Hannibal then proceeded, without opposition, in a northeasterly direction, by a very circuitous route. He arrived in Luceria, with much booty and a full money-chest, at harvest time. Near here he encamped in a plain rich in grain and grass for the support of his army.
At Rome the policy of Fabius was severely criticised. His apparent inaction was displeasing to a large party, and he was called Cunctator (the Delayer). At length the assembly voted that his command be shared by one of his lieutenants, Marcus Minucius. The army was divided into two corps; one under Marcus, who intended to attack Hannibal at the first opportunity; the other under Fabius, who still adhered to his former tactics. Marcus made an attack, but paid dearly for his rashness, and his whole corps would have been annihilated had not Fabius come to his assistance and covered his retreat. Hannibal passed the winter of 217-216 unmolested.
The season was spent by the Romans in active preparations for the spring campaign. An army of 80,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry was raised and put under the command of the Consuls, LUCIUS AEMILIUS PAULLUS and GAIUS TERENTIUS VARRO. It was decided to test Hannibal's strength once more in open battle. His army was only half as strong as the Roman in infantry, but was much superior in cavalry.
In the early summer of 216 the Consuls concentrated their forces at CANNAE, a hamlet near the mouth of the Aufidus. Early one morning in June the Romans massed their troops on the left bank of the river, with their cavalry on either wing, the right under Paullus, and the left under Varro. The Proconsul Servilius commanded the centre.
The Carthaginians were drawn up in the form of a crescent, flanked by cavalry. Both armies advanced to the attack at the same time. The onset was terrible; but though the Romans fought with a courage increased by the thought that their homes, wives, and children were at stake, they were overwhelmed on all sides. Seventy thousand fell on the field, among whom were Paullus, Servilius, many officers, and eighty men of senatorial rank. This was the most crushing defeat ever experienced by the Romans. All Southern Italy, except the Latin colonies and the Greek cities on the coast, went over to Hannibal.
CHAPTER XV. THE SECOND PUNIC WAR.-FROM CANNAE TO THE BATTLE OF ZAMA (216-202).
ROME was appalled; but though defeated, she was not subdued. All the Latin allies were summoned for aid in the common peril. Boys and old men alike took up arms even the slaves were promised freedom if they would join the ranks.
Hannibal marched from Cannae into Campania. He induced Capua, the second city of Italy, to side with him. But his expectations that other cities would follow her example were not fulfilled. He went into winter quarters here (215-214). The Capuans, notorious for their luxurious and effeminate habits, are said to have injured his soldiers. But Hannibal's superiority as a general is unquestionable, and his want of success after this was due to insufficient aid from home, and to the fact that the resources of Rome were greater than those of Carthage. The Latin allies of Rome had remained true to their allegiance, and only one city of importance was under his control. It was an easy matter to conquer the enemy in open battle, but to support his own army was more difficult, for all Italy had been devastated. On the other hand, the Romans were well supplied with food from their possessions in Sicily.
Hannibal saw, therefore, that more active measures than those already employed were necessary. He sent to Carthage an appeal for aid. He formed an alliance with Philip V. of Macedonia, and earnestly urged Hasdrubal Baroa, his lieutenant in Spain, to come to his assistance. He hoped, with this army from the north, with supplies and reinforcements from Carthage, and with such troops as he might obtain from Macedonia, to concentrate a large force at Rome and compel her into submission.
The Romans, realizing the position of Hannibal, kept what forces they could spare in Spain, under the two Scipio brothers, Publius and Gnaeus. With these they hoped to stop reinforcements from reaching the enemy from that quarter. At the same time their army in Northern Greece effectually engaged the attention of Philip. Thus two years (214-212) passed without any material change in the situation of affairs in Italy.
In 212, while the Carthaginians were in the extreme south of Italy, besieging Tarentum, the Romans made strenuous efforts to recover Campania, and especially Capua. Hannibal, learning the danger, marched rapidly north, and failing to break through the lines which enclosed the city, resolved to advance on Rome itself.
Silently and quickly he marched along the Via Latino through the heart of the territory of Rome, to within three miles of the city, and with his vanguard he even rode up to one of the city gates. But no ally joined him; no Roman force was recalled to face him; no proposals of peace reached his camp. Impressed by the unmoved confidence of the enemy, he withdrew as quickly as he came, and retreated to his head-quarters in the South.
Capua fell in 211, and the seat of war, to the great relief of Rome, was removed to Lucania and Bruttium. The punishment inflicted upon Capua was severe. Seventy of her Senators were killed, three hundred of her chief citizens imprisoned, and the whole people sold as slaves. The city and its territory were declared to be Roman territory, and the place was afterwards repeopled by Roman occupants.
Such was the fate of this famous city. Founded in as early times as Rome itself, it became the most flourishing city of Magna Graecia, renowned for its luxury and refinement, and as the home of all the highest arts and culture.
AFFAIRS IN SICILY.
HIERO II., tyrant of Syracuse, died in 216. During his long reign of more than fifty years he had been the stanch friend and ally of Rome in her struggles with Carthage. Hieronymus, the grandson and successor of Hiero, thought fit to ally himself with Carthage. The young tyrant, who was arrogant and cruel, was assassinated after reigning a few months.
The Roman Governor of Sicily, MARCELLUS, troubled by the Carthaginian faction in Syracuse, threatened the city with an attack unless the leaders of this faction were expelled. In return, they endeavored to arouse the citizens of the neighboring city of Leontini against Rome and the Roman party in Syracuse. Marcellus at once attacked and stormed Leontini. The Syracusans then closed their city gates against him. A siege of two years (214-212) followed, famous for the various devices adopted by the noted mathematician ARCHIMEDES (Footnote: Archimedes was a great investigator in the science of mathematics. He discovered the ratio of a sphere to its circumscribed cylinder. One of his famous sayings was, "Give me where to stand, and I will move the world." He exerted his ingenuity in the invention of powerful machines for the defence of Syracuse. Eight of his works on mathematics are in existence. He was killed at the close of the siege by a Roman soldier, who would have spared his life had he not been too intent on a mathematical problem to comply with the summons to surrender. On his tombstone, it is said, was engraved a cylinder enclosing a sphere.) to defeat the movements of the Romans. The city was finally betrayed by a Spanish officer, and given up to plunder. The art treasures in which it was so rich were conveyed by Marcellus to Rome. From this time (212) the city became a part of the province of Sicily and the head-quarters of the Roman Governor.
THE CAMPAIGNS IN SPAIN.
PUBLIUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO, with his brother, GNAEUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO CALVUS, were winning victories over the Carthaginians under HANNO and HASDRUBAL. The greatest of these was fought in 215 at Ibera, the location of which is uncertain. Spain was gradually being gained over to Rome, when the Carthaginians, making desperate efforts, sent large reinforcements there (212). The armies of the Scipios were separated, surprised, and overwhelmed. Both their leaders were slain, and Spain was lost to Rome.
Unless checked, the Carthaginians would now cross the Alps, enter Italy, and, joining forces with Hannibal, place Rome in great danger. PUBLIUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO, son of one of the slain generals, then but twenty-four years of age, offered to go to Spain and take command. He had previously made himself very popular as Aedile, and was unanimously elected to the command. On his arrival in Spain in 210, he found the whole country west of the Ebro under the enemy's control.
Fortunately for the Romans, the three Carthaginian generals, HASDRUBAL and MAGO, brothers of Hannibal, and HASDRUBAL, son of Gisco, did not act in harmony. Thus Scipio was enabled, in the following spring (209), to capture Carthago Nova, the head-quarters of the enemy. A good harbor was gained, and eighteen ships of war, sixty-three transports, $600,000, and 10,000 captives fell into the hands of the Romans.
Shortly after, Scipio fought Hasdrubal, the brother of Hannibal, at BAECULAE, in the upper valley of the Baetis (Guadalquivir); but the battle was not decisive, for Hasdrubal was soon seen crossing the Pyrenees, with a considerable force, on his way to Italy. He spent the winter (209-208) in Gaul.
The two Carthaginian generals now in Spain, Mago, and Hasdrubal, the son of Gisco, retired, the latter to Lusitania, the former to the Baleares, to wait for reinforcements from home.
The next year another battle was fought near Baecula, resulting in the total defeat of the Carthaginians, who retreated to Gadus, in the southwestern part of Spain.
The country being now (206) under Roman influence, Scipio crossed the straits to Africa, and visited the Numidian princes, SYPHAX and MASINISSA, whom he hoped to stir up against Carthage. On his return, after quelling a mutiny of the soldiers, who were dissatisfied about their pay, he resigned his command, and started for Rome, where he intended to become a candidate for the consulship.
OPERATIONS IN ITALY.
