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The History Of Rome, Book III by Theodor Mommsen

Part 4 out of 11

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negotiations with the Roman general Marcus Valerius Laevinus and
delivered to him Agrigentum. Hanno escaped in a boat, and went to
Carthage to report to his superiors the disgraceful high treason of
Hannibal's officer; the Phoenician garrison in the town was put to
death by the Romans, and the citizens were sold into slavery (544).
To secure the island from such surprises as the landing of 540, the
city received a new body of inhabitants selected from Sicilians well
disposed towards Rome; the old glorious Akragas was no more. After
the whole of Sicily was thus subdued, the Romans exerted themselves to
restore some sort of tranquillity and order to the distracted island.
The pack of banditti that haunted the interior were driven together
en masse and conveyed to Italy, that from their head-quarters at
Rhegium they might burn and destroy in the territories of Hannibal's
allies. The government did its utmost to promote the restoration
of agriculture which had been totally neglected in the island.
The Carthaginian council more than once talked of sending a fleet
to Sicily and renewing the war there; but the project went no further.

Philip Of Macedonia And His Delay

Macedonia might have exercised an influence over the course of
events more decisive than that of Syracuse. From the Eastern powers
neither furtherance nor hindrance was for the moment to be expected.
Antiochus the Great, the natural ally of Philip, had, after the
decisive victory of the Egyptians at Raphia in 537, to deem himself
fortunate in obtaining peace from the indolent Philopator on the basis
of the -status quo ante-. The rivalry of the Lagidae and the constant
apprehension of a renewed outbreak of the war on the one hand, and
insurrections of pretenders in the interior and enterprises of all
sorts in Asia Minor, Bactria, and the eastern satrapies on the other,
prevented him from joining that great anti-Roman alliance which
Hannibal had in view. The Egyptian court was decidedly on the side
of Rome, with which it renewed alliance in 544; but it was not to be
expected of Ptolemy Philopator, that he would support otherwise than
by corn-ships. Accordingly there was nothing to prevent Greece and
Macedonia from throwing a decisive weight into the great Italian
struggle except their own discord; they might save the Hellenic name,
if they had the self-control to stand by each other for but a few
years against the common foe. Such sentiments doubtless were current
in Greece. The prophetic saying of Agelaus of Naupactus, that he was
afraid that the prize-fights in which the Hellenes now indulged at
home might soon be over; his earnest warning to direct their eyes to
the west, and not to allow a stronger power to impose on all the
parties now contending a peace of equal servitude--such sayings had
essentially contributed to bring about the peace between Philip and
the Aetolians (537), and it was a significant proof of the tendency
of that peace that the Aetolian league immediately nominated Agelaus
as its -strategus-.

National patriotism was bestirring itself in Greece as in Carthage:
for a moment it seemed possible to kindle a Hellenic national war
against Rome. But the general in such a crusade could only be Philip
of Macedonia; and he lacked the enthusiasm and the faith in the
nation, without which such a war could not be waged. He knew not
how to solve the arduous problem of transforming himself from the
oppressor into the champion of Greece. His very delay in the
conclusion of the alliance with Hannibal damped the first and best
zeal of the Greek patriots; and when he did enter into the conflict
with Rome, his mode of conducting war was still less fitted to awaken
sympathy and confidence. His first attempt, which was made in the
very year of the battle of Cannae (538), to obtain possession of the
city of Apollonia, failed in a way almost ridiculous, for Philip
turned back in all haste on receiving the totally groundless report
that a Roman fleet was steering for the Adriatic. This took place
before there was a formal breach with Rome; when the breach at length
ensued, friend and foe expected a Macedonian landing in Lower Italy.
Since 539 a Roman fleet and army had been stationed at Brundisium to
meet it; Philip, who was without vessels of war, was constructing a
flotilla of light Illyrian barks to convey his army across. But when
the endeavour had to be made in earnest, his courage failed to
encounter the dreaded quinqueremes at sea; he broke the promise which
he had given to his ally Hannibal to attempt a landing, and with the
view of still doing something he resolved to make an attack on his own
share of the spoil, the Roman possessions in Epirus (540). Nothing
would have come of this even at the best; but the Romans, who well
knew that offensive was preferable to defensive protection, were by no
means content to remain--as Philip may have hoped--spectators of the
attack from the opposite shore. The Roman fleet conveyed a division
of the army from Brundisium to Epirus; Oricum was recaptured from the
king, a garrison was thrown into Apollonia, and the Macedonian camp
was stormed. Thereupon Philip passed from partial action to total
inaction, and notwithstanding all the complaints of Hannibal, who
vainly tried to breathe into such a halting and shortsighted policy
his own fire and clearness of decision, he allowed some years to
elapse in armed inactivity.

Rome Heads A Greek Coalition Against Macedonia

Nor was Philip the first to renew the hostilities. The fall of
Tarentum (542), by which Hannibal acquired an excellent port on the
coast which was the most convenient for the landing of a Macedonian
army, induced the Romans to parry the blow from a distance and to give
the Macedonians so much employment at home that they could not think
of an attempt on Italy. The national enthusiasm in Greece had of
course evaporated long ago. With the help of the old antagonism to
Macedonia, and of the fresh acts of imprudence and injustice of which
Philip had been guilty, the Roman admiral Laevinus found no difficulty
in organizing against Macedonia a coalition of the intermediate and
minor powers under the protectorate of Rome. It was headed by the
Aetolians, at whose diet Laevinus had personally appeared and had
gained its support by a promise of the Acarnanian territory which
the Aetolians had long coveted. They concluded with Rome a modest
agreement to rob the other Greeks of men and land on the joint
account, so that the land should belong to the Aetolians, the men
and moveables to the Romans. They were joined by the states of anti-
Macedonian, or rather primarily of anti-Achaean, tendencies in Greece
proper; in Attica by Athens, in the Peloponnesus by Elis and Messene
and especially by Sparta, the antiquated constitution of which had
been just about this time overthrown by a daring soldier Machanidas,
in order that he might himself exercise despotic power under the
name of king Pelops, a minor, and might establish a government of
adventurers sustained by bands of mercenaries. The coalition was
joined moreover by those constant antagonists of Macedonia, the
chieftains of the half-barbarous Thracian and Illyrian tribes, and
lastly by Attalus king of Pergamus, who followed out his own interest
with sagacity and energy amidst the ruin of the two great Greek states
which surrounded him, and had the acuteness even now to attach himself
as a client to Rome when his assistance was still of some value.

Resultless Warfare
Peace Between Philip And The Greeks
Peace Between Philip And Rome

It is neither agreeable nor necessary to follow the vicissitudes of
this aimless struggle. Philip, although he was superior to each one
of his opponents and repelled their attacks on all sides with energy
and personal valour, yet consumed his time and strength in that
profitless defensive. Now he had to turn against the Aetolians,
who in concert with the Roman fleet annihilated the unfortunate
Acarnanians and threatened Locris and Thessaly; now an invasion of
barbarians summoned him to the northern provinces; now the Achaeans
solicited his help against the predatory expeditions of Aetolians and
Spartans; now king Attalus of Pergamus and the Roman admiral Publius
Sulpicius with their combined fleets threatened the east coast or
landed troops in Euboea. The want of a war fleet paralyzed Philip in
all his movements; he even went so far as to beg vessels of war from
his ally Prusias of Bithynia, and even from Hannibal. It was only
towards the close of the war that he resolved--as he should have done
at first--to order the construction of 100 ships of war; of these
however no use was made, if the order was executed at all. All who
understood the position of Greece and sympathized with it lamented
the unhappy war, in which the last energies of Greece preyed upon
themselves and the prosperity of the land was destroyed; repeatedly
the commercial states, Rhodes, Chios, Mitylene, Byzantium, Athens, and
even Egypt itself had attempted a mediation. In fact both parties had
an interest in coming to terms. The Aetolians, to whom their Roman
allies attached the chief importance, had, like the Macedonians,
much to suffer from the war; especially after the petty king of the
Athamanes had been gained by Philip, and the interior of Aetolia had
thus been laid open to Macedonian incursions. Many Aetolians too had
their eyes gradually opened to the dishonourable and pernicious part
which the Roman alliance condemned them to play; a cry of horror
pervaded the whole Greek nation when the Aetolians in concert with
the Romans sold whole bodies of Hellenic citizens, such as those of
Anticyra, Oreus, Dyme, and Aegina, into slavery. But the Aetolians
were no longer free; they ran a great risk if of their own accord they
concluded peace with Philip, and they found the Romans by no means
disposed, especially after the favourable turn which matters were
taking in Spain and in Italy, to desist from a war, which on their
part was carried on with merely a few ships, and the burden and
injury of which fell mainly on the Aetolians. At length however
the Aetolians resolved to listen to the mediating cities: and,
notwithstanding the counter-efforts of the Romans, a peace was
arranged in the winter of 548-9 between the Greek powers. Aetolia had
converted an over-powerful ally into a dangerous enemy; but the Roman
senate, which just at that time was summoning all the resources of the
exhausted state for the decisive expedition to Africa, did not deem it
a fitting moment to resent the breach of the alliance. The war with
Philip could not, after the withdrawal of the Aetolians, have been
carried on by the Romans without considerable exertions of their own;
and it appeared to them more convenient to terminate it also by a
peace, whereby the state of things before the war was substantially
restored and Rome in particular retained all her possessions on the
coast of Epirus except the worthless territory of the Atintanes.
Under the circumstances Philip had to deem himself fortunate in
obtaining such terms; but the fact proclaimed--what could not indeed
be longer concealed--that all the unspeakable misery which ten years
of a warfare waged with revolting inhumanity had brought upon Greece
had been endured in vain, and that the grand and just combination,
which Hannibal had projected and all Greece had for a moment joined,
was shattered irretrievably.

Spanish War

In Spain, where the spirit of Hamilcar and Hannibal was powerful, the
struggle was more earnest. Its progress was marked by the singular
vicissitudes incidental to the peculiar nature of the country and the
habits of the people. The farmers and shepherds, who inhabited the
beautiful valley of the Ebro and the luxuriantly fertile Andalusia as
well as the rough intervening highland region traversed by numerous
wooded mountain ranges, could easily be assembled in arms as a general
levy; but it was difficult to lead them against the enemy or even to
keep them together at all. The towns could just as little be combined
for steady and united action, obstinately as in each case they bade
defiance to the oppressor behind their walls. They all appear to have
made little distinction between the Romans and the Carthaginians;
whether the troublesome guests who had established themselves in the
valley of the Ebro, or those who had established themselves on the
Guadalquivir, possessed a larger or smaller portion of the peninsula,
was probably to the natives very much a matter of indifference; and
for that reason the tenacity of partisanship so characteristic of
Spain was but little prominent in this war, with isolated exceptions
such as Saguntum on the Roman and Astapa on the Carthaginian side.
But, as neither the Romans nor the Africans had brought with them
sufficient forces of their own, the war necessarily became on both
sides a struggle to gain partisans, which was decided rarely by solid
attachment, more usually by fear, money, or accident, and which, when
it seemed about to end, resolved itself into an endless series of
fortress-sieges and guerilla conflicts, whence it soon revived with
fresh fury. Armies appeared and disappeared like sandhills on the
seashore; on the spot where a hill stood yesterday, not a trace of
it remains today. In general the superiority was on the side of
the Romans, partly because they at first appeared in Spain as the
deliverers of the land from Phoenician despotism, partly because of
the fortunate selection of their leaders and of the stronger nucleus
of trustworthy troops which these brought along with them. It is
hardly possible, however, with the very imperfect and--in point of
chronology especially--very confused accounts which have been handed
down to us, to give a satisfactory view of a war so conducted.

Successes Of The Scipios
Syphax Against Carthage

The two lieutenant-governors of the Romans in the peninsula, Gnaeus
and Publius Scipio--both of them, but especially Gnaeus, good
generals and excellent administrators--accomplished their task with
the most brilliant success. Not only was the barrier of the Pyrenees
steadfastly maintained, and the attempt to re-establish the
interrupted communication by land between the commander-in-chief of
the enemy and his head-quarters sternly repulsed; not only had a
Spanish New Rome been created, after the model of the Spanish New
Carthage, by means of the comprehensive fortifications and harbour
works of Tarraco, but the Roman armies had already in 539 fought with
success in Andalusia.(2) Their expedition thither was repeated in
the following year (540) with still greater success. The Romans
carried their arms almost to the Pillars of Hercules, extended their
protectorate in South Spain, and lastly by regaining and restoring
Saguntum secured for themselves an important station on the line from
the Ebro to Cartagena, repaying at the same time as far as possible
an old debt which the nation owed. While the Scipios thus almost
dislodged the Carthaginians from Spain, they knew how to raise up a
dangerous enemy to them in western Africa itself in the person of the
powerful west African prince Syphax, ruling in the modern provinces of
Oran and Algiers, who entered into connections with the Romans (about
541). Had it been possible to supply him with a Roman army, great
results might have been expected; but at that time not a man could be
spared from Italy, and the Spanish army was too weak to be divided.
Nevertheless the troops belonging to Syphax himself, trained and led
by Roman officers, excited so serious a ferment among the Libyan
subjects of Carthage that the lieutenant-commander of Spain and
Africa, Hasdrubal Barcas, went in person to Africa with the flower
of his Spanish troops. His arrival in all likelihood gave another
turn to the matter; the king Gala--in what is now the province of
Constantine--who had long been the rival of Syphax, declared for
Carthage, and his brave son Massinissa defeated Syphax, and compelled
him to make peace. Little more is related of this Libyan war than the
story of the cruel vengeance which Carthage, according to her wont,
inflicted on the rebels after the victory of Massinissa.

