Both the consuls, therefore, and the remaining officials who had been present when oaths were taken were conducted back to Samnium. [Sidenote: FRAG. 33^14] THE SAMNITES, HOWEVER, WOULD NOT ACCEPT THEM, BUT DEMANDED BACK ALL THE CAPTIVES, AND INVOKED THE GODS AND CONJURED THEM BY THE DIVINE POWER, AND FINALLY THEY DISMISSED THE MEN THAT HAD BEEN SURRENDERED. The Romans were glad enough to get them back, but were angry at the Samnites WHOM THEY ATTACKED IN BATTLE AND VANQUISHED, AFTER WHICH THEY ACCORDED THEM A SIMILAR TREATMENT, FOR THEY SENT THEM UNDER THE YOKE IN TURN AND RELEASED THEM without inflicting any other injury. They also got possession of their own knights, who were being held by the Samnites as hostages and were unharmed.
VIII, 1.—After a long interval the Romans under the leadership of Gaius Junius were again warring with the Samnites, when they met with disaster. While Junius was pillaging the hostile territory, the Samnites conveyed their possessions into the Avernian woods, so-called from the fact that on account of the closeness of the trees no bird flies into them. Being there ensconced they set out some herds without herdsmen or guards and quietly sent some pretended deserters who guided the Romans to the booty apparently lying at their disposal. But when the latter had entered the wood, the Samnites surrounded them and did not cease from slaughter till they were completely tired out. And though the Samnites fought on many other occasions against the Romans and were defeated, they would not be quiet, but having acquired the Gauls, besides others, as allies, they made preparations to march upon Rome itself. The Romans, when they learned of it, fell into alarm, for their original inclination to do so was augmented by many portents. On the Capitol blood is reported to have issued for three days from the altar of Jupiter, together with honey on one day, and milk on a second—if anybody can believe it: and in the Forum a bronze statue of Victory set upon a stone pedestal was found standing upon the ground below, without any one's having moved it; and, as it happened, it was facing in that direction from which the Gauls were already approaching. This of itself was enough to terrify the populace, who were even more dismayed by ill-omened interpretations published by the seers. However, a certain Manius, by birth an Etruscan, encouraged them by declaring that Victory, even if she had descended, had gone forward, and being now settled more firmly on the ground indicated to them mastery in the war. Accordingly, many sacrifices, too, should be offered to the gods; for their altars, and particularly those on the Capitol, where they sacrifice thank-offerings for victory, were regularly stained with blood in the midst of their successes and not in their disasters. From these developments, then, he persuaded them to expect some fortunate outcome, but from the honey to expect disease (because invalids crave it) and from the milk famine; for they should encounter so great a scarcity of provisions as to seek for food of native growth and pasturage.
[Footnote 14: In Greek, Birdless.]
Manius, then, interpreted the omens in this way, [Sidenote: FRAG. 33^22] AND AS HIS PROPHECY TURNED OUT TO BE CORRECT, HE GAINED THEREAFTER A REPUTATION FOR SKILL AND FOREKNOWLEDGE IN ALL MATTERS. Now Volumnius was ordered to make war upon the Samnites; Fabius Maximus Rullus and Publius Decius were chosen consuls and were sent to withstand the Gauls and the other warriors in the Gallic contingent. They, having come with speed to Etruria, saw the camp of Appius, which was fortified by a double palisade; and they pulled up the stakes and carried them off, instructing the soldiers to place their hope of safety in their weapons. So they joined battle with the enemy. Meanwhile a wolf in pursuit of a deer had invaded the space between the two armies and darting toward the Romans passed through their ranks. This encouraged them, for they regarded themselves as having a bond of union with him, since, according to tradition, a she-wolf had reared Romulus. But the deer ran to the other side and was struck down, thus leaving to them fear and the issue of disaster. When the armies collided, Maximus quite easily conquered the foes opposed to him, but Decius was defeated. And recalling the self-devotion of his father, undertaken on account of the dream, he likewise devoted himself, though without giving anybody any information about his act. Scarcely had he let himself be slain, when the men ranged at his side, partly through shame at his deed (feeling that he had perished voluntarily for them) and partly in the hopes of certain victory as a result of this occurrence, checked their flight and nobly withstood their pursuers. At this juncture Maximus, too, assailed the latter in the rear and slaughtered vast numbers. The survivors took to their heels and were annihilated. Fabius Maximus then burned the corpse of Decius together with the spoils and made a truce with such as asked for peace.
The following year Atilius Regulus again waged war with the Samnites. And for a time they carried on an evenly contested struggle, but eventually, after the Samnites had won a victory, the Romans conquered them in turn, took them captive, led them beneath the yoke, and so released them. [Sidenote: FRAG. 33^23] THE SAMNITES, ENRAGED AT WHAT HAD OCCURRED, RESORTED TO DESPERATE MEASURES WITH THE INTENTION OF EITHER CONQUERING OR BEING UTTERLY DESTROYED, THREATENING WITH DEATH HIM WHO SHOULD REMAIN AT HOME. So these invaded Campania: but the consuls ravaged Samnium, since it was destitute of soldiers, and captured a few cities. Therefore the Samnites abandoning Campania made haste to reach their own land; and having come into hostile collision with one of the consuls they were defeated by a trick and in their flight met with terrible reverses, losing their camp and in addition the fortress to the assistance of which they were advancing. The consul celebrated a triumph and devoted to public uses the goods gathered from the spoils. The other consul made a campaign against the Etruscans and reduced them in short order: he then levied upon them contributions of grain and money, of which he distributed a part to the soldiers and deposited the rest in the treasuries.
However, there befell a mighty pestilence, and the Samnites and Falisci began to bestir themselves; they entertained a contempt for the Romans both on account of the disease and because, since no war menaced, they had chosen the consuls not on grounds of excellence. The Romans, ascertaining the situation, sent out Carvilius along with Junius Brutus, and with Quintus Fabius his father Rullus Maximus, as subcommanders or lieutenants. Brutus worsted the Falisci and plundered their possessions as well as those of the other Etruscans: Fabius marched out of Rome before his father and pushed rapidly forward when he learned that the Samnites were plundering Campania. Falling in with some scouts of theirs and seeing them quickly retire he got the impression that all the enemy were at that point and believed they were in flight. Accordingly, in his hurry to come to blows with them before his father should arrive, in order that the success might appear to be his own and not his elder's, he went ahead with a careless formation. Thus he encountered a compact body of foes and would have been utterly destroyed, had not night intervened. Many of his men died also after that with no physician or relative to attend them, because they had hastened on far ahead of the baggage carriers in the expectation of immediate victory. Of a surety they would have perished on the following day but for the fact that the Samnites, thinking Fabius's father to be near, felt afraid and withdrew.
[Sidenote: FRAG. 33^24] THOSE IN THE CITY ON HEARING THIS BECAME TERRIBLY ANGRY, SUMMONED THE CONSUL, AND WANTED TO PUT HIM ON TRIAL. BUT THE OLD MAN HIS FATHER BY ENUMERATING HIS OWN AND HIS ANCESTORS' BRAVE DEEDS, BY PROMISING THAT HIS SON SHOULD MAKE NO RECORD THAT WAS UNWORTHY OF THEM, AND BY URGING HIS SON'S YOUTH TO ACCOUNT FOR THE MISFORTUNE, IMMEDIATELY ABATED THEIR WRATH. JOINING HIM IN THE CAMPAIGN HE CONQUERED THE SAMNITES IN BATTLE, CAPTURED THEIR CAMP, RAVAGED THEIR COUNTRY, AND DROVE AWAY GREAT BOOTY. A PART OF IT HE DEVOTED TO PUBLIC USES AND A PART HE ACCORDED TO THE SOLDIERS. FOR THESE REASONS THE ROMANS EXTOLLED HIM AND ORDERED THAT HIS SON ALSO SHOULD COMMAND FOR THE FUTURE WITH CONSULAR POWERS AND STILL EMPLOY HIS FATHER AS LIEUTENANT. THE LATTER MANAGED AND ARRANGED EVERYTHING FOR HIM, SPARING HIS OLD AGE NOT A WHIT, YET HE DID NOT LET IT BE SEEN THAT HE WAS EXECUTING THE BUSINESS ON HIS OWN RESPONSIBILITY, BUT MADE THE GLORY OF HIS EXPLOITS ATTACH TO HIS CHILD.
[Sidenote: FRAG. 37] VIII, 2.—AFTER THIS, WHEN THE TRIBUNES MOVED AN ANNULMENT OF DEBTS, THE PEOPLE, SINCE THIS WAS NOT YIELDED BY THE LENDERS AS WELL, FELL INTO TURMOIL: and their turbulent behavior was not quieted until foes came against the city.
(BOOK 9, BOISSEVAIN.)
Those to begin the wars were the Tarentini, [Sidenote: FRAG. 39^1] WHO HAD ASSOCIATED WITH THEMSELVES THE ETRUSCANS AND GAULS AND SAMNITES AND SEVERAL OTHER TRIBES. These allies the Romans engaged and defeated in various battles, with different consuls on different occasions, but the Tarentini, although they had themselves been the authors of the war, nevertheless did not yet openly present an imposing array in battle. [Sidenote: FRAG. 39^3] NOW LUCIUS VALERIUS WHILE ADMIRAL WANTED TO ANCHOR WITH HIS TRIREMES OFF TARENTUM (BEING ON HIS WAY TO A PLACE WHITHER HE HAD BEEN DESPATCHED WITH THEM), FOR HE DEEMED THE COUNTRY FRIENDLY. [Sidenote: FRAG. 39^4] BUT THE TARENTINI, OWING TO A GUILTY SENSE OF THEIR OWN OPERATIONS, SUSPECTED THAT VALERIUS WAS SAILING AGAINST THEM, AND IN A PASSION SET SAIL LIKEWISE AND ATTACKING HIM WHEN HE WAS EXPECTING NO HOSTILE ACT SENT HIM TO THE BOTTOM ALONG WITH MANY OTHERS. OF THE CAPTIVES THEY IMPRISONED SOME AND PUT OTHERS TO DEATH. WHEN THE ROMANS HEARD OF THIS, THEY WERE INDIGNANT, TO BE SURE, BUT NEVERTHELESS DESPATCHED ENVOYS UPBRAIDING THEM AND DEMANDING SATISFACTION. THE OFFENDERS NOT ONLY FAILED TO VOUCHSAFE THEM ANY DECENT ANSWER, BUT ACTUALLY JEERED AT THEM, GOING SO FAR AS TO SOIL THE CLOTHING OF LUCIUS POSTUMIUS, THE HEAD OF THE EMBASSY. AT THIS AN UPROAR AROSE AND THE TARENTINI INDULGED IN CONTINUED GUFFAWS. BUT POSTUMIUS CRIED: "LAUGH ON, LAUGH ON WHILE YOU MAY! FOR LONG WILL BE THE PERIOD OF YOUR WEEPING, WHEN YOU SHALL WASH THIS GARMENT CLEAN WITH YOUR BLOOD."
