniards had the corn in their barns. He therefore ordered
the purveyors not to purchase any corn, and sent them home to Rome,
saying, that the war would maintain itself. Then, setting out from
Emporiae, he laid waste the lands of the enemy with fire and sword,
spreading terror and flight through the whole country.

10. At the same time, as Marcus Helvius was going home from Farther
Spain, with an escort of six thousand men, given him by the praetor,
Appius Claudius, the Celtiberians, with a very numerous force, met
him near the city of Illiturgi. Valerius says, that they had twenty
thousand effective men; that twelve thousand of them were killed, the
town of Illiturgi taken, and all the adult males put to the sword.
Helvius, soon after, arrived at the camp of Cato; and as the region
was now free from enemies, he sent back the escort to Farther Spain,
and proceeded to Rome, where, on account of his successful services,
he entered the city with an ovation. He carried into the treasury, of
silver bullion, fourteen thousand pounds' weight; of coined, seventeen
thousand and twenty-three denarii;[1] and Oscan[2] denarii, one
hundred and twenty thousand four hundred and thirty-eight.[3] The
reason for which the senate refused him a triumph was, because he
fought under the auspices, and in the province, of another. He had
returned, moreover, two years after the expiration of his office,
because after he had resigned the government of the province to
Quintus Minucius, he was detained there during the succeeding year,
by a severe and tedious sickness he therefore entered the city in
ovation, only two months before his successor, Quintus Minucius,
enjoyed a triumph. The latter also brought into the treasury
thirty-four thousand eight hundred pounds' weight of silver,
seventy-eight thousand denarii,[4] and of Oscan denarii two hundred
and seventy-eight thousand.[5]

[Footnote 1: 549l. 14s.]

[Footnote 2: Osca, now Huesca, was a city in Spain, remarkable for
silver mine near it.]

[Footnote 3: 659l. 11s. 9-1/2d.]

[Footnote 4: 2430l. 11s. 3d.]

[Footnote 5: 8889l. 6s. 9d.]

11. Meanwhile, in Spain, the consul lay encamped at a small distance
from Emporiae. Thither came three ambassadors from Bilistages,
chieftain of the Ilergetians, one of whom was his son, representing,
that "their fortresses were besieged and that they had no hopes
of being able to hold out, unless the Roman troops came to their
assistance. Three thousand men," they said, "would be sufficient;" and
they added, that, "if such a force came to their aid, the enemy would
not keep their ground." To this the consul answered, that "he was
truly concerned for their danger and their fears; but that he had by
no means so great an amount of forces, as that, while there lay in his
neighbourhood such a powerful force of the enemy, with whom he daily
expected a general engagement, he could safely diminish his strength
by dividing his troops." The ambassadors, on hearing this, threw
themselves at the consul's feet, and with tears conjured him "not
to forsake them at such a perilous juncture. For, if rejected by the
Romans, to whom could they apply? They had no other allies, no other
hope on earth. They might have escaped the present hazard, if they had
consented to forfeit their faith, and to conspire with the rest; but
no menaces, no appearances of danger, had been able to shake their
constancy, because they hoped to find in the Romans abundant succour
and support. If there was no further prospect of this, if it was
refused them by the consul, they called gods and men to witness, that
reluctantly and under compulsion they must change sides, to avoid such
sufferings as the Saguntines had undergone; and that they would perish
together with the other states of Spain, rather than alone."

12. They were thus dismissed on that day without any positive answer.
During the following night, the consul's thoughts were greatly
perplexed and divided. He was unwilling to abandon these allies, yet
equally so to diminish his army, which might either oblige him to
decline a battle, or occasion danger in an engagement. He was firmly
resolved, however, not to lessen his forces, lest he should in the
mean time suffer some disgrace from the enemy; and therefore he
judged it expedient, instead of real succour, to hold out hopes to the
allies. For he considered that, in many cases, but especially in war,
mere appearances have had all the effect of realities; and that
a person, under a firm persuasion that he can command resources,
virtually has them; that by that very confidence he was insured in his
hopes and efforts. Next day he told the ambassadors, that "although
he was afraid to lend a part of his forces to others, and so to weaken
his own, yet that he was giving more attention to their circumstances
and danger than to his own." He then gave orders to the third part
of the soldiers of every cohort, to make haste and prepare victuals,
which they were to carry with them on board ships, and that the
vessels should be got in readiness against the third day. He desired
two of the ambassadors to carry an account of these proceedings to
Bilistages and the Ilergetians; but, by kind treatment and presents,
he prevailed on the chieftain's son to remain with him. The
ambassadors did not leave the place until they saw the troops embarked
on board the ships; then reporting this at home as a matter of
certainty, they spread, not only among their own people, but likewise
among the enemy, a confident assurance of the approach of Roman

