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The History of Rome; Books Nine to Twenty-Six by Titus Livius

Part 10 out of 10

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drove them, terrified and dismayed, within their walls. After
devastating the adjacent parts of Illyricum he turned his course into
Pelagonia, with the same expedition. He then took Sintia, a town of
the Dardanians, which would have afforded them a passage into
Macedonia. Having with the greatest despatch performed these
achievements, not forgetting the war made upon him by the Aetolians
and Romans in conjunction, he marched down into Thessaly through
Pelagonia, Lyncus, and Bottiaea. He trusted that people might be
induced to take part with him in the war against the Aetolians, and,
therefore, leaving Perseus with four thousand armed men at the gorge,
which formed the entrance into Thessaly, to prevent the Aetolians from
passing it, before he should be occupied with more important business,
he marched his army into Macedonia, and thence into Thrace and
Maedica. This nation had been accustomed to make incursions into
Macedonia when they perceived the king engaged in a foreign war, and
the kingdom left unprotected. Accordingly, he began to devastate the
lands in the neighbourhood of Phragandae, and to lay siege to the city
Jamphorina, the capital and chief fortress of Maedica. Scopas, on
hearing that the king had gone into Thrace, and was engaged in a war
there, armed all the Aetolian youths, and prepared to invade
Acarnania. The Acarnanian nation, unequal to their enemy in point of
strength, and seeing that they had lost Aeniadae and Nasus, and
moreover that the Roman arms were threatening them, prepare the war
rather with rage than prudence. Having sent their wives, children, and
those who were above sixty years old into the neighbouring parts of
Epirus, all who were between the ages of fifteen and sixty, bound each
other by an oath not to return unless victorious. That no one might
receive into his city or house, or admit to his table or hearth, such
as should retire from the field vanquished, they drew up a form of
direful execration against their countrymen who should do so; and the
most solemn entreaty they could devise, to friendly states. At the
same time they entreated the Epirotes to bury in one tomb such of
their men as should fall in the encounter, adding this inscription
AETOLIANS. Having worked up their courage to the highest pitch by
these means, they fixed their camp at the extreme borders of their
country in the way of the enemy; and sending messengers to Philip to
inform him of the critical situation in which they stood, they obliged
him to suspend the war in which he was engaged, though he had gained
possession of Jamphorina by surrender, and had succeeded in other
respects. The ardour of the Aetolians was damped, in the first
instance, by the news of the combination formed by the Acarnanians;
but afterwards the intelligence of Philip's approach compelled them
even to retreat into the interior of the country. Nor did Philip
proceed farther than Dium, though he had marched with great expedition
to prevent the Acarnanians being overpowered; and when he had received
information that the Aetolians had returned out of Acarnania, he also
returned to Pella.

26. Laevinus set sail from Corcyra in the beginning of the spring, and
doubling the promontory Leucate, arrived at Naupactus; when he gave
notice that he should go thence to Anticyra, in order that Scopas and
the Aetolians might be ready there to join him. Anticyra is situated
in Locris, on the left hand as you enter the Corinthian Gulf. The
distance between Naupactus and this place is short both by sea and
land. In about three days after, the attack upon this place commenced
on both elements. The attack from the sea produced the greatest
effect, because there were on board the ships engines and machines of
every description, and because the Romans besieged from that quarter.
In a few days, therefore, the town surrendered, and was delivered over
to the Aetolians, the booty, according to compact, was given up to the
Romans. Laevinus then received a letter informing him, that he had
been elected consul in his absence, and that Publius Sulpicius was
coming as his successor. He arrived at Rome later than he was
generally expected, being detained by a lingering illness. Marcus
Marcellus, having entered upon the consulship on the ides of March,
assembled the senate on that day merely for form's sake He declared,
that "in the absence of his colleague he would not enter into any
question relative to the state or the provinces." He said, "he well
knew there were crowds of Sicilians in the neighbourhood of the city
at the country-houses of those who maligned him, whom he was so far
from wishing to prevent from openly publishing, at Rome, the charges
which had been circulated and got up against him by his enemies, that
did they not pretend that they entertained some fear of speaking of a
consul in the absence of his colleague, he would forthwith have given
them a hearing of the senate. That when his colleague had arrived, he
would not allow any business to be transacted before the Sicilians
were brought before the senate. That Marcus Cornelius had in a manner
held a levy throughout all Sicily, in order that as many as possible
might come to Rome to prefer complaints against him, that the same
person had filled the city with letters containing false
representations that there was still war in Sicily, in order to
detract from his merit." The consul, having acquired on that day the
reputation of having a well-regulated mind, dismissed the senate, and
it appeared that there would be almost a total suspension of every
kind of business till the other consul returned to the city. The want
of employment, as usual, produced expressions of discontent among the
people. They complained of the length of the war, that the lands
around the city were devastated wherever Hannibal had marched his
hostile troops; that Italy was exhausted by levies, and that almost
every year their armies were cut to pieces, that the consuls elected
were both of them fond of war, men over-enterprising and impetuous,
who would probably stir up war in a time of profound peace, and
therefore were the less likely to allow the state to breathe in time
of war.

27. A fire which broke out in several places at once in the
neighbourhood of the forum, on the night before the festival of
Minerva, interrupted these discourses. Seven shops, where five were
afterwards erected, and the banks, which are now called the new banks,
were all on fire at once. Afterwards the private dwellings caught, for
there were no public halls there then, the prisons called the Quarry,
the fish-market, and the royal palace. The temple of Vesta was with
difficulty saved, principally by the exertions of thirteen slaves, who
were redeemed at the public expense and manumitted. The fire continued
for a day and a night. It was evident to every body that it was caused
by human contrivance, because the flames burst forth in several places
at once, and those at a distance from each other. The consul,
therefore, on the recommendation of the senate, publicly notified,
that whoever should make known by whose act the conflagration was
kindled, should rewarded, if a free-man, with money, if a slave, with
liberty. Induced by this reward, a slave of the Campanian family, the
Calavii, named Mannus, gave information that "his masters, with five
noble Campanian youths, whose parents had been executed by Fulvius,
were the authors of the fire, and that they would commit various other
acts of the same kind if they were not seized." Upon this they were
seized, as well as their slaves. At first, the informer and his
evidence were disparaged, for that "he had run away from his masters
the day before in consequence of a whipping, and that from an event
which had happened by mere chance, he had fabricated this charge, from
resentment and wantonness." But when they were charged by their
accusers face to face, and the ministers of their villanies begin to
be examined in the middle of the forum, they all confessed, and
punishment was inflicted upon the masters and their accessory slaves.
The informer received his liberty and twenty thousand _asses_.
The consul Laevinus, while passing by Capua, was surrounded by a
multitude of Campanians, who besought him, with tears, that they might
be permitted to go to Rome to the senate, so that if they could at
length be in any degree moved by compassion, they might not carry
their resentment so far as to destroy them utterly, nor suffer the
very name of the Campanian nation to be obliterated by Quintus
Flaccus. Flaccus declared, that "he had individually no quarrel with
the Campanians, but that he did entertain an enmity towards them on
public grounds and because they were foes, and should continue to do
so as long as he felt assured that they had the same feelings towards
the Roman people; for that there was no nation or people on earth more
inveterate against the Roman name. That his reason for keeping them
shut up within their walls was, that if any of these got out any where
they roamed through the country like wild beasts, tearing and
massacring whatever fell in their way. That some of them had deserted
to Hannibal, others had gone and set fire to Rome; that the consul
would find the traces of the villany of the Campanians in the
half-burnt forum. That the temple of Vesta, the eternal fire, and the
fatal pledge for the continuance of the Roman empire deposited in the
shrine, had been the objects of their attack. That in his opinion it
was extremely unsafe for any Campanians to be allowed to enter the
walls of Rome." Laevinus ordered the Campanians to follow him to Rome,
after Flaccus had bound them by an oath to return to Capua on the
fifth day after receiving an answer from the senate. Surrounded by
this crowd, and followed also by the Sicilians and Aeolians, who came
out to meet him, he went to Rome; taking with him into the city as
accusers of two men who had acquired the greatest celebrity by the
overthrow of two most renowned cities, those whom they had vanquished
in war. Both the consuls, however, first proposed to the senate the
consideration of the state of the commonwealth, and the arrangements
respecting the provinces.