The Scipios Defeated And Killed
Spain South Of The Ebro Lost To The Romans
Nero Sent To Spain

This turn of affairs in Africa had an important effect on the war in
Spain. Hasdrubal was able once more to turn to that country (543),
whither he was soon followed by considerable reinforcements and by
Massinissa himself. The Scipios, who during the absence of the
enemy's general (541, 542) had continued to plunder and to gain
partisans in the Carthaginian territory, found themselves unexpectedly
assailed by forces so superior that they were under the necessity of
either retreating behind the Ebro or calling out the Spaniards. They
chose the latter course, and took into their pay 20,000 Celtiberians;
and then, in order the better to encounter the three armies of the
enemy under Hasdrubal Barcas, Hasdrubal the son of Gisgo, and Mago,
they divided their army and did not even keep their Roman troops
together. They thus prepared the way for their own destruction.
While Gnaeus with his corps, containing a third of the Roman and all
the Spanish troops, lay encamped opposite to Hasdrubal Barcas, the
latter had no difficulty in inducing the Spaniards in the Roman army
by means of a sum of money to withdraw--which perhaps to their free-
lance ideas of morals did not even seem a breach of fidelity, seeing
that they did not pass over to the enemies of their paymaster.
Nothing was left to the Roman general but hastily to begin his
retreat, in which the enemy closely followed him. Meanwhile the
second Roman corps under Publius found itself vigorously assailed
by the two other Phoenician armies under Hasdrubal son of Gisgo
and Mago, and the daring squadrons of Massinissa's horse gave to
the Carthaginians a decided advantage. The Roman camp was almost
surrounded; when the Spanish auxiliaries already on the way should
arrive, the Romans would be completely hemmed in. The bold resolve
of the proconsul to encounter with his best troops the advancing
Spaniards, before their appearance should fill up the gap in the
blockade, ended unfortunately. The Romans indeed had at first the
advantage; but the Numidian horse, who were rapidly despatched in
pursuit, soon overtook them and prevented them both from following up
the victory which they had already half gained, and from marching
back, until the Phoenician infantry came up and at length the fall of
the general converted the lost battle into a defeat. After Publius
had thus fallen, Gnaeus, who slowly retreating had with difficulty
defended himself against the one Carthaginian army, found himself
suddenly assailed at once by three, and all retreat cut off by the
Numidian cavalry. Hemmed in upon a bare hill, which did not even
afford the possibility of pitching a camp, the whole corps were cut
down or taken prisoners. As to the fate of the general himself no
certain information was ever obtained. A small division alone was
conducted by Gaius Marcius, an excellent officer of the school of
Gnaeus, in safety to the other bank of the Ebro; and thither the
legate Titus Fonteius also succeeded in bringing safely the portion
of the corps of Publius that had been left in the camp; most even of
the Roman garrisons scattered in the south of Spain were enabled to
flee thither. In all Spain south of the Ebro the Phoenicians ruled
undisturbed; and the moment seemed not far distant, when the river
would be crossed, the Pyrenees would be open, and the communication
with Italy would be restored. But the emergency in the Roman camp
called the right man to the command. The choice of the soldiers,
passing over older and not incapable officers, summoned that Gaius
Marcius to become leader of the army; and his dexterous management
and quite as much perhaps, the envy and discord among the three
Carthaginian generals, wrested from these the further fruits of their
important victory. Such of the Carthaginians as had crossed the river
were driven back, and the line of the Ebro was held in the meanwhile,
till Rome gained time to send a new army and a new general.
Fortunately the turn of the war in Italy, where Capua had just fallen,
allowed this to be done. A strong legion--12,000 men--arriving under
the propraetor Gaius Claudius Nero, restored the balance of arms.
An expedition to Andalusia in the following year (544) was most
successful; Hasdrubal Barcas was beset and surrounded, and escaped a
capitulation only by ignoble stratagem and open perfidy. But Nero was
not the right general for the Spanish war. He was an able officer,
but a harsh, irritable, unpopular man, who had little skill in the
art of renewing old connections or of forming new ones, or in taking
advantage of the injustice and arrogance with which the Carthaginians
after the death of the Scipios had treated friend and foe in Further
Spain, and had exasperated all against them.

Publius Scipio

The senate, which formed a correct judgment as to the importance
and the peculiar character of the Spanish war, and had learned from
the Uticenses brought in as prisoners by the Roman fleet the great
exertions which were making in Carthage to send Hasdrubal and
Massinissa with a numerous army over the Pyrenees, resolved to
despatch to Spain new reinforcements and an extraordinary general of
higher rank, the nomination of whom they deemed it expedient to leave
to the people. For long--so runs the story--nobody announced himself
as ready to take in hand the complicated and perilous business; but
at last a young officer of twenty-seven, Publius Scipio (son of the
general of the same name that had fallen in Spain), who had held the
offices of military tribune and aedile, came forward to solicit it.
It is incredible that the Roman senate should have left to accident
an election of such importance in this meeting of the Comitia which
it had itself suggested, and equally incredible that ambition and
patriotism should have so died out in Rome that no tried officer
presented himself for the important post. If on the other hand the
eyes of the senate turned to the young, talented, and experienced
officer, who had brilliantly distinguished himself in the hotly-
contested days on the Ticinus and at Cannae, but who still had not the
rank requisite for his coming forward as the successor of men who had
been praetors and consuls, it was very natural to adopt this course,
which compelled the people out of good nature to admit the only
candidate notwithstanding his defective qualification, and which could
not but bring both him and the Spanish expedition, which was doubtless
very unpopular, into favour with the multitude. If the effect of this
ostensibly unpremeditated candidature was thus calculated, it was
perfectly successful. The son, who went to avenge the death of a
father whose life he had saved nine years before on the Ticinus;
the young man of manly beauty and long locks, who with modest blushes
offered himself in the absence of a better for the post of danger;
the mere military tribune, whom the votes of the centuries now raised
at once to the roll of the highest magistracies--all this made a
wonderful and indelible impression on the citizens and farmers of
Rome. And in truth Publius Scipio was one, who was himself
enthusiastic, and who inspired enthusiasm. He was not one of the few
who by their energy and iron will constrain the world to adopt and to
move in new paths for centuries, or who at any rate grasp the reins of
destiny for years till its wheels roll over them. Publius Scipio
gained battles and conquered countries under the instructions of the
senate; with the aid of his military laurels he took also a prominent
position in Rome as a statesman; but a wide interval separates such a
man from an Alexander or a Caesar. As an officer he rendered at least
no greater service to his country than Marcus Marcellus; and as a
politician, although not perhaps himself fully conscious of the
unpatriotic and personal character of his policy, he injured his
country at least as much, as he benefited it by his military skill.
Yet a special charm lingers around the form of that graceful hero;
it is surrounded, as with a dazzling halo, by the atmosphere of serene
and confident inspiration, in which Scipio with mingled credulity and
adroitness always moved. With quite enough of enthusiasm to warm
men's hearts, and enough of calculation to follow in every case the
dictates of intelligence, while not leaving out of account the vulgar;
not naive enough to share the belief of the multitude in his divine
inspirations, nor straightforward enough to set it aside, and yet in
secret thoroughly persuaded that he was a man specially favoured of
the gods--in a word, a genuine prophetic nature; raised above the
people, and not less aloof from them; a man of steadfast word and
kingly spirit, who thought that he would humble himself by adopting
the ordinary title of a king, but could never understand how the
constitution of the republic should in his case be binding;
so confident in his own greatness that he knew nothing of envy
or of hatred, courteously acknowledged other men's merits, and
compassionately forgave other men's faults; an excellent officer and
a refined diplomatist without the repellent special impress of either
calling, uniting Hellenic culture with the fullest national feeling of
a Roman, an accomplished speaker and of graceful manners--Publius
Scipio won the hearts of soldiers and of women, of his countrymen
and of the Spaniards, of his rivals in the senate and of his greater
Carthaginian antagonist. His name was soon on every one's lips, and
his was the star which seemed destined to bring victory and peace
to his country.

Scipio Goes To Spain
Capture Of New Carthage

Publius Scipio went to Spain in 544-5, accompanied by the propraetor
Marcus Silanus, who was to succeed Nero and to serve as assistant and
counsellor to the young commander-in-chief, and by his intimate friend
Gaius Laelius as admiral, and furnished with a legion exceeding the
usual strength and a well-filled chest. His appearance on the scene
was at once signalized by one of the boldest and most fortunate -coups
de main- that are known in history. Of the three Carthaginian
generals Hasdrubal Barcas was stationed at the sources, Hasdrubal
son of Gisgo at the mouth, of the Tagus, and Mago at the Pillars of
Hercules; the nearest of them was ten days' march from the Phoenician
capital New Carthage. Suddenly in the spring of 545, before the
enemy's armies began to move, Scipio set out with his whole army of
nearly 30,000 men and the fleet for this town, which he could reach
from the mouth of the Ebro by the coast route in a few days, and
surprised the Phoenician garrison, not above 1000 men strong, by a
combined attack by sea and land. The town, situated on a tongue of
land projecting into the harbour, found itself threatened at once on
three sides by the Roman fleet, and on the fourth by the legions; and
all help was far distant. Nevertheless the commandant Mago defended
himself with resolution and armed the citizens, as the soldiers did
not suffice to man the walls. A sortie was attempted; but the Romans
repelled it with ease and, without taking time to open a regular
siege, began the assault on the landward side. Eagerly the assailants
pushed their advance along the narrow land approach to the town;
new columns constantly relieved those that were fatigued; the weak
garrison was utterly exhausted; but the Romans had gained no
advantage. Scipio had not expected any; the assault was merely
designed to draw away the garrison from the side next to the harbour,
where, having been informed that part of the latter was left dry at
ebb-tide, he meditated a second attack. While the assault was raging
on the landward side, Scipio sent a division with ladders over the
shallow bank "where Neptune himself showed them the way," and they had
actually the good fortune to find the walls at that point undefended.
Thus the city was won on the first day; whereupon Mago in the citadel
capitulated. With the Carthaginian capital there fell into the hands
of the Romans 18 dismantled vessels of war and 63 transports, the
whole war-stores, considerable supplies of corn, the war-chest of 600
talents (more than; 40,000 pounds), ten thousand captives, among whom
were eighteen Carthaginian gerusiasts or judges, and the hostages of
all the Spanish allies of Carthage. Scipio promised the hostages
permission to return home so soon as their respective communities
should have entered into alliance with Rome, and employed the
resources which the city afforded to reinforce and improve the
condition of his army. He ordered the artisans of New Carthage,
2000 in number, to work for the Roman army, promising to them liberty
at the close of the war, and he selected the able-bodied men among
the remaining multitude to serve as rowers in the fleet. But the
burgesses of the city were spared, and allowed to retain their liberty
and former position. Scipio knew the Phoenicians, and was aware that
they would obey; and it was important that a city possessing the only
excellent harbour on the east coast and rich silver mines should be
secured by something more than a garrison.

Success thus crowned the bold enterprise--bold, because it was not
unknown to Scipio that Hasdrubal Barcas had received orders from his
government to advance towards Gaul and was engaged in fulfilling them,
and because the weak division left behind on the Ebro was not in a
position seriously to oppose that movement, should the return of
Scipio be delayed. But he was again at Tarraco, before Hasdrubal made
his appearance on the Ebro. The hazard of the game which the young
general played, when he abandoned his primary task in order to execute
a dashing stroke, was concealed by the fabulous success which Neptune
and Scipio had gained in concert. The marvellous capture of the
Phoenician capital so abundantly justified all the expectations
which had been formed at home regarding the wondrous youth, that
none could venture to utter any adverse opinion. Scipio's command was
indefinitely prolonged; he himself resolved no longer to confine his
efforts to the meagre task of guarding the passes of the Pyrenees.
Already, in consequence of the fall of New Carthage, not only had
the Spaniards on the north of the Ebro completely submitted, but
even beyond the Ebro the most powerful princes had exchanged
the Carthaginian for the Roman protectorate.

