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Title: The History of Rome, Book III

Author: Theodor Mommsen

Translator: William P. Dickson

Release date: May 1, 2004 [eBook #10703]
Most recently updated: December 20, 2020

Language: English


E-text prepared by David Ceponis

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From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek



Translated with the Sanction of the Author


William Purdie Dickson, D.D., LL.D.
Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow

A New Edition Revised Throughout and Embodying Recent Additions

Preparer's Note

This work contains many literal citations of and references to foreign words, sounds, and alphabetic symbols drawn from many languages, including Gothic and Phoenician, but chiefly Latin and Greek. This English Gutenberg edition, constrained to the characters of 7-bit ASCII code, adopts the following orthographic conventions:

1) Except for Greek, all literally cited non-English words that do not refer to texts cited as academic references, words that in the source manuscript appear italicized, are rendered with a single preceding, and a single following dash; thus, -xxxx-.

2) Greek words, first transliterated into Roman alphabetic equivalents, are rendered with a preceding and a following double- dash; thus, —xxxx—. Note that in some cases the root word itself is a compound form such as xxx-xxxx, and is rendered as —xxx-xxx—

3) Simple unideographic references to vocalic sounds, single letters, or alphabeic dipthongs; and prefixes, suffixes, and syllabic references are represented by a single preceding dash; thus, -x, or -xxx.

4) Ideographic references, referring to signs of representation rather than to content, are represented as -"id:xxxx"-. "id:" stands for "ideograph", and indicates that the reader should form a picture based on the following "xxxx"; which may be a single symbol, a word, or an attempt at a picture composed of ASCII characters. For example, —"id:GAMMA gamma"— indicates an uppercase Greek gamma-form followed by the form in lowercase. Some such exotic parsing as this is necessary to explain alphabetic development because a single symbol may have been used for a number of sounds in a number of languages, or even for a number of sounds in the same language at different times. Thus, "-id:GAMMA gamma" might very well refer to a Phoenician construct that in appearance resembles the form that eventually stabilized as an uppercase Greek "gamma" juxtaposed to one of lowercase. Also, a construct such as —"id:E" indicates a symbol that with ASCII resembles most closely a Roman uppercase "E", but, in fact, is actually drawn more crudely.

5) Dr. Mommsen has given his dates in terms of Roman usage, A.U.C.; that is, from the founding of Rome, conventionally taken to be 753 B. C. The preparer of this document, has appended to the end of each volume a table of conversion between the two systems.


BOOK III: From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

I. Carthage

II. The War between Rome and Carthage Concerning Sicily

III. The Extension of Italy to Its Natural Boundaries

IV. Hamilcar and Hannibal

V. The War under Hannibal to the Battle of Cannae

VI. The War under Hannibal from Cannae to Zama

VII. The West from the Peace of Hannibal to the Close of the Third Period

VIII. The Eastern States and the Second Macedonian War

IX. The War with Antiochus of Asia

X. The Third Macedonian War

XI. The Government and the Governed

XII. The Management of Land and of Capital

XIII. Faith and Manners

XIV. Literature and Art


From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek

Arduum res gestas scribere.


Chapter I


The Phoenicians

The Semitic stock occupied a place amidst, and yet aloof from, the nations of the ancient classical world. The true centre of the former lay in the east, that of the latter in the region of the Mediterranean; and, however wars and migrations may have altered the line of demarcation and thrown the races across each other, a deep sense of diversity has always severed, and still severs, the Indo- Germanic peoples from the Syrian, Israelite, and Arabic nations. This diversity was no less marked in the case of that Semitic people which spread more than any other in the direction of the west—the Phoenicians. Their native seat was the narrow border of coast bounded by Asia Minor, the highlands of Syria, and Egypt, and called Canaan, that is, the "plain." This was the only name which the nation itself made use of; even in Christian times the African farmer called himself a Canaanite. But Canaan received from the Hellenes the name of Phoenike, the "land of purple," or "land of the red men," and the Italians also were accustomed to call the Canaanites Punians, as we are accustomed still to speak of them as the Phoenician or Punic race.

Their Commerce

The land was well adapted for agriculture; but its excellent harbours and the abundant supply of timber and of metals favoured above all things the growth of commerce; and it was there perhaps, where the opulent eastern continent abuts on the wide-spreading Mediterranean so rich in harbours and islands, that commerce first dawned in all its greatness upon man. The Phoenicians directed all the resources of courage, acuteness, and enthusiasm to the full development of commerce and its attendant arts of navigation, manufacturing, and colonization, and thus connected the east and the west. At an incredibly early period we find them in Cyprus and Egypt, in Greece and Sicily, in Africa and Spain, and even on the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. The field of their commerce reached from Sierra Leone and Cornwall in the west, eastward to the coast of Malabar. Through their hands passed the gold and pearls of the East, the purple of Tyre, slaves, ivory, lions' and panthers' skins from the interior of Africa, frankincense from Arabia, the linen of Egypt, the pottery and fine wines of Greece, the copper of Cyprus, the silver of Spain, tin from England, and iron from Elba. The Phoenician mariners brought to every nation whatever it could need or was likely to purchase; and they roamed everywhere, yet always returned to the narrow home to which their affections clung.

Their Intellectual Endowments

The Phoenicians are entitled to be commemorated in history by the side of the Hellenic and Latin nations; but their case affords a fresh proof, and perhaps the strongest proof of all, that the development of national energies in antiquity was of a one-sided character. Those noble and enduring creations in the field of intellect, which owe their origin to the Aramaean race, do not belong primarily to the Phoenicians. While faith and knowledge in a certain sense were the especial property of the Aramaean nations and first reached the Indo-Germans from the east, neither the Phoenician religion nor Phoenician science and art ever, so far as we can see, held an independent rank among those of the Aramaean family. The religious conceptions of the Phoenicians were rude and uncouth, and it seemed as if their worship was meant to foster rather than to restrain lust and cruelty. No trace is discernible, at least in times of clear historical light, of any special influence exercised by their religion over other nations. As little do we find any Phoenician architecture or plastic art at all comparable even to those of Italy, to say nothing of the lands where art was native. The most ancient seat of scientific observation and of its application to practical purposes was Babylon, or at any rate the region of the Euphrates. It was there probably that men first followed the course of the stars; it was there that they first distinguished and expressed in writing the sounds of language; it was there that they began to reflect on time and space and on the powers at work in nature: the earliest traces of astronomy and chronology, of the alphabet, and of weights and measures, point to that region. The Phoenicians doubtless availed themselves of the artistic and highly developed manufactures of Babylon for their industry, of the observation of the stars for their navigation, of the writing of sounds and the adjustment of measures for their commerce, and distributed many an important germ of civilization along with their wares; but it cannot be demonstrated that the alphabet or any other of those ingenious products of the human mind belonged peculiarly to them, and such religious and scientific ideas as they were the means of conveying to the Hellenes were scattered by them more after the fashion of a bird dropping grains than of the husbandman sowing his seed. The power which the Hellenes and even the Italians possessed, of civilizing and assimilating to themselves the nations susceptible of culture with whom they came into contact, was wholly wanting in the Phoenicians. In the field of Roman conquest the Iberian and the Celtic languages have disappeared before the Romanic tongue; the Berbers of Africa speak at the present day the same language as they spoke in the times of the Hannos and the Barcides.

Their Political Qualities

Above all, the Phoenicians, like the rest of the Aramaean nations as compared with the Indo-Germans, lacked the instinct of political life —the noble idea of self-governing freedom. During the most flourishing times of Sidon and Tyre the land of the Phoenicians was a perpetual apple of contention between the powers that ruled on the Euphrates and on the Nile, and was subject sometimes to the Assyrians, sometimes to the Egyptians. With half its power Hellenic cities would have made themselves independent; but the prudent men of Sidon calculated that the closing of the caravan-routes to the east or of the ports of Egypt would cost them more than the heaviest tribute, and so they punctually paid their taxes, as it might happen, to Nineveh or to Memphis, and even, if they could not avoid it, helped with their ships to fight the battles of the kings. And, as at home the Phoenicians patiently bore the oppression of their masters, so also abroad they were by no means inclined to exchange the peaceful career of commerce for a policy of conquest. Their settlements were factories. It was of more moment in their view to deal in buying and selling with the natives than to acquire extensive territories in distant lands, and to carry out there the slow and difficult work of colonization. They avoided war even with their rivals; they allowed themselves to be supplanted in Egypt, Greece, Italy, and the east of Sicily almost without resistance; and in the great naval battles, which were fought in early times for the supremacy of the western Mediterranean, at Alalia (217) and at Cumae (280), it was the Etruscans, and not the Phoenicians, that bore the brunt of the struggle with the Greeks. If rivalry could not be avoided, they compromised the matter as best they could; no attempt was ever made by the Phoenicians to conquer Caere or Massilia. Still less, of course, were the Phoenicians disposed to enter on aggressive war. On the only occasion in earlier times when they took the field on the offensive—in the great Sicilian expedition of the African Phoenicians which ended in their defeat at Himera by Gelo of Syracuse (274)—it was simply as dutiful subjects of the great-king and in order to avoid taking part in the campaign against the Hellenes of the east, that they entered the lists against the Hellenes of the west; just as their Syrian kinsmen were in fact obliged in that same year to share the defeat of the Persians at Salamis(1).

This was not the result of cowardice; navigation in unknown waters and with armed vessels requires brave hearts, and that such were to be found among the Phoenicians, they often showed. Still less was it the result of any lack of tenacity and idiosyncrasy of national feeling; on the contrary the Aramaeans defended their nationality with the weapons of intellect as well as with their blood against all the allurements of Greek civilization and all the coercive measures of eastern and western despots, and that with an obstinacy which no Indo- Germanic people has ever equalled, and which to us who are Occidentals seems to be sometimes more, sometimes less, than human. It was the result of that want of political instinct, which amidst all their lively sense of the ties of race, and amidst all their faithful attachment to the city of their fathers, formed the most essential feature in the character of the Phoenicians. Liberty had no charms for them, and they lusted not after dominion; "quietly they lived," says the Book of Judges, "after the manner of the Sidonians, careless and secure, and in possession of riches."


Of all the Phoenician settlements none attained a more rapid and secure prosperity than those which were established by the Tyrians and Sidonians on the south coast of Spain and the north coast of Africa— regions that lay beyond the reach of the arm of the great-king and the dangerous rivalry of the mariners of Greece, and in which the natives held the same relation to the strangers as the Indians in America held to the Europeans. Among the numerous and flourishing Phoenician cities along these shores, the most prominent by far was the "new town," Karthada or, as the Occidentals called it, Karchedon or Carthago. Although not the earliest settlement of the Phoenicians in this region, and originally perhaps a dependency of the adjoining Utica, the oldest of the Phoenician towns in Libya, it soon outstripped its neighbours and even the motherland through the incomparable advantages of its situation and the energetic activity of its inhabitants. It was situated not far from the (former) mouth of the Bagradas (Mejerda), which flows through the richest corn district of northern Africa, and was placed on a fertile rising ground, still occupied with country houses and covered with groves of olive and orange trees, falling off in a gentle slope towards the plain, and terminating towards the sea in a sea-girt promontory. Lying in the heart of the great North-African roadstead, the Gulf of Tunis, at the very spot where that beautiful basin affords the best anchorage for vessels of larger size, and where drinkable spring water is got close by the shore, the place proved singularly favourable for agriculture and commerce and for the exchange of their respective commodities—so favourable, that not only was the Tyrian settlement in that quarter the first of Phoenician mercantile cities, but even in the Roman period Carthage was no sooner restored than it became the third city in the empire, and even now, under circumstances far from favourable and on a site far less judiciously chosen, there exists and flourishes in that quarter a city of a hundred thousand inhabitants. The prosperity, agricultural, mercantile, and industrial, of a city so situated and so peopled, needs no explanation; but the question requires an answer—in what way did this settlement come to attain a development of political power, such as no other Phoenician city possessed?

Carthage Heads the Western Phoenicians in Opposition to the Hellenes

That the Phoenician stock did not even in Carthage renounce its policy of passiveness, there is no lack of evidence to prove. Carthage paid, even down to the times of its prosperity, a ground-rent for the space occupied by the city to the native Berbers, the tribe of the Maxyes or Maxitani; and although the sea and the desert sufficiently protected the city from any assault of the eastern powers, Carthage appears to have recognized—although but nominally—the supremacy of the great- king, and to have paid tribute to him occasionally, in order to secure its commercial communications with Tyre and the East.

But with all their disposition to be submissive and cringing, circumstances occurred which compelled these Phoenicians to adopt a more energetic policy. The stream of Hellenic migration was pouring ceaselessly towards the west: it had already dislodged the Phoenicians from Greece proper and Italy, and it was preparing to supplant them also in Sicily, in Spain, and even in Libya itself. The Phoenicians had to make a stand somewhere, if they were not willing to be totally crushed. In this case, where they had to deal with Greek traders and not with the great-king, submission did not suffice to secure the continuance of their commerce and industry on its former footing, liable merely to tax and tribute. Massilia and Cyrene were already founded; the whole east of Sicily was already in the hands of the Greeks; it was full time for the Phoenicians to think of serious resistance. The Carthaginians undertook the task; after long and obstinate wars they set a limit to the advance of the Cyrenaeans, and Hellenism was unable to establish itself to the west of the desert of Tripolis. With Carthaginian aid, moreover, the Phoenician settlers on the western point of Sicily defended themselves against the Greeks, and readily and gladly submitted to the protection of the powerful cognate city.(2) These important successes, which occurred in the second century of Rome, and which saved for the Phoenicians the south- western portion of the Mediterranean, served of themselves to give to the city which had achieved them the hegemony of the nation, and to alter at the same time its political position. Carthage was no longer a mere mercantile city: it aimed at the dominion of Libya and of a part of the Mediterranean, because it could not avoid doing so. It is probable that the custom of employing mercenaries contributed materially to these successes. That custom came into vogue in Greece somewhere about the middle of the fourth century of Rome, but among the Orientals and the Carians more especially it was far older, and it was perhaps the Phoenicians themselves that began it. By the system of foreign recruiting war was converted into a vast pecuniary speculation, which was quite in keeping with the character and habits of the Phoenicians.

The Carthaginian Dominion in Africa

It was probably the reflex influence of these successes abroad, that first led the Carthaginians to change the character of their occupation in Africa from a tenure of hire and sufferance to one of proprietorship and conquest. It appears to have been only about the year 300 of Rome that the Carthaginian merchants got rid of the rent for the soil, which they had hitherto been obliged to pay to the natives. This change enabled them to prosecute a husbandry of their own on a great scale. From the outset the Phoenicians had been desirous to employ their capital as landlords as well as traders, and to practise agriculture on a large scale by means of slaves or hired labourers; a large portion of the Jews in this way served the merchant-princes of Tyre for daily wages. Now the Carthaginians could without restriction extract the produce of the rich Libyan soil by a system akin to that of the modern planters; slaves in chains cultivated the land—we find single citizens possessing as many as twenty thousand of them. Nor was this all. The agricultural villages of the surrounding region—agriculture appears to have been introduced among the Libyans at a very early period, probably anterior to the Phoenician settlement, and presumably from Egypt—were subdued by force of arms, and the free Libyan farmers were transformed into fellahs, who paid to their lords a fourth part of the produce of the soil as tribute, and were subjected to a regular system of recruiting for the formation of a home Carthaginian army. Hostilities were constantly occurring with the roving pastoral tribes (—nomades—) on the borders; but a chain of fortified posts secured the territory enclosed by them, and the Nomades were slowly driven back into the deserts and mountains, or were compelled to recognize Carthaginian supremacy, to pay tribute, and to furnish contingents. About the period of the first Punic war their great town Theveste (Tebessa, at the sources of the Mejerda) was conquered by the Carthaginians. These formed the "towns and tribes (—ethne—) of subjects," which appear in the Carthaginian state-treaties; the former being the non-free Libyan villages, the latter the subject Nomades.


To this fell to be added the sovereignty of Carthage over the other Phoenicians in Africa, or the so-called Liby-phoenicians. These included, on the one hand, the smaller settlements sent forth from Carthage along the whole northern and part of the north-western coast of Africa—which cannot have been unimportant, for on the Atlantic seaboard alone there were settled at one time 30,000 such colonists —and, on the other hand, the old Phoenician settlements especially numerous along the coast of the present province of Constantine and Beylik of Tunis, such as Hippo afterwards called Regius (Bona), Hadrumetum (Susa), Little Leptis (to the south of Susa)—the second city of the Phoenicians in Africa—Thapsus (in the same quarter), and Great Leptis (Lebda to the west of Tripoli). In what way all these cities came to be subject to Carthage—whether voluntarily, for their protection perhaps from the attacks of the Cyrenaeans and Numidians, or by constraint—can no longer be ascertained; but it is certain that they are designated as subjects of the Carthaginians even in official documents, that they had to pull down their walls, and that they had to pay tribute and furnish contingents to Carthage. They were not liable however either to recruiting or to the land-tax, but contributed a definite amount of men and money, Little Leptis for instance paying the enormous sum annually of 365 talents (90,000 pounds); moreover they lived on a footing of equality in law with the Carthaginians, and could marry with them on equal terms.(3) Utica alone escaped a similar fate and had its walls and independence preserved to it, less perhaps from its own power than from the pious feeling of the Carthaginians towards their ancient protectors; in fact, the Phoenicians cherished for such relations a remarkable feeling of reverence presenting a thorough contrast to the indifference of the Greeks. Even in intercourse with foreigners it is always "Carthage and Utica" that stipulate and promise in conjunction; which, of course, did not preclude the far more important "new town" from practically asserting its hegemony also over Utica. Thus the Tyrian factory was converted into the capital of a mighty North -African empire, which extended from the desert of Tripoli to the Atlantic Ocean, contenting itself in its western portion (Morocco and Algiers) with the occupation, and that to some extent superficial, of a belt along the coast, but in the richer eastern portion (the present districts of Constantine and Tunis) stretching its sway over the interior also and constantly pushing its frontier farther to the south. The Carthaginians were, as an ancient author significantly expresses it, converted from Tyrians into Libyans. Phoenician civilization prevailed in Libya just as Greek civilization prevailed in Asia Minor and Syria after the campaigns of Alexander, although not with the same intensity. Phoenician was spoken and written at the courts of the Nomad sheiks, and the more civilized native tribes adopted for their language the Phoenician alphabet;(4) to Phoenicise them completely suited neither the genius of the nation nor the policy of Carthage.

The epoch, at which this transformation of Carthage into the capital of Libya took place, admits the less of being determined, because the change doubtless took place gradually. The author just mentioned names Hanno as the reformer of the nation. If the Hanno is meant who lived at the time of the first war with Rome, he can only be regarded as having completed the new system, the carrying out of which presumably occupied the fourth and fifth centuries of Rome.

The flourishing of Carthage was accompanied by a parallel decline in the great cities of the Phoenician mother-country, in Sidon and especially in Tyre, the prosperity of which was destroyed partly by internal commotions, partly by the pressure of external calamities, particularly of its sieges by Salmanassar in the first, Nebuchodrossor in the second, and Alexander in the fifth century of Rome. The noble families and the old firms of Tyre emigrated for the most part to the secure and flourishing daughter-city, and carried thither their intelligence, their capital, and their traditions. At the time when the Phoenicians came into contact with Rome, Carthage was as decidedly the first of Canaanite cities as Rome was the first of the Latin communities.

Naval Power of Carthage

But the empire of Libya was only half of the power of Carthage; its maritime and colonial dominion had acquired, during the same period, a not less powerful development.


In Spain the chief station of the Phoenicians was the primitive Tyrian settlement at Gades (Cadiz). Besides this they possessed to the west and east of it a chain of factories, and in the interior the region of the silver mines; so that they held nearly the modern Andalusia and Granada, or at least the coasts of these provinces. They made no effort to acquire the interior from the warlike native nations; they were content with the possession of the mines and of the stations for traffic and for shell and other fisheries; and they had difficulty in maintaining their ground even in these against the adjoining tribes. It is probable that these possessions were not properly Carthaginian but Tyrian, and Gades was not reckoned among the cities tributary to Carthage; but practically, like all the western Phoenicians, it was under Carthaginian hegemony, as is shown by the aid sent by Carthage to the Gaditani against the natives, and by the institution of Carthaginian trading settlements to the westward of Gades. Ebusus and the Baleares, again, were occupied by the Carthaginians themselves at an early period, partly for the fisheries, partly as advanced posts against the Massiliots, with whom furious conflicts were waged from these stations.


In like manner the Carthaginians already at the end of the second century of Rome established themselves in Sardinia, which was utilized by them precisely in the same way as Libya. While the natives withdrew into the mountainous interior of the island to escape from bondage as agricultural serfs, just as the Numidians in Africa withdrew to the borders of the desert, Phoenician colonies were conducted to Caralis (Cagliari) and other important points, and the fertile districts along the coast were turned to account by the introduction of Libyan cultivators.


Lastly in Sicily the straits of Messana and the larger eastern half of the island had fallen at an early period into the hands of the Greeks; but the Phoenicians, with the help of the Carthaginians, retained the smaller adjacent islands, the Aegates, Melita, Gaulos, Cossyra—the settlement in Malta especially was rich and flourishing—and they kept the west and north-west coast of Sicily, whence they maintained communication with Africa by means of Motya and afterwards of Lilybaeum and with Sardinia by means of Panormus and Soluntum. The interior of the island remained in the possession of the natives, the Elymi, Sicani, and Siceli. After the further advance of the Greeks was checked, a state of comparative peace had prevailed in the island, which even the campaign undertaken by the Carthaginians at the instigation of the Persians against their Greek neighbours on the island (274) did not permanently interrupt, and which continued on the whole to subsist till the Attic expedition to Sicily (339-341). The two competing nations made up their minds to tolerate each other, and confined themselves in the main each to its own field.

Maritime Supremacy
Rivalry with Syracuse

All these settlements and possessions were important enough in themselves; but they were of still greater moment, inasmuch as they became the pillars of the Carthaginian maritime supremacy. By their possession of the south of Spain, of the Baleares, of Sardinia, of western Sicily and Melita, and by their prevention of Hellenic colonies on the east coast of Spain, in Corsica, and in the region of the Syrtes, the masters of the north coast of Africa rendered their sea a closed one, and monopolized the western straits. In the Tyrrhene and Gallic seas alone the Phoenicians were obliged to admit the rivalry of other nations. This state of things might perhaps be endured, so long as the Etruscans and the Greeks served to counterbalance each other in these waters; with the former, as the less dangerous rivals, Carthage even entered into an alliance against the Greeks. But when, on the fall of the Etruscan power—a fall which, as is usually the case in such forced alliances, Carthage had hardly exerted all her power to avert—and after the miscarriage of the great projects of Alcibiades, Syracuse stood forth as indisputably the first Greek naval power, not only did the rulers of Syracuse naturally begin to aspire to dominion over Sicily and lower Italy and at the same time over the Tyrrhene and Adriatic seas, but the Carthaginians also were compelled to adopt a more energetic policy. The immediate result of the long and obstinate conflicts between them and their equally powerful and infamous antagonist, Dionysius of Syracuse (348-389), was the annihilation or weakening of the intervening Sicilian states—a result which both parties had an interest in accomplishing—and the division of the island between the Syracusans and Carthaginians. The most flourishing cities in the island—Selinus, Himera, Agrigentum, Gela, and Messana—were utterly destroyed by the Carthaginians in the course of these unhappy conflicts: and Dionysius was not displeased to see Hellenism destroyed or suppressed there, so that, leaning for support on foreign mercenaries enlisted from Italy, Gaul and Spain, he might rule in greater security over provinces which lay desolate or which were occupied by military colonies. The peace, which was concluded after the victory of the Carthaginian general Mago at Kronion (371), and which subjected to the Carthaginians the Greek cities of Thermae (the ancient Himera), Segesta, Heraclea Minoa, Selinus, and a part of the territory of Agrigentum as far as the Halycus, was regarded by the two powers contending for the possession of the island as only a temporary accommodation; on both sides the rivals were ever renewing their attempts to dispossess each other. Four several times—in 360 in the time of Dionysius the elder; in 410 in that of Timoleon; in 445 in that of Agathocles; in 476 in that of Pyrrhus—the Carthaginians were masters of all Sicily excepting Syracuse, and were baffled by its solid walls; almost as often the Syracusans, under able leaders, such as were the elder Dionysius, Agathocles, and Pyrrhus, seemed equally on the eve of dislodging the Africans from the island. But more and more the balance inclined to the side of the Carthaginians, who were, as a rule, the aggressors, and who, although they did not follow out their object with Roman steadfastness, yet conducted their attack with far greater method and energy than the Greek city, rent and worn out by factions, conducted its defence. The Phoenicians might with reason expect that a pestilence or a foreign -condottiere- would not always snatch the prey from their hands; and for the time being, at least at sea, the struggle was already decided:(5) the attempt of Pyrrhus to re-establish the Syracusan fleet was the last. After the failure of that attempt, the Carthaginian fleet commanded without a rival the whole western Mediterranean; and their endeavours to occupy Syracuse, Rhegium, and Tarentum, showed the extent of their power and the objects at which they aimed. Hand in hand with these attempts went the endeavour to monopolize more and more the maritime commerce of this region, at the expense alike of foreigners and of their own subjects; and it was not the wont of the Carthaginians to recoil from any violence that might help forward their purpose. A contemporary of the Punic wars, Eratosthenes, the father of geography (479-560), affirms that every foreign mariner sailing towards Sardinia or towards the Straits of Gades, who fell into the hands of the Carthaginians, was thrown by them into the sea; and with this statement the fact completely accords, that Carthage by the treaty of 406 (6) declared the Spanish, Sardinian, and Libyan ports open to Roman trading vessels, whereas by that of 448,(7) it totally closed them, with the exception of the port of Carthage itself, against the same.

Constitution of Carthage

Aristotle, who died about fifty years before the commencement of the first Punic war, describes the constitution of Carthage as having changed from a monarchy to an aristocracy, or to a democracy inclining towards oligarchy, for he designates it by both names. The conduct of affairs was immediately vested in the hands of the Council of Ancients, which, like the Spartan gerusia, consisted of the two kings nominated annually by the citizens, and of twenty-eight gerusiasts, who were also, as it appears, chosen annually by the citizens. It was this council which mainly transacted the business of the state-making, for instance, the preliminary arrangements for war, appointing levies and enlistments, nominating the general, and associating with him a number of gerusiasts from whom the sub-commanders were regularly taken; and to it despatches were addressed. It is doubtful whether by the side of this small council there existed a larger one; at any rate it was not of much importance. As little does any special influence seem to have belonged to the kings; they acted chiefly as supreme judges, and they were frequently so named (shofetes, -praetores-). The power of the general was greater. Isocrates, the senior contemporary of Aristotle, says that the Carthaginians had an oligarchical government at home, but a monarchical government in the field; and thus the office of the Carthaginian general may be correctly described by Roman writers as a dictatorship, although the gerusiasts attached to him must have practically at least restricted his power and, after he had laid down his office, a regular official reckoning—unknown among the Romans—awaited him. There existed no fixed term of office for the general, and for this very reason he was doubtless different from the annual king, from whom Aristotle also expressly distinguishes him. The combination however of several offices in one person was not unusual among the Carthaginians, and it is not therefore surprising that often the same person appears as at once general and shofete.


But the gerusia and the magistrates were subordinate to the corporation of the Hundred and Four (in round numbers the Hundred), or the Judges, the main bulwark of the Carthaginian oligarchy. It had no place in the original constitution of Carthage, but, like the Spartan ephorate, it originated in an aristocratic opposition to the monarchical elements of that constitution. As public offices were purchasable and the number of members forming the supreme board was small, a single Carthaginian family, eminent above all others in wealth and military renown, the clan of Mago,(8) threatened to unite in its own hands the management of the state in peace and war and the administration of justice. This led, nearly about the time of the decemvirs, to an alteration of the constitution and to the appointment of this new board. We know that the holding of the quaestorship gave a title to admission into the body of judges, but that the candidate had nevertheless to be elected by certain self-electing Boards of Five (Pentarchies); and that the judges, although presumably by law chosen from year to year, practically remained in office for a longer period or indeed for life, for which reason they are usually called "senators" by the Greeks and Romans. Obscure as are the details, we recognize clearly the nature of the body as an oligarchical board constituted by aristocratic cooptation; an isolated but characteristic indication of which is found in the fact that there were in Carthage special baths for the judges over and above the common baths for the citizens. They were primarily intended to act as political jurymen, who summoned the generals in particular, but beyond doubt the shofetes and gerusiasts also when circumstances required, to a reckoning on resigning office, and inflicted even capital punishment at pleasure, often with the most reckless cruelty. Of course in this as in every instance, where administrative functionaries are subjected to the control of another body, the real centre of power passed over from the controlled to the controlling authority; and it is easy to understand on the one hand how the latter came to interfere in all matters of administration—the gerusia for instance submitted important despatches first to the judges, and then to the people —and on the other hand how fear of the control at home, which regularly meted out its award according to success, hampered the Carthaginian statesman and general in council and action.


The body of citizens in Carthage, though not expressly restricted, as in Sparta, to the attitude of passive bystanders in the business of the state, appears to have had but a very slight amount of practical influence on it In the elections to the gerusia a system of open corruption was the rule; in the nomination of a general the people were consulted, but only after the nomination had really been made by proposal on the part of the gerusia; and other questions only went to the people when the gerusia thought fit or could not otherwise agree. Assemblies of the people with judicial functions were unknown in Carthage. The powerlessness of the citizens probably in the main resulted from their political organization; the Carthaginian mess- associations, which are mentioned in this connection and compared with the Spartan Pheiditia, were probably guilds under oligarchical management. Mention is made even of a distinction between "burgesses of the city" and "manual labourers," which leads us to infer that the latter held a very inferior position, perhaps beyond the pale of law.

Character of the Government

On a comprehensive view of its several elements, the Carthaginian constitution appears to have been a government of capitalists, such as might naturally arise in a burgess-community which had no middle class of moderate means but consisted on the one hand of an urban rabble without property and living from hand to mouth, and on the other hand of great merchants, planters, and genteel overseers. The system of repairing the fortunes of decayed grandees at the expense of the subjects, by despatching them as tax-assessors and taskwork-overseers to the dependent communities—that infallible token of a rotten urban oligarchy—was not wanting in Carthage; Aristotle describes it as the main cause of the tried durability of the Carthaginian constitution. Up to his time no revolution worth mentioning had taken place in Carthage either from above or from below. The multitude remained without leaders in consequence of the material advantages which the governing oligarchy was able to offer to all ambitious or necessitous men of rank, and was satisfied with the crumbs, which in the form of electoral corruption or otherwise fell to it from the table of the rich. A democratic opposition indeed could not fail with such a government to emerge; but at the time of the first Punic war it was still quite powerless. At a later period, partly under the influence of the defeats which were sustained, its political influence appears on the increase, and that far more rapidly than the influence of the similar party at the same period in Rome; the popular assemblies began to give the ultimate decision in political questions, and broke down the omnipotence of the Carthaginian oligarchy. After the termination of the Hannibalic war it was even enacted, on the proposal of Hannibal, that no member of the council of a Hundred could hold office for two consecutive years; and thereby a complete democracy was introduced, which certainly was under existing circumstances the only means of saving Carthage, if there was still time to do so. This opposition was swayed by a strong patriotic and reforming enthusiasm; but the fact cannot withal be overlooked, that it rested on a corrupt and rotten basis. The body of citizens in Carthage, which is compared by well-informed Greeks to the people of Alexandria, was so disorderly that to that extent it had well deserved to be powerless; and it might well be asked, what good could arise from revolutions, where, as in Carthage, the boys helped to make them.

Capital and Its Power in Carthage

From a financial point of view, Carthage held in every respect the first place among the states of antiquity. At the time of the Peloponnesian war this Phoenician city was, according to the testimony of the first of Greek historians, financially superior to all the Greek states, and its revenues were compared to those of the great-king; Polybius calls it the wealthiest city in the world. The intelligent character of the Carthaginian husbandry—which, as was the case subsequently in Rome, generals and statesmen did not disdain scientifically to practise and to teach—is attested by the agronomic treatise of the Carthaginian Mago, which was universally regarded by the later Greek and Roman farmers as the fundamental code of rational husbandry, and was not only translated into Greek, but was edited also in Latin by command of the Roman senate and officially recommended to the Italian landholders. A characteristic feature was the close connection between this Phoenician management of land and that of capital: it was quoted as a leading maxim of Phoenician husbandry that one should never acquire more land than he could thoroughly manage. The rich resources of the country in horses, oxen, sheep, and goats, in which Libya by reason of its Nomad economy perhaps excelled at that time, as Polybius testifies, all other lands of the earth, were of great advantage to the Carthaginians. As these were the instructors of the Romans in the art of profitably working the soil, they were so likewise in the art of turning to good account their subjects; by virtue of which Carthage reaped indirectly the rents of the "best part of Europe," and of the rich—and in some portions, such as in Byzacitis and on the lesser Syrtis, surpassingly productive—region of northern Africa. Commerce, which was always regarded in Carthage as an honourable pursuit, and the shipping and manufactures which commerce rendered flourishing, brought even in the natural course of things golden harvests annually to the settlers there; and we have already indicated how skilfully, by an extensive and evergrowing system of monopoly, not only all the foreign but also all the inland commerce of the western Mediterranean, and the whole carrying trade between the west and east, were more and more concentrated in that single harbour.

Science and art in Carthage, as afterwards in Rome, seem to have been mainly dependent on Hellenic influences, but they do not appear to have been neglected. There was a respectable Phoenician literature; and on the conquest of the city there were found rich treasures of art—not created, it is true, in Carthage, but carried off from Sicilian temples—and considerable libraries. But even intellect there was in the service of capital; the prominent features of its literature were chiefly agronomic and geographical treatises, such as the work of Mago already mentioned and the account by the admiral Hanno of his voyage along the west coast of Africa, which was originally deposited publicly in one of the Carthaginian temples, and which is still extant in a translation. Even the general diffusion of certain attainments, and particularly of the knowledge of foreign languages,(9) as to which the Carthage of this epoch probably stood almost on a level with Rome under the empire, forms an evidence of the thoroughly practical turn given to Hellenic culture in Carthage. It is absolutely impossible to form a conception of the mass of capital accumulated in this London of antiquity, but some notion at least may be gained of the sources of public revenue from the fact, that, in spite of the costly system on which Carthage organized its wars and in spite of the careless and faithless administration of the state property, the contributions of its subjects and the customs-revenue completely covered the expenditure, so that no direct taxes were levied from the citizens; and further, that even after the second Punic war, when the power of the state was already broken, the current expenses and the payment to Rome of a yearly instalment of 48,000 pounds could be met, without levying any tax, merely by a somewhat stricter management of the finances, and fourteen years after the peace the state proffered immediate payment of the thirty-six remaining instalments. But it was not merely the sum total of its revenues that evinced the superiority of the financial administration at Carthage. The economical principles of a later and more advanced epoch are found by us in Carthage alone of all the more considerable states of antiquity. Mention is made of foreign state-loans, and in the monetary system we find along with gold and silver mention of a token-money having no intrinsic value—a species of currency not used elsewhere in antiquity. In fact, if government had resolved itself into mere mercantile speculation, never would any state have solved the problem more brilliantly than Carthage.

Comparison between Carthage and Rome
In Their Economy

Let us now compare the respective resources of Carthage and Rome. Both were agricultural and mercantile cities, and nothing more; art and science had substantially the same altogether subordinate and altogether practical position in both, except that in this respect Carthage had made greater progress than Rome. But in Carthage the moneyed interest preponderated over the landed, in Rome at this time the landed still preponderated over the moneyed; and, while the agriculturists of Carthage were universally large landlords and slave-holders, in the Rome of this period the great mass of the burgesses still tilled their fields in person. The majority of the population in Rome held property, and was therefore conservative; the majority in Carthage held no property, and was therefore accessible to the gold of the rich as well as to the cry of the democrats for reform. In Carthage there already prevailed all that opulence which marks powerful commercial cities, while the manners and police of Rome still maintained at least externally the severity and frugality of the olden times. When the ambassadors of Carthage returned from Rome, they told their colleagues that the relations of intimacy among the Roman senators surpassed all conception; that a single set of silver plate sufficed for the whole senate, and had reappeared in every house to which the envoys had been invited. The sneer is a significant token of the difference in the economic conditions on either side.

In Their Constitution

In both the constitution was aristocratic; the judges governed in Carthage, as did the senate in Rome, and both on the same system of police-control. The strict state of dependence in which the governing board at Carthage held the individual magistrate, and the injunction to the citizens absolutely to refrain from learning the Greek language and to converse with a Greek only through the medium of the public interpreter, originated in the same spirit as the system of government at Rome; but in comparison with the cruel harshness and the absolute precision, bordering on silliness, of this Carthaginian state- tutelage, the Roman system of fining and censure appears mild and reasonable. The Roman senate, which opened its doors to eminent capacity and in the best sense represented the nation, was able also to trust it, and had no need to fear the magistrates. The Carthaginian senate, on the other hand, was based on a jealous control of administration by the government, and represented exclusively the leading families; its essence was mistrust of all above and below it, and therefore it could neither be confident that the people would follow whither it led, nor free from the dread of usurpations on the part of the magistrates. Hence the steady course of Roman policy, which never receded a step in times of misfortune, and never threw away the favours of fortune by negligence or indifference; whereas the Carthaginians desisted from the struggle when a last effort might perhaps have saved all, and, weary or forgetful of their great national duties, allowed the half-completed building to fall to pieces, only to begin it in a few years anew. Hence the capable magistrate in Rome was ordinarily on a good understanding with his government; in Carthage he was frequently at decided feud with his masters at home, and was forced to resist them by unconstitutional means and to make common cause with the opposing party of reform.

In the Treatment of Their Subject

Both Carthage and Rome ruled over communities of lineage kindred with their own, and over numerous others of alien race. But Rome had received into her citizenship one district after another, and had rendered it even legally accessible to the Latin communities; Carthage from the first maintained her exclusiveness, and did not permit the dependent districts even to cherish a hope of being some day placed upon an equal footing. Rome granted to the communities of kindred lineage a share in the fruits of victory, especially in the acquired domains; and sought, by conferring material advantages on the rich and noble, to gain over at least a party to her own interest in the other subject states. Carthage not only retained for herself the produce of her victories, but even deprived the most privileged cities of their freedom of trade. Rome, as a rule, did not wholly take away independence even from the subject communities, and imposed a fixed tribute on none; Carthage despatched her overseers everywhere, and loaded even the old-Phoenician cities with a heavy tribute, while her subject tribes were practically treated as state-slaves. In this way there was not in the compass of the Carthagino-African state a single community, with the exception of Utica, that would not have been politically and materially benefited by the fall of Carthage; in the Romano-Italic there was not one that had not much more to lose than to gain in rebelling against a government, which was careful to avoid injuring material interests, and which never at least by extreme measures challenged political opposition to conflict. If Carthaginian statesmen believed that they had attached to the interests of Carthage her Phoenician subjects by their greater dread of a Libyan revolt and all the landholders by means of token-money, they transferred mercantile calculation to a sphere to which it did not apply. Experience proved that the Roman symmachy, notwithstanding its seemingly looser bond of connection, kept together against Pyrrhus like a wall of rock, whereas the Carthaginian fell to pieces like a gossamer web as soon as a hostile army set foot on African soil. It was so on the landing of Agathocles and of Regulus, and likewise in the mercenary war; the spirit that prevailed in Africa is illustrated by the fact, that the Libyan women voluntarily contributed their ornaments to the mercenaries for their war against Carthage. In Sicily alone the Carthaginians appear to have exercised a milder rule, and to have attained on that account better results. They granted to their subjects in that quarter comparative freedom in foreign trade, and allowed them to conduct their internal commerce, probably from the outset and exclusively, with a metallic currency; far greater freedom of movement generally was allowed to them than was permitted to the Sardinians and Libyans. Had Syracuse fallen into Carthaginian hands, their policy would doubtless soon have changed. But that result did not take place; and so, owing to the well-calculated mildness of the Carthaginian government and the unhappy distractions of the Sicilian Greeks, there actually existed in Sicily a party really friendly to the Phoenicians; for example, even after the island had passed to the Romans, Philinus of Agrigentum wrote the history of the great war in a thoroughly Phoenician spirit. Nevertheless on the whole the Sicilians must, both as subjects and as Hellenes, have been at least as averse to their Phoenician masters as the Samnites and Tarentines were to the Romans.

In Finance

In a financial point of view the state revenues of Carthage doubtless far surpassed those of Rome; but this advantage was partly neutralized by the facts, that the sources of the Carthaginian revenue—tribute and customs—dried up far sooner (and just when they were most needed) than those of Rome, and that the Carthaginian mode of conducting war was far more costly than the Roman.

In Their Military System

The military resources of the Romans and Carthaginians were very different, yet in many respects not unequally balanced. The citizens of Carthage still at the conquest of the city amounted to 700,000, including women and children,(10) and were probably at least as numerous at the close of the fifth century; in that century they were able in case of need to set on foot a burgess-army of 40,000 hoplites. At the very beginning of the fifth century, Rome had in similar circumstances sent to the field a burgess-army equally strong;(11) after the great extensions of the burgess-domain in the course of that century the number of full burgesses capable of bearing arms must at least have doubled. But far more than in the number of men capable of bearing arms, Rome excelled in the effective condition of the burgess- soldier. Anxious as the Carthaginian government was to induce its citizens to take part in military service, it could neither furnish the artisan and the manufacturer with the bodily vigour of the husbandman, nor overcome the native aversion of the Phoenicians to warfare. In the fifth century there still fought in the Sicilian armies a "sacred band" of 2500 Carthaginians as a guard for the general; in the sixth not a single Carthaginian, officers excepted, was to be met with in the Carthaginian armies, e. g. in that of Spain. The Roman farmers, again, took their places not only in the muster- roll, but also in the field of battle. It was the same with the cognate races of both communities; while the Latins rendered to the Romans no less service than their own burgess-troops, the Liby- phoenicians were as little adapted for war as the Carthaginians, and, as may easily be supposed, still less desirous of it, and so they too disappeared from the armies; the towns bound to furnish contingents presumably redeemed their obligation by a payment of money. In the Spanish army just mentioned, composed of some 15,000 men, only a single troop of cavalry of 450 men consisted, and that but partly, of Liby-phoenicians. The flower of the Carthaginian armies was formed by the Libyan subjects, whose recruits were capable of being trained under able officers into good infantry, and whose light cavalry was unsurpassed in its kind. To these were added the forces of the more or less dependent tribes of Libya and Spain and the famous slingers of the Baleares, who seem to have held an intermediate position between allied contingents and mercenary troops; and finally, in case of need, the hired soldiery enlisted abroad. So far as numbers were concerned, such an army might without difficulty be raised almost to any desired strength; and in the ability of its officers, in acquaintance with arms, and in courage it might be capable of coping with that of Rome. Not only, however, did a dangerously long interval elapse, in the event of mercenaries being required, ere they could be got ready, while the Roman militia was able at any moment to take the field, but —which was the main matter—there was nothing to keep together the armies of Carthage but military honour and personal advantage, while the Romans were united by all the ties that bound them to their common fatherland. The Carthaginian officer of the ordinary type estimated his mercenaries, and even the Libyan farmers, very much as men in modern warfare estimate cannon-balls; hence such disgraceful proceedings as the betrayal of the Libyan troops by their general Himilco in 358, which was followed by a dangerous insurrection of the Libyans, and hence that proverbial cry of "Punic faith," which did the Carthaginians no small injury. Carthage experienced in full measure all the evils which armies of fellahs and mercenaries could bring upon a state, and more than once she found her paid serfs more dangerous than her foes.

The Carthaginian government could not fail to perceive the defects of this military system, and they certainly sought to remedy them by every available means. They insisted on maintaining full chests and full magazines, that they might at any time be able to equip mercenaries. They bestowed great care on those elements which among the ancients represented the modern artillery—the construction of machines, in which we find the Carthaginians regularly superior to the Siceliots, and the use of elephants, after these had superseded in warfare the earlier war-chariots: in the casemates of Carthage there were stalls for 300 elephants. They could not venture to fortify the dependent cities, and were obliged to submit to the occupation of the towns and villages as well as of the open country by any hostile army that landed in Africa—a thorough contrast to the state of Italy, where most of the subject towns had retained their walls, and a chain of Roman fortresses commanded the whole peninsula. But on the fortification of the capital they expended all the resources of money and of art, and on several occasions nothing but the strength of its walls saved the state; whereas Rome held a political and military position so secure that it never underwent a formal siege. Lastly, the main bulwark of the state was their war-marine, on which they lavished the utmost care. In the building as well as in the management of vessels the Carthaginians excelled the Greeks; it was at Carthage that ships were first built of more than three banks of oars, and the Carthaginian war-vessels, at this period mostly quinqueremes, were ordinarily better sailors than the Greek; the rowers, all of them public slaves, who never stirred from the galleys, were excellently trained, and the captains were expert and fearless. In this respect Carthage was decidedly superior to the Romans, who, with the few ships of their Greek allies and still fewer of their own, were unable even to show themselves in the open sea against the fleet which at that time without a rival ruled the western Mediterranean.

If, in conclusion, we sum up the results of this comparison of the resources of the two great powers, the judgment expressed by a sagacious and impartial Greek is perhaps borne out, that Carthage and Rome were, when the struggle between them began, on the whole equally matched. But we cannot omit to add that, while Carthage had put forth all the efforts of which intellect and wealth were capable to provide herself with artificial means of attack and defence, she was unable in any satisfactory way to make up for the fundamental wants of a land army of her own and of a symmachy resting on a self-supporting basis. That Rome could only be seriously attacked in Italy, and Carthage only in Libya, no one could fail to see; as little could any one fail to perceive that Carthage could not in the long run escape from such an attack. Fleets were not yet in those times of the infancy of navigation a permanent heirloom of nations, but could be fitted out wherever there were trees, iron, and water. It was clear, and had been several times tested in Africa itself, that even powerful maritime states were not able to prevent enemies weaker by sea from landing. When Agathocles had shown the way thither, a Roman general could follow the same course; and while in Italy the entrance of an invading army simply began the war, the same event in Libya put an end to it by converting it into a siege, in which, unless special accidents should intervene, even the most obstinate and heroic courage must finally succumb.

Notes for Chapter I

1. II. IV. Victories of Salamis and Himera, and Their Effects

2. I. X. Phoenicians and Italians in Opposition to the Hellenes

3. The most precise description of this important class occurs in the Carthaginian treaty (Polyb. vii. 9), where in contrast to the Uticenses on the one hand, and to the Libyan subjects on the other, they are called —ol Karchedonion uparchoi osoi tois autois nomois chrontai—. Elsewhere they are spoken of as cities allied (—summachides poleis—, Diod. xx. 10) or tributary (Liv. xxxiv. 62; Justin, xxii. 7, 3). Their -conubium- with the Carthaginians is mentioned by Diodorus, xx. 55; the -commercium- is implied in the "like laws." That the old Phoenician colonies were included among the Liby-phoenicians, is shown by the designation of Hippo as a Liby-phoenician city (Liv. xxv. 40); on the other hand as to the settlements founded from Carthage, for instance, it is said in the Periplus of Hanno: "the Carthaginians resolved that Hanno should sail beyond the Pillars of Hercules and found cities of Liby-phoenicians." In substance the word "Liby-phoenicians" was used by the Carthaginians not as a national designation, but as a category of state-law. This view is quite consistent with the fact that grammatically the name denotes Phoenicians mingled with Libyans (Liv. xxi. 22, an addition to the text of Polybius); in reality, at least in the institution of very exposed colonies, Libyans were frequently associated with Phoenicians (Diod. xiii. 79; Cic. pro Scauro, 42). The analogy in name and legal position between the Latins of Rome and the Liby-phoenicians of Carthage is unmistakable.

4. The Libyan or Numidian alphabet, by which we mean that which was and is employed by the Berbers in writing their non-Semitic language —one of the innumerable alphabets derived from the primitive Aramaean one—certainly appears to be more closely related in several of its forms to the latter than is the Phoenician alphabet; but it by no means follows from this, that the Libyans derived their writing not from Phoenicians but from earlier immigrants, any more than the partially older forms of the Italian alphabets prohibit us from deriving these from the Greek. We must rather assume that the Libyan alphabet has been derived from the Phoenician at a period of the latter earlier than the time at which the records of the Phoenician language that have reached us were written.

5. II. VII. Decline of the Roman Naval Power

6. II. VII. Decline of the Roman Naval Power

7. II. VII. The Roman Fleet

8. II. IV. Etrusco-Carthaginian Maritime Supremacy

9. The steward on a country estate, although a slave, ought, according to the precept of the Carthaginian agronome Mago (ap. Varro, R. R. i. 17), to be able to read, and ought to possess some culture. In the prologue of the "Poenulus" of Plautus, it is said of the hero of the title:-

-Et is omnes linguas scit; sed dissimulat sciens
Se scire; Poenus plane est; quid verbit opus't-?

10. Doubts have been expressed as to the correctness of this number, and the highest possible number of inhabitants, taking into account the available space, has been reckoned at 250,000. Apart from the uncertainty of such calculations, especially as to a commercial city with houses of six stories, we must remember that the numbering is doubtless to be understood in a political, not in an urban, sense, just like the numbers in the Roman census, and that thus all Carthaginians would be included in it, whether dwelling in the city or its neighbourhood, or resident in its subject territory or in other lands. There would, of course, be a large number of such absentees in the case of Carthage; indeed it is expressly stated that in Gades, for the same reason, the burgess-roll always showed a far higher number than that of the citizens who had their fixed residence there.