The news of the approach of Hasdrubal caused intense anxiety at Rome. Every nerve was strained to prevent the union of the two brothers. The Consuls for this year (207) were GAIUS CLAUDIUS NERO, a patrician, and MARCUS LIVIUS, a plebeian. To the former was intrusted the task of keeping Hannibal in check in Bruttium, while the duty of intercepting Hasdrubal was given to the latter.
The Carthaginian had already reached the neighborhood of the river Metaurus, a small stream south of the Rubicon. From here he sent messengers to inform his brother of his approach and proposed line of march. These messengers were captured by Nero, and the contents of their despatches learned. He at once pushed north with his forces, joined Livius, met Hasdrubal on the METAURUS early in 207, and defeated his army with great slaughter. Among the slain was Hasdrubal himself. Nero returned south without delay, and the first intimation that Hannibal had of this battle was the sight of his brother's head thrown into the camp by the victorious foe.
The war in Italy was now virtually ended, for, although during four years more Hannibal stood at bay in a corner of Bruttium, he was powerless to prevent the restoration of Roman authority throughout Italy. Nothing now remained to Carthage outside of Africa, except the ground on which Hannibal was making his last stand.
INVASION OF AFRICA.
Scipio, on his return from Spain, urged an immediate invasion of Africa. He was elected Consul in 205, receiving Sicily as his province, with permission to cross into Africa if it seemed to him wise. He was so popular that voluntary contributions of men, money, and supplies poured in from all sides. The old-fashioned aristocracy, however, did not like him, as his taste for splendid living and Greek culture was particularly offensive to them; and a party in the Senate would have recalled him, had not the popular enthusiasm in his favor been too strong to be resisted.
In 204 he sailed from Lilybaeum, and landed near Utica. He was welcomed by Masinissa, whose friendship he had gained in his previous visit to Africa from Spain. Syphax, however, sided with Carthage; but in 203 Scipio twice defeated him and the Carthaginian forces.
Negotiations for peace followed, but the war party in Carthage prevailed. Hannibal was recalled. He returned to fight his last battle with Rome, October 19, 202, at ZAMA, a short distance west of Carthage. The issue was decided by the valor of the Roman legions, who loved their commander and trusted his skill. Hannibal met his first and only defeat, and Scipio won his title of AFRICANUS. The battle was a hard one. After all the newly enrolled troops of Hannibal had been killed or put to flight, his veterans, who had remained by him in Italy, although surrounded on all sides by forces far outnumbering their own, fought on, and were killed one by one around their beloved chief. The army was fairly annihilated. Hannibal, with only a handful, managed to escape to Hadrumetum.
The battle of Zama decided the fate of the West. The power of Carthage was broken, and her supremacy passed to Rome. She was allowed to retain her own territory intact, but all her war-ships, except ten, were given up, and her prisoners restored; an annual tax of about $200,000, for fifty years, was to be paid into the Roman treasury, and she could carry on no war without the consent of Rome. Masinissa was rewarded by an increase in territory, and was enrolled among the "allies and friends of the Roman people."
Rome was now safe from any attack. She had become a great Mediterranean power. Spain was divided into two provinces, and the north of Africa was under her protection.
Such was the result of the seventeen years' struggle. Scipio was welcomed home, and surnamed AFRICANUS. He enjoyed a triumph never before equalled. His statue was placed, in triumphal robes and crowned with laurels, in the Capitol. Many honors were thrust upon him, which he had the sense to refuse. He lived quietly for some years, taking no part in politics.
CHAPTER XVI. ROME IN THE EAST.
ROME was now in a position to add new nations to her list of subjects. The kingdoms of the East which formerly composed a part of the vast empire of Alexander the Great, and which finally went to swell the limits of Roman authority, were Egypt, Syria, Macedonia, and Greece proper.
EGYPT was governed by the Ptolemies, and included at this time the valley of the Nile, Palestine, Phoenicia, the island of Cyprus, and a number of towns in Thrace.
SYRIA, extending from the Mediterranean to the Indus, was composed of various nations which enjoyed a semi-independence. Under incompetent rulers, she saw portion after portion of her dominions fall from her. Thus arose Pergamus, Pontus, Cappadocia, and Phrygia.
MACEDONIA was ruled by Philip V., and included also a large portion of Northern Greece.
GREECE proper was divided between the ACHAEAN and AETOLIAN LEAGUES, the former including the most of the Peloponnesus, the latter the greater part of Central Greece.
Ever since the repulse of Pyrrhus, Rome had been slowly drifting into closer contact with the East. She formed an alliance with Egypt in 273. From this country had come in part her supply of corn during the Second Punic War. In 205, Ptolemy V. became king, and, through fear of the Macedonian and Syrian kings, sought the protection of Rome.
The punishment of the Illyrican pirates in 228 brought Rome into closer relations with Greece. These connections had been sufficient to open the Eastern ports to her trade, but her struggle with Carthage had left her no time or strength to interfere actively in Eastern politics, until she was forced to take action by the alliance of Philip V. of Macedonia and Hannibal, and by the former's threatened invasion of Italy in 214. A small force was sent into Greece, which was soon largely increased by the dissatisfied subjects of Philip.
The only object of Rome in the First Macedonian War (214-205) was to prevent Philip from lending aid to Hannibal; and in this she was partially successful. None of the Macedonian troops entered Italy, but four thousand of them were at Zama.
The military operations of this war were of slight importance. Marcus Valerius Laevinus was sent to the Adriatic, and pushed the king so hard that he was obliged to burn the fleet in which he intended to sail for Italy. Philip was at this time at war with Aetolia. Laevinus assisted the Aetolians, and the king was too fully occupied at home to think of operations farther away. But in 205, the Romans, wishing to concentrate their energies upon the invasion of Africa, made peace.
Some of Philip's soldiers had been captured at Zama. He demanded their return. The answer was, that, if he wished war again, he could have it.
There were several other reasons which led to the SECOND MACEDONIAN WAR (200-197). Philip had agreed with ANTIOCHUS III., king of Syria, to attempt with him the division of Egypt, since it seemed probable that the young king, Epiphanes (Ptolemy V.), who was only four years old, would not be able to make an effectual resistance. The ministers of Egypt sought the protection of Rome. On their journey, the Roman envoys sent to assume the office of protectorship remonstrated with Philip.
In Asia Minor Philip had conducted himself with such barbarity that the people rose against him; and from a similar cause Greece was driven to seek alliances which would protect her against him.
Rome was unwilling to undertake a new war, but the people were induced to vote for one, on the representation that the only means of preventing an invasion of Italy was to carry the war abroad.
This year (200) the Consul, Publius Sulpicius Galba, was sent with a considerable force across the Adriatic. His campaign, and that of the Consul Villius during the next year, were productive of no decisive results, but in 198 the Consul TITUS QUINCTIUS FLAMININUS, a man of different calibre, conducted the war with vigor. He defeated Philip on the Aous, drove him back to the pass of Tempe, and the next year utterly defeated him at CYNOSCEPHALAE.
The king had drawn up his forces in two divisions. With the first he broke through the line of the legions, which, however, closed in around him with but little loss. The other division was attacked by the Romans, while it was forming, and thoroughly discomfited. The victory of the Romans was decisive.
About the same time the Achaeans captured CORINTH from Philip, and the Rhodians defeated his troops in Caria.
Further resistance was impossible. Philip was left in possession of Macedonia alone; he was deprived of all his dependencies in Greece, Thrace, and Asia Minor, and was forbidden, as Carthage had been, to wage war without Rome's consent.
The next year (196), at the Isthmian Games, the "freedom of Greece" was proclaimed to the enthusiastic crowds, and two years later Flamininus withdrew his troops from the so called "three fetters of Greece,"—Chalcis, Demetrias, and Corinth,—and, urging the Greeks to show themselves worthy of the gift of the Roman people, he returned home to enjoy a well earned triumph.
The chief result of the second Macedonian war was, therefore, the firm establishment of a ROMAN PROTECTORATE OVER GREECE AND EGYPT. The wedge had been entered and the interference of Rome in Eastern affairs was assured.
CHAPTER XVII. THE SYRIAN WAR.
Antiochus III. of Syria, who had proposed to share Egypt with Philip, had been engaged for some time in a campaign in the East, and did not hear of his ally's danger until too late to aid him. However, he claimed for himself portions of Asia Minor and Thrace, which Philip had previously held, and which Rome now declared free and independent. He crossed the Hellespont into Thrace in 196, but did not dare to enter Greece, although earnestly urged to do so by the Aetolians, until after Flamininus had withdrawn all his troops (192).
Antiochus was no general. Himself irresolute and fond of pleasure, the power behind his throne was HANNIBAL. This great soldier, after his defeat at Zama, did not relinquish the aim of his life. He became the chief magistrate of his native city, and in a short time cleared the moral atmosphere, which was charged with corruption and depravity. Under him Carthage might have risen again. But his intrigues with Antiochus, with whom he wished to make an alliance, gave Rome an opportunity to interfere. His surrender was demanded. He fled, and, after wandering from coast to coast, became the trusted adviser of the Syrian king.
