The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5)
by Theodor Mommsen
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Notes for Chapter V

1. Polybius's account of the battle on the Trebia is quite clear. If Placentia lay on the right bank of the Trebia where it falls into the Po, and if the battle was fought on the left bank, while the Roman encampment was pitched upon the right—both of which points have been disputed, but are nevertheless indisputable—the Roman soldiers must certainly have passed the Trebia in order to gain Placentia as well as to gain the camp. But those who crossed to the camp must have made their way through the disorganized portions of their own army and through the corps of the enemy that had gone round to their rear, and must then have crossed the river almost in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. On the other hand the passage near Placentia was accomplished after the pursuit had slackened; the corps was several miles distant from the field of battle, and had arrived within reach of a Roman fortress; it may even have been the case, although it cannot be proved, that a bridge led over the Trebia at that point, and that the -tete de pont- on the other bank was occupied by the garrison of Placentia. It is evident that the first passage was just as difficult as the second was easy, and therefore with good reason Polybius, military judge as he was, merely says of the corps of 10,000, that in close columns it cut its way to Placentia (iii. 74, 6), without mentioning the passage of the river which in this case was unattended with difficulty.

The erroneousness of the view of Livy, which transfers the Phoenician camp to the right, the Roman to the left bank of the Trebia, has lately been repeatedly pointed out. We may only further mention, that the site of Clastidium, near the modern Casteggio, has now been established by inscriptions (Orelli-Henzen, 5117).

2. III. III. The Celts Attacked in Their Own Land

3. The date of the battle, 23rd June according to the uncorrected calendar, must, according to the rectified calendar, fall somewhere in April, since Quintus Fabius resigned his dictatorship, after six months, in the middle of autumn (Lav. xxii. 31, 7; 32, i), and must therefore have entered upon it about the beginning of May. The confusion of the calendar (p. 117) in Rome was even at this period very great.

4. The inscription of the gift devoted by the new dictator on account of his victory at Gerunium to Hercules Victor— -Hercolei sacrom M. Minuci(us) C. f. dictator vovit- —was found in the year 1862 at Rome, near S. Lorenzo.

5. III. III. Northern Italy


The War under Hannibal from Cannae to Zama

The Crisis

The aim of Hannibal in his expedition to Italy had been to break up the Italian confederacy: after three campaigns that aim had been attained, so far as it was at all attainable. It was clear that the Greek and Latin or Latinized communities of Italy, since they had not been shaken in their allegiance by the day of Cannae, would not yield to terror, but only to force; and the desperate courage with which even in Southern Italy isolated little country towns, such as the Bruttian Petelia, maintained their forlorn defence against the Phoenicians, showed very plainly what awaited them among the Marsians and Latins. If Hannibal had expected to accomplish more in this way and to be able to lead even the Latins against Rome, these hopes had proved vain. But it appears as if even in other respects the Italian coalition had by no means produced the results which Hannibal hoped for. Capua had at once stipulated that Hannibal should not have the right to call Campanian citizens compulsorily to arms; the citizens had not forgotten how Pyrrhus had acted in Tarentum, and they foolishly imagined that they should be able to withdraw at once from the Roman and from the Phoenician rule. Samnium and Luceria were no longer what they had been, when king Pyrrhus had thought of marching into Rome at the head of the Sabellian youth.

Not only did the chain of Roman fortresses everywhere cut the nerves and sinews of the land, but the Roman rule, continued for many years, had rendered the inhabitants unused to arms—they furnished only a moderate contingent to the Roman armies—had appeased their ancient hatred, and had gained over a number of individuals everywhere to the interest of the ruling community. They joined the conqueror of the Romans, indeed, after the cause of Rome seemed fairly lost, but they felt that the question was no longer one of liberty; it was simply the exchange of an Italian for a Phoenician master, and it was not enthusiasm, but despair that threw the Sabellian communities into the arms of the victor. Under such circumstances the war in Italy flagged. Hannibal, who commanded the southern part of the peninsula as far up as the Volturnus and Garganus, and who could not simply abandon these lands again as he had abandoned that of the Celts, had now likewise a frontier to protect, which could not be left uncovered with impunity; and for the purpose of defending the districts that he had gained against the fortresses which everywhere defied him and the armies advancing from the north, and at the same time of resuming the difficult offensive against central Italy, his forces—an army of about 40,000 men, without reckoning the Italian contingents—were far from sufficient.