13. The consul, when a specious appearance had been sufficiently
exhibited, ordered the soldiers to be recalled from the ships; and, as
the season of the year now approached when it would be proper to enter
on action, he pitched a winter camp at the distance of three miles
from Emporiae. From this post he frequently led out his troops to
ravage the enemy's country; sometimes to one quarter, sometimes to
another, as opportunity offered, leaving only a small guard in the
camp. They generally began their march in the night, that they might
proceed as far as possible from the camp, and surprise the enemy
unawares; and this practice disciplined the new-raised soldiers, and
great numbers of the enemy were cut off; so that they no longer dared
to venture beyond the walls of their forts. When he had made himself
thoroughly acquainted with the temper of the enemy, and of his own
men, he ordered the tribunes and the praefects, with all the horsemen
and centurions, to be called together, and addressed them thus: "The
time is arrived, which you have often wished for, when you might have
an opportunity of displaying your valour. Hitherto you have waged war
rather as marauders than as regular troops; you shall now meet your
enemies hand to hand, in regular fight. Henceforward you will have
it in your power, instead of pillaging country places, to exhaust the
treasures of cities. Our fathers, at a time when the Carthaginians
had in Spain both commanders and armies, and had themselves neither
commander nor soldiers there, nevertheless insisted on its being an
article of treaty, that the river Iberus should be the boundary of
their empire. Now, when two praetors of the Romans, when a consul, and
three armies are employed in Spain, and, for near ten years past, no
Carthaginian has been in either of its provinces, yet we have lost
that empire on the hither side of the Iberus. This it is your duty to
recover by your valour and arms; and to compel this nation, which is
in a state rather of giddy insurrection than of steady warfare, to
receive again the yoke which it has shaken off." After thus generally
exhorting them, he gave notice, that he intended to march by night to
the enemy's camp; and then dismissed them to take refreshment.

14. At midnight, after having given his attention to the auspices, he
began his march, that he might take possession of such ground as he
chose, before the enemy should observe him. Having led his troops
beyond their camp, he formed them in order of battle, and at the first
light sent three cohorts close to their very ramparts. The barbarians,
surprised at the Romans appearing on their rear, ran hastily to arms.
In the mean time, the consul observed to his men, "Soldiers, you have
no room for hope, but in your own courage; and I have, purposely,
taken care that it should be so. The enemy are between us and our
camp; behind us is an enemy's country. What is most honourable, is
likewise safest; namely, to place all our hopes in our own valour."
He then ordered the cohorts to retreat, in order to draw out the
barbarians by the appearance of flight. Every thing happened as he had
expected. The enemy, thinking that the Romans retired through fear,
rushed out of the gate, and filled the whole space between their
own camp and the line of their adversaries. While they were hastily
marshalling their troops, the consul, who had all his in readiness,
and in regular array, attacked them when in disorder. He caused the
cavalry from both wings to advance first to the charge: but those on
the right were immediately repulsed, and, retiring in disorder, spread
confusion among the infantry also. On seeing this, the consul ordered
two chosen cohorts to march round the right flank of the enemy, and
show themselves on their rear, before the two lines of infantry could
close. The alarm which this gave the enemy, which had been thrown to
a disadvantage by the cowardice of the Roman horse, restored the fight
to an equality. But such a panic had taken possession of both the
cavalry and infantry of the right wing, that the consul laid hold of
several with his own hand, and turned them about with their faces to
the enemy. As long as the fight was carried on with missile weapons,
success was doubtful; and on the right wing, where the disorder and
flight had first began, the Romans with difficulty kept their ground.
On their left wing, the barbarians were both hard pressed in in front;
and looked back, with timidity, at the cohorts that threatened their
rear. But when, after discharging their iron darts and large javelins,
they drew their swords, the battle, in a manner, began anew. They were
no longer wounded by random blows from a distance, but, closing foot
to foot, placed all their hope in courage and strength.

15. When the consul's men were now spent with fatigue, he reanimated
their courage by bringing up into the fight some subsidiary cohorts
from the second line. These formed a new front, and being fresh
themselves, and with fresh weapons attacking the wearied enemy in
the form of a wedge, by a furious onset they first forced their way
through them; and then, when they were once broken, scattered them and
put them to flight. They returned towards their camp across the fields
with all the speed they could make. When Cato saw the rout become
general, he rode back to the second legion, which had been posted in
reserve, and ordered the standards to be borne before it, and that it
should advance in quick motion, and attack the camp of the enemy. If
any of them, through too much eagerness, pushed forward beyond his
rank, he himself rode up and struck them with his javelin, and also
ordered the tribunes and centurions to chastise them. By this time the
camp of the enemy was attacked, though the Romans were kept off from
the works by stones, poles, and weapons of every sort. But, on the
arrival of the fresh legion, the assailants assumed new courage, and
the enemy fought with redoubled fury in defence of their rampart. The
consul attentively examined every place himself, that he might break
in at that quarter where he saw the weakest resistance. At a gate on
the left, he observed that the guard was thin, and thither he led the
first-rank men and spearmen of the second legion. The party posted
at the gate were not able to withstand their assault; while the rest,
seeing the enemy within the rampart, abandoned the defence of the
camp, and threw away their standards and arms. Great numbers were
killed at the gates, being stopped in the narrow passages by the
throng of their own men; and the soldiers of the second legion cut off
the hindmost, while the rest were plundering the camp. According to
the account of Valerius Antias, there were above forty thousand of
the enemy killed on that day. Cato himself, who was certainly no
disparager of his own merits, says that a great many were killed, but
he specifies no number.