Upon the return of the envoys the Romans, learning what had been done, were grieved and voted that Lucius AEmilius the consul make a campaign against the Tarentini. He advanced close to Tarentum and sent them favorable propositions, thinking that they would choose peace on fair terms. Now they were at variance among themselves in their opinions. [Sidenote: FRAG. 39^6?] The elderly and well-to-do were anxious for peace, but those who were youthful and who had little or nothing were for war. The younger generation had its way. Being timid for all that they planned to invite Pyrrhus of Epirus to form an alliance, and sent to him envoys and gifts. AEmilius, learning this, proceeded to pillage and devastate their country. They made sorties but were routed, so that the Romans ravaged their country with impunity and got possession of some strongholds. AEmilius showed much consideration for those taken prisoners and liberated some of the more influential, and the Tarentini, accordingly, filled with admiration for his kindness, were led to hope for reconciliation and so chose as leader with full powers Agis, who was of kindred to the Romans. Scarcely had he been elected when Cineas, sent ahead by Pyrrhus, planted himself in the pathway of negotiations. [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^1] FOR PYRRHUS, KING OF THE SO-CALLED EPIRUS, SURPASSED EVERYBODY THROUGH NATURAL CLEVERNESS AND THROUGH THE INFLUENCE AND EXPERIENCE BESTOWED BY EDUCATION; AND HE HAD MADE THE LARGER PART OF HELLAS HIS OWN, PARTLY BY BENEFITS AND PARTLY BY FEAR. [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^2] ACCORDINGLY, CHANCE HAVING THROWN THE ENVOYS OF THE TARENTINI IN HIS WAY, HE DEEMED THE ALLIANCE A PIECE OF GOOD LUCK. FOR A CONSIDERABLE TIME HE HAD HAD HIS EYE ON SICILY AND CARTHAGE AND SARDINIA, BUT NEVERTHELESS HE SHRANK FROM PERSONALLY TAKING THE INITIATIVE IN HOSTILITIES AGAINST THE ROMANS. He announced that he would lead the Tarentini, but in order that the motive of his declaration might not be suspected (for reasons indicated) he stated that he should return home without delay, and insisted upon a clause being added to the agreement to the effect that he should not be detained by them in Italy further than actual need required. After settling this agreement he detained the majority of the envoys as hostages, giving out that he wanted them to help him get the armies ready: a few of them together with Cineas he sent in advance with troops. As soon as they arrived the Tarentini took courage, gave up their attempted reconciliation with the Romans, and deposing Agris from his leadership elected one of the envoys leader. Shortly afterward Milo, sent by Pyrrhus with a force, took charge of their acropolis and personally superintended the manning of their wall. The Tarentini were glad at this, feeling that they did not have to do guard duty or undergo any other troublesome labor, and they sent regular supplies of food to the men and consignments of money to Pyrrhus.
AEmilius for a time held his ground, but when he perceived that the Pyrrhic soldiers had come, and recognized his inability on account of the winter to maintain an opposition, he set out for Apulia. The Tarentini laid an ambush at a narrow passage through which he was obliged to go, and by their arrows, javelins and slingshots rendered progress impossible for him. But he put at the head of his line their captives whom he was conveying. Fear fell upon the Tarentini that they might destroy their own men instead of the Romans, and they ceased their efforts.
Now Pyrrhus set off, [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^4] NOT EVEN AWAITING THE COMING OF SPRING, taking a large, picked army, and twenty elephants, beasts never previously beheld by the Italians. Hence the latter were invariably filled with alarm and astonishment. While crossing the Ionian Sea he encountered a storm and lost many soldiers of his army: the remainder were scattered by the violent waters. Only with difficulty, then, and by land travel did he reach Tarentum. He at once impressed those in their prime into service alongside of his own soldiers so as to make sure that they should not be led, by having a separate company, to think of rebellion; he closed the theatre, presumably on account of the war and to prevent the people from gathering there and setting on foot any uprising; also he forbade them to assemble for banquets and revels, and ordered the youth to practice in arms instead of spending all day in the market-place. When some, indignant at this, left the ranks, he stationed guards from his own contingent so that no one could leave the city. The inhabitants, oppressed by these measures, and by supplying food, compelled as they were, too, to receive the guardsmen into their houses, repented, since they found in Pyrrhus only a master, not an ally. He, fearing for these reasons that they might lean to the Roman cause, took note of all the men who had any ability as politicians or could dominate the populace and sent them one after another to Epirus to his son on various excuses; occasionally, however, he would quietly assassinate them instead. A certain Aristarchus, who was accounted one of the noblest of the Tarentini and was a most persuasive speaker, he made his boon companion to the end that this man should be suspected by the people of having the interests of Pyrrhus at heart. When, however, he saw that he still had the confidence of the throng, he gave him an errand to Epirus. Aristarchus, not daring to dispute his behest, set sail, but went to Rome.
VIII, 3.—Such was the behavior of Pyrrhus toward the Tarentini. [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^8] THOSE IN ROME LEARNING THAT PYRRHUS HAD COME TO TARENTUM WERE SMITTEN WITH TERROR BECAUSE THE ITALIAN STATES HAD BEEN SET AT ENMITY WITH THEM AND BECAUSE HE WAS REPORTED TO BE WITHOUT DOUBT A GOOD WARRIOR AND TO HAVE A FORCE THAT WAS BY NO MEANS DESPICABLE AS AN ADVERSARY. So they proceeded to enlist soldiers and to gather money and to distribute garrisons among the allied cities to prevent them from likewise revolting; and learning that some were already stirred with sedition they punished the principal men in them. A handful of those from Praeneste were brought to Rome late in the afternoon and thrown into the treasury for security. Thereby a certain oracle was fulfilled for the Romans. For an oracle had told them once that these people should occupy the Roman treasure-house. The oracle, then, resulted this way: the men lost their lives.
Valerius Lavinius was despatched against Pyrrhus, the Tarentini, and the rest of their associates, but a part of the army was retained in the city. As for Lavinius, he at once set out on his march so that he might carry on the war as far as possible from his own territory. He hoped to frighten Pyrrhus by showing the latter those men advancing against him of their own accord whom he had thought to besiege. In the course of his journey he seized a strong strategic point in the land of the Lucanians, and he left behind a force in Lucania to hinder the people from giving aid to his opponents.
Pyrrhus on learning of Lavinius's approach made a start before the latter came in sight, established a camp, and was desirous of using up time while waiting for allies to join. He sent a haughty letter to Lavinius with the design of overawing him. The writing was couched thus: "King Pyrrhus to Lavinius, Greeting. I learn that you are leading an army against Tarentum. Send it away, therefore, and come yourself to me with few attendants. For I will judge between you, if you have any blame to impute to each other, and I will compel the party at fault, however unwilling, to grant justice." Lavinius wrote the following reply to Pyrrhus: "You seem to me, Pyrrhus, to have been quite daft when you set yourself up as judge between the Tarentini and us before rendering to us an account of your crossing over into Italy at all. I will come, therefore, with all my army and will exact the appropriate recompense both from the Tarentini and from you. What use can I have for nonsense and palaver, when I can stand trial in the court of Mars, our progenitor?" After sending such an answering despatch he hurried on and pitched camp, leaving the stream of the river at that point between them. Having apprehended some scouts he showed them his troops and after telling them he had more of them, many times that number, he sent them back. Pyrrhus, struck with alarm by this, was not desirous of fighting because some of the allies had not yet joined his force, and he was constantly hoping that provisions would fail the Romans while they delayed on hostile soil. Lavinius, too, reckoned on this and was eager to join issue. As the soldiers had become terrified at the reputation of Pyrrhus and on account of the elephants, he called them together and delivered a speech containing many exhortations to courage; then he busily prepared to close with Pyrrhus, willing or unwilling. The latter had no heart to fight, but in order to avoid an appearance of fearing the Romans he also in person addressed his own men, inciting them to the conflict. Lavinius tried to cross the river opposite the camp, but was prevented. So he retired and himself remained in position with his infantry, but sent the cavalry off (apparently on some marauding expedition) with injunctions to march some distance and then make the attempt. In this way both they assailed the enemy unexpectedly in the rear, and Lavinius, in the midst of the foe's confusion, crossed the river and took part in the battle. Pyrrhus came to the aid of his own men, who were in flight, but lost his horse by a wound and was thought by them to have been killed. Then, the one side being dejected and the other scornfully elated, their actions were correspondingly altered. He became aware of this and gave his clothing, which was more striking than that of the rest, to Megacles, bidding him put it on and ride about in all directions to the end that thinking him safe his opponents might be brought to fear and his followers to feel encouragement. As for himself, he put on an ordinary uniform and encountered the Romans with his full army, save the elephants, and by bringing assistance to the contestants wherever they were in trouble he did his supporters a great deal of good. At first, then, for a large part of the day they fought evenly; but when a man killed Megacles, thinking to have killed Pyrrhus and creating this impression in the minds of the rest, the Romans gained vigor and their opponents began to give way. [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^12] PYRRHUS, NOTING WHAT WAS TAKING PLACE, CAST OFF HIS CAP AND WENT ABOUT WITH HIS HEAD BARE; AND THE BATTLE TOOK AN OPPOSITE TURN. Seeing this, Lavinius, who had horsemen in hiding somewhere, outside the battle, ordered them to attack the enemy in the rear. In response to this Pyrrhus, as a device to meet it, raised the signal for the elephants. Then, indeed, at the sight of the animals, which was out of all common experience, at their bloodcurdling trumpeting, and at the clatter of arms which their riders, seated in the towers, made, both the Romans themselves became panic stricken and their horses, in a frenzy, either shook off their riders or bolted, carrying them away. Disheartened at this the Roman army was turned to flight and in their rout some soldiers were destroyed by the men in the towers on the elephants' backs, and others by the beasts themselves, which with their trunks and horns (or teeth?) took the lives of many and crushed and trampled under foot no less. The cavalry, following after, slew many; not one, indeed, would have been left, had not an elephant been wounded, and by its own struggles as a result of the wound as well as by its trumpeting thrown the rest into confusion. Only this restrained Pyrrhus from pursuit and only in this way did the Romans manage to cross the river and make their escape into an Apulian city. Many of Pyrrhus's soldiers and officers alike fell, so that [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^13] WHEN CERTAIN MEN CONGRATULATED HIM ON HIS VICTORY, HE SAID; "IF WE EVER CONQUER AGAIN IN LIKE FASHION, WE SHALL BE RUINED." THE ROMANS, HOWEVER, HE ADMIRED EVEN IN THEIR DEFEAT, DECLARING: "I SHOULD ALREADY HAVE MASTERED THE WHOLE INHABITED WORLD, WERE I KING OF THE ROMANS."