Above all, he found that other antagonists were opposed to him. Taught by fearful experience, the Romans adopted a more judicious system of conducting the war, placed none but experienced officers at the head of their armies, and left them, at least where it was necessary, for a longer period in command. These generals neither looked down on the enemy's movements from the mountains, nor did they throw themselves on their adversary wherever they found him; but, keeping the true mean between inaction and precipitation, they took up their positions in entrenched camps under the walls of fortresses, and accepted battle where victory would lead to results and defeat would not be destruction. The soul of this new mode of warfare was Marcus Claudius Marcellus. With true instinct, after the disastrous day of Cannae, the senate and people had turned their eyes to this brave and experienced officer, and entrusted him at once with the actual supreme command. He had received his training in the troublesome warfare against Hamilcar in Sicily, and had given brilliant evidence of his talents as a leader as well as of his personal valour in the last campaigns against the Celts. Although far above fifty, he still glowed with all the ardour of the most youthful soldier, and only a few years before this he had, as general, cut down the mounted general of the enemy(1)—the first and only Roman consul who achieved that feat of arms. His life was consecrated to the two divinities, to whom he erected the splendid double temple at the Capene Gate—to Honour and to Valour; and, while the merit of rescuing Rome from this extremity of danger belonged to no single individual, but pertained to the Roman citizens collectively and pre-eminently to the senate, yet no single man contributed more towards the success of the common enterprise than Marcus Marcellus.

Hannibal Proceeds to Campania

From the field of battle Hannibal had turned his steps to Campania, He knew Rome better than the simpletons, who in ancient and modern times have fancied that he might have terminated the struggle by a march on the enemy's capital. Modern warfare, it is true, decides a war on the field of battle; but in ancient times, when the system of attacking fortresses was far less developed than the system of defence, the most complete success in the field was on numberless occasions neutralized by the resistance of the walls of the capitals. The council and citizens of Carthage were not at all to be compared to the senate and people of Rome; the peril of Carthage after the first campaign of Regulus was infinitely more urgent than that of Rome after the battle of Cannae; yet Carthage had made a stand and been completely victorious. With what colour could it be expected that Rome would now deliver her keys to the victor, or even accept an equitable peace? Instead therefore of sacrificing practicable and important successes for the sake of such empty demonstrations, or losing time in the besieging of the two thousand Roman fugitives enclosed within the walls of Canusium, Hannibal had immediately proceeded to Capua before the Romans could throw in a garrison, and by his advance had induced this second city of Italy after long hesitation to join him. He might hope that, in possession of Capua, he would be able to seize one of the Campanian ports, where he might disembark the reinforcements which his great victories had wrung from the opposition at home.