Had Antiochus been energetic after his arrival in Greece, he could have accomplished something before the Roman troops came. But he disregarded the warnings of Hannibal, and spent valuable time in minor matters. The Romans arrived in 191, and under Glabrio at Thermopylae drove back the intruder, who hastily retired to Asia Minor. The Aetolians were punished for their infidelity.
In 190, LUCIUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO was elected Consul, and put in command of the army in the East, with the understanding that he should be accompanied by his brother Africanus, and have the benefit of his military skill and experience. Under his command, the Romans crossed the Hellespont and sought Antiochus in his own kingdom.
Hannibal could do nothing with the poorly disciplined troops of the king. They were met by the invading forces at MAGNESIA, in Lydia, in 190, and 80,000 Asiatics were put to rout by 30,000 Romans, 50,000 being slain. The loss of the victors was slight.
On that day the fate of Asia was sealed. Antiochus relinquished all pretensions to any territory west of the river Halys and the Taurus mountains. His chariots, elephants, fleet, and treasures were all surrendered.
Scipio returned home to enjoy a triumph, and added ASIATICUS to his name, as his brother had taken that of Africanus in commemoration of his victory.
Gneius Manlius Vulso succeeded Scipio in the East. He made a campaign against the Gauls, who had settled in Galatia about a century before, and had become wealthy by means of constant plunderings. The excuse for the campaign was, that they had served in the Syrian army; the reason was, their wealth, and the ambition of the Consul for glory.
The Galatians were easily overcome, their wealth seized, and they themselves became assimilated to their neighbors. This war is noticeable chiefly for the reason that Manlius undertook it without the authority of the Senate, the first instance of its kind, and a precedent which was too frequently followed in later times. On his return to Rome he was allowed a triumph, which stamped his act as legal.
These wars in the East brought to Rome immense riches, which laid the foundation of its Oriental extravagance and luxury, and finally undermined the strength of the state. From Greece were introduced learning and refinement, from Asia immorality and effeminacy. The vigor and tone of Roman society are nowhere more forcibly shown than in the length of time it took for its subjugation by these ruinous exotics.
Meanwhile, at Rome the political enemies of the Scipios were in the ascendency. Asiaticus was accused of misappropriating funds obtained during his campaign in the East. As he was about to produce his account-books before the Senate, his brother, Africanus, seized them, tore them to pieces, and threw the remnants on the floor. Asiaticus, however, was sentenced to pay a fine. When it was afterwards intimated that his brother too was implicated, he proudly reminded his enemies that their insinuations were ill-timed, for it was the anniversary of Zama. This remark changed the tide of feeling, and no more charges were made.
Two years later (183), Africanus died in voluntary exile at Liternum, on the coast of Campania. He had lived little more than fifty years. His wife, Aemilia, was the daughter of Paullus, who fell at Cannae, and the sister of him who afterwards conquered Perseus of Macedonia. His daughter, CORNELIA, afterwards became the mother of the famous GRACCHI. Next to Caesar, Scipio was Rome's greatest general. During the campaign in the East, he met Hannibal at the court of Antiochus. In the conversation Hannibal is reported to have said that he considered Alexander the greatest general, Pyrrhus next, and, had he himself conquered Scipio, he would have placed himself before either.
Scipio lived to see Rome grow from an Italian power to be practically the mistress of the world. He was of marked intellectual culture, and as conversant with Greek as with his mother tongue. He possessed a charm which made him popular at a time when the culture and arts of Greece were not so courted at Rome as in later days.
Hannibal, after the defeat of Antiochus, was demanded by the Romans, but, escaping, took refuge in Crete, and subsequently with Prusias, King of Bithynia. His surrender was demanded, and troops were sent to arrest him. Seeing no way of escape, he opened the bead on his ring and swallowed the poison which it contained (183).
Thus died one of the greatest of commanders, without attaining the aim of his life. He had lived but fifty-four years, yet his life was so marked that people have ever since looked with wonder upon the tremendous magnitude of what he undertook, and came so near accomplishing.
This same year is also memorable for the death of "the last of the Greeks," PHILOPOEMEN. (Footnote: See Ancient Greece, page 145.)
CHAPTER XVIII. CONQUEST OF MACEDONIA AND GREECE. (171-146.)
Although Philip had aided the Romans in their campaign against Antiochus, he did not receive from them the expected reward in additions to his territory. Immediate resistance would be futile; but he labored patiently and quietly to increase his resources, and to stir up among the neighboring Greeks hostile feeling towards Rome. He placed his army on the best footing possible, and soon began to enlarge his boundaries. Complaints were made to Rome, and the king was compelled to give up his conquests, and confine himself to the limits of Macedonia. In 179 Philip died, and was succeeded by his son PERSEUS.
The new king was as able as his father, and more impatient of subjection. He made friends with the surrounding princes, formed a marriage connection with Antiochus IV. of Syria, and strove to arouse among the Greeks memories of their former greatness.
The Senate, hearing of his numerous intrigues, determined to check him. War was declared in 171; but the forces sent by Rome were at first led by incompetent men, and nothing was accomplished until LICIUS AEMILIUS PAULLUS was made Consul, and took charge of the war in 168.
Paullus (229-160) was the son of the Consul of the same name who was killed at Cannae. His integrity was first shown when, as CURULE AEDILE, (Footnote: See page 225) in 192, he prosecuted persons who had made an illegal use of the public pastures. He was sent to Ulterior Spain in 191 as governor, where, after some reverses, he put down all insurrections. He was Consul in 182, and did good work in conquering a tribe of marauders in Liguria. For this he was allowed a triumph.
He was elected Consul a second time in 168, and sent against Perseus. The war was brought to a speedy end by the battle of PYDNA, on the Thermaic Gulf, June 22. The king fled to Samothrace with his treasures and family. He was shortly afterwards captured, but was treated with kindness by the Consul.
Paullus now travelled through Greece. Later, assisted by commissioners, he arranged the affairs of Macedonia. The country was divided into four small republics, independent of each other, but prohibited from intermarriage and commerce with one another.
On his return to Rome in 167, he enjoyed a triumph, which was graced by Perseus and his three children. He was Censor in 164, and died four years later.
Paullus had two sons by his first wife. The elder of these was adopted by Fabius Maximus Cunctator, the younger by the son of Africanus the elder, his brother-in-law. He was of the "blue" blood of Rome, of perfect honesty, and very popular, a good general, but somewhat superstitious. A patron of learning and the fine arts, he gave his sons the best training under Greek masters. A strong proof of his popularity is the fact that his body was carried to its last resting place by volunteers from the various peoples he had conquered.
Perseus spent his last days in confinement near Rome, enduring, it is alleged, base and cruel treatment. He was the last king of Macedonia.
After the victory at Pydna, the sympathy shown in Greece for the conquered monarch made the Romans more watchful of her interests there. All suspected to be enemies were removed as hostages to Italy, and among these was the historian POLYBIUS. He lived in Rome for more than twenty years, and became a great friend of the younger Africanus, whom he accompanied to the siege of Carthage.
Like Macedonia, Greece was separated into parts, independent of each other, with no rights of connubium or commercium. Utter demoralization soon ensued, which proved a sure preventive to all alliances liable to shake the authority of Rome.
Trouble again arose in Macedonia twenty years after Pydna, culminating in what is sometimes called the FOURTH MACEDONIAN WAR (149-146). Under the leadership of ANDRISCUS, who claimed to be a son of Perseus, the people rebelled against the protection of Rome. They were twice defeated in 148 by the praetor QUINTUS CAECILIUS METELLUS, who gained the agnomen of MACEDONICUS. The country was made a Roman province, with a Roman magistrate at its head.
At this time the Achaeans were quarrelling with Sparta. Metellus warned them to desist, and when the Achaeans advanced against him, he easily defeated them near SCARPHEIA.
Metellus was a moderate reformer and a model man. He belonged to an illustrious plebeian gens, the Caecilian. Before his death in 115 three of his sons had been consuls, one censor, and the fourth was a candidate for the consulship.
Metellus was succeeded in Greece by LUCIUS MUMMIUS, a cruel and harsh leader. The remnant of the Achaean army had taken refuge in CORINTH. The Senate directed Mummius to attack the city. Its capture in 146 was marked by special cruelties. The city was burned to the ground; beautiful pictures and costly statuary were ruthlessly destroyed. Gold in abundance was carried to Rome. The last vestige of Greek liberty vanished. The country became a Roman province under the name of ACHAIA.
Corinth, the "eye of all Greece," remained in ruins for a century, when it was rebuilt in 46 by Julius Caesar, who planted on its site a colony of veterans and freedmen.
CHAPTER XIX. THE THIRD PUNIC WAR, AND FALL OF CARTHAGE.
Fifty years had passed since Zama. It was a period of great commercial prosperity for Carthage, but her government was weakened by the quarrels of conflicting factions.