28. On this occasion Laevinus reported the state of Macedonia and
Greece, of the Aetolians, Acarnanians, and Locrians, and the services
he had himself performed there on sea and land. That "Philip, who was
bringing an army against the Aetolians, had been driven back by him
into Macedonia, and compelled to retire into the heart of his kingdom.
That the legion might therefore be withdrawn from that quarter, and
that the fleet was sufficient to keep the king out of Italy." Thus
much he said respecting himself and the province where he had
commanded. The consuls jointly proposed the consideration of the
provinces, when the senate decreed, that, "Italy and the war with
Hannibal should form the province of one of the consuls; that the
other should have the command of the fleet which Titus Otacilius had
commanded, and the province of Sicily, in conjunction with Lucius
Cincius, the praetor." The two armies decreed to them were those in
Etruria and Gaul, consisting of four legions. That the two city
legions of the former year should be sent into Etruria and the two
which Sulpicius, the consul, had commanded, into Gaul; that he should
have the command of Gaul, and the legions there whom the consul, who
had the province of Italy, should appoint. Caius Calpurnius, having
his command continued to him for a year after the expiration of his
praetorship, was sent into Etruria. To Quintus Fulvius also the
province of Capua was decreed, with his command continued for a year.
The army of citizens and allies was ordered to be reduced, so that,
out of two, one legion should be formed consisting of five thousand
foot and three hundred horse, those being discharged who had served
the greatest number of campaigns. That of the allies there should be
left seven thousand infantry and three hundred horse, the same rule
being observed with regard to the periods of their service in
discharging the old soldiers. With Cneius Fulvius, the consul of the
former year, no change was made touching his province of Apulia nor
his army; only he was continued in command for a year. Publius
Sulpicius, his colleague, was ordered to discharge the whole of his
army excepting the marines. It was ordered also, that the army which
Marcus Cornelius had commanded, should be sent out of Sicily as soon
as the consul arrived in his province. The soldiers which had fought
at Cannae, amounting to two legions, were assigned to Lucius Cincius,
the praetor, for the occupation of Sicily. As many legions were
assigned to Publius Manlius Vulso, the praetor, for Sardinia, being
those which Lucius Cornelius had commanded in that province the former
year. The consuls were directed so to raise legions for the service of
the city, as not to enlist any one who had served in the armies of
Marcus Claudius, Marcus Valerius, or Quintus Fulvius, so that the
Roman legions might not exceed twenty-one that year.

29. After the senate had passed these decrees, the consuls drew lots
for their provinces. Sicily and the fleet fell to the lot of
Marcellus; Italy, with the war against Hannibal, to Laevinus. This
result so terrified the Sicilians, who were standing in sight of the
consuls waiting the determination of the lots, that their bitter
lamentations and mournful cries both drew upon them the eyes of all at
the time, and afterwards furnished matter for conversation. For they
went round to the several senators in mourning garments, affirming,
that "they would not only abandon, each of them, his native country,
but all Sicily, if Marcellus should again go thither with command.
That he had formerly been implacable toward them for no demerit of
theirs, what would he do now, when exasperated that they had come to
Rome to complain of him? That it would be better for that island to be
overwhelmed with the fires of Aetna, or sunk in the sea, than to be
delivered up, as it were, for execution to an enemy." These complaints
of the Sicilians, having been carried round to the houses of the
nobility, and frequently canvassed in conversations, which were
prompted partly by compassion for the Sicilians and partly by dislike
for Marcellus, at length reached the senate also. The consuls were
requested to take the sense of the senate on an exchange of provinces.
Marcellus said, that "if the Sicilians had already had an audience of
the senate, his opinion perhaps might have been different, but as the
case now stood, lest any one should be able to say that they were
prevented by fear from freely venting their complaints respecting him,
to whose power they were presently about to be subject, he was
willing, if it made no difference to his colleague, to exchange
provinces with him. That he deprecated a premature decision on the
part of the senate, for since it would be unjust that his colleague
should have the power of selecting his province without drawing lots,
how much greater injustice would it be, nay, rather indignity, for his
lot to be transferred to him." Accordingly the senate, having rather
shown than decreed what they wished, adjourned. An exchange of
provinces was made by the consuls of themselves, fate hurrying on
Marcellus to encounter Hannibal, that he might be the last of the
Roman generals, who, by his fall, when the affairs of the war were
most prosperous, might add to the glory of that man, from whom he
derived the reputation of having been the first Roman general who
defeated him.

30. After the provinces had been exchanged, the Sicilians, on being
introduced into the senate, discoursed largely on the constant
fidelity of king Hiero to the Roman people, converting it into a
public merit. They said, "that the tyrants, Hieronymus, and, after
him, Hippocrates and Epicydes, had been objects of detestation to
them, both on other accounts and especially on account of then
deserting the Romans to take part with Hannibal. For this cause
Hieronymus was put to death by the principal young men among them,
almost with the public concurrence, and a conspiracy was formed to
murder Epicydes and Hippocrates, by seventy of the most distinguished
of their youth; but being left without support in consequence of the
delay of Marcellus, who neglected to bring up his troops to Syracuse
at the time agreed upon, they were all, on an indictment that was
made, put to death by the tyrants. That Marcellus, by the cruelty
exercised in the sacking of Leontini, had given occasion to the
tyranny of Hippocrates and Epicydes. From that time the leading men
among the Syracusans never ceased going over to Marcellus, and
promising him that they would deliver the city to him whenever he
pleased; but that he, in the first instance, was disposed rather to
take it by force, and afterwards, finding it impossible to effect his
object by sea or land, after trying every means, he preferred having
Syracuse delivered to him by Sosis, a brazier, and Mericus, a
Spaniard, to receiving it from the principal men of Syracuse, who had
so often offered it to him voluntarily to no purpose; doubtless in
order that he might with a fairer pretext butcher and plunder the most
ancient allies of the Roman people. If it had not been Hieronymus who
revolted to Hannibal, but the people and senate of Syracuse; if the
body of the Syracusan people, and not their tyrants, Hippocrates and
Epicydes, who held them in thraldom, had closed the gates against
Marcellus; if they had carried on war with the Roman people with the
animosity of Carthaginians, what more could Marcellus have done in
hostility than he did, without levelling Syracuse with the ground?
Nothing indeed was left at Syracuse except the walls and gutted houses
of her city, the temples of her gods broken open and plundered; her
very gods and their ornaments having been carried away. From many
their possessions also were taken away, so that they were unable to
support themselves and their families, even from the naked soil, the
only remains of their plundered property. They entreated the conscript
fathers, that they would order, if not all, at least such of their
property as could be found and identified, to be restored to the
owners." After they had made these complaints, Laevinus ordered them
to withdraw from the senate-house, that the senate might deliberate on
their requests, when Marcellus exclaimed, "Nay, rather let them stay
here, that I may reply to their charges in their presence, since we
conduct your wars for you, conscript fathers, on the condition of
having as our accusers those whom we have conquered with our arms. Of
the two cities which have been captured this year, let Capua arraign
Fulvius, and Syracuse Marcellus."

31. The deputies having been brought back into the senate-house, the
consul said: "I am not so unmindful of the dignity of the Roman people
and of the office I fill as consul, conscript fathers, as to make a
defence against charges brought by Greeks, had the inquiry related
only to my own delinquency. But it is not so much what I have done, as
what they deserved to suffer, which comes into dispute. For if they
were not our enemies, there was no difference between sacking Syracuse
then, and when Hiero was alive. But if, on the other hand, they have
renounced their connexion with us, attacked our ambassadors sword in
hand, shut us out of their city and walls, and defended themselves
against us with an army of Carthaginians, who can feel indignant that
they should suffer the hostilities they have offered? I turned away
from the leading men of the Syracusans, when they were desirous of
delivering up the city to me, and esteemed Sosis and Mericus as more
proper persons for so important an affair. Now you are not the meanest
of the Syracusans, who reproach others with the meanness of their
condition. But who is there among you, who has promised that he would
open the gates to me, and receive my armed troops within the city? You
hate and execrate those who did so; and not even here can you abstain
from speaking with insult of them; so far is it from being the case
that you would yourselves have done any thing of the kind. The very
meanness of the condition of those persons, conscript fathers, with
which these men reproach them, forms the strongest proof that I did
not turn away from any man who was willing to render a service to our
state. Before I began the siege of Syracuse I attempted a peace, at
one time by sending ambassadors, at another time by going to confer
with them; and after that they refrained not from laying violent hands
on my ambassadors, nor would give me an answer when I held an
interview with their chief men at their gates, then, at length, after
suffering many hardships by sea and land, I took Syracuse by force of
arms. Of what befell them after their city was captured they would
complain with more justice to Hannibal, the Carthaginians, and those
who were vanquished with them, than to the senate of the victorious
people. If, conscript fathers, I had intended to conceal the fact that
I had despoiled Syracuse, I should never have decorated the city of
Rome with her spoils. As to what things I either took from individuals
or bestowed upon them, as conqueror, I feel assured that I have acted
agreeably to the laws of war, and the deserts of each. That you should
confirm what I have done, conscript fathers, certainly concerns the
commonwealth more than myself, since I have discharged my duty
faithfully; but it is the duty of the state to take care, lest, by
rescinding my acts, they should render other commanders for the time
to come less zealous. And since, conscript fathers, you have heard
both what the Sicilians and I had to say, in the presence of each
other, we will go out of the senate-house together, in order that in
my absence the senate may deliberate more freely." Accordingly, the
Sicilians having been dismissed, he himself also went away to the
Capitol to levy soldiers.