11. II. VII. System of Government, note

Chapter II

The War between Rome and Carthage Concerning Sicily

State of Sicily

For upwards of a century the feud between the Carthaginians and the rulers of Syracuse had devastated the fair island of Sicily. On both sides the contest was carried on with the weapons of political proselytism, for, while Carthage kept up communications with the aristocratic-republican opposition in Syracuse, the Syracusan dynasts maintained relations with the national party in the Greek cities that had become tributary to Carthage. On both sides armies of mercenaries were employed to fight their battles—by Timoleon and Agathocles, as well as by the Phoenician generals. And as like means were employed on both sides, so the conflict had been waged on both with a disregard of honour and a perfidy unexampled in the history of the west. The Syracusans were the weaker party. In the peace of 440 Carthage had still limited her claims to the third of the island to the west of Heraclea Minoa and Himera, and had expressly recognized the hegemony of the Syracusans over all the cities to the eastward. The expulsion of Pyrrhus from Sicily and Italy (479) left by far the larger half of the island, and especially the important Agrigentum, in the hands of Carthage; the Syracusans retained nothing but Tauromenium and the south-east of the island.

Campanian Mercenaries

In the second great city on the east coast, Messana, a band of foreign soldiers had established themselves and held the city, independent alike of Syracusans and Carthaginians. These new rulers of Messana were Campanian mercenaries. The dissolute habits that had become prevalent among the Sabellians settled in and around Capua,(1) had made Campania in the fourth and fifth centuries—what Aetolia, Crete, and Laconia were afterwards—the universal recruiting field for princes and cities in search of mercenaries. The semi-culture that had been called into existence there by the Campanian Greeks, the barbaric luxury of life in Capua and the other Campanian cities, the political impotence to which the hegemony of Rome condemned them, while yet its rule was not so stern as wholly to withdraw from them the right of self-disposal—all tended to drive the youth of Campania in troops to the standards of the recruiting officers. As a matter of course, this wanton and unscrupulous selling of themselves here, as everywhere, brought in its train estrangement from their native land, habits of violence and military disorder, and indifference to the breach of their allegiance. These Campanians could see no reason why a band of mercenaries should not seize on their own behalf any city entrusted to their guardianship, provided only they were in a position to hold it—the Samnites had established their dominion in Capua itself, and the Lucanians in a succession of Greek cities, after a fashion not much more honourable.


Nowhere was the state of political relations more inviting for such enterprises than in Sicily. Already the Campanian captains who came to Sicily during the Peloponnesian war had insinuated themselves in this way into Entella and Aetna. Somewhere about the year 470 a Campanian band, which had previously served under Agathocles and after his death (465) took up the trade of freebooters on their own account, established themselves in Messana, the second city of Greek Sicily, and the chief seat of the anti-Syracusan party in that portion of the island which was still in the power of the Greeks. The citizens were slain or expelled, their wives and children and houses were distributed among the soldiers, and the new masters of the city, the Mamertines or "men of Mars," as they called themselves, soon became the third power in the island, the north-eastern portion of which they reduced to subjection in the times of confusion that succeeded the death of Agathocles. The Carthaginians were no unwilling spectators of these events, which established in the immediate vicinity of the Syracusans a new and powerful adversary instead of a cognate and ordinarily allied or dependent city. With Carthaginian aid the Mamertines maintained themselves against Pyrrhus, and the untimely departure of the king restored to them all their power.

Hiero of Syracuse
War between the Syracusans and the Mammertines

It is not becoming in the historian either to excuse the perfidious crime by which the Mamertines seized their power, or to forget that the God of history does not necessarily punish the sins of the fathers to the fourth generation. He who feels it his vocation to judge the sins of others may condemn the human agents; for Sicily it might be a blessing that a warlike power, and one belonging to the island, thus began to be formed in it—a power which was already able to bring eight thousand men into the field, and which was gradually putting itself in a position to take up at the proper time and on its own resources that struggle against the foreigners, to the maintenance of which the Hellenes, becoming more and more unaccustomed to arms notwithstanding their perpetual wars, were no longer equal.

In the first instance, however, things took another turn. A young Syracusan officer, who by his descent from the family of Gelo and his intimate relations of kindred with king Pyrrhus as well as by the distinction with which he had fought in the campaigns of the latter, had attracted the notice of his fellow-citizens as well as of the Syracusan soldiery—Hiero, son of Hierocles—was called by military election to command the army, which was at variance with the citizens (479-480). By his prudent administration, the nobility of his character, and the moderation of his views, he rapidly gained the hearts of the citizens of Syracuse—who had been accustomed to the most scandalous lawlessness in their despots—and of the Sicilian Greeks in general. He rid himself—in a perfidious manner, it is true—of the insubordinate army of mercenaries, revived the citizen- militia, and endeavoured, at first with the title of general, afterwards with that of king, to re-establish the deeply sunken Hellenic power by means of his civic troops and of fresh and more manageable recruits. With the Carthaginians, who in concert with the Greeks had driven king Pyrrhus from the island, there was at that time peace. The immediate foes of the Syracusans were the Mamertines. They were the kinsmen of those hated mercenaries whom the Syracusans had recently extirpated; they had murdered their own Greek hosts; they had curtailed the Syracusan territory; they had oppressed and plundered a number of smaller Greek towns. In league with the Romans who just about this time were sending their legions against the Campanians in Rhegium, the allies, kinsmen, and confederates in crime of the Mamertines,(2) Hiero turned his arms against Messana. By a great victory, after which Hiero was proclaimed king of the Siceliots (484), he succeeded in shutting up the Mamertines within their city, and after the siege had lasted some years, they found themselves reduced to extremity and unable to hold the city longer against Hiero on their own resources. It is evident that a surrender on stipulated conditions was impossible, and that the axe of the executioner, which had fallen upon the Campanians of Rhegium at Rome, as certainly awaited those of Messana at Syracuse. Their only means of safety lay in delivering up the city either to the Carthaginians or to the Romans, both of whom could not but be so strongly set upon acquiring that important place as to overlook all other scruples. Whether it would be more advantageous to surrender it to the masters of Africa or to the masters of Italy, was doubtful; after long hesitation the majority of the Campanian burgesses at length resolved to offer the possession of their sea-commanding fortress to the Romans.

The Mammertines Received into the Italian Confederacy

It was a moment of the deepest significance in the history of the world, when the envoys of the Mamertines appeared in the Roman senate. No one indeed could then anticipate all that was to depend on the crossing of that narrow arm of the sea; but that the decision, however it should go, would involve consequences far other and more important than had attached to any decree hitherto passed by the senate, must have been manifest to every one of the deliberating fathers of the city. Strictly upright men might indeed ask how it was possible to deliberate at all, and how any one could even think of suggesting that the Romans should not only break their alliance with Hiero, but should, just after the Campanians of Rhegium had been punished by them with righteous severity, admit the no less guilty Sicilian accomplices to the alliance and friendship of the state, and thereby rescue them from the punishment which they deserved. Such an outrage on propriety would not only afford their adversaries matter for declamation, but must seriously offend all men of moral feeling. But even the statesman, with whom political morality was no mere phrase, might ask in reply, how Roman burgesses, who had broken their military oath and treacherously murdered the allies of Rome, could be placed on a level with foreigners who had committed an outrage on foreigners, where no one had constituted the Romans judges of the one or avengers of the other? Had the question been only whether the Syracusans or Mamertines should rule in Messana, Rome might certainly have acquiesced in the rule of either. Rome was striving for the possession of Italy, as Carthage for that of Sicily; the designs of the two powers scarcely then went further. But that very circumstance formed a reason why each desired to have and retain on its frontier an intermediate power—the Carthaginians for instance reckoning in this way on Tarentum, the Romans on Syracuse and Messana—and why, if that course was impossible, each preferred to see these adjacent places given over to itself rather than to the other great power. As Carthage had made an attempt in Italy, when Rhegium and Tarentum were about to be occupied by the Romans, to acquire these cities for itself, and had only been prevented from doing so by accident, so in Sicily an opportunity now offered itself for Rome to bring the city of Messana into its symmachy; should the Romans reject it, it was not to be expected that the city would remain independent or would become Syracusan; they would themselves throw it into the arms of the Phoenicians. Were they justified in allowing an opportunity to escape, such as certainly would never recur, of making themselves masters of the natural tete de pont between Italy and Sicily, and of securing it by means of a brave garrison on which they could, for good reasons, rely? Were they justified in abandoning Messana, and thereby surrendering the command of the last free passage between the eastern and western seas, and sacrificing the commercial liberty of Italy? It is true that other objections might be urged to the occupation of Messana besides mere scruples of feeling and of honourable policy. That it could not but lead to a war with Carthage, was the least of these; serious as was such a war, Rome might not fear it. But there was the more important objection that by crossing the sea the Romans would depart from the purely Italian and purely continental policy which they had hitherto pursued; they would abandon the system by which their ancestors had founded the greatness of Rome, to enter upon another system the results of which no one could foretell. It was one of those moments when calculation ceases, and when faith in men's own and in their country's destiny alone gives them courage to grasp the hand which beckons to them out of the darkness of the future, and to follow it no one knows whither. Long and seriously the senate deliberated on the proposal of the consuls to lead the legions to the help of the Mamertines; it came to no decisive resolution. But the burgesses, to whom the matter was referred, were animated by a lively sense of the greatness of the power which their own energy had established. The conquest of Italy encouraged the Romans, as that of Greece encouraged the Macedonians and that of Silesia the Prussians, to enter upon a new political career. A formal pretext for supporting the Mamertines was found in the protectorate which Rome claimed the right to exercise over all Italians. The transmarine Italians were received into the Italian confederacy;(3) and on the proposal of the consuls the citizens resolved to send them aid (489).

Variance between Rome and Carthage
Carthaginians in Messana
Messana Seized by the Romans
War between the Romans and the Carthaginians and the Syracusans

Much depended on the way in which the two Sicilian powers, immediately affected by this intervention of the Romans in the affairs of the island, and both hitherto nominally in alliance with Rome, would regard her interference. Hiero had sufficient reason to treat the summons, by which the Romans required him to desist from hostilities against their new confederates in Messana, precisely in the same way as the Samnites and Lucanians in similar circumstances had received the occupation of Capua and Thurii, and to answer the Romans by a declaration of war. If, however, he remained unsupported, such a war would be folly; and it might be expected from his prudent and moderate policy that he would acquiesce in what was inevitable, if Carthage should be disposed for peace. This seemed not impossible. A Roman embassy was now (489) sent to Carthage, seven years after the attempt of the Phoenician fleet to gain possession of Tarentum, to demand explanations as to these incidents.(4) Grievances not unfounded, but half-forgotten, once more emerged—it seemed not superfluous amidst other warlike preparations to replenish the diplomatic armoury with reasons for war, and for the coming manifesto to reserve to themselves, as was the custom of the Romans, the character of the party aggrieved. This much at least might with entire justice be affirmed, that the respective enterprises on Tarentum and Messana stood upon exactly the same footing in point of design and of pretext, and that it was simply the accident of success that made the difference. Carthage avoided an open rupture. The ambassadors carried back to Rome the disavowal of the Carthaginian admiral who had made the attempt on Tarentum, along with the requisite false oaths: the counter-complaints, which of course were not wanting on the part of Carthage, were studiously moderate, and abstained from characterizing the meditated invasion of Sicily as a ground for war. Such, however, it was; for Carthage regarded the affairs of Sicily —just as Rome regarded those of Italy—as internal matters in which an independent power could allow no interference, and was determined to act accordingly. But Phoenician policy followed a gentler course than that of threatening open war. When the preparations of Rome for sending help to the Mamertines were at length so far advanced that the fleet formed of the war-vessels of Naples, Tarentum, Velia, and Locri, and the vanguard of the Roman land army under the military tribune Gaius Claudius, had appeared at Rhegium (in the spring of 490), unexpected news arrived from Messana that the Carthaginians, having come to an understanding with the anti-Roman party there, had as a neutral power arranged a peace between Hiero and the Mamertines; that the siege had in consequence been raised; and that a Carthaginian fleet lay in the harbour of Messana, and a Carthaginian garrison in the citadel, both under the command of admiral Hanno. The Mamertine citizens, now controlled by Carthaginian influence, informed the Roman commanders, with due thanks to the federal help so speedily accorded to them, that they were glad that they no longer needed it. The adroit and daring officer who commanded the Roman vanguard nevertheless set sail with his troops. But the Carthaginians warned the Roman vessels to retire, and even made some of them prizes; these, however, the Carthaginian admiral, remembering his strict orders to give no pretext for the outbreak of hostilities, sent back to his good friends on the other side of the straits. It almost seemed as if the Romans had compromised themselves as uselessly before Messana, as the Carthaginians before Tarentum. But Claudius did not allow himself to be deterred, and on a second attempt he succeeded in landing. Scarcely had he arrived when he called a meeting of the citizens; and, at his wish, the Carthaginian admiral also appeared at the meeting, still imagining that he should be able to avoid an open breach. But the Romans seized his person in the assembly itself; and Hanno and the Phoenician garrison in the citadel, weak and destitute of a leader, were pusillanimous enough, the former to give to his troops the command to withdraw, the latter to comply with the orders of their captive general and to evacuate the city along with him. Thus the tete de pont of the island fell into the hands of the Romans. The Carthaginian authorities, justly indignant at the folly and weakness of their general, caused him to be executed, and declared war against the Romans. Above all it was their aim to recover the lost place. A strong Carthaginian fleet, led by Hanno, son of Hannibal, appeared off Messana; while the fleet blockaded the straits, the Carthaginian army landing from it began the siege on the north side. Hiero, who had only waited for the Carthaginian attack to begin the war with Rome, again brought up his army, which he had hardly withdrawn, against Messana, and undertook the attack on the south side of the city.

Peace with Hiero

But meanwhile the Roman consul Appius Claudius Caudex had appeared at Rhegium with the main body of his army, and succeeded in crossing on a dark night in spite of the Carthaginian fleet. Audacity and fortune were on the side of the Romans; the allies, not prepared for an attack by the whole Roman army and consequently not united, were beaten in detail by the Roman legions issuing from the city; and thus the siege was raised. The Roman army kept the field during the summer, and even made an attempt on Syracuse; but, when that had failed and the siege of Echetla (on the confines of the territories of Syracuse and Carthage) had to be abandoned with loss, the Roman army returned to Messana, and thence, leaving a strong garrison behind them, to Italy. The results obtained in this first campaign of the Romans out of Italy may not quite have corresponded to the expectations at home, for the consul had no triumph; nevertheless, the energy which the Romans displayed in Sicily could not fail to make a great impression on the Sicilian Greeks. In the following year both consuls and an army twice as large entered the island unopposed. One of them, Marcus Valerius Maximus, afterwards called from this campaign the "hero of Messana" (-Messalla-), achieved a brilliant victory over the allied Carthaginians and Syracusans. After this battle the Phoenician army no longer ventured to keep the field against the Romans; Alaesa, Centuripa, and the smaller Greek towns generally fell to the victors, and Hiero himself abandoned the Carthaginian side and made peace and alliance with the Romans (491). He pursued a judicious policy in joining the Romans as soon as it appeared that their interference in Sicily was in earnest, and while there was still time to purchase peace without cessions and sacrifices. The intermediate states in Sicily, Syracuse and Messana, which were unable to follow out a policy of their own and had only the choice between Roman and Carthaginian hegemony, could not but at any rate prefer the former; because the Romans had very probably not as yet formed the design of conquering the island for themselves, but sought merely to prevent its being acquired by Carthage, and at all events Rome might be expected to substitute a more tolerable treatment and a due protection of commercial freedom for the tyrannizing and monopolizing system that Carthage pursued. Henceforth Hiero continued to be the most important, the steadiest, and the most esteemed ally of the Romans in the island.

Capture of Agrigentum

The Romans had thus gained their immediate object. By their double alliance with Messana and Syracuse, and the firm hold which they had on the whole east coast, they secured the means of landing on the island and of maintaining—which hitherto had been a very difficult matter—their armies there; and the war, which had previously been doubtful and hazardous, lost in a great measure its character of risk. Accordingly, no greater exertions were made for it than for the wars in Samnium and Etruria; the two legions which were sent over to the island for the next year (492) sufficed, in concert with the Sicilian Greeks, to drive the Carthaginians everywhere into their fortresses. The commander-in-chief of the Carthaginians, Hannibal son of Gisgo, threw himself with the flower of his troops into Agrigentum, to defend to the last that most important of the Carthaginian inland cities. Unable to storm a city so strong, the Romans blockaded it with entrenched lines and a double camp; the besieged, who numbered 50,000 soon suffered from want of provisions. To raise the siege the Carthaginian admiral Hanno landed at Heraclea, and cut off in turn the supplies from the Roman besieging force. On both sides the distress was great. At length a battle was resolved on, to put an end to the state of embarrassment and uncertainty. In this battle the Numidian cavalry showed itself just as superior to the Roman horse as the Roman infantry was superior to the Phoenician foot; the infantry decided the victory, but the losses even of the Romans were very considerable. The result of the successful struggle was somewhat marred by the circumstance that, after the battle, during the confusion and fatigue of the conquerors, the beleaguered army succeeded in escaping from the city and in reaching the fleet. The victory was nevertheless of importance; Agrigentum fell into the hands of the Romans, and thus the whole island was in their power, with the exception of the maritime fortresses, in which the Carthaginian general Hamilcar, Hanno's successor in command, entrenched himself to the teeth, and was not to be driven out either by force or by famine. The war was thenceforth continued only by sallies of the Carthaginians from the Sicilian fortresses and their descents on the Italian coasts.

Beginning of the Maritime War
The Romans Build a Fleet

In fact, the Romans now for the first time felt the real difficulties of the war. If, as we are told, the Carthaginian diplomatists before the outbreak of hostilities warned the Romans not to push the matter to a breach, because against their will no Roman could even wash his hands in the sea, the threat was well founded. The Carthaginian fleet ruled the sea without a rival, and not only kept the coast towns of Sicily in due obedience and provided them with all necessaries, but also threatened a descent upon Italy, for which reason it was necessary in 492 to retain a consular army there. No invasion on a large scale occurred; but smaller Carthaginian detachments landed on the Italian coasts and levied contributions on the allies of Rome, and what was worst of all, completely paralyzed the commerce of Rome and her allies. The continuance of such a course for even a short time would suffice entirely to ruin Caere, Ostia, Neapolis, Tarentum, and Syracuse, while the Carthaginians easily consoled themselves for the loss of the tribute of Sicily with the contributions which they levied and the rich prizes of their privateering. The Romans now learned, what Dionysius, Agathocles, and Pyrrhus had learned before, that it was as difficult to conquer the Carthaginians as it was easy to beat them in the field. They saw that everything depended on procuring a fleet, and resolved to form one of twenty triremes and a hundred quinqueremes. The execution, however, of this energetic resolution was not easy. The representation originating in the schools of the rhetoricians, which would have us believe that the Romans then for the first time dipped their oars in water, is no doubt a childish tale; the mercantile marine of Italy must at this time have been very extensive, and there was no want even of Italian vessels of war. But these were war-barks and triremes, such as had been in use in earlier times; quinqueremes, which under the more modern system of naval warfare that had originated chiefly in Cartilage were almost exclusively employed in the line, had not yet been built in Italy. The measure adopted by the Romans was therefore much as if a maritime state of the present day were to pass at once from the building of frigates and cutters to the building of ships of the line; and, just as in such a case now a foreign ship of the line would, if possible, be adopted as a pattern, the Romans referred their master shipbuilders to a stranded Carthaginian -penteres- as a model No doubt the Romans, had they wished, might have sooner attained their object with the aid of the Syracusans and Massiliots; but their statesmen had too much sagacity to desire to defend Italy by means of a fleet not Italian. The Italian allies, however, were largely drawn upon both for the naval officers, who must have been for the most part taken from the Italian mercantile marine, and for the sailors, whose name (-socii navales-) shows that for a time they were exclusively furnished by the allies; along with these, slaves provided by the state and the wealthier families were afterwards employed, and ere long also the poorer class of burgesses. Under such circumstances, and when we take into account, as is but fair, on the one hand the comparatively low state of shipbuilding at that time, and on the other hand the energy of the Romans, there is nothing incredible in the statement that the Romans solved within a year the problem—which baffled Napoleon—of converting a continental into a maritime power, and actually launched their fleet of 120 sail in the spring of 494. It is true, that it was by no means a match for the Carthaginian fleet in numbers and efficiency at sea; and these were points of the greater importance, as the naval tactics of the period consisted mainly in manoeuvring. In the maritime warfare of that period hoplites and archers no doubt fought from the deck, and projectile machines were also plied from it; but the ordinary and really decisive mode of action consisted in running foul of the enemy's vessels, for which purpose the prows were furnished with heavy iron beaks: the vessels engaged were in the habit of sailing round each other till one or the other succeeded in giving the thrust, which usually proved decisive. Accordingly the crew of an ordinary Greek trireme, consisting of about 200 men, contained only about 10 soldiers, but on the other hand 170 rowers, from 50 to 60 on each deck; that of a quinquereme numbered about 300 rowers, and soldiers in proportion.

The happy idea occurred to the Romans that they might make up for what their vessels, with their unpractised officers and crews, necessarily lacked in ability of manoeuvring, by again assigning a more considerable part in naval warfare to the soldiers. They stationed at the prow of each vessel a flying bridge, which could be lowered in front or on either side; it was furnished on both sides with parapets, and had space for two men in front. When the enemy's vessel was sailing up to strike the Roman one, or was lying alongside of it after the thrust had been evaded, the bridge on deck was suddenly lowered and fastened to its opponent by means of a grappling- iron: this not only prevented the running down, but enabled the Roman marines to pass along the bridge to the enemy's deck and to carry it by assault as in a conflict on land. No distinct body of marines was formed, but land troops were employed, when required, for this maritime service. In one instance as many as 120 legionaries fought in each ship on occasion of a great naval battle; in that case however the Roman fleet had at the same time a landing-army on board.

In this way the Romans created a fleet which was a match for the Carthaginians. Those err, who represent this building of a Roman fleet as a fairy tale, and besides they miss their aim; the feat must be understood in order to be admired. The construction of a fleet by the Romans was in very truth a noble national work—a work through which, by their clear perception of what was needful and possible, by ingenuity in invention, and by energy in resolution and in execution, they rescued their country from a position which was worse than at first it seemed.

Naval Victory at Mylae

The outset, nevertheless, was not favourable to the Romans. The Roman admiral, the consul Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio, who had sailed for Messana with the first seventeen vessels ready for sea (494), fancied, when on the voyage, that he should be able to capture Lipara by a coup de main. But a division of the Carthaginian fleet stationed at Panormus blockaded the harbour of the island where the Roman vessels rode at anchor, and captured the whole squadron along with the consul without a struggle. This, however, did not deter the main fleet from likewise sailing, as soon as its preparations were completed, for Messana. On its voyage along the Italian coast it fell in with a Carthaginian reconnoitring squadron of less strength, on which it had the good fortune to inflict a loss more than counterbalancing the first loss of the Romans; and thus successful and victorious it entered the port of Messana, where the second consul Gaius Duilius took the command in room of his captured colleague. At the promontory of Mylae, to the north-west of Messana, the Carthaginian fleet, that advanced from Panormus under the command of Hannibal, encountered the Roman, which here underwent its first trial on a great scale. The Carthaginians, seeing in the ill-sailing and unwieldy vessels of the Romans an easy prey, fell upon them in irregular order; but the newly invented boarding-bridges proved their thorough efficiency. The Roman vessels hooked and stormed those of the enemy as they came up one by one; they could not be approached either in front or on the sides without the dangerous bridge descending on the enemy's deck. When the battle was over, about fifty Carthaginian vessels, almost the half of the fleet, were sunk or captured by the Romans; among the latter was the ship of the admiral Hannibal, formerly belonging to king Pyrrhus. The gain was great; still greater the moral effect of the victory. Rome had suddenly become a naval power, and held in her hand the means of energetically terminating a war which threatened to be endlessly prolonged and to involve the commerce of Italy in ruin.

The War on the Coasts of Sicily and Sardinia

Two plans were open to the Romans. They might attack Carthage on the Italian islands and deprive her of the coast fortresses of Sicily and Sardinia one after another—a scheme which was perhaps practicable through well-combined operations by land and sea; and, in the event of its being accomplished, peace might either be concluded with Carthage on the basis of the cession of these islands, or, should such terms not be accepted or prove unsatisfactory, the second stage of the war might be transferred to Africa. Or they might neglect the islands and throw themselves at once with all their strength on Africa, not, in the adventurous style of Agathocles, burning their vessels behind them and staking all on the victory of a desperate band, but covering with a strong fleet the communications between the African invading army and Italy; and in that case a peace on moderate terms might be expected from the consternation of the enemy after the first successes, or, if the Romans chose, they might by pushing matters to an extremity compel the enemy to entire surrender.

They chose, in the first instance, the former plan of operations. In the year after the battle of Mylae (495) the consul Lucius Scipio captured the port of Aleria in Corsica—we still possess the tombstone of the general, which makes mention of this deed—and made Corsica a naval station against Sardinia. An attempt to establish a footing in Ulbia on the northern coast of that island failed, because the fleet wanted troops for landing. In the succeeding year (496) it was repeated with better success, and the open villages along the coast were plundered; but no permanent establishment of the Romans took place. Nor was greater progress made in Sicily. Hamilcar conducted the war with energy and adroitness, not only by force of arms on sea and land, but also by political proselytism. Of the numerous small country towns some every year fell away from the Romans, and had to be laboriously wrested afresh from the Phoenician grasp; while in the coast fortresses the Carthaginians maintained themselves without challenge, particularly in their headquarters of Panormus and in their new stronghold of Drepana, to which, on account of its easier defence by sea, Hamilcar had transferred the inhabitants of Eryx. A second great naval engagement off the promontory of Tyndaris (497), in which both parties claimed the victory, made no change in the position of affairs. In this way no progress was made, whether in consequence of the division and rapid change of the chief command of the Roman troops, which rendered the concentrated management of a series of operations on a small scale exceedingly difficult, or from the general strategical relations of the case, which certainly, as the science of war then stood, were unfavourable to the attacking party in general,(5) and particularly so to the Romans, who were still on the mere threshold of scientific warfare. Meanwhile, although the pillaging of the Italian coasts had ceased, the commerce of Italy suffered not much less than it had done before the fleet was built.

Attack on Africa
Naval Victory of Ecnomus

Weary of a course of operations without results, and impatient to put an end to the war, the senate resolved to change its system, and to assail Carthage in Africa. In the spring of 498 a fleet of 330 ships of the line set sail for the coast of Libya: at the mouth of the river Himera on the south coast of Sicily it embarked the army for landing, consisting of four legions, under the charge of the two consuls Marcus Atilius Regulus and Lucius Manlius Volso, both experienced generals. The Carthaginian admiral suffered the embarkation of the enemy's troops to take place; but on continuing their voyage towards Africa the Romans found the Punic fleet drawn up in order of battle off Ecnomus to protect its native land from invasion. Seldom have greater numbers fought at sea than were engaged in the battle that now ensued. The Roman fleet: of 330 sail contained at least 100,000 men in its crews, besides the landing army of about 40,000; the Carthaginian of 350 vessels was manned by at least an equal number; so that well-nigh three hundred thousand men were brought into action on this day to decide the contest between the two mighty civic communities. The Phoenicians were placed in a single widely-extended line, with their left wing resting on the Sicilian coast. The Romans arranged themselves in a triangle, with the ships of the two consuls as admirals at the apex, the first and second squadrons drawn out in oblique line to the right and left, and a third squadron, having the vessels built for the transport of the cavalry in tow, forming the line which closed the triangle. They thus bore down in close order on the enemy. A fourth squadron placed in reserve followed more slowly. The wedge-shaped attack broke without difficulty the Carthaginian line, for its centre, which was first assailed, intentionally gave way, and the battle resolved itself into three separate engagements. While the admirals with the two squadrons drawn up on the wings pursued the Carthaginian centre and were closely engaged with it, the left wing of the Carthaginians drawn up along the coast wheeled round upon the third Roman squadron, which was prevented by the vessels which it had in tow from following the two others, and by a vehement onset in superior force drove it against the shore; at the same time the Roman reserve was turned on the open sea, and assailed from behind, by the right wing of the Carthaginians. The first of these three engagements was soon at an end; the ships of the Carthaginian centre, manifestly much weaker than the two Roman squadrons with which they were engaged, took to flight. Meanwhile the two other divisions of the Romans had a hard struggle with the superior enemy; but in close fighting the dreaded boarding-bridges stood them in good stead, and by this means they succeeded in holding out till the two admirals with their vessels could come up. By their arrival the Roman reserve was relieved, and the Carthaginian vessels of the right wing retired before the superior force. And now, when this conflict had been decided in favour of the Romans, all the Roman vessels that still could keep the sea fell on the rear of the Carthaginian left wing, which was obstinately following up its advantage, so that it was surrounded and almost all the vessels composing it were taken. The losses otherwise were nearly equal. Of the Roman fleet 24 sail were sunk; of the Carthaginian 30 were sunk, and 64 were taken.

Landing of Regulus in Africa

Notwithstanding its considerable loss, the Carthaginian fleet did not give up the protection of Africa, and with that view returned to the gulf of Carthage, where it expected the descent to take place and purposed to give battle a second time. But the Romans landed, not on the western side of the peninsula which helps to form the gulf, but on the eastern side, where the bay of Clupea presented a spacious harbour affording protection in almost all winds, and the town, situated close by the sea on a shield-shaped eminence rising out of the plain, supplied an excellent defence for the harbour. They disembarked the troops without hindrance from the enemy, and established themselves on the hill; in a short time an entrenched naval camp was constructed, and the land army was at liberty to commence operations. The Roman troops ranged over the country and levied contributions: they were able to send as many as 20,000 slaves to Rome. Through the rarest good fortune the bold scheme had succeeded at the first stroke, and with but slight sacrifices: the end seemed attained. The feeling of confidence that in this respect animated the Romans is evinced by the resolution of the senate to recall to Italy the greater portion of the fleet and half of the army; Marcus Regulus alone remained in Africa with 40 ships, 15,000 infantry, and 500 cavalry. Their confidence, however, was seemingly not overstrained. The Carthaginian army, which was disheartened, did not venture forth into the plain, but waited to sustain discomfiture in the wooded defiles, in which it could make no use of its two best arms, the cavalry and the elephants. The towns surrendered -en masse-; the Numidians rose in insurrection, and overran the country far and wide. Regulus might hope to begin the next campaign with the siege of the capital, and with that view he pitched his camp for the winter in its immediate vicinity at Tunes.

Vain Negotiations for Peace

The spirit of the Carthaginians was broken: they sued for peace. But the conditions which the consul proposed—not merely the cession of Sicily and Sardinia, but the conclusion of an alliance on unequal terms with Rome, which would have bound the Carthaginians to renounce a war-marine of their own and to furnish vessels for the Roman wars —conditions which would have placed Carthage on a level with Neapolis and Tarentum, could not be accepted, so long as a Carthaginian army kept the field and a Carthaginian fleet kept the sea, and the capital stood unshaken.

Preparations of Carthage

The mighty enthusiasm, which is wont to blaze up nobly among Oriental nations, even the most abased, on the approach of extreme peril—the energy of dire necessity—impelled the Carthaginians to exertions, such as were by no means expected from a nation of shopkeepers. Hamilcar, who had carried on the guerilla war against the Romans in Sicily with so much success, appeared in Libya with the flower of the Sicilian troops, which furnished an admirable nucleus for the newly-levied force. The connections and gold of the Carthaginians, moreover, brought to them excellent Numidian horsemen in troops, and also numerous Greek mercenaries; amongst whom was the celebrated captain Xanthippus of Sparta, whose talent for organization and strategical skill were of great service to his new masters.(6) While the Carthaginians were thus making their preparations in the course of the winter, the Roman general remained inactive at Tunes. Whether it was that he did not anticipate the storm which was gathering over his head, or that a sense of military honour prohibited him from doing what his position demanded—instead of renouncing a siege which he was not in a condition even to attempt, and shutting himself up in the stronghold of Clupea, he remained with a handful of men before the walls of the hostile capital, neglecting even to secure his line of retreat to the naval camp, and neglecting to provide himself with —what above all he wanted, and what might have been so easily obtained through negotiation with the revolted Numidian tribes —a good light cavalry. He thus wantonly brought himself and his army into a plight similar to that which formerly befell Agathocles in his desperate adventurous expedition.

Defeat of Regulus

When spring came (499), the state of affairs had so changed, that now the Carthaginians were the first to take the field and to offer battle to the Romans. It was natural that they should do so, for everything depended on their getting quit of the army of Regulus, before reinforcements could arrive from Italy. The same reason should have led the Romans to desire delay; but, relying on their invincibleness in the open field, they at once accepted battle notwithstanding their inferiority of strength—for, although the numbers of the infantry on both sides were nearly the same, their 4000 cavalry and 100 elephants gave to the Carthaginians a decided superiority—and notwithstanding the unfavourable nature of the ground, the Carthaginians having taken up their position in a broad plain presumably not far from Tunes. Xanthippus, who on this day commanded the Carthaginians, first threw his cavalry on that of the enemy, which was stationed, as usual, on the two flanks of the line of battle; the few squadrons of the Romans were scattered like dust in a moment before the masses of the enemy's horse, and the Roman infantry found itself outflanked by them and surrounded. The legions, unshaken by their apparent danger, advanced to attack the enemy's line; and, although the row of elephants placed as a protection in front of it checked the right wing and centre of the Romans, the left wing at any rate, marching past the elephants, engaged the mercenary infantry on the right of the enemy, and overthrew them completely. But this very success broke up the Roman ranks. The main body indeed, assailed by the elephants in front and by the cavalry on the flanks and in the rear, formed square, and defended itself with heroic courage, but the close masses were at length broken and swept away. The victorious left wing encountered the still fresh Carthaginian centre, where the Libyan infantry prepared a similar fate for it. From the nature of the ground and the superior numbers of the enemy's cavalry, all the combatants in these masses were cut down or taken prisoners; only two thousand men, chiefly, in all probability, the light troops and horsemen who were dispersed at the commencement, gained—while the Roman legions stood to be slaughtered—a start sufficient to enable them with difficulty to reach Clupea. Among the few prisoners was the consul himself, who afterwards died in Carthage; his family, under the idea that he had not been treated by the Carthaginians according to the usages of war, wreaked a most revolting vengeance on two noble Carthaginian captives, till even the slaves were moved to pity, and on their information the tribunes put a stop to the shameful outrage.(7)

Evacuation of Africa

When the terrible news reached Rome, the first care of the Romans was naturally directed to the saving of the force shut up in Clupea. A Roman fleet of 350 sail immediately started, and after a noble victory at the Hermaean promontory, in which the Carthaginians lost 114 ships, it reached Clupea just in time to deliver from their hard-pressed position the remains of the defeated army which were there entrenched. Had it been despatched before the catastrophe occurred, it might have converted the defeat into a victory that would probably have put an end to the Punic wars. But so completely had the Romans now lost their judgment, that after a successful conflict before Clupea they embarked all their troops and sailed home, voluntarily evacuating that important and easily defended position which secured to them facilities for landing in Africa, and abandoning their numerous African allies without protection to the vengeance of the Carthaginians. The Carthaginians did not neglect the opportunity of filling their empty treasury, and of making their subjects clearly understand the consequences of unfaithfulness. An extraordinary contribution of 1000 talents of silver (244,000 pounds) and 20,000 oxen was levied, and the sheiks in all the communities that had revolted were crucified; it is said that there were three thousand of them, and that this revolting atrocity on the part of the Carthaginian authorities really laid the foundation of the revolution which broke forth in Africa some years later. Lastly, as if to fill up the measure of misfortune to the Romans even as their measure of success had been filled before, on the homeward voyage of the fleet three- fourths of the Roman vessels perished with their crews in a violent storm; only eighty reached their port (July 499). The captains had foretold the impending mischief, but the extemporised Roman admirals had nevertheless given orders to sail.

Recommencement of the War in Sicily

After successes so immense the Carthaginians were able to resume their offensive operations, which had long been in abeyance. Hasdrubal son of Hanno landed at Lilybaeum with a strong force, which was enabled, particularly by its enormous number of elephants—amounting to 140 —to keep the field against the Romans: the last battle had shown that it was possible to make up for the want of good infantry to some extent by elephants and cavalry. The Romans also resumed the war in Sicily; the annihilation of their invading army had, as the voluntary evacuation of Clupea shows, at once restored ascendency in the senate to the party which was opposed to the war in Africa and was content with the gradual subjugation of the islands. But for this purpose too there was need of a fleet; and, since that which had conquered at Mylae, at Ecnomus, and at the Hermaean promontory was destroyed, they built a new one. Keels were at once laid down for 220 new vessels of war—they had never hitherto undertaken the building of so many simultaneously—and in the incredibly short space of three months they were all ready for sea. In the spring of 500 the Roman fleet, numbering 300 vessels mostly new, appeared on the north coast of Sicily; Panormus, the most important town in Carthaginian Sicily, was acquired through a successful attack from the seaboard, and the smaller places there, Soluntum, Cephaloedium, and Tyndaris, likewise fell into the hands of the Romans, so that along the whole north coast of the island Thermae alone was retained by the Carthaginians. Panormus became thenceforth one of the chief stations of the Romans in Sicily. The war by land, nevertheless, made no progress; the two armies stood face to face before Lilybaeum, but the Roman commanders, who knew not how to encounter the mass of elephants, made no attempt to compel a pitched battle.

In the ensuing year (501) the consuls, instead of pursuing sure advantages in Sicily, preferred to make an expedition to Africa, for the purpose not of landing but of plundering the coast towns. They accomplished their object without opposition; but, after having first run aground in the troublesome, and to their pilots unknown, waters of the Lesser Syrtis, whence they with difficulty got clear again, the fleet encountered a storm between Sicily and Italy, which cost more than 150 ships. On this occasion also the pilots, notwithstanding their representations and entreaties to be allowed to take the course along the coast, were obliged by command of the consuls to steer straight from Panormus across the open sea to Ostia.

Suspension of the Maritime War
Roman Victory at Panormus

Despondency now seized the fathers of the city; they resolved to reduce their war-fleet to sixty sail, and to confine the war by sea to the defence of the coasts, and to the convoy of transports. Fortunately, just at this time, the languishing war in Sicily took a more favourable turn. In the year 502, Thermae, the last point which the Carthaginians held on the north coast, and the important island of Lipara, had fallen into the hands of the Romans, and in the following year (summer of 503) the consul Lucius Caecilius Metellus achieved a brilliant victory over the army of elephants under the walls of Panormus. These animals, which had been imprudently brought forward, were wounded by the light troops of the Romans stationed in the moat of the town; some of them fell into the moat, and others fell back on their own troops, who crowded in wild disorder along with the elephants towards the beach, that they might be picked up by the Phoenician ships. One hundred and twenty elephants were captured, and the Carthaginian army, whose strength depended on these animals, was obliged once more to shut itself up in its fortresses. Eryx soon fell into the hands of the Romans (505), and the Carthaginians retained nothing in the island but Drepana and Lilybaeum. Carthage a second time offered peace; but the victory of Metellus and the exhaustion of the enemy gave to the more energetic party the upper hand in the senate.

Siege of Lilybaeum

Peace was declined, and it was resolved to prosecute in earnest the siege of the two Sicilian cities and for this purpose to send to sea once more a fleet of 200 sail. The siege of Lilybaeum, the first great and regular siege undertaken by Rome, and one of the most obstinate known in history, was opened by the Romans with an important success: they succeeded in introducing their fleet into the harbour of the city, and in blockading it on the side facing the sea. The besiegers, however, were not able to close the sea completely. In spite of their sunken vessels and their palisades, and in spite of the most careful vigilance, dexterous mariners, accurately acquainted with the shallows and channels, maintained with swift-sailing vessels a regular communication between the besieged in the city and the Carthaginian fleet in the harbour of Drepana. In fact after some time a Carthaginian squadron of 50 sail succeeded in running into the harbour, in throwing a large quantity of provisions and a reinforcement of 10,000 men into the city, and in returning unmolested. The besieging land army was not much more fortunate. They began with a regular attack; machines were erected, and in a short time the batteries had demolished six of the towers flanking the walls, so that the breach soon appeared to be practicable. But the able Carthaginian commander Himilco parried this assault by giving orders for the erection of a second wall behind the breach. An attempt of the Romans to enter into an understanding with the garrison was likewise frustrated in proper time. And, after a first sally made for the purpose of burning the Roman set of machines had been repulsed, the Carthaginians succeeded during a stormy night in effecting their object. Upon this the Romans abandoned their preparations for an assault, and contented themselves with blockading the walls by land and water. The prospect of success in this way was indeed very remote, so long as they were unable wholly to preclude the entrance of the enemy's vessels; and the army of the besiegers was in a condition not much better than that of the besieged in the city, because their supplies were frequently cut off by the numerous and bold light cavalry of the Carthaginians, and their ranks began to be thinned by the diseases indigenous to that unwholesome region. The capture of Lilybaeum, however, was of sufficient importance to induce a patient perseverance in the laborious task, which promised to be crowned in time with the desired success.

Defeat of the Roman Fleet before Drepana
Annililation of the Roman Transport Fleet

But the new consul Publius Claudius considered the task of maintaining the investment of Lilybaeum too trifling: he preferred to change once more the plan of operations, and with his numerous newly-manned vessels suddenly to surprise the Carthaginian fleet which was waiting in the neighbouring harbour of Drepana. With the whole blockading squadron, which had taken on board volunteers from the legions, he started about midnight, and sailing in good order with his right wing by the shore, and his left in the open sea, he safely reached the harbour of Drepana at sunrise. Here the Phoenician admiral Atarbas was in command. Although surprised, he did not lose his presence of mind or allow himself to be shut up in the harbour, but as the Roman ships entered the harbour, which opens to the south in the form of a sickle, on the one side, he withdrew his vessels from it by the opposite side which was still free, and stationed them in line on the outside. No other course remained to the Roman admiral but to recall as speedily as possible the foremost vessels from the harbour, and to make his arrangements for battle in like manner in front of it; but in consequence of this retrograde movement he lost the free choice of his position, and was obliged to accept battle in a line, which on the one hand was outflanked by that of the enemy to the extent of five ships —for there was not time fully to deploy the vessels as they issued from the harbour—and on the other hand was crowded so close on the shore that his vessels could neither retreat, nor sail behind the line so as to come to each other's aid. Not only was the battle lost before it began, but the Roman fleet was so completely ensnared that it fell almost wholly into the hands of the enemy. The consul indeed escaped, for he was the first who fled; but 93 Roman vessels, more than three-fourths of the blockading fleet, with the flower of the Roman legions on board, fell into the hands of the Phoenicians. It was the first and only great naval victory which the Carthaginians gained over the Romans. Lilybaeum was practically relieved on the side towards the sea, for though the remains of the Roman fleet returned to their former position, they were now much too weak seriously to blockade a harbour which had never been wholly closed, and they could only protect themselves from the attack of the Carthaginian ships with the assistance of the land army. That single imprudent act of an inexperienced and criminally thoughtless officer had thrown away all that had been with so much difficulty attained by the long and galling warfare around the fortress; and those war- vessels of the Romans which his presumption had not forfeited were shortly afterwards destroyed by the folly of his colleague.

The second consul, Lucius Junius Pullus, who had received the charge of lading at Syracuse the supplies destined for the army at Lilybaeum, and of convoying the transports along the south coast of the island with a second Roman fleet of 120 war-vessels, instead of keeping his ships together, committed the error of allowing the first convoy to depart alone and of only following with the second. When the Carthaginian vice-admiral, Carthalo, who with a hundred select ships blockaded the Roman fleet in the port of Lilybaeum, received the intelligence, he proceeded to the south coast of the island, cut off the two Roman squadrons from each other by interposing between them, and compelled them to take shelter in two harbours of refuge on the inhospitable shores of Gela and Camarina. The attacks of the Carthaginians were indeed bravely repulsed by the Romans with the help of the shore batteries, which had for some time been erected there as everywhere along the coast; but, as the Romans could not hope to effect a junction and continue their voyage, Carthalo could leave the elements to finish his work. The next great storm, accordingly, completely annihilated the two Roman fleets in their wretched roadsteads, while the Phoenician admiral easily weathered it on the open sea with his unencumbered and well-managed ships. The Romans, however, succeeded in saving the greater part of the crews and cargoes (505).

Perplexity of the Romans

The Roman senate was in perplexity. The war had now reached its sixteenth year; and they seemed to be farther from their object in the sixteenth than in the first. In this war four large fleets had perished, three of them with Roman armies on board; a fourth select land army had been destroyed by the enemy in Libya; to say nothing of the numerous losses which had been occasioned by the minor naval engagements, and by the battles, and still more by the outpost warfare and the diseases, of Sicily.

What a multitude of human lives the war swept away may be seen from the fact, that the burgess-roll merely from 502 to 507 decreased by about 40,000, a sixth part of the entire number; and this does not include the losses of the allies, who bore the whole brunt of the war by sea, and, in addition, at least an equal proportion with the Romans of the warfare by land. Of the financial loss it is not possible to form any conception; but both the direct damage sustained in ships and -materiel-, and the indirect injury through the paralyzing of trade, must have been enormous. An evil still greater than this was the exhaustion of all the methods by which they had sought to terminate the war. They had tried a landing in Africa with their forces fresh and in the full career of victory, and had totally failed. They had undertaken to storm Sicily town by town; the lesser places had fallen, but the two mighty naval strongholds of Lilybaeum and Drepana stood more invincible than ever. What were they to do? In fact, there was to some extent reason for despondency. The fathers of the city became faint-hearted; they allowed matters simply to take their course, knowing well that a war protracted without object or end was more pernicious for Italy than the straining of the last man and the last penny, but without that courage and confidence in the nation and in fortune, which could demand new sacrifices in addition to those that had already been lavished in vain. They dismissed the fleet; at the most they encouraged privateering, and with that view placed the war- vessels of the state at the disposal of captains who were ready to undertake a piratical warfare on their own account. The war by land was continued nominally, because they could not do otherwise; but they were content with observing the Sicilian fortresses and barely maintaining what they possessed,—measures which, in the absence of a fleet, required a very numerous army and extremely costly preparations.

Now, if ever, the time had come when Carthage was in a position to humble her mighty antagonist. She, too, of course must have felt some exhaustion of resources; but, in the circumstances, the Phoenician finances could not possibly be so disorganized as to prevent the Carthaginians from continuing the war—which cost them little beyond money—offensively and with energy. The Carthaginian government, however, was not energetic, but on the contrary weak and indolent, unless impelled to action by an easy and sure gain or by extreme necessity. Glad to be rid of the Roman fleet, they foolishly allowed their own also to fall into decay, and began after the example of the enemy to confine their operations by land and sea to the petty warfare in and around Sicily.

Petty War in Sicily
Hamilcar Barcas

Thus there ensued six years of uneventful warfare (506-511), the most inglorious in the history of this century for Rome, and inglorious also for the Carthaginian people. One man, however, among the latter thought and acted differently from his nation. Hamilcar, named Barak or Barcas (i. e. lightning), a young officer of much promise, took over the supreme command in Sicily in the year 507. His army, like every Carthaginian one, was defective in a trustworthy and experienced infantry; and the government, although it was perhaps in a position to create such an infantry and at any rate was bound to make the attempt, contented itself with passively looking on at its defeats or at most with nailing the defeated generals to the cross. Hamilcar resolved to take the matter into his own hands. He knew well that his mercenaries were as indifferent to Carthage as to Rome, and that he had to expect from his government not Phoenician or Libyan conscripts, but at the best a permission to save his country with his troops in his own way, provided it cost nothing. But he knew himself also, and he knew men. His mercenaries cared nothing for Carthage; but a true general is able to substitute his own person for his country in the affections of his soldiers; and such an one was this young commander. After he had accustomed his men to face the legionaries in the warfare of outposts before Drepana and Lilybaeum, he established himself with his force on Mount Ercte (Monte Pellegrino near Palermo), which commands like a fortress the neighbouring country; and making them settle there with their wives and children, levied contributions from the plains, while Phoenician privateers plundered the Italian coast as far as Cumae. He thus provided his people with copious supplies without asking money from the Carthaginians, and, keeping up the communication with Drepana by sea, he threatened to surprise the important town of Panormus in his immediate vicinity. Not only were the Romans unable to expel him from his stronghold, but after the struggle had lasted awhile at Ercte, Hamilcar formed for himself another similar position at Eryx. This mountain, which bore half-way up the town of the same name and on its summit the temple of Aphrodite, had been hitherto in the hands of the Romans, who made it a basis for annoying Drepana. Hamilcar deprived them of the town and besieged the temple, while the Romans in turn blockaded him from the plain. The Celtic deserters from the Carthaginian army who were stationed by the Romans at the forlorn post of the temple—a reckless pack of marauders, who in the course of this siege plundered the temple and perpetrated every sort of outrage —defended the summit of the rock with desperate courage; but Hamilcar did not allow himself to be again dislodged from the town, and kept his communications constantly open by sea with the fleet and the garrison of Drepana. The war in Sicily seemed to be assuming a turn more and more unfavourable for the Romans. The Roman state was losing in that warfare its money and its soldiers, and the Roman generals their repute; it was already clear that no Roman general was a match for Hamilcar, and the time might be calculated when even the Carthaginian mercenary would be able boldly to measure himself against the legionary. The privateers of Hamilcar appeared with ever- increasing audacity on the Italian coast: already a praetor had been obliged to take the field against a band of Carthaginian rovers which had landed there. A few years more, and Hamilcar might with his fleet have accomplished from Sicily what his son subsequently undertook by the land route from Spain.