MASINISSA, King of Numidia, an ally of the Romans, was a continual source of annoyance to Carthage. He made inroads upon her territory, and, as she was bound by her treaty not to war upon any allies of Rome, her only recourse was to complain to the Senate. In 157 an embassy was sent to inquire into the troubles. MARCUS PORCIUS CATO, the chief of the embassy, was especially alarmed at the prosperity of the city, and from that time never ceased to urge its destruction. The embassy did not reach any decision, but allowed matters to go on as they might. Finally, when some sympathizers with Masinissa were banished from the city, he attacked and defeated the Carthaginians, compelled their army to pass under the yoke, and afterwards treacherously destroyed it (150). Carthage was compelled to give up some of her territory, and pay $5,000,000 indemnity.
After this victory, matters came to a crisis. The city must be disciplined for warring with an ally of Rome. Cato never failed to close any speech he might make in the Senate with the same cruel words, Delenda est Carthago, "Carthage must be destroyed." The people of Carthage were called to account. Desponding and broken-hearted, they sent ambassadors to Rome. The answer given them was obscure. They were requested to make reparation to Rome, and at the same time they were assured that nothing should be undertaken against Carthage herself. But in 149 the Consuls crossed with a large army into Sicily, where the troops were organized, and Carthaginian ambassadors were expected.
When they appeared, the Consuls declared that the Senate did not wish to encroach upon the freedom of the people, but only desired some security; for this purpose it demanded that, within thirty days, three hundred children of the noblest families should be delivered into their hands as hostages. This demand was met. The Romans then coolly crossed over to Africa, and informed the Carthaginians that they were ready to treat with them on any question not previously settled.
When the ambassadors again appeared before the Consuls, they were told that Carthage must deliver over all her arms and artillery; for, they said, as Rome was able to protect her, there was no need of Carthage possessing arms. Hard as was this command, it was obeyed. They were then told that Carthage had indeed shown her good will, but that Rome had no control over the city so long as it was fortified. The preservation of peace, therefore, required that the people should quit the city, give up their navy, and build a new town without walls at a distance of ten miles from the sea. The indignation and fury which this demand excited were intense. The gates were instantly closed, and all the Romans and Italians who happened to be within the city were massacred.
The Romans, who expected to find a defenceless population, imagined that the storming of the place would be an easy matter. But despair had suggested to the Carthaginians means of defence in every direction. All assaults were repelled. Everybody was engaged day and night in the manufacture of arms. Nothing can be more heartrending than this last struggle of despair. Every man and every woman labored to the uttermost for the defence of the city with a furious enthusiasm.
Two years after the siege began, PUBLIUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO AFRICANUS, the Younger, was elected Consul while but thirty-seven (under the legal age), for the express purpose of giving him charge of the siege. After two years of desperate fighting and splendid heroism on the part of the defenders, the famished garrison could hold out no longer.
Carthage fell in 146, and the ruins of the city burned for seventeen days. The destruction was complete. A part of her territory was given to Numidia. The rest was made a Roman province, and called AFRICA.
The year 149 saw the death of two men who had been Carthage's most bitter enemies, but who were not allowed to see her downfall,—MASINISSA and CATO, the one aged ninety, the other eighty-five.
Masinissa's (239-149) hostility dates from the time he failed to get the promised hand of Hasdrubal's daughter, Sophonisba, who was given to his rival, Syphax. After the battle of Zama, most of the possessions of Syphax fell to Masinissa, and among them this same Sophonisba, whom he married. Scipio, however, fearing her influence over him, demanded her as a Roman captive, whereupon she took poison. Masinissa was a courageous prince, but a convenient tool for the Romans.
CATO THE ELDER (Major), (234-149,) whose long public career was a constant struggle with the enemies of the state abroad, and with the fashions of his countrymen at home, was a type of the old Roman character, with a stern sense of duty that forbade his neglecting the interests of state, farm, or household. In 184, in his capacity as Censor, he acted with extreme rigor. He zealously asserted old-fashioned principles, and opposed the growing tendency to luxury. All innovations were in his eyes little less than crimes. He was the author of several works, one of which, a treatise on agriculture, has been preserved.
Cicero's "Cato Major" represents him in his eighty-fourth year discoursing about old age with Africanus the younger, and Laelius, a friend of the latter.
CHAPTER XX. ROME AND SPAIN.-THE NUMANTINE AND SERVILE WARS. (206-132.)
Africanus the elder left Spain in 206. After a provincial government of nine years (206-197), the country was divided into two provinces, separated by the IBERUS (Ebro), and each province was assigned to a praetor. It was some time, however, before Spain was really brought into a state of complete peace and order. The mountains and forests were a formidable obstacle to the Roman legions, and favored guerilla warfare, which makes conquest slow and laborious.
The most warlike of the Spanish tribes was the CELTIBERI, who occupied the interior of the peninsula. They were always uncertain and intractable, continually breaking out into revolt. In 195, Cato the elder put down a rebellion led by them. He established more firmly the Roman power east of the Iberus. He disarmed the inhabitants of this part of Spain, and compelled all from the Pyrenees to the Guadalquivir to pull down their fortifications.
Still the smouldering fires of rebellion were not extinguished, for, sixteen years later (179), we find TIBERIUS SEMPRONIUS GRACCHUS, the father of the famous Gracchi, as Governor of Spain, fighting the troublesome Celtiberi. He captured over one hundred of their towns, but tempered his victories with moderate measures, showing himself greater in peace than in war. He granted to the poorer classes lands on favorable conditions, and did much to produce contentment among the natives. But farther west, in the valleys of the Douro and Tagus, and in Lusitania (Portugal), there seems to have been constant warfare.
In 154, MUMMIUS, the same who eight years later sacked Corinth, was Governor of Farther Spain. His defeat by the Lusitanians encouraged the Celtiberi to revolt again, and there followed another defeat, with a massacre of many Roman citizens. Two years later (152), CLAUDIUS MARCELLUS avenged these losses, founded Corduba, and governed the country humanely. His successors, LUCIUS LUCULLUS and SERVIUS GALBA, were so cruel and grasping as to drive the Lusitanians into another open rebellion, headed by VIRIATHUS, a bold and daring bandit. During seven years (147-140) he defeated again and again the armies sent against him. The Celtiberi joined his standards, and Spain seemed likely to slip from the Romans. The only check to these successes was during the command of METELLUS MACEDONICUS (143); when he was recalled, matters returned to their former condition.
In 140, the Consul Mancinus was obliged to capitulate, and, to save himself and his army, made a treaty which the Senate refused to sanction.
Viriathus was finally (139) assassinated by persons hired by the Consul Caepio; his people were then subdued, and the government was ably conducted (138) by DECIMUS JUNIUS BRUTUS.
THE NUMANTINE WAR (143-133).
The Celtiberi, however, were still in arms. The strong city of NUMANTIA, the capital of one of their tribes, witnessed more than one defeat of a Roman Consul before its walls (141-140). Finally Rome sent out her best general, Africanus the younger.
After devoting several months to the disciplining of his troops, he began (134) a regular siege of the place. It was defended with the utmost bravery and tenacity, until, forced by the last extreme of famine, it surrendered (133). The inhabitants were sold as slaves, and the town was levelled to the ground. The victor was honored with the title of NUMANTINUS.
The fall of Numantia gave Rome a hold upon the interior of Spain, which was never lost. The country now, with the exception of its northern coast, was nominally Roman territory. Several towns were established with Latin municipal rights (municipia), and, on the whole, order was maintained. Along the coast of the Mediterranean there sprang up many thriving and populous towns, which became centres of civilization to the neighboring districts, and were treated by Rome rather as allies than as subjects. Some of them were allowed to coin the silver money of Rome. The civilizing process, due to Roman influence, went on rapidly in these parts, while the interior remained in barbarism.
In 105 the peninsula was overrun by the Cimbri, a barbarous race from the north. The country was ravaged, but finally saved by the brave Celtiberi, who forced the invaders back into Gaul.
THE SERVILE WAR (134-132).
While the Numantine war was still in progress, a war with the slaves broke out in Sicily, where they had been treated with special barbarity.
For a long time slave labor had been taking the place of that of freemen. The supply was rendered enormous by constant wars, and by the regular slave trade carried on with the shores of the Black Sea and Greece. The owners of the slaves became an idle aristocracy.
The immediate cause of the outbreak in Sicily was the cruelty of a wealthy slave-owner, Damophilus. The leader of the slaves was EUNUS, who pretended to be a Syrian prophet. A number of defeats were suffered by the Roman armies, until, finally, PUBLIUS RUTILIUS captured the strongholds of the slaves, TAUROMENIUM and ENNA, and thus closed the war. For his success he was allowed an ovation.