Renewal of the War in Campania The War in Apulia

When the Romans learned whither Hannibal had gone, they also left Apulia, where only a weak division was retained, and collected their remaining forces on the right bank of the Volturnus. With the two legions saved from Cannae Marcus Marcellus marched to Teanum Sidicinum, where he was joined by such troops as were at the moment disposable from Rome and Ostia, and advanced—while the dictator Marcus Junius slowly followed with the main army which had been hastily formed—as far as the Volturnus at Casilinum, with a view if possible to save Capua. That city he found already in the power of the enemy; but on the other hand the attempts of the enemy on Neapolis had been thwarted by the courageous resistance of the citizens, and the Romans were still in good time to throw a garrison into that important port. With equal fidelity the two other large coast towns, Cumae and Nuceria, adhered to Rome. In Nola the struggle between the popular and senatorial parties as to whether they should attach themselves to the Carthaginians or to the Romans, was still undecided. Informed that the former were gaining the superiority, Marcellus crossed the river at Caiatia, and marching along the heights of Suessula so as to evade the enemy's army, he reached Nola in sufficient time to hold it against the foes without and within. In a sally he even repulsed Hannibal in person with considerable loss; a success which, as the first defeat sustained by Hannibal, was of far more importance from its moral effect than from its material results. In Campania indeed, Nuceria, Acerrae, and, after an obstinate siege prolonged into the following year (539), Casilinum also, the key of the Volturnus, were conquered by Hannibal, and the severest punishments were inflicted on the senates of these towns which had adhered to Rome. But terror is a bad weapon of proselytism; the Romans succeeded, with comparatively trifling loss, in surmounting the perilous moment of their first weakness. The war in Campania came to a standstill; then winter came on, and Hannibal took up his quarters in Capua, the luxury of which was by no means fraught with benefit to his troops who for three years had not been under a roof. In the next year (539) the war acquired another aspect. The tried general Marcus Marcellus, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus who had distinguished himself in the campaign of the previous year as master of the horse to the dictator, and the veteran Quintus Fabius Maximus, took—Marcellus as proconsul, the two others as consuls—the command of the three Roman armies which were destined to surround Capua and Hannibal; Marcellus resting on Nola and Suessula, Maximus taking a position on the right bank of the Volturnus near Cales, and Gracchus on the coast near Liternum, covering Neapolis and Cumae. The Campanians, who marched to Hamae three miles from Cumae with a view to surprise the Cumaeans, were thoroughly defeated by Gracchus; Hannibal, who had appeared before Cumae to wipe out the stain, was himself worsted in a combat, and when the pitched battle offered by him was declined, retreated in ill humour to Capua. While the Romans in Campania thus not only maintained what they possessed, but also recovered Compulteria and other smaller places, loud complaints were heard from the eastern allies of Hannibal. A Roman army under the praetor Marcus Valerius had taken position at Luceria, partly that it might, in connection with the Roman fleet, watch the east coast and the movements of the Macedonians; partly that it might, in connection with the army of Nola, levy contributions on the revolted Samnites, Lucanians, and Hirpini. To give relief to these, Hannibal turned first against his most active opponent, Marcus Marcellus; but the latter achieved under the walls of Nola no inconsiderable victory over the Phoenician army, and it was obliged to depart, without having cleared off the stain, from Campania for Arpi, in order at length to check the progress of the enemy's army in Apulia. Tiberius Gracchus followed it with his corps, while the two other Roman armies in Campania made arrangements to proceed next spring to the attack of Capua.

Hannibal Reduced to the Defensive His Prospects as to Reinforcements

The clear vision of Hannibal had not been dazzled by his victories. It became every day more evident that he was not thus gaining his object Those rapid marches, that adventurous shifting of the war to and fro, to which Hannibal was mainly indebted for his successes, were at an end; the enemy had become wiser; further enterprises were rendered almost impossible by the inevitable necessity of defending what had been gained. The offensive was not to be thought of; the defensive was difficult, and threatened every year to become more so. He could not conceal from himself that the second half of his great task, the subjugation of the Latins and the conquest of Rome, could not be accomplished with his own forces and those of his Italian allies alone. Its accomplishment depended on the council at Carthage, on the head-quarters at Cartagena, on the courts of Pella and of Syracuse. If all the energies of Africa, Spain, Sicily, and Macedonia should now be exerted in common against the common enemy; if Lower Italy should become the great rendezvous for the armies and fleets of the west, south, and east; he might hope successfully to finish what the vanguard under his leadership had so brilliantly begun. The most natural and easy course would have been to send to him adequate support from home; and the Carthaginian state, which had remained almost untouched by the war and had been brought from deep decline so near to complete victory by a small band of resolute patriots acting of their own accord and at their own risk, could beyond doubt have done this. That it would have been possible for a Phoenician fleet of any desired strength to effect a landing at Locri or Croton, especially as long as the port of Syracuse remained open to the Carthaginians and the fleet at Brundisium was kept in check by Macedonia, is shown by the unopposed disembarkation at Locri of 4000 Africans, whom Bomilcar about this time brought over from Carthage to Hannibal, and still more by Hannibal's undisturbed embarkation, when all had been already lost. But after the first impression of the victory of Cannae had died away, the peace party in Carthage, which was at all times ready to purchase the downfall of its political opponents at the expense of its country, and which found faithful allies in the shortsightedness and indolence of the citizens, refused the entreaties of the general for more decided support with the half- simple, half-malicious reply, that he in fact needed no help inasmuch as he was really victor; and thus contributed not much less than the Roman senate to save Rome. Hannibal, reared in the camp and a stranger to the machinery of civic factions, found no popular leader on whose support he could rely, such as his father had found in Hasdrubal; and he was obliged to seek abroad the means of saving his native country—means which itself possessed in rich abundance at home.