A Fleet Built by the Romans
Victory of Catulus at the Island Aegusa

The Roman senate, however, persevered in its inaction; the desponding party for once had the majority there. At length a number of sagacious and high-spirited men determined to save the state even without the interposition of the government, and to put an end to the ruinous Sicilian war. Successful corsair expeditions, if they had not raised the courage of the nation, had aroused energy and hope in a portion of the people; they had already joined together to form a squadron, burnt down Hippo on the African coast, and sustained a successful naval conflict with the Carthaginians off Panormus. By a private subscription—such as had been resorted to in Athens also, but not on so magnificent a scale—the wealthy and patriotic Romans equipped a war fleet, the nucleus of which was supplied by the ships built for privateering and the practised crews which they contained, and which altogether was far more carefully fitted out than had hitherto been the case in the shipbuilding of the state. This fact —that a number of citizens in the twenty-third year of a severe war voluntarily presented to the state two hundred ships of the line, manned by 60,000 sailors—stands perhaps unparalleled in the annals of history. The consul Gaius Lutatius Catulus, to whom fell the honour of conducting this fleet to the Sicilian seas, met there with almost no opposition: the two or three Carthaginian vessels, with which Hamilcar had made his corsair expeditions, disappeared before the superior force, and almost without resistance the Romans occupied the harbours of Lilybaeum and Drepana, the siege of which was now undertaken with energy by water and by land. Carthage was completely taken by surprise; even the two fortresses, weakly provisioned, were in great danger. A fleet was equipped at home; but with all the haste which they displayed, the year came to an end without any appearance of Carthaginian sails in the Sicilian waters; and when at length, in the spring of 513, the hurriedly-prepared vessels appeared in the offing of Drepana, they deserved the name of a fleet of transports rather than that of a war fleet ready for action. The Phoenicians had hoped to land undisturbed, to disembark their stores, and to be able to take on board the troops requisite for a naval battle; but the Roman vessels intercepted them, and forced them, when about to sail from the island of Hiera (now Maritima) for Drepana, to accept battle near the little island of Aegusa (Favignana) (10 March, 513). The issue was not for a moment doubtful; the Roman fleet, well built and manned, and admirably handled by the able praetor Publius Valerius Falto (for a wound received before Drepana still confined the consul Catulus to his bed), defeated at the first blow the heavily laden and poorly and inadequately manned vessels of the enemy; fifty were sunk, and with seventy prizes the victors sailed into the port of Lilybaeum. The last great effort of the Roman patriots had borne fruit; it brought victory, and with victory peace.

Conclusion of Peace

The Carthaginians first crucified the unfortunate admiral—a step which did not alter the position of affairs—and then dispatched to the Sicilian general unlimited authority to conclude a peace. Hamilcar, who saw his heroic labours of seven years undone by the fault of others, magnanimously submitted to what was inevitable without on that account sacrificing either his military honour, or his nation, or his own designs. Sicily indeed could not be retained, seeing that the Romans had now command of the sea; and it was not to be expected that the Carthaginian government, which had vainly endeavoured to fill its empty treasury by a state-loan in Egypt, would make even any further attempt to vanquish the Roman fleet He therefore surrendered Sicily. The independence and integrity of the Carthaginian state and territory, on the other hand, were expressly recognized in the usual form; Rome binding herself not to enter into a separate alliance with the confederates of Carthage, and Carthage engaging not to enter into separate alliance with the confederates of Rome,—that is, with their respective subject and dependent communities; neither was to commence war, or exercise rights of sovereignty, or undertake recruiting within the other's dominions.(8) The secondary stipulations included, of course, the gratuitous return of the Roman prisoners of war and the payment of a war contribution; but the demand of Catulus that Hamilcar should deliver up his arms and the Roman deserters was resolutely refused by the Carthaginian, and with success. Catulus desisted from his second request, and allowed the Phoenicians a free departure from Sicily for the moderate ransom of 18 -denarii- (12 shillings) per man.

If the continuance of the war appeared to the Carthaginians undesirable, they had reason to be satisfied with these terms. It may be that the natural wish to bring to Rome peace as well as triumph, the recollection of Regulus and of the many vicissitudes of the war, the consideration that such a patriotic effort as had at last decided the victory could neither be enjoined nor repeated, perhaps even the personal character of Hamilcar, concurred in influencing the Roman general to yield so much as he did. It is certain that there was dissatisfaction with the proposals of peace at Rome, and the assembly of the people, doubtless under the influence of the patriots who had accomplished the equipment of the last fleet, at first refused to ratify it. We do not know with what view this was done, and therefore we are unable to decide whether the opponents of the proposed peace in reality rejected it merely for the purpose of exacting some further concessions from the enemy, or whether, remembering that Regulus had summoned Carthage to surrender her political independence, they were resolved to continue the war till they had gained that end—so that it was no longer a question of peace, but a question of conquest. If the refusal took place with the former view, it was presumably mistaken; compared with the gain of Sicily every other concession was of little moment, and looking to the determination and the inventive genius of Hamilcar, it was very rash to stake the securing of the principal gain on the attainment of secondary objects. If on the other hand the party opposed to the peace regarded the complete political annihilation of Carthage as the only end of the struggle that would satisfy the Roman community, it showed political tact and anticipation of coming events; but whether the resources of Rome would have sufficed to renew the expedition of Regulus and to follow it up as far as might be required not merely to break the courage but to breach the walls of the mighty Phoenician city, is another question, to which no one now can venture to give either an affirmative or a negative answer. At last the settlement of the momentous question was entrusted to a commission which was to decide it upon the spot in Sicily. It confirmed the proposal in substance; only, the sum to be paid by Carthage for the costs of the war was raised to 3200 talents (790,000 pounds), a third of which was to be paid down at once, and the remainder in ten annual instalments. The definitive treaty included, in addition to the surrender of Sicily, the cession also of the islands between Sicily and Italy, but this can only be regarded as an alteration of detail made on revision; for it is self-evident that Carthage, when surrendering Sicily, could hardly desire to retain the island of Lipara which had long been occupied by the Roman fleet, and the suspicion, that an ambiguous stipulation was intentionally introduced into the treaty with reference to Sardinia and Corsica, is unworthy and improbable.

Thus at length they came to terms. The unconquered general of a vanquished nation descended from the mountains which he had defended so long, and delivered to the new masters of the island the fortresses which the Phoenicians had held in their uninterrupted possession for at least four hundred years, and from whose walls all assaults of the Hellenes had recoiled unsuccessful. The west had peace (513).

Remarks on the Roman Conduct of the War

Let us pause for a moment over the conflict, which extended the dominion of Rome beyond the circling sea that encloses the peninsula. It was one of the longest and most severe which the Romans ever waged; many of the soldiers who fought in the decisive battle were unborn when the contest began. Nevertheless, despite the incomparably noble incidents which it now and again presented, we can scarcely name any war which the Romans managed so wretchedly and with such vacillation, both in a military and in a political point of view. It could hardly be otherwise. The contest occurred amidst a transition in their political system—the transition from an Italian policy, which no longer sufficed, to the policy befitting a great state, which had not yet been found. The Roman senate and the Roman military system were excellently organized for a purely Italian policy. The wars which such a policy provoked were purely continental wars, and always rested on the capital situated in the middle of the peninsula as the ultimate basis of operations, and proximately on the chain of Roman fortresses. The problems to be solved were mainly tactical, not strategical; marches and operations occupied but a subordinate, battles held the first, place; fortress warfare was in its infancy; the sea and naval war hardly crossed men's thoughts even incidentally. We can easily understand—especially if we bear in mind that in the battles of that period, where the naked weapon predominated, it was really the hand- to-hand encounter that proved decisive—how a deliberative assembly might direct such operations, and how any one who just was burgomaster might command the troops. All this was changed in a moment. The field of battle stretched away to an incalculable distance, to the unknown regions of another continent, and beyond a broad expanse of sea; every wave was a highway for the enemy; from any harbour he might be expected to issue for his onward march. The siege of strong places, particularly maritime fortresses, in which the first tacticians of Greece had failed, had now for the first time to be attempted by the Romans. A land army and the system of a civic militia no longer sufficed. It was essential to create a fleet, and, what was more difficult, to employ it; it was essential to find out the true points of attack and defence, to combine and to direct masses, to calculate expeditions extending over long periods and great distances, and to adjust their co-operation; if these things were not attended to, even an enemy far weaker in the tactics of the field might easily vanquish a stronger opponent. Is there any wonder that the reins of government in such an exigency slipped from the hands of a deliberative assembly and of commanding burgomasters?

It was plain, that at the beginning of the war the Romans did not know what they were undertaking; it was only during the course of the struggle that the inadequacies of their system, one after another, forced themselves on their notice—the want of a naval power, the lack of fixed military leadership, the insufficiency of their generals, the total uselessness of their admirals. In part these evils were remedied by energy and good fortune; as was the case with the want of a fleet. That mighty creation, however, was but a grand makeshift, and always remained so. A Roman fleet was formed, but it was rendered national only in name, and was always treated with the affection of a stepmother; the naval service continued to be little esteemed in comparison with the high honour of serving in the legions; the naval officers were in great part Italian Greeks; the crews were composed of subjects or even of slaves and outcasts. The Italian farmer was at all times distrustful of the sea; and of the three things in his life which Cato regretted one was, that he had travelled by sea when he might have gone by land. This result arose partly out of the nature of the case, for the vessels were oared galleys and the service of the oar can scarcely be ennobled; but the Romans might at least have formed separate legions of marines and taken steps towards the rearing of a class of Roman naval officers. Taking advantage of the impulse of the nation, they should have made it their aim gradually to establish a naval force important not only in numbers but in sailing power and practice, and for such a purpose they had a valuable nucleus in the privateering that was developed during the long war; but nothing of the sort was done by the government. Nevertheless the Roman fleet with its unwieldy grandeur was the noblest creation of genius in this war, and, as at its beginning, so at its close it was the fleet that turned the scale in favour of Rome.

Far more difficult to be overcome were those deficiencies, which could not be remedied without an alteration of the constitution. That the senate, according to the strength of the contending parties within it, should leap from one system of conducting the war to another, and perpetrate errors so incredible as the evacuation of Clupea and the repeated dismantling of the fleet; that the general of one year should lay siege to Sicilian towns, and his successor, instead of compelling them to surrender, should pillage the African coast or think proper to risk a naval battle; and that at any rate the supreme command should by law change hands every year—all these anomalies could not be done away without stirring constitutional questions the solution of which was more difficult than the building of a fleet, but as little could their retention be reconciled with the requirements of such a war. Above all, moreover, neither the senate nor the generals could at once adapt themselves to the new mode of conducting war. The campaign of Regulus is an instance how singularly they adhered to the idea that superiority in tactics decides everything. There are few generals who have had such successes thrown as it were into their lap by fortune: in the year 498 he stood precisely where Scipio stood fifty years later, with this difference, that he had no Hannibal and no experienced army arrayed against him. But the senate withdrew half the army, as soon as they had satisfied themselves of the tactical superiority of the Romans; in blind reliance on that superiority the general remained where he was, to be beaten in strategy, and accepted battle when it was offered to him, to be beaten also in tactics. This was the more remarkable, as Regulus was an able and experienced general of his kind. The rustic method of warfare, by which Etruria and Samnium had been won, was the very cause of the defeat in the plain of Tunes. The principle, quite right in its own province, that every true burgher is fit for a general, was no longer applicable; the new system of war demanded the employment of generals who had a military training and a military eye, and every burgomaster had not those qualities. The arrangement was however still worse, by which the chief command of the fleet was treated as an appanage to the chief command of the land army, and any one who chanced to be president of the city thought himself able to act the part not of general only, but of admiral too. The worst disasters which Rome suffered in this war were due not to the storms and still less to the Carthaginians, but to the presumptuous folly of its own citizen-admirals.

Rome was victorious at last. But her acquiescence in a gain far less than had at first been demanded and indeed offered, as well as the energetic opposition which the peace encountered in Rome, very clearly indicate the indecisive and superficial character of the victory and of the peace; and if Rome was the victor, she was indebted for her victory in part no doubt to the favour of the gods and to the energy of her citizens, but still more to the errors of her enemies in the conduct of the war—errors far surpassing even her own.

Notes for Chapter II

1. II. V. Campanian Hellenism

2. II. VII. Submission of Lower Italy

3. The Mamertines entered quite into the same position towards Rome as the Italian communities, bound themselves to furnish ships (Cic. Verr. v. 19, 50), and, as the coins show, did not possess the right of coining silver.

4. II. VII. Submission of Lower Italy

5. II. VII. Last Struggles in Italy

6. The statement, that the military talent of Xanthippus was the primary means of saving Carthage, is probably coloured; the officers of Carthage can hardly have waited for foreigners to teach them that the light African cavalry could be more appropriately employed on the plain than among hills and forests. From such stories, the echo of the talk of Greek guardrooms, even Polybius is not free. The statement that Xanthippus was put to death by the Carthaginians after the victory, is a fiction; he departed voluntarily, perhaps to enter the Egyptian service.

7. Nothing further is known with certainty as to the end of Regulus; even his mission to Rome—which is sometimes placed in 503, sometimes in 513—is very ill attested. The later Romans, who sought in the fortunes and misfortunes of their forefathers mere materials for school themes, made Regulus the prototype of heroic misfortune as they made Fabricius the prototype of heroic poverty, and put into circulation in his name a number of anecdotes invented by way of due accompaniment—incongruous embellishments, contrasting ill with serious and sober history.

8. The statement (Zon. viii. 17) that the Carthaginians had to promise that they would not send any vessels of war into the territories of the Roman symmachy—and therefore not to Syracuse, perhaps even not to Massilia—sounds credible enough; but the text of the treaty says nothing of it (Polyb. iii. 27).

Chapter III

The Extension of Italy to Its Natural Boundaries

Natural Boundaries of Italy

The Italian confederacy as it emerged from the crises of the fifth century—or, in other words, the State of Italy—united the various civic and cantonal communities from the Apennines to the Ionian Sea under the hegemony of Rome. But before the close of the fifth century these limits were already overpassed in both directions, and Italian communities belonging to the confederacy had sprung up beyond the Apennines and beyond the sea. In the north the republic, in revenge for ancient and recent wrongs, had already in 471 annihilated the Celtic Senones; in the south, through the great war from 490 to 513, it had dislodged the Phoenicians from the island of Sicily. In the north there belonged to the combination headed by Rome the Latin town of Ariminum (besides the burgess-settlement of Sena), in the south the community of the Mamertines in Messana, and as both were nationally of Italian origin, so both shared in the common rights and obligations of the Italian confederacy. It was probably the pressure of events at the moment rather than any comprehensive political calculation, that gave rise to these extensions of the confederacy; but it was natural that now at least, after the great successes achieved against Carthage, new and wider views of policy should dawn upon the Roman government—views which even otherwise were obviously enough suggested by the physical features of the peninsula. Alike in a political and in a military point of view Rome was justified in shifting its northern boundary from the low and easily crossed Apennines to the mighty mountain-wall that separates northern from southern Europe, the Alps, and in combining with the sovereignty of Italy the sovereignty of the seas and islands on the west and east of the peninsula; and now, when by the expulsion of the Phoenicians from Sicily the most difficult portion of the task had been already achieved, various circumstances united to facilitate its completion by the Roman government.

Sicily a Dependency of Italy

In the western sea which was of far more account for Italy than the Adriatic, the most important position, the large and fertile island of Sicily copiously furnished with harbours, had been by the peace with Carthage transferred for the most part into the possession of the Romans. King Hiero of Syracuse indeed, who during the last twenty-two years of the war had adhered with unshaken steadfastness to the Roman alliance, might have had a fair claim to an extension of territory; but, if Roman policy had begun the war with the resolution of tolerating only secondary states in the island, the views of the Romans at its close decidedly tended towards the seizure of Sicily for themselves. Hiero might be content that his territory—namely, in addition to the immediate district of Syracuse, the domains of Elorus, Neetum, Acrae, Leontini, Megara, and Tauromenium—and his independence in relation to foreign powers, were (for want of any pretext to curtail them) left to him in their former compass; he might well be content that the war between the two great powers had not ended in the complete overthrow of the one or of the other, and that there consequently still remained at least a possibility of subsistence for the intermediate power in Sicily. In the remaining and by far the larger portion of Sicily, at Panormus, Lilybaeum, Agrigentum, Messana, the Romans effected a permanent settlement.

Sardinia Roman
The Libyan Insurrection

They only regretted that the possession of that beautiful island was not enough to convert the western waters into a Roman inland sea, so long as Sardinia still remained Carthaginian. Soon, however, after the conclusion of the peace there appeared an unexpected prospect of wresting from the Carthaginians this second island of the Mediterranean. In Africa, immediately after peace had been concluded with Rome, the mercenaries and the subjects of the Phoenicians joined in a common revolt. The blame of the dangerous insurrection was mainly chargeable on the Carthaginian government. In the last years of the war Hamilcar had not been able to pay his Sicilian mercenaries as formerly from his own resources, and he had vainly requested that money might be sent to him from home; he might, he was told, send his forces to Africa to be paid off. He obeyed; but as he knew the men, he prudently embarked them in small subdivisions, that the authorities might pay them off by troops or might at least separate them, and thereupon he laid down his command. But all his precautions were thwarted not so much by the emptiness of the exchequer, as by the collegiate method of transacting business and the folly of the bureaucracy. They waited till the whole army was once more united in Libya, and then endeavoured to curtail the pay promised to the men. Of course a mutiny broke out among the troops, and the hesitating and cowardly demeanour of the authorities showed the mutineers what they might dare. Most of them were natives of the districts ruled by, or dependent on, Carthage; they knew the feelings which had been provoked throughout these districts by the slaughter decreed by the government after the expedition of Regulus(1) and by the fearful pressure of taxation, and they knew also the character of their government, which never kept faith and never pardoned; they were well aware of what awaited them, should they disperse to their homes with pay exacted by mutiny. The Carthaginians had for long been digging the mine, and they now themselves supplied the men who could not but explode it. Like wildfire the revolution spread from garrison to garrison, from village to village; the Libyan women contributed their ornaments to pay the wages of the mercenaries; a number of Carthaginian citizens, amongst whom were some of the most distinguished officers of the Sicilian army, became the victims of the infuriated multitude; Carthage was already besieged on two sides, and the Carthaginian army marching out of the city was totally routed in consequence of the blundering of its unskilful leader.

When the Romans thus saw their hated and still dreaded foe involved in a greater danger than any ever brought on that foe by the Roman wars, they began more and more to regret the conclusion of the peace of 513 —which, if it was not in reality precipitate, now at least appeared so to all—and to forget how exhausted at that time their own state had been and how powerful had then been the standing of their Carthaginian rival. Shame indeed forbade their entering into communication openly with the Carthaginian rebels; in fact, they gave an exceptional permission to the Carthaginians to levy recruits for this war in Italy, and prohibited Italian mariners from dealing with the Libyans. But it may be doubted whether the government of Rome was very earnest in these acts of friendly alliance; for, in spite of them, the dealings between the African insurgents and the Roman mariners continued, and when Hamilcar, whom the extremity of the peril had recalled to the command of the Carthaginian army, seized and imprisoned a number of Italian captains concerned in these dealings, the senate interceded for them with the Carthaginian government and procured their release. The insurgents themselves appeared to recognize in the Romans their natural allies. The garrisons in Sardinia, which like the rest of the Carthaginian army had declared in favour of the insurgents, offered the possession of the island to the Romans, when they saw that they were unable to hold it against the attacks of the un-conquered mountaineers of the interior (about 515); and similar offers came even from the community of Utica, which had likewise taken part in the revolt and was now hard pressed by the arms of Hamilcar. The latter suggestion was declined by the Romans, chiefly doubtless because its acceptance would have carried them beyond the natural boundaries of Italy and therefore farther than the Roman government was then disposed to go; on the other hand they entertained the offers of the Sardinian mutineers, and took over from them the portion of Sardinia which had been in the hands of the Carthaginians (516). In this instance, even more than in the affair of the Mamertines, the Romans were justly liable to the reproach that the great and victorious burgesses had not disdained to fraternize and share the spoil with a venal pack of mercenaries, and had not sufficient self-denial to prefer the course enjoined by justice and by honour to the gain of the moment. The Carthaginians, whose troubles reached their height just about the period of the occupation of Sardinia, were silent for the time being as to the unwarrantable violence; but, after this peril had been, contrary to the expectations and probably contrary to the hopes of the Romans, averted by the genius of Hamilcar, and Carthage had been reinstated to her full sovereignty in Africa (517), Carthaginian envoys immediately appeared at Rome to require the restitution of Sardinia. But the Romans, not inclined to restore their booty, replied with frivolous or at any rate irrelevant complaints as to all sorts of injuries which they alleged that the Carthaginians had inflicted on the Roman traders, and hastened to declare war;(2) the principle, that in politics power is the measure of right, appeared in its naked effrontery. Just resentment urged the Carthaginians to accept that offer of war; had Catulus insisted upon the cession of Sardinia five years before, the war would probably have pursued its course. But now, when both islands were lost, when Libya was in a ferment, and when the state was weakened to the utmost by its twenty-four years' struggle with Rome and the dreadful civil war that had raged for nearly five years more, they were obliged to submit It was only after repeated entreaties, and after the Phoenicians had bound themselves to pay to Rome a compensation of 1200 talents (292,000 pounds) for the warlike preparations which had been wantonly occasioned, that the Romans reluctantly desisted from war. Thus the Romans acquired Sardinia almost without a struggle; to which they added Corsica, the ancient possession of the Etruscans, where perhaps some detached Roman garrisons still remained over from the last war.(3) In Sardinia, however, and still more in the rugged Corsica, the Romans restricted themselves, just as the Phoenicians had done, to an occupation of the coasts. With the natives in the interior they were continually engaged in war or, to speak more correctly, in hunting them like wild beasts; they baited them with dogs, and carried what they captured to the slave market; but they undertook no real conquest. They had occupied the islands not on their own account, but for the security of Italy. Now that the confederacy possessed the three large islands, it might call the Tyrrhene Sea its own.

Method of Administration in the Transmarine Possessions
Provincial Praetors

The acquisition of the islands in the western sea of Italy introduced into the state administration of Rome a distinction, which to all appearance originated in mere considerations of convenience and almost accidentally, but nevertheless came to be of the deepest importance for all time following—the distinction between the continental and transmarine forms of administration, or to use the appellations afterwards current, the distinction between Italy and the provinces. Hitherto the two chief magistrates of the community, the consuls, had not had any legally defined sphere of action; on the contrary their official field extended as far as the Roman government itself. Of course, however, in practice they made a division of functions between them, and of course also they were bound in every particular department of their duties by the enactments existing in regard to it; the jurisdiction, for instance, over Roman citizens had in every case to be left to the praetor, and in the Latin and other autonomous communities the existing treaties had to be respected. The four quaestors who had been since 487 distributed throughout Italy did not, formally at least, restrict the consular authority, for in Italy, just as in Rome, they were regarded simply as auxiliary magistrates dependent on the consuls. This mode of administration appears to have been at first extended also to the territories taken from Carthage, and Sicily and Sardinia to have been governed for some years by quaestors under the superintendence of the consuls; but the Romans must very soon have become practically convinced that it was indispensable to have superior magistrates specially appointed for the transmarine regions. As they had been obliged to abandon the concentration of the Roman jurisdiction in the person of the praetor as the community became enlarged, and to send to the more remote districts deputy judges,(4) so now (527) the concentration of administrative and military power in the person of the consuls had to be abandoned. For each of the new transmarine regions—viz. Sicily, and Sardinia with Corsica annexed to it—there was appointed a special auxiliary consul, who was in rank and title inferior to the consul and equal to the praetor, but otherwise was—like the consul in earlier times before the praetorship was instituted—in his own sphere of action at once commander-in-chief, chief magistrate, and supreme judge. The direct administration of finance alone was withheld from these new chief magistrates, as from the first it had been withheld from the consuls;(5) one or more quaestors were assigned to them, who were in every way indeed subordinate to them, and were their assistants in the administration of justice and in command, but yet had specially to manage the finances and to render account of their administration to the senate after having laid down their office.

Organization of the Provinces

This difference in the supreme administrative power was the essential distinction between the transmarine and continental possessions. The principles on which Rome had organized the dependent lands in Italy, were in great part transferred also to the extra-Italian possessions. As a matter of course, these communities without exception lost independence in their external relations. As to internal intercourse, no provincial could thenceforth acquire valid property in the province out of the bounds of his own community, or perhaps even conclude a valid marriage. On the other hand the Roman government allowed, at least to the Sicilian towns which they had not to fear, a certain federative organization, and probably even general Siceliot diets with a harmless right of petition and complaint.(6) In monetary arrangements it was not indeed practicable at once to declare the Roman currency to be the only valid tender in the islands; but it seems from the first to have obtained legal circulation, and in like manner, at least as a rule, the right of coining in precious metals seems to have been withdrawn from the cities in Roman Sicily.(7) On the other hand not only was the landed property in all Sicily left untouched—the principle, that the land out of Italy fell by right of war to the Romans as private property, was still unknown to this century—but all the Sicilian and Sardinian communities retained self- administration and some sort of autonomy, which indeed was not assured to them in a way legally binding, but was provisionally allowed. If the democratic constitutions of the communities were everywhere set aside, and in every city the power was transferred to the hands of a council representing the civic aristocracy; and if moreover the Sicilian communities, at least, were required to institute a general valuation corresponding to the Roman census every fifth year; both these measures were only the necessary sequel of subordination to the Roman senate, which in reality could not govern with Greek —ecclesiae—, or without a view of the financial and military resources of each dependent community; in the various districts of Italy also the same course was in both respects pursued.

Tenths and Customs
Communities Exempted

But, side by side with this essential equality of rights, there was established a distinction, very important in its effects, between the Italian communities on the one hand and the transmarine communities on the other. While the treaties concluded with the Italian towns imposed on them a fixed contingent for the army or the fleet of the Romans, such a contingent was not imposed on the transmarine communities, with which no binding paction was entered into at all, but they lost the right of arms,(8) with the single exception that they might be employed on the summons of the Roman praetor for the defence of their own homes. The Roman government regularly sent Italian troops, of the strength which it had fixed, to the islands; in return for this, a tenth of the field-produce of Sicily, and a toll of 5 per cent on the value of all articles of commerce exported from or imported into the Sicilian harbours, were paid to Rome. To the islanders these taxes were nothing new. The imposts levied by the Persian great-king and the Carthaginian republic were substantially of the same character with that tenth; and in Greece also such a taxation had for long been, after Oriental precedent, associated with the -tyrannis- and often also with a hegemony. The Sicilians had in this way long paid their tenth either to Syracuse or to Carthage, and had been wont to levy customs-dues no longer on their own account. "We received," says Cicero, "the Sicilian communities into our clientship and protection in such a way that they continued under the same law under which they had lived before, and obeyed the Roman community under relations similar to those in which they had obeyed their own rulers." It is fair that this should not be forgotten; but to continue an injustice is to commit injustice. Viewed in relation not to the subjects, who merely changed masters, but to their new rulers, the abandonment of the equally wise and magnanimous principle of Roman statesmanship—viz., that Rome should accept from her subjects simply military aid, and never pecuniary compensation in lieu of it—was of a fatal importance, in comparison with which all alleviations in the rates and the mode of levying them, as well as all exceptions in detail, were as nothing. Such exceptions were, no doubt, made in various cases. Messana was directly admitted to the confederacy of the -togati-, and, like the Greek cities in Italy, furnished its contingent to the Roman fleet. A number of other cities, while not admitted to the Italian military confederacy, yet received in addition to other favours immunity from tribute and tenths, so that their position in a financial point of view was even more favourable than that of the Italian communities. These were Segesta and Halicyae, which were the first towns of Carthaginian Sicily that joined the Roman alliance; Centuripa, an inland town in the east of the island, which was destined to keep a watch over the Syracusan territory in its neighbourhood;(9) Halaesa on the northern coast, which was the first of the free Greek towns to join the Romans, and above all Panormus, hitherto the capital of Carthaginian, and now destined to become that of Roman, Sicily. The Romans thus applied to Sicily the ancient principle of their policy, that of subdividing the dependent communities into carefully graduated classes with different privileges; but, on the average, the Sardinian and Sicilian communities were not in the position of allies but in the manifest relation of tributary subjection.

Italy and the Provinces

It is true that this thorough distinction between the communities that furnished contingents and those that paid tribute, or at least did not furnish contingents, was not in law necessarily coincident with the distinction between Italy and the provinces. Transmarine communities might belong to the Italian confederacy; the Mamertines for example were substantially on a level with the Italian Sabellians, and there existed no legal obstacle to the establishment even of new communities with Latin rights in Sicily and Sardinia any more than in the country beyond the Apennines. Communities on the mainland might be deprived of the right of bearing arms and become tributary; this arrangement was already the case with certain Celtic districts on the Po, and was introduced to a considerable extent in after times. But, in reality, the communities that furnished contingents just as decidedly preponderated on the mainland as the tributary communities in the islands; and while Italian settlements were not contemplated on the part of the Romans either in Sicily with its Hellenic civilization or in Sardinia, the Roman government had beyond doubt already determined not only to subdue the barbarian land between the Apennines and the Alps, but also, as their conquests advanced, to establish in it new communities of Italic origin and Italic rights. Thus their transmarine possessions were not merely placed on the footing of land held by subjects, but were destined to remain on that footing in all time to come; whereas the official field recently marked off by law for the consuls, or, which is the same thing, the continental territory of the Romans, was to become a new and more extended Italy, which should reach from the Alps to the Ionian sea. In the first instance, indeed, this essentially geographical conception of Italy was not altogether coincident with the political conception of the Italian confederacy; it was partly wider, partly narrower. But even now the Romans regarded the whole space up to the boundary of the Alps as -Italia-, that is, as the present or future domain of the -togati- and, just as was and still is the case in North America, the boundary was provisionally marked off in a geographical sense, that the field might be gradually occupied in a political sense also with the advance of colonization.(10)

Events on the Adriatic Coasts

In the Adriatic sea, at the entrance of which the important and long- contemplated colony of Brundisium had at length been founded before the close of the war with Carthage (510), the supremacy of Rome was from the very first decided. In the western sea Rome had been obliged to rid herself of rivals; in the eastern, the quarrels of the Hellenes themselves prevented any of the states in the Grecian peninsula from acquiring or retaining power. The most considerable of them, that of Macedonia, had through the influence of Egypt been dislodged from the upper Adriatic by the Aetolians and from the Peloponnesus by the Achaeans, and was scarcely even in a position to defend its northern frontier against the barbarians. How concerned the Romans were to keep down Macedonia and its natural ally, the king of Syria, and how closely they associated themselves with the Egyptian policy directed to that object, is shown by the remarkable offer which after the end of the war with Carthage they made to king Ptolemy III. Euergetes, to support him in the war which he waged with Seleucus II. Callinicus of Syria (who reigned 507-529) on account of the murder of Berenice, and in which Macedonia had probably taken part with the latter. Generally, the relations of Rome with the Hellenistic states became closer; the senate already negotiated even with Syria, and interceded with the Seleucus just mentioned on behalf of the Ilians with whom the Romans claimed affinity.

For a direct interference of the Romans in the affairs of the eastern powers there was no immediate need. The Achaean league, the prosperity of which was arrested by the narrow-minded coterie- policy of Aratus, the Aetolian republic of military adventurers, and the decayed Macedonian empire kept each other in check; and the Romans of that time avoided rather than sought transmarine acquisitions. When the Acarnanians, appealing to the ground that they alone of all the Greeks had taken no part in the destruction of Ilion, besought the descendants of Aeneas to help them against the Aetolians, the senate did indeed attempt a diplomatic mediation; but when the Aetolians returned an answer drawn up in their own saucy fashion, the antiquarian interest of the Roman senators by no means provoked them into undertaking a war by which they would have freed the Macedonians from their hereditary foe (about 515).

Illyrian Piracy
Expedition against Scodra

Even the evil of piracy, which was naturally in such a state of matters the only trade that flourished on the Adriatic coast, and from which the commerce of Italy suffered greatly, was submitted to by the Romans with an undue measure of patience, —a patience intimately connected with their radical aversion to maritime war and their wretched marine. But at length it became too flagrant. Favoured by Macedonia, which no longer found occasion to continue its old function of protecting Hellenic commerce from the corsairs of the Adriatic for the benefit of its foes, the rulers of Scodra had induced the Illyrian tribes—nearly corresponding to the Dalmatians, Montenegrins, and northern Albanians of the present day—to unite for joint piratical expeditions on a great scale.

With whole squadrons of their swift-sailing biremes, the veil-known "Liburnian" cutters, the Illyrians waged war by sea and along the coasts against all and sundry. The Greek settlements in these regions, the island-towns of Issa (Lissa) and Pharos (Lesina), the important ports of Epidamnus (Durazzo) and Apollonia (to the north of Avlona on the Aous) of course suffered especially, and were repeatedly beleaguered by the barbarians. Farther to the south, moreover, the corsairs established themselves in Phoenice, the most flourishing town of Epirus; partly voluntarily, partly by constraint, the Epirots and Acarnanians entered into an unnatural symmachy with the foreign freebooters; the coast was insecure even as far as Elis and Messene. In vain the Aetolians and Achaeans collected what ships they had, with a view to check the evil: in a battle on the open sea they were beaten by the pirates and their Greek allies; the corsair fleet was able at length to take possession even of the rich and important island of Corcyra (Corfu). The complaints of Italian mariners, the appeals for aid of their old allies the Apolloniates, and the urgent entreaties of the besieged Issaeans at length compelled the Roman senate to send at least ambassadors to Scodra. The brothers Gaius and Lucius Coruncanius went thither to demand that king Agron should put an end to the disorder. The king answered that according to the national law of the Illyrians piracy was a lawful trade, and that the government had no right to put a stop to privateering; whereupon Lucius Coruncanius replied, that in that case Rome would make it her business to introduce a better law among the Illyrians. For this certainly not very diplomatic reply one of the envoys was—by the king's orders, as the Romans asserted—murdered on the way home, and the surrender of the murderers was refused. The senate had now no choice left to it. In the spring of 525 a fleet of 200 ships of the line, with a landing- army on board, appeared off Apollonia; the corsair-vessels were scattered before the former, while the latter demolished the piratic strongholds; the queen Teuta, who after the death of her husband Agron conducted the government during the minority of her son Pinnes, besieged in her last retreat, was obliged to accept the conditions dictated by Rome. The rulers of Scodra were again confined both on the north and south to the narrow limits of their original domain, and had to quit their hold not only on all the Greek towns, but also on the Ardiaei in Dalmatia, the Parthini around Epidamnus, and the Atintanes in northern Epirus; no Illyrian vessel of war at all, and not more than two unarmed vessels in company, were to be allowed in future to sail to the south of Lissus (Alessio, between Scutari and Durazzo). The maritime supremacy of Rome in the Adriatic was asserted, in the most praiseworthy and durable way, by the rapid and energetic suppression of the evil of piracy.

Acquisition of Territory in Illyria
Impression in Greece and Macedonia

But the Romans went further, and established themselves on the east coast. The Illyrians of Scodra were rendered tributary to Rome; Demetrius of Pharos, who had passed over from the service of Teuta to that of the Romans, was installed, as a dependent dynast and ally of Rome, over the islands and coasts of Dalmatia; the Greek cities Corcyra, Epidamnus, Apollonia, and the communities of the Atintanes and Parthini were attached to Rome under mild forms of symmachy. These acquisitions on the east coast of the Adriatic were not sufficiently extensive to require the appointment of a special auxiliary consul; governors of subordinate rank appear to have been sent to Corcyra and perhaps also to other places, and the superintendence of these possessions seems to have been entrusted to the chief magistrates who administered Italy.(11) Thus the most important maritime stations in the Adriatic became subject, like Sicily and Sardinia, to the authority of Rome. What other result was to be expected? Rome was in want of a good naval station in the upper Adriatic—a want which was not supplied by her possessions on the Italian shore; her new allies, especially the Greek commercial towns, saw in the Romans their deliverers, and doubtless did what they could permanently to secure so powerful a protection; in Greece itself no one was in a position to oppose the movement; on the contrary, the praise of the liberators was on every one's lips. It may be a question whether there was greater rejoicing or shame in Hellas, when, in place of the ten ships of the line of the Achaean league, the most warlike power in Greece, two hundred sail belonging to the barbarians now entered her harbours and accomplished at a blow the task, which properly belonged to the Greeks, but in which they had failed so miserably. But if the Greeks were ashamed that the salvation of their oppressed countrymen had to come from abroad, they accepted the deliverance at least with a good grace; they did not fail to receive the Romans solemnly into the fellowship of the Hellenic nation by admitting them to the Isthmian games and the Eleusinian mysteries.

Macedonia was silent; it was not in a condition to protest in arms, and disdained to do so in words. No resistance was encountered. Nevertheless Rome, by seizing the keys to her neighbour's house, had converted that neighbour into an adversary who, should he recover his power, or should a favourable opportunity occur, might be expected to know how to break the silence. Had the energetic and prudent king Antigonus Doson lived longer, he would have doubtless taken up the gauntlet which the Romans had flung down, for, when some years afterwards the dynast Demetrius of Pharos withdrew from the hegemony of Rome, prosecuted piracy contrary to the treaty in concert with the Istrians, and subdued the Atintanes whom the Romans had declared independent, Antigonus formed an alliance with him, and the troops of Demetrius fought along with the army of Antigonus at the battle of Sellasia (532). But Antigonus died (in the winter 533-4); and his successor Philip, still a boy, allowed the Consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus to attack the ally of Macedonia, to destroy his capital, and to drive him from his kingdom into exile (535).

Northern Italy

The mainland of Italy proper, south of the Apennines, enjoyed profound peace after the fall of Tarentum: the six days' war with Falerii (513) was little more than an interlude. But towards the north, between the territory of the confederacy and the natural boundary of Italy—the chain of the Alps—there still extended a wide region which was not subject to the Romans. What was regarded as the boundary of Italy on the Adriatic coast was the river Aesis immediately above Ancona. Beyond this boundary the adjacent properly Gallic territory as far as, and including, Ravenna belonged in a similar way as did Italy proper to the Roman alliance; the Senones, who had formerly settled there, were extirpated in the war of 471-2,(12) and the several townships were connected with Rome, either as burgess-colonies, like Sena Gallica,(13) or as allied towns, whether with Latin rights, like Ariminum,(14) or with Italian rights, like Ravenna. On the wide region beyond Ravenna as far as the Alps non-Italian peoples were settled. South of the Po the strong Celtic tribe of the Boii still held its ground (from Parma to Bologna); alongside of them, the Lingones on the east and the Anares on the west (in the region of Parma)—two smaller Celtic cantons presumably clients of the Boii— peopled the plain. At the western end of the plain the Ligurians began, who, mingled with isolated Celtic tribes, and settled on the Apennines from above Arezzo and Pisa westward, occupied the region of the sources of the Po. The eastern portion of the plain north of the Po, nearly from Verona to the coast, was possessed by the Veneti, a race different from the Celts and probably of Illyrian extraction. Between these and the western mountains were settled the Cenomani (about Brescia and Cremona) who rarely acted with the Celtic nation and were probably largely intermingled with Veneti, and the Insubres (around Milan). The latter was the most considerable of the Celtic cantons in Italy, and was in constant communication not merely with the minor communities partly of Celtic, partly of non-Celtic extraction, that were scattered in the Alpine valleys, but also with the Celtic cantons beyond the Alps. The gates of the Alps, the mighty stream navigable for 230 miles, and the largest and most fertile plain of the then civilized Europe, still continued in the hands of the hereditary foes of the Italian name, who, humbled indeed and weakened, but still scarce even nominally dependent and still troublesome neighbours, persevered in their barbarism, and, thinly scattered over the spacious plains, continued to pasture their herds and to plunder. It was to be anticipated that the Romans would hasten to possess themselves of these regions; the more so as the Celts gradually began to forget their defeats in the campaigns of 471 and 472 and to bestir themselves again, and, what was still more dangerous, the Transalpine Celts began anew to show themselves on the south of the Alps.

Celtic Wars

In fact the Boii had already renewed the war in 516, and their chiefs Atis and Galatas had—without, it is true, the authority of the general diet—summoned the Transalpine Gauls to make common cause with them. The latter had numerously answered the call, and in 518 a Celtic army, such as Italy had not seen for long, encamped before Ariminum. The Romans, for the moment much too weak to attempt a battle, concluded an armistice, and to gain time allowed envoys from the Celts to proceed to Rome, who ventured in the senate to demand the cession of Ariminum—it seemed as if the times of Brennus had returned. But an unexpected incident put an end to the war before it had well begun. The Boii, dissatisfied with their unbidden allies and afraid probably for their own territory, fell into variance with the Transalpine Gauls. An open battle took place between the two Celtic hosts; and, after the chiefs of the Boii had been put to death by their own men, the Transalpine Gauls returned home. The Boii were thus delivered into the hands of the Romans, and the latter were at liberty to expel them like the Senones, and to advance at least to the Po; but they preferred to grant the Boii peace in return for the cession of some districts of their land (518). This was probably done, because they were just at that time expecting the renewed outbreak of war with Carthage; but, after that war had been averted by the cession of Sardinia, true policy required the Roman government to take possession as speedily and entirely as possible of the country up to the Alps. The constant apprehensions on the part of the Celts as to such a Roman invasion were therefore sufficiently justified; but the Romans were in no haste. So the Celts on their part began the war, either because the Roman assignations of land on the east coast (522), although not a measure immediately directed against them, made them apprehensive of danger; or because they perceived that a war with Rome for the possession of Lombardy was inevitable; or, as is perhaps most probable, because their Celtic impatience was once more weary of inaction and preferred to arm for a new warlike expedition. With the exception of the Cenomani, who acted with the Veneti and declared for the Romans, all the Italian Celts concurred in the war, and they were joined by the Celts of the upper valley of the Rhone, or rather by a number of adventurers belonging to them, under the leaders Concolitanus and Aneroestus.(15) With 50,000 warriors on foot, and 20,000 on horseback or in chariots, the leaders of the Celts advanced to the Apennines (529). The Romans had not anticipated an attack on this side, and had not expected that the Celts, disregarding the Roman fortresses on the east coast and the protection of their own kinsmen, would venture to advance directly against the capital. Not very long before a similar Celtic swarm had in an exactly similar way overrun Greece. The danger was serious, and appeared still more serious than it really was. The belief that Rome's destruction was this time inevitable, and that the Roman soil was fated to become the property of the Gauls, was so generally diffused among the multitude in Rome itself that the government reckoned it not beneath its dignity to allay the absurd superstitious belief of the mob by an act still more absurd, and to bury alive a Gaulish man and a Gaulish woman in the Roman Forum with a view to fulfil the oracle of destiny. At the same time they made more serious preparations. Of the two consular armies, each of which numbered about 25,000 infantry and 1100 cavalry, one was stationed in Sardinia under Gaius Atilius Regulus, the other at Ariminum under Lucius Aemilius Papus. Both received orders to repair as speedily as possible to Etruria, which was most immediately threatened. The Celts had already been under the necessity of leaving a garrison at home to face the Cenomani and Veneti, who were allied with Rome; now the levy of the Umbrians was directed to advance from their native mountains down into the plain of the Boii, and to inflict all the injury which they could think of on the enemy upon his own soil. The militia of the Etruscans and Sabines was to occupy the Apennines and if possible to obstruct the passage, till the regular troops could arrive. A reserve was formed in Rome of 50,000 men. Throughout all Italy, which on this occasion recognized its true champion in Rome, the men capable of service were enrolled, and stores and materials of war were collected.

Battle of Telamon

All this, however, required time. For once the Romans had allowed themselves to be surprised, and it was too late at least to save Etruria. The Celts found the Apennines hardly defended, and plundered unopposed the rich plains of the Tuscan territory, which for long had seen no enemy. They were already at Clusium, three days' march from Rome, when the army of Ariminum, under the consul Papus, appeared on their flank, while the Etruscan militia, which after crossing the Apennines had assembled in rear of the Gauls, followed the line of the enemy's march. Suddenly one evening, after the two armies had already encamped and the bivouac fires were kindled, the Celtic infantry again broke up and retreated on the road towards Faesulae (Fiesole): the cavalry occupied the advanced posts during the night, and followed the main force next morning. When the Tuscan militia, who had pitched their camp close upon the enemy, became aware of his departure, they imagined that the host had begun to disperse, and marched hastily in pursuit. The Gauls had reckoned on this very result: their infantry, which had rested and was drawn up in order, awaited on a well-chosen battlefield the Roman militia, which came up from its forced march fatigued and disordered. Six thousand men fell after a furious combat, and the rest of the militia, which had been compelled to seek refuge on a hill, would have perished, had not the consular army appeared just in time. This induced the Gauls to return homeward. Their dexterously-contrived plan for preventing the union of the two Roman armies and annihilating the weaker in detail, had only been partially successful; now it seemed to them advisable first of all to place in security their considerable booty. For the sake of an easier line of march they proceeded from the district of Chiusi, where they were, to the level coast, and were marching along the shore, when they found an unexpected obstacle in the way. It was the Sardinian legions, which had landed at Pisae; and, when they arrived too late to obstruct the passage of the Apennines, had immediately put themselves in motion and were advancing along the coast in a direction opposite to the march of the Gauls. Near Telamon (at the mouth of the Ombrone) they met with the enemy. While the Roman infantry advanced with close front along the great road, the cavalry, led by the consul Gaius Atilius Regulus in person, made a side movement so as to take the Gauls in flank, and to acquaint the other Roman army under Papus as soon as possible with their arrival. A hot cavalry engagement took place, in which along with many brave Romans Regulus fell; but he had not sacrificed his life in vain: his object was gained. Papus became aware of the conflict, and guessed how matters stood; he hastily arrayed his legions, and on both sides the Celtic host was now pressed by Roman legions. Courageously it made its dispositions for the double conflict, the Transalpine Gauls and Insubres against the troops of Papus, the Alpine Taurisci and the Boii against the Sardinian infantry; the cavalry combat pursued its course apart on the flank. The forces were in numbers not unequally matched, and the desperate position of the Gauls impelled them to the most obstinate resistance. But the Transalpine Gauls, accustomed only to close fighting, gave way before the missiles of the Roman skirmishers; in the hand-to-hand combat the better temper of the Roman weapons placed the Gauls at a disadvantage; and at last an attack in flank by the victorious Roman cavalry decided the day. The Celtic horsemen made their escape; the infantry, wedged in between the sea and the three Roman armies, had no means of flight. 10,000 Celts, with their king Concolitanus, were taken prisoners; 40,000 others lay dead on the field of battle; Aneroestus and his attendants had, after the Celtic fashion, put themselves to death.

The Celts Attacked in Their Own Land

The victory was complete, and the Romans were firmly resolved to prevent the recurrence of such surprises by the complete subjugation of the Celts on the south of the Alps. In the following year (530) the Boii submitted without resistance along with the Lingones; and in the year after that (531) the Anares; so that the plain as far as the Po was in the hands of the Romans. The conquest of the northern bank of the river cost a more serious struggle. Gaius Flaminius crossed the river in the newly-acquired territory of the Anares (somewhere near Piacenza) in 531; but during the crossing, and still more while making good his footing on the other bank, he suffered so heavy losses and found himself with the river in his rear in so dangerous a position, that he made a capitulation with the enemy to secure a free retreat, which the Insubres foolishly conceded. Scarce, however, had he escaped when he appeared in the territory of the Cenomani, and, united with them, advanced for the second time from the north into the canton of the Insubres. The Gauls perceived what was now the object of the Romans, when it was too late: they took from the temple of their goddess the golden standards called the "immovable," and with their whole levy, 50,000 strong, they offered battle to the Romans. The situation of the latter was critical: they were stationed with their back to a river (perhaps the Oglio), separated from home by the enemy's territory, and left to depend for aid in battle as well as for their line of retreat on the uncertain friendship of the Cenomani. There was, however, no choice. The Gauls fighting in the Roman ranks were placed on the left bank of the stream; on the right, opposite to the Insubres, the legions were drawn up, and the bridges were broken down that they might not be assailed, at least in the rear, by their dubious allies.

The Celts Conquered by Rome

In this way undoubtedly the river cut off their retreat, and their way homeward lay through the hostile army. But the superiority of the Roman arms and of Roman discipline achieved the victory, and the army cut its way through: once more the Roman tactics had redeemed the blunders of the general. The victory was due to the soldiers and officers, not to the generals, who gained a triumph only through popular favour in opposition to the just decree of the senate. Gladly would the Insubres have made peace; but Rome required unconditional subjection, and things had not yet come to that pass. They tried to maintain their ground with the help of their northern kinsmen; and, with 30,000 mercenaries whom they had raised amongst these and their own levy, they received the two consular armies advancing once more in the following year (532) from the territory of the Cenomani to invade their land. Various obstinate combats took place; in a diversion, attempted by the Insubres against the Roman fortress of Clastidium (Casteggio, below Pavia), on the right bank of the Po, the Gallic king Virdumarus fell by the hand of the consul Marcus Marcellus. But, after a battle already half won by the Celts but ultimately decided in favour of the Romans, the consul Gnaeus Scipio took by assault Mediolanum, the capital of the Insubres, and the capture of that town and of Comum terminated their resistance. Thus the Celts of Italy were completely vanquished, and as, just before, the Romans had shown to the Hellenes in the war with the pirates the difference between a Roman and a Greek sovereignty of the seas, so they had now brilliantly demonstrated that Rome knew how to defend the gates of Italy against freebooters on land otherwise than Macedonia had guarded the gates of Greece, and that in spite of all internal quarrels Italy presented as united a front to the national foe, as Greece exhibited distraction and discord.

