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The History Of Rome, Book III by Theodor Mommsen

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the investment of Lilybaeum too trifling: he preferred to change once
more the plan of operations, and with his numerous newly-manned
vessels suddenly to surprise the Carthaginian fleet which was waiting
in the neighbouring harbour of Drepana. With the whole blockading
squadron, which had taken on board volunteers from the legions, he
started about midnight, and sailing in good order with his right wing
by the shore, and his left in the open sea, he safely reached the
harbour of Drepana at sunrise. Here the Phoenician admiral Atarbas
was in command. Although surprised, he did not lose his presence of
mind or allow himself to be shut up in the harbour, but as the Roman
ships entered the harbour, which opens to the south in the form of
a sickle, on the one side, he withdrew his vessels from it by the
opposite side which was still free, and stationed them in line on the
outside. No other course remained to the Roman admiral but to recall
as speedily as possible the foremost vessels from the harbour, and to
make his arrangements for battle in like manner in front of it; but in
consequence of this retrograde movement he lost the free choice of his
position, and was obliged to accept battle in a line, which on the one
hand was outflanked by that of the enemy to the extent of five ships
--for there was not time fully to deploy the vessels as they issued
from the harbour--and on the other hand was crowded so close on the
shore that his vessels could neither retreat, nor sail behind the
line so as to come to each other's aid. Not only was the battle lost
before it began, but the Roman fleet was so completely ensnared that
it fell almost wholly into the hands of the enemy. The consul indeed
escaped, for he was the first who fled; but 93 Roman vessels, more
than three-fourths of the blockading fleet, with the flower of the
Roman legions on board, fell into the hands of the Phoenicians. It
was the first and only great naval victory which the Carthaginians
gained over the Romans. Lilybaeum was practically relieved on the
side towards the sea, for though the remains of the Roman fleet
returned to their former position, they were now much too weak
seriously to blockade a harbour which had never been wholly closed,
and they could only protect themselves from the attack of the
Carthaginian ships with the assistance of the land army. That single
imprudent act of an inexperienced and criminally thoughtless officer
had thrown away all that had been with so much difficulty attained
by the long and galling warfare around the fortress; and those war-
vessels of the Romans which his presumption had not forfeited were
shortly afterwards destroyed by the folly of his colleague.

The second consul, Lucius Junius Pullus, who had received the charge
of lading at Syracuse the supplies destined for the army at Lilybaeum,
and of convoying the transports along the south coast of the island
with a second Roman fleet of 120 war-vessels, instead of keeping his
ships together, committed the error of allowing the first convoy
to depart alone and of only following with the second. When the
Carthaginian vice-admiral, Carthalo, who with a hundred select ships
blockaded the Roman fleet in the port of Lilybaeum, received the
intelligence, he proceeded to the south coast of the island, cut off
the two Roman squadrons from each other by interposing between them,
and compelled them to take shelter in two harbours of refuge on the
inhospitable shores of Gela and Camarina. The attacks of the
Carthaginians were indeed bravely repulsed by the Romans with the help
of the shore batteries, which had for some time been erected there
as everywhere along the coast; but, as the Romans could not hope to
effect a junction and continue their voyage, Carthalo could leave
the elements to finish his work. The next great storm, accordingly,
completely annihilated the two Roman fleets in their wretched
roadsteads, while the Phoenician admiral easily weathered it on
the open sea with his unencumbered and well-managed ships.
The Romans, however, succeeded in saving the greater part
of the crews and cargoes (505).

Perplexity Of The Romans

The Roman senate was in perplexity. The war had now reached its
sixteenth year; and they seemed to be farther from their object in
the sixteenth than in the first. In this war four large fleets had
perished, three of them with Roman armies on board; a fourth select
land army had been destroyed by the enemy in Libya; to say nothing of
the numerous losses which had been occasioned by the minor naval
engagements, and by the battles, and still more by the outpost
warfare and the diseases, of Sicily.

What a multitude of human lives the war swept away may be seen from
the fact, that the burgess-roll merely from 502 to 507 decreased by
about 40,000, a sixth part of the entire number; and this does not
include the losses of the allies, who bore the whole brunt of the war
by sea, and, in addition, at least an equal proportion with the Romans
of the warfare by land. Of the financial loss it is not possible to
form any conception; but both the direct damage sustained in ships and
-materiel-, and the indirect injury through the paralyzing of trade,
must have been enormous. An evil still greater than this was the
exhaustion of all the methods by which they had sought to terminate
the war. They had tried a landing in Africa with their forces fresh
and in the full career of victory, and had totally failed. They had
undertaken to storm Sicily town by town; the lesser places had fallen,
but the two mighty naval strongholds of Lilybaeum and Drepana stood
more invincible than ever. What were they to do? In fact, there was
to some extent reason for despondency. The fathers of the city became
faint-hearted; they allowed matters simply to take their course,
knowing well that a war protracted without object or end was more
pernicious for Italy than the straining of the last man and the last
penny, but without that courage and confidence in the nation and in
fortune, which could demand new sacrifices in addition to those that
had already been lavished in vain. They dismissed the fleet; at the
most they encouraged privateering, and with that view placed the war-
vessels of the state at the disposal of captains who were ready to
undertake a piratical warfare on their own account. The war by land
was continued nominally, because they could not do otherwise; but
they were content with observing the Sicilian fortresses and barely
maintaining what they possessed,--measures which, in the absence
of a fleet, required a very numerous army and extremely
costly preparations.

Now, if ever, the time had come when Carthage was in a position to
humble her mighty antagonist. She, too, of course must have felt
some exhaustion of resources; but, in the circumstances, the
Phoenician finances could not possibly be so disorganized as to
prevent the Carthaginians from continuing the war--which cost them
little beyond money--offensively and with energy. The Carthaginian
government, however, was not energetic, but on the contrary weak and
indolent, unless impelled to action by an easy and sure gain or by
extreme necessity. Glad to be rid of the Roman fleet, they foolishly
allowed their own also to fall into decay, and began after the example
of the enemy to confine their operations by land and sea to the petty
warfare in and around Sicily.

Petty War In Sicily
Hamilcar Barcas

Thus there ensued six years of uneventful warfare (506-511), the most
inglorious in the history of this century for Rome, and inglorious
also for the Carthaginian people. One man, however, among the latter
thought and acted differently from his nation. Hamilcar, named Barak
or Barcas (i. e. lightning), a young officer of much promise, took
over the supreme command in Sicily in the year 507. His army, like
every Carthaginian one, was defective in a trustworthy and experienced
infantry; and the government, although it was perhaps in a position to
create such an infantry and at any rate was bound to make the attempt,
contented itself with passively looking on at its defeats or at most
with nailing the defeated generals to the cross. Hamilcar resolved to
take the matter into his own hands. He knew well that his mercenaries
were as indifferent to Carthage as to Rome, and that he had to expect
from his government not Phoenician or Libyan conscripts, but at the
best a permission to save his country with his troops in his own way,
provided it cost nothing. But he knew himself also, and he knew men.
His mercenaries cared nothing for Carthage; but a true general is able
to substitute his own person for his country in the affections of his
soldiers; and such an one was this young commander. After he had
accustomed his men to face the legionaries in the warfare of outposts
before Drepana and Lilybaeum, he established himself with his force on
Mount Ercte (Monte Pellegrino near Palermo), which commands like a
fortress the neighbouring country; and making them settle there with
their wives and children, levied contributions from the plains, while
Phoenician privateers plundered the Italian coast as far as Cumae. He
thus provided his people with copious supplies without asking money
from the Carthaginians, and, keeping up the communication with Drepana
by sea, he threatened to surprise the important town of Panormus in
his immediate vicinity. Not only were the Romans unable to expel
him from his stronghold, but after the struggle had lasted awhile at
Ercte, Hamilcar formed for himself another similar position at Eryx.
This mountain, which bore half-way up the town of the same name and
on its summit the temple of Aphrodite, had been hitherto in the hands
of the Romans, who made it a basis for annoying Drepana. Hamilcar
deprived them of the town and besieged the temple, while the Romans
in turn blockaded him from the plain. The Celtic deserters from the
Carthaginian army who were stationed by the Romans at the forlorn post
of the temple--a reckless pack of marauders, who in the course of this
siege plundered the temple and perpetrated every sort of outrage
--defended the summit of the rock with desperate courage; but Hamilcar
did not allow himself to be again dislodged from the town, and kept
his communications constantly open by sea with the fleet and the
garrison of Drepana. The war in Sicily seemed to be assuming a turn
more and more unfavourable for the Romans. The Roman state was losing
in that warfare its money and its soldiers, and the Roman generals
their repute; it was already clear that no Roman general was a
match for Hamilcar, and the time might be calculated when even the
Carthaginian mercenary would be able boldly to measure himself
against the legionary. The privateers of Hamilcar appeared with ever-
increasing audacity on the Italian coast: already a praetor had been
obliged to take the field against a band of Carthaginian rovers which
had landed there. A few years more, and Hamilcar might with his fleet
have accomplished from Sicily what his son subsequently undertook by
the land route from Spain.

A Fleet Built By The Romans
Victory Of Catulus At The Island Aegusa

The Roman senate, however, persevered in its inaction;
the desponding party for once had the majority there. At length a
number of sagacious and high-spirited men determined to save the state
even without the interposition of the government, and to put an end to
the ruinous Sicilian war. Successful corsair expeditions, if they had
not raised the courage of the nation, had aroused energy and hope in
a portion of the people; they had already joined together to form
a squadron, burnt down Hippo on the African coast, and sustained a
successful naval conflict with the Carthaginians off Panormus. By a
private subscription--such as had been resorted to in Athens also,
but not on so magnificent a scale--the wealthy and patriotic Romans
equipped a war fleet, the nucleus of which was supplied by the ships
built for privateering and the practised crews which they contained,
and which altogether was far more carefully fitted out than had
hitherto been the case in the shipbuilding of the state. This fact
--that a number of citizens in the twenty-third year of a severe war
voluntarily presented to the state two hundred ships of the line,
manned by 60,000 sailors--stands perhaps unparalleled in the annals of
history. The consul Gaius Lutatius Catulus, to whom fell the honour
of conducting this fleet to the Sicilian seas, met there with almost
no opposition: the two or three Carthaginian vessels, with which
Hamilcar had made his corsair expeditions, disappeared before the
superior force, and almost without resistance the Romans occupied
the harbours of Lilybaeum and Drepana, the siege of which was now
undertaken with energy by water and by land. Carthage was completely
taken by surprise; even the two fortresses, weakly provisioned, were
in great danger. A fleet was equipped at home; but with all the haste
which they displayed, the year came to an end without any appearance
of Carthaginian sails in the Sicilian waters; and when at length, in
the spring of 513, the hurriedly-prepared vessels appeared in the
offing of Drepana, they deserved the name of a fleet of transports
rather than that of a war fleet ready for action. The Phoenicians had
hoped to land undisturbed, to disembark their stores, and to be able
to take on board the troops requisite for a naval battle; but the
Roman vessels intercepted them, and forced them, when about to sail
from the island of Hiera (now Maritima) for Drepana, to accept battle
near the little island of Aegusa (Favignana) (10 March, 513). The
issue was not for a moment doubtful; the Roman fleet, well built and
manned, and admirably handled by the able praetor Publius Valerius
Falto (for a wound received before Drepana still confined the consul
Catulus to his bed), defeated at the first blow the heavily laden and
poorly and inadequately manned vessels of the enemy; fifty were sunk,
and with seventy prizes the victors sailed into the port of Lilybaeum.
The last great effort of the Roman patriots had borne fruit; it
brought victory, and with victory peace.

Conclusion Of Peace

The Carthaginians first crucified the unfortunate admiral--a step
which did not alter the position of affairs--and then dispatched
to the Sicilian general unlimited authority to conclude a peace.
Hamilcar, who saw his heroic labours of seven years undone by the
fault of others, magnanimously submitted to what was inevitable
without on that account sacrificing either his military honour, or
his nation, or his own designs. Sicily indeed could not be retained,
seeing that the Romans had now command of the sea; and it was not
to be expected that the Carthaginian government, which had vainly
endeavoured to fill its empty treasury by a state-loan in Egypt,
would make even any further attempt to vanquish the Roman fleet He
therefore surrendered Sicily. The independence and integrity of the
Carthaginian state and territory, on the other hand, were expressly
recognized in the usual form; Rome binding herself not to enter into
a separate alliance with the confederates of Carthage, and Carthage
engaging not to enter into separate alliance with the confederates
of Rome,--that is, with their respective subject and dependent
communities; neither was to commence war, or exercise rights of
sovereignty, or undertake recruiting within the other's dominions.(8)
The secondary stipulations included, of course, the gratuitous return
of the Roman prisoners of war and the payment of a war contribution;
but the demand of Catulus that Hamilcar should deliver up his arms and
the Roman deserters was resolutely refused by the Carthaginian, and
with success. Catulus desisted from his second request, and allowed
the Phoenicians a free departure from Sicily for the moderate ransom
of 18 -denarii- (12 shillings) per man.