32. The other consul then proposed to the fathers the consideration of
the requests of the Sicilians, when a long debate took place. A great
part of the senate acquiesced in an opinion which originated with
Titus Manlius Torquatus, "that the war ought to have been carried on
against the tyrants, the enemies both of the Syracusans and the Roman
people; that the city ought to have been recovered, not captured; and,
when recovered, should have been firmly established under its ancient
laws and liberty, and not distressed by war, when worn out with a
wretched state of bondage. That in the contest between the tyrants and
the Roman general, that most beautiful and celebrated city, formerly
the granary and treasury of the Roman people, which was held up as the
reward of the victor, had been destroyed; a city by whose munificence
and bounty the commonwealth had been assisted and adorned on many
occasions, and lastly, during this very Punic war. Should king Hiero,
that most faithful friend of the Roman empire, rise from the shades,
with what face could either Syracuse or Rome be shown to him, when,
after beholding his half-demolished and plundered native city, he
should see, on entering Rome, the spoils of his country in the
vestibule, as it were, of the city, and almost in the very gates?"
Although these and other similar things were said, to throw odium upon
the consul and excite compassion for the Sicilians, yet the fathers,
out of regard for Marcellus, passed a milder decree, to the effect,
"that what Marcellus had done while prosecuting the war, and when
victorious, should be confirmed. That for the time to come, the senate
would look to the affairs of Syracuse, and would give it in charge to
the consul Laevinus, to consult the interest of that state, so far as
it could be done without detriment to the commonwealth." Two senators
having been sent to the Capitol to request the consul to return to the
senate-house, and the Sicilians having been called in, the decree of
the senate was read. The deputies were addressed in terms of kindness,
and dismissed, when they threw themselves at the knees of the consul,
Marcellus, beseeching him to pardon them for what they had said for
the purpose of exciting compassion, and procuring relief from their
calamities, and to receive themselves and the city of Syracuse under
his protection and patronage; after which, the consul addressed them
kindly and dismissed them.

33. An audience of the senate was then granted to the Campanians.
Their speech was more calculated to excite compassion, but their case
less favourable, for neither could they deny that they deserved the
punishment they had suffered, nor were there any tyrants to whom they
could transfer their guilt. But they trusted that sufficient atonement
had been made by the death of so many of their senators by poison and
the hands of the executioner. They said, "that a few only of their
nobles remained, being such as were not induced by the consciousness
of their demerit to adopt any desperate measure respecting themselves,
and had not been condemned to death through the resentment of their
conquerors. That these implored the restoration of their liberty, and
some portion of their goods for themselves and families, being
citizens of Rome, and most of them connected with the Romans by
affinity and now too near relationship, in consequence of
intermarriages which had taken place for a long period." After this
they were removed from the senate-house, when for a short time doubts
were entertained whether it would be right or not to send for Quintus
Fulvius from Capua, (for Claudius, the proconsul, died after the
capture of that place,) that the question might be canvassed in the
presence of the general who had been concerned, as was done in the
affair between Marcellus and the Sicilians. But afterwards, when they
saw in the senate Marcus Atilius, and Caius Fulvius, the brother of
Flaccus, his lieutenant-generals, and Quintus Minucius, and Lucius
Veturius Philo, who were also his lieutenant-generals, who had been
present at every transaction; and being unwilling that Fulvius should
be recalled from Capua, or the Campanians put off, Marcus Atilius
Regulus, who possessed the greatest weight of any of those present who
had been at Capua, being asked his opinion, thus spoke: "I believe I
assisted at the council held by the consuls after the capture of
Capua, when inquiry was made whether any of the Campanians had
deserved well of our state; and it was found that two women had done
so; Vestia Oppia, a native of Atella and an inhabitant of Capua, and
Faucula Cluvia, formerly a common woman. The former had daily offered
sacrifice for the safety and success of the Roman people, and the
latter had clandestinely supplied the starving prisoners with food.
The sentiments of all the rest of the Campanians towards us had been
the same," he said, "as those of the Carthaginians; and those who had
been decapitated by Fulvius, were the most conspicuous in rank, but
not in guilt. I do not see," said he, "how the senate can decide
respecting the Campanians who are Roman citizens, without an order of
the people. And the course adopted by our ancestors, in the case of
the Satricani when they had revolted, was, that Marcus Antistius, the
plebeian tribune, should first propose and the commons make an order,
that the senate should have the power of pronouncing judgment upon the
Satricani. I therefore give it as my opinion, that application should
be made to the plebeian tribunes, that one or more of them should
propose to the people a bill, by which we may be empowered to
determine in the case of the Campanians." Lucius Atilius, plebeian
tribune, proposed to the people, on the recommendation of the senate,
a bill to the following effect: "Concerning all the Campanians,
Atellanians, Calatinians, and Sabatinians, who have surrendered
themselves to the proconsul Fulvius, and have placed themselves under
the authority and dominion of the Roman people; also concerning what
things they have surrendered, together with their persons, both lands
and city, divine or human, together with their utensils and whatsoever
else they have surrendered; concerning these things, Roman citizens, I
ask you what it is your pleasure should be done." The commons thus
ordered: "Whatsoever the senate on oath, or the majority of those
present, may determine, that we will and order."

34. The senate having taken the matter into their consideration in
conformity with this order of the people, first restored to Oppia and
Cluvia their goods and liberty; directing, that if they wished to
solicit any other rewards from the senate, they should come to Rome.
Separate decrees were passed respecting each of the Campanian
families, all of which it is not worth while to enumerate. The goods
of some were to be confiscated; themselves, their children, and their
wives were to be sold, excepting such of their daughters as had
married before they came into the power of the Roman people. Others
were ordered to be thrown into chains, and their cases to be
considered at a future time. They made the amount of income the ground
on which they decided, whether the goods of the rest of the Campanians
should be confiscated or not. They voted, that all the cattle taken
except the horses, all the slaves except adult males, and every thing
which did not belong to the soil, should be restored to the owners.
They ordered that all the Campanians, Atellanians, Calatinians, and
Sabatinians, except such as were themselves, or whose parents were,
among the enemy, should be free, with a proviso, that none of them
should become a Roman citizen or a Latin confederate; and that none of
those who had been at Capua while the gates were shut should remain in
the city or territory of Capua after a certain day. That a place
should be assigned to them to inhabit beyond the Tiber, but not
contiguous to it. That those who had neither been in Capua nor in any
Campanian city which had revolted from the Romans during the war,
should inhabit a place on this side the river Liris towards Rome; and
that those who had come over to the Romans before Hannibal arrived at
Capua, should be removed to a place on this side the Vulturnus, with a
proviso, that none of them should have either land or house within
fifteen miles of the sea. That such of them as were removed to a place
beyond the Tiber, should neither themselves nor their posterity
acquire or possess any property any where, except in the Veientian,
Sutrian, or Nepetian territories; and, except on condition, that no
one should possess a greater extent of land than fifty acres. That the
goods of all the senators, and such as had been magistrates at Capua,
Calatia, and Atella, should be sold at Capua; but that the free
persons who were decreed to be exposed to sale, should be sent to Rome
and sold there. As to the images and brazen statues, which were said
to have been taken from the enemy, whether sacred or profane, they
referred them to the college of pontiffs. They sent the Campanians
away, considerably more grieved than they were when they came, in
consequence of these decrees; and now they no longer complained of the
severity of Quintus Fulvius towards them, but of the malignity of the
gods and their own accursed fortune.

35. After the Sicilians and Campanians were dismissed, a levy was
made; and after the troops had been enlisted for the army, they then
began to consider about making up the number of rowers; but as there
was neither a sufficient supply of men for that purpose, nor any money
at that time in the treasury by which they might be purchased or paid,
the consuls issued an edict, that private persons should furnish
rowers in proportion to their income and rank, as had been done
before, with pay and provisions for thirty days. So great was the
murmuring and indignation of the people, on account of this edict,
that a leader, rather than matter, was wanting for an insurrection. It
was said, that "the consuls, after having ruined the Sicilians and
Campanians, had undertaken to destroy and lacerate the Roman commons;
that, drained as they had been for so many years by taxes, they had
nothing left but wasted and naked lands. That the enemy had burned
their houses, and the state had taken away their slaves, who were the
cultivators of their lands, at one time by purchasing them at a low
rate for soldiers, at another by commanding a supply of rowers. If any
one had any silver or brass it was taken away from him, for the
payment of rowers or for annual taxes. That no force could compel and
no command oblige them to give what they had not got. That they might
sell their goods and then vent their cruelty on their persons, which
were all that remained to them. That they had nothing even left from
which they could be redeemed." These complaints were uttered not in
secret, but publicly in the forum, and before the eyes of the consuls
themselves, by an immense crowd which surrounded them; nor could the
consuls appease them now by coercing nor by soothing them. Upon this
they said that three days should be allowed them to consider of the
matter; which interval the consuls employed in examining and planning.
The following day they assembled the senate to consider of raising a
supply of rowers; and after arguing at great length that the people's
refusal was fair, they brought their discourse to this point, that
whether it were just or unjust, this burden must be borne by private
individuals. For from what source could they procure rowers, when
there was no money in the treasury? and how, without fleets, could
Sicily be kept in subjection, or Philip be prevented from entering
Italy, or the shores of Italy be protected?