For this purpose he might, at least with more prospect of success, reckon on the leaders of the Spanish patriot army, on the connections which he had formed in Syracuse, and on the intervention of Philip. Everything depended on bringing new forces into the Italian field of war against Rome from Spain, Syracuse, or Macedonia; and for the attainment or for the prevention of this object wars were carried on in Spain, Sicily, and Greece. All of these were but means to an end, and historians have often erred in accounting them of greater importance. So far as the Romans were concerned, they were essentially defensive wars, the proper objects of which were to hold the passes of the Pyrenees, to detain the Macedonian army in Greece, to defend Messana and to bar the communication between Italy and Sicily. Of course this defensive warfare was, wherever it was possible, waged by offensive methods; and, should circumstances be favourable, it might develop into the dislodging of the Phoenicians from Spain and Sicily, and into the dissolution of Hannibal's alliances with Syracuse and with Philip. The Italian war in itself fell for the time being into the shade, and resolved itself into conflicts about fortresses and razzias, which had no decisive effect on the main issue. Nevertheless, so long as the Phoenicians retained the offensive at all, Italy always remained the central aim of operations; and all efforts were directed towards, as all interest centred in, the doing away, or perpetuating, of Hannibal's isolation in southern Italy.

The Sending of Reinforcements Temporarily Frustrated

Had it been possible, immediately after the battle of Cannae, to bring into play all the resources on which Hannibal thought that he might reckon, he might have been tolerably certain of success. But the position of Hasdrubal at that time in Spain after the battle on the Ebro was so critical, that the supplies of money and men, which the victory of Cannae had roused the Carthaginian citizens to furnish, were for the most part expended on Spain, without producing much improvement in the position of affairs there. The Scipios transferred the theatre of war in the following campaign (539) from the Ebro to the Guadalquivir; and in Andalusia, in the very centre of the proper Carthaginian territory, they achieved at Illiturgi and Intibili two brilliant victories. In Sardinia communications entered into with the natives led the Carthaginians to hope that they should be able to master the island, which would have been of importance as an intermediate station between Spain and Italy. But Titus Manlius Torquatus, who was sent with a Roman army to Sardinia, completely destroyed the Carthaginian landing force, and reassured to the Romans the undisputed possession of the island (539). The legions from Cannae sent to Sicily held their ground in the north and east of the island with courage and success against the Carthaginians and Hieronymus; the latter met his death towards the end of 539 by the hand of an assassin. Even in the case of Macedonia the ratification of the alliance was delayed, principally because the Macedonian envoys sent to Hannibal were captured on their homeward journey by the Roman vessels of war. Thus the dreaded invasion of the east coast was temporarily suspended; and the Romans gained time to secure the very important station of Brundisium first by their fleet and then by the land army which before the arrival of Gracchus was employed for the protection of Apulia, and even to make preparations for an invasion of Macedonia in the event of war being declared. While in Italy the war thus came to a stand, out of Italy nothing was done on the part of Carthage to accelerate the movement of new armies or fleets towards the seat of war. The Romans, again, had everywhere with the greatest energy put themselves in a state of defence, and in that defensive attitude had fought for the most part with good results wherever the genius of Hannibal was absent. Thereupon the short-lived patriotism, which the victory of Cannae had awakened in Carthage, evaporated; the not inconsiderable forces which had been organized there were, either through factious opposition or merely through unskilful attempts to conciliate the different opinions expressed in the council, so frittered away that they were nowhere of any real service, and but a very small portion arrived at the spot where they would have been most useful. At the close of 539 the reflecting Roman statesman might assure himself that the urgency of the danger was past, and that the resistance so heroically begun had but to persevere in its exertions at all points in order to achieve its object.