If the continuance of the war appeared to the Carthaginians
undesirable, they had reason to be satisfied with these terms. It may
be that the natural wish to bring to Rome peace as well as triumph,
the recollection of Regulus and of the many vicissitudes of the war,
the consideration that such a patriotic effort as had at last decided
the victory could neither be enjoined nor repeated, perhaps even the
personal character of Hamilcar, concurred in influencing the Roman
general to yield so much as he did. It is certain that there was
dissatisfaction with the proposals of peace at Rome, and the assembly
of the people, doubtless under the influence of the patriots who had
accomplished the equipment of the last fleet, at first refused to
ratify it. We do not know with what view this was done, and therefore
we are unable to decide whether the opponents of the proposed peace in
reality rejected it merely for the purpose of exacting some further
concessions from the enemy, or whether, remembering that Regulus had
summoned Carthage to surrender her political independence, they were
resolved to continue the war till they had gained that end--so that it
was no longer a question of peace, but a question of conquest. If the
refusal took place with the former view, it was presumably mistaken;
compared with the gain of Sicily every other concession was of little
moment, and looking to the determination and the inventive genius of
Hamilcar, it was very rash to stake the securing of the principal
gain on the attainment of secondary objects. If on the other hand
the party opposed to the peace regarded the complete political
annihilation of Carthage as the only end of the struggle that would
satisfy the Roman community, it showed political tact and anticipation
of coming events; but whether the resources of Rome would have
sufficed to renew the expedition of Regulus and to follow it up as far
as might be required not merely to break the courage but to breach the
walls of the mighty Phoenician city, is another question, to which
no one now can venture to give either an affirmative or a negative
answer. At last the settlement of the momentous question was
entrusted to a commission which was to decide it upon the spot in
Sicily. It confirmed the proposal in substance; only, the sum to be
paid by Carthage for the costs of the war was raised to 3200 talents
(790,000 pounds), a third of which was to be paid down at once, and
the remainder in ten annual instalments. The definitive treaty
included, in addition to the surrender of Sicily, the cession also of
the islands between Sicily and Italy, but this can only be regarded as
an alteration of detail made on revision; for it is self-evident that
Carthage, when surrendering Sicily, could hardly desire to retain the
island of Lipara which had long been occupied by the Roman fleet,
and the suspicion, that an ambiguous stipulation was intentionally
introduced into the treaty with reference to Sardinia and Corsica,
is unworthy and improbable.

Thus at length they came to terms. The unconquered general of a
vanquished nation descended from the mountains which he had defended
so long, and delivered to the new masters of the island the fortresses
which the Phoenicians had held in their uninterrupted possession for
at least four hundred years, and from whose walls all assaults of the
Hellenes had recoiled unsuccessful The west had peace (513).

Remarks On The Roman Conduct Of The War

Let us pause for a moment over the conflict, which extended the
dominion of Rome beyond the circling sea that encloses the peninsula.
It was one of the longest and most severe which the Romans ever waged;
many of the soldiers who fought in the decisive battle were unborn
when the contest began. Nevertheless, despite the incomparably noble
incidents which it now and again presented, we can scarcely name any
war which the Romans managed so wretchedly and with such vacillation,
both in a military and in a political point of view. It could hardly
be otherwise. The contest occurred amidst a transition in their
political system--the transition from an Italian policy, which no
longer sufficed, to the policy befitting a great state, which had not
yet been found. The Roman senate and the Roman military system were
excellently organized for a purely Italian policy. The wars which
such a policy provoked were purely continental wars, and always rested
on the capital situated in the middle of the peninsula as the ultimate
basis of operations, and proximately on the chain of Roman fortresses.
The problems to be solved were mainly tactical, not strategical;
marches and operations occupied but a subordinate, battles held the
first, place; fortress warfare was in its infancy; the sea and naval
war hardly crossed men's thoughts even incidentally. We can easily
understand--especially if we bear in mind that in the battles of that
period, where the naked weapon predominated, it was really the hand-
to-hand encounter that proved decisive--how a deliberative assembly
might direct such operations, and how any one who just was burgomaster
might command the troops. All this was changed in a moment. The
field of battle stretched away to an incalculable distance, to the
unknown regions of another continent, and beyond a broad expanse of
sea; every wave was a highway for the enemy; from any harbour he
might be expected to issue for his onward march. The siege of
strong places, particularly maritime fortresses, in which the first
tacticians of Greece had failed, had now for the first time to be
attempted by the Romans. A land army and the system of a civic
militia no longer sufficed. It was essential to create a fleet, and,
what was more difficult, to employ it; it was essential to find out
the true points of attack and defence, to combine and to direct
masses, to calculate expeditions extending over long periods and great
distances, and to adjust their co-operation; if these things were not
attended to, even an enemy far weaker in the tactics of the field
might easily vanquish a stronger opponent. Is there any wonder that
the reins of government in such an exigency slipped from the hands of
a deliberative assembly and of commanding burgomasters?

It was plain, that at the beginning of the war the Romans did not
know what they were undertaking; it was only during the course of the
struggle that the inadequacies of their system, one after another,
forced themselves on their notice--the want of a naval power, the
lack of fixed military leadership, the insufficiency of their
generals, the total uselessness of their admirals. In part these
evils were remedied by energy and good fortune; as was the case with
the want of a fleet. That mighty creation, however, was but a grand
makeshift, and always remained so. A Roman fleet was formed, but it
was rendered national only in name, and was always treated with the
affection of a stepmother; the naval service continued to be little
esteemed in comparison with the high honour of serving in the legions;
the naval officers were in great part Italian Greeks; the crews were
composed of subjects or even of slaves and outcasts. The Italian
farmer was at all times distrustful of the sea; and of the three
things in his life which Cato regretted one was, that he had travelled
by sea when he might have gone by land. This result arose partly out
of the nature of the case, for the vessels were oared galleys and the
service of the oar can scarcely be ennobled; but the Romans might at
least have formed separate legions of marines and taken steps towards
the rearing of a class of Roman naval officers. Taking advantage
of the impulse of the nation, they should have made it their aim
gradually to establish a naval force important not only in numbers
but in sailing power and practice, and for such a purpose they had a
valuable nucleus in the privateering that was developed during the
long war; but nothing of the sort was done by the government.
Nevertheless the Roman fleet with its unwieldy grandeur was the
noblest creation of genius in this war, and, as at its beginning, so
at its close it was the fleet that turned the scale in favour of Rome.

Far more difficult to be overcome were those deficiencies, which could
not be remedied without an alteration of the constitution. That the
senate, according to the strength of the contending parties within it,
should leap from one system of conducting the war to another, and
perpetrate errors so incredible as the evacuation of Clupea and the
repeated dismantling of the fleet; that the general of one year should
lay siege to Sicilian towns, and his successor, instead of compelling
them to surrender, should pillage the African coast or think proper to
risk a naval battle; and that at any rate the supreme command should
by law change hands every year--all these anomalies could not be done
away without stirring constitutional questions the solution of which
was more difficult than the building of a fleet, but as little could
their retention be reconciled with the requirements of such a war.
Above all, moreover, neither the senate nor the generals could at once
adapt themselves to the new mode of conducting war. The campaign of
Regulus is an instance how singularly they adhered to the idea that
superiority in tactics decides everything. There are few generals who
have had such successes thrown as it were into their lap by fortune:
in the year 498 he stood precisely where Scipio stood fifty years
later, with this difference, that he had no Hannibal and no
experienced army arrayed against him. But the senate withdrew half
the army, as soon as they had satisfied themselves of the tactical
superiority of the Romans; in blind reliance on that superiority the
general remained where he was, to be beaten in strategy, and accepted
battle when it was offered to him, to be beaten also in tactics.
This was the more remarkable, as Regulus was an able and experienced
general of his kind. The rustic method of warfare, by which Etruria
and Samnium had been won, was the very cause of the defeat in the
plain of Tunes. The principle, quite right in its own province, that
every true burgher is fit for a general, was no longer applicable;
the new system of war demanded the employment of generals who had a
military training and a military eye, and every burgomaster had not
those qualities. The arrangement was however still worse, by which
the chief command of the fleet was treated as an appanage to the chief
command of the land army, and any one who chanced to be president of
the city thought himself able to act the part not of general only, but
of admiral too. The worst disasters which Rome suffered in this war
were due not to the storms and still less to the Carthaginians, but
to the presumptuous folly of its own citizen-admirals.

Rome was victorious at last. But her acquiescence in a gain far less
than had at first been demanded and indeed offered, as well as the
energetic opposition which the peace encountered in Rome, very clearly
indicate the indecisive and superficial character of the victory and
of the peace; and if Rome was the victor, she was indebted for her
victory in part no doubt to the favour of the gods and to the energy
of her citizens, but still more to the errors of her enemies in the
conduct of the war--errors far surpassing even her own.

Notes For Chapter II

1. II. V. Campanian Hellenism

2. II. VII. Submission Of Lower Italy

3. The Mamertines entered quite into the same position towards Rome
as the Italian communities, bound themselves to furnish ships (Cic.
Verr. v. 19, 50), and, as the coins show, did not possess the right
of coining silver.

4. II. VII. Submission Of Lower Italy

5. II. VII. Last Struggles In Italy

6. The statement, that the military talent of Xanthippus was the
primary means of saving Carthage, is probably coloured; the officers
of Carthage can hardly have waited for foreigners to teach them that
the light African cavalry could be more appropriately employed on the
plain than among hills and forests. From such stories, the echo of
the talk of Greek guardrooms, even Polybius is not free. The
statement that Xanthippus was put to death by the Carthaginians after
the victory, is a fiction; he departed voluntarily, perhaps to enter
the Egyptian service.

7. Nothing further is known with certainty as to the end of Regulus;
even his mission to Rome--which is sometimes placed in 503, sometimes
in 513--is very ill attested. The later Romans, who sought in the
fortunes and misfortunes of their forefathers mere materials for
school themes, made Regulus the prototype of heroic misfortune as
they made Fabricius the prototype of heroic poverty, and put into
circulation in his name a number of anecdotes invented by way of
due accompaniment--incongruous embellishments, contrasting ill with
serious and sober history.

8. The statement (Zon. viii. 17) that the Carthaginians had to promise
that they would not send any vessels of war into the territories of
the Roman symmachy--and therefore not to Syracuse, perhaps even not
to Massilia--sounds credible enough; but the text of the treaty says
nothing of it (Polyb. iii. 27).

Chapter III

The Extension Of Italy To Its Natural Boundaries

Natural Boundaries Of Italy

The Italian confederacy as it emerged from the crises of the fifth
century--or, in other words, the State of Italy--united the various
civic and cantonal communities from the Apennines to the Ionian Sea
under the hegemony of Rome. But before the close of the fifth century
these limits were already overpassed in both directions, and Italian
communities belonging to the confederacy had sprung up beyond the
Apennines and beyond the sea. In the north the republic, in revenge
for ancient and recent wrongs, had already in 471 annihilated the
Celtic Senones; in the south, through the great war from 490 to 513,
it had dislodged the Phoenicians from the island of Sicily. In the
north there belonged to the combination headed by Rome the Latin town
of Ariminum (besides the burgess-settlement of Sena), in the south the
community of the Mamertines in Messana, and as both were nationally of
Italian origin, so both shared in the common rights and obligations of
the Italian confederacy. It was probably the pressure of events at
the moment rather than any comprehensive political calculation, that
gave rise to these extensions of the confederacy; but it was natural
that now at least, after the great successes achieved against
Carthage, new and wider views of policy should dawn upon the Roman
government--views which even otherwise were obviously enough suggested
by the physical features of the peninsula. Alike in a political and
in a military point of view Rome was justified in shifting its
northern boundary from the low and easily crossed Apennines to the
mighty mountain-wall that separates northern from southern Europe,
the Alps, and in combining with the sovereignty of Italy the
sovereignty of the seas and islands on the west and east of the
peninsula; and now, when by the expulsion of the Phoenicians from
Sicily the most difficult portion of the task had been already
achieved, various circumstances united to facilitate its completion
by the Roman government.