16. The conduct of Cato on that day is judged deserving of
commendation in three particulars. First, in leading round his army so
far from his camp and fleet, as to fight the battle in the very middle
of the enemy, that his men might look for no safety but in their
courage. Secondly, in throwing the cohorts on the enemy's rear.
Thirdly, in ordering the second legion, when all the rest were
disordered by the eagerness of their pursuit, to advance at a full
pace to the gate of the camp, in compact and regular order under their
standards. He delayed not to improve his victory; but having sounded a
retreat, and brought back his men laden with spoil, he allowed them a
few hours of the night for rest; and then led them out to ravage the
country. They spread their depredations the wider, as the enemy were
dispersed in their flight; and this circumstance, no less than the
defeat of the preceding day, obliged the Spaniards of Emporiae,
and those of their neighbourhood, to make a submission. Many also,
belonging to other states, who had made their escape to Emporiae,
surrendered; all of whom the consul received with kindness, and after
refreshing them with victuals and wine, dismissed to their several
homes. He quickly decamped thence, and wherever the army proceeded on
its march, he was met by ambassadors, surrendering their respective
states; so that, by the time when he arrived at Tarraco, all Spain on
this side of the Ebro was in a state of perfect subjection; and the
Roman prisoners, and those of their allies and the Latin confederates,
who by various chances had fallen into the hands of the enemies in
Spain, were brought back by the barbarians, as an offering to the
consul. A rumour afterwards spread abroad, that Cato intended to lead
his army into Turditania; and it was given out, with equal falsehood,
that he meant to proceed to the remote inhabitants of the mountains.
On this groundless, unauthenticated report, seven forts of the
Bergistans revolted; but the Roman, marching thither, reduced them
to subjection without any battle worthy of narration. Not very long
after, when the consul returned to Tarraco, and before he removed
to any other place, the same persons revolted again. They were
again subdued; but, on this second reduction, met not the same mild
treatment; they were all sold by auction, that they might not any
oftener disturb the peace.

17. In the mean time, the praetor, Publius Manlius, having received
the army from Quintius Minucius, whom he had succeeded, and joined to
it the old army of Appius Claudius Nero, from Farther Spain, marched
into Turditania. Of all the Spaniards, the Turditanians are reckoned
the least warlike; nevertheless, relying on their great numbers, they
went to oppose the march of the Romans. The cavalry, having been sent
forward, at once broke their line; and with the infantry there was
hardly any conflict. The veteran soldiers, well acquainted with the
enemy and their manner of fighting, effectually decided the battle.
This engagement, however, did not terminate the war. The Turdulans
hired ten thousand Celtiberians, and prepared to carry on the war with
foreign troops. The consul, meanwhile, alarmed at the rebellion of
the Bergistans, and suspecting that the other states would act in
like manner when occasion offered, took away their arms from all the
Spaniards on this side of the Iberus; which proceeding affected them
so deeply, that many laid violent hands on themselves; this fierce
race considering that, without arms, life was of no value. When this
was reported to the consul, he summoned before him the senators of
every one of the states, to whom he spoke thus: "It is not more our
interest than it is your own, that you should not rebel; since your
insurrections have, hitherto, always drawn more mi fortune on the
Spaniards than labour on the Roman armies. To prevent such things
happening in future, I know but one method, which is, to put it out
of your power to rebel. I wish to effect this in the gentlest way, and
that you would assist me therein with your advice. I will follow none
with greater pleasure than what yourselves shall offer." They all
remaining silent, he told them that he would give them a few days'
time to consider the matter. When, on being called together, even in
the second meeting, they uttered not a word, in one day he razed the
walls of all their fortresses; and marching against those who had not
yet submitted, he received in every country, as he passed through,
the submission of all the neighbouring states. Segestica alone, an
important and opulent city, he reduced by works and engines.

18. Cato had greater difficulties to surmount, in subduing the enemy,
than had those commanders who came first into Spain; for this reason,
that the Spaniards, through disgust at the Carthaginian government,
came over to their side; whereas he had the task of enforcing their
submission to slavery, in a manner, after they had been in full
enjoyment of liberty. Besides, he found the whole province in a
state of commotion; insomuch, that some were in arms, and others were
compelled to join in the revolt by being besieged, nor would they
have been able to hold out any longer if they had not received timely
succour. But so vigorous was the spirit and capacity of the consul,
that there was no kind of business, whether great or small, which he
did not himself attend to and perform; and he not only planned and
ordered, but generally executed in person such measures as were
expedient; nor did he practise a more strict and rigorous discipline
over any one than over himself. In spare diet, watching, and labour,
he vied with the meanest of his soldiers; nor, excepting the honour of
his post, and the command, had he any peculiar distinction above the
rest of the army.