36. In this perplexing state of affairs, when all deliberation was at
a stand, and a kind of torpor had seized on men's minds, Laevinus, the
consul, observed, that "as the magistrates were more honoured than the
senators, and the senators than the people, so also ought they to be
the first in taking upon themselves every thing that was burdensome
and arduous. If you would enjoin any duty on an inferior, and would
first submit yourself and those belonging to you to the obligation,
you will find everybody else more ready to obey; nor is an expense
thought heavy, when the people see every one of their principal men
taking upon himself more than his proportion of it. Are we then
desirous that the Roman people should have and equip a fleet? that
private individuals should without repugnance furnish rowers? Let us
first execute the command ourselves. Let us, senators, bring into the
treasury to-morrow all our gold, silver, and coined brass, each
reserving rings for himself, his wife, and children, and a bulla for
his son; and he who has a wife or daughters, an ounce weight of gold
for each. Let those who have sat in a curule chair have the ornaments
of a horse, and a pound weight of silver, that they may have a
salt-cellar and a dish for the service of the gods. Let the rest of
us, senators, reserve for each father of a family, a pound weight only
of silver and five thousand coined _asses_. All the rest of our
gold, silver, and coined brass, let us immediately carry to the
triumviri for banking affairs, no decree of the senate having been
previously made; that our voluntary contributions, and our emulation
in assisting the state, may excite the minds, first, of the equestrian
order to emulate us, and after them of the rest of the community. This
is the only course which we, your consuls, after much conversation on
the subject, have been able to discover. Adopt it, then, and may the
gods prosper the measure. If the state is preserved, she can easily
secure the property of her individual members, but by betraying the
public interests you would in vain preserve your own." This
proposition was received with such entire approbation, that thanks
were spontaneously returned to the consuls. The senate was then
adjourned, when every one of the members brought his gold, silver, and
brass into the treasury, with such emulation excited, that they were
desirous that their names should appear among the first on the public
tables; so that neither the triumviri were sufficient for receiving
nor the notaries for entering them. The unanimity displayed by the
senate was imitated by the equestrian order, and that of the
equestrian order by the commons. Thus, without any edict, or coercion
of the magistrates, the state neither wanted rowers to make up the
numbers, nor money to pay them; and after every thing had been got in
readiness for the war, the consuls set out for their provinces.

37. Nor was there ever any period of the war, when both the
Carthaginians and the Romans, plunged alike in vicissitudes, were in a
state of more anxious suspense between hope and fear. For on the side
of the Romans, with respect to their provinces, their failure in Spain
on the one hand, and their successes in Sicily on the other, had
blended joy and sorrow; and in Italy, the loss of Tarentum was an
injury and a source of grief to them, while the unexpected
preservation of the citadel with the garrison was matter of joy to
them. The sudden terror and panic occasioned by the siege and attack
of Rome, was turned into joy by the capture of Capua, a few days
after. Their affairs beyond sea also were equalized by a kind of
compensation. Philip had become their enemy at a juncture somewhat
unseasonable; but then the Aetolians, and Attalus, king of Asia, were
added to their allies; fortune now, in a manner, promising to the
Romans the empire of the east. The Carthaginians also set the loss of
Capua against the capture of Tarentum; and as they considered it as
glorious to them to have reached the walls of Rome without opposition,
so they were chagrined at the failure of their attempt, and they felt
ashamed that they had been held in such contempt, that while they lay
under the walls of Rome, a Roman army was marched out for Spain at an
opposite gate. With regard also to Spain itself, the greater the
reason was to hope that the war there was terminated, and that the
Romans were driven from the country, after the destruction of two such
renowned generals and their armies, so much the greater was the
indignation felt, that the victory had been rendered void and
fruitless by Lucius Marcius, a general irregularly appointed. Thus
fortune balancing events against each other, all was suspense and
uncertainty on both sides, their hopes and their fears being as strong
as though they were now first commencing the war.

38. What grieved Hannibal more than any thing was the fact, that Capua
having been more perseveringly besieged by the Romans than defended by
him, had turned from him the regard of many of the states of Italy,
and it was not only impossible for him to retain possession of all
these by means of garrisons, unless he could make up his mind to tear
his army into a number of small portions, which at that time was most
inexpedient, but he could not, by withdrawing the garrisons, leave the
fidelity of his allies open to the influence of hope, or subject to
that of fear. His disposition, which was strongly inclined to avarice
and cruelty, induced him to plunder the places he could not keep
possession of, that they might be left for the enemy in a state of
desolation. This resolution was equally horrid in principle and in its
issue, for not only were the affections of those who suffered such
harsh treatment alienated from him, but also of the other states, for
the warning affected a greater number than did the calamity. Nor did
the Roman consul fail to sound the inclinations of the cities,
whenever any prospect of success presented itself. Dasius and Blasius
were the principal men in Salapia, Dasius was the friend of Hannibal,
Blasius, as far as he could do it with safety, promoted the Roman
interest, and, by means of secret messengers, had given Marcellus
hopes of having the place betrayed to him, but the business could not
be accomplished without the assistance of Dasius. After much and long
hesitation and even then more for the want of a better plan than from
any hope of success, he addressed himself to Dasius; but he, being
both adverse to the measure and also hostile to his rival in the
government, discovered the affair to Hannibal. Both parties were
summoned, and while Hannibal was transacting some business on his
tribunal, intending presently to take cognizance of the case of
Blasius, and the accuser and the accused were standing apart from the
crowd, which was put back, Blasius solicited Dasius on the subject of
surrendering the city; when he exclaimed, as if the case were now
clearly proved, that he was being treated with about the betrayal of
the city, even before the eyes of Hannibal. The more audacious the
proceeding was, the less probable did it appear to Hannibal and those
who were present. They considered that the charge was undoubtedly a
matter of rivalry and animosity, and that it had been brought because
it was of such a nature that, not admitting of being proved by
witnesses, it could the more easily be fabricated. Accordingly the
parties were dismissed. But Blasius, notwithstanding, desisted not
from his bold undertaking, till by continually harping upon the same
subject, and proving how conducive such a measure would be to
themselves and their country, he carried his point that the Punic
garrison, consisting of five hundred Numidians, and Salapia, should be
delivered up to Marcellus. Nor could it be betrayed without much
bloodshed, consisting of the bravest of the cavalry in the whole Punic
army. Accordingly, though the event was unexpected, and their horses
were of no use to them in the city, yet hastily taking arms, during
the confusion, they endeavoured to force their way out; and not being
able to escape, they fell fighting to the last, not more than fifty of
them falling into the hands of the enemy alive. The loss of this body
of cavalry was considerably more detrimental to Hannibal than that of
Salapia, for the Carthaginian was never afterwards superior in
cavalry, in which he had before been most effective.