Scipio Goes To Andalusia
Hasdrubal Crosses The Pyrenees

Scipio employed the winter of 545-6 in breaking up his fleet and
increasing his land army with the men thus acquired, so that he
might at once guard the north and assume the offensive in the south
more energetically than before; and he marched in 546 to Andalusia.
There he: encountered Hasdrubal Barcas, who, in the execution of his
long-cherished plan, was moving northward to the help of his brother.
A battle took place at Baecula, in which the Romans claimed the
victory and professed to have made 10,000 captives; but Hasdrubal
substantially attained his end, although at the sacrifice of a portion
of his army. With his chest, his elephants, and the best portion of
his troops, he fought his way to the north coast of Spain; marching
along the shore, he reached the western passes of the Pyrenees which
appear to have been unoccupied, and before the bad season began he
was in Gaul, where he took up quarters for the winter. It was evident
that the resolve of Scipio to combine offensive operations with the
defensive which he had been instructed to maintain was inconsiderate
and unwise. The immediate task assigned to the Spanish army, which
not only Scipio's father and uncle, but even Gaius Marcius and Gaius
Nero had accomplished with much inferior means, was not enough for the
arrogance of the victorious general at the head of a numerous army;
and he was mainly to blame for the extremely critical position of Rome
in the summer of 547, when the plan of Hannibal for a combined attack
on the Romans was at length realized. But the gods covered the errors
of their favourite with laurels. In Italy the peril fortunately
passed over; the Romans were glad to accept the bulletin of the
ambiguous victory of Baecula, and, when fresh tidings of victory
arrived from Spain, they thought no more of the circumstance that
they had had to combat the ablest general and the flower of the
Hispano-Phoenician army in Italy.

Spain Conquered
Mago Goes To Italy
Gades Becomes Roman

After the removal of Hasdrubal Barcas the two generals who were
left in Spain determined for the time being to retire, Hasdrubal
son of Gisgo to Lusitania, Mago even to the Baleares; and, until new
reinforcements should arrive from Africa, they left the light cavalry
of Massinissa alone to wage a desultory warfare in Spain, as Muttines
had done so successfully in Sicily. The whole east coast thus fell
into the power of the Romans. In the following year (547) Hanno
actually made his appearance from Africa with a third army, whereupon
Mago and Hasdrubal returned to Andalusia. But Marcus Silanus defeated
the united armies of Mago and Hanno, and captured the latter in
person. Hasdrubal upon this abandoned the idea of keeping the open
field, and distributed his troops among the Andalusian cities, of
which Scipio was during this year able to storm only one, Oringis.
The Phoenicians seemed vanquished; but yet they were able in the
following year (548) once more to send into the field a powerful army,
32 elephants, 4000 horse, and 70,000 foot, far the greater part of
whom, it is true, were hastily-collected: Spanish militia. Again
a battle took place at Baecula. The Roman army numbered little
more than half that of the enemy, and was also to a considerable
extent composed of Spaniards. Scipio, like Wellington in similar
circumstances, disposed his Spaniards so that they should not partake
in the fight--the only possible mode of preventing their dispersion
--while on the other hand he threw his Roman troops in the first
instance on the Spaniards. The day was nevertheless obstinately
contested; but at length the Romans were the victors, and, as a matter
of course, the defeat of such an army was equivalent to its complete
dissolution--Hasdrubal and Mago singly made their escape to Gades.
The Romans were now without a rival in the peninsula; the few towns
that did not submit with good will were subdued one by one, and some
of them were punished with cruel severity. Scipio was even able to
visit Syphax on the African coast, and to enter into communications
with him and also with Massinissa with reference to an expedition
to Africa--a foolhardy venture, which was not warranted by any
corresponding advantage, however much the report of it might please
the curiosity of the citizens of the capital at home. Gades alone,
where Mago held command, was still Phoenician. For a moment it seemed
as if, after the Romans had entered upon the Carthaginian heritage and
had sufficiently undeceived the expectation cherished here and there
among the Spaniards that after the close of the Phoenician rule they
would get rid of their Roman guests also and regain their ancient
freedom, a general insurrection against the Romans would break forth
in Spain, in which the former allies of Rome would take the lead.
The sickness of the Roman general and the mutiny of one of his corps,
occasioned by their pay being in arrear for many years, favoured
the rising. But Scipio recovered sooner than was expected, and
dexterously suppressed the tumult among the soldiers; upon which
the communities that had taken the lead in the national rising were
subdued at once before the insurrection gained ground. Seeing that
nothing came of this movement and Gades could not be permanently held,
the Carthaginian government ordered Mago to gather together whatever
could be got in ships, troops, and money, and with these, if possible,
to give another turn to the war in Italy. Scipio could not prevent
this--his dismantling of the fleet now avenged itself--and he was a
second time obliged to leave in the hands of his gods the defence,
with which he had been entrusted, of his country against new
invasions. The last of Hamilcar's sons left the peninsula without
opposition. After his departure Gades, the oldest and last possession
of the Phoenicians on Spanish soil, submitted on favourable conditions
to the new masters. Spain was, after a thirteen years' struggle,
converted from a Carthaginian into a Roman province, in which the
conflict with the Romans was still continued for centuries by means of
insurrections always suppressed and yet never subdued, but in which at
the moment no enemy stood opposed to Rome. Scipio embraced the first
moment of apparent peace to resign his command (in the end of 548),
and to report at Rome in person the victories which he had achieved
and the provinces which he had won.

Italian War
Position Of The Armies

While the war was thus terminated in Sicily by Marcellus, in Greece by
Publius Sulpicius, and in Spain by Scipio, the mighty struggle went on
without interruption in the Italian peninsula. There after the battle
of Cannae had been fought and its effects in loss or gain could by
degrees be discerned, at the commencement of 540, the fifth year of
the war, the dispositions of the opposing Romans and Phoenicians were
the following. North Italy had been reoccupied by the Romans after
the departure of Hannibal, and was protected by three legions, two of
which were stationed in the Celtic territory, the third as a reserve
in Picenum. Lower Italy, as far as Mount Garganus and the Volturnus,
was, with the exception of the fortresses and most of the ports, in
the hands of Hannibal. He lay with his main army at Arpi, while
Tiberius Gracchus with four legions confronted him in Apulia, resting
upon the fortresses of Luceria and Beneventum. In the land of the
Bruttians, where the inhabitants had thrown themselves entirely into
the arms of Hannibal, and where even the ports--excepting Rhegium,
which the Romans protected from Messana--had been occupied by the
Phoenicians, there was a second Carthaginian army under Hanno, which
in the meanwhile saw no enemy to face it. The Roman main army of four
legions under the two consuls, Quintus Fabius and Marcus Marcellus,
was on the point of attempting to recover Capua. To these there fell
to be added on the Roman side the reserve of two legions in the
capital, the garrisons placed in all the seaports--Tarentum and
Brundisium having been reinforced by a legion on account of the
Macedonian landing apprehended there--and lastly the strong fleet
which had undisputed command of the sea. If we add to these the Roman
armies in Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain, the whole number of the Roman
forces, even apart from the garrison service in the fortresses of
Lower Italy which was provided for by the colonists occupying them,
may be estimated at not less than 200,000 men, of whom one-third were
newly enrolled for this year, and about one-half were Roman citizens.
It may be assumed that all the men capable of service from the 17th
to the 46th year were under arms, and that the fields, where the war
permitted them to be tilled at all, were cultivated by the slaves
and the old men, women, and children. As may well be conceived,
under such circumstances the finances were in the most grievous
embarrassment; the land-tax, the main source of revenue, came in but
very irregularly. Yet notwithstanding these difficulties as to men
and money the Romans were able--slowly indeed and by exerting all
their energies, but still surely--to recover what they had so rapidly
lost; to increase their armies yearly, while those of the Phoenicians
were diminishing; to gain ground year by year on the Italian allies
of Hannibal, the Campanians, Apulians, Samnites, and Bruttians, who
neither sufficed, like the Roman fortresses in Lower Italy, for their
own protection nor could be adequately protected by the weak army of
Hannibal; and finally, by means of the method of warfare instituted by
Marcus Marcellus, to develop the talent of their officers and to bring
into full play the superiority of the Roman infantry. Hannibal might
doubtless still hope for victories, but no longer such victories as
those on the Trasimene lake and on the Aufidus; the times of the
citizen-generals were gone by. No course was left to him but to wait
till either Philip should execute his long-promised descent or his own
brothers should join him from Spain, and meanwhile to keep himself,
his army, and his clients as far as possible free from harm and in
good humour. We hardly recognize in the obstinate defensive system
which he now began the same general who had carried on the offensive
with almost unequalled impetuosity and boldness; it is marvellous in
a psychological as well as in a military point of view, that the same
man should have accomplished the two tasks set to him--tasks so
diametrically opposite in their character--with equal completeness.

Conflicts In The South Of Italy

At first the war turned chiefly towards Campania. Hannibal appeared
in good time to protect its capital, which he prevented from being
invested; but he was unable either to wrest any of the Campanian towns
held by the Romans from their strong Roman garrisons, or to prevent
--in addition to a number of less important country towns--Casilinum,
which secured his passage over the Volturnus, from being taken by
the two consular armies after an obstinate defence. An attempt of
Hannibal to gain Tarentum, with the view especially of acquiring a
safe landing-place for the Macedonian army, proved unsuccessful.
Meanwhile the Bruttian army of the Carthaginians under Hanno had
various encounters in Lucania with the Roman army of Apulia; here
Tiberius Gracchus sustained the struggle with good results, and after
a successful combat not far from Beneventum, in which the slave
legions pressed into service had distinguished themselves, he
bestowed liberty and burgess-rights on his slave-soldiers in
the name of the people.

Arpi Acquired By The Romans

In the following year (541) the Romans recovered the rich and
important Arpi, whose citizens, after the Roman soldiers had stolen
into the town, made common cause with them against the Carthaginian
garrison. In general the bonds of the symmachy formed by Hannibal
were relaxing; a number of the leading Capuans and several of the
Bruttian towns passed over to Rome; even a Spanish division of the
Phoenician army, when informed by Spanish emissaries of the course
of events in their native land, passed from the Carthaginian into
the Roman service.

Tarentum Taken By Hannibal

The year 542 was more unfavourable for the Romans in consequence of
fresh political and military errors, of which Hannibal did not fail
to take advantage. The connections which Hannibal maintained in the
towns of Magna Graecia had led to no serious result; save that the
hostages from Tarentum and Thurii, who were kept at Rome, were induced
by his emissaries to make a foolhardy attempt at escape, in which they
were speedily recaptured by the Roman posts. But the injudicious
spirit of revenge displayed by the Romans was of more service to
Hannibal than his intrigues; the execution of all the hostages who
had sought to escape deprived them of a valuable pledge, and the
exasperated Greeks thenceforth meditated how they might open
their gates to Hannibal. Tarentum was actually occupied by the
Carthaginians in consequence of an understanding with the citizens and
of the negligence of the Roman commandant; with difficulty the Roman
garrison maintained itself in the citadel. The example of Tarentum
was followed by Heraclea, Thurii, and Metapontum, from which town the
garrison had to be withdrawn in order to save the Tarentine Acropolis.
These successes so greatly increased the risk of a Macedonian landing,
that Rome felt herself compelled to direct renewed attention and
renewed exertions to the Greek war, which had been almost totally
neglected; and fortunately the capture of Syracuse and the favourable
state of the Spanish war enabled her to do so.