CHAPTER XXI. INTERNAL HISTORY.—THE GRACCHI. We have seen how the long struggle between the patricians and plebeians terminated in a nominal victory for the latter. From about 275, the outward form of the old constitution had undergone little change. It was nominally that of a "moderate democracy." The Senate and offices of state were, in law, open to all alike. In practice, however, the constitution became an oligarchy. The Senate, not the Comitias, ruled Rome. Moreover, the Senate was controlled by a class who claimed all the privileges of a nobility. The Comitias were rarely called upon to decide a question. Most matters were settled by a DECREE OF THE SENATE (Senatus Consultum). To be sure the Comitia declared for war or peace, but the Senate conducted the war and settled the conditions of peace. It also usually assigned the commands, organized the provinces, and managed the finances.
The causes for this ascendency of the Senate are not hard to find. It was a body made up of men capable of conducting affairs. It could be convened at any time, whereas the voters of the Comitias were scattered over all Italy, and, if assembled, would not be competent to decide questions demanding knowledge of military matters and foreign policy.
The Senate and the Roman nobility were in the main the same. All patricians were nobles, but all nobles were not patricians. The patricians were the descendants of the original founders of the city. The nobles were the descendants of any one who had filled one of the following six curule offices, viz. Dictator, Magister Equitum, Consul, Interrex, Praetor, or Curule Aedile. These nobles possessed the right to place in their hall, or carry in funeral processions, a wax mask of this ancestor, and also of any other member of the family who had held a curule office.
A plebeian who first held this office was called a novus homo, or "new man."
The Senate, thus made up of patricians and nobles, had at this time the monopoly of power. Legally, however, it had no positive authority. The right of the people to govern was still valid, and there was only wanting a magistrate with the courage to remind them of their legal rights, and urge the exercise of them.
Such a magistrate was found in TIBERIUS SEMPRONIUS GRACCHUS. With him was ushered in the contest which lasted for more than a century, and brought to the surface some of the proudest names of Roman history. On one side or the other we find them,—MARIUS and SULLA, CAESAR and POMPEY, AUGUSTUS and ANTONY—arraying Rome against herself, until the glories of the Republic were swallowed up in the misrule and dishonor of the Empire.
Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus the elder (see Chapter XX.) belonged to the nobility, but not to the aristocracy. He married CORNELIA, the daughter of Africanus the elder. They had twelve children, of whom all but three died young. Two sons and a daughter lived to maturity. The daughter, SEMPRONIA, married Africanus the younger. The sons, TIBERIUS and GAIUS, grew up under the care of their noble and gifted mother, who was left a widow when they were mere boys.
Tiberius (164-133) entered the army, and served under his brother-in-law during the third Punic war. Ten years later (136) he was Quaestor in Spain, where he won the affections of the people by adhering to the mild policy which his father had previously followed. His popular measures here displeased his brother-in-law, and he ceased to be a favorite with him. On his return home he passed through Tuscany where he was astonished to see large tracts of the ager publicus (see Chapter VII.) cultivated by slave gangs, while the free poor citizens of the Republic were wandering in towns without employment, and deprived of the land which, according to law (see the Licinian Rogations), should have been divided among them, and not held in large quantities by the rich land-owners.
Tiberius determined to rectify this wrong. In 133 he offered himself as candidate for the tribuneship, and was elected. He then began boldly the battle for the commons. He proposed to revise the Agrarian Law, now a dead letter, which forbade the holding of more than 320 acres of the ager publicus by one individual. Occupants who had fenced this land and improved it were to be compensated therefor.
The wealthy classes and the Senate at once took sides against Tiberius, and the struggle began. One of the other Tribunes, OCTAVIUS CAECINA, who was himself a large land-owner, taking advantage of his authority as Tribune, interposed his veto to prevent a vote upon the question.
Gracchus, full of enthusiasm over the justice of his cause, obtained, contrary to all precedent, the removal of his colleague from office, and passed his Agrarian Law. Three commissioners were appointed, himself, his brother, and his father-in-law, APPIUS CLAUDIUS, to carry it into effect.
It was contrary to the law that a person should hold the office of Tribune for two successive years. But Gracchus, in his desire to carry out his plans, determined to violate this rule, and offered himself as candidate for the next year. The election day came, and when it became evident that he would be re-elected, the aristocrats, who had turned out in full force on the Campus Martius with their retinues of armed slaves and clients, raised a riot, and, killing Gracchus with three hundred of his followers, threw their bodies into the Tiber (133). Thus was shed the first blood of the civil struggle. The mob was led by SCIPIO NASICA, the uncle of Tiberius. Africanus, when he heard of the murder of his brother-in-law, exclaimed, "Justly slain."
The agrarian law, however, which had passed, was too evidently just to be openly ignored. The remaining two commissioners continued their work, until, within two years, 40,000 families were settled on tracts of the public land which the patricians were compelled to vacate. But the commissioners became unpopular, for those who received lands were not always satisfied, and those who were obliged to leave them were enraged. The commissioners were suspended, and the law repealed.
The mantle of Tiberius fell on GAIUS GRACCHUS. For a time after his brother's death he retired from politics, and served in the army in Africa and Sardinia, where he was Quaestor. His valor, wisdom, and justice made him justly popular, but caused him to be regarded with suspicion at Rome. In 123 he was elected Tribune, and twice re-elected. He revived his brother's agrarian law, and became at once the avowed enemy of the Senate. As a means of increasing his popularity, he endeavored to admit all the Italians to the privileges of Roman citizenship, and to limit the price of bread.
Gains gained the favor of the Equites (Knights), the commercial class, by carrying through the assembly a law by which all judicial functions were taken from the Senate and intrusted to the Knights. Heretofore all civil and criminal cases of importance had been tried before a jury chosen from the Senate. These juries were often venal and corrupt, and it was a notorious fact that their verdicts could be bought.
The transferring of the juries to the Equites made Gaius for a time very powerful. He caused another law to be passed, to the effect that no Roman citizen should be put to death without legal trial and an appeal to the assembly of the people.
But the plan of Gaius to extend the franchise to all the Italians ruined his popularity. The Roman citizens had no desire to share their rights with the Etruscans and Samnites. Riots again broke out, as ten years before. The aristocracy again armed itself. Gaius with 3,000 of his friends was murdered in 121, and the Senate was once more master of the situation.
However, the results obtained by the Gracchi still remained. Forty thousand peasants had been settled on public land. The jury law was in force. No Roman citizen could be put to death without trial, unless the state was held to be in danger.
Nearly all Roman writers unite in attacking the reputation of the Gracchi; but viewed in the light of to-day their characters were noble, and their virtues too conspicuous to be obscured.
A few years previous to this, the younger Africanus died (129). His remark about the death of Tiberius Gracchus gave dire offence to the popular party, and a few days later he was found dead in his bed, probably "a victim of political assassination."
Africanus was a man of refinement and culture, a warm friend of scholars, a patron of the Greek historian POLYBIUS, and of the poets LUCILIUS and TERENCE. He was opposed to the tendency of his age towards luxury and extravagance. He was an orator, as well as a general. The one blot on his career is the terrible destruction of Carthage, which he possibly might have averted had he shown firm opposition to it.
SCIPIO NASICA, who led the mob against Tiberius, was compelled, though Pontifex Maximus, to leave the city, and died an exile in Asia.
CHAPTER XXII. EXTERNAL HISTORY.—PERGAMUM.—JUGURTHINE WAR (118-104).
Pergamum was an ancient city of Mysia on the Caicus, fifteen miles from the sea. It first became important after the death of Alexander. Its first king, Attalus I. (241-197), added a large territory to the city. He was an ally of the Romans, and his successors remained their firm friends. The city became one of the most prosperous and famous in Asia Minor, noted for its architectural monuments, its fine library, and its schools. Attalus III., at his death in 133, bequeathed to Rome his kingdom, which included Lydia, Pisidia, Lycaonia, and Pamphylia. It was made a province under the name of ASIA.
THE WAR WITH JUGURTHA.
After the destruction of Carthage, the most important kingdom in Africa was NUMIDIA. It contained a number of flourishing towns, which were centres of a considerable commerce. Masinissa left this kingdom to his son Micipsa. The latter had two sons and a nephew, JUGURTHA. The nephew was a brilliant young man, who had served under Scipio in the Numantine war, and returned to Africa covered with honors. He was named joint heir with his cousins to the kingdom of Numidia. Micipsa dying soon after, Jugurtha murdered one of his cousins, Hiempsal, claimed the whole kingdom, and attacked his other cousin, Adherbal, who appealed to Rome. Commissioners were sent to investigate. They were bought off by Jugurtha, and returned home without accomplishing anything. Adherbal was afterwards captured, savagely tortured, and finally killed.