39. During this time the scarcity of provisions in the citadel of
Tarentum was almost intolerable; the Roman garrison there, and Marcus
Livius, the praefect of the garrison and the citadel, placing all
their dependence in the supplies sent from Sicily; that these might
safely pass along the coast of Italy, a fleet of about twenty ships
was stationed at Rhegium. Decius Quinctius, a man of obscure birth,
but who had acquired great renown as a soldier, on account of many
acts of bravery, had charge of the fleet and the convoys. At first he
had five ships, the largest of which were two triremes, given to him
by Marcellus, but afterwards, in consequence of his spirited conduct
on many occasions, three quinqueremes were added to his number, at
last, by exacting from the allied states of Rhegium, Velia, and
Paestum, the ships they were bound to furnish according to treaty, he
made up a fleet of twenty ships, as was before stated. This fleet
setting out from Rhegium, was met at Sacriportus, about fifteen miles
from the city by Democrates, with an equal number of Tarentine ships.
It happened that the Roman was then coming with his sails up, not
expecting an approaching contest, but in the neighbourhood of Croto
and Sybaris, he had supplied his ships with rowers, and had his fleet
excellently equipped and armed for the size of his vessels, and it
also happened, that just at the time when the enemy were in sight, the
wind completely fell, so that there was sufficient time to furl their
sails, and get their rowers and soldiers in readiness for the
approaching action. Rarely elsewhere have regular fleets engaged with
so much spirit, for they fought for what was of greater importance
than the fleets themselves. The Tarentines, in order that, having
recovered their city from the Romans after the lapse of almost a
century, they might also rescue their citadel, hoping also to cut off
the supplies of their enemy, if by a naval battle they could deprive
them of the dominion of the sea. The Romans, that, by keeping
possession of the citadel, they might prove that Tarentum was lost not
by the strength and valour of their enemies, but by treachery and
stealth. Accordingly, the signal having been given on both sides, they
charged each other with the beaks of their ships, and neither did they
draw back their own, nor allow the ships of the enemy with which they
were engaged to separate from them, having thrown then grappling
irons, and thus the battle was carried on in such close quarters, that
they fought not only with missile weapons, but in a manner foot to
foot even with their swords. The prows joined together remained
stationary, while the sterns were moved round by the force of their
adversaries' oars. The ships were crowded together in so small a
compass, that scarcely one weapon fell into the sea without taking
effect. They pressed front against front like lines of troops engaging
on land, and the combatants could pass from one ship to another. But
the contest between two ships which had engaged each other in the van,
was remarkable above the rest. In the Roman ship was Quinctius
himself, in the Tarentine, Nico, surnamed Perco, who hated, and was
hated by, the Romans, not only on public grounds, but also personally,
for he belonged to that faction which had betrayed Tarentum to
Hannibal. This man transfixed Quinctius with a spear while off his
guard, and engaged at once in fighting and encouraging his men, and he
immediately fell headlong with his arms over the prow. The victorious
Tarentine promptly boarded the ship, which was all in confusion from
the loss of the commander, and when he had driven the enemy back, and
the Tarentines had got possession of the prow, the Romans, who had
formed themselves into a compact body, with difficulty defending the
stern, suddenly another trireme of the enemy appeared at the stern.
Thus the Roman ship, enclosed between the two, was captured. Upon this
a panic spread among the rest, seeing the commander's ship captured,
and flying in every direction, some were sunk in the deep and some
rowed hastily to land, where, shortly after, they became a prey to the
Thurians and Metapontines. Of the storeships which followed, laden
with provisions, a very few fell into the hands of the enemy; the
rest, shifting their sails from one side to another with the changing
winds, escaped into the open sea. An affair took place at Tarentum at
this time, which was attended with widely different success; for a
party of four thousand men had gone out to forage, and while they were
dispersed, and roaming through the country, Livius, the commander of
the citadel and the Roman garrison, who was anxious to seize every
opportunity of striking a blow, sent out of the citadel Caius Persius,
an active officer, with two thousand soldiers, who attacked them
suddenly when widely dispersed and straggling about the fields; and
after slaying them for a long time on all hands, drove the few that
remained of so many into the city, to which they fled in alarm and
confusion, and where they rushed in at the doors of the gates, which
were half-opened that the city might not be taken in the same attack.
In this manner affairs were equally balanced at Tarentum, the Romans
being victorious by land, and the Tarentines by sea. Both parties were
equally disappointed in their hope of receiving provisions after they
were within sight.

40. While these events were occurring, the consul, Laevinus, after a
great part of the year had elapsed, having arrived in Sicily, where he
had been expected by both the old and new allies, considered it his
first and principal duty to adjust the affairs of Syracuse, which were
still in a state of disorder, the peace being but recent. He then
marched his legions to Agrigentum, the seat of the remaining part of
the war, which was occupied by a strong garrison of Carthaginians; and
here fortune favoured his attempt. Hanno was commander-in-chief of
the Carthaginians, but their whole reliance was placed upon Mutines
and the Numidians. Mutines, scouring the whole of Sicily, employed
himself in carrying off spoil from the allies of the Romans; nor could
he by force or stratagem be cut off from Agrigentum, or prevented from
sallying from it whenever he pleased. The renown which he gained by
this conduct, as it began now to eclipse the fame of the
commander-in-chief, was at last converted into a source of jealousy;
so that even now his successes were not as acceptable as they ought to
have been, on account of the person who gained them. For these reasons
Hanno at last gave his commission to his own son, concluding that by
taking away his command he should also deprive him of the influence he
possessed with the Numidians. But the result was very different; for
their former attachment to him was increased by the envy incurred by
him. Nor did he brook the affront put upon him by this injurious
treatment, but immediately sent secret messengers to Laevinus, to
treat about delivering up Agrigentum. After an agreement had been
entered into by means of these persons, and the mode of carrying it
into execution concerted, the Numidians seized on a gate which leads
towards the sea, having driven the guards from it, or put them to the
sword, and then received into the city a party of Romans sent for that
purpose; and when these troops were now marching into the heart of the
city and the forum with a great noise, Hanno, concluding that it was
nothing more than a disturbance and secession of the Numidians, such
as had happened before, advanced to quell the mutiny; but observing at
a distance that the numbers were greater than those of the Numidians,
and hearing the Roman shout, which was far from being new to him, he
betook himself to flight before he came within reach of their weapons.
Passing out of the town at a gate in the opposite quarter, and taking
Epicydes to accompany him, he reached the sea with a few attendants;
and having very seasonably met with a small vessel, they abandoned to
the enemy Sicily, for which they had contended for so many years, and
crossed over into Africa. The remaining multitude of Carthaginians and
Sicilians fled with headlong haste, but as every passage by which they
could escape was blockaded up, they were cut to pieces near the gates.
On gaining possession of the town, Laevinus scourged and beheaded
those who took the lead in the affairs of Agrigentum. The rest,
together with the booty, he sold. All the money he sent to Rome.
Accounts of the sufferings of the Agrigentines spreading through all
Sicily, all the states suddenly turned to the Romans. In a short time
twenty towns were betrayed to them, and six taken by storm. As many as
forty put themselves under their protection, by voluntary surrender.
The consul having rewarded and punished the leading men of these
states, according to their several deserts, and compelled the
Sicilians, now that they had at length laid aside arms, to turn their
attention to the cultivation of their lands, in order that the island
might by its produce not only maintain its inhabitants, but, as it had
frequently done on many former occasions, add to the supplies of Rome
and Italy, he returned into Italy, taking with him a disorderly
multitude from Agathyrna. These were as many as four thousand men,
made up of a mixed assemblage of every description of persons, exiles,
bankrupts, the greater part of them felons, who had supported
themselves by rapine and robbery, both when they lived in their native
towns, under the restraint of the laws, and also after that a
coincidence in their fortunes, brought about by causes different in
each case, had congregated them at Agathyrna. These men Laevinus
thought it hardly safe to leave in the island, when an unwonted
tranquillity was growing up, as the materials of fresh disturbances;
and besides, they were likely to be useful to the Rhegians, who were
in want of a band of men habituated to robbery, for the purpose of
committing depredations upon the Bruttian territory. Thus, so far as
related to Sicily, the war was this year terminated.