Romanization of the Entire of Italy

The boundary of the Alps was reached, in so far as the whole flat country on the Po was either rendered subject to the Romans, or, like the territories of the Cenomani and Veneti, was occupied by dependent allies. It needed time, however, to reap the consequences of this victory and to Romanize the land. In this the Romans did not adopt a uniform mode of procedure. In the mountainous northwest of Italy and in the more remote districts between the Alps and the Po they tolerated, on the whole, the former inhabitants; the numerous wars, as they are called, which were waged with the Ligurians in particular (first in 516) appear to have been slave-hunts rather than wars, and, often as the cantons and valleys submitted to the Romans, Roman sovereignty in that quarter was hardly more than a name. The expedition to Istria also (533) appears not to have aimed at much more than the destruction of the last lurking-places of the Adriatic pirates, and the establishment of a communication by land along the coast between the Italian conquests of Rome and her acquisitions on the other shore. On the other hand the Celts in the districts south of the Po were doomed irretrievably to destruction; for, owing to the looseness of the ties connecting the Celtic nation, none of the northern Celtic cantons took part with their Italian kinsmen except for money, and the Romans looked on the latter not only as their national foes, but as the usurpers of their natural heritage. The extensive assignations of land in 522 had already filled the whole territory between Ancona and Ariminum with Roman colonists, who settled here without communal organization in market-villages and hamlets. Further measures of the same character were taken, and it was not difficult to dislodge and extirpate a half-barbarous population like the Celtic, only partially following agriculture, and destitute of walled towns. The great northern highway, which had been, probably some eighty years earlier, carried by way of Otricoli to Narni, and had shortly before been prolonged to the newly-founded fortress of Spoletium (514), was now (534) carried, under the name of the "Flaminian" road, by way of the newly-established market-village Forum Flaminii (near Foligno), through the pass of Furlo to the coast, and thence along the latter from Fanum (Fano) to Ariminum; it was the first artificial road which crossed the Apennines and connected the two Italian seas. Great zeal was manifested in covering the newly- acquired fertile territory with Roman townships. Already, to cover the passage of the Po, the strong fortress of Placentia (Piacenza) had been founded on the right bank; not far from it Cremona had been laid out on the left bank, and the building of the walls of Mutina (Modena), in the territory taken away from the Boii, had far advanced —already preparations were being made for further assignations of land and for continuing the highway, when sudden event interrupted the Romans in reaping the fruit of their successes.

Notes for Chapter III

1. III. II. Evacuation of Africa

2. That the cession of the islands lying between Sicily and Italy, which the peace of 513 prescribed to the Carthaginians, did not include the cession of Sardinia is a settled point (III. II. Remarks On the Roman Conduct of the War); but the statement, that the Romans made that a pretext for their occupation of the island three years after the peace, is ill attested. Had they done so, they would merely have added a diplomatic folly to the political effrontery.

3. III. II. The War on the Coasts of Sicily and Sardinia

4. III. VIII. Changes in Procedure

5. II. I. Restrictions on the Delegation of Powers

6. That this was the case may be gathered partly from the appearance of the "Siculi" against Marcellus (Liv. xxvi. 26, seq.), partly from the "conjoint petitions of all the Sicilian communities" (Cicero, Verr. ii. 42, 102; 45, 114; 50, 146; iii. 88, 204), partly from well- known analogies (Marquardt, Handb. iii. i, 267). Because there was no -commercium- between the different towns, it by no means follows that there was no -concilium-.

7. The right of coining gold and silver was not monopolized by Rome in the provinces so strictly as in Italy, evidently because gold and silver money not struck after the Roman standard was of less importance. But in their case too the mints were doubtless, as a rule, restricted to the coinage of copper, or at most silver, small money; even the most favourably treated communities of Roman Sicily, such as the Mamertines, the Centuripans, the Halaesines, the Segestans, and also in the main the Pacormitaus coined only copper.

8. This is implied in Hiero's expression (Liv. xxii. 37): that he knew that the Romans made use of none but Roman or Latin infantry and cavalry, and employed "foreigners" at most only among the light-armed troops.

9. This is shown at once by a glance at the map, and also by the remarkable exceptional provision which allowed the Centuripans to buy to any part of Sicily. They needed, as Roman spies, the utmost freedom of movement We may add that Centuripa appears to have been among the first cities that went over to Rome (Diodorus, l. xxiii. p. 501).

10. This distinction between Italy as the Roman mainland or consular sphere on the one hand, and the transmarine territory or praetorial sphere on the other, already appears variously applied in the sixth century. The ritual rule, that certain priests should not leave Rome (Val. Max. i. i, 2), was explained to mean, that they were not allowed to cross the sea (Liv. Ep. 19, xxxvii. 51; Tac. Ann. iii. 58, 71; Cic. Phil. xi. 8, 18; comp. Liv. xxviii. 38, 44, Ep. 59). To this head still more definitely belongs the interpretation which was proposed in 544 to be put upon the old rule, that the consul might nominate the dictator only on "Roman ground": viz. that "Roman ground" comprehended all Italy (Liv. xxvii. 5). The erection of the Celtic land between the Alps and Apennines into a special province, different from that of the consuls and subject to a separate Standing chief magistrate, was the work of Sulla. Of course no one will Urge as an objection to this view, that already in the sixth century Gallia or Ariminum is very often designated as the "official district" (-provincia-), usually of one of the consuls. -Provincia-, as is well known, was in the older language not—what alone it denoted subsequently—a definite space assigned as a district to a standing chief magistrate, but the department of duty fixed for the individual consul, in the first instance by agreement with his colleague, under concurrence of the senate; and in this sense frequently individual regions in northern Italy, or even North Italy generally, were assigned to individual consuls as -provincia-.

11. A standing Roman commandant of Corcyra is apparently mentioned in Polyb. xxii. 15, 6 (erroneously translated by Liv. xxxviii. ii, comp. xlii. 37), and a similar one in the case of Issa in Liv. xliii. 9. We have, moreover, the analogy of the -praefectus pro legato insularum Baliarum- (Orelli, 732), and of the governor of Pandataria (Inscr. Reg. Neapol. 3528). It appears, accordingly, to have been a rule in the Roman administration to appoint non-senatorial -praefecti- for the more remote islands. But these "deputies" presuppose in the nature of the case a superior magistrate who nominates and superintends them; and this superior magistracy can only have been at this period that of the consuls. Subsequently, after the erection of Macedonia and Gallia Cisalpina into provinces, the superior administration was committed to one of these two governors; the very territory now in question, the nucleus of the subsequent Roman province of Illyricum, belonged, as is well known, in part to Caesar's district of administration.

12. III. VII. The Senones Annihilated

13. III. VII. Breach between Rome and Tarentum

14. III. VII. Construction of New Fortresses and Roads

15. These, whom Polybius designates as the "Celts in the Alps and on the Rhone, who on account of their character as military adventurers are called Gaesatae (free lances)," are in the Capitoline Fasti named -Germani-. It is possible that the contemporary annalists may have here mentioned Celts alone, and that it was the historical speculation of the age of Caesar and Augustus that first induced the redactors of these Fasti to treat them as "Germans." If, on the other hand, the mention of the Germans in the Fasti was based on contemporary records —in which case this is the earliest mention of the name—we shall here have to think not of the Germanic races who were afterwards so called, but of a Celtic horde.

Chapter IV

Hamilcar and Hannibal

Situation of Carthage after the Peace

The treaty with Rome in 513 gave to the Carthaginians peace, but they paid for it dearly. That the tribute of the largest portion of Sicily now flowed into the enemy's exchequer instead of the Carthaginian treasury, was the least part of their loss. They felt a far keener regret when they not merely had to abandon the hope of monopolizing all the sea-routes between the eastern and the western Mediterranean —just as that hope seemed on the eve of fulfilment—but also saw their whole system of commercial policy broken up, the south-western basin of the Mediterranean, which they had hitherto exclusively commanded, converted since the loss of Sicily into an open thoroughfare for all nations, and the commerce of Italy rendered completely independent of the Phoenician. Nevertheless the quiet men of Sidon might perhaps have prevailed on themselves to acquiesce in this result. They had met with similar blows already; they had been obliged to share with the Massiliots, the Etruscans, and the Sicilian Greeks what they had previously possessed alone; even now the possessions which they retained, Africa, Spain, and the gates of the Atlantic Ocean, were sufficient to confer power and prosperity. But in truth, where was their security that these at least would continue in their hands? The demands made by Regulus, and his very near approach to the obtaining of what he asked, could only be forgotten by those who were willing to forget; and if Rome should now renew from Lilybaeum the enterprise which she had undertaken with so great success from Italy, Carthage would undoubtedly fall, unless the perversity of the enemy or some special piece of good fortune should intervene to save it No doubt they had peace for the present; but the ratification of that peace had hung on a thread, and they knew what public opinion in Rome thought of the terms on which it was concluded. It might be that Rome was not yet meditating the conquest of Africa and was as yet content with Italy; but if the existence of the Carthaginian state depended on that contentment, the prospect was but a sorry one; and where was the security that the Romans might not find it even convenient for their Italian policy to extirpate rather than reduce to subjection their African neighbour?

War Party and Peace Party in Carthage

In short, Carthage could only regard the peace of 513 in the light of a truce, and could not but employ it in preparations for the inevitable renewal of the war; not for the purpose of avenging the defeat which she had suffered, nor even with the primary view of recovering what she had lost, but in order to secure for herself an existence that should not be dependent on the good-will of the enemy. But when a war of annihilation is surely, though in point of time indefinitely, impending over a weaker state, the wiser, more resolute, and more devoted men—who would immediately prepare for the unavoidable struggle, accept it at a favourable moment, and thus cover their defensive policy by a strategy of offence—always find themselves hampered by the indolent and cowardly mass of the money- worshippers, of the aged and feeble, and of the thoughtless who are minded merely to gain time, to live and die in peace, and to postpone at any price the final struggle. So there was in Carthage a party for peace and a party for war, both, as was natural, associating themselves with the political distinction which already existed between the conservatives and the reformers. The former found its support in the governing boards, the council of the Ancients and that of the Hundred, led by Hanno the Great, as he was called; the latter found its support in the leaders of the multitude, particularly the much-respected Hasdrubal, and in the officers of the Sicilian army, whose great successes under the leadership of Hamilcar, although they had been otherwise fruitless, had at least shown to the patriots a method which seemed to promise deliverance from the great danger that beset them. Vehement feud had probably long subsisted between these parties, when the Libyan war intervened to suspend the strife. We have already related how that war arose. After the governing party had instigated the mutiny by their incapable administration which frustrated all the precautionary measures of the Sicilian officers, had converted that mutiny into a revolution by the operation of their inhuman system of government, and had at length brought the country to the verge of ruin by their military incapacity—and particularly that of their leader Hanno, who ruined the army—Hamilcar Barcas, the hero of Ercte, was in the perilous emergency solicited by the government itself to save it from the effects of its blunders and crimes. He accepted the command, and had the magnanimity not to resign it even when they appointed Hanno as his colleague. Indeed, when the indignant army sent the latter home, Hamilcar had the self-control a second time to concede to him, at the urgent request of the government, a share in the command; and, in spite of his enemies and in spite of such a colleague, he was able by his influence with the insurgents, by his dexterous treatment of the Numidian sheiks, and by his unrivalled genius for organization and generalship, in a singularly short time to put down the revolt entirely and to recall rebellious Africa to its allegiance (end of 517).

During this war the patriot party had kept silence; now it spoke out the louder. On the one hand this catastrophe had brought to light the utterly corrupt and pernicious character of the ruling oligarchy, their incapacity, their coterie-policy, their leanings towards the Romans. On the other hand the seizure of Sardinia, and the threatening attitude which Rome on that occasion assumed, showed plainly even to the humblest that a declaration of war by Rome was constantly hanging like the sword of Damocles over Carthage, and that, if Carthage in her present circumstances went to war with Rome, the consequence must necessarily be the downfall of the Phoenician dominion in Libya. Probably there were in Carthage not a few who, despairing of the future of their country, counselled emigration to the islands of the Atlantic; who could blame them? But minds of the nobler order disdain to save themselves apart from their nation, and great natures enjoy the privilege of deriving enthusiasm from circumstances in which the multitude of good men despair. They accepted the new conditions just as Rome dictated them; no course was left but to submit and, adding fresh bitterness to their former hatred, carefully to cherish and husband resentment—that last resource of an injured nation. They then took steps towards a political reform.(1) They had become sufficiently convinced of the incorrigibleness of the party in power: the fact that the governing lords had even in the last war neither forgotten their spite nor learned greater wisdom, was shown by the effrontery bordering on simplicity with which they now instituted proceedings against Hamilcar as the originator of the mercenary war, because he had without full powers from the government made promises of money to his Sicilian soldiers. Had the club of officers and popular leaders desired to overthrow this rotten and wretched government, it would hardly have encountered much difficulty in Carthage itself; but it would have met with more formidable obstacles in Rome, with which the chiefs of the government in Carthage already maintained relations that bordered on treason. To all the other difficulties of the position there fell to be added the circumstance, that the means of saving their country had to be created without allowing either the Romans, or their own government with its Roman leanings, to become rightly aware of what was doing.

Hamilcar Commander-in-Chief

So they left the constitution untouched, and the chiefs of the government in full enjoyment of their exclusive privileges and of the public property. It was merely proposed and carried, that of the two commanders-in-chief, who at the end of the Libyan war were at the head of the Carthaginian troops, Hanno and Hamilcar, the former should be recalled, and the latter should be nominated commander-in-chief for all Africa during an indefinite period. It was arranged that he should hold a position independent of the governing corporations —his antagonists called it an unconstitutional monarchical power, Cato calls it a dictatorship—and that he could only be recalled and placed upon his trial by the popular assembly.(2) Even the choice of a successor was to be vested not in the authorities of the capital, but in the army, that is, in the Carthaginians serving in the array as gerusiasts or officers, who were named in treaties also along with the general; of course the right of confirmation was reserved to the popular assembly at home. Whether this may or may not have been a usurpation, it clearly indicates that the war party regarded and treated the army as its special domain.

The commission which Hamilcar thus received sounded but little liable to exception. Wars with the Numidian tribes on the borders never ceased; only a short time previously the "city of a hundred gates," Theveste (Tebessa), in the interior had been occupied by the Carthaginians. The task of continuing this border warfare, which was allotted to the new commander-in-chief of Africa, was not in itself of such importance as to prevent the Carthaginian government, which was allowed to do as it liked in its own immediate sphere, from tacitly conniving at the decrees passed in reference to the matter by the popular assembly; and the Romans did not perhaps recognize its significance at all.

Hamilcar's War Projects
The Army
The Citizens

Thus there stood at the head of the army the one man, who had given proof in the Sicilian and in the Libyan wars that fate had destined him, if any one, to be the saviour of his country. Never perhaps was the noble struggle of man with fate waged more nobly than by him. The army was expected to save the state; but what sort of army? The Carthaginian civic militia had fought not badly under Hamilcar's leadership in the Libyan war; but he knew well, that it is one thing to lead out the merchants and artisans of a city, which is in the extremity of peril, for once to battle, and another to form them into soldiers. The patriotic party in Carthage furnished him with excellent officers, but it was of course almost exclusively the cultivated class that was represented in it. He had no citizen- militia, at most a few squadrons of Libyphoenician cavalry. The task was to form an army out of Libyan forced recruits and mercenaries; a task possible in the hands of a general like Hamilcar, but possible even for him only on condition that he should be able to pay his men punctually and amply. But he had learned, by experience in Sicily, that the state revenues of Carthage were expended in Carthage itself on matters much more needful than the payment of the armies that fought against the enemy. The warfare which he waged, accordingly, had to support itself, and he had to carry out on a great scale what he had already attempted on a smaller scale at Monte Pellegrino. But further, Hamilcar was not only a military chief, he was also a party leader. In opposition to the implacable governing party, which eagerly but patiently waited for an opportunity of overthrowing him, he had to seek support among the citizens; and although their leaders might be ever so pure and noble, the multitude was deeply corrupt and accustomed by the unhappy system of corruption to give nothing without being paid for it. In particular emergencies, indeed, necessity or enthusiasm might for the moment prevail, as everywhere happens even with the most venal corporations; but, if Hamilcar wished to secure the permanent support of the Carthaginian community for his plan, which at the best could only be carried out after a series of years, he had to supply his friends at home with regular consignments of money as the means of keeping the mob in good humour. Thus compelled to beg or to buy from the lukewarm and venal multitude the permission to save it; compelled to bargain with the arrogance of men whom he hated and whom he had constantly conquered, at the price of humiliation and of silence, for the respite indispensable for his ends; compelled to conceal from those despised traitors to their country, who called themselves the lords of his native city, his plans and his contempt—the noble hero stood with few like-minded friends between enemies without and enemies within, building upon the irresolution of the one and of the other, at once deceiving both and defying both, if only he might gain means, money, and men for the contest with a land which, even were the army ready to strike the blow, it seemed difficult to reach and scarce possible to vanquish. He was still a young man, little beyond thirty, but he had apparently, when he was preparing for his expedition, a foreboding that he would not be permitted to attain the end of his labours, or to see otherwise than afar off the promised land. When he left Carthage he enjoined his son Hannibal, nine years of age, to swear at the altar of the supreme God eternal hatred to the Roman name, and reared him and his younger sons Hasdrubal and Mago—the "lion's brood," as he called them—in the camp as the inheritors of his projects, of his genius, and of his hatred.

Hamilcar Proceed to Spain
Spanish Kingdom of the Barcides

The new commander-in-chief of Libya departed from Carthage immediately after the termination of the mercenary war (perhaps in the spring of 518). He apparently meditated an expedition against the free Libyans in the west. His army, which was especially strong in elephants, marched along the coast; by its side sailed the fleet, led by his faithful associate Hasdrubal. Suddenly tidings came that he had crossed the sea at the Pillars of Hercules and had landed in Spain, where he was waging war with the natives—with people who had done him no harm, and without orders from his government, as the Carthaginian authorities complained. They could not complain at any rate that he neglected the affairs of Africa; when the Numidians once more rebelled, his lieutenant Hasdrubal so effectually routed them that for a long period there was tranquillity on the frontier, and several tribes hitherto independent submitted to pay tribute. What he personally did in Spain, we are no longer able to trace in detail. His achievements compelled Cato the elder, who, a generation after Hamilcar's death, beheld in Spain the still fresh traces of his working, to exclaim, notwithstanding all his hatred of the Carthaginians, that no king was worthy to be named by the side of Hamilcar Barcas. The results still show to us, at least in a general way, what was accomplished by Hamilcar as a soldier and a statesman in the last nine years of his life (518-526)—till in the flower of his age, fighting bravely in the field of battle, he met his death like Scharn-horst just as his plans were beginning to reach maturity—and what during the next eight years (527-534) the heir of his office and of his plans, his son-in-law Hasdrubal, did to prosecute, in the spirit of the master, the work which Hamilcar had begun. Instead of the small entrepot for trade, which, along with the protectorate over Gades, was all that Carthage had hitherto possessed on the Spanish coast, and which she had treated as a dependency of Libya, a Carthaginian kingdom was founded in Spain by the generalship of Hamilcar, and confirmed by the adroit statesmanship of Hasdrubal. The fairest regions of Spain, the southern and eastern coasts, became Phoenician provinces. Towns were founded; above all, "Spanish Carthage" (Cartagena) was established by Hasdrubal on the only good harbour along the south coast, containing the splendid "royal castle" of its founder. Agriculture flourished, and, still more, mining in consequence of the fortunate discovery of the silver-mines of Cartagena, which a century afterwards had a yearly produce of more than 360,000 pounds (36,000,000 sesterces). Most of the communities as far as the Ebro became dependent on Carthage and paid tribute to it. Hasdrubal skilfully by every means, even by intermarriages, attached the chiefs to the interests of Carthage. Thus Carthage acquired in Spain a rich market for its commerce and manufactures; and not only did the revenues of the province sustain the army, but there remained a balance to be remitted to Carthage and reserved for future use. The province formed and at the same time trained the army; regular levies took place in the territory subject to Carthage; the prisoners of war were introduced into the Carthaginian corps. Contingents and mercenaries, as many as were desired, were supplied by the dependent communities. During his long life of warfare the soldier found in the camp a second home, and found a substitute for patriotism in fidelity to his standard and enthusiastic attachment to his great leaders. Constant conflicts with the brave Iberians and Celts created a serviceable infantry, to co-operate with the excellent Numidian cavalry.

The Carthaginian Government and the Barcides

So far as Carthage was concerned, the Barcides were allowed to go on. Since the citizens were not asked for regular contributions, but on the contrary some benefit accrued to them and commerce recovered in Spain what it had lost in Sicily and Sardinia, the Spanish war and the Spanish army with its brilliant victories and important successes soon became so popular that it was even possible in particular emergencies, such as after Hamilcar's fall, to effect the despatch of considerable reinforcements of African troops to Spain; and the governing party, whether well or ill affected, had to maintain silence, or at any rate to content themselves with complaining to each other or to their friends in Rome regarding the demagogic officers and the mob.

The Roman Government and the Barcides

On the part of Rome too nothing took place calculated seriously to alter the course of Spanish affairs. The first and chief cause of the inactivity of the Romans was undoubtedly their very want of acquaintance with the circumstances of the remote peninsula—which was certainly also Hamilcar's main reason for selecting Spain and not, as might otherwise have been possible, Africa itself for the execution of his plan. The explanations with which the Carthaginian generals met the Roman commissioners sent to Spain to procure information on the spot, and their assurances that all this was done only to provide the means of promptly paying the war-contributions to Rome, could not possibly find belief in the senate. But they probably discerned only the immediate object of Hamilcar's plans, viz. to procure compensation in Spain for the tribute and the traffic of the islands which Carthage had lost; and they deemed an aggressive war on the part of the Carthaginians, and in particular an invasion of Italy from Spain—as is evident both from express statements to that effect and from the whole state of the case—as absolutely impossible. Many, of course, among the peace party in Carthage saw further; but, whatever they might think, they could hardly be much inclined to enlighten their Roman friends as to the impending storm, which the Carthaginian authorities had long been unable to prevent, for that step would accelerate, instead of averting, the crisis; and even if they did so, such denunciations proceeding from partisans would justly be received with great caution at Rome. By degrees, certainly, the inconceivably rapid and mighty extension of the Carthaginian power in Spain could not but excite the observation and awaken the apprehensions of the Romans. In fact, in the course of the later years before the outbreak of war, they did attempt to set bounds to it. About the year 528, mindful of their new-born Hellenism, they concluded an alliance with the two Greek or semi-Greek towns on the east coast of Spain, Zacynthus or Saguntum (Murviedro, not far from Valencia), and Emporiae (Ampurias); and when they acquainted the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal that they had done so, they at the same time warned him not to push his conquests over the Ebro, with which he promised compliance. This was not done by any means to prevent an invasion of Italy by the land-route—no treaty could fetter the general who undertook such an enterprise—but partly to set a limit to the material power of the Spanish Carthaginians which began to be dangerous, partly to secure the free communities between the Ebro and the Pyrenees whom Rome thus took under her protection, a basis of operations in case of its being necessary to land and make war in Spain. In reference to the impending war with Carthage, which the senate did not fail to see was inevitable, they hardly apprehended any greater inconvenience from the events that had occurred in Spain than that they might be compelled to send some legions thither, and that the enemy would be somewhat better provided with money and soldiers than, without Spain, he would have been; they were at any rate firmly resolved, as the plan of the campaign of 536 shows and as indeed could not but be the case, to begin and terminate the next war in Africa, —a course which would at the same time decide the fate of Spain. Further grounds for delay were suggested during the first years by the instalments from Carthage, which a declaration of war would have cut off, and then by the death of Hamilcar, which probably induced friends and foes to think that his projects must have died with him. Lastly, during the latter years when the senate certainly began, to apprehend that it was not prudent long to delay the renewal of the war, there was the very intelligible wish to dispose of the Gauls in the valley of the Po in the first instance, for these, threatened with extirpation, might be expected to avail themselves of any serious war undertaken by Rome to allure the Transalpine tribes once more to Italy, and to renew those Celtic migrations which were still fraught with very great peril. That it was not regard either for the Carthaginian peace party or for existing treaties which withheld the Romans from action, is self-evident; moreover, if they desired war, the Spanish feuds furnished at any moment a ready pretext. The conduct of Rome in this view is by no means unintelligible; but as little can it be denied that the Roman senate in dealing with this matter displayed shortsightedness and slackness—faults which were still more inexcusably manifested in their mode of dealing at the same epoch with Gallic affairs. The policy of the Romans was always more remarkable for tenacity, cunning, and consistency, than for grandeur of conception or power of rapid organization—qualities in which the enemies of Rome from Pyrrhus down to Mithradates often surpassed her.


Thus the smiles of fortune inaugurated the brilliantly conceived project of Hamilcar. The means of war were acquired—a numerous army accustomed to combat and to conquer, and a constantly replenished exchequer; but, in order that the right moment might be discovered for the struggle and that the right direction might be given to it, there was wanted a leader. The man, whose head and heart had in a desperate emergency and amidst a despairing people paved the way for their deliverance, was no more, when it became possible to carry out his design. Whether his successor Hasdrubal forbore to make the attack because the proper moment seemed to him to have not yet come, or whether, more a statesman than a general, he believed himself unequal to the conduct of the enterprise, we are unable to determine. When, at the beginning of 534, he fell by the hand of an assassin, the Carthaginian officers of the Spanish army summoned to fill his place Hannibal, the eldest son of Hamilcar. He was still a young man—born in 505, and now, therefore, in his twenty-ninth year; but his had already been a life of manifold experience. His first recollections pictured to him his father fighting in a distant land and conquering on Ercte; he had keenly shared that unconquered father's feelings on the peace of Catulus, on the bitter return home, and throughout the horrors of the Libyan war. While yet a boy, he had followed his father to the camp; and he soon distinguished himself. His light and firmly-knit frame made him an excellent runner and fencer, and a fearless rider at full speed; the privation of sleep did not affect him, and he knew like a soldier how to enjoy or to dispense with food. Although his youth had been spent in the camp, he possessed such culture as belonged to the Phoenicians of rank in his day; in Greek, apparently after he had become a general, he made such progress under the guidance of his confidant Sosilus of Sparta as to be able to compose state papers in that language. As he grew up, he entered the army of his father, to perform his first feats of arms under the paternal eye and to see him fall in battle by his side. Thereafter he had commanded the cavalry under his sister's husband, Hasdrubal, and distinguished himself by brilliant personal bravery as well as by his talents as a leader. The voice of his comrades now summoned him—the tried, although youthful general—to the chief command, and he could now execute the designs for which his father and his brother-in-law had lived and died. He took up the inheritance, and he was worthy of it. His contemporaries tried to cast stains of various sorts on his character; the Romans charged him with cruelty, the Carthaginians with covetousness; and it is true that he hated as only Oriental natures know how to hate, and that a general who never fell short of money and stores can hardly have been other than covetous. But though anger and envy and meanness have written his history, they have not been able to mar the pure and noble image which it presents. Laying aside wretched inventions which furnish their own refutation, and some things which his lieutenants, particularly Hannibal Monomachus and Mago the Samnite, were guilty of doing in his name, nothing occurs in the accounts regarding him which may not be justified under the circumstances, and according to the international law, of the times; and all agree in this, that he combined in rare perfection discretion and enthusiasm, caution and energy. He was peculiarly marked by that inventive craftiness, which forms one of the leading traits of the Phoenician character; he was fond of taking singular and unexpected routes; ambushes and stratagems of all sorts were familiar to him; and he studied the character of his antagonists with unprecedented care. By an unrivalled system of espionage—he had regular spies even in Rome—he kept himself informed of the projects of the enemy; he himself was frequently seen wearing disguises and false hair, in order to procure information on some point or other. Every page of the history of this period attests his genius in strategy; and his gifts as a statesman were, after the peace with Rome, no less conspicuously displayed in his reform of the Carthaginian constitution, and in the unparalleled influence which as a foreign exile he exercised in the cabinets of the eastern powers. The power which he wielded over men is shown by his incomparable control over an army of various nations and many tongues—an army which never in the worst times mutinied against him. He was a great man; wherever he went, he riveted the eyes of all.

Rupture between Rome and Carthage

Hannibal resolved immediately after his nomination (in the spring of 534) to commence the war. The land of the Celts was still in a ferment, and a war seemed imminent between Rome and Macedonia: he had good reason now to throw off the mask without delay and to carry the war whithersoever he pleased, before the Romans began it at their own convenience with a descent on Africa. His army was soon ready to take the field, and his exchequer was filled by some razzias on a great scale; but the Carthaginian government showed itself far from desirous of despatching the declaration of war to Rome. The place of Hasdrubal, the patriotic national leader, was even more difficult to fill in Carthage than that of Hasdrubal the general in Spain; the peace party had now the ascendency at home, and persecuted the leaders of the war party with political indictments. The rulers who had already cut down and mutilated the plans of Hamilcar were by no means inclined to allow the unknown young man, who now commanded in Spain, to vent his youthful patriotism at the expense of the state; and Hannibal hesitated personally to declare war in open opposition to the legitimate authorities. He tried to provoke the Saguntines to break the peace; but they contented themselves with making a complaint to Rome. Then, when a commission from Rome appeared, he tried to drive it to a declaration of war by treating it rudely; but the commissioners saw how matters stood: they kept silence in Spain, with a view to lodge complaints at Carthage and to report at home that Hannibal was ready to strike and that war was imminent. Thus the time passed away; accounts had already come of the death of Antigonus Doson, who had suddenly died nearly at the same time with Hasdrubal; in Cisalpine Gaul the establishment of fortresses was carried on by the Romans with redoubled rapidity and energy; preparations were made in Rome for putting a speedy end in the course of the next spring to the insurrection in Illyria. Every day was precious; Hannibal formed his resolution. He sent summary intimation to Carthage that the Saguntines were making aggressions on the Torboletes, subjects of Carthage, and he must therefore attack them; and without waiting for a reply he began in the spring of 535 the siege of a town which was in alliance with Rome, or, in other words, war against Rome. We may form some idea of the views and counsels that would prevail in Carthage from the impression produced in certain circles by York's capitulation. All "respectable men," it was said, disapproved an attack made "without orders"; there was talk of disavowal, of surrendering the daring officer. But whether it was that dread of the army and of the multitude nearer home outweighed in the Carthaginian council the fear of Rome; or that they perceived the impossibility of retracing such a step once taken; or that the mere -vis inertiae- prevented any definite action, they resolved at length to resolve on nothing and, if not to wage war, to let it nevertheless be waged. Saguntum defended itself, as only Spanish towns know how to conduct defence: had the Romans showed but a tithe of the energy of their clients, and not trifled away their time during the eight months' siege of Saguntum in the paltry warfare with Illyrian brigands, they might, masters as they were of the sea and of places suitable for landing, have spared themselves the disgrace of failing to grant the protection which they had promised, and might perhaps have given a different turn to the war. But they delayed, and the town was at length taken by storm. When Hannibal sent the spoil for distribution to Carthage, patriotism and zeal for war were roused in the hearts of many who had hitherto felt nothing of the kind, and the distribution cut off all prospect of coming to terms with Rome. Accordingly, when after the destruction of Saguntum a Roman embassy appeared at Carthage and demanded the surrender of the general and of the gerusiasts present in the camp, and when the Roman spokesman, interrupting an attempt at justification, broke off the discussion and, gathering up his robe, declared that he held in it peace and war and that the gerusia might choose between them, the gerusiasts mustered courage to reply that they left it to the choice of the Roman; and when he offered war, they accepted it (in the spring of 536).

Preparations for Attacking Italy

Hannibal, who had lost a whole year through the obstinate resistance of the Saguntines, had as usual retired for the winter of 535-6 to Cartagena, to make all his preparations on the one hand for the attack of Italy, on the other for the defence of Spain and Africa; for, as he, like his father and his brother-in-law, held the supreme command in both countries, it devolved upon him to take measures also for the protection of his native land. The whole mass of his forces amounted to about 120,000 infantry and 16,000 cavalry; he had also 58 elephants, 32 quinqueremes manned, and 18 not manned, besides the elephants and vessels remaining at the capital. Excepting a few Ligurians among the light troops, there were no mercenaries in this Carthaginian army; the troops, with the exception of some Phoenician squadrons, consisted mainly of the Carthaginian subjects called out for service—Libyans and Spaniards. To insure the fidelity of the latter the general, who knew the men with whom he had to deal, gave them as a proof of his confidence a general leave of absence for the whole winter; while, not sharing the narrow-minded exclusiveness of Phoenician patriotism, he promised to the Libyans on his oath the citizenship of Carthage, should they return to Africa victorious. This mass of troops however was only destined in part for the expedition to Italy. Some 20,000 men were sent to Africa, the smaller portion of them proceeding to the capital and the Phoenician territory proper, the majority to the western point of Africa. For the protection of Spain 12,000 infantry, 2500 cavalry, and nearly the half of the elephants were left behind, in addition to the fleet stationed there; the chief command and the government of Spain were entrusted to Hannibal's younger brother Hasdrubal. The immediate territory of Carthage was comparatively weakly garrisoned, because the capital afforded in case of need sufficient resources; in like manner a moderate number of infantry sufficed for the present in Spain, where new levies could be procured with ease, whereas a comparatively large proportion of the arms specially African—horses and elephants—was retained there. The chief care was bestowed in securing the communications between Spain and Africa: with that view the fleet remained in Spain, and western Africa was guarded by a very strong body of troops. The fidelity of the troops was secured not only by hostages collected from the Spanish communities and detained in the stronghold of Saguntum, but by the removal of the soldiers from the districts where they were raised to other quarters: the east African militia were moved chiefly to Spain, the Spanish to Western Africa, the West African to Carthage. Adequate provision was thus made for defence. As to offensive measures, a squadron of 20 quinqueremes with 1000 soldiers on board was to sail from Carthage for the west coast of Italy and to pillage it, and a second of 25 sail was, if possible, to re-establish itself at Lilybaeum; Hannibal believed that he might count upon the government making this moderate amount of exertion. With the main army he determined in person to invade Italy; as was beyond doubt part of the original plan of Hamilcar. A decisive attack on Rome was only possible in Italy, as a similar attack on Carthage was only possible in Libya; as certainly as Rome meant to begin her next campaign with the latter, so certainly ought Carthage not to confine herself at the outset either to any secondary object of operations, such as Sicily, or to mere defence—defeat would in any case involve equal destruction, but victory would not yield equal fruit.

Method of Attack

But how could Italy be attacked? He might succeed in reaching the peninsula by sea or by land; but if the project was to be no mere desperate adventure, but a military expedition with a strategic aim, a nearer basis for its operations was requisite than Spain or Africa. Hannibal could not rely for support on a fleet and a fortified harbour, for Rome was now mistress of the sea. As little did the territory of the Italian confederacy present any tenable basis. If in very different times, and in spite of Hellenic sympathies, it had withstood the shock of Pyrrhus, it was not to be expected that it would now fall to pieces on the appearance of the Phoenician general; an invading army would without doubt be crushed between the network of Roman fortresses and the firmly-consolidated confederacy. The land of the Ligurians and Celts alone could be to Hannibal, what Poland was to Napoleon in his very similar Russian campaigns. These tribes still smarting under their scarcely ended struggle for independence, alien in race from the Italians, and feeling their very existence endangered by the chain of Roman fortresses and highways whose first coils were even now being fastened around them, could not but recognize their deliverers in the Phoenician army (which numbered in its ranks numerous Spanish Celts), and would serve as a first support for it to fall back upon—a source whence it might draw supplies and recruits. Already formal treaties were concluded with the Boii and the Insubres, by which they bound themselves to send guides to meet the Carthaginian army, to procure for it a good reception from the cognate tribes and supplies along its route, and to rise against the Romans as soon as it should set foot on Italian ground. In fine, the relations of Rome with the east led the Carthaginians to this same quarter. Macedonia, which by the victory of Sellasia had re-established its sovereignty in the Peloponnesus, was in strained relations with Rome; Demetrius of Pharos, who had exchanged the Roman alliance for that of Macedonia and had been dispossessed by the Romans, lived as an exile at the Macedonian court, and the latter had refused the demand which the Romans made for his surrender. If it was possible to combine the armies from the Guadalquivir and the Karasu anywhere against the common foe, it could only be done on the Po. Thus everything directed Hannibal to Northern Italy; and that the eyes of his father had already been turned to that quarter, is shown by the reconnoitring party of Carthaginians, whom the Romans to their great surprise encountered in Liguria in 524.

The reason for Hannibal's preference of the land route to that by sea is less obvious; for that neither the maritime supremacy of the Romans nor their league with Massilia could have prevented a landing at Genoa, is evident, and was shown by the sequel. Our authorities fail to furnish us with several of the elements, on which a satisfactory answer to this question would depend, and which cannot be supplied by conjecture. Hannibal had to choose between two evils. Instead of exposing himself to the unknown and less calculable contingencies of a sea voyage and of naval war, it must have seemed to him the better course to accept the assurances, which beyond doubt were seriously meant, of the Boii and Insubres, and the more so that, even if the army should land at Genoa, it would still have mountains to cross; he could hardly know exactly, how much smaller are the difficulties presented by the Apennines at Genoa than by the main chain of the Alps. At any rate the route which he took was the primitive Celtic route, by which many much larger hordes had crossed the Alps: the ally and deliverer of the Celtic nation might without temerity venture to traverse it.

Departure of Hannibal

So Hannibal collected the troops, destined for the grand army, in Cartagena at the beginning of the favourable season; there were 90,000 infantry and 12,000 cavalry, of whom about two-thirds were Africans and a third Spaniards. The 37 elephants which they took with them were probably destined rather to make an impression on the Gauls than for serious warfare. Hannibal's infantry no longer needed, like that led by Xanthippus, to shelter itself behind a screen of elephants, and the general had too much sagacity to employ otherwise than sparingly and with caution that two-edged weapon, which had as often occasioned the defeat of its own as of the enemy's army. With this force the general set out in the spring of 536 from Cartagena towards the Ebro. He so far informed his soldiers as to the measures which he had taken, particularly as to the connections he had entered into with the Celts and the resources and object of the expedition, that even the common soldier, whose military instincts lengthened war had developed, felt the clear perception and the steady hand of his leader, and followed him with implicit confidence to the unknown and distant land; and the fervid address, in which he laid before them the position of their country and the demands of the Romans, the slavery certainly reserved for their dear native land, and the disgrace of the imputation that they could surrender their beloved general and his staff, kindled a soldierly and patriotic ardour in the hearts of all.

Position of Rome
Their Uncertain Plans for War

The Roman state was in a plight, such as may occur even in firmly- established and sagacious aristocracies. The Romans knew doubtless what they wished to accomplish, and they took various steps; but nothing was done rightly or at the right time. They might long ago have been masters of the gates of the Alps and have settled matters with the Celts; the latter were still formidable, and the former were open. They might either have had friendship, with Carthage, had they honourably kept the peace of 513, or, had they not been disposed for peace, they might long ago have conquered Cartilage: the peace was practically broken by the seizure of Sardinia, and they allowed the power of Carthage to recover itself undisturbed for twenty years. There was no great difficulty in maintaining peace with Macedonia; but they had forfeited her friendship for a trifling gain. There must have been a lack of some leading statesman to take a connected and commanding view of the position of affairs; on all hands either too little was done, or too much. Now the war began at a time and at a place which they had allowed the enemy to determine; and, with all their well-founded conviction of military superiority, they were perplexed as to the object to be aimed at and the course to be followed in their first operations. They had at their disposal more than half a million of serviceable soldiers; the Roman cavalry alone was less good, and relatively less numerous, than the Carthaginian, the former constituting about a tenth, the latter an eighth, of the whole number of troops taking the field. None of the states affected by the war had any fleet corresponding to the Roman fleet of 220 quinqueremes, which had just returned from the Adriatic to the western sea. The natural and proper application of this crushing superiority of force was self-evident. It had been long settled that the war ought to be opened with a landing in Africa. The subsequent turn taken by events had compelled the Romans to embrace in their scheme of the war a simultaneous landing in Spain, chiefly to prevent the Spanish army from appearing before the walls of Carthage. In accordance with this plan they ought above all, when the war had been practically opened by Hannibal's attack on Saguntum in the beginning of 535, to have thrown a Roman army into Spain before the town fell; but they neglected the dictates of interest no less than of honour. For eight months Saguntum held out in vain: when the town passed into other hands, Rome had not even equipped her armament for landing in Spain. The country, however, between the Ebro and the Pyrenees was still free, and its tribes were not only the natural allies of the Romans, but had also, like the Saguntines, received from Roman emissaries promises of speedy assistance. Catalonia may be reached by sea from Italy in not much longer time than from Cartagena by and: had the Romans started, like the Phoenicians, in April, after the formal declaration of war that had taken place in the interval, Hannibal might have encountered the Roman legions on the line of the Ebro.

Hannibal on the Ebro

At length, certainly, the greater part of the army and of the fleet was got ready for the expedition to Africa, and the second consul Publius Cornelius Scipio was ordered to the Ebro; but he took time, and when an insurrection broke out on the Po, he allowed the army that was ready for embarkation to be employed there, and formed new legions for the Spanish expedition. So although Hannibal encountered on the Ebro very vehement resistance, it proceeded only from the natives; and, as under existing circumstances time was still more precious to him than the blood of his men, he surmounted the opposition after some months with the loss of a fourth part of his army, and reached the line of the Pyrenees. That the Spanish allies of Rome would be sacrificed a second time by that delay might have been as certainly foreseen, as the delay itself might have been easily avoided; but probably even the expedition to Italy itself, which in the spring of 536 must not have been anticipated in Rome, would have been averted by the timely appearance of the Romans in Spain. Hannibal had by no means the intention of sacrificing his Spanish "kingdom," and throwing himself like a desperado on Italy. The time which he had spent in the siege of Saguntum and in the reduction of Catalonia, and the considerable corps which he left behind for the occupation of the newly-won territory between the Ebro and the Pyrenees, sufficiently show that, had a Roman army disputed the possession of Spain with him, he would not have been content to withdraw from it; and—which was the main point—had the Romans been able to delay his departure from Spain for but a few weeks, winter would have closed the passes of the Alps before Hannibal reached them, and the African expedition would have departed without hindrance for its destination.

Hannibal in Gaul
Scipio at Massilia
Passage of the Rhone

Arrived at the Pyrenees, Hannibal sent home a portion of his troops; a measure which he had resolved on from the first with the view of showing to the soldiers how confident their general was of success, and of checking the feeling that his enterprise was one of those from which there is no return home. With an army of 50,000 infantry and 9000 cavalry, entirely veteran soldiers, he crossed the Pyrenees without difficulty, and then took the coast route by Narbonne and Nimes through the Celtic territory, which was opened to the army partly by the connections previously formed, partly by Carthaginian gold, partly by arms. It was not till it arrived in the end of July at the Rhone opposite Avignon, that a serious resistance appeared to await it. The consul Scipio, who on his voyage to Spain had landed at Massilia (about the end of June), had there been informed that he had come too late and that Hannibal had crossed not only the Ebro but the Pyrenees. On receiving these accounts, which appear to have first opened the eyes of the Romans to the course and the object of Hannibal, the consul had temporarily given up his expedition to Spain, and had resolved in connection with the Celtic tribes of that region, who were under the influence of the Massiliots and thereby under that of Rome, to receive the Phoenicians on the Rhone, and to obstruct their passage of the river and their march into Italy. Fortunately for Hannibal, opposite to the point at which he meant to cross, there lay at the moment only the general levy of the Celts, while the consul himself with his army of 22,000 infantry and 2000 horse was still in Massilia, four days' march farther down the stream. The messengers of the Gallic levy hastened to inform him. It was the object of Hannibal to convey his army with its numerous cavalry and elephants across the rapid stream under the eyes of the enemy, and before the arrival of Scipio; and he possessed not a single boat. Immediately by his directions all the boats belonging to the numerous navigators of the Rhone in the neighbourhood were bought up at any price, and the deficiency of boats was supplied by rafts made from felled trees; and in fact the whole numerous army could be conveyed over in one day. While this was being done, a strong division under Hanno, son of Bomilcar, proceeded by forced marches up the stream till they reached a suitable point for crossing, which they found undefended, situated two short days' march above Avignon. Here they crossed the river on hastily constructed rafts, with the view of then moving down on the left bank and taking the Gauls, who were barring the passage of the main army, in the rear. On the morning of the fifth day after they had reached the Rhone, and of the third after Hanno's departure, the smoke-signals of the division that had been detached rose up on the opposite bank and gave to Hannibal the anxiously awaited summons for the crossing. Just as the Gauls, seeing that the enemy's fleet of boats began to move, were hastening to occupy the bank, their camp behind them suddenly burst into flames. Surprised and divided, they were unable either to withstand the attack or to resist the passage, and they dispersed in hasty flight.

Scipio meanwhile held councils of war in Massilia as to the proper mode of occupying the ferries of the Rhone, and was not induced to move even by the urgent messages that came from the leaders of the Celts. He distrusted their accounts, and he contented himself with detaching a weak Roman cavalry division to reconnoitre on the left bank of the Rhone. This detachment found the whole enemy's army already transported to that bank, and occupied in bringing over the elephants which alone remained on the right bank of the stream; and, after it had warmly engaged some Carthaginian squadrons in the district of Avignon, merely for the purpose of enabling it to complete its reconnaissance—the first encounter of the Romans and Phoenicians in this war—it hastily returned to report at head-quarters. Scipio now started in the utmost haste with all his troops for Avignon; but, when he arrived there, even the Carthaginian cavalry that had been left behind to cover the passage of the elephants had already taken its departure three days ago, and nothing remained for the consul but to return with weary troops and little credit to Massilia, and to revile the "cowardly flight" of the Punic leader. Thus the Romans had for the third time through pure negligence abandoned their allies and an important line of defence; and not only so, but by passing after this first blunder from mistaken slackness to mistaken haste, and by still attempting without any prospect of success to do what might have been done with so much certainty a few days before, they let the real means of repairing their error pass out of their hands. When once Hannibal was in the Celtic territory on the Roman side of the Rhone, he could no longer be prevented from reaching the Alps; but if Scipio had at the first accounts proceeded with his whole army to Italy—the Po might have been reached by way of Genoa in seven days—and had united with his corps the weak divisions in the valley of the Po, he might have at least prepared a formidable reception for the enemy. But not only did he lose precious time in the march to Avignon, but, capable as otherwise he was, he wanted either the political courage or the military sagacity to change the destination of his corps as the change of circumstances required. He sent the main body under his brother Gnaeus to Spain, and returned himself with a few men to Pisae.

Hannibal's Passage of the Alps

Hannibal, who after the passage of the Rhone had in a great assembly of the army explained to his troops the object of his expedition, and had brought forward the Celtic chief Magilus himself, who had arrived from the valley of the Po, to address the army through an interpreter, meanwhile continued his march to the passes of the Alps without obstruction. Which of these passes he should choose, could not be at once determined either by the shortness of the route or by the disposition of the inhabitants, although he had no time to lose either in circuitous routes or in combat. He had necessarily to select a route which should be practicable for his baggage, his numerous cavalry, and his elephants, and in which an army could procure sufficient means of subsistence either by friendship or by force; for, although Hannibal had made preparations to convey provisions after him on beasts of burden, these could only meet for a few days the wants of an army which still, notwithstanding its great losses, amounted to nearly 50,000 men. Leaving out of view the coast route, which Hannibal abstained from taking not because the Romans barred it, but because it would have led him away from his destination, there were only two routes of note leading across the Alps from Gaul to Italy in ancient times:(3) the pass of the Cottian Alps (Mont Genevre) leading into the territory of the Taurini (by Susa or Fenestrelles to Turin), and that of the Graian Alps (the Little St. Bernard) leading into the territory of the Salassi (to Aosta and Ivrea). The former route is the shorter; but, after leaving the valley of the Rhone, it passes by the impracticable and unfruitful river-valleys of the Drac, the Romanche, and the upper Durance, through a difficult and poor mountain country, and requires at least a seven or eight days' mountain march. A military road was first constructed there by Pompeius, to furnish a shorter communication between the provinces of Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul.

The route by the Little St. Bernard is somewhat longer; but after crossing the first Alpine wall that forms the eastern boundary of the Rhone valley, it keeps by the valley of the upper Isere, which stretches from Grenoble by way of Chambery up to the very foot of the Little St. Bernard or, in other words, of the chain of the higher Alps, and is the broadest, most fertile and most populous of all the Alpine valleys. Moreover, the pass of the Little St. Bernard, while not the lowest of all the natural passes of the Alps, is by far the easiest; although no artificial road was constructed there, an Austrian corps with artillery crossed the Alps by that route in 1815. And lastly this route, which only leads over two mountain ridges, has been from the earliest times the great military route from the Celtic to the Italian territory. The Carthaginian army had thus in fact no choice. It was a fortunate coincidence, but not a motive influencing the decision of Hannibal, that the Celtic tribes allied with him in Italy inhabited the country up to the Little St. Bernard, while the route by Mont Genevre would have brought him at first into the territory of the Taurini, who were from ancient times at feud with the Insubres.