[Sidenote: FRAG. 40^14] PYRRHUS, ACCORDINGLY, ACQUIRED A GREAT REPUTATION FOR HIS VICTORY AND MANY CAME OVER TO HIS SIDE: THE ALLIES ALSO ESPOUSED HIS CAUSE. THESE HE REBUKED SOMEWHAT ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR TARDINESS, BUT GAVE THEM A SHARE OF THE SPOIL. VIII, 4.—The men of Rome felt grief at the defeat, but they sent an army to Lavinius; and they summoned Tiberius from Etruria and put the city under guard when they learned that Pyrrhus was hastening against it. Lavinius, however, as soon as he had cured his own followers of their wounds and had collected the scattered, the reinforcements from Rome now having arrived, followed on the track of Pyrrhus and harassed him. Finding out that the king was ambitious to capture Capua he occupied it in advance and guarded it. Disappointed there Pyrrhus set out for Neapolis. Since he developed no power to accomplish anything at this place either and was in haste to occupy Rome, he passed on through Etruria with the object of winning that people also to his cause. He learned that they had made a treaty with the Romans and that Tiberius was moving to meet him face to face. (Lavinius was dogging his footsteps.) [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^19] A DREAD SEIZED HIM OF BEING CUT OFF ON ALL SIDES BY THEM WHILE HE WAS IN UNFAMILIAR REGIONS and he would advance no farther. [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^20] WHEN, AS HE WAS RETREATING AND HAD REACHED THE VICINITY OF CAMPANIA, LAVINIUS CONFRONTED HIM AND THE LATTER'S ARMY WAS MUCH LARGER THAN IT WAS BEFORE, HE DECLARED THAT THE ROMAN TROOPS WHEN CUT TO PIECES GREW WHOLE AGAIN, HYDRA-FASHION. AND HE MADE PREPARATIONS IN HIS TURN, BUT DID NOT COME TO THE ISSUE OF BATTLE. He had ordered his own soldiers before the shock of conflict, in order to terrify the Romans, to smite their shields with their spears and cry aloud while the trumpeters and the elephants raised a united blare. But when the other side raised a much greater shout, actually scaring the followers of Pyrrhus, he no longer wanted to come to close quarters, but retired, as if he found the omens bad. And he came to Tarentum. [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^21] THITHER CAME ROMAN ENVOYS TO TREAT IN BEHALF OF THE CAPTIVES,—FABRICIUS AMONG OTHERS. THESE HE ENTERTAINED LAVISHLY AND SHOWED THEM HONOR, EXPECTING THAT THEY WOULD CONCLUDE A TRUCE AND MAKE TERMS AS THE DEFEATED PARTY. [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^22] FABRICIUS ASKED THAT HE MIGHT GET BACK THE MEN CAPTURED IN BATTLE FOR SUCH RANSOM AS SHOULD BE PLEASING TO BOTH. PYRRHUS, QUITE DUMFOUNDED BECAUSE THE MAN DID NOT SAY THAT HE WAS ALSO COMMISSIONED TO TREAT ABOUT PEACE, TOOK COUNSEL PRIVATELY WITH HIS FRIENDS, AS WAS HIS WONT, ABOUT THE RETURN OF THE CAPTIVES, BUT ALSO ABOUT THE WAR AND HOW HE SHOULD CONDUCT IT. Milo advised neither returning the captives nor making a truce, but overcoming all remaining resistance by war, since the Romans were already defeated: Cineas, however, gave advice just the opposite of his; he approved of surrendering the captives without price and sending envoys and money to Rome for the purpose of obtaining an armistice and peace. [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^23] TO HIS DECISION DID THE REST ALSO CLEAVE, AND PYRRHUS, TOO, CHANCED TO BE OF THIS MIND. HAVING CALLED THE AMBASSADORS, THEREFORE, HE SAID: "NOT WILLINGLY, ROMANS, DID I LATELY MAKE WAR UPON YOU, AND I HAVE NO WISH TO WAR AGAINST YOU NOW. IT WAS MY DESIRE TO BECOME YOUR FRIEND. WHEREFORE I RELEASE TO YOU THE CAPTIVES WITHOUT RANSOM AND ASK THE PRIVILEGE OF MAKING PEACE."
[Sidenote: FRAG. 40^24] THESE WORDS HE HAD SPOKEN TO THE ENVOYS AS A WHOLE AND HAD EITHER GIVEN OR FURNISHED THEM PROMISES OF MONEY, BUT IN CONVERSATION WITH FABRICIUS ALONE HE SAID: "I WOULD GLADLY BECOME A FRIEND TO ALL ROMANS, BUT MOST OF ALL TO YOU. I SEE THAT YOU ARE AN EXCELLENT MAN AND I ASK YOU TO HELP ME IN GETTING PEACE." WITH THESE WORDS HE ATTEMPTED TO BESTOW UPON HIM A NUMBER OF GIFTS. BUT FABRICIUS SAID: "I COMMEND YOU FOR DESIRING PEACE, AND I WILL EFFECT IT FOR YOU, IF IT SHALL PROVE TO OUR ADVANTAGE. FOR YOU WILL NOT ASK ME, A MAN WHO, AS YOU SAY, PRETENDS TO UPRIGHTNESS, TO DO ANYTHING AGAINST MY COUNTRY. NAY, I WOULD NOT EVEN ACCEPT ANY OF THESE THINGS WHICH YOU ARE FAIN TO GIVE. I ASK YOU, THEREFORE, WHETHER YOU IN VERY TRUTH REGARD ME AS A REPUTABLE MAN OR NOT. IF I AM A SCOUNDREL, HOW IS IT THAT YOU DEEM ME WORTHY OF GIFTS? IF, ON THE OTHER HAND, I AM A MAN OF HONOR, HOW CAN YOU BID ME ACCEPT THEM? BE THEN ASSURED THAT I HAVE VERY MANY POSSESSIONS, THAT I AM SATISFIED WITH WHAT I NOW HAVE AND FEEL NO NEED OF MORE. YOU, HOWEVER, EVEN IF YOU ARE EVER SO RICH, ARE IN UNSPEAKABLE POVERTY. FOR YOU WOULD NOT HAVE CROSSED OVER TO THIS LAND, LEAVING BEHIND EPIRUS AND THE REST OF YOUR POSSESSIONS, IF YOU HAD BEEN CONTENT WITH THEM AND WERE NOT REACHING OUT FOR MORE."
After this conversation had taken place as recounted, the envoys took the captives and departed. Pyrrhus despatched Cineas to Rome with a large amount of gold coin and women's apparel of every description, so that even if some of the men should resist, their wives, at least, won by the appeal of the finery, might make them share in the prostitution of principles. Cineas on coming to the city did not seek an audience with the senate, but lingered about, alleging now one reason, now another. He was visiting the houses of leading men and by his conversation and gifts was slowly extending his influence over them. When he had won the attachment of a number, he entered the senate-chamber and spoke, saying; "King Pyrrhus offers as his defence the fact that he came not to make war upon you, but to reconcile the Tarentini, and in answer to their entreaties. Indeed, he has released your prisoners, waiving ransom, and though he might have ravaged your country and assaulted your city, he requests to be enrolled among your friends and allies, hoping to gain much assistance from you and to render you still more and greater benefits in return."
Thereupon the greater part of the senators evinced pleasure because of the gifts and because of the captives: however, they made no reply, but went on deliberating for several days more as to the proper course to pursue. There was a deal of talk, but the disposition to accord a truce predominated. On learning this Appius the Blind was carried to the senate-house (for by reason of his age and his infirmity he was a stay-at-home) and declared that the modus vivendi with Pyrrhus was not advantageous to the State. He urged them to dismiss Cineas at once from the city and to make known to Pyrrhus by his mouth that the king must first withdraw to his home country and from there make propositions to them about peace or about anything else he wanted. This was the advice Appius gave. The senate delayed no longer, but forthwith unanimously voted to send Cineas that very day across the borders and to wage an implacable war with Pyrrhus, so long as he should abide in Italy. They imposed upon the captives certain degradations in the campaigns and used them no longer against Pyrrhus nor for any other project as a unit (out of apprehension that if they were together they might rebel), but sent them to do garrison duty, a few here, a few there.
(BOOK 10, BOISSEVAIN).