41. In Spain, in the beginning of spring, Publius Scipio, having
launched his ships, and summoned the auxiliary troops of his allies to
Tarraco by an edict, ordered his fleet and transports to proceed
thence to the mouth of the Iberus. He also ordered his legions to quit
their winter quarters, and meet at the same place; and then set out
from Tarraco, with five thousand of the allies, to join the army. On
his arrival at the camp he considered it right to harangue his
soldiers, particularly the old ones who had survived such dreadful
disasters; and therefore, calling an assembly, he thus addressed them:
"Never was there a new commander before myself who could, with justice
and good reason, give thanks to his soldiers before he had availed
himself of their services. Fortune laid me under obligations to you
before I set eyes on my province or your camp; first, on account of
the respect you have shown to my father and uncle, both in their
lifetime and since their death; and secondly, because by your valour
you have recovered and preserved entire, for the Roman people, and me
their successor, the possession of the province which had been lost in
consequence of so dreadful a calamity. But since, now, by the favour
of the gods, our purpose and endeavour is not that we may remain in
Spain ourselves, but that the Carthaginians may not; and not to stand
on the bank of the Iberus, and hinder the enemy from crossing that
river, but cross it first ourselves, and carry the war to the other
side, I fear lest to some among you the enterprise should appear too
important and daring, considering your late misfortunes, which are
fresh in your recollection, and my years. There is no person from
whose mind the memory of the defeats sustained in Spain could be
obliterated with more difficulty than from mine; inasmuch as there my
father and uncle were both slain within the space of thirty days, so
that one death after another was accumulated on my family. But as the
orphanhood and desolation of my own family depresses my mind, so both
the good fortune and valour of our nation forbid me to despair of the
safety of the state. It has happened to us by a kind of fatality, that
in all important wars we have been victorious, after having been
defeated. I pass over those wars of ancient date with Porsena, the
Gauls, and Samnites. I will begin with the Punic wars. How many
fleets, generals, and armies were lost in the former war? Why should I
mention what has occurred in this present war? I have either been
myself present at all the defeats sustained, or have felt more than
any other those from which I was absent. What else are the Trebia, the
Trasimenus, and Cannae, but monuments of Roman armies and consuls
slain? Add to these the defection of Italy, of the greater part of
Sicily and Sardinia, and the last terror and panic, the Carthaginian
camp pitched between the Anio and the walls of Rome, and the
victorious Hannibal seen almost in our gates. Amid this general ruin,
the courage of the Roman people alone stood unabated and unshaken.
When every thing lay prostrate on the ground, it was this that raised
and supported the state. You, first of all, my soldiers, under the
conduct and auspices of my father, opposed Hasdrubal on his way to the
Alps and Italy, after the defeat of Cannae, who, had he formed a
junction with his brother, the Roman name would now have been extinct.
These successes formed a counterpoise to those defeats. Now, by the
favour of the gods, every thing in Italy and Sicily is going on
prosperously and successfully, every day affording matter of fresh
joy, and presenting things in a better light. In Sicily, Syracuse and
Agrigentum have been captured, the enemy entirely expelled the island,
and the province placed again under the dominion of the Romans. In
Italy, Arpi has been recovered and Capua taken. Hannibal has been
driven into the remotest corner of Bruttium, having fled thither all
the way from Rome, in the utmost confusion; and now he asks the gods
no greater boon than that he might be allowed to retire in safety, and
quit the territory of his enemy. What then, my soldiers, could be more
preposterous than that you, who here supported the tottering fortune
of the Roman people, together with my parents, (for they may be
equally associated in the honour of that epithet,) when calamities
crowded one upon another in quick succession, and even the gods
themselves, in a manner, took part with Hannibal, should now sink in
spirits when every thing is going on happily and prosperously? Even
with regard to the events which have recently occurred, I could wish
that they had passed with as little grief to me as to you. At the
present time the immortal gods who preside over the destinies of the
Roman empire, who inspired all the centuries to order the command to
be given to me, those same gods, I say, by auguries and auspices, and
even by nightly visions, portend entire success and joy. My own mind
also, which has hitherto been to me the truest prophet, presages that
Spain will be ours; that the whole Carthaginian name will in a short
time be banished from this land, and will fill both sea and land with
ignominious flight. What my mind presages spontaneously, is also
supported by sound reasoning. Their allies, annoyed by them, are by
ambassadors imploring our protection; their three generals, having
differed so far as almost to have abandoned each other, have divided
their army into three parts, which they have drawn off into regions as
remote as possible from each other. The same fortune now threatens
them which lately afflicted us; for they are both deserted by their
allies, as formerly we were by the Celtiberians, and they have divided
their forces, which occasioned the ruin of my father and uncle.
Neither will their intestine differences allow them to unite, nor will
they be able to cope with us singly. Only do you, my soldiers, favour
the name of the Scipios, favour the offspring of your generals, a
scion springing up from the trunks which have been cut down. Come
then, veterans, lead your new commander and your new army across the
Iberus, lead us across into a country which you have often traversed,
with many a deed of valour. I will soon bring it to pass that, as you
now trace in me a likeness to my father and uncle in my features,
countenance, and figure, I will so restore a copy of their genius,
honour, and courage, to you, that every man of you shall say that his
commander, Scipio, has either returned to life, or has been born

42. Having animated his troops with this harangue, and leaving Marcus
Silanus with three thousand infantry and three hundred horse, for the
protection of that district, he crossed the Iberus with all the rest
of his troops, consisting of twenty-five thousand infantry and two
thousand five hundred horse. Though certain persons there endeavoured
to persuade him that, as the Carthaginian armies had retired from each
other into three such distant quarters, he should attack the nearest
of them; yet concluding that if he did so there was danger lest he
should cause them to concentrate all their forces, and he alone should
not be a match for so many, he determined for the present to make an
attack upon New Carthage, a city not only possessing great wealth of
its own, but also full of every kind of military store belonging to
the enemy; there were their arms, their money, and the hostages from
every part of Spain. It was, besides, conveniently situated, not only
for a passage into Africa, but also near a port sufficiently capacious
for a fleet of any magnitude, and, for aught I know, the only one on
the coast of Spain which is washed by our sea. No one but Caius
Laelius knew whither he was going. He was sent round with the fleet,
and ordered so to regulate the sailing of his ships, that the army
might come in view and the fleet enter the harbour at the same time.
Both the fleet and army arrived at the same time at New Carthage, on
the seventh day after leaving the Iberus. The camp was pitched over
against that part of the city which looks to the north. A rampart was
thrown up as a defence on the rear of it, for the front was secured by
the nature of the ground. Now the situation of New Carthage is as
follows: at about the middle of the coast of Spain is a bay facing for
the most part the south-west, about two thousand five hundred paces in
depth, and a little more in breadth. In the mouth of this bay is a
small island forming a barrier towards the sea, and protecting the
harbour from every wind except the south-west. From the bottom of the
bay there runs out a peninsula, which forms the eminence on which the
city is built; which is washed in the east and south by the sea, and
on the west is enclosed by a lake which extends a little way also
towards the north, of variable depth according as the sea overflows or
ebbs. An isthmus of about two hundred paces broad connects the city
with the continent, on which, though it would have been a work of so
little labour, the Roman general did not raise a rampart; whether his
object was to make a display of his confidence to the enemy from
motives of pride, or that he might have free regress when frequently
advancing to the walls of the city.

43. Having completed the other requisite works, he drew up his ships
in the harbour, that he might exhibit to the enemy the appearance of a
blockade by sea also; he then went round the fleet, and having warned
the commanders of the ships to be particularly careful in keeping the
night-watches, because an enemy, when besieged, usually tried every
effort and in every quarter at first, he returned into his camp; and
in order to explain to his soldiers the reason why he had adopted the
plan of commencing the war with the siege of a city, in preference to
any other, and also by exhortations to inspire them with hopes of
making themselves masters of it, he summoned them to an assembly, and
thus addressed them: "Soldiers, if any one among you suppose that you
have been brought here to attack a single city, that man takes a more
exact account of your present labour than of its profitable result
from it. For you will in truth attack the walls of a single city, but
in that single city you will have made yourselves masters of all
Spain. Here are the hostages of all her most distinguished kings and
states; and as soon as you shall have gained possession of these, they
will immediately deliver into your hands every thing which is now
subject to the Carthaginians. Here is the whole of the enemy's
treasure, without which they cannot carry on the war, as they are
keeping mercenary troops, and which will be most serviceable to us in
conciliating the affections of the barbarians. Here are their engines,
their arms, their tackle, and every requisite in war; which will at
once supply you, and leave the enemy destitute. Besides, we shall gain
possession of a city, not only of the greatest beauty and wealth, but
also most convenient as having an excellent harbour, by means of which
we may be supplied with every requisite for carrying on the war both
by sea and land. Great as are the advantages we shall thus gain, we
shall deprive our enemies of much greater. This is their citadel,
their granary, their treasury, their magazine, their receptacle for
every thing. Hence there is a direct passage into Africa; this is the
only station for a fleet between the Pyrenees and Gades; this gives to
Africa the command of all Spain. But as I perceive you are arrayed and
marshalled, let us pass on to the assault of New Carthage, with our
whole strength, and with undaunted courage." Upon this, they all with,
one accord cried out that it should be done; and he led them to
Carthage, and ordered that the assault should be made both by sea and

44. On the other side, Mago, the Carthaginian general, perceiving that
a siege was being prepared for both by sea and land, himself also
disposed his forces thus: he placed two thousand of the townsmen to
oppose the enemy, on the side facing the Roman camp; he occupied the
citadel with five hundred soldiers, and stationed five hundred on a
rising ground, facing the east; the rest of his troops he ordered,
intent on every thing that occurred, to hasten with assistance
wherever the shout, or any sudden emergency, might call them. Then,
throwing open the gate, he sent out those he had drawn up in the
street leading to the camp of the enemy. The Romans, according to the
direction of their general, retired a little, in order that they might
be nearer to the reserved troops which were to be sent to their
assistance during the engagement. At first they stood with pretty
equal force, but afterwards the reserved troops, sent from time to
time from the camp, not only obliged the enemy to turn their backs,
but followed them up so close when flying in disorder, that had not a
retreat been sounded, they seemed as though they would have rushed
into the city together with the fugitives. The consternation in the
field was not greater than in every part of the city; many of the
outposts were abandoned in panic and flight; and the walls were
deserted, as they leaped down each in the part nearest him. Scipio,
who had gone out to an eminence called Mercury's hill, perceiving that
the walls were abandoned by their defenders in many parts, ordered all
his men to be called out of his camp and advance to take the city, and
orders them to bring the scaling-ladders. The general himself, covered
by the shields of three stout young men, (for now an immense number of
missiles of every description were let fly from the walls,) came up to
the city, cheered them on, and gave the requisite orders; and, what
was of the utmost importance in exciting the courage of his men, he
appeared among them a witness and spectator of the valour or cowardice
of each. Accordingly, they rushed forward, amidst wounds and weapons;
nor could the walls, or the armed troops which stood upon them, repel
them from eagerly mounting them. At the same time an attack was
commenced by the fleet upon that part of the city which was washed by
the sea. But here the alarm occasioned was greater than the force
which could be employed; for while they were bringing the boats to
shore, and hastily landing the ladders and the men, each man pressing
forward to gain the land the shortest way, they hindered one another
by their very haste and eagerness.