Sicily A Dependency Of Italy

In the western sea which was of far more account for Italy than the
Adriatic, the most important position, the large and fertile island
of Sicily copiously furnished with harbours, had been by the peace
with Carthage transferred for the most part into the possession of the
Romans. King Hiero of Syracuse indeed, who during the last twenty-two
years of the war had adhered with unshaken steadfastness to the Roman
alliance, might have had a fair claim to an extension of territory;
but, if Roman policy had begun the war with the resolution of
tolerating only secondary states in the island, the views of the
Romans at its close decidedly tended towards the seizure of Sicily
for themselves. Hiero might be content that his territory--namely, in
addition to the immediate district of Syracuse, the domains of Elorus,
Neetum, Acrae, Leontini, Megara, and Tauromenium--and his independence
in relation to foreign powers, were (for want of any pretext to
curtail them) left to him in their former compass; he might well be
content that the war between the two great powers had not ended in
the complete overthrow of the one or of the other, and that there
consequently still remained at least a possibility of subsistence for
the intermediate power in Sicily. In the remaining and by far the
larger portion of Sicily, at Panormus, Lilybaeum, Agrigentum, Messana,
the Romans effected a permanent settlement.

Sardinia Roman
The Libyan Insurrection

They only regretted that the possession of that beautiful island was
not enough to convert the western waters into a Roman inland sea,
so long as Sardinia still remained Carthaginian. Soon, however,
after the conclusion of the peace there appeared an unexpected
prospect of wresting from the Carthaginians this second island of the
Mediterranean. In Africa, immediately after peace had been concluded
with Rome, the mercenaries and the subjects of the Phoenicians joined
in a common revolt. The blame of the dangerous insurrection was
mainly chargeable on the Carthaginian government. In the last years
of the war Hamilcar had not been able to pay his Sicilian mercenaries
as formerly from his own resources, and he had vainly requested that
money might be sent to him from home; he might, he was told, send his
forces to Africa to be paid off. He obeyed; but as he knew the men,
he prudently embarked them in small subdivisions, that the authorities
might pay them off by troops or might at least separate them, and
thereupon he laid down his command. But all his precautions were
thwarted not so much by the emptiness of the exchequer, as by the
collegiate method of transacting business and the folly of the
bureaucracy. They waited till the whole army was once more united in
Libya, and then endeavoured to curtail the pay promised to the men.
Of course a mutiny broke out among the troops, and the hesitating and
cowardly demeanour of the authorities showed the mutineers what they
might dare. Most of them were natives of the districts ruled by, or
dependent on, Carthage; they knew the feelings which had been provoked
throughout these districts by the slaughter decreed by the government
after the expedition of Regulus(1) and by the fearful pressure of
taxation, and they knew also the character of their government, which
never kept faith and never pardoned; they were well aware of what
awaited them, should they disperse to their homes with pay exacted by
mutiny. The Carthaginians had for long been digging the mine, and
they now themselves supplied the men who could not but explode it.
Like wildfire the revolution spread from garrison to garrison, from
village to village; the Libyan women contributed their ornaments to
pay the wages of the mercenaries; a number of Carthaginian citizens,
amongst whom were some of the most distinguished officers of the
Sicilian army, became the victims of the infuriated multitude;
Carthage was already besieged on two sides, and the Carthaginian
army marching out of the city was totally routed in consequence of
the blundering of its unskilful leader.

When the Romans thus saw their hated and still dreaded foe involved in
a greater danger than any ever brought on that foe by the Roman wars,
they began more and more to regret the conclusion of the peace of 513
--which, if it was not in reality precipitate, now at least appeared
so to all--and to forget how exhausted at that time their own state
had been and how powerful had then been the standing of their
Carthaginian rival. Shame indeed forbade their entering into
communication openly with the Carthaginian rebels; in fact, they gave
an exceptional permission to the Carthaginians to levy recruits for
this war in Italy, and prohibited Italian mariners from dealing with
the Libyans. But it may be doubted whether the government of Rome
was very earnest in these acts of friendly alliance; for, in spite
of them, the dealings between the African insurgents and the Roman
mariners continued, and when Hamilcar, whom the extremity of the peril
had recalled to the command of the Carthaginian army, seized and
imprisoned a number of Italian captains concerned in these dealings,
the senate interceded for them with the Carthaginian government and
procured their release. The insurgents themselves appeared to
recognize in the Romans their natural allies. The garrisons in
Sardinia, which like the rest of the Carthaginian army had declared
in favour of the insurgents, offered the possession of the island to
the Romans, when they saw that they were unable to hold it against the
attacks of the un-conquered mountaineers of the interior (about 515);
and similar offers came even from the community of Utica, which had
likewise taken part in the revolt and was now hard pressed by the
arms of Hamilcar. The latter suggestion was declined by the Romans,
chiefly doubtless because its acceptance would have carried them
beyond the natural boundaries of Italy and therefore farther than
the Roman government was then disposed to go; on the other hand they
entertained the offers of the Sardinian mutineers, and took over
from them the portion of Sardinia which had been in the hands of the
Carthaginians (516). In this instance, even more than in the affair
of the Mamertines, the Romans were justly liable to the reproach that
the great and victorious burgesses had not disdained to fraternize
and share the spoil with a venal pack of mercenaries, and had not
sufficient self-denial to prefer the course enjoined by justice and
by honour to the gain of the moment The Carthaginians, whose troubles
reached their height just about the period of the occupation of
Sardinia, were silent for the time being as to the unwarrantable
violence; but, after this peril had been, contrary to the expectations
and probably contrary to the hopes of the Romans, averted by the
genius of Hamilcar, and Carthage had been reinstated to her full
sovereignty in Africa (517), Carthaginian envoys immediately appeared
at Rome to require the restitution of Sardinia. But the Romans, not
inclined to restore their booty, replied with frivolous or at any rate
irrelevant complaints as to all sorts of injuries which they alleged
that the Carthaginians had inflicted on the Roman traders, and
hastened to declare war;(2) the principle, that in politics power
is the measure of right, appeared in its naked effrontery. Just
resentment urged the Carthaginians to accept that offer of war; had
Catulus insisted upon the cession of Sardinia five years before, the
war would probably have pursued its course. But now, when both
islands were lost, when Libya was in a ferment, and when the state was
weakened to the utmost by its twenty-four years' struggle with Rome
and the dreadful civil war that had raged for nearly five years more,
they were obliged to submit It was only after repeated entreaties,
and after the Phoenicians had bound themselves to pay to Rome a
compensation of 1200 talents (292,000 pounds) for the warlike
preparations which had been wantonly occasioned, that the Romans
reluctantly desisted from war. Thus the Romans acquired Sardinia
almost without a struggle; to which they added Corsica, the ancient
possession of the Etruscans, where perhaps some detached Roman
garrisons still remained over from the last war.(3) In Sardinia,
however, and still more in the rugged Corsica, the Romans restricted
themselves, just as the Phoenicians had done, to an occupation of
the coasts. With the natives in the interior they were continually
engaged in war or, to speak more correctly, in hunting them like wild
beasts; they baited them with dogs, and carried what they captured to
the slave market; but they undertook no real conquest. They had
occupied the islands not on their own account, but for the security
of Italy. Now that the confederacy possessed the three large islands,
it might call the Tyrrhene Sea its own.

Method Of Administration In The Transmarine Possessions
Provincial Praetors

The acquisition of the islands in the western sea of Italy introduced
into the state administration of Rome a distinction, which to all
appearance originated in mere considerations of convenience and almost
accidentally, but nevertheless came to be of the deepest importance
for all time following--the distinction between the continental and
transmarine forms of administration, or to use the appellations
afterwards current, the distinction between Italy and the provinces.
Hitherto the two chief magistrates of the community, the consuls, had
not had any legally defined sphere of action; on the contrary their
official field extended as far as the Roman government itself. Of
course, however, in practice they made a division of functions
between them, and of course also they were bound in every particular
department of their duties by the enactments existing in regard to it;
the jurisdiction, for instance, over Roman citizens had in every case
to be left to the praetor, and in the Latin and other autonomous
communities the existing treaties had to be respected. The four
quaestors who had been since 487 distributed throughout Italy did not,
formally at least, restrict the consular authority, for in Italy,
just as in Rome, they were regarded simply as auxiliary magistrates
dependent on the consuls. This mode of administration appears to have
been at first extended also to the territories taken from Carthage,
and Sicily and Sardinia to have been governed for some years by
quaestors under the superintendence of the consuls; but the Romans
must very soon have become practically convinced that it was
indispensable to have superior magistrates specially appointed for
the transmarine regions. As they had been obliged to abandon the
concentration of the Roman jurisdiction in the person of the praetor
as the community became enlarged, and to send to the more remote
districts deputy judges,(4) so now (527) the concentration of
administrative and military power in the person of the consuls had to
be abandoned. For each of the new transmarine regions--viz. Sicily,
and Sardinia with Corsica annexed to it--there was appointed a special
auxiliary consul, who was in rank and title inferior to the consul and
equal to the praetor, but otherwise was--like the consul in earlier
times before the praetorship was instituted--in his own sphere of
action at once commander-in-chief, chief magistrate, and supreme
judge. The direct administration of finance alone was withheld from
these new chief magistrates, as from the first it had been withheld
from the consuls;(5) one or more quaestors were assigned to them,
who were in every way indeed subordinate to them, and were their
assistants in the administration of justice and in command, but yet
had specially to manage the finances and to render account of their
administration to the senate after having laid down their office.

Organization Of The Provinces

This difference in the supreme administrative power was the essential
distinction between the transmarine and continental possessions. The
principles on which Rome had organized the dependent lands in Italy,
were in great part transferred also to the extra-Italian possessions.
As a matter of course, these communities without exception lost
independence in their external relations. As to internal intercourse,
no provincial could thenceforth acquire valid property in the province
out of the bounds of his own community, or perhaps even conclude a
valid marriage. On the other hand the Roman government allowed, at
least to the Sicilian towns which they had not to fear, a certain
federative organization, and probably even general Siceliot diets
with a harmless right of petition and complaint.(6) In monetary
arrangements it was not indeed practicable at once to declare the
Roman currency to be the only valid tender in the islands; but it
seems from the first to have obtained legal circulation, and in like
manner, at least as a rule, the right of coining in precious metals
seems to have been withdrawn from the cities in Roman Sicily.(7) On
the other hand not only was the landed property in all Sicily left
untouched--the principle, that the land out of Italy fell by right of
war to the Romans as private property, was still unknown to this
century--but all the Sicilian and Sardinian communities retained self-
administration and some sort of autonomy, which indeed was not assured
to them in a way legally binding, but was provisionally allowed.
If the democratic constitutions of the communities were everywhere
set aside, and in every city the power was transferred to the hands
of a council representing the civic aristocracy; and if moreover the
Sicilian communities, at least, were required to institute a general
valuation corresponding to the Roman census every fifth year; both
these measures were only the necessary sequel of subordination
to the Roman senate, which in reality could not govern with Greek
--ecclesiae--, or without a view of the financial and military
resources of each dependent community; in the various districts
of Italy also the same course was in both respects pursued.

Tenths And Customs
Communities Exempted

But, side by side with this essential equality of rights, there was
established a distinction, very important in its effects, between the
Italian communities on the one hand and the transmarine communities
on the other. While the treaties concluded with the Italian towns
imposed on them a fixed contingent for the army or the fleet of
the Romans, such a contingent was not imposed on the transmarine
communities, with which no binding paction was entered into at all,
but they lost the right of arms,(8) with the single exception that
they might be employed on the summons of the Roman praetor for the
defence of their own homes. The Roman government regularly sent
Italian troops, of the strength which it had fixed, to the islands;
in return for this, a tenth of the field-produce of Sicily, and a toll
of 5 per cent on the value of all articles of commerce exported from
or imported into the Sicilian harbours, were paid to Rome. To the
islanders these taxes were nothing new. The imposts levied by the
Persian great-king and the Carthaginian republic were substantially of
the same character with that tenth; and in Greece also such a taxation
had for long been, after Oriental precedent, associated with the
-tyrannis- and often also with a hegemony. The Sicilians had in this
way long paid their tenth either to Syracuse or to Carthage, and had
been wont to levy customs-dues no longer on their own account. "We
received," says Cicero, "the Sicilian communities into our clientship
and protection in such a way that they continued under the same law
under which they had lived before, and obeyed the Roman community
under relations similar to those in which they had obeyed their
own rulers." It is fair that this should not be forgotten; but to
continue an injustice is to commit injustice. Viewed in relation not
to the subjects, who merely changed masters, but to their new rulers,
the abandonment of the equally wise and magnanimous principle of Roman
statesmanship--viz., that Rome should accept from her subjects simply
military aid, and never pecuniary compensation in lieu of it--was of
a fatal importance, in comparison with which all alleviations in the
rates and the mode of levying them, as well as all exceptions in
detail, were as nothing. Such exceptions were, no doubt, made in
various cases. Messana was directly admitted to the confederacy of
the -togati-, and, like the Greek cities in Italy, furnished its
contingent to the Roman fleet. A number of other cities, while not
admitted to the Italian military confederacy, yet received in addition
to other favours immunity from tribute and tenths, so that their
position in a financial point of view was even more favourable than
that of the Italian communities. These were Segesta and Halicyae,
which were the first towns of Carthaginian Sicily that joined the
Roman alliance; Centuripa, an inland town in the east of the island,
which was destined to keep a watch over the Syracusan territory in its
neighbourhood;(9) Halaesa on the northern coast, which was the first
of the free Greek towns to join the Romans, and above all Panormus,
hitherto the capital of Carthaginian, and now destined to become
that of Roman, Sicily. The Romans thus applied to Sicily the ancient
principle of their policy, that of subdividing the dependent
communities into carefully graduated classes with different
privileges; but, on the average, the Sardinian and Sicilian
communities were not in the position of allies but in the
manifest relation of tributary subjection.