So the Carthaginian army marched in the first instance up the Rhone towards the valley of the upper Isere, not, as might be presumed, by the nearest route up the left bank of the lower Isere from Valence to Grenoble, but through the "island" of the Allobroges, the rich, and even then thickly peopled, low ground, which is enclosed on the north and west by the Rhone, on the south by the Isere, and on the east by the Alps. The reason of this movement was, that the nearest route would have led them through an impracticable and poor mountain- country, while the "island" was level and extremely fertile, and was separated by but a single mountain-wall from the valley of the upper Isere. The march along the Rhone into, and across, the "island" to the foot of the Alpine wall was accomplished in sixteen days: it presented little difficulty, and in the "island" itself Hannibal dexterously availed himself of a feud that had broken out between two chieftains of the Allobroges to attach to his interests one of the most important of the chiefs, who not only escorted the Carthaginians through the whole plain, but also supplied them with provisions, and furnished the soldiers with arms, clothing, and shoes. But the expedition narrowly escaped destruction at the crossing of the first Alpine chain, which rises precipitously like a wall, and over which only a single available path leads (over the Mont du Chat, near the hamlet Chevelu). The population of the Allobroges had strongly occupied the pass. Hannibal learned the state of matters early enough to avoid a surprise, and encamped at the foot, until after sunset the Celts dispersed to the houses of the nearest town; he then seized the pass in the night Thus the summit was gained; but on the extremely steep path, which leads down from the summit to the lake of Bourget, the mules and horses slipped and fell. The assaults, which at suitable points were made by the Celts upon the army in march, were very annoying, not so much of themselves as by reason of the turmoil which they occasioned; and when Hannibal with his light troops threw himself from above on the Allobroges, these were chased doubtless without difficulty and with heavy loss down the mountain, but the confusion, in the train especially, was further increased by the noise of the combat. So, when after much loss he arrived in the plain, Hannibal immediately attacked the nearest town, to chastise and terrify the barbarians, and at the same time to repair as far as possible his loss in sumpter animals and horses. After a day's repose in the pleasant valley of Chambery the army continued its march up the Isere, without being detained either by want of supplies or by attacks so long as the valley continued broad and fertile. It was only when on the fourth day they entered the territory of the Ceutrones (the modern Tarantaise) where the valley gradually contracts, that they had again greater occasion to be on their guard. The Ceutrones received the army at the boundary of their country (somewhere about Conflans) with branches and garlands, furnished cattle for slaughter, guides, and hostages; and the Carthaginians marched through their territory as through a friendly land. When, however, the troops had reached the very foot of the Alps, at the point where the path leaves the Isere, and winds by a narrow and difficult defile along the brook Reclus up to the summit of the St. Bernard, all at once the militia of the Ceutrones appeared partly in the rear of the army, partly on the crests of the rocks enclosing the pass on the right and left, in the hope of cutting off the train and baggage. But Hannibal, whose unerring tact had seen in all those advances made by the Ceutrones nothing but the design of procuring at once immunity for their territory and a rich spoil, had in expectation of such an attack sent forward the baggage and cavalry, and covered the march with all his infantry. By this means he frustrated the design of the enemy, although he could not prevent them from moving along the mountain slopes parallel to the march of the infantry, and inflicting very considerable loss by hurling or rolling down stones. At the "white stone" (still called -la roche blanche-), a high isolated chalk cliff standing at the foot of the St. Bernard and commanding the ascent to it, Hannibal encamped with his infantry, to cover the march of the horses and sumpter animals laboriously climbing upward throughout the whole night; and amidst continual and very bloody conflicts he at length on the following day reached the summit of the pass. There, on the sheltered table-land which spreads to the extent of two and a half miles round a little lake, the source of the Doria, he allowed the army to rest. Despondency had begun to seize the minds of the soldiers. The paths that were becoming ever more difficult, the provisions failing, the marching through defiles exposed to the constant attacks of foes whom they could not reach, the sorely thinned ranks, the hopeless situation of the stragglers and the wounded, the object which appeared chimerical to all save the enthusiastic leader and his immediate staff—all these things began to tell even on the African and Spanish veterans. But the confidence of the general remained ever the same; numerous stragglers rejoined the ranks; the friendly Gauls were near; the watershed was reached, and the view of the descending path, so gladdening to the mountain-pilgrim, opened up: after a brief repose they prepared with renewed courage for the last and most difficult undertaking, —the downward march. In it the army was not materially annoyed by the enemy; but the advanced season—it was already the beginning of September—occasioned troubles in the descent, equal to those which had been occasioned in the ascent by the attacks of the adjoining tribes. On the steep and slippery mountain- slope along the Doria, where the recently-fallen snow had concealed and obliterated the paths, men and animals went astray and slipped, and were precipitated into the chasms. In fact, towards the end of the first day's march they reached a portion of the path about 200 paces in length, on which avalanches are constantly descending from the precipices of the Cramont that overhang it, and where in cold summers snow lies throughout the year. The infantry passed over; but the horses and elephants were unable to cross the smooth masses of ice, on which there lay but a thin covering of freshly-fallen snow, and the general encamped above the difficult spot with the baggage, the cavalry, and the elephants. On the following day the horsemen, by zealous exertion in entrenching, prepared a path for horses and beasts of burden; but it was not until after a further labour of three days with constant reliefs, that the half-famished elephants could at length be conducted over. In this way the whole army was after a delay of four days once more united; and after a further three days' march through the valley of the Doria, which was ever widening and displaying greater fertility, and whose inhabitants the Salassi, clients of the Insubres, hailed in the Carthaginians their allies and deliverers, the army arrived about the middle of September in the plain of Ivrea, where the exhausted troops were quartered in the villages, that by good nourishment and a fortnight's repose they might recruit from their unparalleled hardships. Had the Romans placed a corps, as they might have done, of 30,000 men thoroughly fresh and ready for action somewhere near Turin, and immediately forced on a battle, the prospects of Hannibal's great plan would have been very dubious; fortunately for him, once more, they were not where they should have been, and they did not disturb the troops of the enemy in the repose which was so greatly needed.(4)


The object was attained, but at a heavy cost. Of the 50,000 veteran infantry and the 9000 cavalry, which the army had numbered at the crossing of the Pyrenees, more than half had been sacrificed in the conflicts, the marches, and the passages of the rivers. Hannibal now, according to his own statement, numbered not more than 20,000 infantry—of whom three-fifths were Libyans and two-fifths Spaniards—and 6000 cavalry, part of them doubtless dismounted: the comparatively small loss of the latter proclaimed the excellence of the Numidian cavalry no less than the consideration of the general in making a sparing use of troops so select. A march of 526 miles or about 33 moderate days' marching—the continuance and termination of which were disturbed by no special misfortunes on a great scale that could not be anticipated, but were, on the other hand, rendered possible only by incalculable pieces of good fortune and still more incalculable blunders of the enemy, and which yet not only cost such sacrifices, but so fatigued and demoralized the army, that it needed a prolonged rest in order to be again ready for action—is a military operation of doubtful value, and it may be questioned whether Hannibal himself regarded it as successful. Only in so speaking we may not pronounce an absolute censure on the general: we see well the defects of the plan of operations pursued by him, but we cannot determine whether he was in a position to foresee them—his route lay through an unknown land of barbarians—or whether any other plan, such as that of taking the coast road or of embarking at Cartagena or at Carthage, would have exposed him to fewer dangers. The cautious and masterly execution of the plan in its details at any rate deserves our admiration, and to whatever causes the result may have been due —whether it was due mainly to the favour of fortune, or mainly to the skill of the general—the grand idea of Hamilcar, that of taking up the conflict with Rome in Italy, was now realized. It was his genius that projected this expedition; and as the task of Stein and Scharnhorst was more difficult and nobler than that of York and Blucher, so the unerring tact of historical tradition has always dwelt on the last link in the great chain of preparatory steps, the passage of the Alps, with a greater admiration than on the battles of the Trasimene lake and of the plain of Cannae.

Notes for Chapter IV

1. Our accounts as to these events are not only imperfect but one- sided, for of course it was the version of the Carthaginian peace party which was adopted by the Roman annalists. Even, however, in our fragmentary and confused accounts (the most important are those of Fabius, in Polyb. iii. 8; Appian. Hisp. 4; and Diodorus, xxv. p. 567) the relations of the parties appear dearly enough. Of the vulgar gossip by which its opponents sought to blacken the "revolutionary combination" (—etaireia ton ponerotaton anthropon—) specimens may be had in Nepos (Ham. 3), to which it will be difficult perhaps to find a parallel.

2. The Barca family conclude the most important state treaties, and the ratification of the governing board is a formality (Pol. iii. 21). Rome enters her protest before them and before the senate (Pol. iii. 15). The position of the Barca family towards Carthage in many points resembles that of the Princes of Orange towards the States-General.

3. It was not till the middle ages that the route by Mont Cenis became a military road. The eastern passes, such as that over the Poenine Alps or the Great St. Bernard—which, moreover, was only converted into a military road by Caesar and Augustus—are, of course, in this case out of the question.

4. The much-discussed questions of topography, connected with this celebrated expedition, may be regarded as cleared up and substantially solved by the masterly investigations of Messrs. Wickham and Cramer. Respecting the chronological questions, which likewise present difficulties, a few remarks may be exceptionally allowed to have a place here.

When Hannibal reached the summit of the St. Bernard, "the peaks were already beginning to be thickly covered with snow" (Pol. iii. 54), snow lay on the route (Pol. iii. 55), perhaps for the most part snow not freshly fallen, but proceeding from the fall of avalanches. At the St. Bernard winter begins about Michaelmas, and the falling of snow in September; when the Englishmen already mentioned crossed the mountain at the end of August, they found almost no snow on their road, but the slopes on both sides were covered with it. Hannibal thus appears to have arrived at the pass in the beginning of September; which is quite compatible with the statement that he arrived there "when the winter was already approaching" —for —sunaptein ten tes pleiados dusin— (Pol. iii. 54) does not mean anything more than this, least of all, the day of the heliacal setting of the Pleiades (about 26th October); comp. Ideler, Chronol. i. 241.

If Hannibal reached Italy nine days later, and therefore about the middle of September, there is room for the events that occurred from that time up to the battle of the Trebia towards the end of December (—peri cheimerinas tropas—, Pol. iii. 72), and in particular for the transporting of the army destined for Africa from Lilybaeum to Placentia. This hypothesis further suits the statement that the day of departure was announced at an assembly of the army —upo ten earinen oran— (Pol. iii. 34), and therefore towards the end of March, and that the march lasted five (or, according to App. vii. 4, six) months. If Hannibal was thus at the St. Bernard in the beginning of September, he must have reached the Rhone at the beginning of August —for he spent thirty days in making his way from the Rhone thither —and in that case it is evident that Scipio, who embarked at the beginning of summer (Pol. iii. 41) and so at latest by the commencement of June, must have spent much time on the voyage or remained for a considerable period in singular inaction at Massilia.

Chapter V

The War under Hannibal to the Battle of Cannae

Hannibal and the Italian Celts

The appearance of the Carthaginian army on the Roman side of the Alps changed all at once the situation of affairs, and disconcerted the Roman plan of war. Of the two principal armies of the Romans, one had landed in Spain and was already engaged with the enemy there: it was no longer possible to recall it. The second, which was destined for Africa under the command of the consul Tiberius Sempronius, was fortunately still in Sicily: in this instance Roman delay for once proved useful. Of the two Carthaginian squadrons destined for Italy and Sicily, the first was dispersed by a storm, and some of its vessels were captured by the Syracusans near Messana; the second had endeavoured in vain to surprise Lilybaeum, and had thereafter been defeated in a naval engagement off that port. But the continuance of the enemy's squadrons in the Italian waters was so inconvenient, that the consul determined, before crossing to Africa, to occupy the small islands around Sicily, and to drive away the Carthaginian fleet operating against Italy. The summer passed away in the conquest of Melita, in the chase after the enemy's squadron, which he expected to find at the Lipari islands while it had made a descent near Vibo (Monteleone) and pillaged the Bruttian coast, and, lastly, in gaining information as to a suitable spot for landing on the coast of Africa; so that the army and fleet were still at Lilybaeum, when orders arrived from the senate that they should return with all possible speed for the defence of their homes.

In this way, while the two great Roman armies, each in itself equal in numbers to that of Hannibal, remained at a great distance from the valley of the Po, the Romans were quite unprepared for an attack in that quarter. No doubt a Roman army was there, in consequence of an insurrection that had broken out among the Celts even before the arrival of the Carthaginian army. The founding of the two Roman strongholds of Placentia and Cremona, each of which received 6000 colonists, and more especially the preparations for the founding of Mutina in the territory of the Boii, had already in the spring of 536 driven the Boii to revolt before the time concerted with Hannibal; and the Insubres had immediately joined them. The colonists already settled in the territory of Mutina, suddenly attacked, took refuge in the town. The praetor Lucius Manlius, who held the chief command at Ariminum, hastened with his single legion to relieve the blockaded colonists; but he was surprised in the woods, and no course was left to him after sustaining great loss but to establish himself upon a hill and to submit to a siege there on the part of the Boii, till a second legion sent from Rome under the praetor Lucius Atilius succeeded in relieving army and town, and in suppressing for the moment the Gaulish insurrection. This premature rising of the Boii on the one hand, by delaying the departure of Scipio for Spain, essentially promoted the plans of Hannibal; on the other hand, but for its occurrence he would have found the valley of the Po entirely unoccupied, except the fortresses. But the Roman corps, whose two severely thinned legions did not number 20,000 soldiers, had enough to do to keep the Celts in check, and did not think of occupying the passes of the Alps. The Romans only learned that the passes were threatened, when in August the consul Publius Scipio returned without his army from Massilia to Italy, and perhaps even then they gave little heed to the matter, because, forsooth, the foolhardy attempt would be frustrated by the Alps alone. Thus at the decisive hour and on the decisive spot there was not even a Roman outpost. Hannibal had full time to rest his army, to capture after a three days' siege the capital of the Taurini which closed its gates against him, and to induce or terrify into alliance with him all the Ligurian and Celtic communities in the upper basin of the Po, before Scipio, who had taken the command in the Po valley, encountered him.

Scipio in the Valley of the Po
Conflict on the Ticino
The Armies at Placentia

Scipio, who, with an army considerably smaller and very weak in cavalry, had the difficult task of preventing the advance of the superior force of the enemy and of repressing the movements of insurrection which everywhere were spreading among the Celts, had crossed the Po presumably at Placentia, and marched up the river to meet the enemy, while Hannibal after the capture of Turin marched downwards to relieve the Insubres and Boii. In the plain between the Ticino and the Sesia, not far from Vercelli, the Roman cavalry, which had advanced with the light infantry to make a reconnaissance in force, encountered the Punic cavalry sent out for the like purpose, both led by the generals in person. Scipio accepted battle when offered, notwithstanding the superiority of the enemy; but his light infantry, which was placed in front of the cavalry, dispersed before the charge of the heavy cavalry of the enemy, and while the latter engaged the masses of the Roman horsemen in front, the light Numidian cavalry, after having pushed aside the broken ranks of the enemy's infantry, took the Roman horsemen in flank and rear. This decided the combat. The loss of the Romans was very considerable. The consul himself, who made up as a soldier for his deficiencies as a general, received a dangerous wound, and owed his safety entirely to the devotion of his son of seventeen, who, courageously dashing into the ranks of the enemy, compelled his squadron to follow him and rescued his father. Scipio, enlightened by this combat as to the strength of the enemy, saw the error which he had committed in posting himself, with a weaker army, in the plain with his back to the river, and resolved to return to the right bank of the Po under the eyes of his antagonist. As the operations became contracted into a narrower space and his illusions regarding Roman invincibility departed, he recovered the use of his considerable military talents, which the adventurous boldness of his youthful opponent's plans had for a moment paralyzed. While Hannibal was preparing for a pitched battle, Scipio by a rapidly projected and steadily executed march succeeded in reaching the right bank of the river which in an evil hour he had abandoned, and broke down the bridge over the Po behind his army; the Roman detachment of 600 men charged to cover the process of destruction were, however, intercepted and made prisoners. But as the upper course of the river was in the hands of Hannibal, he could not be prevented from marching up the stream, crossing on a bridge of boats, and in a few days confronting the Roman army on the right bank. The latter had taken a position in the plain in front of Placentia; but the mutiny of a Celtic division in the Roman camp, and the Gallic insurrection breaking out afresh all around, compelled the consul to evacuate the plain and to post himself on the hills behind the Trebia. This was accomplished without notable loss, because the Numidian horsemen sent in pursuit lost their time in plundering, and setting fire to, the abandoned camp. In this strong position, with his left wing resting on the Apennines, his right on the Po and the fortress of Placentia, and covered in front by the Trebia—no inconsiderable stream at that season—Scipio was unable to save the rich stores of Clastidium (Casteggio) from which in this position he was cut off by the army of the enemy; nor was he able to avert the insurrectionary movement on the part of almost all the Gallic cantons, excepting the Cenomani who were friendly to Rome; but he completely checked the progress of Hannibal, and compelled him to pitch his camp opposite to that of the Romans. Moreover, the position taken up by Scipio, and the circumstance of the Cenomani threatening the borders of the Insubres, hindered the main body of the Gallic insurgents from directly joining the enemy, and gave to the second Roman army, which meanwhile had arrived at Ariminum from Lilybaeum, the opportunity of reaching Placentia through the midst of the insurgent country without material hindrance, and of uniting itself with the army of the Po.

Battle on the Trebia

Scipio had thus solved his difficult task completely and brilliantly. The Roman army, now close on 40,000 strong, and though not a match for its antagonist in cavalry, at least equal in infantry, had simply to remain in its existing position, in order to compel the enemy either to attempt in the winter season the passage of the river and an attack upon the camp, or to suspend his advance and to test the fickle temper of the Gauls by the burden of winter quarters. Clear, however, as this was, it was no less clear that it was now December, and that under the course proposed the victory might perhaps be gained by Rome, but would not be gained by the consul Tiberius Sempronius, who held the sole command in consequence of Scipio's wound, and whose year of office expired in a few months. Hannibal knew the man, and neglected no means of alluring him to fight. The Celtic villages that had remained faithful to the Romans were cruelly laid waste, and, when this brought on a conflict between the cavalry, Hannibal allowed his opponents to boast of the victory. Soon thereafter on a raw rainy day a general engagement came on, unlocked for by the Romans. From the earliest hour of the morning the Roman light troops had been skirmishing with the light cavalry of the enemy; the latter slowly retreated, and the Romans eagerly pursued it through the deeply swollen Trebia to follow up the advantage which they had gained. Suddenly the cavalry halted; the Roman vanguard found itself face to face with the army of Hannibal drawn up for battle on a field chosen by himself; it was lost, unless the main body should cross the stream with all speed to its support. Hungry, weary, and wet, the Romans came on and hastened to form in order of battle, the cavalry, as usual, on the wings, the infantry in the centre. The light troops, who formed the vanguard on both sides, began the combat: but the Romans had already almost exhausted their missiles against the cavalry, and immediately gave way. In like manner the cavalry gave way on the wings, hard pressed by the elephants in front, and outflanked right and left by the far more numerous Carthaginian horse. But the Roman infantry proved itself worthy of its name: at the beginning of the battle it fought with very decided superiority against the infantry of the enemy, and even when the repulse of the Roman horse allowed the enemy's cavalry and light-armed troops to turn their attacks against the Roman infantry, the latter, although ceasing to advance, obstinately maintained its ground. At this stage a select Carthaginian band of 1000 infantry, and as many horsemen, under the leadership of Mago, Hannibal's youngest brother, suddenly emerged from an ambush in the rear of the Roman army, and fell upon the densely entangled masses. The wings of the army and the rear ranks of the Roman centre were broken up and scattered by this attack, while the first division, 10,000 men strong, in compact array broke through the Carthaginian line, and made a passage for itself obliquely through the midst of the enemy, inflicting great loss on the opposing infantry and more especially on the Gallic insurgents. This brave body, pursued but feebly, thus reached Placentia. The remaining mass was for the most part slaughtered by the elephants and light troops of the enemy in attempting to cross the river: only part of the cavalry and some divisions of infantry were able, by wading through the river, to gain the camp whither the Carthaginians did not follow them, and thus they too reached Placentia.(1) Few battles confer more honour on the Roman soldier than this on the Trebia, and few at the same time furnish graver impeachment of the general in command; although the candid judge will not forget that a commandership in chief expiring on a definite day was an unmilitary institution, and that figs cannot be reaped from thistles. The victory came to be costly even to the victors. Although the loss in the battle fell chiefly on the Celtic insurgents, yet a multitude of the veteran soldiers of Hannibal died afterwards from diseases engendered by that raw and wet winter day, and all the elephants perished except one.

Hannibal Master of Northern Italy

The effect of this first victory of the invading army was, that the national insurrection now spread and assumed shape without hindrance throughout the Celtic territory. The remains of the Roman army of the Po threw themselves into the fortresses of Placentia and Cremona: completely cut off from home, they were obliged to procure their supplies by way of the river. The consul Tiberius Sempronius only escaped, as if by miracle, from being taken prisoner, when with a weak escort of cavalry he went to Rome on account of the elections. Hannibal, who would not hazard the health of his troops by further marches at that inclement season, bivouacked for the winter where he was; and, as a serious attempt on the larger fortresses would have led to no result, contented himself with annoying the enemy by attacks on the river port of Placentia and other minor Roman positions. He employed himself mainly in organizing the Gallic insurrection: more than 60,000 foot soldiers and 4000 horsemen from the Celts are said to have joined his army.

Military and Political Position of Hannibal

No extraordinary exertions were made in Rome for the campaign of 537. The senate thought, and not unreasonably, that, despite the lost battle, their position was by no means fraught with serious danger. Besides the coast garrisons, which were despatched to Sardinia, Sicily, and Tarentum, and the reinforcements which were sent to Spain, the two new consuls Gaius Flaminius and Gnaeus Servilius obtained only as many men as were necessary to restore the four legions to their full complement; additions were made to the strength of the cavalry alone. The consuls had to protect the northern frontier, and stationed themselves accordingly on the two highways which led from Rome to the north, the western of which at that lime terminated at Arretium, and the eastern at Ariminum; Gaius Flaminius occupied the former, Gnaeus Servilius the latter. There they ordered the troops from the fortresses on the Po to join them, probably by water, and awaited the commencement of the favourable season, when they proposed to occupy in the defensive the passes of the Apennines, and then, taking up the offensive, to descend into the valley of the Po and effect a junction somewhere near Placentia. But Hannibal by no means intended to defend the valley of the Po. He knew Rome better perhaps than the Romans knew it themselves, and was very well aware how decidedly he was the weaker and continued to be so notwithstanding the brilliant battle on the Trebia; he knew too that his ultimate object, the humiliation of Rome, was not to be wrung from the unbending Roman pride either by terror or by surprise, but could only be gained by the actual subjugation of the haughty city. It was clearly apparent that the Italian federation was in political solidity and in military resources infinitely superior to an adversary, who received only precarious and irregular support from home, and who in Italy was dependent for primary aid solely on the vacillating and capricious nation of the Celts; and that the Phoenician foot soldier was, notwithstanding all the pains taken by Hannibal, far inferior in point of tactics to the legionary, had been completely proved by the defensive movements of Scipio and the brilliant retreat of the defeated infantry on the Trebia. From this conviction flowed the two fundamental principles which determined Hannibal's whole method of operations in Italy—viz., that the war should be carried on, in somewhat adventurous fashion, with constant changes in the plan and in the theatre of operations; and that its favourable issue could only be looked for as the result of political and not of military successes—of the gradual loosening and final breaking up of the Italian federation. That mode of carrying on the war was necessary, because the single element which Hannibal had to throw into the scale against so many disadvantages—his military genius—only told with its full weight, when he constantly foiled his opponents by unexpected combinations; he was undone, if the war became stationary. That aim was the aim dictated to him by right policy, because, mighty conqueror though he was in battle, he saw very clearly that on each occasion he vanquished the generals and not the city, and that after each new battle the Romans remained just as superior to the Carthaginians as he was personally superior to the Roman commanders. That Hannibal even at the height of his fortune never deceived himself on this point, is worthier of admiration than his most admired battles.

Hannibal Crosses the Apennines

It was these motives, and not the entreaties of the Gauls that he should spare their country—which would not have influenced him—that induced Hannibal now to forsake, as it were, his newly acquired basis of operations against Italy, and to transfer the scene of war to Italy itself. Before doing so he gave orders that all the prisoners should be brought before him. He ordered the Romans to be separated and loaded with chains as slaves—the statement that Hannibal put to death all the Romans capable of bearing arms, who here and elsewhere fell into his hands, is beyond doubt at least strongly exaggerated. On the other hand, all the Italian allies were released without ransom, and charged to report at home that Hannibal waged war not against Italy, but against Rome; that he promised to every Italian community the restoration of its ancient independence and its ancient boundaries; and that the deliverer was about to follow those whom he had set free, bringing release and revenge. In fact, when the winter ended, he started from the valley of the Po to search for a route through the difficult defiles of the Apennines. Gaius Flaminius, with the Etruscan army, was still for the moment at Arezzo, intending to move from that point towards Lucca in order to protect the vale of the Arno and the passes of the Apennines, so soon as the season should allow. But Hannibal anticipated him. The passage of the Apennines was accomplished without much difficulty, at a point as far west as possible or, in other words, as distant as possible from the enemy; but the marshy low grounds between the Serchio and the Arno were so flooded by the melting of the snow and the spring rains, that the army had to march four days in water, without finding any other dry spot for resting by night than was supplied by piling the baggage or by the sumpter animals that had fallen. The troops underwent unutterable sufferings, particularly the Gallic infantry, which marched behind the Carthaginians along tracks already rendered impassable: they murmured loudly and would undoubtedly have dispersed to a man, had not the Carthaginian cavalry under Mago, which brought up the rear, rendered flight impossible. The horses, assailed by a distemper in their hoofs, fell in heaps; various diseases decimated the soldiers; Hannibal himself lost an eye in consequence of ophthalmia.


But the object was attained. Hannibal encamped at Fiesole, while Gaius Flaminius was still waiting at Arezzo until the roads should become passable that he might blockade them. After the Roman defensive position had thus been turned, the best course for the consul, who might perhaps have been strong enough to defend the mountain passes but certainly was unable now to face Hannibal in the open field, would have been to wait till the second army, which had now become completely superfluous at Ariminum, should arrive. He himself, however, judged otherwise. He was a political party leader, raised to distinction by his efforts to limit the power of the senate; indignant at the government in consequence of the aristocratic intrigues concocted against him during his consulship; carried away, through a doubtless justifiable opposition to their beaten track of partisanship, into a scornful defiance of tradition and custom; intoxicated at once by blind love of the common people and equally bitter hatred of the party of the nobles; and, in addition to all this, possessed with the fixed idea that he was a military genius. His campaign against the Insubres of 531, which to unprejudiced judges only showed that good! soldiers often repair the errors of bad generals,(2) was regarded by him and by his adherents as an irrefragable proof that the Romans had only to put Gaius Flaminius at the head of the army in order to make a speedy end of Hannibal. Talk of this sort had procured for him his second consulship, and hopes of this sort had now brought to his camp so great a multitude of unarmed followers eager for spoil, that their number, according to the assurance of sober historians, exceeded that of the legionaries. Hannibal based his plan in part on this circumstance. So far from attacking him, he marched past him, and caused the country all around to be pillaged by the Celts who thoroughly understood plundering, and by his numerous cavalry. The complaints and indignation of the multitude which had to submit to be plundered under the eyes of the hero who had promised to enrich them, and the protestation of the enemy that they did not believe him possessed of either the power or the resolution to undertake anything before the arrival of his colleague, could not but induce such a man to display his genius for strategy, and to give a sharp lesson to his inconsiderate and haughty foe.

Battle on the Trasimene Lake

No plan was ever more successful. In haste, the consul followed the line of march of the enemy, who passed by Arezzo and moved slowly through the rich valley of the Chiana towards Perugia. He overtook him in the district of Cortona, where Hannibal, accurately informed of his antagonist's march, had had full time to select his field of battle—a narrow defile between two steep mountain walls, closed at its outlet by a high hill, and at its entrance by the Trasimene lake. With the flower of his infantry he barred the outlet; the light troops and the cavalry placed themselves in concealment on either side. The Roman columns advanced without hesitation into the unoccupied pass; the thick morning mist concealed from them the position of the enemy. As the head of the Roman line approached the hill, Hannibal gave the signal for battle; the cavalry, advancing behind the heights, closed the entrance of the pass, and at the same time the mist rolling away revealed the Phoenician arms everywhere along the crests on the right and left. There was no battle; it was a mere rout. Those that remained outside of the defile were driven by the cavalry into the lake. The main body was annihilated in the pass itself almost without resistance, and most of them, including the consul himself, were cut down in the order of march. The head of the Roman column, formed of 6000 infantry, cut their way through the infantry of the enemy, and proved once more the irresistible might of the legions; but, cut off from the rest of the army and without knowledge of its fate, they marched on at random, were surrounded on the following day, on a hill which they had occupied, by a corps of Carthaginian cavalry, and—as the capitulation, which promised them a free retreat, was rejected by Hannibal—were all treated as prisoners of war. 15,000 Romans had fallen, and as many were captured; in other words, the army was annihilated. The slight Carthaginian loss—1500 men—again fell mainly upon the Gauls.(3) And, as if this were not enough, immediately after the battle on the Trasimene lake, the cavalry of the army of Ariminum under Gaius Centenius, 4000 strong, which Gnaeus Servilius had sent forward for the temporary support of his colleague while he himself advanced by slow marches, was likewise surrounded by the Phoenician army, and partly slain, partly made prisoners. All Etruria was lost, and Hannibal might without hindrance march on Rome. The Romans prepared themselves for the worst; they broke down the bridges over the Tiber, and nominated Quintus Fabius Maximus dictator to repair the walls and conduct the defence, for which an army of reserve was formed. At the same time two new legions were summoned under arms in the room of those annihilated, and the fleet, which might become of importance in the event of a siege, was put in order.

Hannibal on the East Coast
Reorganization of the Carthaginian Army

But Hannibal was more farsighted than king Pyrrhus. He did not march on Rome; nor even against Gnaeus Servilius, an able general, who had with the help of the fortresses on the northern road preserved his army hitherto uninjured, and would perhaps have kept his antagonist at bay. Once more a movement occurred which was quite unexpected. Hannibal marched past the fortress of Spoletium, which he attempted in vain to surprise, through Umbria, fearfully devastated the territory of Picenum which was covered all over with Roman farmhouses, and halted on the shores of the Adriatic. The men and horses of his army had not yet recovered from the painful effects of their spring campaign; here he rested for a considerable time to allow his army to recruit its strength in a pleasant district and at a fine season of the year, and to reorganize his Libyan infantry after the Roman mode, the means for which were furnished to him by the mass of Roman arms among the spoil. From this point, moreover, he resumed his long- interrupted communication with his native land, sending his messages of victory by water to Carthage. At length, when his army was sufficiently restored and had been adequately exercised in the use of the new arms, he broke up and marched slowly along the coast into southern Italy.

War in Lower Italy

He had calculated correctly, when he chose this time for remodelling his infantry. The surprise of his antagonists, who were in constant expectation of an attack on the capital, allowed him at least four weeks of undisturbed leisure for the execution of the unprecedentedly bold experiment of changing completely his military system in the heart of a hostile country and with an army still comparatively small, and of attempting to oppose African legions to the invincible legions of Italy. But his hope that the confederacy would now begin to break up was not fulfilled. In this respect the Etruscans, who had carried on their last wars of independence mainly with Gallic mercenaries, were of less moment; the flower of the confederacy, particularly in a military point of view, consisted—next to the Latins—of the Sabellian communities, and with good reason Hannibal had now come into their neighbourhood. But one town after another closed its gates; not a single Italian community entered into alliance with the Phoenicians. This was a great, in fact an all-important, gain for the Romans. Nevertheless it was felt in the capital that it would be imprudent to put the fidelity of their allies to such a test, without a Roman army to keep the field. The dictator Quintus Fabius combined the two supplementary legions formed in Rome with the army of Ariminum, and when Hannibal marched past the Roman fortress of Luceria towards Arpi, the Roman standards appeared on his right flank at Aeca. Their leader, however, pursued a course different from that of his predecessors. Quintus Fabius was a man advanced in years, of a deliberation and firmness, which to not a few seemed procrastination and obstinacy. Zealous in his reverence for the good old times, for the political omnipotence of the senate, and for the command of the burgomasters, he looked to a methodical prosecution of the war as —next to sacrifices and prayers—the means of saving the state. A political antagonist of Gaius Flaminius, and summoned to the head of affairs in virtue of the reaction against his foolish war-demagogism, Fabius departed for the camp just as firmly resolved to avoid a pitched battle at any price, as his predecessor had been determined at any price to fight one; he was without doubt convinced that the first elements of strategy would forbid Hannibal to advance so long as the Roman army confronted him intact, and that accordingly it would not be difficult to weaken by petty conflicts and gradually to starve out the enemy's army, dependent as it was on foraging for its supplies.

March to Capua and Back to Apulia
War in Apulia

Hannibal, well served by his spies in Rome and in the Roman army, immediately learned how matters stood, and, as usual, adjusted the plan of his campaign in accordance with the individual character of the opposing leader. Passing the Roman army, he marched over the Apennines into the heart of Italy towards Beneventum, took the open town of Telesia on the boundary between Samnium and Campania, and thence turned against Capua, which as the most important of all the Italian cities dependent on Rome, and the only one standing in some measure on a footing of equality with it, had for that very reason felt more severely than any other community the oppression of the Roman government. He had formed connections there, which led him to hope that the Campanians might revolt from the Roman alliance; but in this hope he was disappointed. So, retracing his steps, he took the road to Apulia. During all this march of the Carthaginian army the dictator had followed along the heights, and had condemned his soldiers to the melancholy task of looking on with arms in their hands, while the Numidian cavalry plundered the faithful allies far and wide, and the villages over all the plain rose in flames. At length he opened up to the exasperated Roman army the eagerly-coveted opportunity of attacking the enemy. When Hannibal had begun his retreat, Fabius intercepted his route near Casilinum (the modern Capua), by strongly garrisoning that town on the left bank of the Volturnus and occupying the heights that crowned the right bank with his main army, while a division of 4000 men encamped on the road itself that led along by the river. But Hannibal ordered his light- armed troops to climb the heights which rose immediately alongside of the road, and to drive before them a number of oxen with lighted faggots on their horns, so that it seemed as if the Carthaginian army were thus marching off during the night by torchlight. The Roman division, which barred the road, imagining that they were evaded and that further covering of the road was superfluous, marched by a side movement to the same heights. Along the road thus left free Hannibal then retreated with the bulk of his army, without encountering the enemy; next morning he without difficulty, but with severe loss to the Romans, disengaged and recalled his light troops. Hannibal then continued his march unopposed in a north-easterly direction; and by a widely-circuitous route, after traversing and laying under contribution the lands of the Hirpinians, Campanians, Samnites, Paelignians, and Frentanians without resistance, he arrived with rich booty and a full chest once more in the region of Luceria, just as the harvest there was about to begin. Nowhere in his extensive march had he met with active opposition, but nowhere had he found allies. Clearly perceiving that no course remained for him but to take up winter quarters in the open field, he began the difficult operation of collecting the winter supplies requisite for the army, by means of its own agency, from the fields of the enemy. For this purpose he had selected the broad and mostly flat district of northern Apulia, which furnished grain and grass in abundance, and which could be completely commanded by his excellent cavalry. An entrenched camp was constructed at Gerunium, twenty-five miles to the north of Luceria. Two-thirds of the army were daily despatched from it to bring in the stores, while Hannibal with the remainder took up a position to protect the camp and the detachments sent out.

Fabius and Minucius

The master of the horse, Marcus Minucius, who held temporary command in the Roman camp during the absence of the dictator, deemed this a suitable opportunity for approaching the enemy more closely, and formed a camp in the territory of the Larinates; where on the one hand by his mere presence he checked the sending out of detachments and thereby hindered the provisioning of the enemy's army, and on the other hand, in a series of successful conflicts in which his troops encountered isolated Phoenician divisions and even Hannibal himself, drove the enemy from their advanced positions and compelled them to concentrate themselves at Gerunium. On the news of these successes, which of course lost nothing in the telling, the storm broke, forth in the capital against Quintus Fabius. It was not altogether unwarranted. Prudent as it was on the part of Rome to abide by the defensive and to expect success mainly from the cutting off of the enemy's means of subsistence, there was yet something strange in a system of defence and of starving out, under which the enemy had laid waste all central Italy without opposition beneath the eyes of a Roman army of equal numbers, and had provisioned themselves sufficiently for the winter by an organized method of foraging on the greatest scale. Publius Scipio, when he commanded on the Po, had not adopted this view of a defensive attitude, and the attempt of his successor to imitate him at Casilinum had failed in such a way as to afford a copious fund of ridicule to the scoffers of the city. It was wonderful that the Italian communities had not wavered, when Hannibal so palpably showed them the superiority of the Phoenicians and the nullity of Roman aid; but how long could they be expected to bear the burden of a double war, and to allow themselves to be plundered under the very eyes of the Roman troops and of their own contingents? Finally, it could not be alleged that the condition of the Roman army compelled the general to adopt this mode of warfare. It was composed, as regarded its core, of the capable legions of Ariminum, and, by their side, of militia called out, most of whom were likewise accustomed to service; and, far from being discouraged by the last defeats, it was indignant at the but little honourable task which its general, "Hannibal's lackey," assigned to it, and it demanded with a loud voice to be led against the enemy. In the assemblies of the people the most violent invectives were directed against the obstinate old man. His political opponents, with the former praetor Gaius Terentius Varro at their head, laid hold of the quarrel—for the understanding of which we must not forget that the dictator was practically nominated by the senate, and the office was regarded as the palladium of the conservative party—and, in concert with the discontented soldiers and the possessors of the plundered estates, they carried an unconstitutional and absurd resolution of the people conferring the dictatorship, which was destined to obviate the evils of a divided command in times of danger, on Marcus Minucius,(4) who had hitherto been the lieutenant of Quintus Fabius, in the same way as on Fabius himself. Thus the Roman army, after its hazardous division into two separate corps had just been appropriately obviated, was once more divided; and not only so, but the two sections were placed under leaders who notoriously followed quite opposite plans of war. Quintus Fabius of course adhered more than ever to his methodical inaction; Marcus Minucius, compelled to justify in the field of battle his title of dictator, made a hasty attack with inadequate forces, and would have been annihilated had not his colleague averted greater misfortune by the seasonable interposition of a fresh corps. This last turn of matters justified in some measure the system of passive resistance. But in reality Hannibal had completely attained in this campaign all that arms could attain: not a single material operation had been frustrated either by his impetuous or by his deliberate opponent; and his foraging, though not unattended with difficulty, had yet been in the main so successful that the army passed the winter without complaint in the camp at Gerunium. It was not the Cunctator that saved Rome, but the compact structure of its confederacy and, not less perhaps, the national hatred with which the Phoenician hero was regarded on the part of Occidentals.

New War-like Preparations in Rome
Paullus and Varro

Despite all its misfortunes, Roman pride stood no less unshaken than the Roman symmachy. The donations which were offered by king Hiero of Syracuse and the Greek cities in Italy for the next campaign—the war affected the latter less severely than the other Italian allies of Rome, for they sent no contingents to the land army—were declined with thanks; the chieftains of Illyria were informed that they could not be allowed to neglect payment of their tribute; and even the king of Macedonia was once more summoned to surrender Demetrius of Pharos. The majority of the senate, notwithstanding the semblance of legitimation which recent events had given to the Fabian system of delay, had firmly resolved to depart from a mode of war that was slowly but certainly ruining the state; if the popular dictator had failed in his more energetic method of warfare, they laid the blame of the failure, and not without reason, on the fact that they had adopted a half-measure and had given him too few troops. This error they determined to avoid and to equip an army, such as Rome had never sent out before—eight legions, each raised a fifth above the normal strength, and a corresponding number of allies—enough to crush an opponent who was not half so strong. Besides this, a legion under the praetor Lucius Postumius was destined for the valley of the Po, in order, if possible, to draw off the Celts serving in the army of Hannibal to their homes. These resolutions were judicious; everything depended on their coming to an equally judicious decision respecting the supreme command. The stiff carriage of Quintus Fabius, and the attacks of the demagogues which it provoked, had rendered the dictatorship and the senate generally more unpopular than ever: amongst the people, not without the connivance of their leaders, the foolish report circulated that the senate was intentionally prolonging the war. As, therefore, the nomination of a dictator was not to be thought of, the senate attempted to procure the election of suitable consuls; but this only had the effect of thoroughly rousing suspicion and obstinacy. With difficulty the senate carried one of its candidates, Lucius Aemilius Paullus, who had with judgment conducted the Illyrian war in 535;(5) an immense majority of the citizens assigned to him as colleague the candidate of the popular party, Gaius Terentius Varro, an incapable man, who was known only by his bitter opposition to the senate and more especially as the main author of the proposal to elect Marcus Minucius co-dictator, and who was recommended to the multitude solely by his humble birth and his coarse effrontery.

Battle at Cannae

While these preparations for the next campaign were being made in Rome, the war had already recommenced in Apulia. As soon as the season allowed him to leave his winter quarters, Hannibal, determining as usual the course of the war and assuming the offensive, set out from Gerunium in a southerly direction, and marching past Luceria crossed the Aufidus and took the citadel of Cannae (between Canosa and Barletta) which commanded the plain of Canusium, and had hitherto served the Romans as their chief magazine. The Roman army which, since Fabius had conformably to the constitution resigned his dictatorship in the middle of autumn, was now commanded by Gnaeus Servilius and Marcus Regulus, first as consuls then as proconsuls, had been unable to avert a loss which they could not but feel. On military as well as on political grounds, it became more than ever necessary to arrest the progress of Hannibal by a pitched battle. With definite orders to this effect from the senate, accordingly, the two new commanders-in-chief, Paullus and Varro, arrived in Apulia in the beginning of the summer of 538. With the four new legions and a corresponding contingent of Italians which they brought up, the Roman army rose to 80,000 infantry, half burgesses, half allies, and 6000 cavalry, of whom one-third were burgesses and two-thirds allies; whereas Hannibal's army numbered 10,000 cavalry, but only about 40,000 infantry. Hannibal wished nothing so much as a battle, not merely for the general reasons which we have explained above, but specially because the wide Apulian plain allowed him to develop the whole superiority of his cavalry, and because the providing supplies for his numerous army would soon, in spite of that excellent cavalry, be rendered very difficult by the proximity of an enemy twice as strong and resting on a chain of fortresses. The leaders of the Roman forces also had, as we have said, made up their minds on the general question of giving battle, and approached the enemy with that view; but the more sagacious of them saw the position of Hannibal, and were disposed accordingly to wait in the first instance and simply to station themselves in the vicinity of the enemy, so as to compel him to retire and accept battle on a ground less favourable to him. Hannibal encamped at Cannae on the right bank of the Aufidus. Paullus pitched his camp on both banks of the stream, so that the main force came to be stationed on the left bank, but a strong corps took up a position on the right immediately opposite to the enemy, in order to impede his supplies and perhaps also to threaten Cannae. Hannibal, to whom it was all-important to strike a speedy blow, crossed the stream with the bulk of his troops, and offered battle on the left bank, which Paullus did not accept. But such military pedantry was disapproved by the democratic consul—so much had been said about men taking the field not to stand guard, but to use their swords—and he gave orders accordingly to attack the enemy, wherever and whenever they found him. According to the old custom foolishly retained, the decisive voice in the council of war alternated between the commanders-in-chief day by day; it was necessary therefore on the following day to submit, and to let the hero of the pavement have his way. On the left bank, where the wide plain offered full scope to the superior cavalry of the enemy, certainly even he would not fight; but he determined to unite the whole Roman forces on the right bank, and there, taking up a position between the Carthaginian camp and Cannae and seriously threatening the latter, to offer battle. A division of 10,000 men was left behind in the principal Roman camp, charged to capture the Carthaginian encampment during the conflict and thus to intercept the retreat of the enemy's army across the river. The bulk of the Roman army, at early dawn on the and August according to the unconnected, perhaps in tune according to the correct, calendar, crossed the river which at this season was shallow and did not materially hamper the movements of the troops, and took up a position in line near the smaller Roman camp to the westward of Cannae. The Carthaginian army followed and likewise crossed the stream, on which rested the right Roman as well as the left Carthaginian wing. The Roman cavalry was stationed on the wings: the weaker portion consisting of burgesses, led by Paullus, on the right next the river; the stronger consisting of the allies, led by Varro, on the left towards the plain. In the centre was stationed the infantry in unusually deep files, under the command of the consul of the previous year Gnaeus Servilius. Opposite to this centre Hannibal arranged his infantry in the form of a crescent, so that the Celtic and Iberian troops in their national armour formed the advanced centre, and the Libyans, armed after the Roman fashion, formed the drawn-back wings on either side. On the side next the river the whole heavy cavalry under Hasdrubal was stationed, on the side towards the plain the light Numidian horse. After a short skirmish between the light troops the whole line was soon engaged. Where the light cavalry of the Carthaginians fought against the heavy cavalry of Varro, the conflict was prolonged, amidst constant charges of the Numidians, without decisive result. In the centre, on the other hand, the legions completely overthrew the Spanish and Gallic troops that first encountered them; eagerly the victors pressed on and followed up their advantage. But meanwhile, on the right wing, fortune had turned against the Romans. Hannibal had merely sought to occupy the left cavalry wing of the enemy, that he might bring Hasdrubal with the whole regular cavalry to bear against the weaker right and to overthrow it first. After a brave resistance, the Roman horse gave way, and those that were not cut down were chased up the river and scattered in the plain; Paullus, wounded, rode to the centre to turn or, if not, to share the fate of the legions. These, in order the better to follow up the victory over the advanced infantry of the enemy, had changed their front disposition into a column of attack, which, in the shape of a wedge, penetrated the enemy's centre. In this position they were warmly assailed on both sides by the Libyan infantry wheeling inward upon them right and left, and a portion of them were compelled to halt in order to defend themselves against the flank attack; by this means their advance was checked, and the mass of infantry, which was already too closely crowded, now had no longer room to develop itself at all. Meanwhile Hasdrubal, after having completed the defeat of the wing of Paullus, had collected and arranged his cavalry anew and led them behind the enemy's centre against the wing of Varro. His Italian cavalry, already sufficiently occupied with the Numidians, was rapidly scattered before the double attack, and Hasdrubal, leaving the pursuit of the fugitives to the Numidians, arranged his squadrons for the third time, to lead them against the rear of the Roman infantry. This last charge proved decisive. Flight was not possible, and quarter was not given. Never, perhaps, was an army of such size annihilated on the field of battle so completely, and with so little loss to its antagonist, as was the Roman army at Cannae. Hannibal had lost not quite 6000 men, and two-thirds of that loss fell upon the Celts, who sustained the first shock of the legions. On the other hand, of the 76,000 Romans who had taken their places in the line of battle 70,000 covered the field, amongst whom were the consul Lucius Paullus, the proconsul Gnaeus Servilius, two-thirds of the staff- officers, and eighty men of senatorial rank. The consul Gaius Varro was saved solely by his quick resolution and his good steed, reached Venusia, and was not ashamed to survive. The garrison also of the Roman camp, 10,000 strong, were for the most part made prisoners of war; only a few thousand men, partly of these troops, partly of the line, escaped to Canusium. Nay, as if in this year an end was to be made with Rome altogether, before its close the legion sent to Gaul fell into an ambush, and was, with its general Lucius Postumius who was nominated as consul for the next year, totally destroyed by the Gauls.

Consequences of the Battle of Cannae
Prevention of Reinforcements from Spain

This unexampled success appeared at length to mature the great political combination, for the sake of which Hannibal had come to Italy. He had, no doubt, based his plan primarily upon his army; but with accurate knowledge of the power opposed to him he designed that army to be merely the vanguard, in support of which the powers of the west and east were gradually to unite their forces, so as to prepare destruction for the proud city. That support however, which seemed the most secure, namely the sending of reinforcements from Spain, had been frustrated by the boldness and firmness of the Roman general sent thither, Gnaeus Scipio. After Hannibal's passage of the Rhone Scipio had sailed for Emporiae, and had made himself master first of the coast between the Pyrenees and the Ebro, and then, after conquering Hanno, of the interior also (536). In the following year (537) he had completely defeated the Carthaginian fleet at the mouth of the Ebro, and after his brother Publius, the brave defender of the valley of the Po, had joined him with a reinforcement of 8000 men, he had even crossed the Ebro, and advanced as far as Saguntum. Hasdrubal had indeed in the succeeding year (538), after obtaining reinforcements from Africa, made an attempt in accordance with his brother's orders to conduct an army over the Pyrenees; but the Scipios opposed his passage of the Ebro, and totally defeated him, nearly at the same time that Hannibal conquered at Cannae. The powerful tribe of the Celtiberians and numerous other Spanish tribes had joined the Scipios; they commanded the sea, the passes of the Pyrenees, and, by means of the trusty Massiliots, the Gallic coast also. Now therefore support to Hannibal was less than ever to be looked for from Spain.

Reinforcements from Spain

On the part of Carthage as much had hitherto been done in support of her general in Italy as could be expected. Phoenician squadrons threatened the coasts of Italy and of the Roman islands and guarded Africa from a Roman landing, and there the matter ended. More substantial assistance was prevented not so much by the uncertainty as to where Hannibal was to be found and the want of a port of disembarkation in Italy, as by the fact that for many years the Spanish army had been accustomed to be self-sustaining, and above all by the murmurs of the peace party. Hannibal severely felt the consequences of this unpardonable inaction; in spite of all his saving of his money and of the soldiers whom he had brought with him, his chests were gradually emptied, the pay fell into arrear, and the ranks of his veterans began to thin. But now the news of the victory of Cannae reduced even the factious opposition at home to silence. The Carthaginian senate resolved to place at the disposal of the general considerable assistance in money and men, partly from Africa, partly from Spain, including 4000 Numidian horse and 40 elephants, and to prosecute the war with energy in Spain as well as in Italy.