45. In the mean time, the Carthaginians had now filled the walls again
with armed men, who were supplied with a great quantity of missiles
from the immense stores which they had laid up. But neither men nor
missiles, nor any thing else, so effectually defended them as the
walls themselves, for very few of the ladders were equal to the height
of them, and all those which were longer than the rest were
proportionably weaker. Accordingly, those who were highest being
unable to mount from them, and being followed, nevertheless, by
others, they broke from the mere weight upon them. Some, though the
ladders stood, a dizziness having come over their eyes in consequence
of the height, fell to the ground. And as men and ladders were every
where tumbling down, while the boldness and alacrity of the enemy were
increased by the mere success, the signal for retreat was sounded,
which afforded hopes to the besieged, not only of present rest after
such a laborious contest, but also for the future, as it appeared
their city could not be taken by scalade and siege. To raise works
they considered would be attended with difficulty, and would give time
to their generals to bring them assistance. Scarcely had the first
tumult subsided, when Scipio ordered other fresh and unfatigued troops
to take the ladders from those who were tired and wounded and assault
the city with increased vigour. Having received intelligence that the
tide was ebbing, and having before been informed by some fishermen of
Tarraco who used to pass through the lake, sometimes in light boats,
and, when these ran aground, by wading, that it afforded an easy
passage to the wall for footmen, he led some armed men thither in
person. It was about mid-day, and besides that the water was being
drawn off naturally, in consequence of the tide receding, a brisk
north wind rising impelled the water in the lake, which was already in
motion, in the same direction as the tide, and rendered it so shallow,
that in some parts the water reached only to the navel, while in
others it scarcely rose above the knees. Scipio, referring this
discovery, which he had made by his own diligence and penetration, to
the gods and to miracle, which had turned the course of the sea,
withdrawn it from the lake, and opened ways never before trodden by
human feet to afford a passage to the Romans, ordered them to follow
Neptune as their guide, and passing through the middle of the lake,
make good their way to the walls.

46. Those who renewed the assault by land experienced great
difficulty; for they were baffled not only by the height of the walls,
but also because they exposed the Romans, as they approached them, to
the missiles of the enemy from different quarters, so that their sides
were endangered more than the fronts of their bodies. But in the other
quarter five hundred passed without difficulty through the lake, and
then mounted the wall, for neither was it defended by any
fortifications, because there they thought the city was sufficiently
protected by the nature of the place and the lake, nor were there any
outposts or guards stationed there, because all were engaged in
bringing succour to that quarter in which the danger appeared. Having
entered the city without opposition, they proceeded direct, with all
possible speed, to that gate near which the contest was concentrated;
and so intently occupied with this were not only the minds, but the
eyes and ears of all, both of those who were engaged in fighting, and
of those who were looking on and encouraging the combatants, that no
one perceived that the city had been captured in their rear till the
weapons fell upon their backs, and they had an enemy on both sides of
them. Then, the defenders having been thrown into confusion through
fear, both the walls were captured, and the gate began to be broken
open both from within and from without; and presently, the doors
having been broken to pieces by blows, in order that the way might not
be obstructed, the troops rushed in. A great number had also got over
the walls, but these employed themselves in putting the townsmen to
the sword; those which entered by the gate, forming a regular body,
with officers and in ranks, advanced through the midst of the city
into the forum. Scipio then perceiving that the enemy fled in two
different directions, some to the eminence which lay eastward, which
was occupied by a garrison of five hundred men, others to the citadel,
into which Mago himself also had fled for refuge, together with almost
all the troops which had been driven from the walls, sent part of his
forces to storm the hill, and part he led in person against the
citadel. Not only was the hill captured at the first assault, but Mago
also, after making an effort to defend it, when he saw every place
filled with the enemy, and that there was no hope, surrendered himself
and the citadel, with the garrison. Until the citadel was surrendered,
the massacre was continued in every quarter throughout the city; nor
did they spare any one they met who had arrived at puberty: but after
that, on a signal given, a stop was put to the carnage, and the
victors turned their attention to the plunder, of which there was an
immense quantity of every description.

47. Of males of free condition, as many as ten thousand were captured.
Of these he allowed to depart such as were citizens of New Carthage;
and restored to them their city, and all their property which the war
had left them. The artisans amounted to two thousand, whom he assigned
to the Roman people as their property; holding out to them a hope of
speedy emancipation, provided they should address themselves
strenuously to the service of the war. Of the rest of the mass of
inhabitants, the young men and able-bodied slaves he assigned for the
service of the fleet, to fill up the numbers of the rowers. He had
also augmented his fleet with five ships which he had captured.
Besides this multitude, there remained the Spanish hostages, to whom
as much attention was paid as if they had been children of allies. An
immense quantity of military stores was also taken; one hundred and
twenty catapultae of the larger size, two hundred and eighty-one of
the smaller; twenty-three ballistae of the larger size, fifty-two of
the smaller; an immense number of scorpions of the larger and smaller
size, and also of arms and missile weapons; and seventy-four military
standards. Of gold and silver, an immense quantity was brought to the
general; there were two hundred and seventy-six golden bowls, almost
all of them weighing a pound; of silver, wrought and coined, eighteen
thousand three hundred pounds' weight; and of silver vessels an
immense number. All these were weighed and reckoned to the quaestor,
Caius Flaminius. There were twenty thousand pecks of wheat, and two
hundred and seventy of barley. One hundred and thirteen ships of
burden were boarded and captured in the harbour, some of them with
their cargoes, consisting of corn and arms, besides brass, iron,
sails, spartum, and other naval materials, of use in equipping a
fleet; so that amid such large military stores which were captured,
Carthage itself was of the least consideration.

48. Having ordered Caius Laelius with the marines to guard the city,
Scipio led back his legions to the camp the same day in person; and as
his soldiers were tired, as they had in one day gone through every
kind of military labour; for they had engaged the enemy in the field,
and had undergone very great fatigue and danger in taking the city;
and after they had taken it had fought, and that on disadvantageous
ground, with those who had fled to the citadel, he ordered them to
attend to themselves. The next day, having assembled the land and
naval forces, he, in the first place, ascribed praise and thanks to
the immortal gods, who had not only in one day made him master of the
wealthiest city in Spain, but had previously collected in it the
riches of almost all Africa and Spain; so that while his enemy had
nothing left, he and his army had a superabundance of every thing. He
then commended in the highest terms the valour of his soldiers,
because that neither the sally of the enemy, nor the height of the
walls, nor the unexplored fords of the lake, nor the fort standing
upon a high hill, nor the citadel, though most strongly fortified, had
deterred them from surmounting and breaking through every thing.
Therefore, though all credit was due to them all, he said that the man
who first mounted the wall ought to be distinguished above the rest,
by being honoured with a mural crown; and he desired that he who
thought himself worthy of that reward would claim it. Two persons laid
claim to it, Quintus Trebellius, a centurion of the fourth legion, and
Sextus Digitius, a marine. Nor did these contest so fiercely as each
excited the zeal of his own body of men. Caius Laelius, admiral of the
fleet, patronized the marines, and Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus, the
legionary troops. As this contest began almost to assume the character
of a mutiny, Scipio having notified that he should appoint three
delegates, who, after making themselves acquainted with the case, and
examining the witnesses, might decide which had been the first to
scale the wall and enter the town, added Publius Cornelius Caudinus, a
middle party, to Laelius and Sempronius, the advocates of the two
parties, and ordered these three delegates to sit and determine the
cause. But as the contest was now carried on with increased warmth,
because those high characters, who had acted more as moderators of the
zeal of both than as advocates of any particular party, were
withdrawn, Caius Laelius, leaving the council, went up to the tribunal
of Scipio and informed him, "that the contest was proceeding without
bounds or moderation, and that they had almost come to blows. But
still, though no violence should take place, that the proceedings
formed a most hateful precedent, for that the honours due to valour
were being sought by fraud and perjury. That on one side stood the
legionary troops, on the other the marines, ready to swear by all the
gods what they wished, rather than what they knew, to be true, and to
involve in the guilt of perjury not only themselves and their own
persons, but the military standards, the eagles, and their solemn oath
of allegiance. That he laid these matters before him, in accordance
with the opinion of Publius Cornelius and Marcus Sempronius." Scipio,
after highly praising Laelius, summoned an assembly, and then
declared, "that he had ascertained satisfactorily that Quintus
Trebellius and Sextus Digitius had mounted the wall at the same time,
and that he presented them both with mural crowns in consideration of
their valour." He then gave presents to the rest, according to the
merit and valour of each. Above all he honoured Caius Laelius, the
admiral of the fleet, by the placing him upon an equality with
himself, and bestowing upon him every kind of commendation, and also
by presenting him with a golden crown and thirty oxen.