The Senate, compelled by the popular indignation to make an investigation, moved so slowly that some of its members were accused of accepting bribes. War was declared at last, but the campaign languished, and peace was soon made on such easy terms for the prince that it was evident his money had again been freely used. The scandalous transaction was denounced at Rome by the Tribune MEMMIUS. Jugurtha then repaired to the city in person, and bought up all the authorities except Memmius, whom he found incorruptible. He had another cousin in the city, whom he caused to be murdered. After this the Senate ordered him to leave, and as he departed, it is said he exclaimed, "Venal city, destined soon to perish, if a purchaser be found!"
War was now begun in earnest (110), but resulted in a crushing defeat of the Romans, whose army was sent under the yoke. Humiliated by the defeat, the Senate in the following year sent QUINTUS CAECILIUS METELLUS, nephew of Metellus Macedonicus, to take charge of the war. He was a man of integrity, with some experience as an officer, and a rigid aristocrat. Realizing the danger of failure, he took with him as his lieutenant the ablest soldier that he could find, GAIUS MARIUS.
Marius, born at Arpinum in 157, was the son of a farmer, and was himself bred to the plough. He joined the army at an early age, and soon attracted notice for his punctual performance of all duties, and his strictness in discipline. He was present at the siege of Numantia, and his courage caused Scipio to predict for him a brilliant career. He soon rose to be Military Tribune. In 119 he was chosen Tribune of the People, and two years later Praetor. The fact that he was respected and valued in high circles is shown by his subsequent marriage into the family of the Caesars. By this marriage with Julia, the aunt of Julius Caesar, he became a person of social distinction.
The campaign was moderately successful. Jugurtha was defeated near the river Muthul, and made to retire into the desert, where his stronghold, Thala, was captured. He sued for peace, but, as unconditional surrender was demanded, he still held out. The popular party at Rome, irritated that such a petty prince should give so much trouble, demanded that Marius should be made Consul and have charge of the war. When the lieutenant asked Metellus for leave of absence to enable him to be present at the elections, as was necessary according to the law, his general ridiculed the idea, and told him to wait another twenty years. He went, however, and was elected in 107, being the first plebeian chosen to that office for more than a century.
Metellus was recalled, enjoyed a triumph, and received the agnomen of NUMIDICUS.
Marius was every inch a soldier. He saw that the Roman legions must be reorganized and better disciplined. He enlisted men who had no other occupation, that they might become professional soldiers. Some men of rank who had a taste for war also went with him. Among these was a young patrician, CORNELIUS SULLA. With this army Marius soon wrested from Jugurtha all his strongholds. In less than two years the war was over. By his ally, Bocchus, King of Mauritania, Jugurtha was betrayed (106) into the hands of Sulla, who was acting as the Quaestor of Marius.
The western portion of Numidia was given to Bocchus as the reward of his treachery, while the remainder continued to be governed by native princes, until the civil war between Caesar and Pompey. In 104 Marius returned home, and entered Rome in triumph. Jugurtha was thrown into a dungeon, and there starved to death.
CHAPTER XXIII. THE CIMBRI AND TEUTONES.—POLITICAL QUARRELS.
The war with Jugurtha ended none too soon, for Marius was needed in a struggle requiring all his talents.
The CIMBRI and TEUTONES, barbarous nations from Northern Europe, were threatening the frontiers of Italy. Already the Roman armies had met with five successive defeats at their hands on the banks of the Rhone. Eighty thousand Romans and forty thousand camp followers are said to have fallen in these battles. Had the barbarians at this moment chosen to enter Italy, the destruction of Rome would have been a certain result. Fortunately, they turned to the Pyrenees, and, sweeping over the mountains, overran for a season the province of Spain.
Marius, appointed Consul a second time, devoted his energies to forming and training the army. He selected the plains on the banks of the Rhone in Southern Gaul as best adapted for his purpose. Here he drilled his troops, accustoming them to the greatest possible exertions. Many perished under the strain, but the survivors became hardened soldiers. Corps of engineers were attached to each legion, and the soldiers were taught the use of tools, as well as of arms. At length, in his fourth consulship (102), he felt prepared to meet the enemy.
The barbarians, on their return from Spain, separated their forces, the Cimbri marching around the northern foot of the Alps towards Noricum, with the intention of invading Italy from that quarter, while the Teutones remained in Gaul.
As the latter advanced, Marius took up his position in a fortified camp near AQUAE SEXTIAE (Aix). He allowed the enemy to march past him, and then followed cautiously, waiting for a favorable opportunity to fall upon them. In the battle that followed, the barbarians were no match for the drilled legionaries, who were irresistible. The contest lasted two days, and the vast host of the Teutones was cut to pieces (20 July, 102). At the close of this battle word was brought to Marius that he had been elected Consul for the fifth time.
Meanwhile, the Cimbri had crossed the Alps and were ravaging the fertile fields of Lombardy, meeting with but slight opposition from Catulus, the other Consul.
The next year Marius came to his rescue. Near VERCELLAE the Cimbri met the same fate as their brethren, and Italy was saved (101).
No sooner was the danger from the invasion over than political quarrels broke out at Rome with great fury. Marius was elected Consul for the sixth time. The popular heroes of the hour were two demagogues, the Tribune SATURNINUS and the Praetor GLAUCIA. They carried corn laws and land laws,(Footnote: These were the APPULEIAN LAWS (100):—I. Any Roman citizen could buy corn of the state at a nominal price. II. The land in Cisalpine Gaul, which the Cimbrians had occupied, should be divided among the Italian and Roman citizens. III. Colonies from the veterans of Marius were to be founded in Sicily, Achaia, and Macedonia.) and compelled the Senators to take an oath to execute their laws. Metellus Numidicus refusing to comply with their wishes, Saturninus sent a guard to the Senate-House, dragged him out, and expelled him from the city.
During this troublesome time, Marius showed that he was no politician. He lacked judgment and firmness, and by endeavoring to please all parties he pleased none.
On the popular side there were two parties, the moderate one, led by MEMMIUS, who had exposed the Senate in its dealings with Jugurtha, and the radical one, led by Saturninus and Glaucia. Memmius and Glaucia both ran for the consulship, and as the former seemed likely to be successful, he was murdered. A reaction then set in, and Saturninus and Glaucia were declared public enemies. They took refuge in the Senate-House, the roof of which was torn off, and the wretches were stoned to death.
The fall of Saturninus and Glaucia was followed in 99 by the recall of Metellus from banishment. He died shortly afterwards, and it was suspected that he was a victim of treachery.
Marius having now become generally unpopular on account of his vacillating course in the recent troubles, went into voluntary exile, travelling through Asia Minor, and visiting the court of Mithradates, King of Pontus.
For the next eight years (99-91) Rome enjoyed a season of comparative quiet.
CHAPTER XXIV. INTERNAL HISTORY.-THE SOCIAL WAR (90-88).
At this time there was a bitter rivalry between the Senate and the equestrian order, or commercial class. From the former were chosen the governors of the provinces, from the latter came the tax-gatherers (publicani) and the money-brokers (negotiatores). It will help us to understand better the condition of affairs, if we study the composition of the Senate and the Equites.
The Senators, three hundred in number (later their number was increased to six hundred), held their office for life. When vacancies occurred from death, or occasionally from removal, they were filled by the Censor, (Footnote: See the duties of Censor) who appointed a person that had held one of the following offices: Dictator, Consul, Praetor, Curule Aedile, or, after the time of Sulla, Quaestor. All persons who had held these offices, or that of Tribune, were allowed to join in debate in the Senate, but not to vote. No Senator could engage in business. Hence he must be wealthy.
We saw in Chapter IV. that Roman citizens were divided into six classes according to their property, and that these classes were subdivided into one hundred and ninety-three other classes called centuries. About 225, the number was increased to three hundred and seventy-three. Eighteen of the centuries of the first class were called EQUITES, and must have property worth twenty thousand dollars or more. This name was given to them because at first they served in the army as horsemen, though in later times the cavalry was composed only of allied troops. The Equites were originally from the aristocracy alone, but, as the plebeians increased in wealth, many of them became rich enough to be included in this class.
There was no hostility between the Senate and the Equites until, in 123, Gaius Gracchus passed the Lex Judicaria, which prescribed that the jurors (judices) should be chosen from the Equites, and not the Senate. From this time dates the struggle between the two classes, and the breach widened every year. On the one side were the nobles, represented by the Senate; on the other side, the equestrian order. Since the jurors were chosen from the latter, it had control of the courts, and often made an unscrupulous use of its power, especially in those courts which were established to try governors for extortion in the management of provinces (quaestiones rerum repetundarum). From the Equites, too, were taken the tax-gatherers of the provinces. They pillaged and robbed the people at will, and, if a governor had the courage to interfere with them, a threat of prosecution was held over his head. The average governor preferred to connive at their exactions; the bolder ones paid with fines or exiles for their courage. Another trouble was threatening the commonwealth. The Italian allies of Rome did not possess the franchise belonging to a Roman citizen. For nearly two centuries they had shared dangers and victories with the Romans; they now eagerly demanded all their privileges.