Italy And The Provinces

It is true that this thorough distinction between the communities that
furnished contingents and those that paid tribute, or at least did not
furnish contingents, was not in law necessarily coincident with the
distinction between Italy and the provinces. Transmarine communities
might belong to the Italian confederacy; the Mamertines for example
were substantially on a level with the Italian Sabellians, and there
existed no legal obstacle to the establishment even of new communities
with Latin rights in Sicily and Sardinia any more than in the country
beyond the Apennines. Communities on the mainland might be deprived
of the right of bearing arms and become tributary; this arrangement
was already the case with certain Celtic districts on the Po, and was
introduced to a considerable extent in after times. But, in reality,
the communities that furnished contingents just as decidedly
preponderated on the mainland as the tributary communities in the
islands; and while Italian settlements were not contemplated on the
part of the Romans either in Sicily with its Hellenic civilization or
in Sardinia, the Roman government had beyond doubt already determined
not only to subdue the barbarian land between the Apennines and the
Alps, but also, as their conquests advanced, to establish in it
new communities of Italic origin and Italic rights. Thus their
transmarine possessions were not merely placed on the footing of land
held by subjects, but were destined to remain on that footing in all
time to come; whereas the official field recently marked off by law
for the consuls, or, which is the same thing, the continental
territory of the Romans, was to become a new and more extended Italy,
which should reach from the Alps to the Ionian sea. In the first
instance, indeed, this essentially geographical conception of Italy
was not altogether coincident with the political conception of the
Italian confederacy; it was partly wider, partly narrower. But even
now the Romans regarded the whole space up to the boundary of the Alps
as -Italia-, that is, as the present or future domain of the -togati-
and, just as was and still is the case in North America, the boundary
was provisionally marked off in a geographical sense, that the field
might be gradually occupied in a political sense also with the advance
of colonization.(10)

Events On The Adriatic Coasts

In the Adriatic sea, at the entrance of which the important and long-
contemplated colony of Brundisium had at length been founded before
the close of the war with Carthage (510), the supremacy of Rome was
from the very first decided. In the western sea Rome had been obliged
to rid herself of rivals; in the eastern, the quarrels of the Hellenes
themselves prevented any of the states in the Grecian peninsula from
acquiring or retaining power. The most considerable of them, that of
Macedonia, had through the influence of Egypt been dislodged from the
upper Adriatic by the Aetolians and from the Peloponnesus by the
Achaeans, and was scarcely even in a position to defend its northern
frontier against the barbarians. How concerned the Romans were to
keep down Macedonia and its natural ally, the king of Syria, and how
closely they associated themselves with the Egyptian policy directed
to that object, is shown by the remarkable offer which after the end
of the war with Carthage they made to king Ptolemy III. Euergetes,
to support him in the war which he waged with Seleucus II. Callinicus
of Syria (who reigned 507-529) on account of the murder of Berenice,
and in which Macedonia had probably taken part with the latter.
Generally, the relations of Rome with the Hellenistic states became
closer; the senate already negotiated even with Syria, and interceded
with the Seleucus just mentioned on behalf of the Ilians with whom
the Romans claimed affinity.

For a direct interference of the Romans in the affairs of
the eastern powers there was no immediate need. The Achaean league,
the prosperity of which was arrested by the narrow-minded coterie-
policy of Aratus, the Aetolian republic of military adventurers, and
the decayed Macedonian empire kept each other in check; and the Romans
of that time avoided rather than sought transmarine acquisitions.
When the Acarnanians, appealing to the ground that they alone of all
the Greeks had taken no part in the destruction of Ilion, besought
the descendants of Aeneas to help them against the Aetolians, the
senate did indeed attempt a diplomatic mediation; but when the
Aetolians returned an answer drawn up in their own saucy fashion,
the antiquarian interest of the Roman senators by no means provoked
them into undertaking a war by which they would have freed the
Macedonians from their hereditary foe (about 515).

Illyrian Piracy
Expedition Against Scodra

Even the evil of piracy, which was naturally in such a state of
matters the only trade that flourished on the Adriatic coast, and
from which the commerce of Italy suffered greatly, was submitted to by
the Romans with an undue measure of patience, --a patience intimately
connected with their radical aversion to maritime war and their
wretched marine. But at length it became too flagrant. Favoured by
Macedonia, which no longer found occasion to continue its old function
of protecting Hellenic commerce from the corsairs of the Adriatic for
the benefit of its foes, the rulers of Scodra had induced the Illyrian
tribes--nearly corresponding to the Dalmatians, Montenegrins, and
northern Albanians of the present day--to unite for joint piratical
expeditions on a great scale.

With whole squadrons of their swift-sailing biremes, the veil-known
"Liburnian" cutters, the Illyrians waged war by sea and along the
coasts against all and sundry. The Greek settlements in these
regions, the island-towns of Issa (Lissa) and Pharos (Lesina), the
important ports of Epidamnus (Durazzo) and Apollonia (to the north of
Avlona on the Aous) of course suffered especially, and were repeatedly
beleaguered by the barbarians. Farther to the south, moreover, the
corsairs established themselves in Phoenice, the most flourishing town
of Epirus; partly voluntarily, partly by constraint, the Epirots and
Acarnanians entered into an unnatural symmachy with the foreign
freebooters; the coast was insecure even as far as Elis and Messene.
In vain the Aetolians and Achaeans collected what ships they had, with
a view to check the evil: in a battle on the open sea they were beaten
by the pirates and their Greek allies; the corsair fleet was able at
length to take possession even of the rich and important island of
Corcyra (Corfu). The complaints of Italian mariners, the appeals for
aid of their old allies the Apolloniates, and the urgent entreaties
of the besieged Issaeans at length compelled the Roman senate to
send at least ambassadors to Scodra. The brothers Gaius and Lucius
Coruncanius went thither to demand that king Agron should put an end
to the disorder. The king answered that according to the national law
of the Illyrians piracy was a lawful trade, and that the government
had no right to put a stop to privateering; whereupon Lucius
Coruncanius replied, that in that case Rome would make it her business
to introduce a better law among the Illyrians. For this certainly not
very diplomatic reply one of the envoys was--by the king's orders, as
the Romans asserted--murdered on the way home, and the surrender of
the murderers was refused. The senate had now no choice left to it.
In the spring of 525 a fleet of 200 ships of the line, with a landing-
army on board, appeared off Apollonia; the corsair-vessels were
scattered before the former, while the latter demolished the piratic
strongholds; the queen Teuta, who after the death of her husband
Agron conducted the government during the minority of her son Pinnes,
besieged in her last retreat, was obliged to accept the conditions
dictated by Rome. The rulers of Scodra were again confined both on
the north and south to the narrow limits of their original domain,
and had to quit their hold not only on all the Greek towns, but also
on the Ardiaei in Dalmatia, the Parthini around Epidamnus, and the
Atintanes in northern Epirus; no Illyrian vessel of war at all, and
not more than two unarmed vessels in company, were to be allowed in
future to sail to the south of Lissus (Alessio, between Scutari and
Durazzo). The maritime supremacy of Rome in the Adriatic was
asserted, in the most praiseworthy and durable way, by the rapid
and energetic suppression of the evil of piracy.

Acquisition Of Territory In Illyria
Impression In Greece And Macedonia

But the Romans went further, and established themselves on the east
coast. The Illyrians of Scodra were rendered tributary to Rome;
Demetrius of Pharos, who had passed over from the service of Teuta to
that of the Romans, was installed, as a dependent dynast and ally of
Rome, over the islands and coasts of Dalmatia; the Greek cities
Corcyra, Epidamnus, Apollonia, and the communities of the Atintanes
and Parthini were attached to Rome under mild forms of symmachy.
These acquisitions on the east coast of the Adriatic were not
sufficiently extensive to require the appointment of a special
auxiliary consul; governors of subordinate rank appear to have
been sent to Corcyra and perhaps also to other places, and the
superintendence of these possessions seems to have been entrusted
to the chief magistrates who administered Italy.(11) Thus the most
important maritime stations in the Adriatic became subject, like
Sicily and Sardinia, to the authority of Rome. What other result was
to be expected? Rome was in want of a good naval station in the upper
Adriatic--a want which was not supplied by her possessions on the
Italian shore; her new allies, especially the Greek commercial towns,
saw in the Romans their deliverers, and doubtless did what they could
permanently to secure so powerful a protection; in Greece itself
no one was in a position to oppose the movement; on the contrary,
the praise of the liberators was on every one's lips. It may be a
question whether there was greater rejoicing or shame in Hellas, when,
in place of the ten ships of the line of the Achaean league, the most
warlike power in Greece, two hundred sail belonging to the barbarians
now entered her harbours and accomplished at a blow the task, which
properly belonged to the Greeks, but in which they had failed so
miserably. But if the Greeks were ashamed that the salvation of their
oppressed countrymen had to come from abroad, they accepted the
deliverance at least with a good grace; they did not fail to receive
the Romans solemnly into the fellowship of the Hellenic nation by
admitting them to the Isthmian games and the Eleusinian mysteries.

Macedonia was silent; it was not in a condition to protest in arms,
and disdained to do so in words. No resistance was encountered.
Nevertheless Rome, by seizing the keys to her neighbour's house, had
converted that neighbour into an adversary who, should he recover his
power, or should a favourable opportunity occur, might be expected to
know how to break the silence. Had the energetic and prudent king
Antigonus Doson lived longer, he would have doubtless taken up the
gauntlet which the Romans had flung down, for, when some years
afterwards the dynast Demetrius of Pharos withdrew from the hegemony
of Rome, prosecuted piracy contrary to the treaty in concert with
the Istrians, and subdued the Atintanes whom the Romans had declared
independent, Antigonus formed an alliance with him, and the troops
of Demetrius fought along with the army of Antigonus at the battle
of Sellasia (532). But Antigonus died (in the winter 533-4); and his
successor Philip, still a boy, allowed the Consul Lucius Aemilius
Paullus to attack the ally of Macedonia, to destroy his capital,
and to drive him from his kingdom into exile (535).

Northern Italy

The mainland of Italy proper, south of the Apennines, enjoyed profound
peace after the fall of Tarentum: the six days' war with Falerii (513)
was little more than an interlude. But towards the north, between the
territory of the confederacy and the natural boundary of Italy--the
chain of the Alps--there still extended a wide region which was not
subject to the Romans. What was regarded as the boundary of Italy on
the Adriatic coast was the river Aesis immediately above Ancona.
Beyond this boundary the adjacent properly Gallic territory as far as,
and including, Ravenna belonged in a similar way as did Italy proper
to the Roman alliance; the Senones, who had formerly settled there,
were extirpated in the war of 471-2,(12) and the several townships
were connected with Rome, either as burgess-colonies, like Sena
Gallica,(13) or as allied towns, whether with Latin rights, like
Ariminum,(14) or with Italian rights, like Ravenna. On the wide
region beyond Ravenna as far as the Alps non-Italian peoples were
settled. South of the Po the strong Celtic tribe of the Boii still
held its ground (from Parma to Bologna); alongside of them, the
Lingones on the east and the Anares on the west (in the region of
Parma)--two smaller Celtic cantons presumably clients of the Boii--
peopled the plain. At the western end of the plain the Ligurians
began, who, mingled with isolated Celtic tribes, and settled on the
Apennines from above Arezzo and Pisa westward, occupied the region of
the sources of the Po. The eastern portion of the plain north of the
Po, nearly from Verona to the coast, was possessed by the Veneti, a
race different from the Celts and probably of Illyrian extraction.
Between these and the western mountains were settled the Cenomani
(about Brescia and Cremona) who rarely acted with the Celtic nation
and were probably largely intermingled with Veneti, and the Insubres
(around Milan). The latter was the most considerable of the Celtic
cantons in Italy, and was in constant communication not merely
with the minor communities partly of Celtic, partly of non-Celtic
extraction, that were scattered in the Alpine valleys, but also with
the Celtic cantons beyond the Alps. The gates of the Alps, the mighty
stream navigable for 230 miles, and the largest and most fertile plain
of the then civilized Europe, still continued in the hands of the
hereditary foes of the Italian name, who, humbled indeed and weakened,
but still scarce even nominally dependent and still troublesome
neighbours, persevered in their barbarism, and, thinly scattered over
the spacious plains, continued to pasture their herds and to plunder.
It was to be anticipated that the Romans would hasten to possess
themselves of these regions; the more so as the Celts gradually began
to forget their defeats in the campaigns of 471 and 472 and to bestir
themselves again, and, what was still more dangerous, the Transalpine
Celts began anew to show themselves on the south of the Alps.