49. He then ordered the Spanish hostages to be summoned. What the
number of these was I feel reluctant to state, because in some authors
I find that it was about three hundred, in others seven hundred and
twenty-five. There is the same difference between authors with regard
to the other particulars. One writes that the Punic garrison consisted
of ten thousand, another of seven, a third of not more than two
thousand. In some you may find that ten thousand persons were
captured, in others above twenty-five thousand. I should have stated
the number of scorpions captured, both of the greater and smaller
size, at sixty, if I had followed the Greek author, Silenus, if
Valerius Antius, of the larger at six thousand, of the smaller at
thirteen, so great is the extent of falsehood. Nor are they agreed
even respecting the commanders, most say that Laelius commanded the
fleet, but some say Marcus Junius Silanus. Valerius Antius says, that
Arines commanded the Punic garrison, and was given up to the Romans;
other writers say it was Mago. They are not agreed respecting the
number of the ships taken, respecting the weight of gold and silver,
and of the money brought into the public treasury. If we must assent
to some of their statements, the medium is nearest to the truth.
However, Scipio having summoned the hostages, first bid them all keep
up their spirits observing, "that they had fallen into the hands of
the Roman people, who chose to bind men to them by benefits rather
than by fear, and keep foreign nations attached to them by honour and
friendship, rather than subject them to a gloomy servitude." Then
receiving the names of the states to which they belonged, he took an
account of the captives, distinguishing the number belonging to each
people, and sent messengers to their homes, to desire that they would
come and take back their respective friends. If ambassadors from any
of the states happened to be present, he delivered their countrymen to
them in person, and assigned to them the quaestor, Caius Flaminius,
the charge of kindly taking care of the rest. Meanwhile, there
advanced from the midst of the crowd of hostages a woman in years, the
wife of Mandonius, who was the brother of Indibilis, the chieftain of
the Illergetians; she threw herself weeping at the general's feet, and
began to implore him to give particularly strict injunctions to their
guardians with respect to the care and treatment of females. Scipio
replied, that nothing certainly should be wanting; when the woman
rejoined: "We do not much value such things, for what is not good
enough for such a condition? A care of a different kind disquiets me,
when beholding the age of these females; for I am myself no longer
exposed to the danger peculiar to females." Around her stood the
daughters of Indibilis, in the bloom of youth and beauty, with others
of equal rank, all of whom looked up to her as a parent. Scipio then
said: "Out of regard for that discipline which I myself and the Roman
nation maintain, I should take care that nothing, which is any where
held sacred, should be violated among us. In the present case, your
virtue and your rank cause me to observe it more strictly; for not
even in the midst of misfortunes have you forgotten the delicacy
becoming matrons." He then delivered them over to a man of tried
virtue, ordering him to treat them with no less respect and modesty
than the wives and mothers of guests.

50. The soldiers then brought to him a female captive, a grown-up
virgin, of such exquisite beauty, that whichever way she walked she
attracted the eyes of every body. Scipio, on making inquiries as to
her country and parentage, heard, among other particulars, that she
was betrothed to a young prince of the Celtiberians, named Allucius.
He immediately, therefore, summoned from their abode her parents and
lover, and having heard in the mean time that the latter was
desperately enamoured of her, as soon as he arrived he addressed him
in a more studied manner than her parents. "A young man myself," said
he, "I address myself to a young man, and therefore there need be the
less reserve in this conversation. As soon as your intended bride,
having been captured by my soldiers, was brought into my presence, and
I was informed that she was endeared to you, which her beauty rendered
probable, considering that I should myself wish that my affection for
my intended bride, though excessive, should meet with indulgence,
could I enjoy the pleasures suited to my age, (particularly in an
honourable and lawful love,) and were not my mind engrossed by public
affairs, I indulge as far as I can your passion. Your mistress, while
under my protection, has received as much respect as under the roof of
her own parents, your father-in-law and mother-in-law. She has been
kept in perfect safety for you, that she might be presented to you
pure, a gift worthy of me and of you. This only reward I bargain for
in return for the service I have rendered you, that you would be a
friend to the Roman people, and if you believe that I am a true man,
as these nations knew my father and uncle to have been heretofore,
that you would feel assured that in the Roman state there are many
like us, and that no nation in the world at the present time can be
mentioned, with which you ought to be less disposed that you, or those
belonging to you, should be at enmity, or with which you would rather
be in friendship." The young man, overcome at once with joy and
modesty, clung to Scipio's right hand, and invoked all the gods to
recompense him in his behalf, since he himself was far from possessing
means proportioned either to his own wishes or Scipio's deserts. He
then addressed himself to the parents and relatives of the damsel,
who, on receiving her back without any reward, whom they had brought a
very large weight of gold to redeem, entreated Scipio to accept it
from them as a present to himself; affirming, that if he would do so,
they should feel as grateful for it as they did for the restoration of
their daughter inviolate. As they were so earnest in their entreaties,
Scipio promised to accept it, and ordered it to be laid at his feet.
Then calling Allucius to him, he said: "To the dowry which you are
about to receive from your father-in-law, let these marriage presents
also from me be added;" bidding him take away the gold and keep it for
himself. Delighted with these presents and honours, he was dismissed
to his home, where he inspired his countrymen with the deserved
praises of Scipio, observing, "that a most godlike youth had come
among them, who conquered every thing, not only by arms, but by
kindness and generosity." Accordingly, making a levy among his
dependants, he returned to Scipio after a few days, with fourteen
hundred chosen horsemen.

51. Scipio kept Laelius with him until he had disposed of the
captives, hostages, and booty, in accordance with his advice; but when
all these matters were satisfactorily arranged, he gave him a
quinquereme; and selecting from the captives Mago, and about fifteen
senators who had been made prisoners at the same time with him, put
them on board, and sent him to Rome with the news of his victory. He
himself employed the few days he had resolved to stay at Carthage, in
exercising his naval and land forces. On the first day the legions
under arms performed evolutions through a space of four miles; on the
second day he ordered them to repair and clean their arms before their
tents; on the third day they engaged in imitation of a regular battle
with wooden swords, throwing javelins with the points covered with
balls; on the fourth day they rested; on the fifth they again
performed evolutions under arms. This succession of exercise and rest
they kept up as long as they staid at Carthage. The rowers and
mariners, pushing out to sea when the weather was calm, made trial of
the manageableness of their ships by mock sea-fights. Such exercises,
both by sea and land, without the city prepared their minds and bodies
for war. The city itself was all bustle with warlike preparations,
artificers of every description being collected together in a public
workshop. The general went round to all the works with equal
attention. At one time he was employed in the dock-yard with his
fleet, at another he exercised with the legions; sometimes he would
devote his time to the inspection of the works, which were every day
carried on with the greatest eagerness by a multitude of artificers
both in the workshops, and in the armoury and docks. Having put these
preparations in a train, repaired the walls in a part where they had
been shattered, and placed bodies of troops to guard the city, he set
out for Tarraco; and on his way thither was visited by a number of
embassies, some of which he dismissed, having given them answers on
his journey, others he postponed till his arrival at Tarraco; at which
place he had appointed a meeting of all his new and old allies. Here
ambassadors from almost all the people dwelling on this side the
Iberus, and from many dwelling in the further Spain, met. The
Carthaginian generals at first industriously suppressed the rumour of
the capture of Carthage; but afterwards, when it became too notorious
to be concealed or dissembled, they disparaged its importance by their
language. They said, that "by an unexpected attack, and in a manner by
stealth, in one day, one city of Spain had been snatched out of their
hands; that a presumptuous youth, elated with the acquisition of this,
so inconsiderable an advantage, had, by the extravagance of his joy,
given it the air of an important victory; but that as soon as he
should hear that three generals and three victorious armies of his
enemies were approaching, the deaths which had taken place in his
family would occur to his recollection." Such was the tone in which
they spoke of this affair to the people, though they were, at the same
time, far from ignorant how much their strength had been diminished,
in every respect, by the loss of Carthage.


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