[Sidenote: B.C. 279 (a.u. 475)] VIII, 5.—During the winter both sides busied themselves with preparations. When spring had now begun, Pyrrhus invaded Apulia and reduced many places by force, many also by capitulation. Finally the Romans came upon him near a city called Asculum and pitched camp opposite. For several days they lingered, rather avoiding each other. The Romans were not feeling confident against men who had once beaten them, and the others dreaded the Romans as persons animated by desperation. Meanwhile some were talking to the effect that Decius was getting ready to "devote himself" after the fashion of his father and grandfather, and by so doing they terribly alarmed the followers of Pyrrhus, who believed that through his death they would certainly be ruined. Pyrrhus then convened his soldiers and discussed this matter, advising them not to be disheartened nor scared out of their wits by such talk. One human being, he said, could not by dying prevail over many nor could any incantation or magic prove superior to arms and men. By making these remarks and confirming his words by arguments Pyrrhus encouraged the army under his lead. Also he enquired into the details of the costume which the Decii had used in devoting themselves, and sent injunctions to his men, if they should see anybody so arrayed, not to kill him, but seize him alive. [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^28] AND HE SENT TO DECIUS AND TOLD HIM THAT HE WOULD NOT SUCCEED IN ACCOMPLISHING THIS, EVEN IF HE WISHED IT, AND THREATENED THAT IF HE WERE TAKEN ALIVE, HE SHOULD PERISH MISERABLY. TO THIS THE CONSULS ANSWERED THAT THEY WERE IN NO NEED OF HAVING RECOURSE TO SUCH A PROCEEDING AS THE ONE MENTIONED, SINCE THEY WERE SURE TO CONQUER HIM ANYWAY. There was a river not easy to ford running between the two camps, and they enquired whether he chose to cross unmolested himself, while they retired, or whether he would allow them to do it, the object being that the forces should encounter each other intact and so from a battle with conditions equal the test of valor might be made an accurate one. The Romans delivered this speech to overawe him, but Pyrrhus granted them permission to cross the river, since he placed great reliance upon his elephants. The Romans among their other preparations made ready, as a measure against the elephants, projecting beams on wagons, overlaid with iron and bristling in all directions. From these they intended to shoot and to withstand the animals with fire as well as by other means. When the conflict began, the Romans forced the Greeks back, slowly to be sure, but none the less effectually, until Pyrrhus, bringing his elephants to bear not opposite their chariots but at the other end of the line, routed their cavalry through fear of the beasts even before they had come close. Upon their infantry, however, he inflicted no great damage. Meantime some of the Apulians had started for the camp of the Epirots and by so doing brought about victory for the Romans. For when Pyrrhus sent some of his warriors against them, all the rest were thrown into disorder and suspecting that their tents had been captured and their companions were in flight they gave way. Numbers of them fell, Pyrrhus and many commanding officers besides were wounded, and later on account of the lack of food and of medical supplies they incurred great loss. Hence he retreated to Tarentum before the Romans were aware. As for the consuls, they crossed the river to fight, but when they ascertained that all had scattered, they withdrew to their own cities. They were unable to pursue after their foes on account of wounds among their own following. Then the Romans went into winter quarters in Apulia, whereas Pyrrhus sent for soldiers and money from home and went on with other preparations. But learning that Fabricius and Pappus had been chosen consuls and had arrived in camp, he was not constant in the same intention.
[Sidenote: B.C. 278 (a.u. 476)] The aforesaid consuls were now in the midst of their army, when a certain Nicias, one of those believed to be loyal to Pyrrhus, came to Fabricius and offered to murder him treacherously. Fabricius, indignant at this (for he wanted to overcome the enemy by valor and main force, like Camillus), informed Pyrrhus of the plot. This action of his moved the king so strongly that he again released the Roman captives without price and sent envoys once more in regard to peace. But when the Romans made no reply about peace, but as before bade him depart from Italy and only in that event make propositions to them, and since they kept overrunning and capturing the cities in alliance with him, [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^29] HE FELL INTO PERPLEXITY; till at length some Syracusans called on him for aid—they had been quarreling, as it chanced, ever since the death of Agathocles—and surrendered to him both themselves and their city. Hereupon he again breathed freely, hoping to subjugate all of Sicily. Leaving Milo behind in Italy to keep guard over Tarentum and the other positions, he himself sailed away after letting it be understood that he would soon return. The Syracusans welcomed him and laid everything at his feet, so that in brief time he had again become great and the Carthaginians in fright secured additional mercenaries from Italy. But presently his prospects fell to the other extreme of fortune [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^30] BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT HE EITHER EXPELLED OR SLEW MANY WHO HELD OFFICE AND HAD INCURRED HIS SUSPICIONS. Then the Carthaginians, seeing that he was not strong in private forces and did not possess the devotion of the natives, took up the war vigorously. They harbored any Syracusans who were exiled and rendered his position so uncomfortable that he abandoned not only Syracuse, but Sicily as well.
[Sidenote: B.C. 277 (a.u. 477)] VIII, 6.—The Romans on finding out his absence took courage and turned their attention to requiting those who had invited him. Postponing till another occasion the case of the Tarentini they invaded Samnium with their consuls Rufinus and Junius, devastated the country as they went along, and took several deserted forts. The Samnites had conveyed their dearest and most valuable treasures into the hills called the Cranita, because they bear a large growth of cornel-wood (crania). The Romans in contempt for them dared to begin the ascent of the aforementioned hills. As the region was tangled with shrubbery and difficult of access many were killed and many, too, were taken prisoners.
The consuls now no longer carried on the war together, since each blamed the other for the disaster, but Junius went on ravaging a portion of Samnium, while Rufinus inflicted injury upon Lucanians and Bruttians. He then started against Croton, which had revolted from Rome. His friends had sent for him, but the other party got ahead of them by bringing a garrison from Milo, of which Nicomachus was commander. Ignorant of this fact he approached the walls carelessly, supposing that his friends controlled affairs, and suffered a setback by a sudden sortie made against him. Then, bethinking himself of a trick, he captured the city. He sent two captives as pretended deserters into Croton; one at once, declaring that he had despaired of capturing the place and was about to set out into Locris, which was being betrayed to him; the other later, corroborating the report with the further detail that he was on his way. That the story might gain credence he packed up the baggage and affected to be in haste. Nicomachus trusted this news (for his scouts made the same report), and leaving Croton set off with speed into Locrian territory by a somewhat shorter road. When he had got well into Locris, Rufinus turned back to Croton, and escaping observation because he was not expected and because of a mist that then prevailed he captured the city. Nicomachus learning this went back to Tarentum, and encountering Rufinus on the way lost many men. The Locrians came over to the Roman side.
[Sidenote: B.C. 276 (a.u. 478)] The next year the Romans made expeditions into Samnium and into Lucania and fought with the Bruttians. Pyrrhus, who had been driven out of Sicily and had returned, was now troubling them grievously. He got back the Locrians (by their killing the Roman garrison and changing their rulers), but in a campaign against Rhegium was repulsed, was himself wounded, and lost great numbers. He then retired into Locris and after executing a few who opposed his cause he got food and money from the rest and made his way back to Tarentum. The Samnites, hard pressed by the Romans, caused him to leave the shelter of that town: [Sidenote: B.C. 275 (a.u. 479)] but on coming to their assistance he was put to flight. A young elephant was wounded, and shaking off its riders wandered about in search of its mother; the latter thereupon became unmanageable, and as all the rest of the elephants raised a din everything was thrown into dire confusion. Finally the Romans won the day, killing many men and capturing eight elephants, and occupied the enemy's entrenchments. Pyrrhus accompanied by a few horsemen made his escape to Tarentum, and from there sailed back to Epirus, leaving Milo behind with a garrison to take care of Tarentum because he expected to come back again. He also gave them a chair fastened with straps made from the skin of Nicias, whom he put to death for treachery. This was the vengeance, then, that he took upon Nicias, [Sidenote: FRAG. 40^32] AND HE WAS INTENDING TO EXACT VENGEANCE FROM SOME YOUTHS WHO HAD RIDICULED HIM AT A BANQUET; BUT HE ASKED THEM WHY THEY WERE RIDICULING HIM, AND WHEN THEY ANSWERED: "WE SHOULD HAVE SAID A LOT MORE THINGS A GOOD DEAL WORSE, IF THE WINE HADN'T FAILED US", HE LAUGHED AND LET THEM GO.
Now Pyrrhus, who had made a most distinguished record among generals, who had inspired the Romans with great fear and left Italy in the fifth year to make a campaign against Greece, not long afterward met his death in Argos. A woman, as the story runs, being eager to catch a sight of him from the roof as he passed by, made a misstep and falling upon him killed him. The same year Fabricius and Pappus became censors; and among others whose names they erased from the lists of the knights and the senators was Rufinus, though he had served as dictator and had twice been consul. The reason was that he had in his possession silver plate of ten pounds' weight. This shows how the Romans regarded poverty as consisting not in the failure to possess many things but in wanting many things. Accordingly, their officials who went abroad and others who set out on any business of importance to the State received besides other necessary allowances a seal-ring as a public gift.
Some of the Tarentini who had been abused by Milo attacked him, with Nico at their head. Not accomplishing anything they occupied a section of their own wall, and with that as headquarters kept making assaults upon Milo. When they found out that the Romans were disposed to make war upon them, they despatched envoys to Rome and obtained peace.
[Sidenote: FRAG. 41] [Sidenote: B.C. 273 (a.u. 481)] AND PTOLEMY PHILADELPHUS, KING OF EGYPT, WHEN HE LEARNED THAT PYRRHUS HAD FARED POORLY AND THAT THE ROMANS WERE GROWING, SENT GIFTS TO THEM AND MADE A COMPACT. AND THE ROMANS, PLEASED WITH THIS, DESPATCHED AMBASSADORS TO HIM IN TURN. THE LATTER RECEIVED MAGNIFICENT GIFTS FROM HIM, WHICH THEY WANTED TO PUT INTO THE TREASURY; THE SENATE, HOWEVER, WOULD NOT ACCEPT THEM, BUT ALLOWED THEM TO KEEP THEM.
[Sidenote: B.C. 272 (a.u. 482)] After this, by the activity of Carvilius they subdued the Samnites, and overcame the Lucanians and Bruttians by the hands of Papirius. The same Papirius quelled the Tarentini. The latter, angry at Milo and subjected to abuse by their own men, who, as has been told, made the attack on Milo, called in the Carthaginians to their aid when they learned that Pyrrhus was dead. Milo, seeing that his chances had been contracted to narrow limits, as the Romans beset him on the land side and the Carthaginians on the water front, surrendered the citadel to Papirius on condition of being permitted to depart unharmed with his immediate followers and his money. Then the Carthaginians, as representatives of a nation friendly to the Romans, sailed away, and the city made terms with Papirius. They delivered to him their arms and their ships, demolished their walls, and agreed to pay tribute.
The Romans, having thus secured control of the Tarentini, turned their attention to Rhegium, whose inhabitants after taking Croton by treachery had razed the city to the ground and had slain the Romans there. They averted the danger that was threatening them from the Mamertines holding Messana (whom the people of Rhegium wanted to get as allies), by coming to an agreement with them; but in the siege of Rhegium they suffered hardships through a scarcity of food and some other causes until Hiero by sending from Sicily grain and soldiers to the Romans strengthened their hands and materially aided them in capturing the city. [Sidenote: B.C. 270 (a.u. 484)] The place was restored to the survivors among the original inhabitants: those who had plotted against it were punished.
Hiero, who was not of distinguished family on his father's side and on his mother's was akin to the slave class, ruled almost the whole of Sicily and was deemed a friend and ally of the Romans. After the flight of Pyrrhus he became master of Syracuse, and having a cautious eye upon the Carthaginians who were encroaching upon Sicily he was inclined to favor the Romans; and the first mark of favor that he showed them was the alliance and the forwarding of grain already narrated.
After this came a winter so severe that the Tiber was frozen to a great depth and trees were killed. The people of Rome suffered hardships and the hay gave out, causing the cattle to perish.