Alliance between Carthage and Macedonia

The long-discussed offensive alliance between Carthage and Macedonia had been delayed, first by the sudden death of Antigonus, and then by the indecision of his successor Philip and the unseasonable war waged by him and his Hellenic allies against the Aetolians (534-537). It was only now, after the battle of Cannae, that Demetrius of Pharos found Philip disposed to listen to his proposal to cede to Macedonia his Illyrian possessions—which it was necessary, no doubt, to wrest in the first place from the Romans—and it was only now that the court of Pella came to terms with Carthage. Macedonia undertook to land an invading army on the east coast of Italy, in return for which she received an assurance that the Roman possessions in Epirus should be restored to her.

Alliance between Carthage and Syracuse

In Sicily king Hiero had during the years of peace maintained a policy of neutrality, so far as he could do so with safety, and he had shown a disposition to accommodate the Carthaginians during the perilous crises after the peace with Rome, particularly by sending supplies of corn. There is no doubt that he saw with the utmost regret a renewed breach between Carthage and Rome; but he had no power to avert it, and when it occurred he adhered with well-calculated fidelity to Rome. But soon afterwards (in the autumn of 538) death removed the old man after a reign of fifty-four years. The grandson and successor of the prudent veteran, the young and incapable Hieronymus, entered at once into negotiations with the Carthaginian diplomatists; and, as they made no difficulty in consenting to secure to him by treaty, first, Sicily as far as the old Carthagino-Sicilian frontier, and then, when he rose in the arrogance of his demands, the possession even of the whole island, he entered into alliance with Carthage, and ordered the Syracusan fleet to unite with the Carthaginian which had come to threaten Syracuse. The position of the Roman fleet at Lilybaeum, which already had to deal with a second Carthaginian squadron stationed near the Aegates, became all at once very critical, while at the same time the force that was in readiness at Rome for embarkation to Sicily had, in consequence of the defeat at Cannae, to be diverted to other and more urgent objects.

Capua and Most of the Communities of Lower Italy Pass over to Hannibal

Above all came the decisive fact, that now at length the fabric of the Roman confederacy began to be unhinged, after it had survived unshaken the shocks of two severe years of war. There passed over to the side of Hannibal Arpi in Apulia, and Uzentum in Messapia, two old towns which had been greatly injured by the Roman colonies of Luceria and Brundisium; all the towns of the Bruttii—who took the lead—with the exception of the Petelini and the Consentini who had to be besieged before yielding; the greater portion of the Lucanians; the Picentes transplanted into the region of Salernum; the Hirpini; the Samnites with the exception of the Pentri; lastly and chiefly, Capua the second city of Italy, which was able to bring into the field 30,000 infantry and 4000 horse, and whose secession determined that of the neighbouring towns Atella and Caiatia. The aristocratic party, indeed, attached by many ties to the interest of Rome everywhere, and more especially in Capua, very earnestly opposed this change of sides, and the obstinate internal conflicts which arose regarding it diminished not a little the advantage which Hannibal derived from these accessions. He found himself obliged, for instance, to have one of the leaders of the aristocratic party in Capua, Decius Magius, who even after the entrance of the Phoenicians obstinately contended for the Roman alliance, seized and conveyed to Carthage; thus furnishing a demonstration, very inconvenient for himself, of the small value of the liberty and sovereignty which had just been solemnly assured to the Campanians by the Carthaginian general. On the other hand, the south Italian Greeks adhered to the Roman alliance—a result to which the Roman garrisons no doubt contributed, but which was still more due to the very decided dislike of the Hellenes towards the Phoenicians themselves and towards their new Lucanian and Bruttian allies, and their attachment on the other hand to Rome, which had zealously embraced every opportunity of manifesting its Hellenism, and had exhibited towards the Greeks in Italy an unwonted gentleness. Thus the Campanian Greeks, particularly Neapolis, courageously withstood the attack of Hannibal in person: in Magna Graecia Rhegium, Thurii, Metapontum, and Tarentum did the same notwithstanding their very perilous position. Croton and Locri on the other hand were partly carried by storm, partly forced to capitulate, by the united Phoenicians and Bruttians; and the citizens of Croton were conducted to Locri, while Bruttian colonists occupied that important naval station. The Latin colonies in southern Italy, such as Brundisium, Venusia, Paesturn, Cosa, and Cales, of course maintained unshaken fidelity to Rome. They were the strongholds by which the conquerors held in check a foreign land, settled on the soil of the surrounding population, and at feud with their neighbours; they, too, would be the first to be affected, if Hannibal should keep his word and restore to every Italian community its ancient boundaries. This was likewise the case with all central Italy, the earliest seat of the Roman rule, where Latin manners and language already everywhere preponderated, and the people felt themselves to be the comrades rather than the subjects of their rulers. The opponents of Hannibal in the Carthaginian senate did not fail to appeal to the fact that not one Roman citizen or one Latin community had cast itself into the arms of Carthage. This groundwork of the Roman power could only be broken up, like the Cyclopean walls, stone by stone.

Attitude of the Romans

Such were the consequences of the day of Cannae, in which the flower of the soldiers and officers of the confederacy, a seventh of the whole number of Italians capable of bearing arms, perished. It was a cruel but righteous punishment for the grave political errors with which not merely some foolish or miserable individuals, but the Roman people themselves, were justly chargeable. A constitution adapted for a small country town was no longer suitable for a great power; it was simply impossible that the question as to the leadership of the armies of the city in such a war should be left year after year to be decided by the Pandora's box of the balloting-urn. As a fundamental revision of the constitution, if practicable at all, could not at least be undertaken now, the practical superintendence of the war, and in particular the bestowal and prolongation of the command, should have been at once left to the only authority which was in a position to undertake it—the senate—and there should have been reserved for the comitia the mere formality of confirmation. The brilliant successes of the Scipios in the difficult arena of Spanish warfare showed what might in this way be achieved. But political demagogism, which was already gnawing at the aristocratic foundations of the constitution, had seized on the management of the Italian war. The absurd accusation, that the nobles were conspiring with the enemy without, had made an impression on the "people." The saviours to whom political superstition looked for deliverance, Gaius Flaminius and Gaius Varro, both "new men" and friends of the people of the purest dye, had accordingly been empowered by the multitude itself to execute the plans of operations which, amidst the approbation of that multitude, they had unfolded in the Forum; and the results were the battles on the Trasimene lake and at Cannae. Duty required that the senate, which now of course understood its task better than when it recalled half the army of Regulus from Africa, should take into its hands the management of affairs, and should oppose such mischievous proceedings; but when the first of those two defeats had for the moment placed the rudder in its hands, it too had hardly acted in a manner unbiassed by the interests of party. Little as Quintus Fabius may be compared with these Roman Cleons, he had yet conducted the war not as a mere military leader, but had adhered to his rigid attitude of defence specially as the political opponent of Gaius Flaminius; and in the treatment of the quarrel with his subordinate, had done what he could to exasperate at a time when unity was needed. The consequence was, first, that the most important instrument which the wisdom of their ancestors had placed in the hands of the senate just for such cases—the dictatorship—broke down in his hands; and, secondly—at least indirectly—the battle of Cannae. But the headlong fall of the Roman power was owing not to the fault of Quintus Fabius or Gaius Varro, but to the distrust between the government and the governed—to the variance between the senate and the burgesses. If the deliverance and revival of the state were still possible, the work had to begin at home with the re-establishment of unity and of confidence. To have perceived this and, what is of more importance, to have done it, and done it with an abstinence from all recriminations however just, constitutes the glorious and imperishable honour of the Roman senate. When Varro—alone of all the generals who had command in the battle —returned to Rome, and the Roman senators met him at the gate and thanked him that he had not despaired of the salvation of his country, this was no empty phraseology veiling the disaster under sounding words, nor was it bitter mockery over a poor wretch; it was the conclusion of peace between the government and the governed. In presence of the gravity of the time and the gravity of such an appeal, the chattering of demagogues was silent; henceforth the only thought of the Romans was how they might be able jointly to avert the common peril. Quintus Fabius, whose tenacious courage at this decisive moment was of more service to the state than all his feats of war, and the other senators of note took the lead in every movement, and restored to the citizens confidence in themselves and in the future. The senate preserved its firm and unbending attitude, while messengers from all sides hastened to Rome to report the loss of battles, the secession of allies, the capture of posts and magazines, and to ask reinforcements for the valley of the Po and for Sicily at a time when Italy was abandoned and Rome was almost without a garrison. Assemblages of the multitude at the gates were forbidden; onlookers and women were sent to their houses; the time of mourning for the fallen was restricted to thirty days that the service of the gods of joy, from which those clad in mourning attire were excluded, might not be too long interrupted—for so great was the number of the fallen, that there was scarcely a family which had not to lament its dead. Meanwhile the remnant saved from the field of battle had been assembled by two able military tribunes, Appius Claudius and Publius Scipio the younger, at Canusium. The latter managed, by his lofty spirit and by the brandished swords of his faithful comrades, to change the views of those genteel young lords who, in indolent despair of the salvation of their country, were thinking of escape beyond the sea. The consul Gaius Varro joined them with a handful of men; about two legions were gradually collected there; the senate gave orders that they should be reorganized and reduced to serve in disgrace and without pay. The incapable general was on a suitable pretext recalled to Rome; the praetor Marcus Claudius Marcellus, experienced in the Gallic wars, who had been destined to depart for Sicily with the fleet from Ostia, assumed the chief command. The utmost exertions were made to organize an army capable of taking the field. The Latins were summoned to render aid in the common peril. Rome itself set the example, and called to arms all the men above boyhood, armed the debtor-serfs and criminals, and even incorporated in the army eight thousand slaves purchased by the state. As there was a want of arms, they took the old spoils from the temples, and everywhere set the workshops and artisans in action. The senate was completed, not as timid patriots urged, from the Latins, but from the Roman burgesses who had the best title. Hannibal offered a release of captives at the expense of the Roman treasury; it was declined, and the Carthaginian envoy who had arrived with the deputation of captives was not admitted into the city: nothing should look as if the senate thought of peace. Not only were the allies to be prevented from believing that Rome was disposed to enter into negotiations, but even the meanest citizen was to be made to understand that for him as for all there was no peace, and that safety lay only in victory.

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

Chapter VI

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).

Pressure of the War

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

The Allies

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

Hasdrubal's Approach

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

New Armaments
Hasdrubal and Hannibal on the March

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

Battle of Sena
Death of Hasdrubal

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

Hannibal Retires to the Bruttian Territory

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

Stagnation of the War in Italy

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

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

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

Mago in Italy

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

The African Expedition of Scipio

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

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

Preparations in Africa

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

Scipio Driven Back to the Coast
Surprise of the Carthaginian Camp

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

Negotiations for Peace
Machinations of the Carthaginian Patriots

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

Hannibal Recalled to Africa

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

Recommencement of Hostilities

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

Battle of Zama

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


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

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

Results of the War

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

Out of Italy

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

In Italy

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

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

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

Notes for Chapter VI

1. III. III. The Celts Conquered by Rome

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

3. III. VI. Conflicts in the South of Italy

4. III. VI. Sicily Tranquillized

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

Chapter VII

The West from the Peace of Hannibal to the Close of the Third Period

Subjugation of the Valley of the Po

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

Measures Adopted to Check the Immigrations of the Transalpine Gauls

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

Colonizing of the Region on the South of the Po

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

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


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

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


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


In Africa the policy of Rome was substantially summed up in the one idea, as short-sighted as it was narrow-minded, that she ought to prevent the revival of the power of Carthage, and ought accordingly to keep the unhappy city constantly oppressed and apprehensive of a declaration of war suspended over it by Rome like the sword of Damocles. The stipulation in the treaty of peace, that the Carthaginians should retain their territory undiminished, but that their neighbour Massinissa should have all those possessions guaranteed to him which he or his predecessor had possessed within the Carthaginian bounds, looks almost as if it had been inserted not to obviate, but to provoke disputes. The same remark applies to the obligation imposed by the Roman treaty of peace on the Carthaginians not to make war upon the allies of Rome; so that, according to the letter of the treaty, they were not even entitled to expel their Numidian neighbours from their own undisputed territory. With such stipulations and amidst the uncertainty of African frontier questions in general, the situation of Carthage in presence of a neighbour equally powerful and unscrupulous and of a liege lord who was at once umpire and party in the cause, could not but be a painful one; but the reality was worse than the worst expectations. As early as 561 Carthage found herself suddenly assailed under frivolous pretexts, and saw the richest portion of her territory, the province of Emporiae on the Lesser Syrtis, partly plundered by the Numidians, partly even seized and retained by them. Encroachments of this kind were multiplied; the level country passed into the hands of the Numidians, and the Carthaginians with difficulty maintained themselves in the larger places. Within the last two years alone, the Carthaginians declared in 582, seventy villages had been again wrested from them in opposition to the treaty. Embassy after embassy was despatched to Rome; the Carthaginians adjured the Roman senate either to allow them to defend themselves by arms, or to appoint a court of arbitration with power to enforce their award, or to regulate the frontier anew that they might at least learn once for all how much they were to lose; otherwise it were better to make them Roman subjects at once than thus gradually to deliver them over to the Libyans. But the Roman government, which already in 554 had held forth a direct prospect of extension of territory to their client, of course at the expense of Carthage, seemed to have little objection that he should himself take the booty destined for him; they moderated perhaps at times the too great impetuosity of the Libyans, who now retaliated fully on their old tormentors for their former sufferings; but it was in reality for the very sake of inflicting this torture that the Romans had assigned Massinissa as a neighbour to Carthage. All the requests and complaints had no result, except either that Roman commissions made their appearance in Africa and after a thorough investigation came to no decision, or that in the negotiations at Rome the envoys of Massinissa pretended a want of instructions and the matter was adjourned. Phoenician patience alone was able to submit meekly to such a position, and even to exhibit towards the despotic victors every attention and courtesy, solicited or unsolicited with unwearied perseverance. The Carthaginians especially courted Roman favour by sending supplies of grain.

Reform of the Carthaginian Constitution
Hannibal's Flight

This pliability on the part of the vanquished, however was not mere patience and resignation. There was still in Carthage a patriotic party, and at its head stood the man who, wherever fate placed him, was still dreaded by the Romans. It had not abandoned the idea of resuming the struggle by taking advantage of those complications that might be easily foreseen between Rome and the eastern powers; and, as the failure of the magnificent scheme of Hamilcar and his sons had been due mainly to the Carthaginian oligarchy, the chief object was internally to reinvigorate the country for this new struggle. The salutary influence of adversity, and the clear, noble, and commanding mind of Hannibal, effected political and financial reforms. The oligarchy, which had filled up the measure of its guilty follies by raising a criminal process against the great general, charging him with having intentionally abstained from the capture of Rome and with embezzlement of the Italian spoil—that rotten oligarchy was, on the proposition of Hannibal, overthrown, and a democratic government was introduced such as was suited to the circumstances of the citizens (before 559). The finances were so rapidly reorganized by the collection of arrears and of embezzled moneys and by the introduction of better control, that the contribution due to Rome could be paid without burdening the citizens in any way with extraordinary taxes. The Roman government, just then on the point of beginning its critical war with the great-king of Asia, observed the progress of these events, as may easily be conceived, with apprehension; it was no imaginary danger that the Carthaginian fleet might land in Italy and a second war under Hannibal might spring up there, while the Roman legions fighting in Asia Minor. We can scarcely, therefore, censure the Romans for sending an embassy to Carthage (in 559) which was presumably charged to demand the surrender of Hannibal. The spiteful Carthaginian oligarchs, who sent letter after letter to Rome to denounce to the national foe the hero who had overthrown them as having entered into secret communications with the powers unfriendly to Rome, were contemptible, but their information was probably correct; and, true as it was that that embassy involved a humiliating confession of the dread with which the simple shofete of Carthage inspired so powerful a people, and natural and honourable as it was that the proud conqueror of Zama should take exception in the senate to so humiliating a step, still that confession was nothing but the simple truth, and Hannibal was of a genius so extraordinary, that none but sentimental politicians in Rome could tolerate him longer at the head of the Carthaginian state. The marked recognition thus accorded to him by the Roman government scarcely took himself by surprise. As it was Hannibal and not Carthage that had carried on the last war, so it was he who had to bear the fate of the vanquished. The Carthaginians could do nothing but submit and be thankful that Hannibal, sparing them the greater disgrace by his speedy and prudent flight to the east, left to his ancestral city merely the lesser disgrace of having banished its greatest citizen for ever from his native land, confiscated his property, and razed his house. The profound saying that those are the favourites of the gods, on whom they lavish infinite joys and infinite sorrows, thus verified itself in full measure in the case of Hannibal.

Continued Irritation in Rome towards Carthage

A graver responsibility than that arising out of their proceedings against Hannibal attaches to the Roman government for their persistence in suspecting and tormenting the city after his removal. Parties indeed fermented there as before; but, after the withdrawal of the extraordinary man who had wellnigh changed the destinies of the world, the patriot party was not of much more importance in Carthage than in Aetolia or Achaia. The most rational of the various ideas which then agitated the unhappy city was beyond doubt that of attaching themselves to Massinissa and of converting him from the oppressor into the protector of the Phoenicians. But neither the national section of the patriots nor the section with Libyan tendencies attained the helm; on the contrary the government remained in the hands of the oligarchs friendly to Rome, who, so far as they did not altogether renounce thought of the future, clung to the single idea of saving the material welfare and the communal freedom of Carthage under Roman protection. With this state of matters the Romans might well have been content. But neither the multitude, nor even the ruling lords of the average stamp, could rid themselves of the profound alarm produced by the Hannibalic war; and the Roman merchants with envious eyes beheld the city even now, when its political power was gone, possessed of extensive commercial dependencies and of a firmly established wealth which nothing could shake. Already in 567 the Carthaginian government offered to pay up at once the whole instalments stipulated in the peace of 553—an offer which the Romans, who attached far more importance to the having Carthage tributary than to the sums of money themselves, naturally declined, and only deduced from it the conviction that, in spite of all the trouble they had taken, the city was not ruined and was not capable of ruin. Fresh reports were ever circulating through Rome as to the intrigues of the faithless Phoenicians. At one time it was alleged that Aristo of Tyre had been seen in Carthage as an emissary of Hannibal, to prepare the citizens for the landing of an Asiatic war-fleet (561); at another, that the council had, in a secret nocturnal sitting in the temple of the God of Healing, given audience to the envoys of Perseus (581); at another there was talk of the powerful fleet which was being equipped in Carthage for the Macedonian war (583). It is probable that these and similar reports were founded on nothing more than, at most, individual indiscretions; but still they were the signal for new diplomatic ill usage on the part of Rome, and for new aggressions on the part of Massinissa, and the idea gained ground the more, the less sense and reason there was in it, that the Carthaginian question would not be settled without a third Punic war.


While the power of the Phoenicians was thus sinking in the land of their choice, just as it had long ago succumbed in their original home, a new state grew up by their side. The northern coast of Africa has been inhabited from time immemorial, and is inhabited still, by the people, who themselves assume the name of Shilah or Tamazigt, whom the Greeks and Romans call Nomades or Numidians, i. e. the "pastoral" people, and the Arabs call Berbers, although they also at times designate them as "shepherds" (Shawie), and to whom we are wont to give the name of Berbers or Kabyles. This people is, so far as its language has been hitherto investigated, related to no other known nation. In the Carthaginian period these tribes, with the exception of those dwelling immediately around Carthage or immediately on the coast, had on the whole maintained their independence, and had also substantially retained their pastoral and equestrian life, such as the inhabitants of the Atlas lead at the present day; although they were not strangers to the Phoenician alphabet and Phoenician civilization generally,(2) and instances occurred in which the Berber sheiks had their sons educated in Carthage and intermarried with the families of the Phoenician nobility. It was not the policy of the Romans to have direct possessions of their own in Africa; they preferred to rear a state there, which should not be of sufficient importance to be able to dispense with Roman protection, and yet should be sufficiently strong to keep down the power of Carthage now that it was restricted to Africa, and to render all freedom of movement impossible for the tortured city. They found what they sought among the native princes. About the time of the Hannibalic war the natives of North Africa were subject to three principal kings, each of whom, according to the custom there, had a multitude of princes bound to follow his banner; Bocchar king of the Mauri, who ruled from the Atlantic Ocean to the river Molochath (now Mluia, on the boundary between Morocco and the French territory); Syphax king of the Massaesyli, who ruled from the last-named point to the "Perforated Promontory," as it was called (Seba Rus, between Jijeli and Bona), in what are now the provinces of Oran and Algiers; and Massinissa king of the Massyli, who ruled from the Tretum Promontorium to the boundary of Carthage, in what is now the province of Constantine. The most powerful of these, Syphax king of Siga, had been vanquished in the last war between Rome and Carthage and carried away captive to Rome, where he died in captivity. His wide dominions were mainly given to Massinissa; although Vermina the son of Syphax by humble petition recovered a small portion of his father's territory from the Romans (554), he was unable to deprive the earlier ally of the Romans of his position as the privileged oppressor of Carthage.


Massinissa became the founder of the Numidian kingdom; and seldom has choice or accident hit upon a man so thoroughly fitted for his post. In body sound and supple up to extreme old age; temperate and sober like an Arab; capable of enduring any fatigue, of standing on the same spot from morning to evening, and of sitting four-and-twenty hours on horseback; tried alike as a soldier and a general amidst the romantic vicissitudes of his youth as well as on the battle-fields of Spain, and not less master of the more difficult art of maintaining discipline in his numerous household and order in his dominions; with equal unscrupulousness ready to throw himself at the feet of his powerful protector, or to tread under foot his weaker neighbour; and, in addition to all this, as accurately acquainted with the circumstances of Carthage, where he was educated and had been on familiar terms in the noblest houses, as he was filled with an African bitterness of hatred towards his own and his people's oppressors, —this remarkable man became the soul of the revival of his nation, which had seemed on the point of perishing, and of whose virtues and faults he appeared as it were a living embodiment. Fortune favoured him, as in everything, so especially in the fact, that it allowed him time for his work. He died in the ninetieth year of his age (516-605), and in the sixtieth year of his reign, retaining to the last the full possession of his bodily and mental powers, leaving behind him a son one year old and the reputation of having been the strongest man and the best and most fortunate king of his age.

Extension and Civilization of Numidia

We have already narrated how purposely and clearly the Romans in their management of African affairs evinced their taking part with Massinissa, and how zealously and constantly the latter availed himself of the tacit permission to enlarge his territory at the expense of Carthage. The whole interior to the border of the desert fell to the native sovereign as it were of its own accord, and even the upper valley of the Bagradas (Mejerdah) with the rich town of Vaga became subject to the king; on the coast also to the east of Carthage he occupied the old Sidonian city of Great Leptis and other districts, so that his kingdom stretched from the Mauretanian to the Cyrenaean frontier, enclosed the Carthaginian territory on every side by land, and everywhere pressed, in the closest vicinity, on the Phoenicians. It admits of no doubt, that he looked on Carthage as his future capital; the Libyan party there was significant. But it was not only by the diminution of her territory that Carthage suffered injury. The roving shepherds were converted by their great king into another people. After the example of the king, who brought the fields under cultivation far and wide and bequeathed to each of his sons considerable landed estates, his subjects also began to settle and to practise agriculture. As he converted his shepherds into settled citizens, he converted also his hordes of plunderers into soldiers who were deemed by Rome worthy to fight side by side with her legions; and he bequeathed to his successors a richly-filled treasury, a well- disciplined army, and even a fleet. His residence Cirta (Constantine) became the stirring capital of a powerful state, and a chief seat of Phoenician civilization, which was zealously fostered at the court of the Berber king—fostered perhaps studiously with a view to the future Carthagino-Numidian kingdom. The hitherto degraded Libyan nationality thus rose in its own estimation, and the native manners and language made their way even into the old Phoenician towns, such as Great Leptis. The Berber began, under the aegis of Rome, to feel himself the equal or even the superior of the Phoenician; Carthaginian envoys at Rome had to submit to be told that they were aliens in Africa, and that the land belonged to the Libyans. The Phoenico-national civilization of North Africa, which still retained life and vigour even in the levelling times of the Empire, was far more the work of Massinissa than of the Carthaginians.

The State of Culture in Spain

In Spain the Greek and Phoenician towns along the coast, such as Emporiae, Saguntum, New Carthage, Malaca, and Gades, submitted to the Roman rule the more readily, that, left to their own resources, they would hardly have been able to protect themselves from the natives; as for similar reasons Massilia, although far more important and more capable of self-defence than those towns, did not omit to secure a powerful support in case of need by closely attaching itself to the Romans, to whom it was in return very serviceable as an intermediate station between Italy and Spain. The natives, on the other hand, gave to the Romans endless trouble. It is true that there were not wanting the rudiments of a national Iberian civilization, although of its special character it is scarcely possible for us to acquire any clear idea. We find among the Iberians a widely diffused national writing, which divides itself into two chief kinds, that of the valley of the Ebro, and the Andalusian, and each of these was presumably subdivided into various branches: this writing seems to have originated at a very early period, and to be traceable rather to the old Greek than to the Phoenician alphabet. There is even a tradition that the Turdetani (round Seville) possessed lays from very ancient times, a metrical book of laws of 6000 verses, and even historical records; at any rate this tribe is described as the most civilized of all the Spanish tribes, and at the same time the least warlike; indeed, it regularly carried on its wars by means of foreign mercenaries. To the same region probably we must refer the descriptions given by Polybius of the flourishing condition of agriculture and the rearing of cattle in Spain—so that, in the absence of opportunity of export, grain and flesh were to be had at nominal prices—and of the splendid royal palaces with golden and silver jars full of "barley wine." At least a portion of the Spaniards, moreover, zealously embraced the elements of culture which the Romans brought along with them, so that the process of Latinizing made more rapid progress in Spain than anywhere else in the transmarine provinces. For example, warm baths after the Italian fashion came into use even at this period among the natives. Roman money, too, was to all appearance not only current in Spain far earlier than elsewhere out of Italy, but was imitated in Spanish coins; a circumstance in some measure explained by the rich silver- mines of the country. The so-called "silver of Osca" (now Huesca in Arragon), i. e. Spanish -denarii- with Iberian inscriptions, is mentioned in 559; and the commencement of their coinage cannot be placed much later, because the impression is imitated from that of the oldest Roman -denarii-.

But, while in the southern and eastern provinces the culture of the natives may have so far prepared the way for Roman civilization and Roman rule that these encountered no serious difficulties, the west and north on the other hand, and the whole of the interior, were occupied by numerous tribes more or less barbarous, who knew little of any kind of civilization—in Intercatia, for instance, the use of gold and silver was still unknown about 600—and who were on no better terms with each other than with the Romans. A characteristic trait in these free Spaniards was the chivalrous spirit of the men and, at least to an equal extent, of the women. When a mother sent forth her son to battle, she roused his spirit by the recital of the feats of his ancestors; and the fairest maiden unasked offered her hand in marriage to the bravest man. Single combat was common, both with a view to determine the prize of valour, and for the settlement of lawsuits; even disputes among the relatives of princes as to the succession were settled in this way. It not unfrequently happened that a well-known warrior confronted the ranks of the enemy and challenged an antagonist by name; the defeated champion then surrendered his mantle and sword to his opponent, and even entered into relations of friendship and hospitality with him. Twenty years after the close of the second Punic war, the little Celtiberian community of Complega (in the neighbourhood of the sources of the Tagus) sent a message to the Roman general, that unless he sent to them for every man that had fallen a horse, a mantle, and a sword, it would fare ill with him. Proud of their military honour, so that they frequently could not bear to survive the disgrace of being disarmed, the Spaniards were nevertheless disposed to follow any one who should enlist their services, and to stake their lives in any foreign quarrel. The summons was characteristic, which a Roman general well acquainted with the customs of the country sent to a Celtiberian band righting in the pay of the Turdetani against the Romans—either to return home, or to enter the Roman service with double pay, or to fix time and place for battle. If no recruiting officer made his appearance, they met of their own accord in free bands, with the view of pillaging the more peaceful districts and even of capturing and occupying towns, quite after the manner of the Campanians. The wildness and insecurity of the inland districts are attested by the fact that banishment into the interior westward of Cartagena was regarded by the Romans as a severe punishment, and that in periods of any excitement the Roman commandants of Further Spain took with them escorts of as many as 6000 men. They are still more clearly shown by the singular relations subsisting between the Greeks and their Spanish neighbours in the Graeco-Spanish double city of Emporiae, at the eastern extremity of the Pyrenees. The Greek settlers, who dwelt on the point of the peninsula separated on the landward side from the Spanish part of the town by a wall, took care that this wall should be guarded every night by a third of their civic force, and that a higher official should constantly superintend the watch at the only gate; no Spaniard was allowed to set foot in the Greek city, and the Greeks conveyed their merchandise to the natives only in numerous and well-escorted companies.

Wars between the Romans and Spaniards

These natives, full of restlessness and fond of war—full of the spirit of the Cid and of Don Quixote—were now to be tamed and, if possible, civilized by the Romans. In a military point of view the task was not difficult. It is true that the Spaniards showed themselves, not only when behind the walls of their cities or under the leadership of Hannibal, but even when left to themselves and in the open field of battle, no contemptible opponents; with their short two-edged sword which the Romans subsequently adopted from them, and their formidable assaulting columns, they not unfrequently made even the Roman legions waver. Had they been able to submit to military discipline and to political combination, they might perhaps have shaken off the foreign yoke imposed on them. But their valour was rather that of the guerilla than of the soldier, and they were utterly void of political judgment. Thus in Spain there was no serious war, but as little was there any real peace; the Spaniards, as Caesar afterwards very justly pointed out to them, never showed themselves quiet in peace or strenuous in war. Easy as it was for a Roman general to scatter a host of insurgents, it was difficult for the Roman statesman to devise any suitable means of really pacifying and civilizing Spain. In fact, he could only deal with it by palliative measures; because the only really adequate expedient, a comprehensive Latin colonization, was not accordant with the general aim of Roman policy at this period.

The Romans Maintain a Standing Army in Spain

The territory which the Romans acquired in Spain in the course of the second Punic war was from the beginning divided into two masses—the province formerly Carthaginian, which embraced in the first instance the present districts of Andalusia, Granada, Murcia, and Valencia, and the province of the Ebro, or the modern Arragon and Catalonia, the fixed quarters of the Roman army during the last war. Out of these territories were formed the two Roman provinces of Further and Hither Spain. The Romans sought gradually to reduce to subjection the interior corresponding nearly to the two Castiles, which they comprehended under the general name of Celtiberia, while they were content with checking the incursions of the inhabitants of the western provinces, more especially those of the Lusitanians in the modern Portugal and the Spanish Estremadura, into the Roman territory; with the tribes on the north coast, the Callaecians, Asturians, and Cantabrians, they did not as yet come into contact at all. The territories thus won, however, could not be maintained and secured without a standing garrison, for the governor of Hither Spain had no small trouble every year with the chastisement of the Celtiberians, and the governor of the more remote province found similar employment in repelling the Lusitanians. It was needful accordingly to maintain in Spain a Roman army of four strong legions, or about 40,000 men, year after year; besides which the general levy had often to be called out in the districts occupied by Rome, to reinforce the legions. This was of great importance for two reasons: it was in Spain first, at least first on any larger scale, that the military occupation of the land became continuous; and it was there consequently that the service acquired a permanent character. The old Roman custom of sending troops only where the exigencies of war at the moment required them, and of not keeping the men called to serve, except in very serious and important wars, under arms for more than a year, was found incompatible with the retention of the turbulent and remote Spanish provinces beyond the sea; it was absolutely impossible to withdraw the troops from these, and very dangerous even to relieve them extensively. The Roman burgesses began to perceive that dominion over a foreign people is an annoyance not only to the slave, but to the master, and murmured loudly regarding the odious war-service of Spain. While the new generals with good reason refused to allow the relief of the existing corps as a whole, the men mutinied and threatened that, if they were not allowed their discharge, they would take it of their own accord.

The wars themselves, which the Romans waged in Spain, were but of a subordinate importance. They began with the very departure of Scipio,(3) and continued as long as the war under Hannibal lasted. After the peace with Carthage (in 553) there was a cessation of arms in the peninsula; but only for a short time. In 557 a general insurrection broke out in both provinces; the commander of the Further province was hard pressed; the commander of Hither Spain was completely defeated, and was himself slain. It was necessary to take up the war in earnest, and although in the meantime the able praetor Quintus Minucius had mastered the first danger, the senate resolved in 559 to send the consul Marcus Cato in person to Spain. On landing at Emporiae he actually found the whole of Hither Spain overrun by the insurgents; with difficulty that seaport and one or two strongholds in the interior were still held for Rome. A pitched battle took place between the insurgents and the consular army, in which, after an obstinate conflict man against man, the Roman military skill at length decided the day with its last reserve. The whole of Hither Spain thereupon sent in its submission: so little, however, was this submission meant in earnest, that on a rumour of the consul having returned to Rome the insurrection immediately recommenced. But the rumour was false; and after Cato had rapidly reduced the communities which had revolted for the second time and sold them -en masse- into slavery, he decreed a general disarming of the Spaniards in the Hither province, and issued orders to all the towns of the natives from the Pyrenees to the Guadalquivir to pull down their walls on one and the same day. No one knew how far the command extended, and there was no time to come to any understanding; most of the communities complied; and of the few that were refractory not many ventured, when the Roman army soon appeared before their walls, to await its assault.

These energetic measures were certainly not without permanent effect. Nevertheless the Romans had almost every year to reduce to subjection some mountain valley or mountain stronghold in the "peaceful province," and the constant incursions of the Lusitanians into the Further province led occasionally to severe defeats of the Romans. In 563, for instance, a Roman army was obliged after heavy loss to abandon its camp, and to return by forced inarches into the more tranquil districts. It was not till after a victory gained by the praetor Lucius Aemilius Paullus in 565,(4) and a second still more considerable gained by the brave praetor Gaius Calpurnius beyond the Tagus over the Lusitanians in 569, that quiet for some time prevailed. In Hither Spain the hitherto almost nominal rule of the Romans over the Celtiberian tribes was placed on a firmer basis by Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, who after a great victory over them in 573 compelled at least the adjacent cantons to submission; and especially by his successor Tiberius Gracchus (575, 576), who achieved results of a permanent character not only by his arms, by which he reduced three hundred Spanish townships, but still more by his adroitness in adapting himself to the views and habits of the simple and haughty nation. He induced Celtiberians of note to take service in the Roman army, and so created a class of dependents; he assigned land to the roving tribes, and collected them in towns—the Spanish town Graccurris preserved the Roman's name—and so imposed a serious check on their freebooter habits; he regulated the relations of the several tribes to the Romans by just and wise treaties, and so stopped, as far as possible, the springs of future rebellion. His name was held in grateful remembrance by the Spaniards, and comparative peace henceforth reigned in the land, although the Celtiberians still from time to time winced under the yoke.

Administration of Spain

The system of administration in the two Spanish provinces was similar to that of the Sicilo-Sardinian province, but not identical. The superintendence was in both instances vested in two auxiliary consuls, who were first nominated in 557, in which year also the regulation of the boundaries and the definitive organization of the new provinces took place. The judicious enactment of the Baebian law (573), that the Spanish praetors should always be nominated for two years, was not seriously carried out in consequence of the increasing competition for the highest magistracies, and still more in consequence of the jealous supervision exercised over the powers of the magistrates by the senate; and in Spain also, except where deviations occurred in extraordinary circumstances, the Romans adhered to the system of annually changing the governors—a system especially injudicious in the case of provinces so remote and with which it was so difficult to gain an acquaintance. The dependent communities were throughout tributary; but, instead of the Sicilian and Sardinian tenths and customs, in Spain fixed payments in money or other contributions were imposed by the Romans, just as formerly by the Carthaginians, on the several towns and tribes: the collection of these by military means was prohibited by a decree of the senate in 583, in consequence of the complaints of the Spanish communities. Grain was not furnished in their case except for compensation, and even then the governor might not levy more than a twentieth; besides, conformably to the just- mentioned ordinance of the supreme authority, he was bound to adjust the compensation in an equitable manner. On the other hand, the obligation of the Spanish subjects to furnish contingents to the Roman armies had an importance very different from that which belonged to it at least in peaceful Sicily, and it was strictly regulated in the several treaties. The right, too, of coining silver money of the Roman standard appears to have been very frequently conceded to the Spanish towns, and the monopoly of coining seems to have been by no means asserted here by the Roman government with the same strictness as in Sicily. Rome had too much need of her subjects everywhere in Spain, not to proceed with all possible tenderness in the introduction and handling of the provincial constitution there. Among the communities specially favoured by Rome were the great cities along the coast of Greek, Phoenician, or Roman foundation, such as Saguntum, Gades, and Tarraco, which, as the natural pillars of the Roman rule in the peninsula, were admitted to alliance with Rome. On the whole, Spain was in a military as well as financial point of view a burden rather than a gain to the Roman commonwealth; and the question naturally occurs, Why did the Roman government, whose policy at that time evidently did not contemplate the acquisition of countries beyond the sea, not rid itself of these troublesome possessions? The not inconsiderable commercial connections of Spain, her important iron- mines, and her still more important silver-mines famous from ancient times even in the far east(5)—which Rome, like Carthage, took into her own hands, and the management of which was specially regulated by Marcus Cato (559)—must beyond doubt have co-operated to induce its retention; but the chief reason of the Romans for retaining the peninsula in their own immediate possession was, that there were no states in that quarter of similar character to the Massiliot republic in the land of the Celts and the Numidian kingdom in Libya, and that thus they could not abandon Spain without putting it into the power of any adventurer to revive the Spanish empire of the Barcides.

Notes for Chapter VII

1. According to the account of Strabo these Italian Boii were driven by the Romans over the Alps, and from them proceeded that Boian settlement in what is now Hungary about Stein am Anger and Oedenburg, which was attacked and annihilated in the time of Augustus by the Getae who crossed the Danube, but which bequeathed to this district the name of the Boian desert. This account is far from agreeing with the well-attested representation of the Roman annals, according to which the Romans were content with the cession of half the territory; and, in order to explain the disappearance of the Italian Boii, we have really no need to assume a violent expulsion—the other Celtic peoples, although visited to a far less extent by war and colonization, disappeared not much less rapidly and totally from the ranks of the Italian nations. On the other hand, other accounts suggest the derivation of those Boii on the Neusiedler See from the main stock of the nation, which formerly had its seat in Bavaria and Bohemia before Germanic tribes pushed it towards the south. But it is altogether very doubtful whether the Boii, whom we find near Bordeaux, on the Po, and in Bohemia, were really scattered branches of one stock, or whether this is not an instance of mere similarity of name. The hypothesis of Strabo may have rested on nothing else than an inference from the similarity of name—an inference such as the ancients drew, often without due reason, in the case of the Cimbri, Veneti, and others.

2. III. I. Libyphoenicians

3. III. VI. Gades Becomes Roman

4. Of this praetor there has recently come to light the following decree on a copper tablet found in the neighbourhood of Gibraltar and now preserved in the Paris Museum: "L. Aimilius, son of Lucius, Imperator, has ordained that the slaves of the Hastenses [of Hasta regia, not far from Jerez de la Frontera], who dwell in the tower of Lascuta [known by means of coins and Plin. iii. i, 15, but uncertain as to site] should be free. The ground and the township, of which they are at the time in possession, they shall continue to possess and hold, so long as it shall please the people and senate of the Romans. Done in camp on 12 Jan. [564 or 565]." (-L. Aimilius L. f. inpeirator decreivit utei qui Hastensium servei in turri Lascutana habitarent, leiberei essent, Agrum oppidumqu[e], guod ea tempestate posedissent, item possidere habereque ioussit, dum poplus senatusque Romanus vettet. Act. in castreis a. d. XII. k. Febr.-) This is the oldest Roman document which we possess in the original, drawn up three years earlier than the well-known edict of the consuls of the year 568 in the affair of the Bacchanalia.

5. 1 Maccab. viii. 3. "And Judas heard what the Romans had done to the land of Hispania to become masters of the silver and gold mines there."

Chapter VIII

The Eastern States and the Second Macedonian War

The Hellenic East

The work, which Alexander king of Macedonia had begun a century before the Romans acquired their first footing in the territory which he had called his own, had in the course of time—while adhering substantially to the great fundamental idea of Hellenizing the east —changed and expanded into the construction of a system of Hellene- Asiatic states. The unconquerable propensity of the Greeks for migration and colonizing, which had formerly carried their traders to Massilia and Cyrene, to the Nile and to the Black Sea, now firmly held what the king had won; and under the protection of the -sarissae-, Greek civilization peacefully domiciled itself everywhere throughout the ancient empire of the Achaemenidae. The officers, who divided the heritage of the great general, gradually settled their differences, and a system of equilibrium was established, of which the very Oscillations manifest some sort of regularity.

The Great States

Of the three states of the first rank belonging to this system —Macedonia, Asia, and Egypt—Macedonia under Philip the Fifth, who had occupied the throne since 534, was externally at least very much what it had been under Philip the Second the father of Alexander —a compact military state with its finances in good order. On its northern frontier matters had resumed their former footing, after the waves of the Gallic inundation had rolled away; the guard of the frontier kept the Illyrian barbarians in check without difficulty, at least in ordinary times. In the south, not only was Greece in general dependent on Macedonia, but a large portion of it—including all Thessaly in its widest sense from Olympus to the Spercheius and the peninsula of Magnesia, the large and important island of Euboea, the provinces of Locris, Phocis, and Doris, and lastly, a number of isolated positions in Attica and in the Peloponnesus, such as the promontory of Sunium, Corinth, Orchomenus, Heraea, the Triphylian territory—was directly subject to Macedonia and received Macedonian garrisons; more especially the three important fortresses of Demetrias in Magnesia, Chalcis in Euboea, and Corinth, "the three fetters of the Hellenes." But the strength of the state lay above all in its hereditary soil, the province of Macedonia. The population, indeed, of that extensive territory was remarkably scanty; Macedonia, putting forth all her energies, was scarcely able to bring into the field as many men as were contained in an ordinary consular army of two legions; and it was unmistakeably evident that the land had not yet recovered from the depopulation occasioned by the campaigns of Alexander and by the Gallic invasion. But while in Greece proper the moral and political energy of the people had decayed, the day of national vigour seemed to have gone by, life appeared scarce worth living for, and even of the better spirits one spent time over the wine-cup, another with the rapier, a third beside the student's lamp; while in the east and Alexandria the Greeks were able perhaps to disseminate elements of culture among the dense native population and to diffuse among that population their language and their loquacity, their science and pseudo-science, but were barely sufficient in point of number to supply the nations with officers, statesmen, and schoolmasters, and were far too few to form even in the cities middle- class of the pure Greek type; there still existed, or the other hand, in northern Greece a goodly portion of the old national vigour, which had produced the warriors of Marathon. Hence arose the confidence with which the Macedonians, Aetolians, and Acarnanians, wherever they made their appearance in the east, claimed to be, and were taken as, a better race; and hence the superior part which they played at the courts of Alexandria and Antioch. There is a characteristic story, that an Alexandrian who had lived for a considerable time in Macedonia and had adopted the manners and the dress of that country, on returning to his native city, now looked upon himself as a man and upon the Alexandrians as little better than slaves. This sturdy vigour and unimpaired national spirit were turned to peculiarly good account by the Macedonians, as the most powerful and best organized of the states of northern Greece. There, no doubt, absolutism had emerged in opposition to the old constitution, which to some extent recognized different estates; but sovereign and subject by no means stood towards each other in Macedonia as they stood in Asia and Egypt, and the people still felt itself independent and free. In steadfast resistance to the public enemy under whatever name, in unshaken fidelity towards their native country and their hereditary government, and in persevering courage amidst the severest trials, no nation in ancient history bears so close a resemblance to the Roman people as the Macedonians; and the almost miraculous regeneration of the state after the Gallic invasion redounds to the imperishable honour of its leaders and of the people whom they led.


The second of the great states, Asia, was nothing but Persia superficially remodelled and Hellenized—the empire of "the king of kings," as its master was wont to call himself in a style characteristic at once of his arrogance and of his weakness—with the same pretensions to rule from the Hellespont to the Punjab, and with the same disjointed organization; an aggregate of dependent states in various degrees of dependence, of insubordinate satrapies, and of half-free Greek cities. In Asia Minor more especially, which was nominally included in the empire of the Seleucidae, the whole north coast and the greater part of the eastern interior were practically in the hands of native dynasties or of the Celtic hordes that had penetrated thither from Europe; a considerable portion of the west was in the possession of the kings of Pergamus, and the islands and coast towns were some of them Egyptian, some of them free; so that little more was left to the great-king than the interior of Cilicia, Phrygia, and Lydia, and a great number of titular claims, not easily made good, against free cities and princes—exactly similar in character to the sovereignty of the German emperor, in his day, beyond his hereditary dominions. The strength of the empire was expended in vain endeavours to expel the Egyptians from the provinces along the coast; in frontier strife with the eastern peoples, the Parthians and Bactrians; in feuds with the Celts, who to the misfortune of Asia Minor had settled within its bounds; in constant efforts to check the attempts of the eastern satraps and of the Greek cities of Asia Minor to achieve their independence; and in family quarrels and insurrections of pretenders. None indeed of the states founded by the successors of Alexander were free from such attempts, or from the other horrors which absolute monarchy in degenerate times brings in its train; but in the kingdom of Asia these evils were more injurious than elsewhere, because, from the lax composition of the empire, they usually led to the severance of particular portions from it for longer or shorter periods.


In marked contrast to Asia, Egypt formed a consolidated and united state, in which the intelligent statecraft of the first Lagidae, skilfully availing itself of ancient national and religious precedent, had established a completely absolute cabinet government, and in which even the worst misrule failed to provoke any attempt either at emancipation or disruption. Very different from the Macedonians, whose national attachment to royalty was based upon their personal dignity and was its political expression, the rural population in Egypt was wholly passive; the capital on the other hand was everything, and that capital was a dependency of the court. The remissness and indolence of its rulers, accordingly, paralyzed the state in Egypt still more than in Macedonia and in Asia; while on the other hand when wielded by men, like the first Ptolemy and Ptolemy Euergetes, such a state machine proved itself extremely useful. It was one of the peculiar advantages of Egypt as compared with its two great rivals, that its policy did not grasp at shadows, but pursued clear and attainable objects. Macedonia, the home of Alexander, and Asia, the land where he had established his throne, never ceased to regard themselves as direct continuations of the Alexandrine monarchy and more or less loudly asserted their claim to represent it at least, if not to restore it. The Lagidae never tried to found a universal empire, and never dreamt of conquering India; but, by way of compensation, they drew the whole traffic between India and the Mediterranean from the Phoenician ports to Alexandria, and made Egypt the first commercial and maritime state of this epoch, and the mistress of the eastern Mediterranean and of its coasts and islands. It is a significant fact, that Ptolemy III. Euergetes voluntarily restored all his conquests to Seleucus Callinicus except the seaport of Antioch. Partly by this means, partly by its favourable geographical situation, Egypt attained, with reference to the two continental powers, an excellent military position either for defence or for attack. While an opponent even in the full career of success was hardly in a position seriously to threaten Egypt, which was almost inaccessible on any side to land armies, the Egyptians were able by sea to establish themselves not only in Cyrene, but also in Cyprus and the Cyclades, on the Phoenico-Syrian coast, on the whole south and west coast of Asia Minor and even in Europe on the Thracian Chersonese. By their unexampled skill in turning to account the fertile valley of the Nile for the direct benefit of the treasury, and by a financial system—equally sagacious and unscrupulous —earnestly and adroitly calculated to foster material interests, the court of Alexandria was constantly superior to its opponents even as a moneyed power. Lastly, the intelligent munificence, with which the Lagidae welcomed the tendency of the age towards earnest inquiry in all departments of enterprise and of knowledge, and knew how to confine such inquiries within the bounds, and entwine them with the interests, of absolute monarchy, was productive of direct advantage to the state, whose ship-building and machine-making showed traces of the beneficial influence of Alexandrian mathematics; and not only so, but also rendered this new intellectual power—the most important and the greatest, which the Hellenic nation after its political dismemberment put forth—subservient, so far as it would consent to be serviceable at all, to the Alexandrian court. Had the empire of Alexander continued to stand, Greek science and art would have found a state worthy and capable of containing them. Now, when the nation had fallen to pieces, a learned cosmopolitanism grew up in it luxuriantly, and was very soon attracted by the magnet of Alexandria, where scientific appliances and collections were inexhaustible, where kings composed tragedies and ministers wrote commentaries on them, and where pensions and academies flourished.

The mutual relations of the three great states are evident from what has been said. The maritime power, which ruled the coasts and monopolized the sea, could not but after the first great success —the political separation of the European from the Asiatic continent —direct its further efforts towards the weakening of the two great states on the mainland, and consequently towards the protection of the several minor states; whereas Macedonia and Asia, while regarding each other as rivals, recognized above all their common adversary in Egypt, and combined, or at any rate ought to have combined, against it.