19. The Celtiberians, summoned forth by the enemy for hire, as above
mentioned, rendered the war in Turditania more difficult to the
praetor, Publius Manlius. The consul, therefore, in compliance with a
letter from the praetor, led his legions thither. The Celtiberians
and Turditanians were lying in separate camps at the approach of
the Romans, who began immediately to skirmish with the Turditanians,
making attacks on their advanced guards; and they constantly came
off victorious from every engagement, however rashly undertaken. The
consul ordered some military tribunes to enter into a conference with
the Celtiberians, and to offer them their choice of three proposals:
first, to come over, if they wished it, to the Romans, and receive
double the pay for which they had agreed with the Turditanians: the
second, to depart to their own homes, on receiving assurance, under
the sanction of the public faith, that it should not operate to their
injury that they had joined the enemies of the Romans: the third was,
that, if they were absolutely determined on war, they should appoint a
day and place to decide the matter with him by arms. The Celtiberians
desired a day's time for consideration; and an assembly was held, but
in great confusion, from the Turditanians mingling in it, so that no
resolution could be come to. Although it was uncertain whether
there was to be war or peace with the Celtiberians, the Romans,
nevertheless, just as though the latter were determined on, brought
provisions from the lands and forts of the enemy, and soon ventured
to go within their fortifications, relying on private truces, as
they would on a common intercourse established by authority. When the
consul found that he could not entice the enemy to a battle, he first
led out a number of cohorts, lightly accoutred, in regular order, to
ravage a part of the country which was yet unhurt; then hearing that
all the baggage of the Celtiberians was deposited at Saguntia,
he proceeded thither to attack that town, but was unable,
notwithstanding, to provoke them to stir. Paying, therefore, his own
troops and those of Minucius, he left the bulk of his army in the
praetor's camp, and, with seven cohorts, returned to the Iberus.

20. With that small force he took several towns. The Sidetonians,
Ausetanians, and Suessetanians came over to his side. The Lacetanians,
a remote and wild nation, still remained in arms; partly through their
natural ferocity, and partly through consciousness of guilt, in having
laid waste, by sudden incursions, the country of the allies, while the
consul and his army were employed in the war with the Turditanians.
He therefore marched to attack their capital, not only with the Roman
cohorts, but also with the troops of the allies, who were justly
incensed against them. The town was stretched out into considerable
length, but had not proportionable breadth. At the distance of about
four hundred paces from it he halted, and leaving there a party
composed of chosen cohorts, he charged them not to stir from that spot
until he himself should come to them; and then he led round the rest
of the men to the farther side of the town. The greater part of his
auxiliary troops were Suessetanians, and these he ordered to advance
and assault the wall. The Lacetanians, knowing their arms and
standards, and remembering how often they had themselves, with
impunity, committed every kind of outrage and insult in their
territory, how often defeated and routed them in pitched battles,
hastily threw open a gate, and all, in one body, rushed out against
them. The Suessetanians scarcely stood their shout, much less their
onset; and the consul, on seeing this happen, just as he had foreseen,
galloped back under the enemy's wall to his cohorts, brought them up
quickly to that part of the city where all was silence and solitude,
in consequence of the Lacetanians having sallied out on the
Suessetanians, and took possession of every part of it before the
Lacetanians returned; who, having nothing now left but their arms,
soon surrendered themselves also.

21. The conqueror marched thence, without delay, to the fort of
Vergium. This was, almost entirely, a receptacle of robbers and
plunderers, and thence incursions were made on the peaceable parts
of the province. One of the principal inhabitants deserted out of
the place to the consul, and endeavoured to excuse himself and his
countrymen; alleging, that "the management of affairs was not in their
hands; for the robbers, having gained admittance, had reduced the
fort entirely under their own power." The consul ordered him to return
home, and pretend some plausible reason for having been absent; and
then, "when he should see him advancing to the walls, and the robbers
intent on defending the city, to seize the citadel with such men as
favoured his party." This was executed according to his directions.
The double alarm, from the Romans scaling the walls in front, and the
citadel being seized on their rear, at once entirely confounded the
barbarians. The consul, having taken possession of the place, ordered,
that those who had secured the citadel should, with their relations,
be set at liberty, and enjoy their property, the rest of the natives
he commanded the quaestor to sell; and he put the robbers to death.
Having restored quiet in the province, he settled the iron and silver
mines on such a footing, that they produced a large revenue; and, in
consequence of the regulations then made, the province daily increased
in riches. On account of these services performed in Spain, the senate
decreed a supplication for three days.

22. During this summer, the other consul, Lucius Valerius Flaccus,
fought a pitched battle with a body of the Boians in Gaul, near the
forest of Litanae, and gained a complete victory. Eight thousand
of the Gauls are said to have been slain; the rest, desisting from
further opposition, retired quietly to their several villages and
lands. During the remainder of the summer, the consul kept his army
near the Po, at Placentia and Cremona, and repaired the buildings in
these cities which had been demolished in the war. While the affairs
of Italy and Spain were in this posture, Titus Quinctius had spent the
winter in Greece, in such a manner, that excepting the Aetolians, who
neither had gained rewards of victory adequate to their hopes, nor
were capable of being long contented with a state of quiet, all
Greece, being in full enjoyment of the blessings of peace and liberty,
were highly pleased with their present state; and they admired
not more the Roman general's bravery in arms, than his temperance,
justice, and moderation in victory. And now a decree of the senate
was brought to him, containing a denunciation of war against Nabis
the Lacedaemonian. On reading it, Quinctius summoned a convention of
deputies from all the allied states, to be held, on a certain day, at
Corinth. Whither when many persons of the first rank came together,
from all quarters, forming a very full assembly, from which even the
Aetolians were not absent, he addressed them in this manner:--"The
Romans and Greeks, in the war which they waged against Philip, were
united in affections and councils, and they had each no less their
separate reasons for entering into it. For he had violated friendship
with the Romans; first by aiding our enemies, the Carthaginians; and
then by attacking our allies here: and, towards you, his conduct was
such, that even if we had been willing to forget our own injuries,
those offered by him to you would have constituted a sufficient
occasion of war. But the business to be considered this day has
relation wholly to yourselves: for the subject which I propose to your
consideration is, whether you choose to suffer Argos, which, as you
know, has been seized by Nabis, to remain under his dominion; or
whether you judge it reasonable, that a city of such high reputation
and antiquity, seated in the centre of Greece, should be restored to
liberty, and placed in the same state with the rest of the cities of
Peloponnesus and of Greece. This question, as you see, merely respects
yourselves; it concerns not the Romans in any decree, excepting so
far as the one city being left in subjection to tyranny hinders their
glory, in having liberated Greece, from being full and complete.
If, however, you are not moved by regard for that city, nor by the
example, nor by the danger of the contagion of that evil spreading
wider, we, for our parts, shall rest content. On this subject I desire
your opinions, resolved to abide by whatever the majority of you shall