In 91, MARCUS LIVIUS DRUSUS, the Tribune, took up the task of reform. He was noble, wealthy, and popular, and he hoped to settle the question peacefully and equitably. But his attempt to reform the courts displeased the Equites, his agrarian and corn laws made him many enemies, and his attempt to admit the Italians to the rights of Roman citizenship aroused great opposition.
His laws were passed, but the Senate pronounced them null and void. He was denounced in that body as a traitor, and was struck down by an assassin in the same year.
The death of Drusus drove the Italians to despair. Eight nations entered into a close alliance, chose CORFINIUM, in the Pelignian Apennines, as their capital, and formed a Federal Republic, to which they gave the name ITALIA. All Italians were to be citizens of Corfinium, and here was to be the place of assembly and the Senate-House.
Rome, in the face of this danger, acted promptly and with resolution. The Consuls, Lucius Julius Caesar and Publius Rutilius Lupus, both took the field; with each were five lieutenants, among whom were Marius and Sulla.
This war (90-88), called the SOCIAL WAR, i.e. the war with the allies (Socii), was at first disastrous to Rome. The allies overran Campania, defeated the Romans several times, and entered into negotiations with the Northern Italians, whose fidelity began to waver.
It is not strange, therefore, that opinions at Rome began to be turned in the direction of a more liberal policy. It was decided to make concessions. Towards the close of the year 90, the Consul Caesar carried the JULIAN LAW, by which the Roman franchise was extended to all who had not yet revolted. The next year this law was supplemented by the PLAUTIAN PAPIRIAN LAW, which allowed every citizen of an Italian town the franchise, if he handed in his name to the Praetor at Rome within sixty days. About the same time was passed another law, the CALPURNIAN, which permitted Roman magistrates in the field to bestow the franchise on all who wished it. These laws resulted in disorganizing the rebellion. The Samnites and Lucanians held out the longest, but were finally put down by Marius.
The end of the Social War brought no peace at Rome. The newly enfranchised Italians were not fully satisfied. The Senate was torn asunder by violent personal rivalries. There was no class not affected by the wide-spread tightness in the money market. The treasury was empty, and many capitalists became insolvent. War with Mithradates, King of Pontus, had been declared, and both Marius and Sulla were eager to have the command.
At this time (88) the TRIBUNE PUBLIUS SULPICIUS RUFUS brought forward the following bills:—
1. That the command of the war against Mithradates be given to Marius.
2. That the new citizens should be distributed through all the tribes.
3. That any Senator who owed more than four hundred dollars be deprived of his seat.
4. That those exiled on suspicion of having aided in the Italian revolt be recalled.
In spite of the bitterest opposition, these bills were passed. But the triumph of Sulpicius was of short duration. Sulla, who with his troops had been encamping near Nola in Campania, marched upon the city, and for the first time a Consul entered Rome at the head of his legions.
CHAPTER XXV. MARIUS AND SULLA.-CINNA.
With the name of MARIUS is usually coupled that of LUCIUS CORNELIUS SULLA (138-78). "He was a patrician of the purest blood, had inherited a moderate fortune, and had spent it, like other young men of rank, lounging in theatres and amusing himself with dinner parties. He was a poet, an artist, and a wit. Although apparently indolent, he was naturally a soldier, statesman, and diplomatist. As Quaestor under Marius in the Jugurthine War, he had proved a most active and useful officer." In these African campaigns he showed that he knew how to win the hearts and confidence of his soldiers; and through his whole subsequent career, the secret of his brilliant successes seems to have been the enthusiastic devotion of his troops, whom he always held well under control, even when they were allowed to indulge in plunder and license. It was to Sulla's combined adroitness and courage that Marius owed the final capture of Jugurtha. He served again under Marius in the campaigns against the Cimbri and Teutones, and gave efficient help towards the victory. But the Consul became jealous of his rising power, and all friendly feeling between the two ceased.
After this campaign Sulla lived at Rome for some years, taking no part in politics, and during this time his name and that of his rival are almost unheard. He appeared before the public again in 93, when he was elected Praetor, and increased his popularity by an exhibition of a hundred lions in the arena, matched against Numidian archers. In 92 he went as Propraetor to govern the province of Asia, and here he first met MITHRADATES.
This monarch, who ruled over Pontus, was an extraordinary man. He spoke many languages, was the idol, of his subjects, and had boundless ambition. He doubted the durability of the Roman Empire, and began to enlarge his own territory, with no apparent fear of Rome's interference.
Cappadocia, a neighboring country, was under Roman protection, and was ruled by a prince, ARIOBARZANES, that Rome had recognized. This country Mithradates attacked. He killed the prince, and placed on the throne his own nephew.
Rome interfered, and Sulla was instructed to visit the monarch. He accomplished his mission with his usual adroitness, and returned to Rome with new honors. He took an active part in the Social War, eclipsing the fame of his rival, Marius. He was now the recognized leader of the conservative and aristocratic party. The feeling between the rivals was more bitter than ever, for Marius, though old, had by no means lost his prestige with the popular party.
It was at this time that Mithradates, learning of the Social War, thought it a good opportunity to advance his own interests and extend his realm. He collected all his available forces, and invaded Bithynia. With his fleets he sailed through the Dardanelles into the Archipelago. The extortions of the Roman governors had been so great, that Ionia, Lydia, and Caria, with all the islands near Asia Minor, gladly revolted from Rome, and accepted his protection. All the Roman residents with their families were massacred on a single day. It is said that 80,000 persons perished. Mithradates himself next crossed the Bosphorus, and marched into Northern Greece, which received him with open arms.
Such was the condition in the East when Sulpicius Rufus carried the bills mentioned in the last chapter. One of these bills was that Marius have charge of the war against Mithradates. This was not to Sulla's liking. He was in Campania with the legions that had served in the Social War. The soldiers were devoted to him, and ready to follow him anywhere. Sulla, therefore, taking matters into his own hands, marched into the city at the head of his troops. The people resisted; Sulpicius was slain; Marius fled for his life, and retired to Africa, where he lived for a time, watching the course of events.
Sulla could not remain long at the capital. The affairs of the East called him away; and no sooner was he gone than the flames of civil war burst out anew (87).
LUCIUS CORNELIUS CINNA, a friend of Marius, was Consul that year. He tried to recall Marius, but was violently opposed and finally driven from the city. The Senate declared him deposed from his office. He invoked the aid of the soldiers in Campania, and found them ready to follow him. The neighboring Italian towns sent him men and money, and Marius, coming from Africa, joined him with six thousand troops. They marched upon Rome. The city was captured. Cinna was acknowledged Consul, and the sentence of outlawry which had been passed on Marius was revoked.
The next year Marius was made Consul for the seventh time, and Cinna for the second. Then followed the wildest cruelties. Marius had a body-guard of slaves, which he sent out to murder whomever he wished. The houses of the rich were plundered, and the honor of noble families was exposed to the mercy of the slaves. Fortunately Marius died sixteen days after he entered office, and the shedding of blood ceased.
For the next three years Cinna ruled Rome. Constitutional government was practically suspended. For the years 85 and 84 Cinna himself and a trusty colleague were Consuls, but no regular elections were held. In 84, he was murdered, when on the eve of setting out against Sulla in Asia.
Sulla left Italy for the East with 30,000 troops. He marched against Athens, where Archelaus, the general of Mithradates, was intrenched. After a long siege, he captured and pillaged the city, March 1, 86. The same year he defeated Archelaus at CHAERONEA in Boeotia, and the next year at ORCHOMENOS.
Meanwhile Sulla's lieutenant, LUCULLUS, raised a fleet and gained two victories off the coast of Asia Minor. The Asiatic king was now ready to negotiate. Sulla crossed the Hellespont in 84, and in a personal interview with the king arranged the terms of peace, which were as follows. The king was to give up Bithynia, Paphlagonia, and Cappadocia, and withdraw to his former dominions. He was also to pay an indemnity amounting to about $3,500,000, and surrender eighty ships of war.
Having thus settled matters with the king, Sulla punished the Lydians and Carians, in whose territory the Romans had been massacred, by compelling them to pay at one time five years' tribute. He was now ready to return to Rome.
The same year that Cinna died, Sulla landed at Brundisium, with 40,000 troops and a large following of nobles who had fled from Rome. Every preparation was made by the Marian party for his reception; but no sooner did he land in Italy than the soldiers were induced to desert to him in immense numbers, and he soon found himself in possession of all Lower Italy. Among those who hastened to his standard was young POMPEY, then but twenty-three years old, and it was to his efforts that Sulla's success was largely due. The next year, 83, the Marian party was joined by the Samnites, and the war raged more fiercely than ever. At length, however, Sulla was victorious under the walls of Rome. The city lay at his mercy. His first act, an order for the slaughter of 6,000 Samnite prisoners, was a fit prelude to his conduct in the city. Every effort was made to eradicate the last trace of Marian blood and sympathy from the city. A list of men, declared to be outlaws and public enemies, was exhibited in the Forum, and a succession of wholesale murders and confiscations throughout Rome and Italy, made the name of Sulla forever infamous.