[Sidenote: B.C. 269 (a.u. 485)] VIII, 7.—The next year a Samnite named Lolius living in Rome as a hostage made his escape, gathered a band and seized a strong position in his native country from which he carried on brigandage. Quintus Gallus and Gaius Fabius made a campaign against him. Him and the rabblement with him, most of them unarmed, they suppressed; on proceeding, however, against the Carcini in whose keeping the robbers had deposited their booty, they encountered trouble. Finally one night, led by deserters, they scaled the wall at a certain point and came dangerously near perishing on account of the darkness,—not that it was a moonless night but because it was snowing fiercely. But the moon shone out and they made themselves absolute masters of the position.
A great deal of money fell to the share of Rome in those days, so that they actually used silver denarii.
[Sidenote: B.C. 267 (a.u. 487)] Next they made a campaign into the district now called Calabria. Their excuse was that the people had harbored Pyrrhus and had been overrunning their allied territory, but as a fact they wanted to gain sole possession of Brundusium, since there was a fine harbor and for the traffic with Illyricum and Greece the town had an approach and landing-place of such a character that vessels would sometimes come to land and put out to sea wafted by the same wind. [Sidenote: B.C. 266 (a.u. 488)] They captured it and sent colonists to it and to other settlements as well. While the accomplishment of these exploits [Sidenote: FRAG. 42] RAISED THEM TO A HIGHER PLANE OF PROSPERITY, THEY SHOWED NO HAUGHTINESS: ON THE CONTRARY THEY SURRENDERED TO THE APOLLONIATIANS ON THE IONIAN GULF QUINTUS FABIUS, A SENATOR, BECAUSE HE HAD INSULTED THEIR AMBASSADORS. BUT THESE ON RECEIVING HIM SENT HIM BACK HOME AGAIN UNHARMED.
[Sidenote: B.C. 265 (a.u. 489)] In the year of the consulship of Quintus Fabius and AEmilius they went on a campaign to the Volsinii to secure the freedom of the latter, for they were under treaty obligations to them. These people were originally a branch of the Etruscans, and they gathered power and erected an extremely strong rampart; they enjoyed also a government guided by good laws. For these reasons once, when they were involved in war with the Romans, they offered resistance for a very long time. When they had been subdued, they deteriorated into a state of effeminacy, left the management of the city to their servants and let those servants, as a rule, also carry on their campaigns. Finally they encouraged them to such an extent that the servants possessed both spirit and power, and thought they had a right to freedom. In the course of time their efforts to obtain it were crowned with success. After that they were accustomed to wed their mistresses, to inherit their masters, to be enrolled in the senate, to secure the offices, and to hold the entire authority themselves. Indeed, it was usual, when insults were offered them by their masters, for them to requite the authors of them with rather unbecoming speed. Hence the old-fashioned citizens, not being able to endure them and yet possessing no power of their own to repress them, despatched envoys by stealth to Rome. The envoys urged the senate to convene with secrecy at night in a private house, so that no report might get abroad, and they obtained their request. The meeting accordingly deliberated under the idea that no one was listening: but a sick Samnite, who was being entertained as a guest of the master of the house, kept his bed unnoticed, learned what was voted, and gave information to those against whom charges were preferred. The latter seized and tortured the envoys on their return; when they found out what was on foot they killed the messengers and also some of the foremost men.
The above were the causes which led the Romans to send Fabius against them. He routed the body of the foe that met him, destroyed many in their flight, shut up the remainder within the wall, and made an assault upon the city. In that action he was wounded and killed, whereupon gaining confidence the enemy made a sortie. They were again defeated, retired, and had to submit to siege. When they began to feel the pangs of hunger, they surrendered. The consul delivered to outrage and death the men who had appropriated the honors of the ruling class and he razed the city to the ground; the native inhabitants, however, and many servants who had rendered valuable service to their masters he settled on another site.
(BOOK 11, BOISSEVAIN.)
VIII, 8.—From that time the Romans began struggles oversea: they had previously had no experience at all in naval matters. They now became seamen and crossed over to the islands and to other divisions of the mainland. The first people they fought against were the Carthaginians. These Carthaginians were no whit inferior to them in wealth or in the excellence of their land; they were trained in naval operations to a great degree of accuracy, were equipped with cavalry forces, with infantry and elephants, ruled the Libyans, and held possession of both Sardinia and the greater part of Sicily: as a result they had cherished hopes of subjugating Italy. Various factors contributed to increase their self-conceit. They were especially delighted with their position of independence: their king they elected under the title of a yearly office and not for permanent sovereignty. Animated by these considerations they were at the point of most zealous eagerness.
[Sidenote: FRAG. 43^1] THE REASONS ALLEGED FOR THE WAR WERE—ON THE PART OF THE ROMANS THAT THE CARTHAGINIANS HAD ASSISTED THE TARENTINI, ON THE PART OF THE CARTHAGINIANS THAT THE ROMANS HAD MADE A TREATY OF FRIENDSHIP WITH HIERO. THE FACT WAS, HOWEVER, THAT THEY VIEWED EACH OTHER WITH JEALOUSY AND THOUGHT THAT THE ONLY SALVATION FOR THEIR OWN POSSESSIONS LAY IN THE POSSIBILITY OF OBTAINING WHAT THE OTHER HELD. AT A TIME WHEN THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARD EACH OTHER WAS OF THIS NATURE A SLIGHT ACCIDENT THAT BEFELL BROKE THE TRUCE AND PROVOKED A CONFLICT BETWEEN THEM. This is what happened.
The Mamertines, who had once conducted a colony from Campania to Messana, were now being besieged by Hiero, and they called upon the Romans as a nation of kindred blood. The latter readily voted to aid them, knowing that in case the Mamertines should not secure an alliance with them, they would have recourse to the Carthaginians; and then the Carthaginians would sweep all Sicily and from there cross over into Italy. For this island is such a short distance away from the mainland that the story goes that it was itself once a part of the mainland. [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^2] SO THE ISLAND THUS LYING OFF ITALY SEEMED TO INVITE THE CARTHAGINIANS, AND IT APPEARED AS IF THEY MIGHT LAY CLAIM TO THE LAND OVER OPPOSITE, COULD THEY BUT OCCUPY IT. AND THE POSSESSION OF MESSANA GAVE TO ITS MASTERS THE RIGHT TO BE LORDS OF THE STRAIT ALSO.
Though the Romans voted to assist the Mamertines, they did not quickly come to their aid because of various hindrances that occurred. Hence the Mamertines, under the spur of necessity, called upon the Carthaginians. These brought about peace with Hiero both for themselves and for the party that had invoked their help, so as to prevent the Romans from crossing into the island; and under the leadership of Hanno they retained the guardianship of strait and city. [Sidenote: B.C. 264 (a.u. 490)] Meantime Gaius Claudius, military tribune, sent in advance with a few ships by Appius Claudius, had arrived at Rhegium. But to sail across was more than he dared, for he saw that the Carthaginian fleet was far larger. So he embarked in a skiff and approached Messana, where he held a conversation, as extended as the case permitted, with the party in possession. When the Carthaginians had made reply, he returned without accomplishing anything. Subsequently he ascertained that the Mamertines were at odds (they did not want to submit to the Romans, and yet they felt uneasy about the Carthaginians), and he sailed over again. [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^3] AMONG OTHER REMARKS WHICH HE MADE TO TEMPT THEM HE DECLARED THAT THE OBJECT OF HIS PRESENCE WAS TO FREE THE CITY, AND AS SOON AS HE COULD SET THEIR AFFAIRS IN ORDER, HE SHOULD SAIL AWAY. HE BADE THE CARTHAGINIANS ALSO EITHER TO WITHDRAW, OR, IF THEY HAD ANY JUST PLEA, TO OFFER IT. NOW WHEN NOT ONE OF THE MAMERTINES (BY REASON OF FEAR) OPENED HIS LIPS, AND THE CARTHAGINIANS SINCE THEY WERE OCCUPYING THE CITY BY FORCE OF ARMS PAID NO HEED TO HIM, HE SAID: "THE SILENCE ON BOTH SIDES AFFORDS SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE. IT SHOWS THAT THE ONE SIDE IS IN THE WRONG, FOR THEY WOULD HAVE JUSTIFIED THEMSELVES IF THEIR PURPOSES WERE AT ALL HONEST; AND THAT THE OTHER SIDE COVETS FREEDOM, FOR THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN QUITE FREE TO SPEAK, IF THEY HAD ESPOUSED THE CAUSE OF THE CARTHAGINIANS." AND HE VOLUNTEERED TO AID THEM. At this a tumult of praise arose from the Mamertines. He then sailed back to Rhegium and a little later with his entire fleet forced his passage across. However, partly because of the numbers and skill of the Carthaginians, but chiefly because of the difficulty of sailing and a storm that suddenly broke [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^4] HE LOST SOME OF HIS TRIREMES AND WITH THE REMAINDER BARELY SUCCEEDED IN GETTING BACK TO RHEGIUM.
VIII, 9.—HOWEVER, THE ROMANS DID NOT SHUN THE SEA BECAUSE OF THEIR DEFEAT. Claudius proceeded to repair his ships, [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^5] WHILE HANNO, WISHING TO THROW THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR BREAKING THE TRUCE UPON THE ROMANS, SENT TO CLAUDIUS THE CAPTURED TRIREMES AND RESTORED THE CAPTIVES, URGING HIM TO AGREE TO PEACE. [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^6] BUT WHEN THE OTHER WOULD ACCEPT NOTHING, HE THREATENED THAT HE WOULD NEVER PERMIT THE ROMANS EVEN TO WASH THEIR HANDS IN THE SEA. Claudius now having become acquainted with the strait watched for a time when the current and the wind both carried from Italy toward Sicily, and under those circumstances sailed to the island, encountering no opposition. [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^7] HE DISCOVERED THE MAMERTINES AT THE HARBOR: HANNO HAD BEFORE BECOME SUSPICIOUS OF THEIR MOVEMENTS AND HAD ESTABLISHED HIMSELF IN THE ACROPOLIS, WHICH HE WAS GUARDING. THE ROMAN LEADER ACCORDINGLY CONVENED AN ASSEMBLY AND AFTER SOME CONVERSATION WITH THEM PERSUADED THEM TO SEND FOR HANNO. THE LATTER REFUSED TO COME DOWN, but filled with a subsequent fear that the Mamertines might allege injustice on his part and revolt he did enter the assembly. After many words had been spoken to no purpose by both sides, one of the Romans seized him and, with the approval of the Mamertines, threw him into prison.