Conflicts Around Capua

At the chief seat of war, in Campania, the struggle went on with very
varying success. The legions posted in the neighbourhood of Capua had
not yet strictly invested the city, but had so greatly hindered the
cultivation of the soil and the ingathering of the harvest, that the
populous city was in urgent need of supplies from without. Hannibal
accordingly collected a considerable supply of grain, and directed
the Campanians to receive it at Beneventum; but their tardiness gave
the consuls Quintus Flaccus and Appius Claudius time to come up, to
inflict a severe defeat on Hanno who protected the grain, and to seize
his camp and all his stores. The two consuls then invested the town,
while Tiberius Gracchus stationed himself on the Appian Way to prevent
Hannibal from approaching to relieve it But that brave officer fell
in consequence of the shameful stratagem of a perfidious Lucanian;
and his death was equivalent to a complete defeat, for his army,
consisting mostly of those slaves whom he had manumitted, dispersed
after the fall of their beloved leader. So Hannibal found the road to
Capua open, and by his unexpected appearance compelled the two consuls
to raise the blockade which they had barely begun. Their cavalry had
already, before Hannibal's arrival, been thoroughly defeated by the
Phoenician cavalry, which lay as a garrison in Capua under Hanno and
Bostar, and by the equally excellent Campanian horse. The total
destruction of the regular troops and free bands in Lucania led by
Marcus Centenius, a man imprudently promoted from a subaltern to be
a general, and the not much less complete defeat of the negligent and
arrogant praetor Gnaeus Fulvius Flaccus in Apulia, closed the long
series of the misfortunes of this year. But the stubborn perseverance
of the Romans again neutralized the rapid success of Hannibal, at
least at the most decisive point. As soon as Hannibal turned his back
on Capua to proceed to Apulia, the Roman armies once more gathered
around that city, one at Puteoli and Volturnum under Appius Claudius,
another at Casilinum under Quintus Fulvius, and a third on the Nolan
road under the praetor Gaius Claudius Nero. The three camps, well
entrenched and connected with one another by fortified lines,
precluded all access to the place, and the large, inadequately
provisioned city could not but find itself compelled by the mere
investment to surrender at no distant time, should no relief arrive.
As the winter of 542-3 drew to an end, the provisions were almost
exhausted, and urgent messengers, who were barely able to steal
through the well-guarded Roman lines, requested speedy help from
Hannibal, who was at Tarentum, occupied with the siege of the
citadel. With 33 elephants and his best troops he departed by
forced marches from Tarentum for Campania, captured the Roman post at
Caiatia, and took up his camp on Mount Tifata close by Capua, in the
confident expectation that the Roman generals would, now raise the
siege as they had done the year before. But the Romans, who had had
time to entrench their camps and their lines like a fortress, did not
stir, and looked on unmoved from their ramparts, while on one side
the Campanian horsemen, on the other the Numidian squadrons, dashed
against their lines. A serious assault could not be thought of by
Hannibal; he could foresee that his advance would soon draw the other
Roman armies after him to Campania, if even before their arrival the
scarcity of supplies in a region so systematically foraged did not
drive him away. Nothing could be done in that quarter.

Hannibal Marches Toward Rome

Hannibal tried a further expedient, the last which occurred to his
inventive genius, to save the important city. After giving the
Campanians information of his intention and exhorting them to hold
out, he started with the relieving army from Capua and took the road
for Rome. With the same dexterous boldness which he had shown in his
first Italian campaigns, he threw himself with a weak army between the
armies and fortresses of the enemy, and led his troops through Samnium
and along the Valerian Way past Tibur to the bridge over the Anio,
which he passed and encamped on the opposite bank, five miles from
the city. The children's children of the Romans still shuddered, when
they were told of "Hannibal at the gate"; real danger there was none.
The country houses and fields in the neighbourhood of the city were
laid waste by the enemy; the two legions in the city, who went forth
against them, prevented the investment of the walls. Besides,
Hannibal had never expected to surprise Rome by a -coup de main-,
such as Scipio soon afterwards executed against New Carthage, and
still less had he meditated a siege in earnest; his only hope was that
in the first alarm part of the besieging army of Capua would march to
Rome and thus give him an opportunity of breaking up the blockade.
Accordingly after a brief stay he departed. The Romans saw in his
withdrawal a miraculous intervention of the gods, who by portents and
visions had compelled the wicked man to depart, when in truth the
Roman legions were unable to compel him; at the spot where Hannibal
had approached nearest to the city, at the second milestone on the
Appian Way in front of the Capene gate, with grateful credulity the
Romans erected an altar to the god "who turned back and protected"
(-Rediculus Tutanus-), Hannibal in reality retreated, because this was
part of his plan, and directed his march towards Capua. But the Roman
generals had not committed the mistake on which their opponent had
reckoned; the legions remained unmoved in the lines round Capua, and
only a weak corps had been detached on the news of Hannibal's march
towards Rome. When Hannibal learned this, he suddenly turned against
the consul Publius Galba, who had imprudently followed him from Rome,
and with whom he had hitherto avoided an engagement, vanquished him,
and took his camp by storm.

Capua Capitulates

But this was a poor compensation for the now inevitable fall of Capua.
Long had its citizens, particularly the better passes, anticipated
with sorrowful forebodings what was coming; the senate-house and the
administration of the city were left almost exclusively to the leaders
of the popular party hostile to Rome. Now despair seized high and
low, Campanians and Phoenicians alike. Twenty-eight senators chose a
voluntary death; the remainder gave over the city to the discretion of
an implacably exasperated foe. Of course a bloody retribution had to
follow; the only discussion was as to whether the process should be
long or short: whether the wiser and more appropriate course was to
probe to the bottom the further ramifications of the treason even
beyond Capua, or to terminate the matter by rapid executions. Appius
Claudius and the Roman senate wished to take the former course; the
latter view, perhaps the less inhuman, prevailed. Fifty-three of the
officers and magistrates of Capua were scourged and beheaded in the
marketplaces of Cales and Teanum by the orders and before the eyes
of the proconsul Quintus Flaccus, the rest of the senators were
imprisoned, numbers of the citizens were sold into slavery, and the
estates of the more wealthy were confiscated. Similar penalties were
inflicted upon Atella and Caiatia. These punishments were severe;
but, when regard is had to the importance of the revolt of Capua
from Rome, and to what was the ordinary if not warrantable usage of
war in those times, they were not unnatural. And had not the citizens
themselves pronounced their own sentence, when immediately after their
defection they put to death all the Roman citizens present in Capua at
the time of the revolt? But it was unjustifiable in Rome to embrace
this opportunity of gratifying the secret rivalry that had long
subsisted between the two largest cities of Italy, and of wholly
annihilating, in a political point of view, her hated and envied
competitor by abolishing the constitution of the Campanian city.

Superiority Of The Romans
Tarentum Capitulates

Immense was the impression produced by the fall of Capua, and all the
more that it had not been brought about by surprise, but by a two
years' siege carried on in spite of all the exertions of Hannibal.
It was quite as much a token that the Romans had recovered their
ascendency in Italy, as its defection some years before to Hannibal
had been a token that that ascendency was lost. In vain Hannibal had
tried to counteract the impression of this news on his allies by the
capture of Rhegium or of the citadel of Tarentum. His forced march
to surprise Rhegium had yielded no result The citadel of Tarentum
suffered greatly from famine, after the Tarentino-Carthaginian
squadron closed the harbour; but, as the Romans with their much more
powerful fleet were able to cut off the supplies from that squadron
itself, and the territory, which Hannibal commanded, scarce sufficed
to maintain his army, the besiegers on the side next the sea suffered
not much less than did the besieged in the citadel, and at length they
left the harbour. No enterprise was now successful; Fortune herself
seemed to have deserted the Carthaginians. These consequences of the
fall of Capua--the deep shock given to the respect and confidence
which Hannibal had hitherto enjoyed among the Italian allies, and the
endeavours made by every community that was not too deeply compromised
to gain readmission on tolerable terms into the Roman symmachy
--affected Hannibal much more keenly than the immediate loss. He had
to choose one of two courses; either to throw garrisons into the
wavering towns, in which case he would weaken still more his army
already too weak and would expose his trusty troops to destruction in
small divisions or to treachery--500 of his select Numidian horsemen
were put to death in this way in 544 on the defection of the town of
Salapia; or to pull down and burn the towns which could not be
depended on, so as to keep them out of the enemy's hands--a course,
which could not raise the spirits of his Italian clients. On the
fall of Capua the Romans felt themselves once more confident as to
the final issue of the war in Italy; they despatched considerable
reinforcements to Spain, where the existence of the Roman army was
placed in jeopardy by the fall of the two Scipios; and for the first
time since the beginning of the war they ventured on a diminution in
the total number of their troops, which had hitherto been annually
augmented notwithstanding the annually-increasing difficulty of
levying them, and had risen at last to 23 legions. Accordingly in
the next year (544) the Italian war was prosecuted more remissly than
hitherto by the Romans, although Marcus Marcellus had after the close
of the Sicilian war resumed the command of the main army; he applied
himself to the besieging of fortresses in the interior, and had
indecisive conflicts with the Carthaginians. The struggle for the
Acropolis of Tarentum also continued without decisive result. In
Apulia Hannibal succeeded in defeating the proconsul Gnaeus Fulvius
Centumalus at Herdoneae. In the following year (545) the Romans took
steps to regain possession of the second large city, which had passed
over to Hannibal, the city of Tarentum. While Marcus Marcellus
continued the struggle against Hannibal in person with his wonted
obstinacy and energy, and in a two days' battle, beaten on the first
day, achieved on the second a costly and bloody victory; while the
consul Quintus Fulvius induced the already wavering Lucanians and
Hirpinians to change sides and to deliver up their Phoenician
garrisons; while well-conducted razzias from Rhegium compelled
Hannibal to hasten to the aid of the hard-pressed Bruttians;
the veteran Quintus Fabius, who had once more--for the fifth
time--accepted the consulship and along with it the commission to
reconquer Tarentum, established himself firmly in the neighbouring
Messapian territory, and the treachery of a Bruttian division of
the garrison surrendered to him the city. Fearful excesses were
committed by the exasperated victors. They put to death all of
the garrison or of the citizens whom they could find, and pillaged
the houses. 30,000 Tarentines are said to have been sold as slaves,
and 3000 talents (730,000 pounds) are stated to have been sent to the
state treasury. It was the last feat in arms of the general of eighty
years; Hannibal arrived to the relief of the city when all was over,
and withdrew to Metapontum.

Hannibal Driven Back
Death Of Marcellus

After Hannibal had thus lost his most important acquisitions and
found himself hemmed in by degrees to the south-western point of the
peninsula, Marcus Marcellus, who had been chosen consul for the next
year (546), hoped that, in connection with his capable colleague
Titus Quintius Crispinus, he should be able to terminate the war by a
decisive attack. The old soldier was not disturbed by the burden of
his sixty years; sleeping and waking he was haunted by the one thought
of defeating Hannibal and of liberating Italy. But fate reserved that
wreath of victory for a younger brow. While engaged in an unimportant
reconnaissance in the district of Venusia, both consuls were suddenly
attacked by a division of African cavalry. Marcellus maintained the
unequal struggle--as he had fought forty years before against Hamilcar
and fourteen years before at Clastidium--till he sank dying from
his horse; Crispinus escaped, but died of his wounds received
in the conflict (546).

Pressure Of The War

It was now the eleventh year of the war. The danger which some years
before had threatened the very existence of the state seemed to have
vanished; but all the more the Romans felt the heavy burden--a burden
pressing more severely year after year--of the endless war. The
finances of the state suffered beyond measure. After the battle of
Cannae (538) a special bank-commission (-tres viri mensarii-) had
been appointed, composed of men held in the highest esteem, to form
a permanent and circumspect board of superintendence for the public
finances in these difficult times. It may have done what it could;
but the state of things was such as to baffle all financial sagacity.
At the very beginning of the war the Romans had debased the silver and
copper coin, raised the legal value of the silver piece more than a
third, and issued a gold coin far above the value of the metal. This
very soon proved insufficient; they were obliged to take supplies from
the contractors on credit, and connived at their conduct because they
needed them, till the scandalous malversation at last induced the
aediles to make an example of some of the worst by impeaching them
before the people. Appeals were often made, and not in vain, to the
patriotism of the wealthy, who were in fact the very persons that
suffered comparatively the most. The soldiers of the better classes
and the subaltern officers and equites in a body, either voluntarily
or constrained by the -esprit de corps-, declined to receive pay.
The owners of the slaves armed by the state and manumitted after the
engagement at Beneventum(3) replied to the bank-commission, which
offered them payment, that they would allow it to stand over to the
end of the war (540). When there was no longer money in the exchequer
for the celebration of the national festivals and the repairs of the
public buildings, the companies which had hitherto contracted for
these matters declared themselves ready to continue their services for
a time without remuneration (540). A fleet was even fitted out and
manned, just as in the first Punic war, by means of a voluntary loan
among the rich (544). They spent the moneys belonging to minors; and
at length, in the year of the conquest of Tarentum, they laid hands
on the last long-spared reserve fund (164,000 pounds). The state
nevertheless was unable to meet its most necessary payments; the pay
of the soldiers fell dangerously into arrear, particularly in the more
remote districts. But the embarrassment of the state was not the
worst part of the material distress. Everywhere the fields lay
fallow: even where the war did not make havoc, there was a want of
hands for the hoe and the sickle. The price of the -medimnus-
(a bushel and a half) had risen to 15 -denarii- (10s.), at least three
times the average price in the capital; and many would have died of
absolute want, if supplies had not arrived from Egypt, and if, above
all, the revival of agriculture in Sicily(4) had not prevented the
distress from coming to the worst. The effect which such a state of
things must have had in ruining the small farmers, in eating away
the savings which had been so laboriously acquired, and in
converting flourishing villages into nests of beggars and brigands,
is illustrated by similar wars of which fuller details have
been preserved.