Celtic Wars

In fact the Boii had already renewed the war in 516, and their
chiefs Atis and Galatas had--without, it is true, the authority of the
general diet--summoned the Transalpine Gauls to make common cause with
them. The latter had numerously answered the call, and in 518 a
Celtic army, such as Italy had not seen for long, encamped before
Ariminum. The Romans, for the moment much too weak to attempt a
battle, concluded an armistice, and to gain time allowed envoys from
the Celts to proceed to Rome, who ventured in the senate to demand
the cession of Ariminum--it seemed as if the times of Brennus had
returned. But an unexpected incident put an end to the war before it
had well begun. The Boii, dissatisfied with their unbidden allies and
afraid probably for their own territory, fell into variance with the
Transalpine Gauls. An open battle took place between the two Celtic
hosts; and, after the chiefs of the Boii had been put to death by
their own men, the Transalpine Gauls returned home. The Boii were
thus delivered into the hands of the Romans, and the latter were at
liberty to expel them like the Senones, and to advance at least to
the Po; but they preferred to grant the Boii peace in return for
the cession of some districts of their land (518). This was probably
done, because they were just at that time expecting the renewed
outbreak of war with Carthage; but, after that war had been averted by
the cession of Sardinia, true policy required the Roman government to
take possession as speedily and entirely as possible of the country up
to the Alps. The constant apprehensions on the part of the Celts as
to such a Roman invasion were therefore sufficiently justified; but
the Romans were in no haste. So the Celts on their part began the
war, either because the Roman assignations of land on the east coast
(522), although not a measure immediately directed against them, made
them apprehensive of danger; or because they perceived that a war with
Rome for the possession of Lombardy was inevitable; or, as is perhaps
most probable, because their Celtic impatience was once more weary of
inaction and preferred to arm for a new warlike expedition. With the
exception of the Cenomani, who acted with the Veneti and declared for
the Romans, all the Italian Celts concurred in the war, and they were
joined by the Celts of the upper valley of the Rhone, or rather by
a number of adventurers belonging to them, under the leaders
Concolitanus and Aneroestus.(15) With 50,000 warriors on foot, and
20,000 on horseback or in chariots, the leaders of the Celts advanced
to the Apennines (529). The Romans had not anticipated an attack on
this side, and had not expected that the Celts, disregarding the Roman
fortresses on the east coast and the protection of their own kinsmen,
would venture to advance directly against the capital. Not very long
before a similar Celtic swarm had in an exactly similar way overrun
Greece. The danger was serious, and appeared still more serious than
it really was. The belief that Rome's destruction was this time
inevitable, and that the Roman soil was fated to become the property
of the Gauls, was so generally diffused among the multitude in Rome
itself that the government reckoned it not beneath its dignity to
allay the absurd superstitious belief of the mob by an act still more
absurd, and to bury alive a Gaulish man and a Gaulish woman in the
Roman Forum with a view to fulfil the oracle of destiny. At the same
time they made more serious preparations. Of the two consular armies,
each of which numbered about 25,000 infantry and 1100 cavalry, one
was stationed in Sardinia under Gaius Atilius Regulus, the other at
Ariminum under Lucius Aemilius Papus. Both received orders to repair
as speedily as possible to Etruria, which was most immediately
threatened. The Celts had already been under the necessity of leaving
a garrison at home to face the Cenomani and Veneti, who were allied
with Rome; now the levy of the Umbrians was directed to advance from
their native mountains down into the plain of the Boii, and to inflict
all the injury which they could think of on the enemy upon his own
soil. The militia of the Etruscans and Sabines was to occupy the
Apennines and if possible to obstruct the passage, till the regular
troops could arrive. A reserve was formed in Rome of 50,000 men.
Throughout all Italy, which on this occasion recognized its true
champion in Rome, the men capable of service were enrolled, and stores
and materials of war were collected.

Battle Of Telamon

All this, however, required time. For once the Romans had allowed
themselves to be surprised, and it was too late at least to save
Etruria. The Celts found the Apennines hardly defended, and plundered
unopposed the rich plains of the Tuscan territory, which for long had
seen no enemy. They were already at Clusium, three days' march from
Rome, when the army of Ariminum, under the consul Papus, appeared on
their flank, while the Etruscan militia, which after crossing the
Apennines had assembled in rear of the Gauls, followed the line of the
enemy's march. Suddenly one evening, after the two armies had already
encamped and the bivouac fires were kindled, the Celtic infantry again
broke up and retreated on the road towards Faesulae (Fiesole): the
cavalry occupied the advanced posts during the night, and followed the
main force next morning. When the Tuscan militia, who had pitched
their camp close upon the enemy, became aware of his departure, they
imagined that the host had begun to disperse, and marched hastily in
pursuit. The Gauls had reckoned on this very result: their infantry,
which had rested and was drawn up in order, awaited on a well-chosen
battlefield the Roman militia, which came up from its forced march
fatigued and disordered. Six thousand men fell after a furious
combat, and the rest of the militia, which had been compelled to seek
refuge on a hill, would have perished, had not the consular army
appeared just in time. This induced the Gauls to return homeward.
Their dexterously-contrived plan for preventing the union of the two
Roman armies and annihilating the weaker in detail, had only been
partially successful; now it seemed to them advisable first of all to
place in security their considerable booty. For the sake of an easier
line of march they proceeded from the district of Chiusi, where they
were, to the level coast, and were marching along the shore, when
they found an unexpected obstacle in the way. It was the Sardinian
legions, which had landed at Pisae; and, when they arrived too late to
obstruct the passage of the Apennines, had immediately put themselves
in motion and were advancing along the coast in a direction opposite
to the march of the Gauls. Near Telamon (at the mouth of the Ombrone)
they met with the enemy. While the Roman infantry advanced with close
front along the great road, the cavalry, led by the consul Gaius
Atilius Regulus in person, made a side movement so as to take the
Gauls in flank, and to acquaint the other Roman army under Papus as
soon as possible with their arrival. A hot cavalry engagement took
place, in which along with many brave Romans Regulus fell; but he had
not sacrificed his life in vain: his object was gained. Papus became
aware of the conflict, and guessed how matters stood; he hastily
arrayed his legions, and on both sides the Celtic host was now pressed
by Roman legions. Courageously it made its dispositions for the
double conflict, the Transalpine Gauls and Insubres against the
troops of Papus, the Alpine Taurisci and the Boii against the
Sardinian infantry; the cavalry combat pursued its course apart on
the flank. The forces were in numbers not unequally matched, and the
desperate position of the Gauls impelled them to the most obstinate
resistance. But the Transalpine Gauls, accustomed only to close
fighting, gave way before the missiles of the Roman skirmishers; in
the hand-to-hand combat the better temper of the Roman weapons placed
the Gauls at a disadvantage; and at last an attack in flank by the
victorious Roman cavalry decided the day. The Celtic horsemen made
their escape; the infantry, wedged in between the sea and the three
Roman armies, had no means of flight. 10,000 Celts, with their king
Concolitanus, were taken prisoners; 40,000 others lay dead on the
field of battle; Aneroestus and his attendants had, after the Celtic
fashion, put themselves to death.

The Celts Attacked In Their Own Land

The victory was complete, and the Romans were firmly resolved to
prevent the recurrence of such surprises by the complete subjugation
of the Celts on the south of the Alps. In the following year (530)
the Boii submitted without resistance along with the Lingones; and in
the year after that (531) the Anares; so that the plain as far as the
Po was in the hands of the Romans. The conquest of the northern bank
of the river cost a more serious struggle. Gaius Flaminius crossed
the river in the newly-acquired territory of the Anares (somewhere
near Piacenza) in 531; but during the crossing, and still more while
making good his footing on the other bank, he suffered so heavy losses
and found himself with the river in his rear in so dangerous a
position, that he made a capitulation with the enemy to secure a free
retreat, which the Insubres foolishly conceded. Scarce, however, had
he escaped when he appeared in the territory of the Cenomani, and,
united with them, advanced for the second time from the north into the
canton of the Insubres. The Gauls perceived what was now the object
of the Romans, when it was too late: they took from the temple of
their goddess the golden standards called the "immovable," and with
their whole levy, 50,000 strong, they offered battle to the Romans.
The situation of the latter was critical: they were stationed with
their back to a river (perhaps the Oglio), separated from home by the
enemy's territory, and left to depend for aid in battle as well as for
their line of retreat on the uncertain friendship of the Cenomani.
There was, however, no choice. The Gauls fighting in the Roman ranks
were placed on the left bank of the stream; on the right, opposite to
the Insubres, the legions were drawn up, and the bridges were broken
down that they might not be assailed, at least in the rear, by their
dubious allies.

The Celts Conquered By Rome

In this way undoubtedly the river cut off their retreat, and their way
homeward lay through the hostile army. But the superiority of the
Roman arms and of Roman discipline achieved the victory, and the army
cut its way through: once more the Roman tactics had redeemed the
blunders of the general. The victory was due to the soldiers and
officers, not to the generals, who gained a triumph only through
popular favour in opposition to the just decree of the senate. Gladly
would the Insubres have made peace; but Rome required unconditional
subjection, and things had not yet come to that pass. They tried to
maintain their ground with the help of their northern kinsmen; and,
with 30,000 mercenaries whom they had raised amongst these and their
own levy, they received the two consular armies advancing once more in
the following year (532) from the territory of the Cenomani to invade
their land. Various obstinate combats took place; in a diversion,
attempted by the Insubres against the Roman fortress of Clastidium
(Casteggio, below Pavia), on the right bank of the Po, the Gallic
king Virdumarus fell by the hand of the consul Marcus Marcellus. But,
after a battle already half won by the Celts but ultimately decided
in favour of the Romans, the consul Gnaeus Scipio took by assault
Mediolanum, the capital of the Insubres, and the capture of that town
and of Comum terminated their resistance. Thus the Celts of Italy
were completely vanquished, and as, just before, the Romans had shown
to the Hellenes in the war with the pirates the difference between a
Roman and a Greek sovereignty of the seas, so they had now brilliantly
demonstrated that Rome knew how to defend the gates of Italy against
freebooters on land otherwise than Macedonia had guarded the gates of
Greece, and that in spite of all internal quarrels Italy presented as
united a front to the national foe, as Greece exhibited distraction
and discord.