The Kingdoms of Asia Minor

Among the states of the second rank, merely an indirect importance, so far as concerned the contact of the east with the west, attached in the first instance to that series of states which, stretching from the southern end of the Caspian Sea to the Hellespont, occupied the interior and the north coast of Asia Minor: Atropatene (in the modern Aderbijan, south-west of the Caspian), next to it Armenia, Cappadocia in the interior of Asia Minor, Pontus on the south-east, and Bithynia on the south-west, shore of the Black Sea. All of these were fragments of the great Persian Empire, and were ruled by Oriental, mostly old Persian, dynasties—the remote mountain-land of Atropatene in particular was the true asylum of the ancient Persian system, over which even the expedition of Alexander had swept without leaving a trace—and all were in the same relation of temporary and superficial dependence on the Greek dynasty, which had taken or wished to take the place of the great-kings in Asia.

The Celts of Asia Minor

Of greater importance for the general relations was the Celtic state in the interior of Asia Minor. There, intermediate between Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Cappadocia, and Phrygia, three Celtic tribes —the Tolistoagii, the Tectosages, and Trocmi—had settled, without abandoning either their native language and manners or their constitution and their trade as freebooters. The twelve tetrarchs, one of whom was appointed to preside over each of the four cantons in each of the three tribes, formed, with their council of 300 men, the supreme authority of the nation, and assembled at the "holy place" (-Drunemetum-), especially for the pronouncing of capital sentences. Singular as this cantonal constitution of the Celts appeared to the Asiatics, equally strange seemed to them the adventurous and marauding habits of the northern intruders, who on the one hand furnished their unwarlike neighbours with mercenaries for every war, and on the other plundered on their own account or levied contributions from the surrounding districts. These rude but vigorous barbarians were the general terror of the effeminate surrounding nations, and even of the great-kings of Asia themselves, who, after several Asiatic armies had been destroyed by the Celts and king Antiochus I. Soter had even lost his life in conflict with them (493), agreed at last to pay them tribute.


In consequence of bold and successful opposition to these Gallic hordes, Attalus, a wealthy citizen of Pergamus, received the royal title from his native city and bequeathed it to his posterity. This new court was in miniature what that of Alexandria was on a great scale. Here too the promotion of material interests and the fostering of art and literature formed the order of the day, and the government pursued a cautious and sober cabinet policy, the main objects of which were the weakening the power of its two dangerous continental neighbours, and the establishing an independent Greek state in the west of Asia Minor. A well-filled treasury contributed greatly to the importance of these rulers of Pergamus. They advanced considerable sums to the kings of Syria, the repayment of which afterwards formed part of the Roman conditions of peace. They succeeded even in acquiring territory in this way; Aegina, for instance, which the allied Romans and Aetolians had wrested in the last war from Philip's allies, the Achaeans, was sold by the Aetolians, to whom it fell in terms of the treaty, to Attalus for 30 talents (7300 pounds). But, notwithstanding the splendour of the court and the royal title, the commonwealth of Pergamus always retained something of the urban character; and in its policy it usually went along with the free cities. Attalus himself, the Lorenzo de' Medici of antiquity, remained throughout life a wealthy burgher; and the family life of the Attalid house, from which harmony and cordiality were not banished by the royal title, formed a striking contrast to the dissolute and scandalous behaviour of more aristocratic dynasties.

Epirots, Acarnanians, Boeotians

In European Greece—exclusive of the Roman possessions on the west coast, in the most important of which, particularly Corcyra, Roman magistrates appear to have resided,(1) and the territory directly subject to Macedonia—the powers more or less in a position to pursue a policy of their own were the Epirots, Acarnanians, and Aetolians in northern Greece, the Boeotians and Athenians in central Greece, and the Achaeans, Lacedaemonians, Messenians, and Eleans in the Peloponnesus. Among these, the republics of the Epirots, Acarnanians, and Boeotians were in various ways closely knit to Macedonia—the Acarnanians more especially, because it was only Macedonian protection that enabled them to escape the destruction with which they were threatened by the Aetolians; none of them were of any consequence. Their internal condition was very various. The state of things may to some extent be illustrated by the fact, that among the Boeotians —where, it is true, matters reached their worst—it had become customary to make over every property, which did not descend to heirs in the direct line, to the -syssitia-; and, in the case of candidates for the public magistracies, for a quarter of a century the primary condition of election was that they should bind themselves not to allow any creditor, least of all a foreign one, to sue his debtor.

The Athenians

The Athenians were in the habit of receiving support against Macedonia from Alexandria, and were in close league with the Aetolians. But they too were totally powerless, and hardly anything save the halo of Attic poetry and art distinguished these unworthy successors of a glorious past from a number of petty towns of the same stamp.

The Aetolians

The power of the Aetolian confederacy manifested a greater vigour. The energy of the northern Greek character was still unbroken there, although it had degenerated into a reckless impatience of discipline and control. It was a public law in Aetolia, that an Aetolian might serve as a mercenary against any state, even against a state in alliance with his own country; and, when the other Greeks urgently besought them to redress this scandal, the Aetolian diet declared that Aetolia might sooner be removed from its place than this principle from their national code. The Aetolians might have been of great service to the Greek nation, had they not inflicted still greater injury on it by this system of organized robbery, by their thorough hostility to the Achaean confederacy, and by their unhappy antagonism to the great state of Macedonia.

The Achaeans

In the Peloponnesus, the Achaean league had united the best elements of Greece proper in a confederacy based on civilization, national spirit, and peaceful preparation for self-defence. But the vigour and more especially the military efficiency of the league had, notwithstanding its outward enlargement, been arrested by the selfish diplomacy of Aratus. The unfortunate variances with Sparta, and the still more lamentable invocation of Macedonian interference in the Peloponnesus, had so completely subjected the Achaean league to Macedonian supremacy, that the chief fortresses of the country thenceforward received Macedonian garrisons, and the oath of fidelity to Philip was annually taken there.

Sparta, Elis, Messene

The policy of the weaker states in the Peloponnesus, Messene, and Sparta, was determined by their ancient enmity to the Achaean league —an enmity specially fostered by disputes regarding their frontiers —and their tendencies were Aetolian and anti-Macedonian, because the Achaeans took part with Philip. The only one of these states possessing any importance was the Spartan military monarchy, which after the death of Machanidas had passed into the hands of one Nabis. With ever-increasing hardihood Nabis leaned on the support of vagabonds and itinerant mercenaries, to whom he assigned not only the houses and lands, but also the wives and children, of the citizens; and he assiduously maintained connections, and even entered into an association for the joint prosecution of piracy, with the great refuge of mercenaries and pirates, the island of Crete, where he possessed some townships. His predatory expeditions by land, and the piratical vessels which he maintained at the promontory of Malea, were dreaded far and wide; he was personally hated for his baseness and cruelty; but his rule was extending, and about the time of the battle of Zama he had even succeeded in gaining possession of Messene.

League of the Greek Cities

Lastly, the most independent position among the intermediate states was held by the free Greek mercantile cities on the European shore of the Propontis as well as along the whole coast of Asia Minor, and on the islands of the Aegean Sea; they formed, at the same time, the brightest elements in the confused and multifarious picture which was presented by the Hellenic state-system. Three of them, in particular, had after Alexander's death again enjoyed their full freedom, and by the activity of their maritime commerce had attained to respectable political power and even to considerable territorial possessions; namely, Byzantium the mistress of the Bosporus, rendered wealthy and powerful by the transit dues which she levied and by the important corn trade carried on with the Black Sea; Cyzicus on the Asiatic side of the Propontis, the daughter and heiress of Miletus, maintaining the closest relations with the court of Pergamus; and lastly and above all, Rhodes. The Rhodians, who immediately after the death of Alexander had expelled the Macedonian garrison had, by their favourable position for commerce and navigation, secured the carrying trade of all the eastern Mediterranean; and their well-handled fleet, as well as the tried courage of the citizens in the famous siege of 450, enabled them in that age of promiscuous and ceaseless hostilities to become the prudent and energetic representatives and, when occasion required, champions of a neutral commercial policy. They compelled the Byzantines, for instance, by force of arms to concede to the vessels of Rhodes exemption from dues in the Bosporus; and they did not permit the dynast of Pergamus to close the Black Sea. On the other hand they kept themselves, as far as possible, aloof from land warfare, although they had acquired no inconsiderable possessions on the opposite coast of Caria; where war could not be avoided, they carried it on by means of mercenaries. With their neighbours on all sides they were in friendly relations—with Syracuse, Macedonia, Syria, but more especially with Egypt—and they enjoyed high consideration at these courts, so that their mediation was not unfrequently invoked in the wars of the great states. But they interested themselves quite specially on behalf of the Greek maritime cities, which were so numerously spread along the coasts of the kingdoms of Pontus, Bithynia, and Pergamus, as well as on the coasts and islands of Asia Minor that had been wrested by Egypt from the Seleucidae; such as Sinope, Heraclea Pontica, Cius, Lampsacus, Abydos, Mitylene, Chios, Smyrna, Samos, Halicarnassus and various others. All these were in substance free and had nothing to do with the lords of the soil except to ask for the confirmation of their privileges and, at most, to pay a moderate tribute: such encroachments, as from time to time were threatened by the dynasts, were skilfully warded off sometimes by cringing, sometimes by strong measures. In this case the Rhodians were their chief auxiliaries; they emphatically supported Sinope, for instance, against Mithradates of Pontus. How firmly amidst the quarrels, and by means of the very differences, of the monarchs the liberties of these cities of Asia Minor were established, is shown by the fact, that the dispute between Antiochus and the Romans some years after this time related not to the freedom of these cities in itself, but to the question whether they were to ask confirmation of their charters from the king or not. This league of the cities was, in this peculiar attitude towards the lords of the soil as well as in other respects, a formal Hanseatic association, headed by Rhodes, which negotiated and stipulated in treaties for itself and its allies. This league upheld the freedom of the cities against monarchical interests; and while wars raged around their walls, public spirit and civic prosperity were sheltered in comparative peace within, and art and science flourished without the risk of being crushed by a dissolute soldiery or corrupted by the atmosphere of a court.

Philip, King of Macedonia

Such was the state of things in the east, at the time when the wall of political separation between the east and the west was broken down and the eastern powers, Philip of Macedonia leading the way, were induced to interfere in the relations of the west. We have already set forth to some extent the origin of this interference and the course of the first Macedonian war (540-549); and we have pointed out what Philip might have accomplished during the second Punic war, and how little of all that Hannibal was entitled to expect and to count on was really fulfilled. A fresh illustration had been afforded of the truth, that of all haphazards none is more hazardous than an absolute hereditary monarchy. Philip was not the man whom Macedonia at that time required; yet his gifts were far from insignificant He was a genuine king, in the best and worst sense of the term. A strong desire to rule in person and unaided was the fundamental trait of his character; he was proud of his purple, but he was no less proud of other gifts, and he had reason to be so. He not only showed the valour of a soldier and the eye of a general, but he displayed a high spirit in the conduct of public affairs, whenever his Macedonian sense of honour was offended. Full of intelligence and wit, he won the hearts of all whom he wished to gain, especially of the men who were ablest and most refined, such as Flamininus and Scipio; he was a pleasant boon companion and, not by virtue of his rank alone, a dangerous wooer. But he was at the same time one of the most arrogant and flagitious characters, which that shameless age produced. He was in the habit of saying that he feared none save the gods; but it seemed almost as if his gods were those to whom his admiral Dicaearchus regularly offered sacrifice—Godlessness (-Asebeia-) and Lawlessness (-Paranomia-). The lives of his advisers and of the promoters of his schemes possessed no sacredness in his eyes, nor did he disdain to pacify his indignation against the Athenians and Attalus by the destruction of venerable monuments and illustrious works of art; it is quoted as one of his maxims of state, that "whoever causes the father to be put to death must also kill the sons." It may be that to him cruelty was not, strictly, a delight; but he was indifferent to the lives and sufferings of others, and relenting, which alone renders men tolerable, found no place in his hard and stubborn heart. So abruptly and harshly did he proclaim the principle that no promise and no moral law are binding on an absolute king, that he thereby interposed the most serious obstacles to the success of his plans. No one can deny that he possessed sagacity and resolution, but these were, in a singular manner, combined with procrastination and supineness; which is perhaps partly to be explained by the fact, that he was called in his eighteenth year to the position of an absolute sovereign, and that his ungovernable fury against every one who disturbed his autocratic course by counter-argument or counter-advice scared away from him all independent counsellors. What various causes cooperated to produce the weak and disgraceful management which he showed in the first Macedonian war, we cannot tell; it may have been due perhaps to that indolent arrogance which only puts forth its full energies against danger when it becomes imminent, or perhaps to his indifference towards a plan which was not of his own devising and his jealousy of the greatness of Hannibal which put him to shame. It is certain that his subsequent conduct betrayed no further trace of the Philip, through whose negligence the plan of Hannibal suffered shipwreck.

Macedonia and Asia Attack Egypt

When Philip concluded his treaty with the Aetolians and Romans in 548-9, he seriously intended to make a lasting peace with Rome, and to devote himself exclusively in future to the affairs of the east. It admits of no doubt that he saw with regret the rapid subjugation of Carthage; and it may be, that Hannibal hoped for a second declaration of war from Macedonia, and that Philip secretly reinforced the last Carthaginian army with mercenaries.(2) But the tedious affairs in which he had meanwhile involved himself in the east, as well as the nature of the alleged support, and especially the total silence of the Romans as to such a breach of the peace while they were searching for grounds of war, place it beyond doubt, that Philip was by no means disposed in 551 to make up for what he ought to have done ten years before. He had turned his eyes to an entirely different quarter.

Ptolemy Philopator of Egypt had died in 549. Philip and Antiochus, the kings of Macedonia and Asia, had combined against his successor Ptolemy Epiphanes, a child of five years old, in order completely to gratify the ancient grudge which the monarchies of the mainland entertained towards the maritime state. The Egyptian state was to be broken up; Egypt and Cyprus were to fall to Antiochus Cyrene, Ionia, and the Cyclades to Philip. Thoroughly after the manner of Philip, who ridiculed such considerations, the kings began the war not merely without cause but even without pretext, "just as the large fishes devour the small." The allies, moreover, had made their calculations correctly, especially Philip. Egypt had enough to do in defending herself against the nearer enemy in Syria, and was obliged to leave her possessions in Asia Minor and the Cyclades undefended when Philip threw himself upon these as his share of the spoil. In the year in which Carthage concluded peace with Rome (553), Philip ordered a fleet equipped by the towns subject to him to take on board troops, and to sail along the coast of Thrace. There Lysimachia was taken from the Aetolian garrison, and Perinthus, which stood in the relation of clientship to Byzantium, was likewise occupied. Thus the peace was broken as respected the Byzantines; and as respected the Aetolians, who had just made peace with Philip, the good understanding was at least disturbed. The crossing to Asia was attended with no difficulties, for Prusias king of Bithynia was in alliance with Macedonia. By way of recompense, Philip helped him to subdue the Greek mercantile cities in his territory. Chalcedon submitted. Cius, which resisted, was taken by storm and levelled with the ground, and its inhabitants were reduced to slavery—a meaningless barbarity, which annoyed Prusias himself who wished to get possession of the town uninjured, and which excited profound indignation throughout the Hellenic world. The Aetolians, whose -strategus- had commanded in Cius, and the Rhodians, whose attempts at mediation had been contemptuously and craftily frustrated by the king, were especially offended.

The Rhodian Hansa and Pergamus Oppose Philip

But even had this not been so, the interests of all Greek commercial cities were at stake. They could not possibly allow the mild and almost purely nominal Egyptian rule to be supplanted by the Macedonian despotism, with which urban self-government and freedom of commercial intercourse were not at all compatible; and the fearful treatment of the Cians showed that the matter at stake was not the right of confirming the charters of the towns, but the life or death of one and all. Lampsacus had already fallen, and Thasos had been treated like Cius; no time was to be lost. Theophiliscus, the vigilant -strategus- of Rhodes, exhorted his citizens to meet the common danger by common resistance, and not to suffer the towns and islands to become one by one a prey to the enemy. Rhodes resolved on its course, and declared war against Philip. Byzantium joined it; as did also the aged Attalus king of Pergamus, personally and politically the enemy of Philip. While the fleet of the allies was mustering on the Aeolian coast, Philip directed a portion of his fleet to take Chios and Samos. With the other portion he appeared in person before Pergamus, which however he invested in vain; he had to content himself with traversing the level country and leaving the traces of Macedonian valour on the temples which he destroyed far and wide. Suddenly he departed and re-embarked, to unite with his squadron which was at Samos. But the Rhodo-Pergamene fleet followed him, and forced him to accept battle in the straits of Chios. The number of the Macedonian decked vessels was smaller, but the multitude of their open boats made up for this inequality, and the soldiers of Philip fought with great courage. But he was at length defeated. Almost half of his decked vessels, 24 sail, were sunk or taken; 6000 Macedonian sailors and 3000 soldiers perished, amongst whom was the admiral Democrates; 2000 were taken prisoners. The victory cost the allies no more than 800 men and six vessels. But, of the leaders of the allies, Attalus had been cut off from his fleet and compelled to let his own vessel run aground at Erythrae; and Theophiliscus of Rhodes, whose public spirit had decided the question of war and whose valour had decided the battle, died on the day after it of his wounds. Thus while the fleet of Attalus went home and the Rhodian fleet remained temporarily at Chios, Philip, who falsely ascribed the victory to himself, was able to continue his voyage and to turn towards Samos, in order to occupy the Carian towns. On the Carian coast the Rhodians, not on this occasion supported by Attalus, gave battle for the second time to the Macedonian fleet under Heraclides, near the little island of Lade in front of the port of Miletus. The victory, claimed again by both sides, appears to have been this time gained by the Macedonians; for while the Rhodians retreated to Myndus and thence to Cos, the Macedonians occupied Miletus, and a squadron under Dicaearchus the Aetolian occupied the Cyclades. Philip meanwhile prosecuted the conquest of the Rhodian possessions on the Carian mainland, and of the Greek cities: had he been disposed to attack Ptolemy in person, and had he not preferred to confine himself to the acquisition of his own share in the spoil, he would now have been able to think even of an expedition to Egypt. In Caria no army confronted the Macedonians, and Philip traversed without hindrance the country from Magnesia to Mylasa; but every town in that country was a fortress, and the siege-warfare was protracted without yielding or promising any considerable results. Zeuxis the satrap of Lydia supported the ally of his master with the same lukewarmness as Philip had manifested in promoting the interests of the Syrian king, and the Greek cities gave their support only under the pressure of fear or force. The provisioning of the army became daily more difficult; Philip was obliged today to plunder those who but yesterday had voluntarily supplied his wants, and then he had reluctantly to submit to beg afresh. Thus the good season of the year gradually drew to an end, and in the interval the Rhodians had reinforced their fleet and had also been rejoined by that of Attalus, so that they were decidedly superior at sea. It seemed almost as if they might cut off the retreat of the king and compel him to take up winter quarters in Caria, while the state of affairs at home, particularly the threatened intervention of the Aetolians and Romans, urgently demanded his return. Philip saw the danger; he left garrisons amounting together to 3000 men, partly in Myrina to keep Pergamus in check, partly in the petty towns round Mylasa—Iassus, Bargylia, Euromus and Pedasa —to secure for him the excellent harbour and a landing place in Caria; and, owing to the negligence with which the allies guarded the sea, he succeeded in safely reaching the Thracian coast with his fleet and arriving at home before the winter of 553-4.

Diplomatic Intervention of Rome

In fact a storm was gathering against Philip in the west, which did not permit him to continue the plundering of defenceless Egypt. The Romans, who had at length in this year concluded peace on their own terms with Carthage, began to give serious attention to these complications in the east. It has often been affirmed, that after the conquest of the west they forthwith proceeded to the subjugation of the east; a serious consideration will lead to a juster judgment. It is only dull prejudice which fails to see that Rome at this period by no means grasped at the sovereignty of the Mediterranean states, but, on the contrary, desired nothing further than to have neighbours that should not be dangerous in Africa and in Greece; and Macedonia was not really dangerous to Rome. Its power certainly was far from small, and it is evident that the Roman senate only consented with reluctance to the peace of 548-9, which left it in all its integrity; but how little any serious apprehensions of Macedonia were or could be entertained in Rome, is best shown by the small number of troops—who yet were never compelled to fight against a superior force—with which Rome carried on the next war. The senate doubtless would have gladly seen Macedonia humbled; but that humiliation would be too dearly purchased at the cost of a land war carried on in Macedonia with Roman troops; and accordingly, after the withdrawal of the Aetolians, the senate voluntarily concluded peace at once on the basis of the -status quo-. It is therefore far from made out, that the Roman government concluded this peace with the definite design of beginning the war at a more convenient season; and it is very certain that, at the moment, from the thorough exhaustion of the state and the extreme unwillingness of the citizens to enter into a second transmarine struggle, the Macedonian war was in a high degree unwelcome to the Romans. But now it was inevitable. They might have acquiesced in the Macedonian state as a neighbour, such as it stood in 549; but it was impossible that they could permit it to acquire the best part of Asiatic Greece and the important Cyrene, to crush the neutral commercial states, and thereby to double its power. Further, the fall of Egypt and the humiliation, perhaps the subjugation, of Rhodes would have inflicted deep wounds on the trade of Sicily and Italy; and could Rome remain a quiet spectator, while Italian commerce with the east was made dependent on the two great continental powers? Rome had, moreover, an obligation of honour to fulfil towards Attalus her faithful ally since the first Macedonian war, and had to prevent Philip, who had already besieged him in his capital, from expelling him from his dominions. Lastly, the claim of Rome to extend her protecting arm over all the Hellenes was by no means an empty phrase: the citizens of Neapolis, Rhegium, Massilia, and Emporiae could testify that that protection was meant in earnest, and there is no question at all that at this time the Romans stood in a closer relation to the Greeks than any other nation—one little more remote than that of the Hellenized Macedonians. It is strange that any should dispute the right of the Romans to feel their human, as well as their Hellenic, sympathies revolted at the outrageous treatment of the Cians and Thasians.

Preparations and Pretexts for Second Macedonian War

Thus in reality all political, commercial, and moral motives concurred in inducing Rome to undertake the second war against Philip—one of the most righteous, which the city ever waged. It greatly redounds to the honour of the senate, that it immediately resolved on its course and did not allow itself to be deterred from making the necessary preparations either by the exhaustion of the state or by the unpopularity of such a declaration of war. The propraetor Marcus Valerius Laevinus made his appearance as early as 553 with the Sicilian fleet of 38 sail in the eastern waters. The government, however, were at a loss to discover an ostensible pretext for the war; a pretext which they needed in order to satisfy the people, even although they had not been far too sagacious to undervalue, as was the manner of Philip, the importance of assigning a legitimate ground for hostilities. The support, which Philip was alleged to have granted to the Carthaginians after the peace with Rome, manifestly could not be proved. The Roman subjects, indeed, in the province of Illyria had for a considerable time complained of the Macedonian encroachments. In 551 a Roman envoy at the head of the Illyrian levy had driven Philip's troops from the Illyrian territory; and the senate had accordingly declared to the king's envoys in 552, that if he sought war, he would find it sooner than was agreeable to him. But these encroachments were simply the ordinary outrages which Philip practised towards his neighbours; a negotiation regarding them at the present moment would have led to his humbling himself and offering satisfaction, but not to war. With all the belligerent powers in the east the Roman community was nominally in friendly relations, and might have granted them aid in repelling Philip's attack. But Rhodes and Pergamus, which naturally did not fail to request Roman aid, were formally the aggressors; and although Alexandrian ambassadors besought the Roman senate to undertake the guardianship of the boy king, Egypt appears to have been by no means eager to invoke the direct intervention of the Romans, which would put an end to her difficulties for the moment, but would at the same time open up the eastern sea to the great western power. Aid to Egypt, moreover, must have been in the first instance rendered in Syria, and would have entangled Rome simultaneously in a war with Asia and with Macedonia; which the Romans were naturally the more desirous to avoid, as they were firmly resolved not to intermeddle at least in Asiatic affairs. No course was left but to despatch in the meantime an embassy to the east for the purpose, first, of obtaining—what was not in the circumstances difficult—the sanction of Egypt to the interference of the Romans in the affairs of Greece; secondly, of pacifying king Antiochus by abandoning Syria to him; and, lastly, of accelerating as much as possible a breach with Philip and promoting a coalition of the minor Graeco-Asiatic states against him (end of 553). At Alexandria they had no difficulty in accomplishing their object; the court had no choice, and was obliged gratefully to receive Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, whom the senate had despatched as "guardian of the king" to uphold his interests, so far as that could be done without an actual intervention. Antiochus did not break off his alliance with Philip, nor did he give to the Romans the definite explanations which they desired; in other respects, however—whether from remissness, or influenced by the declarations of the Romans that they did not wish to interfere in Syria—he pursued his schemes in that direction and left things in Greece and Asia Minor to take their course.

Progress of the War

Meanwhile, the spring of 554 had arrived, and the war had recommenced. Philip first threw himself once more upon Thrace, where he occupied all the places on the coast, in particular Maronea, Aenus, Elaeus, and Sestus; he wished to have his European possessions secured against the risk of a Roman landing. He then attacked Abydus on the Asiatic coast, the acquisition of which could not but be an object of importance to him, for the possession of Sestus and Abydus would bring him into closer connection with his ally Antiochus, and he would no longer need to be apprehensive lest the fleet of the allies might intercept him in crossing to or from Asia Minor. That fleet commanded the Aegean Sea after the withdrawal of the weaker Macedonian squadron: Philip confined his operations by sea to maintaining garrisons on three of the Cyclades, Andros, Cythnos, and Paros, and fitting out privateers. The Rhodians proceeded to Chios, and thence to Tenedos, where Attalus, who had passed the winter at Aegina and had spent his time in listening to the declamations of the Athenians, joined them with his squadron. The allies might probably have arrived in time to help the Abydenes, who heroically defended themselves; but they stirred not, and so at length the city surrendered, after almost all who were capable of bearing arms had fallen in the struggle before the walls. After the capitulation a large portion of the inhabitants fell by their own hand—the mercy of the victor consisted in allowing the Abydenes a term of three days to die voluntarily. Here, in the camp before Abydus. the Roman embassy, which after the termination of its business in Syria and Egypt had visited and dealt with the minor Greek states, met with the king, and submitted the proposals which it had been charged to make by the senate, viz. that the king should wage no aggressive war against any Greek state, should restore the possessions which he had wrested from Ptolemy, and should consent to an arbitration regarding the injury inflicted on the Pergamenes and Rhodians. The object of the senate, which sought to provoke the king to a formal declaration of war, was not gained; the Roman ambassador, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, obtained from the king nothing but the polite reply that he would excuse what the envoy had said because he was young, handsome, and a Roman.

Meanwhile, however, the occasion for declaring war, which Rome desired, had been furnished from another quarter. The Athenians in their silly and cruel vanity had put to death two unfortunate Acarnanians, because these had accidentally strayed into their mysteries. When the Acarnanians, who were naturally indignant, asked Philip to procure them satisfaction, he could not refuse the just request of his most faithful allies, and he allowed them to levy men in Macedonia and, with these and their own troops, to invade Attica without a formal declaration of war. This, it is true, was no war in the proper sense of the term; and, besides, the leader of the Macedonian band, Nicanor, immediately gave orders to his troops to retreat, when the Roman envoys, who were at Athens at the time, used threatening language (in the end of 553). But it was too late. An Athenian embassy was sent to Rome to report the attack made by Philip on an ancient ally of the Romans; and, from the way in which the senate received it, Philip saw clearly what awaited him; so that he at once, in the very spring of 554, directed Philocles, his general in Greece, to lay waste the Attic territory and to reduce the city to extremities.

Declaration of War by Rome

The senate now had what they wanted; and in the summer of 554 they were able to propose to the comitia a declaration of war "on account of an attack on a state in alliance with Rome." It was rejected on the first occasion almost unanimously: foolish or evil-disposed tribunes of the people complained of the senate, which would allow the citizens no rest; but the war was necessary and, in strictness, was already begun, so that the senate could not possibly recede. The burgesses were induced to yield by representations and concessions. It is remarkable that these concessions were made mainly at the expense of the allies. The garrisons of Gaul, Lower Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia, amounting in all to 20,000 men, were exclusively taken from the allied contingents that were in active service—quite contrary to the former principles of the Romans. All the burgess troops, on the other hand, that had continued under arms from the Hannibalic war, were discharged; volunteers alone, it was alleged, were to be enrolled for the Macedonian war, but they were, as was afterwards found, for the most part forced volunteers—a fact which in the autumn of 555 called forth a dangerous military revolt in the camp of Apollonia. Six legions were formed of the men newly called out; of these two remained in Rome and two in Etruria, and only two embarked at Brundisium for Macedonia, led by the consul Publius Sulpicius Galba.

Thus it was once more clearly demonstrated, that the sovereign burgess assemblies, with their shortsighted resolutions dependent often on mere accident, were no longer at all fitted to deal with the complicated and difficult relations into which Rome was drawn by her victories; and that their mischievous intervention in the working of the state machine led to dangerous modifications of the measures which in a military point of were necessary, and to the still more dangerous course of treating the Latin allies as inferiors.

The Roman League

The position of Philip was very disadvantageous. The eastern states, which ought to have acted in unison against all interference of Rome and probably under other circumstances would have so acted, had been mainly by Philip's fault so incensed at each other, that they were not inclined to hinder, or were inclined even to promote, the Roman invasion. Asia, the natural and most important ally of Philip, had been neglected by him, and was moreover prevented at first from active interference by being entangled in the quarrel with Egypt and the Syrian war. Egypt had an urgent interest in keeping the Roman fleet out of the eastern waters; even now an Egyptian embassy intimated at Rome very plainly, that the court of Alexandria was ready to relieve the Romans from the trouble of intervention in Attica. But the treaty for the partition of Egypt concluded between Asia and Macedonia threw that important state thoroughly into the arms of Rome, and compelled the cabinet of Alexandria to declare that it would only intermeddle in the affairs of European Greece with consent of the Romans. The Greek commercial cities, with Rhodes, Pergamus, and Byzantium at their head, were in a position similar, but of still greater perplexity. They would under other circumstances have beyond doubt done what they could to close the eastern seas against the Romans; but the cruel and destructive policy of conquest pursued by Philip had driven them to an unequal struggle, in which for their self-preservation they were obliged to use every effort to implicate the great Italian power. In Greece proper also the Roman envoys, who were commissioned to organize a second league against Philip there, found the way already substantially paved for them by the enemy. Of the anti-Macedonian party—the Spartans, Eleans, Athenians, and Aetolians—Philip might perhaps have gained the latter, for the peace of 548 had made a deep, and far from healed, breach in their friendly Alliance with Rome; but apart from the old differences which subsisted between Aetolia and Macedonia regarding the Thessalian towns withdrawn by Macedonia from the Aetolian confederacy—Echinus, Larissa Cremaste, Pharsalus, and Thebes in Phthiotis—the expulsion of the Aetolian garrisons from Lysimachia and Cius had produced fresh exasperation against Philip in the minds of the Aetolians. If they delayed to join the league against him, the chief reason doubtless was the ill-feeling that continued to prevail between them and the Romans.

It was a circumstance still more ominous, that even among the Greek states firmly attached to the interests of Macedonia—the Epirots, Acarnanians, Boeotians, and Achaeans—the Acarnanians and Boeotians alone stood steadfastly by Philip. With the Epirots the Roman envoys negotiated not without success; Amynander, king of the Athamanes, in particular closely attached himself to Rome. Even among the Achaeans, Philip had offended many by the murder of Aratus; while on the other hand he had thereby paved the way for a more free development of the confederacy. Under the leadership of Philopoemen (502-571, for the first time -strategus- in 546) it had reorganized its military system, recovered confidence in itself by successful conflicts with Sparta, and no longer blindly followed, as in the time of Aratus, the policy of Macedonia. The Achaean league, which had to expect neither profit nor immediate injury from the thirst of Philip for aggrandizement, alone in all Hellas looked at this war from an impartial and national- Hellenic point of view. It perceived—what there was no difficulty in perceiving—that the Hellenic nation was thereby surrendering itself to the Romans even before these wished or desired its surrender, and attempted accordingly to mediate between Philip and the Rhodians; but it was too late. The national patriotism, which had formerly terminated the federal war and had mainly contributed to bring about the first war between Macedonia and Rome, was extinguished the Achaean mediation remained fruitless, and in vain Philip visited the cities and islands to rekindle the zeal of the nation—its apathy was the Nemesis for Cius and Abydus. The Achaeans, as they could effect no change and were not disposed to render help to either party, remained neutral.

Landing of the Romans in Macedonia

In the autumn of 554 the consul, Publius Sulpicius Galba, landed with his two legions and 1000 Numidian cavalry accompanied even by elephants derived from the spoils of Carthage, at Apollonia; on receiving accounts of which the king returned in haste from the Hellespont to Thessaly. But, owing partly to the far-advanced season, partly to the sickness of the Roman general, nothing was undertaken by land that year except a reconnaissance in force, in the course of which the townships in the vicinity, and in particular the Macedonian colony Antipatria, were occupied by the Romans. For the next year a joint attack on Macedonia was concerted with the northern barbarians, especially with Pleuratus, the then ruler of Scodra, and Bato, prince of the Dardani, who of course were eager to profit by the favourable opportunity.

More importance attached to the enterprises of the Roman fleet, which numbered 100 decked and 80 light vessels. While the rest of the ships took their station for the winter at Corcyra, a division under Gaius Claudius Cento proceeded to the Piraeeus to render assistance to the hard-pressed Athenians. But, as Cento found the Attic territory already sufficiently protected against the raids of the Corinthian garrison and the Macedonian corsairs, he sailed on and appeared suddenly before Chalcis in Euboea, the chief stronghold of Philip in Greece, where his magazines, stores of arms, and prisoners were kept, and where the commandant Sopater was far from expecting a Roman attack. The undefended walls were scaled, and the garrison was put to death; the prisoners were liberated and the stores were burnt; unfortunately, there was a want of troops to hold the important position. On receiving news of this invasion, Philip immediately in vehement indignation started from Demetrias in Thessaly for Chalcis, and when he found no trace of the enemy there save the scene of ruin, he went on to Athens to retaliate. But his attempt to surprise the city was a failure, and even the assault was in vain, greatly as the king exposed his life; the approach of Gaius Claudius from the Piraeeus, and of Attalus from Aegina, compelled him to depart. Philip still tarried for some time in Greece; but in a political and in a military point of view his successes were equally insignificant. In vain he tried to induce the Achaeans to take up arms in his behalf; and equally fruitless were his attacks on Eleusis and the Piraeeus, as well as a second attempt on Athens itself. Nothing remained for him but to gratify his natural exasperation in an unworthy manner by laying waste the country and destroying the trees of Academus, and then to return to the north.

Attempt of the Romans to Invade Macedonia

Thus the winter passed away. With the spring of 555 the proconsul Publius Sulpicius broke up from his winter camp, determined to conduct his legions from Apollonia by the shortest route into Macedonia proper. This principal attack from the west was to be supported by three subordinate attacks; on the north by an invasion of the Dardani and Illyrians; on the east by an attack on the part of the combined fleet of the Romans and allies, which assembled at Aegina; while lastly the Athamanes, and the Aetolians also, if the attempt to induce them to share in the struggle should prove successful, were to advance from the south. After Galba had crossed the mountains pierced by the Apsus (now the Beratind), and had marched through the fertile plain of Dassaretia, he reached the mountain range which separates Illyria from Macedonia, and crossing it, entered the proper Macedonian territory. Philip had marched to meet him; but in the extensive and thinly- peopled regions of Macedonia the antagonists for a time sought each other in vain; at length they met in the province of Lyncestis, a fertile but marshy plain not far from the north-western frontier, and encamped not 1000 paces apart. Philip's army, after he had been joined by the corps detached to occupy the northern passes, numbered about 20,000 infantry and 2000 cavalry; the Roman army was nearly as strong. The Macedonians however had the great advantage, that, fighting in their native land and well acquainted with its highways and byways, they had little trouble in procuring supplies of provisions, while they had encamped so close to the Romans that the latter could not venture to disperse for any extensive foraging. The consul repeatedly offered battle, but the king persisted in declining it; and the combats between the light troops, although the Romans gained some advantages in them, produced no material alteration. Galba was obliged to break up his camp and to pitch another eight miles off at Octolophus, where he conceived that he could more easily procure supplies. But here too the divisions sent out were destroyed by the light troops and cavalry of the Macedonians; the legions were obliged to come to their help, whereupon the Macedonian vanguard, which had advanced too far, were driven back to their camp with heavy loss; the king himself lost his horse in the action, and only saved his life through the magnanimous self-devotion of one of his troopers. From this perilous position the Romans were liberated through the better success of the subordinate attacks which Galba had directed the allies to make, or rather through the weakness of the Macedonian forces. Although Philip had instituted levies as large as possible in his own dominions, and had enlisted Roman deserters and other mercenaries, he had not been able to bring into the field (over and above the garrisons in Asia Minor and Thrace) more than the army, with which in person he confronted the consul; and besides, in order to form even this, he had been obliged to leave the northern passes in the Pelagonian territory undefended. For the protection of the east coast he relied partly on the orders which he had given for the laying waste of the islands of Sciathus and Peparethus, which might have furnished a station to the enemy's fleet, partly on the garrisoning of Thasos and the coast and on the fleet organized at Demetrias under Heraclides. For the south frontier be had been obliged to reckon solely upon the more than doubtful neutrality of the Aetolians. These now suddenly joined the league against Macedonia, and immediately in conjunction with the Athamanes penetrated into Thessaly, while simultaneously the Dardani and Illyrians overran the northern provinces, and the Roman fleet under Lucius Apustius, departing from Corcyra, appeared in the eastern waters, where the ships of Attalus, the Rhodians, and the Istrians joined it.

Philip, on learning this, voluntarily abandoned his position and retreated in an easterly direction: whether he did so in order to repel the probably unexpected invasion of the Aetolians, or to draw the Roman army after him with a view to its destruction, or to take either of these courses according to circumstances, cannot well be determined. He managed his retreat so dexterously that Galba, who adopted the rash resolution of following him, lost his track, and Philip was enabled to reach by a flank movement, and to occupy, the narrow pass which separates the provinces of Lyncestis and Eordaea, with the view of awaiting the Romans and giving them a warm reception there. A battle took place on the spot which he had selected; but the long Macedonian spears proved unserviceable on the wooded and uneven ground. The Macedonians were partly turned, partly broken, and lost many men.

Return of the Romans

But, although Philip's army was after this unfortunate action no longer able to prevent the advance of the Romans, the latter were themselves afraid to encounter further unknown dangers in an impassable and hostile country; and returned to Apollonia, after they had laid waste the fertile provinces of Upper Macedonia—Eordaea, Elymaea, and Orestis. Celetrum, the most considerable town of Orestis (now Kastoria, on a peninsula in the lake of the same name), had surrendered to them: it was the only Macedonian town that opened its gates to the Romans. In the Illyrian land Pelium, the city of the Dassaretae, on the upper confluents of the Apsus, was taken by storm and strongly garrisoned to serve as a future basis for a similar expedition.

Philip did not disturb the Roman main army in its retreat, but turned by forced marches against the Aetolians and Athamanians who, in the belief that the legions were occupying the attention of the king, were fearlessly and recklessly plundering the rich vale of the Peneius, defeated them completely, and compelled such as did not fall to make their escape singly through the well-known mountain paths. The effective strength of the confederacy was not a little diminished by this defeat, and not less by the numerous enlistments made in Aetolia on Egyptian account. The Dardani were chased back over the mountains by Athena-goras, the leader of Philip's light troops, without difficulty and with severe loss. The Roman fleet also did not accomplish much; it expelled the Macedonian garrison from Andros, punished Euboea and Sciathus, and then made attempts on the Chalcidian peninsula, which were, however, vigorously repulsed by the Macedonian garrison at Mende. The rest of the summer was spent in the capture of Oreus in Euboea, which was long delayed by the resolute defence of the Macedonian garrison. The weak Macedonian fleet under Heraclides remained inactive at Heraclea, and did not venture to dispute the possession of the sea with the enemy. The latter went early to winter quarters, the Romans proceeding to the Piraeeus and Corcyra, the Rhodians and Pergamenes going home.

Philip might on the whole congratulate himself upon the results of this campaign. The Roman troops, after an extremely troublesome campaign, stood in autumn precisely on the spot whence they had started in spring; and, but for the well-timed interposition of the Aetolians and the unexpected success of the battle at the pass of Eordaea, perhaps not a man of their entire force would have again seen the Roman territory. The fourfold offensive had everywhere failed in its object, and not only did Philip in autumn see his whole dominions cleared of the enemy, but he was able to make an attempt—which, however, miscarried—to wrest from the Aetolians the strong town of Thaumaci, situated on the Aetolo-Thessalian frontier and commanding the plain of the Peneius. If Antiochus, for whose coming Philip vainly supplicated the gods, should unite with him in the next campaign, he might anticipate great successes. For a moment it seemed as if Antiochus was disposed to do so; his army appeared in Asia Minor, and occupied some townships of king Attalus, who requested military protection from the Romans. The latter, however, were not anxious to urge the great-king at this time to a breach: they sent envoys, who in fact obtained an evacuation of the dominions of Attalus. From that quarter Philip had nothing to hope for.

Philip Encamps on the Aous
Philip Driven Back to Tempe
Greece in the Power of the Romans

But the fortunate issue of the last campaign had so raised the courage or the arrogance of Philip, that, after having assured himself afresh of the neutrality of the Achaeans and the fidelity of the Macedonians by the sacri fice of some strong places and of the detested admiral Heraclides, he next spring (556) assumed the offensive and advanced into the territory of the Atintanes, with a view to form a well- entrenched camp in the narrow pass, where the Aous (Viosa) winds its way between the mountains Aeropus and Asnaus. Opposite to him encamped the Roman army reinforced by new arrivals of troops, and commanded first by the consul of the previous year, Publius Villius, and then from the summer of 556 by that year's consul, Titus Quinctius Flamininus. Flamininus, a talented man just thirty years of age, belonged to the younger generation who began to lay aside the patriotism as well as the habits of their forefathers and, though not unmindful of their fatherland, were still more mindful of themselves and of Hellenism. A skilful officer and a better diplomatist, he was in many respects admirably adapted for the management of the troubled affairs of Greece. Yet it would perhaps have been better both for Rome and for Greece, if the choice had fallen on one less full of Hellenic sympathies, and if the general despatched thither had been a man, who would neither have been bribed by delicate flattery nor stung by pungent sarcasm; who would not amidst literary and artistic reminiscences have overlooked the pitiful condition of the constitutions of the Hellenic states; and who, while treating Hellas according to its deserts, would have spared the Romans the trouble of striving after unattainable ideals.

The new commander-in-chief immediately had a conference with the king, while the two armies lay face to face inactive. Philip made proposals of peace; he offered to restore all his own conquests, and to submit to an equitable arbitration regarding the damage inflicted on the Greek cities; but the negotiations broke down, when he was asked to give up ancient possessions of Macedonia and particularly Thessaly. For forty days the two armies lay in the narrow pass of the Aous; Philip would not retire, and Flamininus could not make up his mind whether he should order an assault, or leave the king alone and reattempt the expedition of the previous year. At length the Roman general was helped out of his perplexity by the treachery of some men of rank among the Epirots—who were otherwise well disposed to Macedonia—and especially of Charops. They conducted a Roman corps of 4000 infantry and 300 cavalry by mountain paths to the heights above the Macedonian camp; and, when the consul attacked the enemy's army in front, the advance of that Roman division, unexpectedly descending from the mountains commanding the position, decided the battle. Philip lost his camp and entrenchments and nearly 2000 men, and hastily retreated to the pass of Tempe, the gate of Macedonia proper. He gave up everything which he had held except the fortresses; the Thessalian towns, which he could not defend, he himself destroyed; Pherae alone closed its gates against him and thereby escaped destruction. The Epirots, induced partly by these successes of the Roman arms, partly by the judicious moderation of Flamininus, were the first to secede from the Macedonian alliance. On the first accounts of the Roman victory the Athamanes and Aetolians immediately invaded Thessaly, and the Romans soon followed; the open country was easily overrun, but the strong towns, which were friendly to Macedonia and received support from Philip, fell only after a brave resistance or withstood even the superior foe—especially Atrax on the left bank of the Peneius, where the phalanx stood in the breach as a substitute for the wall. Except these Thessalian fortresses and the territory of the faithful Acarnanians, all northern Greece was thus in the hands of the coalition.

The Achaeans Enter into Alliance with Rome

The south, on the other hand, was still in the main retained under the power of Macedonia by the fortresses of Chalcis and Corinth, which maintained communication with each other through the territory of the Boeotians who were friendly to the Macedonians, and by the Achaean neutrality; and as it was too late to advance into Macedonia this year, Flamininus resolved to direct his land army and fleet in the first place against Corinth and the Achaeans. The fleet, which had again been joined by the Rhodian and Pergamene ships, had hitherto been employed in the capture and pillage of two of the smaller towns in Euboea, Eretria and Carystus; both however, as well as Oreus, were thereafter abandoned, and reoccupied by Philocles the Macedonian commandant of Chalcis. The united fleet proceeded thence to Cenchreae, the eastern port of Corinth, to threaten that strong fortress. On the other side Flamininus advanced into Phocis and occupied the country, in which Elatea alone sustained a somewhat protracted siege: this district, and Anticyra in particular on the Corinthian gulf, were chosen as winter quarters. The Achaeans, who thus saw on the one hand the Roman legions approaching and on the other the Roman fleet already on their own coast, abandoned their morally honourable, but politically untenable, neutrality. After the deputies from the towns most closely attached to Macedonia —Dyme, Megalopolis, and Argos—had left the diet, it resolved to join the coalition against Philip. Cycliades and other leaders of the Macedonian party went into exile; the troops of the Achaeans immediately united with the Roman fleet and hastened to invest Corinth by land, which city—the stronghold of Philip against the Achaeans —had been guaranteed to them on the part of Rome in return for their joining the coalition. Not only, however, did the Macedonian garrison, which was 1300 strong and consisted chiefly of Italian deserters, defend with determination the almost impregnable city, but Philocles also arrived from Chalcis with a division of 1500 men, which not only relieved Corinth but also invaded the territory of the Achaeans and, in concert with the citizens who were favourable to Macedonia, wrested from them Argos. But the recompense of such devotedness was, that the king delivered over the faithful Argives to the reign of terror of Nabis of Sparta. Philip hoped, after the accession of the Achaeans to the Roman coalition, to gain over Nabis who had hitherto been the ally of the Romans; for his chief reason for joining the Roman alliance had been that he was opposed to the Achaeans and since 550 was even at open war with them. But the affairs of Philip were in too desperate a condition for any one to feel satisfaction in joining his side now. Nabis indeed accepted Argos from Philip, but he betrayed the traitor and remained in alliance with Flamininus, who, in his perplexity at being now allied with two powers that were at war with each other, had in the meantime arranged an armistice of four months between the Spartans and Achaeans.

Vain Attempts to Arrange a Peace

Thus winter came on; and Philip once more availed himself of it to obtain if possible an equitable peace. At a conference held at Nicaea on the Maliac gulf the king appeared in person, and endeavoured to come to an understanding with Flamininus. With haughty politeness he repelled the forward insolence of the petty chiefs, and by marked deference to the Romans, as the only antagonists on an equality with him, he sought to obtain from them tolerable terms. Flamininus was sufficiently refined to feel himself flattered by the urbanity of the vanquished prince towards himself and his arrogance towards the allies, whom the Roman as well as the king had learned to despise; but his powers were not ample enough to meet the king's wishes. He granted him a two months' armistice in return for the evacuation of Phocis and Locris, and referred him, as to the main matter, to his government. The Roman senate had long been at one in the opinion that Macedonia must give up all her possessions abroad; accordingly, when the ambassadors of Philip appeared in Rome, they were simply asked whether they had full powers to renounce all Greece and in particular Corinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias, and when they said that they had not, the negotiations were immediately broken off, and it was resolved that the war should be prosecuted with vigour. With the help of the tribunes of the people, the senate succeeded in preventing a change in the chief command—which had often proved so injurious—and in prolonging the command of Flamininus; he obtained considerable reinforcements, and the two former commanders-in-chief, Publius Galba and Publius Villius, were instructed to place themselves at his disposal. Philip resolved once more to risk a pitched battle. To secure Greece, where all the states except the Acarnanians and Boeotians were now in arms against him, the garrison of Corinth was augmented to 6000 men, while he himself, straining the last energies of exhausted Macedonia and enrolling children and old men in the ranks of the phalanx, brought into the field an army of about 26,000 men, of whom 16,000 were Macedonian -phalangitae-.

Philip Proceed to Thessaly
Battle of Cynoscephalae

Thus the fourth campaign, that of 557, began. Flamininus despatched a part of the fleet against the Acarnanians, who were besieged in Leucas; in Greece proper he became by stratagem master of Thebes, the capital of Boeotia, in consequence of which the Boeotians were compelled to join at least nominally the alliance against Macedonia. Content with having thus interrupted the communication between Corinth and Chalcis, he proceeded to the north, where alone a decisive blow could be struck. The great difficulties of provisioning the army in a hostile and for the most part desolate country, which had often hampered its operations, were now to be obviated by the fleet accompanying the army along the coast and carrying after it supplies sent from Africa, Sicily, and Sardinia. The decisive blow came, however, earlier than Flamininus had hoped. Philip, impatient and confident as he was, could not endure to await the enemy on the Macedonian frontier: after assembling his army at Dium, he advanced through the pass of Tempe into Thessaly, and encountered the army of the enemy advancing to meet him in the district of Scotussa.