The Allies

Still more ominous than this material distress was the increasing
aversion of the allies to the Roman war, which consumed their
substance and their blood. In regard to the non-Latin communities,
indeed, this was of less consequence. The war itself showed that they
could do nothing, so long as the Latin nation stood by Rome; their
greater or less measure of dislike was not of much moment. Now,
however, Latium also began to waver. Most of the Latin communes in
Etruria, Latium, the territory of the Marsians, and northern Campania
--and so in those very districts of Italy which directly had suffered
least from the war--announced to the Roman senate in 545 that
thenceforth they would send neither contingents nor contributions,
and would leave it to the Romans themselves to defray the costs of a
war waged in their interest. The consternation in Rome was great;
but for the moment there were no means of compelling the refractory.
Fortunately all the Latin communities did not act in this way. The
colonies in the land of the Gauls, in Picenum, and in southern Italy,
headed by the powerful and patriotic Fregellae, declared on the
contrary that they adhered the more closely and faithfully to Rome; in
fact, it was very clearly evident to all of these that in the present
war their existence was, if possible, still more at stake than that of
the capital, and that this war was really waged not for Rome merely,
but for the Latin hegemony in Italy, and in truth for the independence
of the Italian nation. That partial defection itself was certainly
not high treason, but merely the result of shortsightedness and
exhaustion; beyond doubt these same towns would have rejected with
horror an alliance with the Phoenicians. But still there was a
variance between Romans and Latins, which did not fail injuriously
to react on the subject population of these districts. A dangerous
ferment immediately showed itself in Arretium; a conspiracy organized
in the interest of Hannibal among the Etruscans was discovered, and
appeared so perilous that Roman troops were ordered to march thither.
The military and police suppressed this movement without difficulty;
but it was a significant token of what might happen in those
districts, if once the Latin strongholds ceased to inspire terror.

Hasdrubal's Approach

Amidst these difficulties and strained relations, news suddenly
arrived that Hasdrubal had crossed the Pyrenees in the autumn of 546,
and that the Romans must be prepared to carry on the war next year
with both the sons of Hamilcar in Italy. Not in vain had Hannibal
persevered at his post throughout the long anxious years; the aid,
which the factious opposition at home and the shortsighted Philip had
refused to him, was at length in the course of being brought to him
by his brother, who, like himself, largely inherited the spirit of
Hamilcar. Already 8000 Ligurians, enlisted by Phoenician gold, were
ready to unite with Hasdrubal; if he gained the first battle, he might
hope that like his brother he should be able to bring the Gauls and
perhaps the Etruscans into arms against Rome. Italy, moreover, was
no longer what it had been eleven years before; the state and the
individual citizens were exhausted, the Latin league was shaken, their
best general had just fallen in the field of battle, and Hannibal was
not subdued. In reality Scipio might bless the star of his genius, if
it averted the consequences of his unpardonable blunder from himself
and from his country.

New Armaments
Hasdrubal And Hannibal On The March

As in the times of the utmost danger, Rome once more called out
twenty-three legions. Volunteers were summoned to arm, and those
legally exempt from military service were included in the levy.
Nevertheless, they were taken by surprise. Far earlier than either
friends or foes expected, Hasdrubal was on the Italian side of the
Alps (547); the Gauls, now accustomed to such transits, were readily
bribed to open their passes, and furnished what the army required.
If the Romans had any intention of occupying the outlets of the Alpine
passes, they were again too late; already they heard that Hasdrubal
was on the Po, that he was calling the Gauls to arms as successfully
as his brother had formerly done, that Placentia was invested. With
all haste the consul Marcus Livius proceeded to the northern army; and
it was high time that he should appear. Etruria and Umbria were in
sullen ferment; volunteers from them reinforced the Phoenician army.
His colleague Gaius Nero summoned the praetor Gaius Hostilius Tubulus
from Venusia to join him, and hastened with an army of 40,000 men to
intercept the march of Hannibal to the north. The latter collected
all his forces in the Bruttian territory, and, advancing along the
great road leading from Rhegium to Apulia, encountered the consul at
Grumentum. An obstinate engagement took place in which Nero claimed
the victory; but Hannibal was able at all events, although with some
loss, to evade the enemy by one of his usual adroit flank-marches, and
to reach Apulia without hindrance. There he halted, and encamped at
first at Venusia, then at Canusium: Nero, who had followed closely in
his steps, encamped opposite to him at both places. That Hannibal
voluntarily halted and was not prevented from advancing by the Roman
army, appears to admit of no doubt; the reason for his taking up his
position exactly at this point and not farther to the north, must have
depended on arrangements concerted between himself and Hasdrubal, or
on conjectures as to the route of the latter's march, with which we
are not acquainted. While the two armies thus lay inactive, face to
face, the despatch from Hasdrubal which was anxiously expected in
Hannibal's camp was intercepted by the outposts of Nero. It stated
that Hasdrubal intended to take the Flaminian road, in other words,
to keep in the first instance along the coast and then at Fanum to
turn across the Apennines towards Narnia, at which place he hoped to
meet Hannibal. Nero immediately ordered the reserve in the capital
to proceed to Narnia as the point selected for the junction of the two
Phoenician armies, while the division stationed at Capua went to the
capital, and a new reserve was formed there. Convinced that Hannibal
was not acquainted with the purpose of his brother and would continue
to await him in Apulia, Nero resolved on the bold experiment of
hastening northward by forced marches with a small but select corps
of 7000 men and, if possible, in connection with his colleague,
compelling Hasdrubal to fight. He was able to do so, for the Roman
army which he left behind still continued strong enough either to
hold its ground against Hannibal if he should attack it, or to
accompany him and to arrive simultaneously with him at the
decisive scene of action, should he depart.

Battle Of Sena
Death Of Hasdrubal

Nero found his colleague Marcus Livius at Sena Gallica awaiting the
enemy. Both consuls at once marched against Hasdrubal, whom they
found occupied in crossing the Metaurus. Hasdrubal wished to avoid
a battle and to escape from the Romans by a flank movement, but his
guides left him in the lurch; he lost his way on the ground strange to
him, and was at length attacked on the march by the Roman cavalry
and detained until the Roman infantry arrived and a battle became
inevitable. Hasdrubal stationed the Spaniards on the right wing, with
his ten elephants in front of it, and the Gauls on the left, which he
kept back. Long the fortune of battle wavered on the right wing, and
the consul Livius who commanded there was hard pressed, till Nero,
repeating his strategical operation as a tactical manoeuvre, allowed
the motionless enemy opposite to him to remain as they stood, and
marching round his own army fell upon the flank of the Spaniards.
This decided the day. The severely bought and very bloody victory was
complete; the army, which had no retreat, was destroyed, and the camp
was taken by assault. Hasdrubal, when he: saw the admirably-conducted
battle lost, sought and found like his father an honourable soldier's
death. As an officer and a man, he was worthy to be the brother
of Hannibal.

Hannibal Retires To The Bruttian Territory

On the day after the battle Nero started, and after scarcely fourteen
days' absence once more confronted Hannibal in Apulia, whom no message
had reached, and who had not stirred. The consul brought the message
with him; it was the head of Hannibal's brother, which the Roman
ordered to be thrown into the enemy's outposts, repaying in this
way his great antagonist, who scorned to war with the dead, for
the honourable burial which he had given to Paullus, Gracchus, and
Marcellus. Hannibal saw that his hopes had been in vain, and that
all was over. He abandoned Apulia and Lucania, even Metapontum,
and retired with his troops to the land of the Bruttians, whose ports
formed his only means of withdrawal from Italy. By the energy of the
Roman generals, and still more by a conjuncture of unexampled good
fortune, a peril was averted from Rome, the greatness of which
justified Hannibal's tenacious perseverance in Italy, and which fully
bears comparison with the magnitude of the peril of Cannae. The joy
in Rome was boundless; business was resumed as in time of peace; every
one felt that the danger of the war was surmounted.

Stagnation Of the War In Italy

Nevertheless the Romans were in no hurry to terminate the war. The
state and the citizens were exhausted by the excessive moral and
material strain on their energies; men gladly abandoned themselves
to carelessness and repose.

The army and fleet were reduced; the Roman and Latin farmers were
brought back to their desolate homesteads the exchequer was filled by
the sale of a portion of the Campanian domains. The administration
of the state was regulated anew and the disorders which had prevailed
were done away; the repayment of the voluntary war-loan was begun,
and the Latin communities that remained in arrears were compelled
to fulfil their neglected obligations with heavy interest.

The war in Italy made no progress. It forms a brilliant proof of the
strategic talent of Hannibal as well as of the incapacity of the Roman
generals now opposed to him, that after this he was still able for
four years to keep the field in the Bruttian country, and that all the
superiority of his opponents could not compel him either to shut
himself up in fortresses or to embark. It is true that he was obliged
to retire farther and farther, not so much in consequence of the
indecisive engagements which took place with the Romans, as because
his Bruttian allies were always becoming more troublesome, and at last
he could only reckon on the towns which his army garrisoned. Thus he
voluntarily abandoned Thurii; Locri was, on the suggestion of Publius
Scipio, recaptured by an expedition from Rhegium (549). As if at last
his projects were to receive a brilliant justification at the hands of
the very Carthaginian authorities who had thwarted him in them, these
now, in their apprehension as to the anticipated landing of the
Romans, revived of their own accord those plans (548, 549), and sent
reinforcements and subsidies to Hannibal in Italy, and to Mago in
Spain, with orders to rekindle the war in Italy so as to achieve some
further respite for the trembling possessors of the Libyan country
houses and the shops of Carthage. An embassy was likewise sent to
Macedonia, to induce Philip to renew the alliance and to land in Italy
(549). But it was too late. Philip had made peace with Rome some
months before; the impending political annihilation of Carthage was
far from agreeable to him, but he took no step openly at least against
Rome. A small Macedonian corps went to Africa, the expenses of which,
according to the assertion of the Romans, were defrayed by Philip from
his own pocket; this may have been the case, but the Romans had at any
rate no proof of it, as the subsequent course of events showed.
No Macedonian landing in Italy was thought of.

Mago In Italy

Mago, the youngest son of Hamilcar, set himself to his task more
earnestly. With the remains of the Spanish army, which he had
conducted in the first instance to Minorca, he landed in 549 at Genoa,
destroyed the city, and summoned the Ligurians and Gauls to arms.
Gold and the novelty of the enterprise led them now, as always, to
come to him in troops; he had formed connections even throughout
Etruria, where political prosecutions never ceased. But the troops
which he had brought with him were too few for a serious enterprise
against Italy proper; and Hannibal likewise was much too weak, and his
influence in Lower Italy had fallen much too low, to permit him to
advance with any prospect of success. The rulers of Carthage had not
been willing to save their native country, when its salvation was
possible; now, when they were willing, it was possible no longer.

The African Expedition Of Scipio

Nobody probably in the Roman senate doubted either that the war on
the part of Carthage against Rome was at an end, or that the war on
the part of Rome against Carthage must now be begun; but unavoidable
as was the expedition to Africa, they were afraid to enter on its
preparation. They required for it, above all, an able and beloved
leader; and they had none. Their best generals had either fallen in
the field of battle, or they were, like Quintus Fabius and Quintus
Fulvius, too old for such an entirely new and probably tedious war.
The victors of Sena, Gaius Nero and Marcus Livius, would perhaps have
been equal to the task, but they were both in the highest degree
unpopular aristocrats; it was doubtful whether they would succeed in
procuring the command--matters had already reached such a pass that
ability, as such, determined the popular choice only in times of grave
anxiety--and it was more than doubtful whether these were the men to
stimulate the exhausted people to fresh exertions. At length Publius
Scipio returned from Spain, and the favourite of the multitude, who
had so brilliantly fulfilled, or at any rate seemed to have fulfilled,
the task with which it had entrusted him, was immediately chosen
consul for the next year. He entered on office (549) with the firm
determination of now realizing that African expedition which he had
projected in Spain. In the senate, however, not only was the party
favourable to a methodical conduct of the war unwilling to entertain
the project of an African expedition so long as Hannibal remained in
Italy, but the majority was by no means favourably disposed towards
the young general himself. His Greek refinement and his modern
culture and tone of thought were but little agreeable to the austere
and somewhat boorish fathers of the city; and serious doubts existed
both as to his conduct of the Spanish war and as to his military
discipline. How much ground there was for the objection that he
showed too great indulgence towards his officers of division, was very
soon demonstrated by the disgraceful proceedings of Gaius Pleminius at
Locri, the blame of which certainly was indirectly chargeable to the
scandalous negligence which marked Scipio's supervision. In the
proceedings in the senate regarding the organization of the African
expedition and the appointment of a general for it, the new consul,
wherever usage or the constitution came into conflict with his private
views, showed no great reluctance to set such obstacles aside, and
very clearly indicated that in case of need he was disposed to rely
for support against the governing board on his fame and his popularity
with the people. These things could not but annoy the senate and
awaken, moreover, serious apprehension as to whether, in the impending
decisive war and the eventual negotiations for peace with Carthage,
such a general would hold himself bound by the instructions which he
received--an apprehension which his arbitrary management of the
Spanish expedition was by no means fitted to allay. Both sides,
however, displayed wisdom enough not to push matters too far. The
senate itself could not fail to see that the African expedition was
necessary, and that it was not wise indefinitely to postpone it; it
could not fail to see that Scipio was an extremely able officer and so
far well adapted to be the leader in such a war, and that he, if any
one, could prevail on the people to protract his command as long as
was necessary and to put forth their last energies. The majority came
to the resolution not to refuse to Scipio the desired commission,
after he had previously observed, at least in form, the respect due to
the supreme governing board and had submitted himself beforehand to
the decree of the senate. Scipio was to proceed this year to Sicily
to superintend the building of the fleet, the preparation of siege
materials, and the formation of the expeditionary army, and then in
the following year to land in Africa. For this purpose the army of
Sicily--still composed of those two legions that were formed from the
remnant of the army of Cannae--was placed at his disposal, because a
weak garrison and the fleet were quite sufficient for the protection
of the island; and he was permitted moreover to raise volunteers in
Italy. It was evident that the senate did not appoint the expedition,
but merely allowed it: Scipio did not obtain half the resources which
had formerly been placed at the command of Regulus, and he got that
very corps which for years had been subjected by the senate to
intentional degradation. The African army was, in the view of the
majority of the senate, a forlorn hope of disrated companies and
volunteers, the loss of whom in any event the state had no great
occasion to regret.