War in Sicily Siege of Syracuse

First of all the war in Sicily came to an end. It had formed no part of Hannibal's original plan to excite a war on the island; but partly through accident, chiefly through the boyish vanity of the imprudent Hieronymus, a land war had broken out there, which—doubtless because Hannibal had not planned it—the Carthaginian council look up with especial zeal. After Hieronymus was killed at the close of 539, it seemed more than doubtful whether the citizens would persevere in the policy which he had pursued. If any city had reason to adhere to Rome, that city was Syracuse; for the victory of the Carthaginians over the Romans could not but give to the former, at any rate, the sovereignty of all Sicily, and no one could seriously believe that the promises made by Carthage to the Syracusans would be really kept. Partly induced by this consideration, partly terrified by the threatening preparations of the Romans—who made every effort to bring once more under their complete control that important island, the bridge between Italy and Africa, and now for the campaign of 540 sent their best general, Marcus Marcellus, to Sicily—the Syracusan citizens showed a disposition to obtain oblivion of the past by a timely return to the Roman alliance. But, amidst the dreadful confusion in the city—which after the death of Hieronymus was agitated alternately by endeavours to re-establish the ancient freedom of the people and by the -coups de main- of the numerous pretenders to the vacant throne, while the captains of the foreign mercenary troops were the real masters of the place—Hannibal's dexterous emissaries, Hippocrates and Epicydes, found opportunity to frustrate the projects of peace. They stirred up the multitude in the name of liberty; descriptions, exaggerated beyond measure, of the fearful punishment that the Romans were said to have inflicted on the Leontines, who had just been re-conquered, awakened doubts even among the better portion of the citizens whether it was not too late to restore their old relations with Rome; while the numerous Roman deserters among the mercenaries, mostly runaway rowers from the fleet, were easily persuaded that a peace on the part of the citizens with Rome would be their death-warrant. So the chief magistrates were put to death, the armistice was broken, and Hippocrates and Epicydes undertook the government of the city. No course was left to the consul except to undertake a siege; but the skilful conduct of the defence, in which the Syracusan engineer Archimedes, celebrated as a learned mathematician, especially distinguished himself, compelled the Romans after besieging the city for eight months to convert the siege into a blockade by sea and land.

Carthaginian Expedition to Sicily The Carthaginian Troops Destroyed Conquest of Syracuse

In the meanwhile Carthage, which hitherto had only supported the Syracusans with her fleets, on receiving news of their renewed rising in arms against the Romans had despatched a strong land army under Himilco to Sicily, which landed without interruption at Heraclea Minoa and immediately occupied the important town of Agrigentum. To effect a junction with Himilco, the bold and able Hippocrates marched forth from Syracuse with an army: the position of Marcellus between the garrison of Syracuse and the two hostile armies began to be critical. With the help of some reinforcements, however, which arrived from Italy, he maintained his position in the island and continued the blockade of Syracuse. On the other hand, the greater portion of the small inland towns were driven to the armies of the Carthaginians not so much by the armies of the enemy, as by the fearful severity of the Roman proceedings in the island, more especially the slaughter of the citizens of Enna, suspected of a design to revolt, by the Roman garrison which was stationed there. In 542 the besiegers of Syracuse during a festival in the city succeeded in scaling a portion of the extensive outer walls that had been deserted by the guard, and in penetrating into the suburbs which stretched from the "island" and the city proper on the shore (Achradina) towards the interior. The fortress of Euryalus, which, situated at the extreme western end of the suburbs, protected these and the principal road leading from the interior to Syracuse, was thus cut off and fell not long afterwards. When the siege of the city thus began to assume a turn favourable to the Romans, the two armies under Himilco and Hippocrates advanced to its relief, and attempted a simultaneous attack on the Roman positions, combined with an attempt at landing on the part of the Carthaginian fleet and a sally of the Syracusan garrison; but the attack was repulsed on all sides, and the two relieving armies were obliged to content themselves with encamping before the city, in the low marshy grounds along the Anapus, which in the height of summer and autumn engender pestilences fatal to those that tarry in them. These pestilences had often saved the city, oftener even than the valour of its citizens; in the times of the first Dionysius, two Phoenician armies in the act of besieging the city had been in this way destroyed under its very walls. Now fate turned the special defence of the city into the means of its destruction; while the army of Marcellus quartered in the suburbs suffered but little, fevers desolated the Phoenician and Syracusan bivouacs. Hippocrates died; Himilco and most of the Africans died also; the survivors of the two armies, mostly native Siceli, dispersed into the neighbouring cities. The Carthaginians made a further attempt to save the city from the sea side; but the admiral Bomilcar withdrew, when the Roman fleet offered him battle. Epicydes himself, who commanded in the city, now abandoned it as lost, and made his escape to Agrigentum. Syracuse would gladly have surrendered to the Romans; negotiations had already begun. But for the second time they were thwarted by the deserters: in another mutiny of the soldiers the chief magistrates and a number of respectable citizens were slain, and the government and the defence of the city were entrusted by the foreign troops to their captains. Marcellus now entered into a negotiation with one of these, which gave into his hands one of the two portions of the city that were still free, the "island"; upon which the citizens voluntarily opened to him the gates of Achradina also (in the autumn of 542). If mercy was to be shown in any case, it might, even according to the far from laudable principles of Roman public law as to the treatment of perfidious communities, have been extended to this city, which manifestly had not been at liberty to act for itself, and which had repeatedly made the most earnest attempts to get rid of the tyranny of the foreign soldiers. Nevertheless, not only did Marcellus stain his military honour by permitting a general pillage of the wealthy mercantile city, in the course of which Archimedes and many other citizens were put to death, but the Roman senate lent a deaf ear to the complaints which the Syracusans afterwards presented regarding the celebrated general, and neither returned to individuals their pillaged property nor restored to the city its freedom. Syracuse and the towns that had been previously dependent on it were classed among the communities tributary to Rome—Tauromenium and Neetum alone obtained the same privileges as Messana, while the territory of Leontini became Roman domain and its former proprietors Roman lessees—and no Syracusan citizen was henceforth allowed to reside in the "island," the portion of the city that commanded the harbour.