Thus, under compulsion, Hanno left Messana entirely. The Carthaginians disciplined him and sent a herald to the Romans bidding them leave Messana and depart from all of Sicily by a given day; they also set an army in motion. Since the Romans paid no heed, they put to death the mercenaries serving with them who were from Italy, and made an assault upon Messana, Hiero accompanying them. Then for a season they besieged the city and kept guard over the strait, to prevent any troops or provisions being conveyed to the foe. The consul was informed of this when he was already quite close at hand, and found a number of Carthaginians disposed at various points in and about the harbor under pretence of carrying on trade. In order to get safe across the strait he resorted to deception and did succeed in anchoring off Sicily by night. His point of approach was not far from the camp of Hiero and he joined battle without delay, thinking that his appearance in force would be most likely to inspire the enemy with fear. When they came out to withstand the attack, the Roman cavalry was worsted but the heavy-armed infantry prevailed. Hiero retired temporarily to the mountains and later to Syracuse.
When Hiero had retired, the Mamertines took courage because of the presence of Claudius. He therefore assailed the Carthaginians, who were now isolated, and their rampart, which was situated on a kind of peninsula. For on the one side the sea enclosed it and on the other some marshes, difficult to traverse. At the neck of this peninsula, the only entrance and a very narrow one, a cross wall had been built. In an attempt to carry this point by force the Romans fared badly and withdrew under a shower of weapons. [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^9] THE LIBYANS THEN TOOK COURAGE AND SALLIED OUT, PURSUING THE FUGITIVES, AS THEY THOUGHT THEM, BEYOND THE NARROW STRIP OF LAND. THEREUPON THE ROMANS WHEELED, ROUTED THEM, AND KILLED A NUMBER, SO THAT THEY DID NOT ISSUE FROM THE CAMP AGAIN,—AT LEAST SO LONG AS CLAUDIUS WAS IN MESSANA. He, however, not daring to attack the approach in force, left a detachment behind in Messana and turned his steps toward Syracuse and Hiero. He personally superintended the assault upon the city, and now and then the inhabitants would come out to battle. Each side would sometimes be victorious and sometimes incur defeat. One day the consul got into a confined position and would have been caught, had he not, before being surrounded, sent to Hiero an invitation to agree to some terms. When the representative came with whom he was to conclude the terms, he kept falling back unobtrusively, while he conversed with him, until he had retired to safety. But the city could not easily be taken, and a siege, on account of scarcity of food supplies and disease in the army, was impracticable. Claudius accordingly withdrew; and the Syracusans following held discussions with his scattered followers and would have made a truce, if Hiero also had been willing to agree to terms. The consul left behind a garrison in Messana and sailed back to Rhegium.
[Sidenote: B.C. 263 (a.u. 491)] As Etruscan unrest had come to a standstill and affairs in Italy were perfectly peaceful, whereas the Carthaginian state was becoming ever greater, the Romans ordered both the consuls to make an expedition into Sicily. Valerius Maximus and Otacilius Crassus consequently crossed over and in their progress through the island together and separately they won over many towns by capitulation. When they had made the majority of places their own, they set out for Syracuse. Hiero in terror sent a herald to them with offers: he expressed a readiness to restore the cities of which they had been deprived, promised money, and liberated the prisoners. On these terms he obtained peace, for the consuls thought they could subjugate the Carthaginians more easily with his help. After reaching an agreement with him, then, they turned their attention to the remaining cities garrisoned by Carthaginians. They were repulsed from all of them except Segesta, which they took without resistance. Its inhabitants because of their relationship with the Romans (they declare they are descended from AEneas) slew the Carthaginians and joined the Roman alliance.
VIII, 10.—On account of the winter the consuls embarked again for Rhegium. The Carthaginians conveyed most of their army to Sardinia in the intention of attacking Rome from that quarter. They would thus either rout them out of Sicily altogether or would render them weaker after they had crossed. Yet they achieved neither the one object nor the other. The Romans both kept guard over their own land and sent a respectable force to Sicily with Postumius Albinus and Quintus AEmilius. [Sidenote: B.C. 262 (a.u. 492)] On arriving in Sicily the consuls set out for Agrigentum and there besieged Hannibal the son of Gisco. The people of Carthage, when apprised of it, sent Hanno, with a powerful support, to aid him in the warfare. This leader arrived at Heraclea, not far from Agrigentum, and was soon engaged in war. A number of battles, but not great ones, took place. At first Hanno challenged the consuls to fight, then later on the Romans challenged him. For as long as the Romans had an abundance of food, they did not venture to contend against a superior force, and were hoping to get possession of the city by famine; when, however, they encountered a permanent shortage of grain, they displayed a zeal for taking risks, but Hanno showed hesitation; their eagerness led him to suspect that he might be ambushed. Everybody therefore was satisfied to revere the Romans as easy conquerors, and Hiero, who once cooeperated with them sulkily, now sent them grain, so that even the consuls took heart.
[Footnote 15: In Roman records these persons are known respectively as L. Postumius L. F. L. N. Megellus and Q. Mamilius Q. F. M. N. Vitulus.]
Hanno now undertook to bring on a battle, expecting that Hannibal would fall upon the Romans in the rear, assailing them from the wall. The consuls learned his plan but remained inactive, and Hanno in scorn approached their intrenchments. They also sent some men to lie in ambush behind him. When toward evening he fearlessly and contemptuously led a charge, the Romans joined battle with him from ambush and from palisade and wrought a great slaughter of the enemy and of the elephants besides. Hannibal had in the meantime assailed the Roman tents, but was hurled back by the men guarding them. Hanno abandoned his camp and made good his escape to Heraclea. Hannibal then formed a plan to escape as runaways from Agrigentum by night, and himself eluded observation; the rest, however, were recognized and were killed, some by the Romans and many by the Agrigentinians. For all that the people of Agrigentum did not obtain pardon, but their wealth was plundered and they themselves were all sold into servitude.
On account of the winter the consuls retired to Messana. The Carthaginians were angry with Hanno and despatched Hamilcar the son of Barca in his stead, a man superior in generalship to all his countrymen save only Hannibal his son. [Sidenote: B.C. 261 (a.u. 493)] Hamilcar himself guarded Sicily and sent Hannibal as admiral to damage the coast sections of Italy and so draw the consuls to his vicinity. Yet he did not accomplish his aim, for they posted guards along both shores and then went to Sicily. They effected nothing worthy of record, however. And Hamilcar, becoming afraid that his Gallic mercenaries (who were offended because he had not given them full pay) might go over to the Romans, brought about their destruction. He sent them to take charge of one of the cities under Roman sway, assuring them that it was in course of being betrayed and giving them permission to plunder it: he then sent to the consuls pretended deserters to give them advance information of the coming of the Gauls. Hence all the Gauls were ambuscaded and destroyed; many of the Romans also perished.
After the consuls had departed home Hamilcar sailed to Italy and ravaged the land and won over some cities in Sicily. On receipt of this information the Romans [Sidenote: B.C. 260 (a.u. 494)] gathered a fleet and put one of the consuls, Gaius Duillius, in command of it, while they sent his colleague, Gaius Cornelius, to Sicily. He, neglecting the war on land which had fallen to his lot, sailed with the ships that belonged to him to Lipara, on the understanding that it was to be betrayed to him. Through treachery it had fallen into the hands of the Carthaginians. When, therefore, he put into Lipara, Bodes the lieutenant of Hannibal closed in upon him. As Gaius made preparations to defend himself, Bodes fearing the Romans' desperation invited them to discuss terms. Having persuaded them to do so he took the consul and military tribunes, who supposed they were to meet the admiral, on board his own trireme. These men he sent to Carthage: the rest he captured without their so much as lifting a weapon.
[Footnote 16: This name should in both cases be Gnaeus.]
[Footnote 17: [See previous footnote.]]
VIII, 11.—Then Hannibal continued the ravaging of Italy, while Hamilcar made a campaign against Segesta, where the Romans had most of their infantry force. Gaius Caecilius, a military tribune, wanted to assist them, but Hamilcar waylaid him and slaughtered many of his followers. The people of Rome learning this at once sent out the praetor urbanus and incited Duillius to haste. On coming to Sicily he learned the fact that the ships of the Carthaginians were inferior to his own in stoutness and size, but excelled in the quickness of their rowing and variety of movement. Therefore he fitted out his triremes with mechanical devices,—anchors and grappling irons with long spikes and other such things,—in order that by laying hold of the hostile ships with these they might pin them fast to their own vessels; then by crossing over into them they might have a hand to hand conflict with the Carthaginians and engage them just as in an infantry battle. When the Carthaginians began the fight with the Roman ships, they sailed round and round them using the oars rapidly and would make sudden dashes. So for the time the conflict was an evenly matched one: later the Romans got the upper hand and sank numbers of crews, retaining possession also of large numbers. Hannibal conducted the fight on a boat of seven banks, but when his own ship became entangled with a trireme, he feared capture, hastily left the seven banked affair, and transferring to another ship effected his escape.
This was the way, then, that the naval battle resulted, and much spoil was taken. [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^13] THE CARTHAGINIANS WOULD HAVE PUT HANNIBAL TO DEATH ON ACCOUNT OF THE DEFEAT, IF HE HAD NOT IMMEDIATELY ENQUIRED OF THEM WHETHER, GRANTED THAT THE BUSINESS WERE STILL UNTOUCHED, THEY WOULD BID HIM RISK A SEA-FIGHT OR NOT. THEY AGREED THAT HE OUGHT TO FIGHT, FOR THEY PRIDED THEMSELVES UPON HAVING A SUPERIOR NAVY. HE THEN ADDED: "I, THEN, HAVE DONE NO WRONG, FOR I WENT INTO THE ENGAGEMENT WITH THE SAME HOPES AS YOU. IT WAS THE DECISION, BUT NOT THE FORTUNE OF THE BATTLE THAT HAPPENED TO BE WITHIN MY POWER." So he saved his life, but was deprived of his command.—Duillius after securing a reinforcement of infantry rescued the people of Segesta, and Hamilcar would not venture to come into close conflict with him. He strengthened the loyalty of the other friendly settlements and returned to Rome at the close of autumn. Upon his departure Hamilcar took forcible possession of the place called Drepanum (it is a convenient roadstead), deposited there the objects of greatest value and transferred to it all the people of Eryx. The city of the latter, because it was a strong point, he razed to the ground to prevent the Romans from seizing it and making it a base of operations for the war. He captured some cities, too, some by force, some by betrayal; and if Gaius Florus who wintered there had not restrained him, he would have subjugated Sicily entire.