Any one else than Scipio would perhaps have declared that the African
expedition must either be undertaken with other means, or not at all;
but Scipio's confidence accepted the terms, whatever they were, solely
with the view of attaining the eagerly-coveted command. He carefully
avoided, as far as possible, the imposition of direct burdens on the
people, that he might not injure the popularity of the expedition.
Its expenses, particularly those of building the fleet which were
considerable, were partly procured by what was termed a voluntary
contribution of the Etruscan cities--that is, by a war tribute imposed
as a punishment on the Arretines and other communities disposed to
favour the Phoenicians--partly laid upon the cities of Sicily. In
forty days the fleet was ready for sea. The crews were reinforced by
volunteers, of whom seven thousand from all parts of Italy responded
to the call of the beloved officer. So Scipio set sail for Africa in
the spring of 550 with two strong legions of veterans (about 30,000
men), 40 vessels of war, and 400 transports, and landed successfully,
without meeting the slightest resistance, at the Fair Promontory in
the neighbourhood of Utica.

Preparations In Africa

The Carthaginians, who had long expected that the plundering
expeditions, which the Roman squadrons had frequently made during
the last few years to the African coast, would be followed by a more
serious invasion, had not only, in order to ward it off, endeavoured
to bring about a revival of the Italo-Macedonian war, but had also
made armed preparation at home to receive the Romans. Of the two
rival Berber kings, Massinissa of Cirta (Constantine), the ruler of
the Massylians, and Syphax of Siga (at the mouth of the Tafna westward
from Oran), the ruler of the Massaesylians, they had succeeded in
attaching the latter, who was far the more powerful and hitherto had
been friendly to the Romans, by treaty and marriage alliance closely
to Carthage, while they cast off the other, the old rival of Syphax
and ally of the Carthaginians. Massinissa had after desperate
resistance succumbed to the united power of the Carthaginians and
of Syphax, and had been obliged to leave his territories a prey to
the latter; he himself wandered with a few horsemen in the desert.
Besides the contingent to be expected from Syphax, a Carthaginian army
of 20,000 foot, 6000 cavalry, and 140 elephants--Hanno had been sent
out to hunt elephants for the very purpose--was ready to fight for
the protection of the capital, under the command of Hasdrubal son of
Gisgo, a general who had gained experience in Spain; in the port
there lay a strong fleet. A Macedonian corps under Sopater, and a
consignment of Celtiberian mercenaries, were immediately expected.

Scipio Driven Back To The Coast
Surprise Of The Carthaginian Camp

On the report of Scipio's landing, Massinissa immediately arrived in
the camp of the general, whom not long before he had confronted as an
enemy in Spain; but the landless prince brought in the first instance
nothing beyond his personal ability to the aid of the Romans, and the
Libyans, although heartily weary of levies and tribute, had acquired
too bitter experience in similar cases to declare at once for the
invaders. So Scipio began the campaign. So long as he was only
opposed by the weaker Carthaginian army, he had the advantage, and was
enabled after some successful cavalry skirmishes to proceed to the
siege of Utica; but when Syphax arrived, according to report with
50,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry, the siege had to be raised, and a
fortified naval camp had to be constructed for the winter on a
promontory, which easily admitted of entrenchment, between Utica and
Carthage. Here the Roman general passed the winter of 550-1. From
the disagreeable situation in which the spring found him he extricated
himself by a fortunate -coup de main-. The Africans, lulled into
security by proposals of peace suggested by Scipio with more artifice
than honour, allowed themselves to be surprised on one and the same
night in their two camps; the reed huts of the Numidians burst into
flames, and, when the Carthaginians hastened to their help, their own
camp shared the same fate; the fugitives were slain without resistance
by the Roman divisions. This nocturnal surprise was more destructive
than many a battle; nevertheless the Carthaginians did not suffer
their courage to sink, and they rejected even the advice of the timid,
or rather of the judicious, to recall Mago and Hannibal. Just at this
time the expected Celtiberian and Macedonian auxiliaries arrived; it
was resolved once more to try a pitched battle on the "Great Plains,"
five days' march from Utica. Scipio hastened to accept it; with
little difficulty his veterans and volunteers dispersed the hastily-
collected host of Carthaginians and Numidians, and the Celtiberians,
who could not reckon on any mercy from Scipio, were cut down after
obstinate resistance. After this double defeat the Africans could no
longer keep the field. An attack on the Roman naval camp attempted by
the Carthaginian fleet, while not unsuccessful, was far from decisive,
and was greatly outweighed by the capture of Syphax, which Scipio's
singular good fortune threw in his way, and by which Massinissa became
to the Romans what Syphax had been at first to the Carthaginians.

Negotiations For Peace
Machinations Of The Carthaginian Patriots

After such defeats the Carthaginian peace party, which had been
reduced to silence for sixteen years, was able once more to raise its
head and openly to rebel against the government of the Barcides and
the patriots. Hasdrubal son of Gisgo was in his absence condemned
by the government to death, and an attempt was made to obtain an
armistice and peace from Scipio. He demanded the cession of their
Spanish possessions and of the islands of the Mediterranean, the
transference of the kingdom of Syphax to Massinissa, the surrender of
all their vessels of war except 20, and a war contribution of 4000
talents (nearly 1,000,000 pounds)--terms which seemed so singularly
favourable to Carthage, that the question obtrudes itself whether they
were offered by Scipio more in his own interest or in that of Rome.
The Carthaginian plenipotentiaries accepted them under reservation of
their being ratified by the respective authorities, and accordingly a
Carthaginian embassy was despatched to Rome. But the patriot party in
Carthage were not disposed to give up the struggle so cheaply; faith
in the nobleness of their cause, confidence in their great leader,
even the example that had been set to them by Rome herself, stimulated
them to persevere, apart from the fact that peace of necessity
involved the return of the opposite party to the helm of affairs
and their own consequent destruction. The patriotic party had the
ascendency among the citizens; it was resolved to allow the opposition
to negotiate for peace, and meanwhile to prepare for a last and
decisive effort. Orders were sent to Mago and Hannibal to return with
all speed to Africa. Mago, who for three years (549-551) had been
labouring to bring about a coalition in Northern Italy against Rome,
had just at this time in the territory of the Insubres (about Milan)
been defeated by the far superior double army of the Romans. The
Roman cavalry had been brought to give way, and the infantry had been
thrown into confusion; victory seemed on the point of declaring for
the Carthaginians, when a bold attack by a Roman troop on the enemy's
elephants, and above all a serious wound received by their beloved and
able commander, turned the fortune of the battle. The Phoenician army
was obliged to retreat to the Ligurian coast, where it received and
obeyed the order to embark; but Mago died of his wound on the voyage.

Hannibal Recalled To Africa

Hannibal would probably have anticipated the order, had not the
last negotiations with Philip presented to him a renewed prospect of
rendering better service to his country in Italy than in Libya; when
he received it at Croton, where he latterly had his head-quarters, he
lost no time in complying with it. He caused his horses to be put
to death as well as the Italian soldiers who refused to follow him
over the sea, and embarked in the transports that had been long in
readiness in the roadstead of Croton. The Roman citizens breathed
freely, when the mighty Libyan lion, whose departure no one even now
ventured to compel, thus voluntarily turned his back on Italian
ground. On this occasion the decoration of a grass wreath was
bestowed by the senate and burgesses on the only survivor of the Roman
generals who had traversed that troubled time with honour, the veteran
of nearly ninety years, Quintus Fabius. To receive this wreath--which
by the custom of the Romans the army that a general had saved
presented to its deliverer--at the hands of the whole community was
the highest distinction which had ever been bestowed upon a Roman
citizen, and the last honorary decoration accorded to the old general,
who died in the course of that same year (551). Hannibal, doubtless
not under the protection of the armistice, but solely through his
rapidity of movement and good fortune, arrived at Leptis without
hindrance, and the last of the "lion's brood" of Hamilcar trode once
more, after an absence of thirty-six years, his native soil. He had
left it, when still almost a boy, to enter on that noble and yet so
thoroughly fruitless career of heroism, in which he had set out
towards the west to return homewards from the east, having described
a wide circle of victory around the Carthaginian sea. Now, when what
he had wished to prevent, and what he would have prevented had he been
allowed, was done, he was summoned to help and if possible, to save;
and he obeyed without complaint or reproach.

Recommencement Of Hostilities

On his arrival the patriot party came forward openly; the disgraceful
sentence against Hasdrubal was cancelled; new connections were formed
with the Numidian sheiks through the dexterity of Hannibal; and not
only did the assembly of the people refuse to ratify the peace
practically concluded, but the armistice was broken by the plundering
of a Roman transport fleet driven ashore on the African coast, and by
the seizure even of a Roman vessel of war carrying Roman envoys. In
just indignation Scipio started from his camp at Tunes (552) and
traversed the rich valley of the Bagradas (Mejerdah), no longer
allowing the townships to capitulate, but causing the inhabitants of
the villages and towns to be seized en masse and sold. He had already
penetrated far into the interior, and was at Naraggara (to the west of
Sicca, now El Kef, on the frontier between Tunis and Algiers), when
Hannibal, who had marched out from Hadrumetum, fell in with him. The
Carthaginian general attempted to obtain better conditions from the
Roman in a personal conference; but Scipio, who had already gone to
the extreme verge of concession, could not possibly after the breach
of the armistice agree to yield further, and it is not credible that
Hannibal had any other object in this step than to show to the
multitude that the patriots were not absolutely opposed to peace.
The conference led to no result.

Battle Of Zama

The two armies accordingly came to a decisive battle at Zama
(presumably not far from Sicca).(5) Hannibal arranged his infantry
in three lines; in the first rank the Carthaginian hired troops, in
the second the African militia and the Phoenician civic force along
with the Macedonian corps, in the third the veterans who had followed
him from Italy. In front of the line were placed the 80 elephants;
the cavalry were stationed on the wings. Scipio likewise disposed his
legions in three ranks, as was the wont of the Romans, and so arranged
them that the elephants could pass through and alongside of the line
without breaking it. Not only was this disposition completely
successful, but the elephants making their way to the side disordered
also the Carthaginian cavalry on the wings, so that Scipio's cavalry
--which moreover was by the arrival of Massinissa's troops rendered
far superior to the enemy--had little trouble in dispersing them,
and were soon engaged in full pursuit. The struggle of the infantry
was more severe. The conflict lasted long between the first ranks on
either side; at length in the extremely bloody hand-to-hand encounter
both parties fell into confusion, and were obliged to seek a support
in the second ranks. The Romans found that support; but the
Carthaginian militia showed itself so unsteady and wavering, that
the mercenaries believed themselves betrayed and a hand-to-hand combat
arose between them and the Carthaginian civic force. But Hannibal now
hastily withdrew what remained of the first two lines to the flanks,
and pushed forward his choice Italian troops along the whole line.
Scipio, on the other hand, gathered together in the centre as many of
the first line as still were able to fight, and made the second and
third ranks close up on the right and left of the first. Once more
on the same spot began a still more fearful conflict; Hannibal's old
soldiers never wavered in spite of the superior numbers of the enemy,
till the cavalry of the Romans and of Massinissa, returning from the
pursuit of the beaten cavalry of the enemy, surrounded them on all
sides. This not only terminated the struggle, but annihilated the
Phoenician army; the same soldiers, who fourteen years before had
given way at Cannae, had retaliated on their conquerors at Zama.
With a handful of men Hannibal arrived, a fugitive, at Hadrumetum.