Having received the title of Dictator, and celebrated a splendid triumph for the Mithradatic war, he carried (80-79) his political measures. The main object of these was to invest the Senate, the thinned ranks of which he filled with his own creatures, with full control over the state, over every magistrate and every province.
In 79 he resigned his dictatorship and went to Puteoli, where he died the next year, from a loathsome disease brought on by his excesses.
THE REFORMS OF SULLA.
Sulla restricted the power of the magistrates to the advantage of the Senate. Senators were alone made eligible for the tribuneship, and no former Tribune could hold any curule office. No one could be Praetor without having first been Quaestor, or Consul without having held the praetorship. Every candidate for the office of Quaestor must be at least thirty years old. The number of Praetors was increased from six to eight; that of Quaestors, from twelve to twenty. The Consuls and Praetors were to remain at Rome during their first year of office, and then go to the provinces as Proconsuls and Propraetors.
Three hundred new Senators, taken from the Equites, were added, and all who had been Quaestors were made eligible to the Senate.
The control of the courts was transferred from the Equites to the Senate.
On the death of Sulla, in 78, CRASSUS and LEPIDUS were chosen Consuls; but such was the instability of the times that they were sworn not to raise an army during their consulship. Lepidus attempted to evade his oath by going to Gaul, and, when summoned by the Senate to return, marched against the city at the head of his forces. He was defeated by Crassus and Pompey in 78, and soon after died.
CHAPTER XXVI. SERTORIUS.—SPARTACUS.—LUCULLUS.—POMPEY AND CRASSUS.
Quintus Sertorius (121-72), a native of the little Sabine village of Nursia under the Apennines, had joined the party of Marius, and served under him in the campaigns against the Cimbri and Teutones. In 97 he served in Spain, and became acquainted with the country with which his fame is chiefly associated. In 91 he was Quaestor in Cisalpine Gaul. He was a partisan of Marius during his troubles with Sulla, and on Sulla's return from the East he left Rome for Spain, where he took the lead of the Marian party. His bravery, kindness, and eloquence pleased the Spaniards. Many Roman refugees and deserters joined him. He defeated one of Sulla's generals, and drove out of Lusitania (Portugal) METELLUS PIUS,(Footnote: Son of Metellus Numidicus. He received the agnomen of Pius on account of the love which he displayed for his father, whom he begged the people to recall from banishment in 99.) who had been specially sent against him from Rome.
The object of Sertorius was to establish a government in Spain after the Roman model. He formed a Senate of three hundred members, and founded at Osca a school for native children. He was strict and severe towards his soldiers, but kind to the people. A white fawn was his favorite pet and constant follower. He ruled Spain for six years. In 77 he was joined by PERPERNA a Roman officer. The same year Pompey, then a young man, was sent to co-operate with Metellus. Sertorius proved more than a match for both of these generals, and defeated them near Saguntum.
The position of the Romans was becoming critical, for Sertorius now formed a league with the pirates of the Mediterranean. He also entered into negotiations with Mithradates, and opened correspondence with the slaves in Italy, who were rebelling.
But intrigues and jealousies arose in his camp. The outcome of these was that he was treacherously murdered by Perperna at a banquet in 72, and with his death fell the Marian party in Spain.
Meanwhile a dangerous enemy was threatening Italy within her own borders. In 73 a band of gladiators, under the leadership of one of their number, named SPARTACUS escaped from the training school at Capua and took up a strong position on Mount Vesuvius. They were joined by large numbers of slaves and outcasts of every description, and were soon in a position to defeat two Praetors who were sent against them.
The next year they assumed the offensive; and Spartacus found himself at the head of 100,000 men. Four generals sent against him were defeated; and for two years he ravaged Italy at will, and even threatened Rome. But intestine division showed itself in his ranks; his lieutenants grew jealous of him, and his strength began to wane.
In 71 the command of the war was given to CRASSUS, who finished it in six months. Spartacus fell, fighting bravely, near Brundisium. Pompey, returning from the Sertorian war in Spain, met five thousand of those who had escaped from the array of Spartacus. These he slew to a man. Crassus pointed the moral of his victory by hanging, along the road from Rome to Capua, six thousand captives whom he had taken.
Mithradates meanwhile, taking advantage of the troubles at Rome, was again in arms, and in 74 LUCIUS LICINIUS LUCULLUS was sent against him.
Lucullus, of plebeian birth, first distinguished himself in the Social War, where he gained the favor of Sulla, and accompanied him, as Quaestor, in his campaign against Mithradates in 88. With Cotta he was chosen to the consulship in 74. The province of Cilicia was assigned to him, Bithynia to Cotta. Mithradates invaded Bithynia, defeated Cotta, and besieged him at Chalcedon.
Lucullus, after reorganizing and disciplining his army, went to the aid of his colleague, drove the king into Pontus, and defeated him at Cabira in 72, and his fleet at Tenedos in 71, compelling him to take refuge with his son-in-law, TIGRANES, King of Armenia.
Lucullus endeavored to work reforms in the administration of provincial governments in the East. The revenues of the provinces were farmed out, and the measures of Lucullus were intended to protect the tax-payers against the tax-gatherers (publicani). His reforms met with bitter opposition at Rome, especially from the Equites, whose chief source of income was often this same tax-farming. Intrigues against him by persons sent from Rome began to create dissatisfaction among his troops. He had been a severe disciplinarian, and so it was all the easier to turn the soldiers against him.
In 68 he won a victory over Tigranes and Mithradates, at the river Arsanias; but his legions refused to follow him farther, and he was obliged to lead them into winter quarters in Mesopotamia. The next year his soldiers again mutinied, and he was replaced by Pompey.
Returning to Rome, Lucullus spent the rest of his days in retirement, dying about 57. He was very rich, and was famed for the luxurious dinners which he gave.
POMPEY AND CRASSUS.
The Sullan system stood for nine years, and was then overthrown, as it had been established, by a soldier. It was the fortune of Pompey, a favorite officer of Sulla, to cause the first violation of the laws laid down by his general.
GNEIUS POMPEIUS MAGNUS (106-48) led a soldier's life from his boyhood to his death. When a youth of seventeen he fought by his father's side in the civil struggles between Marius and Sulla. He was a partisan of the latter, and connected himself with the cause of the aristocracy. He defeated the followers of Marius in Sicily and Africa, and in 81 was allowed to enjoy a triumph, though still an Eques and not legally qualified. Sulla then greeted him with the surname of Magnus, which he ever afterwards bore. He was then sent to Spain, with what success we have seen in the previous chapter. In 70 Pompey and MARCUS LICINIUS CRASSUS were elected Consuls amid great enthusiasm.
Crassus (108-53), the conqueror of Spartacus, had amassed immense wealth by speculation, mining, dealing in slaves, and other methods. Avarice is said to have been his ruling passion, though he gave large sums to the people for political effect.
Neither Pompey nor Crassus, according to the laws passed by Sulla, was eligible to the consulship. The former had never been Quaestor, and was only thirty-five years old; the latter was still Praetor, and ought to have waited two years.
The work of Sulla was now quickly undone. The Tribunes regained their prerogative, the veto. The control of the criminal courts was transferred again from the Senate to the Equites, and the former body was cleared of its most worthless members, who had been appointed by Sulla.
For three years (70-67) after the expiration of his consulship, Pompey remained quietly at Rome. He was then put in charge of an expedition against the Greek pirates. From the earliest times these marauders had been in the habit of depredating on the shores of the Mediterranean. During the civil wars of Rome they had become much bolder, so that the city was compelled to take an active part against them. They had paralyzed the trade of the Mediterranean, and even the coasts of Italy were not safe from their raids.
GABINIUS, a Tribune, proposed that Pompey should hold his command for three years; that he should have supreme authority over all Roman magistrates in the provinces throughout the Mediterranean, and over the coasts for fifty miles inland. He was to have fifteen lieutenants, all ex-praetors, two hundred ships, and all the troops he needed.
In three months the pirates were swept from the sea.
The next year (66) Pompey's powers were still further enlarged by the MANILIAN LAW, proposed by the Tribune Manilius. By this law the entire control of the Roman policy in the East was given to Pompey. His appointment was violently opposed by the Senate, especially by CATULUS, the "father of the Senate," and by the orator HORTENSIUS; but CICERO with his first political speech (Pro Lege Manilia) came to Pompey's assistance, and to him was given the command by which he became virtually dictator in the East. His operations there were thoroughly successful, and, though he doubtless owed much to the previous victories of Lucullus, he showed himself an able soldier. Mithradates was obliged to flee across the Black Sea to Panticapaeum (Kertch).