23. After the address of the Roman general, the several deputies
proceeded to give their opinions. The ambassador of the Athenians
extolled, to the utmost of his power, and expressed the greatest
gratitude for the kindness of the Romans towards Greece, "in having,
when applied to for assistance, brought them succours against Philip;
and now, without being applied to, voluntarily offering assistance
against the tyrant Nabis." He at the same time severely censured
the conduct of some, who, in their discourses, "depreciated those
kindnesses, and propagated evil surmises of the future, when it would
better become them rather to return thanks for the past." It was
evident that this was pointed at the Aetolians: wherefore Alexander,
deputy of that nation, having first inveighed against the Athenians,
who, having formerly been the most strenuous supporters of liberty,
now betrayed the general cause, for the sake of recommending
themselves by flattery. He then complained that "the Achaeans,
formerly soldiers of Philip, and lately, on the decline of his
fortune, deserters from him, had regained possession of Corinth, and
were so acting as that they might acquire Argos; while the Aetolians,
who had first opposed their arms to Philip, who had always been
allies of the Romans, and who had stipulated by treaty, that, on the
Macedonian being conquered, the lands and cities should be theirs,
were defrauded of Echinus and Pharsalus." He charged the Romans with
insincerity, because, "while they put forth empty professions of
establishing liberty, they held possession of Demetrias and Chalcis
by their garrisons; though, when Philip hesitated to withdraw his
garrisons from those places, they always urged against him that the
Grecians would never be free while Demetrias, Chalcis, and Corinth
were in the hands of the others. And, lastly, that they named Argos
and Nabis merely as a pretext for remaining in Greece, and keeping
their armies there. Let them carry away their legions to Italy;
and the Aetolians were ready to undertake, either that Nabis should
voluntarily withdraw his forces from Argos, on terms; or they would
compel him by force of arms to comply with the unanimous judgment of

24. This arrogant speech called up, first, Aristaenus, praetor of the
Achaeans, who said:--"Forbid it, Jupiter, supremely good and great,
and imperial Juno, the tutelar deity of Argos, that that city should
be staked as a prize between the Lacedaemonian tyrant and the Aetolian
plunderers, under such unhappy circumstances, that its being retaken
by you should be productive of more calamitous consequences than its
capture by him. Titus Quinctius, the sea lying between us, does not
secure us from those robbers; what then will become of us, should they
procure themselves a stronghold in the centre of Peloponnesus? They
have nothing Grecian but the language, as they have nothing human but
the shape. They live under customs and rites more brutally savage than
any barbarians, nay, than wild beasts themselves. Wherefore, Romans,
we beseech you, not only to recover Argos from Nabis, but also to
establish the affairs of Greece on such a footing, as to leave these
countries adequately secured from the robberies of the Aetolians." The
rest concurring in these censures on the Aetolians, the Roman general
said, that "he had himself intended to have answered them, but that
he perceived all so highly incensed against those people, that the
general resentment required rather to be appeased than irritated.
Satisfied, therefore, with the sentiments entertained of the Romans,
and of the Aetolians, he would simply put this question: What was the
general opinion concerning war with Nabis, in case of his refusing to
restore Argos to the Achaeans?" When all had pronounced for war, he
recommended to them, to send in their shares of auxiliary troops, each
state in proportion to its ability. He even sent an ambassador to the
Aetolians; rather to make them disclose their sentiments, which was
the actual result, than with any hope of obtaining their concurrence.
He gave orders to the military tribunes, to bring up the army from
Elatia. To the ambassadors of Antiochus, who, at this time, proposed
to treat of an alliance, he answered, that "he could say nothing on
the subject in the absence of the ten ambassadors. They must go to
Rome, and apply to the senate."