After this day folly alone could counsel a continuance of the war on
the part of Carthage. On the other hand it was in the power of the
Roman general immediately to begin the siege of the capital, which was
neither protected nor provisioned, and, unless unforeseen accidents
should intervene, now to subject Carthage to the fate which Hannibal
had wished to bring upon Rome. Scipio did not do so; he granted peace
(553), but no longer upon the former terms. Besides the concessions
which had already in the last negotiations been demanded in favour of
Rome and of Massinissa, an annual contribution of 200 talents (48,000
pounds) was imposed for fifty years on the Carthaginians; and they had
to bind themselves that they would not wage war against Rome or its
allies or indeed beyond the bounds of Africa at all, and that in
Africa they would not wage war beyond their own territory without
having sought the permission of Rome--the practical effect of which
was that Carthage became tributary and lost her political
independence. It even appears that the Carthaginians were bound
in certain cases to furnish ships of war to the Roman fleet.

Scipio has been accused of granting too favourable conditions to the
enemy, lest he might be obliged to hand over the glory of terminating
the most severe war which Rome had waged, along with his command, to
a successor. The charge might have had some foundation, had the first
proposals been carried out; it seems to have no warrant in reference
to the second. His position in Rome was not such as to make the
favourite of the people, after the victory of Zama, seriously
apprehensive of recall--already before the victory an attempt to
supersede him had been referred by the senate to the burgesses, and by
them decidedly rejected. Nor do the conditions themselves warrant
such a charge. The Carthaginian city never, after its hands were thus
tied and a powerful neighbour was placed by its side, made even an
attempt to withdraw from Roman supremacy, still less to enter into
rivalry with Rome; besides, every one who cared to know knew that the
war just terminated had been undertaken much more by Hannibal than by
Carthage, and that it was absolutely impossible to revive the gigantic
plan of the patriot party. It might seem little in the eyes of the
vengeful Italians, that only the five hundred surrendered ships of war
perished in the flames, and not the hated city itself; spite and
pedantry might contend for the view that an opponent is only really
vanquished when he is annihilated, and might censure the man who had
disdained to punish more thoroughly the crime of having made Romans
tremble. Scipio thought otherwise; and we have no reason and
therefore no right to assume that the Roman was in this instance
influenced by vulgar motives rather than by the noble and magnanimous
impulses which formed part of his character. It was not the
consideration of his own possible recall or of the mutability of
fortune, nor was it any apprehension of the outbreak of a Macedonian
war at certainly no distant date, that prevented the self-reliant and
confident hero, with whom everything had hitherto succeeded beyond
belief, from accomplishing the destruction of the unhappy city, which
fifty years afterwards his adopted grandson was commissioned to
execute, and which might indeed have been equally well accomplished
now. It is much more probable that the two great generals, on whom
the decision of the political question now devolved, offered and
accepted peace on such terms in order to set just and reasonable
limits on the one hand to the furious vengeance of the victors, on
the other to the obstinacy and imprudence of the vanquished. The
noble-mindedness and statesmanlike gifts of the great antagonists are
no less apparent in the magnanimous submission of Hannibal to what was
inevitable, than in the wise abstinence of Scipio from an extravagant
and insulting use of victory. Is it to be supposed that one so
generous, unprejudiced, and intelligent should not have asked himself
of what benefit it could be to his country, now that the political
power of the Carthaginian city was annihilated, utterly to destroy
that ancient seat of commerce and of agriculture, and wickedly to
overthrow one of the main pillars of the then existing civilization?
The time had not yet come when the first men of Rome lent themselves
to destroy the civilization of their neighbours, and frivolously
fancied that they could wash away from themselves the eternal
infamy of the nation by shedding an idle tear.

Results Of The War

Thus ended the second Punic or, as the Romans more correctly called
it, the Hannibalic war, after it had devastated the lands and islands
from the Hellespont to the Pillars of Hercules for seventeen years.
Before this war the policy of the Romans had no higher aim than to
acquire command of the mainland of the Italian peninsula within its
natural boundaries, and of the Italian islands and seas; it is clearly
proved by their treatment of Africa on the conclusion of peace that
they also terminated the war with the impression, not that they
had laid the foundation of sovereignty over the states of the
Mediterranean or of the so-called universal empire, but that they had
rendered a dangerous rival innocuous and had given to Italy agreeable
neighbours. It is true doubtless that other results of the war, the
conquest of Spain in particular, little accorded with such an idea;
but their very successes led them beyond their proper design, and it
may in fact be affirmed that the Romans came into possession of Spain
accidentally. The Romans achieved the sovereignty of Italy, because
they strove for it; the hegemony--and the sovereignty which grew out
of it--over the territories of the Mediterranean was to a certain
extent thrown into the hands of the Romans by the force of
circumstances without intention on their part to acquire it.

Out Of Italy

The immediate results of the war out of Italy were, the conversion
of Spain into two Roman provinces--which, however, were in perpetual
insurrection; the union of the hitherto dependent kingdom of Syracuse
with the Roman province of Sicily; the establishment of a Roman
instead of a Carthaginian protectorate over the most important
Numidian chiefs; and lastly the conversion of Carthage from a powerful
commercial state into a defenceless mercantile town. In other words,
it established the uncontested hegemony of Rome over the western
region of the Mediterranean. Moreover, in its further development,
it led to that necessary contact and interaction between the state
systems of the east and the west, which the first Punic war had
only foreshadowed; and thereby gave rise to the proximate decisive
interference of Rome in the conflicts of the Alexandrine monarchies.

In Italy

As to its results in Italy, first of all the Celts were now certainly,
if they had not been already beforehand, destined to destruction; and
the execution of the doom was only a question of time. Within the
Roman confederacy the effect of the war was to bring into more
distinct prominence the ruling Latin nation, whose internal union
had been tried and attested by the peril which, notwithstanding
isolated instances of wavering, it had surmounted on the whole in
faithful fellowship; and to depress still further the non-Latin or
non-Latinized Italians, particularly the Etruscans and the Sabellians
of Lower Italy. The heaviest punishment or rather vengeance was
inflicted partly on the most powerful, partly on those who were at
once the earliest and latest, allies of Hannibal--the community of
Capua, and the land of the Bruttians. The Capuan constitution was
abolished, and Capua was reduced from the second city into the first
village of Italy; it was even proposed to raze the city and level
it with the ground. The whole soil, with the exception of a few
possessions of foreigners or of Campanians well disposed towards Rome,
was declared by the senate to be public domain, and was thereafter
parcelled out to small occupiers on temporary lease. The Picentes on
the Silarus were similarly treated; their capital was razed, and the
inhabitants were dispersed among the surrounding villages. The doom
of the Bruttians was still more severe; they were converted en masse
into a sort of bondsmen to the Romans, and were for ever excluded from
the right of bearing arms. The other allies of Hannibal also dearly
expiated their offence. The Greek cities suffered severely, with the
exception of the few which had steadfastly adhered to Rome, such as
the Campanian Greeks and the Rhegines. Punishment not much lighter
awaited the Arpanians and a number of other Apulian, Lucanian, and
Samnite communities, most of which lost portions of their territory.
On a part of the lands thus acquired new colonies were settled. Thus
in the year 560 a succession of burgess-colonies was sent to the best
ports of Lower Italy, among which Sipontum (near Manfredonia) and
Croton may be named, as also Salernum placed in the former territory
of the southern Picentes and destined to hold them in check, and above
all Puteoli, which soon became the seat of the genteel -villeggiatura-
and of the traffic in Asiatic and Egyptian luxuries. Thurii became
a Latin fortress under the new name of Copia (560), and the rich
Bruttian town of Vibo under the name of Valentia (562). The veterans
of the victorious army of Africa were settled singly on various
patches of land in Samnium and Apulia; the remainder was retained as
public land, and the pasture stations of the grandees of Rome replaced
the gardens and arable fields of the farmers. As a matter of course,
moreover, in all the communities of the peninsula the persons of note
who were not well affected to Rome were got rid of, so far as this
could be accomplished by political processes and confiscations of
property. Everywhere in Italy the non-Latin allies felt that their
name was meaningless, and that they were thenceforth subjects of Rome;
the vanquishing of Hannibal was felt as a second subjugation of Italy,
and all the exasperation and all the arrogance of the victor vented
themselves especially on the Italian allies who were not Latin. Even
the colourless Roman comedy of this period, well subjected as it was
to police control, bears traces of this. When the subjugated towns
of Capua and Atella were abandoned without restraint to the unbridled
wit of the Roman farce, so that the latter town became its very
stronghold, and when other writers of comedy jested over the fact
that the Campanian serfs had already learned to survive amidst the
deadly atmosphere in which even the hardiest race of slaves, the
Syrians, pined away; such unfeeling mockeries re-echoed the scorn of
the victors, but not less the cry of distress from the down-trodden
nations. The position in which matters stood is shown by the anxious
carefulness, which during the ensuing Macedonian war the senate
evinced in the watching of Italy, and by the reinforcements which were
despatched from Rome to the most important colonies, to Venusia in
554, Narnia in 555, Cosa in 557, and Cales shortly before 570.

What blanks were produced by war and famine in the ranks of the
Italian population, is shown by the example of the burgesses of
Rome, whose numbers during the war had fallen almost a fourth.
The statement, accordingly, which puts the whole number of Italians
who fell in the war under Hannibal at 300,000, seems not at all
exaggerated. Of course this loss fell chiefly on the flower of the
burgesses, who in fact furnished the -elite- as well as the mass of
the combatants. How fearfully the senate in particular was thinned,
is shown by the filling up of its complement after the battle of
Cannae, when it had been reduced to 123 persons, and was with
difficulty restored to its normal state by an extraordinary nomination
of 177 senators. That, moreover, the seventeen years' war, which had
been carried on simultaneously in all districts of Italy and towards
all the four points of the compass abroad, must have shaken to the
very heart the national economy, is, as a general position, clear; but
our tradition does not suffice to illustrate it in detail. The state
no doubt gained by the confiscations, and the Campanian territory in
particular thenceforth remained an inexhaustible source of revenue to
the state; but by this extension of the domain system the national
prosperity of course lost just about as much as at other times it had
gained by the breaking up of the state lands. Numbers of flourishing
townships--four hundred, it was reckoned--were destroyed and ruined;
the capital laboriously accumulated was consumed; the population were
demoralized by camp life; the good old traditional habits of the
burgesses and farmers were undermined from the capital down to the
smallest village. Slaves and desperadoes associated themselves in
robber-bands, of the dangers of which an idea may be formed from the
fact that in a single year (569) 7000 men had to be condemned for
highway robbery in Apulia alone; the extension of the pastures,
with their half-savage slave-herdsmen, favoured this mischievous
barbarizing of the land. Italian agriculture saw its very existence
endangered by the proof, first afforded in this war, that the Roman
people could be supported by grain from Sicily and from Egypt instead
of that which they reaped themselves.

Nevertheless the Roman, whom the gods had allowed to survive the close
of that gigantic struggle, might look with pride to the past and with
confidence to the future. Many errors had been committed, but much
suffering had also been endured; the people, whose whole youth capable
of arms had for ten years hardly laid aside shield or sword, might
excuse many faults. The living of different nations side by side in
peace and amity upon the whole--although maintaining an attitude of
mutual antagonism--which appears to be the aim of modern phases of
national life, was a thing foreign to antiquity. In ancient times it
was necessary to be either anvil or hammer; and in the final struggle
between the victors victory remained with the Romans. Whether they
would have the judgment to use it rightly--to attach the Latin nation
by still closer bonds to Rome, gradually to Latinize Italy, to rule
their dependents in the provinces as subjects and not to abuse them as
slaves, to reform the constitution, to reinvigorate and to enlarge the
tottering middle class--many a one might ask. If they should know how
to use it, Italy might hope to see happy times, in which prosperity
based on personal exertion under favourable circumstances, and the
most decisive political supremacy over the then civilized world, would
impart a just self-reliance to every member of the great whole,
furnish a worthy aim for every ambition, and open a career for every
talent. It would, no doubt, be otherwise, should they fail to use
aright their victory. But for the moment doubtful voices and gloomy
apprehensions were silent, when from all quarters the warriors and
victors returned to their homes; thanksgivings and amusements, and
rewards to the soldiers and burgesses were the order of the day;
the released prisoners of war were sent home from Gaul, Africa,
and Greece; and at length the youthful conqueror moved in splendid
procession through the decorated streets of the capital, to deposit
his laurels in the house of the god by whose direct inspiration, as
the pious whispered one to another, he had been guided in counsel
and in action.