Romanization Of The Entire Of Italy

The boundary of the Alps was reached, in so far as the whole flat
country on the Po was either rendered subject to the Romans, or, like
the territories of the Cenomani and Veneti, was occupied by dependent
allies. It needed time, however, to reap the consequences of this
victory and to Romanize the land. In this the Romans did not adopt
a uniform mode of procedure. In the mountainous northwest of Italy
and in the more remote districts between the Alps and the Po they
tolerated, on the whole, the former inhabitants; the numerous wars,
as they are called, which were waged with the Ligurians in particular
(first in 516) appear to have been slave-hunts rather than wars, and,
often as the cantons and valleys submitted to the Romans, Roman
sovereignty in that quarter was hardly more than a name. The
expedition to Istria also (533) appears not to have aimed at much
more than the destruction of the last lurking-places of the Adriatic
pirates, and the establishment of a communication by land along the
coast between the Italian conquests of Rome and her acquisitions on
the other shore. On the other hand the Celts in the districts south
of the Po were doomed irretrievably to destruction; for, owing to
the looseness of the ties connecting the Celtic nation, none of the
northern Celtic cantons took part with their Italian kinsmen except
for money, and the Romans looked on the latter not only as their
national foes, but as the usurpers of their natural heritage. The
extensive assignations of land in 522 had already filled the whole
territory between Ancona and Ariminum with Roman colonists, who
settled here without communal organization in market-villages and
hamlets. Further measures of the same character were taken, and
it was not difficult to dislodge and extirpate a half-barbarous
population like the Celtic, only partially following agriculture,
and destitute of walled towns. The great northern highway, which had
been, probably some eighty years earlier, carried by way of Otricoli
to Narni, and had shortly before been prolonged to the newly-founded
fortress of Spoletium (514), was now (534) carried, under the name of
the "Flaminian" road, by way of the newly-established market-village
Forum Flaminii (near Foligno), through the pass of Furlo to the coast,
and thence along the latter from Fanum (Fano) to Ariminum; it was the
first artificial road which crossed the Apennines and connected the
two Italian seas. Great zeal was manifested in covering the newly-
acquired fertile territory with Roman townships. Already, to cover
the passage of the Po, the strong fortress of Placentia (Piacenza)
had been founded on the right bank; not far from it Cremona had been
laid out on the left bank, and the building of the walls of Mutina
(Modena), in the territory taken away from the Boii, had far advanced
--already preparations were being made for further assignations of
land and for continuing the highway, when sudden event interrupted
the Romans in reaping the fruit of their successes.

Notes For Chapter III

1. III. II. Evacuation Of Africa

2. That the cession of the islands lying between Sicily and Italy,
which the peace of 513 prescribed to the Carthaginians, did not
include the cession of Sardinia is a settled point (III. II. Remarks
On The Roman Conduct Of The War); but the statement, that the Romans
made that a pretext for their occupation of the island three years
after the peace, is ill attested. Had they done so, they would merely
have added a diplomatic folly to the political effrontery.

3. III. II. The War On The Coasts Of Sicily And Sardinia

4. III. VIII. Changes In Procedure

5. II. I. Restrictions On The Delegation Of Powers

6. That this was the case may be gathered partly from the appearance
of the "Siculi" against Marcellus (Liv. xxvi. 26, seq.), partly from
the "conjoint petitions of all the Sicilian communities" (Cicero,
Verr. ii. 42, 102; 45, 114; 50, 146; iii. 88, 204), partly from well-
known analogies (Marquardt, Handb. iii. i, 267). Because there was no
-commercium- between the different towns, it by no means follows that
there was no -concilium-.

7. The right of coining gold and silver was not monopolized by Rome
in the provinces so strictly as in Italy, evidently because gold
and silver money not struck after the Roman standard was of less
importance. But in their case too the mints were doubtless, as a
rule, restricted to the coinage of copper, or at most silver, small
money; even the most favourably treated communities of Roman Sicily,
such as the Mamertines, the Centuripans, the Halaesines, the
Segestans, and also in the main the Pacormitaus coined only copper.

8. This is implied in Hiero's expression (Liv. xxii. 37):
that he knew that the Romans made use of none but Roman or Latin
infantry and cavalry, and employed "foreigners" at most only among
the light-armed troops.

9. This is shown at once by a glance at the map, and also by the
remarkable exceptional provision which allowed the Centuripans
to buy to any part of Sicily. They needed, as Roman spies, the
utmost freedom of movement We may add that Centuripa appears to
have been among the first cities that went over to Rome
(Diodorus, l. xxiii. p. 501).

10. This distinction between Italy as the Roman mainland or consular
sphere on the one hand, and the transmarine territory or praetorial
sphere on the other, already appears variously applied in the sixth
century. The ritual rule, that certain priests should not leave Rome
(Val. Max. i. i, 2), was explained to mean, that they were not allowed
to cross the sea (Liv. Ep. 19, xxxvii. 51; Tac. Ann. iii. 58, 71; Cic.
Phil. xi. 8, 18; comp. Liv. xxviii. 38, 44, Ep. 59). To this head
still more definitely belongs the interpretation which was proposed in
544 to be put upon the old rule, that the consul might nominate the
dictator only on "Roman ground": viz. that "Roman ground" comprehended
all Italy (Liv. xxvii. 5). The erection of the Celtic land between
the Alps and Apennines into a special province, different from that of
the consuls and subject to a separate Standing chief magistrate, was
the work of Sulla. Of course no one will Urge as an objection to this
view, that already in the sixth century Gallia or Ariminum is very
often designated as the "official district" (-provincia-), usually of
one of the consuls. -Provincia-, as is well known, was in the older
language not--what alone it denoted subsequently--a definite space
assigned as a district to a standing chief magistrate, but the
department of duty fixed for the individual consul, in the first
instance by agreement with his colleague, under concurrence of the
senate; and in this sense frequently individual regions in northern
Italy, or even North Italy generally, were assigned to individual
consuls as -provincia-.

11. A standing Roman commandant of Corcyra is apparently mentioned in
Polyb. xxii. 15, 6 (erroneously translated by Liv. xxxviii. ii, comp.
xlii. 37), and a similar one in the case of Issa in Liv. xliii. 9.
We have, moreover, the analogy of the -praefectus pro legato insularum
Baliarum- (Orelli, 732), and of the governor of Pandataria (Inscr.
Reg. Neapol. 3528). It appears, accordingly, to have been a rule in
the Roman administration to appoint non-senatorial -praefecti- for the
more remote islands. But these "deputies" presuppose in the nature of
the case a superior magistrate who nominates and superintends them;
and this superior magistracy can only have been at this period that of
the consuls. Subsequently, after the erection of Macedonia and Gallia
Cisalpina into provinces, the superior administration was committed to
one of these two governors; the very territory now in question, the
nucleus of the subsequent Roman province of Illyricum, belonged, as
is well known, in part to Caesar's district of administration.

12. III. VII. The Senones Annihilated

13. III. VII. Breach Between Rome And Tarentum

14. III. VII. Construction Of New Fortresses And Roads

15. These, whom Polybius designates as the "Celts in the Alps and on
the Rhone, who on account of their character as military adventurers
are called Gaesatae (free lances)," are in the Capitoline Fasti named
-Germani-. It is possible that the contemporary annalists may have
here mentioned Celts alone, and that it was the historical speculation
of the age of Caesar and Augustus that first induced the redactors of
these Fasti to treat them as "Germans." If, on the other hand, the
mention of the Germans in the Fasti was based on contemporary records
--in which case this is the earliest mention of the name--we shall here
have to think not of the Germanic races who were afterwards so called,
but of a Celtic horde.

Chapter IV

Hamilcar And Hannibal

Situation Of Carthage After the Peace

The treaty with Rome in 513 gave to the Carthaginians peace, but they
paid for it dearly. That the tribute of the largest portion of Sicily
now flowed into the enemy's exchequer instead of the Carthaginian
treasury, was the least part of their loss. They felt a far keener
regret when they not merely had to abandon the hope of monopolizing
all the sea-routes between the eastern and the western Mediterranean
--just as that hope seemed on the eve of fulfilment--but also saw
their whole system of commercial policy broken up, the south-western
basin of the Mediterranean, which they had hitherto exclusively
commanded, converted since the loss of Sicily into an open
thoroughfare for all nations, and the commerce of Italy rendered
completely independent of the Phoenician. Nevertheless the quiet
men of Sidon might perhaps have prevailed on themselves to acquiesce
in this result. They had met with similar blows already; they had
been obliged to share with the Massiliots, the Etruscans, and the
Sicilian Greeks what they had previously possessed alone; even now
the possessions which they retained, Africa, Spain, and the gates of
the Atlantic Ocean, were sufficient to confer power and prosperity.
But in truth, where was their security that these at least would
continue in their hands? The demands made by Regulus, and his very
near approach to the obtaining of what he asked, could only be
forgotten by those who were willing to forget; and if Rome should now
renew from Lilybaeum the enterprise which she had undertaken with so
great success from Italy, Carthage would undoubtedly fall, unless the
perversity of the enemy or some special piece of good fortune should
intervene to save it No doubt they had peace for the present; but the
ratification of that peace had hung on a thread, and they knew what
public opinion in Rome thought of the terms on which it was concluded.
It might be that Rome was not yet meditating the conquest of Africa
and was as yet content with Italy; but if the existence of the
Carthaginian state depended on that contentment, the prospect was but
a sorry one; and where was the security that the Romans might not find
it even convenient for their Italian policy to extirpate rather than
reduce to subjection their African neighbour?

War Party And Peace Party In Carthage

In short, Carthage could only regard the peace of 513 in the light
of a truce, and could not but employ it in preparations for the
inevitable renewal of the war; not for the purpose of avenging the
defeat which she had suffered, nor even with the primary view of
recovering what she had lost, but in order to secure for herself an
existence that should not be dependent on the good-will of the enemy.
But when a war of annihilation is surely, though in point of time
indefinitely, impending over a weaker state, the wiser, more
resolute, and more devoted men--who would immediately prepare for the
unavoidable struggle, accept it at a favourable moment, and thus cover
their defensive policy by a strategy of offence--always find
themselves hampered by the indolent and cowardly mass of the money-
worshippers, of the aged and feeble, and of the thoughtless who are
minded merely to gain time, to live and die in peace, and to postpone
at any price the final struggle. So there was in Carthage a party
for peace and a party for war, both, as was natural, associating
themselves with the political distinction which already existed
between the conservatives and the reformers. The former found its
support in the governing boards, the council of the Ancients and that
of the Hundred, led by Hanno the Great, as he was called; the latter
found its support in the leaders of the multitude, particularly the
much-respected Hasdrubal, and in the officers of the Sicilian army,
whose great successes under the leadership of Hamilcar, although they
had been otherwise fruitless, had at least shown to the patriots a
method which seemed to promise deliverance from the great danger that
beset them. Vehement feud had probably long subsisted between these
parties, when the Libyan war intervened to suspend the strife. We
have already related how that war arose. After the governing party
had instigated the mutiny by their incapable administration which
frustrated all the precautionary measures of the Sicilian officers,
had converted that mutiny into a revolution by the operation of their
inhuman system of government, and had at length brought the country to
the verge of ruin by their military incapacity--and particularly that
of their leader Hanno, who ruined the army--Hamilcar Barcas, the hero
of Ercte, was in the perilous emergency solicited by the government
itself to save it from the effects of its blunders and crimes. He
accepted the command, and had the magnanimity not to resign it
even when they appointed Hanno as his colleague. Indeed, when the
indignant army sent the latter home, Hamilcar had the self-control
a second time to concede to him, at the urgent request of the
government, a share in the command; and, in spite of his enemies and
in spite of such a colleague, he was able by his influence with the
insurgents, by his dexterous treatment of the Numidian sheiks, and
by his unrivalled genius for organization and generalship, in a
singularly short time to put down the revolt entirely and to recall
rebellious Africa to its allegiance (end of 517).

During this war the patriot party had kept silence; now it spoke out
the louder. On the one hand this catastrophe had brought to light
the utterly corrupt and pernicious character of the ruling oligarchy,
their incapacity, their coterie-policy, their leanings towards the
Romans. On the other hand the seizure of Sardinia, and the
threatening attitude which Rome on that occasion assumed, showed
plainly even to the humblest that a declaration of war by Rome was
constantly hanging like the sword of Damocles over Carthage, and that,
if Carthage in her present circumstances went to war with Rome,
the consequence must necessarily be the downfall of the Phoenician
dominion in Libya. Probably there were in Carthage not a few who,
despairing of the future of their country, counselled emigration to
the islands of the Atlantic; who could blame them? But minds of the
nobler order disdain to save themselves apart from their nation,
and great natures enjoy the privilege of deriving enthusiasm from
circumstances in which the multitude of good men despair. They
accepted the new conditions just as Rome dictated them; no course
was left but to submit and, adding fresh bitterness to their former
hatred, carefully to cherish and husband resentment--that last
resource of an injured nation. They then took steps towards a
political reform.(1) They had become sufficiently convinced of the
incorrigibleness of the party in power: the fact that the governing
lords had even in the last war neither forgotten their spite nor
learned greater wisdom, was shown by the effrontery bordering on
simplicity with which they now instituted proceedings against Hamilcar
as the originator of the mercenary war, because he had without full
powers from the government made promises of money to his Sicilian
soldiers. Had the club of officers and popular leaders desired to
overthrow this rotten and wretched government, it would hardly have
encountered much difficulty in Carthage itself; but it would have met
with more formidable obstacles in Rome, with which the chiefs of the
government in Carthage already maintained relations that bordered on
treason. To all the other difficulties of the position there fell
to be added the circumstance, that the means of saving their country
had to be created without allowing either the Romans, or their own
government with its Roman leanings, to become rightly aware of
what was doing.