25. As soon as the troops arrived from Elatia, Quinctius set out to
lead them towards Argos. When near Cleonae he was met by the praetor,
Aristaenus, with ten thousand Achaean foot and one thousand horse; and
having joined forces, they pitched their camp at a small distance from
thence. Next day they marched down into the plains of Argos, and
fixed their post about four miles from that city. The commander of the
Lacedaemonian garrison was Pythagoras, the tyrant's son-in-law, and
his wife's brother; who, on the approach of the Romans, posted strong
guards in both the citadels, for Argos has two, and in every other
place that was commodious for defence, or exposed to danger. But,
while thus employed, he could by no means dissemble the dread inspired
by the approach of the Romans; and, to the alarm from abroad, was
added an insurrection within. There was an Argive, named Damocles,
a youth of more spirit than prudence, who held conversations, with
proper persons, on a design of expelling the garrison; at first, with
the precaution of imposing an oath, but afterwards, through his
eager desire to add strength to the conspiracy, he estimated people's
sincerity with too little caution. While he was in conference with
his accomplices, an officer, sent by the commander of the garrison,
summoned him to appear before him, and he perceived that his design
was betrayed; on which, exhorting the conspirators, who were present,
to take arms with him, rather than be tortured to death, he went on
with a few companions towards the forum, crying out to all who wished
the preservation of the state, to follow him as the vindicator and
author of their liberty. He could prevail on none to join him; for
they saw no prospect of any attainable advantage, and much less any
sufficiently powerful support. While he exclaimed in this manner, the
Lacedaemonians surrounded him and his party, and put them to death.
Many others were afterwards seized, the greater part of whom were
executed, and the remaining few thrown into prison. During the
following night, great numbers, letting themselves down from the walls
by ropes, came over to the Romans.

26. As these men affirmed, that if the Roman army had been at the
gates, this commotion would not have ended without effect; and that,
if the camp was brought nearer, the Argives would not remain inactive;
Quinctius sent some horsemen and infantry, lightly accoutred, who,
meeting at the Cylarabis, a place of exercise, less than three hundred
paces from the city, a party of Lacedaemonians, who sallied out of a
gate, engaged them, and, without much difficulty, drove them back into
the town; and the Roman general encamped on the very spot where the
battle had been fought. There he passed one day, on the look-out if
any new commotion might arise; but perceiving that the inhabitants
were quite depressed by fear, he called a council concerning the
besieging of Argos. All the deputies of Greece, except Aristaenus,
were of one opinion, that, as that city was the sole object of the
war, with it the war should commence. This was by no means agreeable
to Quinctius; but he listened, with evident marks of approbation,
to Aristaenus, arguing in opposition to the joint opinion of all
the rest; while he himself added, that "as the war was undertaken in
favour of the Argives, against the tyrant, what could be less proper
than to leave the enemy in quiet, and lay siege to Argos? For his
part, he was resolved to point his arms against the main object of the
war, Lacedaemon and the tyrant." He then dismissed the meeting, and
sent out light-armed cohorts to collect forage. Whatever was ripe in
the adjacent country, they reaped, and brought together; and what
was green they trod down and destroyed, that the enemy might not
subsequently get it. He then proceeded over Mount Parthenius, and,
passing by Tegaea, encamped on the third day at Caryae; where he
waited for the auxiliary troops of the allies, before he entered the
enemy's territory. Fifteen hundred Macedonians came from Philip, and
four hundred horsemen of the Thessalians; and now the Roman general
had no occasion to wait for more auxiliaries, having abundance; but he
was obliged to stop for supplies of provisions, which he had ordered
the neighbouring cities to furnish. He was joined also by a powerful
naval force; Lucius Quinctius had already come from Leucas, with forty
ships; eighteen ships of war had arrived from the Rhodians; and king
Eumenes was cruising among the Cyclades, with ten decked ships, thirty
barks, and smaller vessels of various sorts. Of the Lacedaemonians
themselves, also, a great many, who had been driven from home by the
cruelty of the tyrants, came into the Roman camp, in hopes of being
reinstated in their country; for the number was very great of those
who had been banished by the several despots, during many generations
since they first got Lacedaemon into their power. The principal person
among the exiles was Agesipolis, to whom the sovereignty of Lacedaemon
belonged in right of his birth; but who had been driven out when an
infant by Lycurgus, after the death of Cleomenes, who was the first
tyrant of Lacedaemon.

27. Although Nabis was enclosed between such powerful armaments on
land and sea, and, on a comparative view of his own and his enemy's
strength, could scarcely conceive any degree of hope; yet he did not
desist from the war, but brought, from Crete, a thousand chosen young
men of that country in addition to a thousand whom he had before; he
had, besides, under arms, three thousand mercenary soldiers, and ten
thousand of his countrymen, with the peasants, who belonged to the
fortresses. He fortified the city with a ditch and rampart; and lest
any intestine commotion should arise, curbed the people's spirits by
fear, punishing them with extreme severity, as he could not hope for
good wishes towards a tyrant. As he had his suspicions respecting some
of the citizens, he drew out all his forces to a field called Dromos,
(the course,) and ordered the Lacedaemonians to be called to an
assembly without their arms. He then formed a line of armed men round
the place where they were assembled, observing briefly, "that he ought
to be excused, if, at such a juncture, he feared and guarded against
every thing that might happen; and that, if the present state of
affairs subjected any to suspicion, it was their advantage to be
prevented from attempting any design, rather than to be punished
for attempting it: he therefore intended," he said, "to keep certain
persons in custody, until the storm, which then threatened, should
have passed over; and would discharge them as soon as the enemy should
have been driven away, from whom the danger would be less, when proper
precaution was taken against internal treachery." He then ordered the
names of about eighty of the principal young men to be called over,
and as each answered to his name, he put them in custody. On the night
following, they were all put to death. Some of the Helotes, a race of
rustics, who have been feudal vassals even from the earliest times,
being charged with an intention to desert, they were driven with
stripes through all the streets, and put to death. The terror which
this excited so confounded the multitude, as to deter them from
all attempts to effect a revolution. He kept his forces within the
fortifications, knowing that he was not a match for the enemy in the
field; and, besides, he was afraid to leave the city, while all men's
minds were in a state of such suspense and uncertainty.