Notes For Chapter VI

1. III. III. The Celts Conquered By Rome

2. III. VI. The Sending Of Reinforcements Temporarily Frustrated

3. III. VI. Conflicts In The South Of Italy

4. III. VI. Sicily Tranquillized

5. Of the two places bearing this name, the more westerly, situated
about 60 miles west of Hadrumetum, was probably the scene of the
battle (comp. Hermes, xx. 144, 318). The time was the spring or
summer of the year 552; the fixing of the day as the 19th October,
on account of the alleged solar eclipse, is of no account.

Chapter VII

The West From The Peace Of Hannibal To The Close Of The Third Period

Subjugation Of The Valley Of The Po

The war waged by Hannibal had interrupted Rome in the extension of her
dominion to the Alps or to the boundary of Italy, as was even now the
Roman phrase, and in the organization and colonizing of the Celtic
territories. It was self-evident that the task would now be resumed
at the point where it had been broken off, and the Celts were well
aware of this. In the very year of the conclusion of peace with
Carthage (553) hostilities had recommenced in the territory of the
Boii, who were the most immediately exposed to danger; and a first
success obtained by them over the hastily-assembled Roman levy,
coupled with the persuasions of a Carthaginian officer, Hamilcar, who
had been left behind from the expedition of Mago in northern Italy,
produced in the following year (554) a general insurrection spreading
beyond the two tribes immediately threatened, the Boii and Insubres.
The Ligurians were driven to arms by the nearer approach of the
danger, and even the youth of the Cenomani on this occasion listened
less to the voice of their cautious chiefs than to the urgent appeal
of their kinsmen who were in peril. Of "the two barriers against the
raids of the Gauls," Placentia and Cremona, the former was sacked--not
more than 2000 of the inhabitants of Placentia saved their lives--and
the second was invested. In haste the legions advanced to save what
they could. A great battle took place before Cremona. The dexterous
management and the professional skill of the Phoenician leader failed
to make up for the deficiencies of his troops; the Gauls were unable
to withstand the onset of the legions, and among the numerous dead who
covered the field of battle was the Carthaginian officer. The Celts,
nevertheless, continued the struggle; the same Roman army which had
conquered at Cremona was next year (555), chiefly through the fault of
its careless leader, almost destroyed by the Insubres; and it was not
till 556 that Placentia could be partially re-established. But the
league of the cantons associated for the desperate struggle suffered
from intestine discord; the Boii and Insubres quarrelled, and the
Cenomani not only withdrew from the national league, but purchased
their pardon from the Romans by a disgraceful betrayal of their
countrymen; during a battle in which the Insubres engaged the Romans
on the Mincius, the Cenomani attacked in rear, and helped to destroy,
their allies and comrades in arms (557). Thus humbled and left in the
lurch, the Insubres, after the fall of Comum, likewise consented to
conclude a separate peace (558). The conditions, which the Romans
prescribed to the Cenomani and Insubres, were certainly harder than
they had been in the habit of granting to the members of the Italian
confederacy; in particular, they were careful to confirm by law the
barrier of separation between Italians and Celts, and to enact that
never should a member of these two Celtic tribes be capable of
acquiring the citizenship of Rome. But these Transpadane Celtic
districts were allowed to retain their existence and their national
constitution--so that they formed not town-domains, but tribal
cantons--and no tribute, as it would seem, was imposed on them.
They were intended to serve as a bulwark for the Roman settlements
south of the Po, and to ward off from Italy the incursions of the
migratory northern tribes and the aggressions of the predatory
inhabitants of the Alps, who were wont to make regular razzias in
these districts. The process of Latinizing, moreover, made rapid
progress in these regions; the Celtic nationality was evidently far
from able to oppose such resistance as the more civilized nations of
Sabellians and Etruscans. The celebrated Latin comic poet Statius
Caecilius, who died in 586, was a manumitted Insubrian; and Polybius,
who visited these districts towards the close of the sixth century,
affirms, not perhaps without some exaggeration, that in that quarter
only a few villages among the Alps remained Celtic. The Veneti, on
the other hand, appear to have retained their nationality longer.

Measures Adopted To Check The Immigrations Of The Transalpine Gauls

The chief efforts of the Romans in these regions were naturally
directed to check the immigration of the Transalpine Celts, and to
make the natural wall, which separates the peninsula from the interior
of the continent, also its political boundary. That the terror of
the Roman name had already penetrated to the adjacent Celtic cantons
beyond the Alps, is shown not only by the totally passive attitude
which they maintained during the annihilation or subjugation of their
Cisalpine countrymen, but still more by the official disapproval and
disavowal which the Transalpine cantons--we shall have to think
primarily of the Helvetii (between the lake of Geneva and the Main)
and the Carni or Taurisci (in Carinthia and Styria)--expressed to
the envoys from Rome, who complained of the attempts made by isolated
Celtic bands to settle peacefully on the Roman side of the Alps. Not
less significant was the humble spirit in which these same bands of
emigrants first came to the Roman senate entreating an assignment
of land, and then without remonstrance obeyed the rigorous order to
return over the Alps (568-575), and allowed the town, which they
had already founded not far from the later Aquileia, to be again
destroyed. With wise severity the senate permitted no sort of
exception to the principle that the gates of the Alps should be
henceforth closed for the Celtic nation, and visited with heavy
penalties those Roman subjects in Italy, who had instigated any such
schemes of immigration. An attempt of this kind which was made on a
route hitherto little known to the Romans, in the innermost recess of
the Adriatic, and still more, as if would seem, the project of Philip
of Macedonia for invading Italy from the east as Hannibal had done
from the west, gave occasion to the founding of a fortress in the
extreme north-eastern corner of Italy--Aquileia, the most northerly of
the Italian colonies (571-573)--which was intended not only to close
that route for ever against foreigners, but also to secure the command
of the gulf which was specially convenient for navigation, and to
check the piracy which was still not wholly extirpated in those
waters. The establishment of Aquileia led to a war with the Istrians
(576, 577), which was speedily terminated by the storming of some
strongholds and the fall of the king, Aepulo, and which was remarkable
for nothing except for the panic, which the news of the surprise of
the Roman camp by a handful of barbarians called forth in the fleet
and throughout Italy.

Colonizing Of The Region On The South Of The Po

A different course was adopted with the region on the south of the Po,
which the Roman senate had determined to incorporate with Italy. The
Boii, who were immediately affected by this step, defended themselves
with the resolution of despair. They even crossed the Po and made an
attempt to rouse the Insubres once more to arms (560); they blockaded
a consul in his camp, and he was on the point of succumbing; Placentia
maintained itself with difficulty against the constant assaults of
the exasperated natives. At length the last battle was fought at
Mutina; it was long and bloody, but the Romans conquered (561);
and thenceforth the struggle was no longer a war, but a slave-hunt.
The Roman camp soon was the only asylum in the Boian territory;
thither the better part of the still surviving population began to
take refuge; and the victors were able, without much exaggeration, to
report to Rome that nothing remained of the nation of the Boii but old
men and children. The nation was thus obliged to resign itself to the
fate appointed for it. The Romans demanded the cession of half the
territory (563); the demand could not be refused, and even within the
diminished district which was left to the Boii, they soon disappeared,
and amalgamated with their conquerors.(1)

After the Romans had thus cleared the ground for themselves,
the fortresses of Placentia and Cremona, whose colonists had been
in great part swept away or dispersed by the troubles of the last few
years, were reorganized, and new settlers were sent thither. The new
foundations were, in or near the former territory of the Senones,
Potentia (near Recanati not far from Ancona: in 570) and Pisaurum
(Pesaro: in 570), and, in the newly acquired district of the Boii, the
fortresses of Bononia (565), Mutina (571), and Parma (571); the colony
of Mutina had been already instituted before the war under Hannibal,
but that war had interrupted the completion of the settlement.
The construction of fortresses was associated, as was always the case,
with the formation of military roads. The Flaminian way was prolonged
from its northern termination at Ariminum, under the name of the
Aemilian way, to Placentia (567). Moreover, the road from Rome to
Arretium or the Cassian way, which perhaps had already been long a
municipal road, was taken in charge and constructed anew by the Roman
community probably in 583; while in 567 the track from Arretium over
the Apennines to Bononia as far as the new Aemilian road had been put
in order, and furnished a shorter communication between Rome and the
fortresses on the Po. By these comprehensive measures the Apennines
were practically superseded as the boundary between the Celtic and
Italian territories, and were replaced by the Po. South of the Po
there henceforth prevailed mainly the urban constitution of the
Italians, beyond it mainly the cantonal constitution of the Celts;
and, if the district between the Apennines and the Po was still
reckoned Celtic land, it was but an empty name.


In the north-western mountain-land of Italy, whose valleys and hills
were occupied chiefly by the much-subdivided Ligurian stock, the
Romans pursued a similar course. Those dwelling immediately to the
north of the Arno were extirpated. This fate befell chiefly the
Apuani, who dwelt on the Apennines between the Arno and the Magra, and
incessantly plundered on the one side the territory of Pisae, on the
other that of Bononia and Mutina. Those who did not fall victims in
that quarter to the sword of the Romans were transported into Lower
Italy to the region of Beneventum (574); and by energetic measures the
Ligurian nation, from which the Romans were obliged in 578 to recover
the colony of Mutina which it had conquered, was completely crushed in
the mountains which separate the valley of the Po from that of the
Arno. The fortress of Luna (not far from Spezzia), established in 577
in the former territory of the Apuani, protected the frontier against
the Ligurians just as Aquileia did against the Transalpines, and gave
the Romans at the same time an excellent port which henceforth became
the usual station for the passage to Massilia and to Spain. The
construction of the coast or Aurelian road from Rome to Luna, and
of the cross road carried from Luca by way of Florence to Arretium
between the Aurelian and Cassian ways, probably belongs to the
same period.

With the more western Ligurian tribes, who held the Genoese Apennines
and the Maritime Alps, there were incessant conflicts. They were
troublesome neighbours, accustomed to pillage by land and by sea: the
Pisans and Massiliots suffered no little injury from their incursions
and their piracies. But no permanent results were gained amidst these
constant hostilities, or perhaps even aimed at; except apparently
that, with a view to have a communication by land with Transalpine
Gaul and Spain in addition to the regular route by sea, the Romans
endeavoured to clear the great coast road from Luna by way of Massilia
to Emporiae, at least as far as the Alps--beyond the Alps it devolved
on the Massiliots to keep the coast navigation open for Roman vessels
and the road along the shore open for travellers by land. The
interior with its impassable valleys and its rocky fastnesses,
and with its poor but dexterous and crafty inhabitants, served
the Romans mainly as a school of war for the training and hardening
of soldiers and officers.


Wars as they are called, of a similar character with those against the
Ligurians, were waged with the Corsicans and to a still greater extent
with the inhabitants of the interior of Sardinia, who retaliated for
the predatory expeditions directed against them by sudden attacks on
the districts along the coast. The expedition of Tiberius Gracchus
against the Sardinians in 577 was specially held in remembrance,
not so much because it gave "peace" to the province, as because
he asserted that he had slain or captured as many as 80,000 of
the islanders, and dragged slaves thence in such multitudes to
Rome that "cheap as a Sardinian" became a proverb.


In Africa the policy of Rome was substantially summed up in the one
idea, as short-sighted as it was narrow-minded, that she ought to
prevent the revival of the power of Carthage, and ought accordingly
to keep the unhappy city constantly oppressed and apprehensive of
a declaration of war suspended over it by Rome like the sword of
Damocles. The stipulation in the treaty of peace, that the
Carthaginians should retain their territory undiminished, but
that their neighbour Massinissa should have all those possessions
guaranteed to him which he or his predecessor had possessed within
the Carthaginian bounds, looks almost as if it had been inserted not
to obviate, but to provoke disputes. The same remark applies to the
obligation imposed by the Roman treaty of peace on the Carthaginians
not to make war upon the allies of Rome; so that, according to the
letter of the treaty, they were not even entitled to expel their
Numidian neighbours from their own undisputed territory. With such
stipulations and amidst the uncertainty of African frontier questions
in general, the situation of Carthage in presence of a neighbour
equally powerful and unscrupulous and of a liege lord who was at once
umpire and party in the cause, could not but be a painful one; but
the reality was worse than the worst expectations. As early as 561
Carthage found herself suddenly assailed under frivolous pretexts,
and saw the richest portion of her territory, the province of Emporiae
on the Lesser Syrtis, partly plundered by the Numidians, partly
even seized and retained by them. Encroachments of this kind were
multiplied; the level country passed into the hands of the Numidians,
and the Carthaginians with difficulty maintained themselves in the
larger places. Within the last two years alone, the Carthaginians
declared in 582, seventy villages had been again wrested from them in
opposition to the treaty. Embassy after embassy was despatched to
Rome; the Carthaginians adjured the Roman senate either to allow them
to defend themselves by arms, or to appoint a court of arbitration

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