[Sidenote: B.C. 259 (a.u. 495)] Lucius Scipio, his colleague, made a campaign against Sardinia and against Corsica. These islands are situated in the Tyrrhenian sea only a short distance apart,—so short a distance, in fact, that from a little way off they seem to be one. His first landing place was Corsica. There he captured by force Valeria, its largest city, and subdued the remainder of the region without effort. As he was sailing toward Sardinia he descried a Carthaginian fleet and directed his course to it. The enemy fled before a battle could be joined and he came to the city of Olbia. There the Carthaginians put in an appearance along with their ships, and Scipio being frightened (for he had no infantry worthy the mention) set sail for home.
These were the days when the Samnites with the cooeperation of other captives and slaves in the city came to an agreement to form a conspiracy against Rome. Numbers of them had been brought there with a view to their utilization in the equipment of the fleet. Herius Potilius, the leader of the auxiliary force, found it out and pretended to be of like mind with them, in order that he might fully inform himself in regard to what they had determined. As he was not able to give knowledge of the affair,—for all those about him were Samnites,—he persuaded them to gather in the Forum at a time when a senate meeting was being convened and denounce him with declarations that they were being wronged in the matter of the grain which they were receiving. They did this and he was sent for as being the cause of the tumult; and he then laid bare to the Romans the plot. For the moment they merely dismissed the protestants (after they had become quiet) but by night all of those who held slaves arrested some of them. And in this way the entire conspiracy was overthrown.
[Sidenote: B.C. 253 (a.u. 496)] The following summer the Romans and the Carthaginians fought in Sicily and Sardinia at once. Somewhat later Atilius Latinus went to Sicily and finding a city named Mytistratus being besieged by Florus he made use of the latter's support. He made assaults upon the circuit of the wall which the natives with the help of the Carthaginians at first withstood vigorously, but when the women and children were moved to tears and laments they abandoned resistance. The Carthaginians passed out secretly by night and at daybreak the natives voluntarily swung the gates wide open. The Romans went in and proceeded to slaughter them all till Atilius made proclamation that the remainder of the booty and the human beings belonged to him who might take them. Forthwith they spared the lives of the remaining captives and after pillaging the city burned it to the ground.
[Footnote 18: A. Atilius Calatinus is meant.]
VIII, 12.—Thence they proceeded heedlessly against Camarina and came into a region where an ambuscade had already been set. They would have perished utterly, had not Marcus Calpurnius, serving as military tribune, matched the catastrophe by his cleverness. He saw that one and one only of the surrounding hills had by reason of its steepness not been occupied and he asked of the consul three hundred heavy-armed men and with them he set out for that point. His purpose was to make the enemy turn their attention to his detachment so that then the rest of the Romans might make their escape. And so it happened; for when the adversaries saw his project, they were thunderstruck and left the consul and his followers as men already captured in order to make a united rush upon Calpurnius. A fierce battle ensued in which many of the opposing side and all the three hundred fell. Calpurnius alone survived. He had been wounded and lay unnoticed among the heaps of slain, being as good as dead by reason of his wounds; afterward he was found alive and his life was saved. While the three hundred were fighting, the consul got away; and after this escape he reduced Camarina and other cities, some by force and some by capitulation. Next Atilius set out against Lipara. But Hamilcar at night by stealth occupied it in advance and by making a sudden sally killed many Romans.
Gaius Sulpicius overran the most of Sardinia and filled with arrogance as a result he set out for Libya. The Carthaginians, alarmed for the safety of their home population, also set sail with Hannibal, [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^14] BUT AS A CONTRARY WIND WAS ENCOUNTERED BOTH LEADERS TURNED BACK. SUBSEQUENTLY ATILIUS BROUGHT ABOUT HANNIBAL'S DEFEAT THROUGH SOME FALSE DESERTERS who pretended that Atilius was going to sail to Libya again. Hannibal weighed anchor and came out with speed, whereupon Sulpicius sailed to meet him and sank the majority of his vessels, which, because of a mist, did not know for a long time what was taking place and were thrown into confusion; all that made their escape to land he seized, though minus their crews, for Hannibal who saw that the harbor was unsafe abandoned them and retired to the city of Sulci. There the Carthaginians engaged in mutiny against their leader and he came forth before them alone and was slain. The Romans in consequence overran the country with greater ease, but were defeated by Hanno. This is what took place that year. Also stones in great quantities at once, and in appearance something like hail, fell from heaven upon Rome continually. It likewise came to pass that stones descended upon Albanum and elsewhere.
[Footnote 19: Apparently a mistake for Sulpicius.]
[Footnote 20: [See previous footnote.]]
[Sidenote: B.C. 257 (a.u. 497)] The consuls on coming to Sicily made a campaign against Lipara. Perceiving the Carthaginians lying in the harbor below the height called Tyndaris they divided their expedition in two. One of the consuls with half the fleet surrounded the promontory, and Hamilcar thinking them an isolated force set sail. When the rest came up, he turned to flight and lost most of his fleet. The Romans were elated, and feeling that Sicily was already theirs they left it and ventured to make an attempt on Libya and Carthage. [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^16] THEIR LEADERS WERE MARCUS REGULUS AND LUCIUS MANLIUS, PREFERRED BEFORE OTHERS FOR THEIR EXCELLENCE. [Sidenote: B.C. 256 (a.u. 498)] These two sailed to Sicily, settled affairs there, and made ready for the voyage to Libya: the Carthaginians did not wait for their hostile voyage to begin, but after due preparation hastened toward Sicily. Off Heracleotis the opposing forces met. The contest was for a long time evenly balanced but in the end the Romans got the best of it. Hamilcar did not dare to withstand their progress, [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^17] BUT SENT HANNO TO THEM PRETENDEDLY IN BEHALF OF PEACE, WHEREAS HE REALLY WISHED TO USE UP TIME; HE WAS IN HOPES THAT AN ARMY WOULD BE SENT TO HIM FROM HOME. WHEN SOME CLAMORED FOR HANNO'S ARREST, BECAUSE THE CARTHAGINIANS HAD ALSO TREACHEROUSLY ARRESTED CORNELIUS, the envoy said: "If you do this, you will be no longer any better than Libyans." He, therefore, by flattering them most opportunely escaped any kind of molestation: the Romans, however, again took up the war. And the consuls sailed from Messana, while Hamilcar and Hanno separated and studied how to enclose them from both sides. Hanno, however, would not stand before them when they approached, but sailed away betimes to the harbor of Carthage and kept constant guard of the city. Hamilcar, apprised of this, stayed where he was. The Romans disembarked on land and marched against the city Aspis, whose inhabitants, seeing them approaching, slipped out quietly and in good season. The Romans thus occupied it without striking a blow and made it a base in the war. From it they ravaged the country and acquired cities, some of their own free will and others by intimidation. They also kept securing great booty, receiving vast numbers of deserters, and getting back many of their own men who had been captured in the previous wars.
VIII, 13.—Winter came on and Manlius sailed back to Rome with the booty, whereas Regulus remained behind in Libya. The Carthaginians found themselves in the depths of woe, since their country was being pillaged and their vassals alienated; but cooped up in their fortifications they remained inactive. [Sidenote: (FRAG. 43^18?)] WHILE REGULUS WAS BESIDE THE BAGRADAS RIVER A SERPENT OF HUGE BULK APPEARED TO HIM, THE LENGTH OF WHICH IS SAID TO HAVE BEEN ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FEET. ITS SLOUGH WAS CARRIED TO ROME FOR EXHIBITION PURPOSES. AND THE REST OF ITS BODY CORRESPONDED IN SIZE. It destroyed many of the soldiers that approached it and some also who were drinking from the river. Regulus overcame it by a crowd of soldiers and hurling-engines. After thus destroying it he gave battle by night to Hamilcar, who was encamped upon a high, woody spot; and he slew many in their beds as well as many who had just risen. Any who escaped fell in with Romans guarding the roads, who despatched them. In this way a large division of Carthaginians was blotted out and numerous cities went over to the Romans. [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^19] THOSE IN THE TOWN BEING IN FEAR OF CAPTURE SENT HERALDS TO THE CONSUL TO THE END THAT HAVING BY SOME SATISFACTORY ARRANGEMENT INDUCED HIM TO GO AWAY THEY MIGHT AVOID THE DANGER OF THE MOMENT AND SO ESCAPE. BUT WHEN MANY UNREASONABLE DEMANDS WERE MADE OF THEM, THEY DECIDED THAT THE TRUCE WOULD MEAN THEIR UTTER SUBJUGATION AND PREPARED RATHER TO FIGHT.
[Sidenote: B.C. 255 (a.u. 499)] Regulus, however, who up to that time was fortunate, became filled with boastfulness and conceit, so much so that he even wrote to Rome that he had sealed up the gates of Carthage with fear. His followers and the people of Rome thought the same way, and this caused their undoing. Allies of various sorts came to the Carthaginians, among them Xanthippus from Sparta. He assumed the general superintendence of the Carthaginians, for the populace was eager to entrust matters to his charge and Hamilcar together with the other officials stepped aside voluntarily. The new leader, then, disposed things excellently in every way, and particularly he brought the Carthaginians down from the heights, where they were staying through fear, into the level country, where their horses and elephants were sure to develop greatest power. For some time he remained inactive until at length he found the Romans encamped in a way that betokened their contempt. They were very haughty over their victorious progress and looked down upon Xanthippus as a "Graecus" (this is a name they give to Hellenes and they use this epithet as a reproach to them for their mean birth); [Sidenote: B.C. 255 (a.u. 499)] consequently they had constructed their camp in a heedless fashion. While the Romans were in this situation, Xanthippus assailed them, routed their cavalry with his elephants, cut down many and captured many alive, among them Regulus himself. This put the Carthaginians in high spirits. They saved the lives of the captives in order that their own citizens previously taken captive by the Romans might not be killed. All the Roman prisoners were treated with consideration except Regulus, whom they kept in a state of utter misery; they offered him only just food enough to maintain existence and they would repeatedly lead an elephant close up to him to frighten him, so that he might have peace in neither body nor mind. After afflicting him in this way for a good while they placed him in prison.