28. Quinctius, when all his preparations were now sufficiently made,
decamped; and, on the second day, came to Sellasia, on the river
Oenus, on the spot where it is said Antigonus, king of Macedonia,
fought a pitched battle with Cleomenes, tyrant of Lacedaemon. Being
told that the ascent from thence was difficult, and the passes narrow,
he made a short circuit by the mountains, sending forward a party to
make a road, and came, by a tolerably broad and open passage, to the
river Eurotas, where it flows almost immediately under the walls of
the city. Here, the tyrant's auxiliary troops attacked the Romans,
while they were forming their camp, together with Quinctius himself,
(who, with a division of cavalry and light troops, had advanced beyond
the rest,) and threw them into a state of alarm and confusion; not
expecting any thing of the kind, as no one had opposed them throughout
their whole march, and they had passed, as it were, through a friendly
territory. The disorder lasted a considerable time, the infantry
calling for aid on the cavalry, and the cavalry on the infantry, each
having but little confidence in himself. At length, the foremost ranks
of the legions came up; and no sooner had the cohorts of the vanguard
taken part in the fight, than those who had lately been an object of
dread were driven back in terror into the city. The Romans, retiring
so far from the wall as to be out of the reach of weapons, stood there
for some time in battle-array; and then, none of the enemy coming out
against them, retired to their camp. Next day Quinctius led on his
army in regular order along the bank of the river, passed the city, to
the foot of the mountain of Menelaus, the legionary cohorts marching
in front, and the cavalry and light infantry bringing up the rear.
Nabis kept his mercenary troops, on whom he placed his whole reliance,
in readiness, and drawn up in a body, within the walls, intending to
attack the rear of the enemy; and, as soon as the last of their troops
passed by, these rushed out of the town, from several places at once,
with as great fury as the day before. The rear was commanded by Appius
Claudius, who having beforehand prepared his men to expect such an
event, that it might not come upon them unawares, instantly made
his troops face about, and presented an entire front to the enemy. A
regular engagement, therefore, took place, as if two complete lines
had encountered, and it lasted a considerable time; but at length
Nabis's troops betook themselves to flight, which would have been
attended with less dismay and danger, if they had not been closely
pressed by the Achaeans, who were well acquainted with the ground.
These made dreadful havoc, and dispersing them entirely, obliged
the greater part to throw away their arms. Quinctius encamped near
Amyclae; and afterwards, when he had utterly laid waste all the
pleasant and thickly inhabited country round the city, not one of the
enemy venturing out of the gates, he removed his camp to the river
Eurotas. From thence he ravaged the valley lying under Taygetus, and
the country reaching as far as the sea.

29. About the same time, Lucius Quinctius got possession of the towns
on the sea-coast; of some, by their voluntary surrender; of others, by
fear or force. Then, learning that the Lacedaemonians made Gythium the
repository of all their naval stores, and that the Roman camp was at
no great distance from the sea, he resolved to attack that town
with his whole force. It was, at that time, a place of considerable
strength; well furnished with great numbers of native inhabitants and
settlers from other parts, and with every kind of warlike stores. Very
seasonably for Quinctius, when commencing an enterprise of no easy
nature, king Eumenes and the Rhodian fleet came to his assistance. The
vast multitude of seamen, collected out of the three fleets, finished
in a few days all the works requisite for the siege of a city so
strongly fortified, both on the land side and on that next the sea.
Covered galleries were soon brought up; the wall was undermined, and,
at the same time, shaken with battering rams. By the frequent shocks
given with these, one of the towers was thrown down, and, by its fall,
the adjoining wall on each side was laid flat. The Romans, on this,
attempted to force in, both on the side next the port, to which the
approach was more level than to the rest, hoping to divert the enemy's
attention from the more open passage, and, at the same time, to enter
the breach caused by the falling of the wall. They were near effecting
their design of penetrating into the town, when the assault was
suspended by the prospect which was held out of the surrender of
the city. This however, was subsequently dissipated. Dexagoridas and
Gorgopas commanded there, with equal authority. Dexagoridas had sent
to the Roman general a message that he would give up the city; and,
after the time and the mode of proceeding had been agreed on, he
was slain as a traitor by Gorgopas, and the defence of the city was
maintained with redoubled vigour by this single commander. The further
prosecution of the siege would have been much more difficult, had not
Titus Quinctius arrived with a body of four thousand chosen men. He
showed his army in order of battle, on the brow of a hill at a small
distance from the city; and, on the other side, Lucius Quinctius plied
the enemy hard with his engines, both on the quarter of the sea, and
of the land; on which Gorgopas was compelled to adopt that proceeding,
which, in the case of another, he had punished with death. After
stipulating for liberty to carry away the soldiers whom he had there
as a garrison, he surrendered the city to Quinctius. Previous to the
surrender of Gythium, Pythagoras, who had been left as commander
at Argos, having intrusted the defence of the city to Timocrates of
Pellene, with a thousand mercenary soldiers, and two thousand Argives,
came to Lacedaemon and joined Nabis.