Hamilcar Commander-In-Chief

So they left the constitution untouched, and the chiefs of the
government in full enjoyment of their exclusive privileges and of the
public property. It was merely proposed and carried, that of the two
commanders-in-chief, who at the end of the Libyan war were at the head
of the Carthaginian troops, Hanno and Hamilcar, the former should be
recalled, and the latter should be nominated commander-in-chief for
all Africa during an indefinite period. It was arranged that he
should hold a position independent of the governing corporations
--his antagonists called it an unconstitutional monarchical power,
Cato calls it a dictatorship--and that he could only be recalled and
placed upon his trial by the popular assembly.(2) Even the choice
of a successor was to be vested not in the authorities of the capital,
but in the army, that is, in the Carthaginians serving in the array as
gerusiasts or officers, who were named in treaties also along with
the general; of course the right of confirmation was reserved to the
popular assembly at home. Whether this may or may not have been a
usurpation, it clearly indicates that the war party regarded and
treated the army as its special domain.

The commission which Hamilcar thus received sounded but little
liable to exception. Wars with the Numidian tribes on the borders
never ceased; only a short time previously the "city of a hundred
gates," Theveste (Tebessa), in the interior had been occupied by the
Carthaginians. The task of continuing this border warfare, which was
allotted to the new commander-in-chief of Africa, was not in itself of
such importance as to prevent the Carthaginian government, which was
allowed to do as it liked in its own immediate sphere, from tacitly
conniving at the decrees passed in reference to the matter by the
popular assembly; and the Romans did not perhaps recognize its
significance at all.

Hamilcar's War Projects
The Army
The Citizens

Thus there stood at the head of the army the one man, who had given
proof in the Sicilian and in the Libyan wars that fate had destined
him, if any one, to be the saviour of his country. Never perhaps was
the noble struggle of man with fate waged more nobly than by him.
The army was expected to save the state; but what sort of army?
The Carthaginian civic militia had fought not badly under Hamilcar's
leadership in the Libyan war; but he knew well, that it is one thing
to lead out the merchants and artisans of a city, which is in the
extremity of peril, for once to battle, and another to form them
into soldiers. The patriotic party in Carthage furnished him with
excellent officers, but it was of course almost exclusively the
cultivated class that was represented in it. He had no citizen-
militia, at most a few squadrons of Libyphoenician cavalry. The task
was to form an army out of Libyan forced recruits and mercenaries; a
task possible in the hands of a general like Hamilcar, but possible
even for him only on condition that he should be able to pay his men
punctually and amply. But he had learned, by experience in Sicily,
that the state revenues of Carthage were expended in Carthage itself
on matters much more needful than the payment of the armies that
fought against the enemy. The warfare which he waged, accordingly,
had to support itself, and he had to carry out on a great scale what
he had already attempted on a smaller scale at Monte Pellegrino. But
further, Hamilcar was not only a military chief, he was also a party
leader. In opposition to the implacable governing party, which
eagerly but patiently waited for an opportunity of overthrowing him,
he had to seek support among the citizens; and although their leaders
might be ever so pure and noble, the multitude was deeply corrupt and
accustomed by the unhappy system of corruption to give nothing without
being paid for it. In particular emergencies, indeed, necessity or
enthusiasm might for the moment prevail, as everywhere happens even
with the most venal corporations; but, if Hamilcar wished to secure
the permanent support of the Carthaginian community for his plan,
which at the best could only be carried out after a series of years,
he had to supply his friends at home with regular consignments of
money as the means of keeping the mob in good humour. Thus compelled
to beg or to buy from the lukewarm and venal multitude the permission
to save it; compelled to bargain with the arrogance of men whom
he hated and whom he had constantly conquered, at the price of
humiliation and of silence, for the respite indispensable for his
ends; compelled to conceal from those despised traitors to their
country, who called themselves the lords of his native city, his plans
and his contempt--the noble hero stood with few like-minded friends
between enemies without and enemies within, building upon the
irresolution of the one and of the other, at once deceiving both and
defying both, if only he might gain means, money, and men for the
contest with a land which, even were the army ready to strike the
blow, it seemed difficult to reach and scarce possible to vanquish.
He was still a young man, little beyond thirty, but he had apparently,
when he was preparing for his expedition, a foreboding that he would
not be permitted to attain the end of his labours, or to see otherwise
than afar off the promised land. When he left Carthage he enjoined
his son Hannibal, nine years of age, to swear at the altar of the
supreme God eternal hatred to the Roman name, and reared him and his
younger sons Hasdrubal and Mago--the "lion's brood," as he called
them--in the camp as the inheritors of his projects, of his genius,
and of his hatred.

Hamilcar Proceed To Spain
Spanish Kingdom Of The Barcides

The new commander-in-chief of Libya departed from Carthage immediately
after the termination of the mercenary war (perhaps in the spring of
518). He apparently meditated an expedition against the free Libyans
in the west. His army, which was especially strong in elephants,
marched along the coast; by its side sailed the fleet, led by his
faithful associate Hasdrubal. Suddenly tidings came that he had
crossed the sea at the Pillars of Hercules and had landed in Spain,
where he was waging war with the natives--with people who had done him
no harm, and without orders from his government, as the Carthaginian
authorities complained. They could not complain at any rate that he
neglected the affairs of Africa; when the Numidians once more
rebelled, his lieutenant Hasdrubal so effectually routed them that
for a long period there was tranquillity on the frontier, and several
tribes hitherto independent submitted to pay tribute. What he
personally did in Spain, we are no longer able to trace in detail.
His achievements compelled Cato the elder, who, a generation after
Hamilcar's death, beheld in Spain the still fresh traces of his
working, to exclaim, notwithstanding all his hatred of the
Carthaginians, that no king was worthy to be named by the side of
Hamilcar Barcas. The results still show to us, at least in a general
way, what was accomplished by Hamilcar as a soldier and a statesman in
the last nine years of his life (518-526)--till in the flower of his
age, fighting bravely in the field of battle, he met his death like
Scharn-horst just as his plans were beginning to reach maturity--and
what during the next eight years (527-534) the heir of his office
and of his plans, his son-in-law Hasdrubal, did to prosecute, in the
spirit of the master, the work which Hamilcar had begun. Instead of
the small entrepot for trade, which, along with the protectorate over
Gades, was all that Carthage had hitherto possessed on the Spanish
coast, and which she had treated as a dependency of Libya, a
Carthaginian kingdom was founded in Spain by the generalship of
Hamilcar, and confirmed by the adroit statesmanship of Hasdrubal.
The fairest regions of Spain, the southern and eastern coasts,
became Phoenician provinces. Towns were founded; above all, "Spanish
Carthage" (Cartagena) was established by Hasdrubal on the only good
harbour along the south coast, containing the splendid "royal castle"
of its founder. Agriculture flourished, and, still more, mining in
consequence of the fortunate discovery of the silver-mines of
Cartagena, which a century afterwards had a yearly produce of more
than 360,000 pounds (36,000,000 sesterces). Most of the communities
as far as the Ebro became dependent on Carthage and paid tribute to
it. Hasdrubal skilfully by every means, even by intermarriages,
attached the chiefs to the interests of Carthage. Thus Carthage
acquired in Spain a rich market for its commerce and manufactures;
and not only did the revenues of the province sustain the army, but
there remained a balance to be remitted to Carthage and reserved for
future use. The province formed and at the same time trained the
army; regular levies took place in the territory subject to Carthage;
the prisoners of war were introduced into the Carthaginian corps.
Contingents and mercenaries, as many as were desired, were supplied
by the dependent communities. During his long life of warfare the
soldier found in the camp a second home, and found a substitute for
patriotism in fidelity to his standard and enthusiastic attachment
to his great leaders. Constant conflicts with the brave Iberians and
Celts created a serviceable infantry, to co-operate with the excellent
Numidian cavalry.

The Carthaginian Government And The Barcides

So far as Carthage was concerned, the Barcides were allowed to go on.
Since the citizens were not asked for regular contributions, but on
the contrary some benefit accrued to them and commerce recovered in
Spain what it had lost in Sicily and Sardinia, the Spanish war and the
Spanish army with its brilliant victories and important successes soon
became so popular that it was even possible in particular emergencies,
such as after Hamilcar's fall, to effect the despatch of considerable
reinforcements of African troops to Spain; and the governing party,
whether well or ill affected, had to maintain silence, or at any rate
to content themselves with complaining to each other or to their
friends in Rome regarding the demagogic officers and the mob.

The Roman Government And The Barcides

On the part of Rome too nothing took place calculated seriously to
alter the course of Spanish affairs. The first and chief cause of
the inactivity of the Romans was undoubtedly their very want of
acquaintance with the circumstances of the remote peninsula--which was
certainly also Hamilcar's main reason for selecting Spain and not, as
might otherwise have been possible, Africa itself for the execution of
his plan. The explanations with which the Carthaginian generals met
the Roman commissioners sent to Spain to procure information on the
spot, and their assurances that all this was done only to provide
the means of promptly paying the war-contributions to Rome, could not
possibly find belief in the senate. But they probably discerned
only the immediate object of Hamilcar's plans, viz. to procure
compensation in Spain for the tribute and the traffic of the islands
which Carthage had lost; and they deemed an aggressive war on the part
of the Carthaginians, and in particular an invasion of Italy from
Spain--as is evident both from express statements to that effect and
from the whole state of the case--as absolutely impossible. Many, of
course, among the peace party in Carthage saw further; but, whatever
they might think, they could hardly be much inclined to enlighten
their Roman friends as to the impending storm, which the Carthaginian
authorities had long been unable to prevent, for that step would
accelerate, instead of averting, the crisis; and even if they did so,
such denunciations proceeding from partisans would justly be received
with great caution at Rome. By degrees, certainly, the inconceivably
rapid and mighty extension of the Carthaginian power in Spain could
not but excite the observation and awaken the apprehensions of the
Romans. In fact, in the course of the later years before the outbreak
of war, they did attempt to set bounds to it. About the year 528,
mindful of their new-born Hellenism, they concluded an alliance
with the two Greek or semi-Greek towns on the east coast of Spain,
Zacynthus or Saguntum (Murviedro, not far from Valencia), and Emporiae
(Ampurias); and when they acquainted the Carthaginian general
Hasdrubal that they had done so, they at the same time warned him
not to push his conquests over the Ebro, with which he promised
compliance. This was not done by any means to prevent an invasion
of Italy by the land-route--no treaty could fetter the general who
undertook such an enterprise--but partly to set a limit to the
material power of the Spanish Carthaginians which began to be
dangerous, partly to secure the free communities between the Ebro
and the Pyrenees whom Rome thus took under her protection, a basis
of operations in case of its being necessary to land and make war in
Spain. In reference to the impending war with Carthage, which the
senate did not fail to see was inevitable, they hardly apprehended any
greater inconvenience from the events that had occurred in Spain than
that they might be compelled to send some legions thither, and that
the enemy would be somewhat better provided with money and soldiers
than, without Spain, he would have been; they were at any rate firmly
resolved, as the plan of the campaign of 536 shows and as indeed could
not but be the case, to begin and terminate the next war in Africa,
--a course which would at the same time decide the fate of Spain.
Further grounds for delay were suggested during the first years by the
instalments from Carthage, which a declaration of war would have cut
off, and then by the death of Hamilcar, which probably induced friends
and foes to think that his projects must have died with him. Lastly,
during the latter years when the senate certainly began, to apprehend
that it was not prudent long to delay the renewal of the war, there
was the very intelligible wish to dispose of the Gauls in the
valley of the Po in the first instance, for these, threatened with
extirpation, might be expected to avail themselves of any serious war
undertaken by Rome to allure the Transalpine tribes once more to
Italy, and to renew those Celtic migrations which were still fraught
with very great peril. That it was not regard either for the
Carthaginian peace party or for existing treaties which withheld the
Romans from action, is self-evident; moreover, if they desired war,
the Spanish feuds furnished at any moment a ready pretext. The
conduct of Rome in this view is by no means unintelligible; but as
little can it be denied that the Roman senate in dealing with this
matter displayed shortsightedness and slackness--faults which were
still more inexcusably manifested in their mode of dealing at the same
epoch with Gallic affairs. The policy of the Romans was always more
remarkable for tenacity, cunning, and consistency, than for grandeur
of conception or power of rapid organization--qualities in which the
enemies of Rome from Pyrrhus down to Mithradates often surpassed her.