The manner in which the Carthaginians dealt with their allies forms a chapter of great ruthlessness in this story. They were not supplied with sufficient wealth to pay them what they had originally promised, and dismissed them with the understanding that they would pay them their wages before very long. To the men who escorted the allies, however, they issued orders to put them ashore on a desert island and quietly sail away. As to Xanthippus, one story is that they drowned him, attacking him in boats after his boat had departed: the other is that they gave him an old ship which was in no wise seaworthy but had been newly covered over with pitch outside, that it might sink quite of itself; and that he, aware of the fact, got aboard a different ship and so was saved. Their reason for doing this was to avoid seeming to have been preserved by his ability; for they thought that once he had perished the renown of his deeds would also perish.
VIII, 14.—The people of Rome were grieved at the turn of events and more especially because they were looking for the Carthaginians to sail against Rome itself. For this reason they carefully guarded Italy and hastily sent to the Romans in Sicily and Libya the consuls Marcus AEmilius and Fulvius Paetinus. They after sailing to Sicily and garrisoning the positions there started for Libya, but were overtaken by a storm and carried to Cossura. They ravaged the island and put it in charge of a garrison, then sailed onward again. Meanwhile a fierce naval battle with the Carthaginians had taken place. The latter were struggling to eject the Romans entirely from their native land, and the Romans to save the remnants of their soldiers who had been left in hostile territory. In the midst of a close battle the Romans in Aspis suddenly attacked the Carthaginians in ships from the rear, and by getting them between two forces overcame them. Later the Romans also won an infantry engagement and took many prisoners, whose lives they saved because of Regulus and those captured with him. They made several raids and then sailed to Sicily. After encountering a storm, however, and losing many of their number, they sailed for home with the ships that remained.
[Footnote 21: Zonaras spells Plaetinus.]
[Sidenote: B.C. 254 (a.u. 500)] The Carthaginians took Cossura and crossed over to Sicily; and had they not learned that Collatinus and Gnaeus Cornelius were approaching with a large fleet, they would have subjugated the whole of it. The Romans had quickly fitted out a first-class fleet, had made levies of their best men, and had become so strong that in the third month they returned to Sicily. It was the five hundredth year from the founding of Rome. The lower city of Panhormus they took without trouble, but in the siege of the citadel they fared badly until food failed those in it. Then they came to terms with the consuls. [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^20] THE CARTHAGINIANS KEPT WATCH FOR THEIR SHIPS HOMEWARD BOUND AND CAPTURED SEVERAL THAT WERE FULL OF MONEY.
[Footnote 22: This is A. Atilius Calatinus again.]
[Sidenote: B.C. 253 (a.u. 501)] The next event was that Servilius Caepio and Gaius Sempronius, consuls, made an attempt upon Lilybaeum (from which they were repulsed) and crossing over to Libya ravaged the coast districts. As they were returning homeward they encountered a storm and incurred damage. Hence the people, thinking that the damage was due to their inexperience in naval affairs, voted that they should keep away from the sea in general but with a few ships should guard Italy.
[Sidenote: B.C. 252 (a.u. 502)] In the succeeding year Publius Gaius and Aurelius Servilius came to Sicily and subdued Himera besides some other places. However, they did not get possession of any of its inhabitants, for the Carthaginians conveyed them away by night. After this Aurelius secured some ships from Hiero and adding to his contingent all the Romans that were there he sailed to Lipara. Here he left the tribune Quintus Cassius, who was to keep a lookout but avoid a battle, and set sail for home. Quintus, disregarding orders, made an attack upon the city and lost many men. Aurelius, however, subsequently took the place, killed all the inhabitants, and deposed Cassius from his command.
[Footnote 23: A mistake for Gaius Aurelius and Publius Servilius, as at the beginning of Chapter 16.]
[Footnote 24: [See previous footnote.]]
[Footnote 25: But Valerius Maximus (II, 7, 4) calls him P. Aurelius Pecuniola.]
[Sidenote: B.C. 251 (a.u. 503)] The Carthaginians learned what the Romans had determined regarding the fleet and sent an expedition to Sicily hoping now to bring it entirely under their control. As long as both consuls, Caecilius Metellus and Gaius Furius, were on the ground, they remained quiet; but when Furius set out for Rome, they conceived a contempt for Metellus and proceeded to Panhormus. Metellus ascertained that spies had come from the enemy, and assembling all the people of the city he began a talk with them, in the midst of which he suddenly ordered them to lay hold of one another. He was thus enabled to investigate who each one was and what was his business and so detected the enemy.—The Carthaginians now set themselves in battle array and Metellus pretended to be afraid. As he continued this pretence for several days the Carthaginians became filled with presumption and attacked him rather recklessly. Then Metellus raised the signal for the Romans. Forthwith they made an unexpected rush through all the gates, easily overcame resistance, and enclosed the enemy in a narrow place through which they could now no longer retreat. Being many in number and with many elephants along they were huddled together and thrown into confusion. Meanwhile the Libyan fleet approached the coast and became the prime cause of their destruction. The fugitives seeing the ships rushed toward them and made desperate exertions to climb aboard; some fell into the sea and perished, other were killed by the elephants, which got close to one another and to the human beings, still others were slain by the Romans; many also were captured alive, men as well as elephants. For since the beasts, bereft of the men to whom they were used, became furious, Metellus made a proclamation to the prisoners, offering preservation and forgiveness to such as would check them: accordingly, some keepers approached the gentlest of the animals, controlling them by the influence of their accustomed presence, and then won over the remainder. These, one hundred and twenty in number, were conveyed to Rome, and they were ferried across the strait in the following way. A number of huge jars, separated by pieces of wood, were fastened together in such a way that they were neither detached nor yet did they touch; then this framework was spanned by beams and on the top of all earth and brush were placed and the surface was fenced in round about so that it resembled a courtyard. The beasts were put on board this and were ferried across without knowing that they were moving on the water. Thus did Metellus win a victory: Hasdrubal, the Carthaginian leader, though he got away safe on this occasion was later summoned to trial by the Carthaginians at home and suffered impalement.
[Sidenote: FRAG. 43^21] VIII, 15.—THE CARTHAGINIANS NOW BEGAN NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE ROMANS ON ACCOUNT OF THE GREAT NUMBER OF THE CAPTIVES (AMONG OTHER CAUSES); AND WITH THE ENVOYS THEY ALSO SENT REGULUS HIMSELF, THINKING THAT THROUGH HIM THEIR OBJECT HAD PRACTICALLY BEEN ALREADY GAINED BECAUSE OF THE REPUTATION AND VALOR OF THE MAIN: AND THEY BOUND HIM BY OATHS TO RETURN WITHOUT FAIL. AND HE ACTED IN ALL RESPECTS LIKE ONE OF THE CARTHAGINIANS; FOR HE DID NOT EVEN GRANT HIS WIFE LEAVE TO CONFER WITH HIM NOR DID HE ENTER THE CITY ALTHOUGH REPEATEDLY INVITED TO DO SO; INSTEAD, WHEN THE SENATE WAS ASSEMBLED OUTSIDE THE WALLS, AS THEY WERE ACCUSTOMED TO DO IN TREATING WITH ENVOYS OF THE ENEMY, and he was introduced into the gathering, he said: "We, Conscript Fathers, have been sent to you by the Carthaginians. They it was who despatched me on this journey, since by the law of war I have become their slave. They ask, if possible, to conclude the war upon terms pleasing to both parties or, if not, to effect an exchange of prisoners." At the end of these words he withdrew with the envoys that the Romans might deliberate in private. When the consuls urged him to take part in their discussion, [Sidenote: FRAG. 43^22] HE PAID NO HEED UNTIL PERMISSION WAS GRANTED BY THE CARTHAGINIANS. For a time he was silent. Then, as the senators bade him state his opinion, he spoke:
(BOOK 12, BOISSEVAIN.)
"I am one of you, Conscript Fathers, though I be captured times without number. My body is a Carthaginian chattel, but my spirit is yours. The former has been alienated from you, but the latter nobody has the power to make anything else than Roman. As captive I belong to the Carthaginians, yet, as I met with misfortune not from cowardice but from zeal, I am not only a Roman, but my heart is in your cause. Not in a single respect do I think reconciliation advantageous to you."
After these words Regulus stated also the reasons for which he favored rejecting the proposals, and added: "I know, to be sure, that manifest destruction confronts me, for it is impossible to keep them from learning the advice I have given; but even so I esteem the public advantage above my own safety. If any one shall say: 'Why do you not run away, or stay here?' he shall be told that I have sworn to them to return and I would not transgress my oaths, not even when they have been given to enemies. There are various explanations for this, but the principal one is that if I abide by my oath I alone shall suffer disaster, but if I break it, the whole city will be involved."
But the senate out of consideration for his safety showed a disposition to make peace and to restore the captives. When he was made aware of this, he pretended, in order that he might not be the cause of their letting slip their advantage, that he had swallowed deadly poison and was destined certainly to die from its effects. Hence no agreement and no exchange of prisoners was made. As he was departing in company with the envoys, his wife and children and others clung to him, and the consuls declared they would not surrender him, if he chose to stay, nor yet would they detain him if he was for departing. Consequently, since he preferred not to transgress the oaths, he was carried back. He died of outrages, so the legend reports, perpetrated by his captors. They cut off his eyelids and for a time shut him in darkness, then they threw him into some kind of specially constructed receptacle bristling with spikes; and they made him face the sun; so that through suffering and sleeplessness,—for the spikes kept him from reclining in any fashion,—he perished. When the Romans found it out, they delivered the foremost captives that they held to his children to outrage and put to death in revenge.
[Sidenote: B.C. 250 (a.u. 504)] They voted that the consuls, Atilius Gaius, brother of Regulus, and Lucius Manlius, should make a campaign into Libya. On coming to Sicily they attacked Lilybaeum and undertook to fill up a portion of the ditch to facilitate bringing up the engines. The Carthaginians dug below the mound and undermined it. As they found this to be a losing game because of the numbers of the opposing workmen, they built another wall, crescent-shaped, inside. The Romans ran tunnels under the circle, in order that when the wall settled they might rush in through the breach thus made. The Carthaginians then built counter-tunnels and came upon many workers who were unaware of what the other side was doing. These they killed, and also destroyed many by hurling blazing firewood into the diggings. Some of the allies now, burdened by the strain of the siege and displeased because their superiors did not come down with their full wages, made propositions to the Romans to betray the place. Hamilcar discovered their plot but did not disclose it, for fear of driving them into open hostility. However, he supplied their leaders with money and in addition promised other supplies of it to the mass of them. In this way he won their favor, and they did not even deny their treachery but drove away the last envoys who returned. The latter then deserted to the consuls and received from them land in Sicily and other gifts.