30. Although Nabis had been greatly alarmed at the first arrival of
the Roman fleet, and the surrender of the towns on the sea-coast,
yet, as long as Gythium was held by his troops he had quieted his
apprehensions with that scanty hope; but when he heard that Gythium,
too, was given up to the Romans, and saw that he had no room for any
kind of hope on the land, where every place round was in the hands
of the enemy, and that he was totally excluded from the sea, he
considered that he must yield to fortune. He first sent a messenger
into the Roman camp, to learn whether permission would be given to
send ambassadors. This being consented to, Pythagoras came to the
general, with no other commission than to propose a conference between
that commander and the tyrant. A council was summoned on the proposal,
and every one present agreeing in opinion that a conference should
be granted, a time and place were appointed. They came, with moderate
escorts, to some hills in the interjacent ground; and leaving their
cohorts there, in posts open to the view of both parties, they went
down to the place of meeting; Nabis attended by a select party of his
body-guards; Quinctius by his brother, king Eumenes, Sosilaus, the
Rhodian, Aristaenus, praetor of the Achaeans, and a few military

31. Then the tyrant, having the choice given him either to speak first
or to listen, began thus: "Titus Quinctius, and you who are present,
if I could collect from my own reflections the reason of your having
either declared or actually made war against me, I should have waited
in silence the issue of my destiny. But in the present state of
things, I could not repress my desire of knowing, before I am ruined,
the cause for which my ruin is resolved on. And in truth, if you
were such men as the Carthaginians are represented to be,--men who
considered the obligation of faith, pledged in alliances, as in no
degree sacred, I should not wonder if you were the less scrupulous
with respect to your conduct towards me. But, instead of that, when I
look at you, I perceive that you are Romans: men who allow treaties to
be the most solemn of religious acts, and faith, pledged therein,
the strongest of human ties. Then, when I look back at myself, I am
confident I am one who, as a member of the community, am, in common
with the rest of the Lacedaemonians, included in a treaty subsisting
with you, of very ancient date; and likewise have, lately, during the
war with Philip, concluded anew, in my own name, a personal friendship
and alliance with you. But it appears I have violated and cancelled
that treaty, by holding possession of the city of Argos. In what
manner shall I defend this? By the consideration of the fact, or of
the time. The consideration of the fact furnishes me with a twofold
defence: for, in the first place, in consequence of an invitation from
the inhabitants themselves, and of their voluntary act of surrender,
I accepted the possession of that city, and did not seize it by force.
In the next place, I accepted it, when the city was in league with
Philip, not in alliance with you. Then the consideration of the time
acquits me, inasmuch as when I was in actual possession of Argos, the
alliance was entered into between you and me, and you stipulated that
I should send you aid against Philip, not that I should withdraw my
garrison from that city. In this dispute, therefore, so far as it
relates to Argos, I have unquestionably the advantage, both from
the equity of the proceeding, as I gained possession of a city which
belonged not to you, but to your enemy; and as I gained it by its own
voluntary act, and not by forcible compulsion; and also from your own
acknowledgment; since, in the articles of our alliance, you left
Argos to me. But then, the name of tyrant, and my conduct, are strong
objections against me: that I call forth slaves to a state of freedom;
that I carry out the indigent part of the populace, and give them
settlements in lands. With respect to the title by which I am styled,
I can answer thus: That, let me be what I may, I am the same now that
I was at the time when you yourself, Titus Quinctius, concluded an
alliance with me. I remember, that I was then styled king by you;
now, I see, I am called tyrant. If, therefore, I had since altered
the style of my office, I might have an account to render of my
fickleness: as you choose to alter it, that account should be rendered
by you. As to what relates to the augmenting the number of the
populace, by giving liberty to slaves, and the distribution of lands
to the needy; on this head, too, I might defend myself by a reference
to time: These measures, of what complexion soever they are, I had
practised before you formed friendship with me, and received my aid
in the war against Philip. But, if I did these same things, at this
moment, I would not say to you, how did I thereby injure you, or
violate the friendship subsisting between us? but that, in so doing,
I acted agreeably to the practice and institutions of my ancestors.
Do not estimate what is done at Lacedaemon by the standard of your own
laws and constitution. There is no necessity for comparing particular
institutions: you are guided in your choice of a horseman, by the
quantity of his property; in your choice of a foot soldier, by the
quantity of his property; and your plan is, that a few should abound
in wealth, and that the body of the people should be in subjection
to them. Our lawgiver did not choose that the administration of
government should be in the hands of a few, such as you call a senate;
or that this or that order of citizens should have a superiority
over the rest: but he considered that, by equalizing the property and

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