Thus the smiles of fortune inaugurated the brilliantly conceived
project of Hamilcar. The means of war were acquired--a numerous army
accustomed to combat and to conquer, and a constantly replenished
exchequer; but, in order that the right moment might be discovered for
the struggle and that the right direction might be given to it, there
was wanted a leader. The man, whose head and heart had in a desperate
emergency and amidst a despairing people paved the way for their
deliverance, was no more, when it became possible to carry out his
design. Whether his successor Hasdrubal forbore to make the attack
because the proper moment seemed to him to have not yet come, or
whether, more a statesman than a general, he believed himself unequal
to the conduct of the enterprise, we are unable to determine. When,
at the beginning of 534, he fell by the hand of an assassin, the
Carthaginian officers of the Spanish army summoned to fill his place
Hannibal, the eldest son of Hamilcar. He was still a young man--born
in 505, and now, therefore, in his twenty-ninth year; but his had
already been a life of manifold experience. His first recollections
pictured to him his father fighting in a distant land and conquering
on Ercte; he had keenly shared that unconquered father's feelings on
the peace of Catulus, on the bitter return home, and throughout the
horrors of the Libyan war. While yet a boy, he had followed his
father to the camp; and he soon distinguished himself. His light
and firmly-knit frame made him an excellent runner and fencer, and a
fearless rider at full speed; the privation of sleep did not affect
him, and he knew like a soldier how to enjoy or to dispense with food.
Although his youth had been spent in the camp, he possessed such
culture as belonged to the Phoenicians of rank in his day; in Greek,
apparently after he had become a general, he made such progress under
the guidance of his confidant Sosilus of Sparta as to be able to
compose state papers in that language. As he grew up, he entered
the army of his father, to perform his first feats of arms under the
paternal eye and to see him fall in battle by his side. Thereafter he
had commanded the cavalry under his sister's husband, Hasdrubal, and
distinguished himself by brilliant personal bravery as well as by his
talents as a leader. The voice of his comrades now summoned him--the
tried, although youthful general--to the chief command, and he could
now execute the designs for which his father and his brother-in-law
had lived and died. He took up the inheritance, and he was worthy of
it. His contemporaries tried to cast stains of various sorts on his
character; the Romans charged him with cruelty, the Carthaginians with
covetousness; and it is true that he hated as only Oriental natures
know how to hate, and that a general who never fell short of money and
stores can hardly have been other than covetous. But though anger and
envy and meanness have written his history, they have not been able to
mar the pure and noble image which it presents. Laying aside wretched
inventions which furnish their own refutation, and some things which
his lieutenants, particularly Hannibal Monomachus and Mago the
Samnite, were guilty of doing in his name, nothing occurs in the
accounts regarding him which may not be justified under the
circumstances, and according to the international law, of the times;
and all agree in this, that he combined in rare perfection discretion
and enthusiasm, caution and energy. He was peculiarly marked by that
inventive craftiness, which forms one of the leading traits of the
Phoenician character; he was fond of taking singular and unexpected
routes; ambushes and stratagems of all sorts were familiar to him;
and he studied the character of his antagonists with unprecedented
care. By an unrivalled system of espionage--he had regular spies even
in Rome--he kept himself informed of the projects of the enemy; he
himself was frequently seen wearing disguises and false hair, in order
to procure information on some point or other. Every page of the
history of this period attests his genius in strategy; and his gifts
as a statesman were, after the peace with Rome, no less conspicuously
displayed in his reform of the Carthaginian constitution, and in the
unparalleled influence which as a foreign exile he exercised in the
cabinets of the eastern powers. The power which he wielded over men
is shown by his incomparable control over an army of various nations
and many tongues--an army which never in the worst times mutinied
against him. He was a great man; wherever he went, he riveted the
eyes of all.

Rupture Between Rome and Carthage

Hannibal resolved immediately after his nomination (in the spring
of 534) to commence the war. The land of the Celts was still in a
ferment, and a war seemed imminent between Rome and Macedonia: he had
good reason now to throw off the mask without delay and to carry the
war whithersoever he pleased, before the Romans began it at their own
convenience with a descent on Africa. His army was soon ready to take
the field, and his exchequer was filled by some razzias on a great
scale; but the Carthaginian government showed itself far from desirous
of despatching the declaration of war to Rome. The place of
Hasdrubal, the patriotic national leader, was even more difficult
to fill in Carthage than that of Hasdrubal the general in Spain; the
peace party had now the ascendency at home, and persecuted the leaders
of the war party with political indictments. The rulers who had
already cut down and mutilated the plans of Hamilcar were by no means
inclined to allow the unknown young man, who now commanded in Spain,
to vent his youthful patriotism at the expense of the state; and
Hannibal hesitated personally to declare war in open opposition to the
legitimate authorities. He tried to provoke the Saguntines to break
the peace; but they contented themselves with making a complaint to
Rome. Then, when a commission from Rome appeared, he tried to
drive it to a declaration of war by treating it rudely; but the
commissioners saw how matters stood: they kept silence in Spain,
with a view to lodge complaints at Carthage and to report at home that
Hannibal was ready to strike and that war was imminent. Thus the time
passed away; accounts had already come of the death of Antigonus
Doson, who had suddenly died nearly at the same time with Hasdrubal;
in Cisalpine Gaul the establishment of fortresses was carried on by
the Romans with redoubled rapidity and energy; preparations were made
in Rome for putting a speedy end in the course of the next spring to
the insurrection in Illyria. Every day was precious; Hannibal formed
his resolution. He sent summary intimation to Carthage that the
Saguntines were making aggressions on the Torboletes, subjects of
Carthage, and he must therefore attack them; and without waiting for
a reply he began in the spring of 535 the siege of a town which was in
alliance with Rome, or, in other words, war against Rome. We may form
some idea of the views and counsels that would prevail in Carthage
from the impression produced in certain circles by York's
capitulation. All "respectable men," it was said, disapproved an
attack made "without orders"; there was talk of disavowal, of
surrendering the daring officer. But whether it was that dread of the
army and of the multitude nearer home outweighed in the Carthaginian
council the fear of Rome; or that they perceived the impossibility
of retracing such a step once taken; or that the mere -vis inertiae-
prevented any definite action, they resolved at length to resolve on
nothing and, if not to wage war, to let it nevertheless be waged.
Saguntum defended itself, as only Spanish towns know how to conduct
defence: had the Romans showed but a tithe of the energy of their
clients, and not trifled away their time during the eight months'
siege of Saguntum in the paltry warfare with Illyrian brigands, they
might, masters as they were of the sea and of places suitable for
landing, have spared themselves the disgrace of failing to grant the
protection which they had promised, and might perhaps have given a
different turn to the war. But they delayed, and the town was at
length taken by storm. When Hannibal sent the spoil for distribution
to Carthage, patriotism and zeal for war were roused in the hearts of
many who had hitherto felt nothing of the kind, and the distribution
cut off all prospect of coming to terms with Rome. Accordingly, when
after the destruction of Saguntum a Roman embassy appeared at Carthage
and demanded the surrender of the general and of the gerusiasts
present in the camp, and when the Roman spokesman, interrupting an
attempt at justification, broke off the discussion and, gathering
up his robe, declared that he held in it peace and war and that the
gerusia might choose between them, the gerusiasts mustered courage
to reply that they left it to the choice of the Roman; and when he
offered war, they accepted it (in the spring of 536).

Preparations For Attacking Italy

Hannibal, who had lost a whole year through the obstinate resistance
of the Saguntines, had as usual retired for the winter of 535-6 to
Cartagena, to make all his preparations on the one hand for the attack
of Italy, on the other for the defence of Spain and Africa; for, as
he, like his father and his brother-in-law, held the supreme command
in both countries, it devolved upon him to take measures also for the
protection of his native land. The whole mass of his forces amounted
to about 120,000 infantry and 16,000 cavalry; he had also 58
elephants, 32 quinqueremes manned, and 18 not manned, besides the
elephants and vessels remaining at the capital. Excepting a few
Ligurians among the light troops, there were no mercenaries in this
Carthaginian army; the troops, with the exception of some Phoenician
squadrons, consisted mainly of the Carthaginian subjects called out
for service--Libyans and Spaniards. To insure the fidelity of the
latter the general, who knew the men with whom he had to deal, gave
them as a proof of his confidence a general leave of absence for the
whole winter; while, not sharing the narrow-minded exclusiveness of
Phoenician patriotism, he promised to the Libyans on his oath the
citizenship of Carthage, should they return to Africa victorious.
This mass of troops however was only destined in part for the
expedition to Italy. Some 20,000 men were sent to Africa, the smaller
portion of them proceeding to the capital and the Phoenician territory
proper, the majority to the western point of Africa. For the
protection of Spain 12,000 infantry, 2500 cavalry, and nearly the half
of the elephants were left behind, in addition to the fleet stationed
there; the chief command and the government of Spain were entrusted
to Hannibal's younger brother Hasdrubal. The immediate territory of
Carthage was comparatively weakly garrisoned, because the capital
afforded in case of need sufficient resources; in like manner a
moderate number of infantry sufficed for the present in Spain, where
new levies could be procured with ease, whereas a comparatively large
proportion of the arms specially African--horses and elephants--was
retained there. The chief care was bestowed in securing the
communications between Spain and Africa: with that view the fleet
remained in Spain, and western Africa was guarded by a very strong
body of troops. The fidelity of the troops was secured not only by
hostages collected from the Spanish communities and detained in the
stronghold of Saguntum, but by the removal of the soldiers from the
districts where they were raised to other quarters: the east African
militia were moved chiefly to Spain, the Spanish to Western Africa,
the West African to Carthage. Adequate provision was thus made for
defence. As to offensive measures, a squadron of 20 quinqueremes with
1000 soldiers on board was to sail from Carthage for the west coast of
Italy and to pillage it, and a second of 25 sail was, if possible,
to re-establish itself at Lilybaeum; Hannibal believed that he might
count upon the government making this moderate amount of exertion.
With the main army he determined in person to invade Italy; as was
beyond doubt part of the original plan of Hamilcar. A decisive attack
on Rome was only possible in Italy, as a similar attack on Carthage
was only possible in Libya; as certainly as Rome meant to begin her
next campaign with the latter, so certainly ought Carthage not to
confine herself at the outset either to any secondary object of
operations, such as Sicily, or to mere defence--defeat would in
any case involve equal destruction, but victory would not yield
equal fruit.

Method Of Attack

But how could Italy be attacked? He might succeed in reaching the
peninsula by sea or by land; but if the project was to be no mere
desperate adventure, but a military expedition with a strategic aim,
a nearer basis for its operations was requisite than Spain or Africa.
Hannibal could not rely for support on a fleet and a fortified
harbour, for Rome was now mistress of the sea. As little did the
territory of the Italian confederacy present any tenable basis. If
in very different times, and in spite of Hellenic sympathies, it had
withstood the shock of Pyrrhus, it was not to be expected that it
would now fall to pieces on the appearance of the Phoenician general;
an invading army would without doubt be crushed between the network of
Roman fortresses and the firmly-consolidated confederacy. The land of
the Ligurians and Celts alone could be to Hannibal, what Poland was to
Napoleon in his very similar Russian campaigns. These tribes still
smarting under their scarcely ended struggle for independence, alien
in race from the Italians, and feeling their very existence endangered
by the chain of Roman fortresses and highways whose first coils were
even now being fastened around them, could not but recognize their
deliverers in the Phoenician army (which numbered in its ranks
numerous Spanish Celts), and would serve as a first support for it to
fall back upon--a source whence it might draw supplies and recruits.
Already formal treaties were concluded with the Boii and the Insubres,
by which they bound themselves to send guides to meet the Carthaginian
army, to procure for it a good reception from the cognate tribes and
supplies along its route, and to rise against the Romans as soon as
it should set foot on Italian ground. In fine, the relations of Rome
with the east led the Carthaginians to this same quarter. Macedonia,
which by the victory of Sellasia had re-established its sovereignty
in the Peloponnesus, was in strained relations with Rome; Demetrius of
Pharos, who had exchanged the Roman alliance for that of Macedonia
and had been dispossessed by the Romans, lived as an exile at the
Macedonian court, and the latter had refused the demand which the
Romans made for his surrender. If it was possible to combine the
armies from the Guadalquivir and the Karasu anywhere against the
common foe, it could only be done on the Po. Thus everything directed
Hannibal to Northern Italy; and that the eyes of his father had
already been turned to that quarter, is shown by the reconnoitring
party of Carthaginians, whom the Romans to their great surprise
encountered in Liguria in 524.

The reason for Hannibal's preference of the land route to that by sea

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