Guerilla War in Sicily Agrigentum Occupied by the Romans Sicily Tranquillized

Sicily thus appeared lost to the Carthaginians; but the genius of Hannibal exercised even from a distance its influence there. He despatched to the Carthaginian army, which remained at. Agrigentum in perplexity and inaction under Hanno and Epicydes, a Libyan cavalry officer Muttines, who took the command of the Numidian cavalry, and with his flying squadrons, fanning into an open flame the bitter hatred which the despotic rule of the Romans had excited over all the island, commenced a guerilla warfare on the most extensive scale and with the happiest results; so that he even, when the Carthaginian and Roman armies met on the river Himera, sustained some conflicts with Marcellus himself successfully. The relations, however, which prevailed between Hannibal and the Carthaginian council, were here repeated on a small scale. The general appointed by the council pursued with jealous envy the officer sent by Hannibal, and insisted upon giving battle to the proconsul without Muttines and the Numidians. The wish of Hanno was carried out, and he was completely beaten. Muttines was not induced to deviate from his course; he maintained himself in the interior of the country, occupied several small towns, and was enabled by the not inconsiderable reinforcements which joined him from Carthage gradually to extend his operations. His successes were so brilliant, that at length the commander-in- chief, who could not otherwise prevent the cavalry officer from eclipsing him, deprived him summarily of the command of the light cavalry, and entrusted it to his own son. The Numidian, who had now for two years preserved the island for his Phoenician masters, had the measure of his patience exhausted by this treatment. He and his horsemen who refused to follow the younger Hanno entered into negotiations with the Roman general Marcus Valerius Laevinus and delivered to him Agrigentum. Hanno escaped in a boat, and went to Carthage to report to his superiors the disgraceful high treason of Hannibal's officer; the Phoenician garrison in the town was put to death by the Romans, and the citizens were sold into slavery (544). To secure the island from such surprises as the landing of 540, the city received a new body of inhabitants selected from Sicilians well disposed towards Rome; the old glorious Akragas was no more. After the whole of Sicily was thus subdued, the Romans exerted themselves to restore some sort of tranquillity and order to the distracted island. The pack of banditti that haunted the interior were driven together en masse and conveyed to Italy, that from their head-quarters at Rhegium they might burn and destroy in the territories of Hannibal's allies. The government did its utmost to promote the restoration of agriculture which had been totally neglected in the island. The Carthaginian council more than once talked of sending a fleet to Sicily and renewing the war there; but the project went no further.

Philip of Macedonia and His Delay

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

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

Rome Heads a Greek Coalition against Macedonia

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

Resultless Warfare Peace between Philip and the Greeks Peace between Philip and Rome

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

Spanish War

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

Successes of the Scipios Syphax against Carthage

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

The Scipios Defeated and Killed Spain South of the Ebro Lost to the Romans Nero Sent to Spain

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

Publius Scipio

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

Scipio Goes to Spain Capture of New Carthage

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

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

Scipio Goes to Andalusia Hasdrubal Crosses the Pyrenees

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

Spain Conquered Mago Goes to Italy Gades Becomes Roman

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

Italian War Position of the Armies

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

Conflicts in the South of Italy

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

Arpi Acquired by the Romans

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

Tarentum Taken by Hannibal

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

Conflicts around Capua

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

Hannibal Marches toward Rome

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

Capua Capitulates

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

Superiority of the Romans Tarentum Capitulates

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

Hannibal Driven Back Death of Marcellus

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

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