The Macedonian and Roman armies—the latter of which had been reinforced by contingents of the Apolloniates and the Athamanes, by the Cretans sent by Nabis, and especially by a strong band of Aetolians—contained nearly equal numbers of combatants, each about 26,000 men; the Romans, however, had the superiority in cavalry. In front of Scotussa, on the plateau of the Karadagh, during a gloomy day of rain, the Roman vanguard unexpectedly encountered that of the enemy, which occupied a high and steep hill named Cynoscephalae, that lay between the two camps. Driven back into the plain, the Romans were reinforced from the camp by the light troops and the excellent corps of Aetolian cavalry, and now in turn forced the Macedonian vanguard back upon and over the height. But here the Macedonians again found support in their whole cavalry and the larger portion of their light infantry; the Romans, who had ventured forward imprudently, were pursued with great loss almost to their camp, and would have wholly taken to flight, had not the Aetolian horsemen prolonged the combat in the plain until Flamininus brought up his rapidly-arranged legions. The king yielded to the impetuous cry of his victorious troops demanding the continuance of the conflict, and hastily drew up his heavy-armed soldiers for the battle, which neither general nor soldiers had expected on that day. It was important to occupy the hill, which for the moment was quite denuded of troops. The right wing of the phalanx, led by the king in person, arrived early enough to form without trouble in battle order on the height; the left had not yet come up, when the light troops of the Macedonians, put to flight by the legions, rushed up the hill. Philip quickly pushed the crowd of fugitives past the phalanx into the middle division, and, without waiting till Nicanor had arrived on the left wing with the other half of the phalanx which followed more slowly, he ordered the right phalanx to couch their spears and to charge down the hill on the legions, and the rearranged light infantry simultaneously to turn them and fall upon them in flank. The attack of the phalanx, irresistible on so favourable ground, shattered the Roman infantry, and the left wing of the Romans was completely beaten. Nicanor on the other wing, when he saw the king give the attack, ordered the other half of the phalanx to advance in all haste; by this movement it was thrown into confusion, and while the first ranks were already rapidly following the victorious right wing down the hill, and were still more thrown into disorder by the inequality of the ground, the last files were just gaining the height. The right wing of the Romans under these circumstances soon overcame the enemy's left; the elephants alone, stationed upon this wing, annihilated the broken Macedonian ranks. While a fearful slaughter was taking place at this point, a resolute Roman officer collected twenty companies, and with these threw himself on the victorious Macedonian wing, which had advanced so far in pursuit of the Roman left that the Roman right came to be in its rear. Against an attack from behind the phalanx was defenceless, and this movement ended the battle. From the complete breaking up of the two phalanxes we may well believe that the Macedonian loss amounted to 13,000, partly prisoners, partly fallen—but chiefly the latter, because the Roman soldiers were not acquainted with the Macedonian sign of surrender, the raising of the -sarissae-. The loss of the victors was slight. Philip escaped to Larissa, and, after burning all his papers that nobody might be compromised, evacuated Thessaly and returned home.

Simultaneously with this great defeat, the Macedonians suffered other discomfitures at all the points which they still occupied; in Caria the Rhodian mercenaries defeated the Macedonian corps stationed there and compelled it to shut itself up in Stratonicea; the Corinthian garrison was defeated by Nicostratus and his Achaeans with severe loss, and Leucas in Acarnania was taken by assault after a heroic resistance. Philip was completely vanquished; his last allies, the Acarnanians, yielded on the news of the battle of Cynoscephalae.

Preliminaries of Peace

It was completely in the power of the Romans to dictate peace; they used their power without abusing it. The empire of Alexander might be annihilated; at a conference of the allies this desire was expressly put forward by the Aetolians. But what else would this mean, than to demolish the rampart protecting Hellenic culture from the Thracians and Celts? Already during the war just ended the flourishing Lysimachia on the Thracian Chersonese had been totally destroyed by the Thracians—a serious warning for the future. Flamininus, who had clearly perceived the bitter animosities subsisting among the Greek states, could never consent that the great Roman power should be the executioner for the grudges of the Aetolian confederacy, even if his Hellenic sympathies had not been as much won by the polished and chivalrous king as his Roman national feeling was offended by the boastings of the Aetolians, the "victors of Cynoscephalae," as they called themselves. He replied to the Aetolians that it was not the custom of Rome to annihilate the vanquished, and that, besides, they were their own masters and were at liberty to put an end to Macedonia, if they could. The king was treated with all possible deference, and, on his declaring himself ready now to entertain the demands formerly made, an armistice for a considerable term was agreed to by Flamininus in return for the payment of a sum of money and the furnishing of hostages, among whom was the king's son Demetrius,—an armistice which Philip greatly needed in order to expel the Dardani out of Macedonia.

Peace with Macedonia

The final regulation of the complicated affairs of Greece was entrusted by the senate to a commission of ten persons, the head and soul of which was Flamininus. Philip obtained from it terms similar to those laid down for Carthage. He lost all his foreign possessions in Asia Minor, Thrace, Greece, and in the islands of the Aegean Sea; while he retained Macedonia proper undiminished, with the exception of some unimportant tracts on the frontier and the province of Orestis, which was declared free—a stipulation which Philip felt very keenly, but which the Romans could not avoid prescribing, for with his character it was impossible to leave him free to dispose of subjects who had once revolted from their allegiance. Macedonia was further bound not to conclude any foreign alliances without the previous knowledge of Rome, and not to send garrisons abroad; she was bound, moreover, not to make war out of Macedonia against civilized states or against any allies of Rome at all; and she was not to maintain any army exceeding 5000 men, any elephants, or more than five decked ships—the rest were to be given up to the Romans. Lastly, Philip entered into symmachy with the Romans, which obliged him to send a contingent when requested; indeed, Macedonian troops immediately afterwards fought side by side with the legions. Moreover, he paid a contribution of 1000 talents (244,000 pounds).

Greece Free

After Macedonia had thus been reduced to complete political nullity and was left in possession of only as much power as was needful to guard the frontier of Hellas against the barbarians, steps were taken to dispose of the possessions ceded by the king. The Romans, who just at that time were learning by experience in Spain that transmarine provinces were a very dubious gain, and who had by no means begun the war with a view to the acquisition of territory, took none of the spoil for themselves, and thus compelled their allies also to moderation. They resolved to declare all the states of Greece, which had previously been under Phillip free: and Flamininus was commissioned to read the decree to that effect to the Greeks assembled at the Isthmian games (558). Thoughtful men doubtless might ask whether freedom was a blessing capable of being thus bestowed, and what was the value of freedom to a nation apart from union and unity; but the rejoicing was great and sincere, as the intention of the senate was sincere in conferring the freedom.(2)

The Achaean League Enlarged
The Aetolians

The only exceptions to this general rule were, the Illyrian provinces eastward of Epidamnus, which fell to Pleuratus the ruler of Scodra, and rendered that state of robbers and pirates, which a century before had been humbled by the Romans,(3) once more one of the most powerful of the petty principalities in those regions; some townships in western Thessaly, which Amynander had occupied and was allowed to retain; and the three islands of Paros, Scyros, and Imbros, which were presented to Athens in return for her many hardships and her still more numerous addresses of thanks and courtesies of all sorts. The Rhodians, of course, retained their Carian possessions, and the Pergamenes retained Aegina. The remaining allies were only indirectly rewarded by the accession of the newly-liberated cities to the several confederacies. The Achaeans were the best treated, although they were the latest in joining the coalition against Philip; apparently for the honourable reason, that this federation was the best organized and most respectable of all the Greek states. All the possessions of Philip in the Peloponnesus and on the Isthmus, and consequently Corinth in particular, were incorporated with their league. With the Aetolians on the other hand the Romans used little ceremony; they were allowed to receive the towns of Phocis and Locris into their symmachy, but their attempts to extend it also to Acarnania and Thessaly were in part decidedly rejected, in part postponed, and the Thessalian cities were organized into four small independent confederacies. The Rhodian city-league reaped the benefit of the liberation of Thasos, Lemnos, and the towns of Thrace and Asia Minor.

War against Nabis of Sparta

The regulation of the affairs of the Greek states, as respected both their mutual relations and their internal condition, was attended with difficulty. The most urgent matter was the war which had been carried on between the Spartans and Achaeans since 550, in which the duty of mediating necessarily fell to the Romans. But after various attempts to induce Nabis to yield, and particularly to give up the city of Argos belonging to the Achaean league, which Philip had surrendered to him, no course at last was left to Flamininus but to have war declared against the obstinate petty robber-chieftain, who reckoned on the well-known grudge of the Aetolians against the Romans and on the advance of Antiochus into Europe, and pertinaciously refused to restore Argos. War was declared, accordingly, by all the Hellenes at a great diet in Corinth, and Flamininus advanced into the Peloponnesus accompanied by the fleet and the Romano-allied army, which included a contingent sent by Philip and a division of Lacedaemonian emigrants under Agesipolis, the legitimate king of Sparta (559). In order to crush his antagonist immediately by an overwhelming superiority of force, no less than 50,000 men were brought into the field, and, the other towns being disregarded, the capital itself was at once invested; but the desired result was not attained. Nabis had sent into the field a considerable army amounting to 15,000 men, of whom 5000 were mercenaries, and he had confirmed his rule afresh by a complete reign of terror—by the execution -en masse- of the officers and inhabitants of the country whom he suspected. Even when he himself after the first successes of the Roman army and fleet resolved to yield and to accept the comparatively favourable terms of peace proposed by Flamininus, "the people," that is to say the gang of robbers whom Nabis had domiciled in Sparta, not without reason apprehensive of a reckoning after the victory, and deceived by an accompaniment of lies as to the nature of the terms of peace and as to the advance of the Aetolians and Asiatics, rejected the peace offered by the Roman general, so that the struggle began anew. A battle took place in front of the walls and an assault was made upon them; they were already scaled by the Romans, when the setting on fire of the captured streets compelled the assailants to retire.

Settlement of Spartan Affairs

At last the obstinate resistance came to an end. Sparta retained its independence and was neither compelled to receive back the emigrants nor to join the Achaean league; even the existing monarchical constitution, and Nabis himself, were left intact. On the other hand Nabis had to cede his foreign possessions, Argos, Messene, the Cretan cities, and the whole coast besides; to bind himself neither to conclude foreign alliances, nor to wage war, nor to keep any other vessels than two open boats; and lastly to disgorge all his plunder, to give to the Romans hostages, and to pay to them a war-contribution. The towns on the Laconian coast were given to the Spartan emigrants, and this new community, who named themselves the "free Laconians" in contrast to the monarchically governed Spartans, were directed to enter the Achaean league. The emigrants did not receive back their property, as the district assigned to them was regarded as a compensation for it; it was stipulated, on the other hand, that their wives and children should not be detained in Sparta against their will. The Achaeans, although by this arrangement they gained the accession of the free Laconians as well as Argos, were yet far from content; they had expected that the dreaded and hated Nabis would be superseded, that the emigrants would be brought back, and that the Achaean symmachy would be extended to the whole Peloponnesus. Unprejudiced persons, however, will not fail to see that Flamininus managed these difficult affairs as fairly and justly as it was possible to manage them where two political parties, both chargeable with unfairness and injustice stood opposed to each other. With the old and deep hostility subsisting between the Spartans and Achaeans, the incorporation of Sparta into the Achaean league would have been equivalent to subjecting Sparta to the Achaeans, a course no less contrary to equity than to prudence. The restitution of the emigrants, and the complete restoration of a government that had been set aside for twenty years, would only have substituted one reign of terror for another; the expedient adopted by Flamininus was the right one, just because it failed to satisfy either of the extreme parties. At length thorough provision appeared to be made that the Spartan system of robbery by sea and land should cease, and that the government there, such as it was, should prove troublesome only to its own subjects. It is possible that Flamininus, who knew Nabis and could not but be aware how desirable it was that he should personally be superseded, omitted to take such a step from the mere desire to have done with the matter and not to mar the clear impression of his successes by complications that might be prolonged beyond all calculation; it is possible, moreover, that he sought to preserve Sparta as a counterpoise to the power of the Achaean confederacy in the Peloponnesus. But the former objection relates to a point of secondary importance; and as to the latter view, it is far from probable that the Romans condescended to fear the Achaeans.

Final Regulation of Greece

Peace was thus established, externally at least, among the petty Greek states. But the internal condition of the several communities also furnished employment to the Roman arbiter. The Boeotians openly displayed their Macedonian tendencies, even after the expulsion of the Macedonians from Greece; after Flamininus had at their request allowed their countrymen who were in the service of Philip to return home, Brachyllas, the most decided partisan of Macedonia, was elected to the presidency of the Boeotian confederacy, and Flamininus was otherwise irritated in every way. He bore it with unparalleled patience; but the Boeotians friendly to Rome, who knew what awaited them after the departure of the Romans, determined to put Brachyllas to death, and Flamininus, whose permission they deemed it necessary to ask, at least did not forbid them. Brachyllas was accordingly killed; upon which the Boeotians were not only content with prosecuting the murderers, but lay in wait for the Roman soldiers passing singly or in small parties through their territories, and killed about 500 of them. This was too much to be endured; Flamininus imposed on them a fine of a talent for every soldier; and when they did not pay it, he collected the nearest troops and besieged Coronea (558). Now they betook themselves to entreaty; Flamininus in reality desisted on the intercession of the Achaeans and Athenians, exacting but a very moderate fine from those who were guilty; and although the Macedonian party remained continuously at the helm in the petty province, the Romans met their puerile opposition simply with the forbearance of superior power. In the rest of Greece Flamininus contented himself with exerting his influence, so far as he could do so without violence, over the internal affairs especially of the newly-freed communities; with placing the council and the courts in the hands of the more wealthy and bringing the anti-Macedonian party to the helm; and with attaching as much as possible the civic commonwealths to the Roman interest, by adding everything, which in each community should have fallen by martial law to the Romans, to the common property of the city concerned. The work was finished in the spring of 560; Flamininus once more assembled the deputies of all the Greek communities at Corinth, exhorted them to a rational and moderate use of the freedom conferred on them, and requested as the only return for the kindness of the Romans, that they would within thirty days send to him the Italian captives who had been sold into Greece during the Hannibalic war. Then he evacuated the last fortresses in which Roman garrisons were still stationed, Demetrias, Chalcis along with the smaller forts dependent upon it in Euboea, and Acrocorinthus—thus practically giving the lie to the assertion of the Aetolians that Rome had inherited from Philip the "fetters" of Greece—and departed homeward with all the Roman troops and the liberated captives.


It is only contemptible disingenuousness or weakly sentimentality, which can fail to perceive that the Romans were entirely in earnest with the liberation of Greece; and the reason why the plan so nobly projected resulted in so sorry a structure, is to be sought only in the complete moral and political disorganization of the Hellenic nation. It was no small matter, that a mighty nation should have suddenly with its powerful arm brought the land, which it had been accustomed to regard as its primitive home and as the shrine of its intellectual and higher interests, into the possession of full freedom, and should have conferred on every community in it deliverance from foreign taxation and foreign garrisons and the unlimited right of self-government; it is mere paltriness that sees in this nothing save political calculation. Political calculation made the liberation of Greece a possibility for the Romans; it was converted into a reality by the Hellenic sympathies that were at that time indescribably powerful in Rome, and above all in Flamininus himself. If the Romans are liable to any reproach, it is that all of them, and in particular Flamininus who overcame the well-founded scruples of the senate, were hindered by the magic charm of the Hellenic name from perceiving in all its extent the wretched character of the Greek states of that period, and so allowed yet further freedom for the doings of communities which, owing to the impotent antipathies that prevailed alike in their internal and their mutual relations, knew neither how to act nor how to keep quiet. As things stood, it was really necessary at once to put an end to such a freedom, equally pitiful and pernicious, by means of a superior power permanently present on the spot; the feeble policy of sentiment, with all its apparent humanity, was far more cruel than the sternest occupation would have been. In Boeotia for instance Rome had, if not to instigate, at least to permit, a political murder, because the Romans had resolved to withdraw their troops from Greece and, consequently, could not prevent the Greeks friendly to Rome from seeking their remedy in the usual manner of the country. But Rome herself also suffered from the effects of this indecision. The war with Antiochus would not have arisen but for the political blunder of liberating Greece, and it would not have been dangerous but tor the military blunder of withdrawing the garrisons from the principal fortresses on the European frontier. History has a Nemesis for every sin—for an impotent craving after freedom, as well as for an injudicious generosity.

Notes for Chapter VIII

1. III. III. Acquisition of Territory in Illyria

2. III. VI. Stagnation of the War in Italy

3. There are still extant gold staters, with the head of Flamininus and the inscription "-T. Quincti(us)-," struck in Greece under the government of the liberator of the Hellenes. The use of the Latin language is a significant compliment.

4. III. III. Acquisition of Territory in Illyria

Chapter IX

The War with Antiochus of Asia

Antiochus the Great

In the kingdom of Asia the diadem of the Seleucidae had been worn since 531 by king Antiochus the Third, the great-great-grandson of the founder of the dynasty. He had, like Philip, begun to reign at nineteen years of age, and had displayed sufficient energy and enterprise, especially in his first campaigns in the east, to warrant his being without too ludicrous impropriety addressed in courtly style as "the Great." He had succeeded—more, however, through the negligence of his opponents and of the Egyptian Philopator in particular, than through any ability of his own—in restoring in some degree the integrity of the monarchy, and in reuniting with his crown first the eastern satrapies of Media and Parthyene, and then the separate state which Achaeus had founded on this side of the Taurus in Asia Minor. A first attempt to wrest from the Egyptians the coast of Syria, the loss of which he sorely felt, had, in the year of the battle of the Trasimene lake, met with a bloody repulse from Philopator at Raphia; and Antiochus had taken good care not to resume the contest with Egypt, so long as a man—even though he were but an indolent one—occupied the Egyptian throne. But, after Philopator's death (549), the right moment for crushing Egypt appeared to have arrived; with that view Antiochus entered into concert with Philip, and had thrown himself upon Coele-Syria, while Philip attacked the cities of Asia Minor. When the Romans interposed in that quarter, it seemed for a moment as if Antiochus would make common cause with Philip against them—the course suggested by the position of affairs, as well as by the treaty of alliance. But, not far-seeing enough to repel at once with all his energy any interference whatever by the Romans in the affairs of the east, Antiochus thought that his best course was to take advantage of the subjugation of Philip by the Romans (which might easily be foreseen), in order to secure the kingdom of Egypt, which he had previously been willing to share with Philip, for himself alone. Notwithstanding the close relations of Rome with the court of Alexandria and her royal ward, the senate by no means intended to be in reality, what it was in name, his "protector;" firmly resolved to give itself no concern about Asiatic affairs except in case of extreme necessity, and to limit the sphere of the Roman power by the Pillars of Hercules and the Hellespont, it allowed the great-king to take his course. He himself was not probably in earnest with the conquest of Egypt proper—which was more easily talked of than achieved—but he contemplated the subjugation of the foreign possessions of Egypt one after another, and at once attacked those in Cilicia as well as in Syria and Palestine. The great victory, which he gained in 556 over the Egyptian general Scopas at Mount Panium near the sources of the Jordan, not only gave him complete possession of that region as far as the frontier of Egypt proper, but so alarmed the Egyptian guardians of the young king that, to prevent Antiochus from invading Egypt, they submitted to a peace and sealed it by the betrothal of their ward to Cleopatra the daughter of Antiochus. When he had thus achieved his first object, he proceeded in the following year, that of the battle of Cynoscephalae, with a strong fleet of 100 decked and 100 open vessels to Asia Minor, to take possession of the districts that formerly belonged to Egypt on the south and west coasts of Asia Minor—probably the Egyptian government had ceded these districts, which were -de facto- in the hands of Philip, to Antiochus under the peace, and had renounced all their foreign possessions in his favour—and to recover the Greeks of Asia Minor generally for his empire. At the same time a strong Syrian land-army assembled in Sardes.

Difficulties with Rome

This enterprise had an indirect bearing on the Romans who from the first had laid it down as a condition for Philip that he should withdraw his garrisons from Asia Minor and should leave to the Rhodians and Pergamenes their territory and to the free cities their former constitution unimpaired, and who had now to look on while Antiochus took possession of them in Philip's place. Attalus and the Rhodians found themselves now directly threatened by Antiochus with precisely the same danger as had driven them a few years before into the war with Philip; and they naturally sought to involve the Romans in this war as well as in that which had just terminated. Already in 555-6 Attalus had requested from the Romans military aid against Antiochus, who had occupied his territory while the troops of Attalus were employed in the Roman war. The more energetic Rhodians even declared to king Antiochus, when in the spring of 557 his fleet appeared off the coast of Asia Minor, that they would regard its passing beyond the Chelidonian islands (off the Lycian coast) as a declaration of war; and, when Antiochus did not regard the threat, they, emboldened by the accounts that had just arrived of the battle at Cynoscephalae, had immediately begun the war and had actually protected from the king the most important of the Carian cities, Caunus, Halicarnassus, and Myndus, and the island of Samos. Most of the half-free cities had submitted to Antiochus, but some of them, more especially the important cities of Smyrna, Alexandria Troas, and Lampsacus, had, on learning the discomfiture of Philip, likewise taken courage to resist the Syrian; and their urgent entreaties were combined with those of the Rhodians.

It admits of no doubt, that Antiochus, so far as he was at all capable of forming a resolution and adhering to it, had already made up his mind not only to attach to his empire the Egyptian possessions in Asia, but also to make conquests on his own behalf in Europe and, if not to seek on that account a war with Rome, at any rate to risk it The Romans had thus every reason to comply with that request of their allies, and to interfere directly in Asia; but they showed little inclination to do so. They not only delayed as long as the Macedonian war lasted, and gave to Attalus nothing but the protection of diplomatic intercession, which, we may add, proved in the first instance effective; but even after the victory, while they doubtless spoke as though the cities which had been in the hands of Ptolemy and Philip ought not to be taken possession of by Antiochus, and while the freedom of the Asiatic cities, Myrina, Abydus, Lampsacus,(1) and Cius, figured in Roman documents, they took not the smallest step to give effect to it, and allowed king Antiochus to employ the favourable opportunity presented by the withdrawal of the Macedonian garrisons to introduce his own. In fact, they even went so far as to submit to his landing in Europe in the spring of 558 and invading the Thracian Chersonese, where he occupied Sestus and Madytus and spent a considerable time in the chastisement of the Thracian barbarians and the restoration of the destroyed Lysimachia, which he had selected as his chief place of arms and as the capital of the newly-instituted satrapy of Thrace. Flamininus indeed, who was entrusted with the conduct of these affairs, sent to the king at Lysimachia envoys, who talked of the integrity of the Egyptian territory and of the freedom of all the Hellenes; but nothing came out of it. The king talked in turn of his undoubted legal title to the ancient kingdom of Lysimachus conquered by his ancestor Seleucus, explained that he was employed not in making territorial acquisitions but only in preserving the integrity of his hereditary dominions, and declined the intervention of the Romans in his disputes with the cities subject to him in Asia Minor. With justice he could add that peace had already been concluded with Egypt, and that the Romans were thus far deprived of any formal pretext for interfering.(2) The sudden return of the king to Asia occasioned by a false report of the death of the young king of Egypt, and the projects which it suggested of a landing in Cyprus or even at Alexandria, led to the breaking off of the conferences without coming to any conclusion, still less producing any result. In the following year, 559, Antiochus returned to Lysimachia with his fleet and army reinforced, and employed himself in organizing the new satrapy which he destined for his son Seleucus. Hannibal, who had been obliged to flee from Carthage, came to him at Ephesus; and the singularly honourable reception accorded to the exile was virtually a declaration of war against Rome. Nevertheless Flamininus in the spring of 560 withdrew all the Roman garrisons from Greece. This was under the existing circumstances at least a mischievous error, if not a criminal acting in opposition to his own better knowledge; for we cannot dismiss the idea that Flamininus, in order to carry home with him the undiminished glory of having wholly terminated the war and liberated Hellas, contented himself with superficially covering up for the moment the smouldering embers of revolt and war. The Roman statesman might perhaps be right, when he pronounced any attempt to bring Greece directly under the dominion of the Romans, and any intervention of the Romans in Asiatic affairs, to be a political blunder; but the opposition fermenting in Greece, the feeble arrogance of the Asiatic king, the residence, at the Syrian head-quarters, of the bitter enemy of the Romans who had already raised the west in arms against Rome—all these were clear signs of the approach of a fresh rising in arms on the part of the Hellenic east, which could not but have for its aim at least to transfer Greece from the clientship of Rome to that of the states opposed to Rome, and, if this object should be attained, would immediately extend the circle of its operations. It is plain that Rome could not allow this to take place. When Flamininus, ignoring all these sure indications of war, withdrew the garrisons from Greece, and yet at the same time made demands on the king of Asia which he had no intention of employing his army to support, he overdid his part in words as much as he fell short in action, and forgot his duty as a general and as a citizen in the indulgence of his personal vanity—a vanity, which wished to confer, and imagined that it had conferred, peace on Rome and freedom on the Greeks of both continents.

Preparations of Antiochus for War with Rome

Antiochus employed the unexpected respite in strengthening his position at home and his relations with his neighbours before beginning the war, on which for his part he was resolved, and became all the more so, the more the enemy appeared to procrastinate. He now (561) gave his daughter Cleopatra, previously betrothed, in marriage to the young king of Egypt. That he at the same time promised to restore the provinces wrested from his son-in-law, was afterwards affirmed on the part of Egypt, but probably without warrant; at any rate the land remained actually attached to the Syrian kingdom.(3) He offered to restore to Eumenes, who had in 557 succeeded his father Attalus on the throne of Pergamus, the towns taken from him, and to give him also one of his daughters in marriage, if he would abandon the Roman alliance. In like manner he bestowed a daughter on Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia, and gained the Galatians by presents, while he reduced by arms the Pisidians who were constantly in revolt, and other small tribes. Extensive privileges were granted to the Byzantines; respecting the cities in Asia Minor, the king declared that he would permit the independence of the old free cities such as Rhodes and Cyzicus, and would be content in the case of the others with a mere formal recognition of his sovereignty; he even gave them to understand that he was ready to submit to the arbitration of the Rhodians. In European Greece he could safely count on the Aetolians, and he hoped to induce Philip again to take up arms. In fact, a plan of Hannibal obtained the royal approval, according to which he was to receive from Antiochus a fleet of 100 sail and a land army of 10,000 infantry and 1000 cavalry, and was to employ them in kindling first a third Punic war in Carthage, and then a second Hannibalic war in Italy; Tyrian emissaries proceeded to Carthage to pave the way for a rising in arms there(4) Finally, good results were anticipated from the Spanish insurrection, which, at the time when Hannibal left Carthage, was at its height.(5)

Aetolian Intrigues against Rome

While the storm was thus gathering from far and wide against Rome, it was on this, as on all occasions, the Hellenes implicated in the enterprise, who were of the least moment, and yet took action of the greatest importance and with the utmost impatience. The exasperated and arrogant Aetolians began by degrees to persuade themselves that Philip had been vanquished by them and not by the Romans, and could not even wait till Antiochus should advance into Greece. Their policy is characteristically expressed in the reply, which their -strategus- gave soon afterwards to Flamininus, when he requested a copy of the declaration of war against Rome: that he would deliver it to him in person, when the Aetolian army should encamp on the Tiber. The Aetolians acted as the agents of the Syrian king in Greece and deceived both parties, by representing to the king that all the Hellenes were waiting with open arms to receive him as their true deliverer, and by telling those in Greece who were disposed to listen to them that the landing of the king was nearer than it was in reality. Thus they actually succeeded in inducing the simple obstinacy of Nabis to break loose and to rekindle in Greece the flame of war two years after Flamininus's departure, in the spring of 562; but in doing so they missed their aim. Nabis attacked Gythium, one of the towns of the free Laconians that by the last treaty had been annexed to the Achaean league, and took it; but the experienced -strategus- of the Achaeans, Philopoemen, defeated him at the Barbosthenian mountains, and the tyrant brought back barely a fourth part of his army to his capital, in which Philopoemen shut him up. As such a commencement was no sufficient inducement for Antiochus to come to Europe, the Aetolians resolved to possess themselves of Sparta, Chalcis, and Demetrias, and by gaining these important towns to prevail upon the king to embark. In the first place they thought to become masters of Sparta, by arranging that the Aetolian Alexamenus should march with 1000 men into the town under pretext of bringing a contingent in terms of the alliance, and should embrace the opportunity of making away with Nabis and of occupying the town. This was done, and Nabis was killed at a review of the troops; but, when the Aetolians dispersed to plunder the town, the Lacedaemonians found time to rally and slew them to the last man. The city was then induced by Philopoemen to join the Achaean league. After this laudable project of the Aetolians had thus not only deservedly failed, but had had precisely the opposite effect of uniting almost the whole Peloponnesus in the hands of the other party, it fared little better with them at Chalcis, for the Roman party there called in the citizens of Eretria and Carystus in Euboea, who were favourable to Rome, to render seasonable aid against the Aetolians and the Chalcidian exiles. On the other hand the occupation of Demetrias was successful, for the Magnetes to whom the city had been assigned were, not without reason, apprehensive that it had been promised by the Romans to Philip as a prize in return for his aid against Antiochus; several squadrons of Aetolian horse moreover managed to steal into the town under the pretext of forming an escort for Eurylochus, the recalled head of the opposition to Rome. Thus the Magnetes passed over, partly of their own accord, partly by compulsion, to the side of the Aetolians, and the latter did not fail to make use of the fact at the court of the Seleucid.

Rupture between Antiochus and the Romans

Antiochus took his resolution. A rupture with Rome, in spite of endeavours to postpone it by the diplomatic palliative of embassies, could no longer be avoided. As early as the spring of 561 Flamininus, who continued to have the decisive voice in the senate as to eastern affairs, had expressed the Roman ultimatum to the envoys of the king, Menippus and Hegesianax; viz. that he should either evacuate Europe and dispose of Asia at his pleasure, or retain Thrace and submit to the Roman protectorate over Smyrna, Lampsacus, and Alexandria Troas. These demands had been again discussed at Ephesus, the chief place of arms and fixed quarters of the king in Asia Minor, in the spring of 562, between Antiochus and the envoys of the senate, Publius Sulpicius and Publius Villius; and they had separated with the conviction on both sides thata peaceful settlement was no longer possible. Thenceforth war was resolved on in Rome. In that very summer of 562 a Roman fleet of 30 sail, with 3000 soldiers on board, under Aulus Atilius Serranus, appeared off Gythium, where their arrival accelerated the conclusion of the treaty between the Achaeans and Spartans; the eastern coasts of Sicily and Italy were strongly garrisoned, so as to be secure against any attempts at a landing; a land army was expected in Greece in the autumn. Since the spring of 562 Flamininus, by direction of the senate, had journeyed through Greece to thwart the intrigues of the opposite party, and to counteract as far as possible the evil effects of the ill-timed evacuation of the country. The Aetolians had already gone so far as formally to declare war in their diet against Rome. But Flamininus succeeded In saving Chalcis for the Romans by throwing into it a garrison of 500 Achaeans and 500 Pergamenes. He made an attempt also to recover Demetrias; and the Magnetes wavered. Though some towns in Asia Minor, which Antiochus had proposed to subdue before beginning the great war, still held out, he could now no longer delay his landing, unless he was willing to let the Romans recover all the advantages which they had surrendered two years before by withdrawing their garrisons from Greece. He collected the vessels and troops which were at hand—he had but 40 decked vessels and 10,000 infantry, along with 500 horse and 6 elephants—and started from the Thracian Chersonese for Greece, where he landed in the autumn of 562 at Pteleum on the Pagasaean gulf, and immediately occupied the adjoining Demetrias. Nearly about the same time a Roman army of some 25,000 men under the praetor Marcus Baebius landed at Apollonia. The war was thus begun on both sides.

Attitude of the Minor Powers
Carthage and Hannibal

Everything depended on the extent to which that comprehensively- planned coalition against Rome, of which Antiochus came forward as the head, might be realized. As to the plan, first of all, of stirring up enemies to the Romans in Carthage and Italy, it was the fate of Hannibal at the court of Ephesus, as through his whole career, to have projected his noble and high-spirited plans for the behoof of people pedantic and mean. Nothing was done towards their execution, except that some Carthaginian patriots were compromised; no choice was left to the Carthaginians but to show unconditional submission to Rome. The camarilla would have nothing to do with Hannibal—such a man was too inconveniently great for court cabals; and, after having tried all sorts of absurd expedients, such as accusing the general, with whose name the Romans frightened their children, of concert with the Roman envoys, they succeeded in persuading Antiochus the Great, who like all insignificant monarchs plumed himself greatly on his independence and was influenced by nothing so easily as by the fear of being ruled, into the wise belief that he ought not to allow himself to be thrown into the shade by so celebrated a man. Accordingly it was in solemn council resolved that the Phoenician should be employed in future only for subordinate enterprises and for giving advice—with the reservation, of course, that the advice should never be followed. Hannibal revenged himself on the rabble, by accepting every commission and brilliantly executing all.

States of Asia Minor

In Asia Cappadocia adhered to the great-king; Prusias of Bithynia on the other hand took, as always, the side of the stronger. King Eumenes remained faithful to the old policy of his house, which was now at length to yield to him its true fruit. He had not only persistently refused |the offers of Antiochus, but had constantly urged the Romans to a war, from which he expected the aggrandizement of his kingdom. The Rhodians and Byzantines likewise joined their old allies. Egypt too took the side of Rome and offered support in supplies and men; which, however, the Romans did not accept.


In Europe the result mainly depended on the position which Philip of Macedonia would take up. It would have been perhaps the right policy for him, notwithstanding all the injuries or shortcomings of the past, to unite with Antiochus. But Philip was ordinarily influenced not by such considerations, but by his likings and dislikings; and his hatred was naturally directed much more against the faithless ally, who had left him to contend alone with the common enemy, had sought merely to seize his own share in the spoil, and had become a burdensome neighbour to him in Thrace, than against the conqueror, who had treated him respectfully and honourably. Antiochus had, moreover, given deep offence to the hot temper of Philip by the setting up of absurd pretenders to the Macedonian crown, and by the ostentatious burial of the Macedonian bones bleaching at Cynoscephalae. Philip therefore placed his whole force with cordial zeal at the disposal of the Romans.

The Lesser Greek States

The second power of Greece, the Achaean league, adhered no less decidedly than the first to the alliance with Rome. Of the smaller powers, the Thessalians and the Athenians held by Rome; among the latter an Achaean garrison introduced by Flamininus into the citadel brought the patriotic party, which was pretty strong, to reason. The Epirots exerted themselves to keep on good terms, if possible, with both parties. Thus, in addition to the Aetolians and the Magnetes who were joined by a portion of the neighbouring Perrhaebians, Antiochus was supported only by Amynander, the weak king of the Athamanes, who allowed himself to be dazzled by foolish designs on the Macedonian crown; by the Boeotians, among whom the party opposed to Rome was still at the helm; and in the Peloponnesus by the Eleans and Messenians, who were in the habit of taking part with the Aetolians against the Achaeans. This was indeed a hopeful beginning; and the title of commander-in-chief with absolute power, which the Aetolians decreed to the great-king, seemed insult added to injury. There had been, just as usual, deception on both sides. Instead of the countless hordes of Asia, the king brought up a force scarcely half as strong as an ordinary consular army; and instead of the open arms with which all the Hellenes were to welcome their deliverer from the Roman yoke, one or two bands of klephts and some dissolute civic communities offered to the king brotherhood in arms.

Antiochus in Greece

For the moment, indeed, Antiochus had anticipated the Romans in Greece proper. Chalcis was garrisoned by the Greek allies of the Romans, and refused the first summons but the fortress surrendered when Antiochus advanced with all his force; and a Roman division, which arrived too late to occupy it, was annihilated by Antiochus at Deliurn. Euboea was thus lost to the Romans. Antiochus still made even in winter an attempt, in concert with the Aetolians and Athamanes, to gain Thessaly; Thermopylae was occupied, Pherae and other towns were taken, but Appius Claudius came up with 2000 men from Apollonia, relieved Larisa, and took up his position there. Antiochus, tired of the winter campaign, preferred to return to his pleasant quarters at Chalcis, where the time was spent merrily, and the king even, in spite of his fifty years and his warlike schemes, wedded a fair Chalcidian. So the winter of 562-3 passed, without Antiochus doing much more than sending letters hither and thither through Greece: he waged the war —a Roman officer remarked—by means of pen and ink.

Landing of the Romans

In the beginning of spring 563 the Roman staff arrived at Apollonia. The commander-in-chief was Manius Acilius Glabrio, a man of humble origin, but an able general feared both by his soldiers and by the enemy; the admiral was Gaius Livius; and among the military tribunes were Marcus Porcius Cato, the conqueror of Spain, and Lucius Valerius Flaccus, who after the old Roman wont did not disdain, although they had been consuls, to re-enter the army as simple war-tribunes. They brought with them reinforcements in ships and men, including Numidian cavalry and Libyan elephants sent by Massinissa, and the permission of the senate to accept auxiliary troops to the number of 5000 from the extra-Italian allies, so that the whole number of the Roman forces was raised to about 40,000 men. The king, who in the beginning of spring had gone to the Aetolians and had thence made an aimless expedition to Acarnania, on the news of Glabrio's landing returned to his head-quarters to begin the campaign in earnest. But incom prehensibly, through his own negligence and that of his lieutenants in Asia, reinforcements had wholly failed to reach him, so that he had nothing but the weak army—now further decimated by sickness and desertion in its dissolute winter-quarters—with which he had landed at Pteleum in the autumn of the previous year. The Aetolians too, who had professed to send such enormous numbers into the field, now, when their support was of moment, brought to their commander-in-chief no more than 4000 men. The Roman troops had already begun operations in Thessaly, where the vanguard in concert with the Macedonian army drove the garrisons of Antiochus out of the Thessalian towns and occupied the territory of the Athamanes. The consul with the main army followed; the whole force of the Romans assembled at Larisa.

Battle at Thermopylae
Greece Occupied by the Romans
Resistance of the Aetolians

Instead of returning with all speed to Asia and evacuating the field before an enemy in every respect superior, Antiochus resolved to entrench himself at Thermopylae, which he had occupied, and there to await the arrival of the great army from Asia. He himself took up a position in the chief pass, and commanded the Aetolians to occupy the mountain-path, by which Xerxes had formerly succeeded in turning the Spartans. But only half of the Aetolian contingent was pleased to comply with this order of the commander-in-chief; the other 2000 men threw themselves into the neighbouring town of Heraclea, where they took no other part in the battle than that of attempting during its progress to surprise and plunder the Roman camp. Even the Aetolians posted on the heights discharged their duty of watching with remissness and reluctance; their post on the Callidromus allowed itself to be surprised by Cato, and the Asiatic phalanx, which the consul had meanwhile assailed in front, dispersed, when the Romans hastening down the mountain fell upon its flank. As Antiochus had made no provision for any case and had not thought of retreat, the army was destroyed partly on the field of battle, partly during its flight; with difficulty a small band reached Demetrias, and the king himself escaped to Chalcis with 500 men. He embarked in haste for Ephesus; Europe was lost to him all but his possessions in Thrace, and even the fortresses could be no longer defended Chalcis surrendered to the Romans, and Demetrias to Philip, who received permission—as a compensation for the conquest of the town of Lamia in Achaia Phthiotis, which he was on the point of accomplishing and had then abandoned by orders of the consul—to make himself master of all the communities that had gone over to Antiochus in Thessaly proper, and even of the territories bordering on Aetolia, the districts of Dolopia and Aperantia. All the Greeks that had pronounced in favour of Antiochus hastened to make their peace; the Epirots humbly besought pardon for their ambiguous conduct, the Boeotians surrendered at discretion, the Eleans and Messenians, the latter after some struggle, submitted to the Achaeans. The prediction of Hannibal to the king was fulfilled, that no dependence at all could be placed upon the Greeks, who would submit to any conqueror. Even the Aetolians, when their corps shut up in Heraclea had been compelled after obstinate resistance to capitulate, attempted to make their peace with the sorely provoked Romans; but the stringent demands of the Roman consul, and a consignment of money seasonably arriving from Antiochus, emboldened them once more to break off the negotiations and to sustain for two whole months a siege in Naupactus. The town was already reduced to extremities, and its capture or capitulation could not have been long delayed, when Flamininus, constantly striving to save every Hellenic community from the worst consequences of its own folly and from the severity of his ruder colleagues, interposed and arranged in the first instance an armistice on tolerable terms. This terminated, at least for the moment, armed resistance in Greece.

Maritime War, and Preparations for Crossing to Asia
Polyxenidas and Pausistratus
Engagement off Aspendus
Battle of Myonnesus

A more serious war was impending in Asia—a war which appeared of a very hazardous character on account not so much of the enemy as of the great distance and the insecurity of the communications with home, while yet, owing to the short-sighted obstinacy of Antiochus, the struggle could not well be terminated otherwise than by an attack on the enemy in his own country. The first object was to secure the sea. The Roman fleet, which during the campaign in Greece was charged with the task of interrupting the communication between Greece and Asia Minor, and which had been successful about the time of the battle at Thermopylae in seizing a strong Asiatic transport fleet near Andros, was thenceforth employed in making preparations for the crossing of the Romans to Asia next year and first of all in driving the enemy's fleet out of the Aegean Sea. It lay in the harbour of Cyssus on the southern shore of the tongue of land that projects from Ionia towards Chios; thither in search of it the Roman fleet proceeded, consisting of 75 Roman, 24 Pergamene, and 6 Carthaginian, decked vessels under the command of Gaius Livius. The Syrian admiral, Polyxenidas, a Rhodian emigrant, had only 70 decked vessels to oppose to it; but, as the Roman fleet still expected the ships of Rhodes, and as Polyxenidas relied on the superior seaworthiness of his vessels, those of Tyre and Sidon in particular, he immediately accepted battle. At the outset the Asiatics succeeded in sinking one of the Carthaginian vessels; but, when they came to grapple, Roman valour prevailed, and it was owing solely to the swiftness of their rowing and sailing that the enemy lost no more than 23 ships. During the pursuit the Roman fleet was joined by 25 ships from Rhodes, and the superiority of the Romans in those waters was now doubly assured. The enemy's fleet thenceforth kept the shelter of the harbour of Ephesus, and, as it could not be induced to risk a second battle, the fleet of the Romans and allies broke up for the winter; the Roman ships of war proceeded to the harbour of Cane in the neighbourhood of Pergamus. Both parties were busy during the winter in preparing for the next campaign. The Romans sought to gain over the Greeks of Asia Minor; Smyrna, which had perseveringly resisted all the attempts of the king to get possession of the city, received the Romans with open arms, and the Roman party gained the ascendency in Samos, Chios, Erythrae, Clazomenae, Phocaea, Cyme, and elsewhere. Antiochus was resolved, if possible, to prevent the Romans from crossing to Asia, and with that view he made zealous naval preparations—employing Polyxenidas to fit out and augment the fleet stationed at Ephesus, and Hannibal to equip a new fleet in Lycia, Syria, and Phoenicia; while he further collected in Asia Minor a powerful land army from all regions of his extensive empire. Early next year (564) the Roman fleet resumed its operations. Gaius Livius left the Rhodian fleet—which had appeared in good time this year, numbering 36 sail—to observe that of the enemy in the offing of Ephesus, and went with the greater portion of the Roman and Pergamene vessels to the Hellespont in accordance with his instructions, to pave the way for the passage of the land army by the capture of the fortresses there. Sestus was already occupied and Abydus reduced to extremities, when the news of the defeat of the Rhodian fleet recalled him. The Rhodian admiral Pausistratus, lulled into security by the representations of his countryman that he wished to desert from Antiochus, had allowed himself to be surprised in the harbour of Samos; he himself fell, and all his vessels were destroyed except five Rhodian and two Coan ships; Samos, Phocaea, and Cyme on hearing the news went over to Seleucus, who held the chief command by land in those provinces for his father.

But when the Roman fleet arrived partly from Cane, partly from the Hellespont, and was after some time joined by twenty new ships of the Rhodians at Samos, Polyxenidas was once more compelled to shut himself up in the harbour of Ephesus. As he declined the offered naval battle, and as, owing to the small numbers of the Roman force, an attack by land was not to be thought of, nothing remained for the Roman fleet but to take up its position in like manner at Samos. A division meanwhile proceeded to Patara on the Lycian coast, partly to relieve the Rhodians from the very troublesome attacks that were directed against them from that quarter, partly and chiefly to prevent the hostile fleet, which Hannibal was expected to bring up, from entering the Aegean Sea. When the squadron sent against Patara achieved nothing, the new admiral Lucius Aemilius Regillus, who had arrived with 20 war-vessels from Rome and had relieved Gaius Livius at Samos, was so indignant that he proceeded thither with the whole fleet; his officers with difficulty succeeded, while they were on their voyage, in making him understand that the primary object was not the conquest of Patara but the command of the Aegean Sea, and in inducing him to return to Samos. On the mainland of Asia Minor Seleucus had in the meanwhile begun the siege of Pergamus, while Antiochus with his chief army ravaged the Pergamene territory and the possessions of the Mytilenaeans on the mainland; they hoped to crush the hated Attalids, before Roman aid appeared. The Roman fleet went to Elaea and the port of Adramytium to help their ally; but, as the admiral wanted troops, he accomplished nothing. Pergamus seemed lost; but the laxity and negligence with which the siege was conducted allowed Eumenes to throw into the city Achaean auxiliaries under Diophanes, whose bold and successful sallies compelled the Gallic mercenaries, whom Antiochus had entrusted with the siege, to raise it.

In the southern waters too the projects of Antiochus were frustrated. The fleet equipped and led by Hannibal, after having been long detained by the constant westerly winds, attempted at length to reach the Aegean; but at the mouth of the Eurymedon, off Aspendus in Pamphylia, it encountered a Rhodian squadron under Eudamus; and in the battle, which ensued between the two fleets, the excellence of the Rhodian ships and naval officers carried the victory over Hannibal's tactics and his numerical superiority. It was the first naval battle, and the last battle against Rome, fought by the great Carthaginian. The victorious Rhodian fleet then took its station at Patara, and there prevented the intended junction of the two Asiatic fleets. In the Aegean Sea the Romano-Rhodian fleet at Samos, after being weakened by detaching the Pergamene ships to the Hellespont to support the land army which had arrived there, was in its turn attacked by that of Polyxenidas, who now numbered nine sail more than his opponents. On December 23 of the uncorrected calendar, according to the corrected calendar about the end of August, in 564, a battle took place at the promontory of Myonnesus between Teos and Colophon; the Romans broke through the line of the enemy, and totally surrounded the left wing, so that they took or sank 42 ships. An inscription in Saturnian verse over the temple of the Lares Permarini, which was built in the Campus Martius in memory of this victory, for many centuries thereafter proclaimed to the Romans how the fleet of the Asiatics had been defeated before the eyes of king Antiochus and of all his land army, and how the Romans thus "settled the mighty strife and subdued the kings." Thenceforth the enemy's ships no longer ventured to show themselves on the open sea, and made no further attempt to obstruct the crossing of the Roman land army.

Expedition to Asia

The conqueror of Zama had been selected at Rome to conduct the war on the Asiatic continent; he practically exercised the supreme command for the nominal commander-in-chief, his brother Lucius Scipio, whose intellect was insignificant, and who had no military capacity. The reserve hitherto stationed in Lower Italy was destined for Greece, the army of Glabrio for Asia: when it became known who was to command it, 5000 veterans from the Hannibalic war voluntarily enrolled, to fight once more under their beloved leader. In the Roman July, but according to the true time in March, the Scipios arrived at the army to commence the Asiatic campaign; but they were disagreeably surprised to find themselves instead involved, in the first instance, in an endless struggle with the desperate Aetolians. The senate, finding that Flamininus pushed his boundless consideration for the Hellenes too far, had left the Aetolians to choose between paying an utterly exorbitant war contribution and unconditional surrender, and thus had driven them anew to arms; none could tell when this warfare among mountains and strongholds would come to an end. Scipio got rid of the inconvenient obstacle by concerting a six-months' armistice, and then entered on his march to Asia. As the one fleet of the enemy was only blockaded in the Aegean Sea, and the other, which was coming up from the south, might daily arrive there in spite of the squadron charged to intercept it, it seemed advisable to take the land route through Macedonia and Thrace and to cross the Hellespont. In that direction no real obstacles were to be anticipated; for Philip of Macedonia might be entirely depended on, Prusias king of Bithynia was in alliance with the Romans, and the Roman fleet could easily establish itself in the straits. The long and weary march along the coast of Macedonia and Thrace was accomplished without material loss; Philip made provision on the one hand for supplying their wants, on the other for their friendly reception by the Thracian barbarians. They had lost so much time however, partly with the Aetolians, partly on the march, that the army only reached the Thracian Chersonese about the time of the battle of Myonnesus. But the marvellous good fortune of Scipio now in Asia, as formerly in Spain and Africa, cleared his path of all difficulties.

Passage of the Hellespont by the Romans

On the news of the battle at Myonnesus Antiochus so completely lost his judgment, that in Europe he caused the strongly-garrisoned and well-provisioned fortress of Lysimachia to be evacuated by the garrison and by the inhabitants who were faithfully devoted to the restorer of their city, and withal even forgot to withdraw in like manner the garrisons or to destroy the rich magazines at Aenus and Maronea; and on the Asiatic coast he opposed not the slightest resistance to the landing of the Romans, but on the contrary, while it was taking place, spent his time at Sardes in upbraiding destiny. It is scarcely doubtful that, had he but provided for the defence of Lysimachia down to the no longer distant close of the summer, and moved forward his great army to the Hellespont, Scipio would have been compelled to take up winter quarters on the European shore, in a position far from being, in a military or political point of view, secure.

While the Romans, after disembarking on the Asiatic shore, paused for some days to refresh themselves and to await their leader who was detained behind by religious duties, ambassadors from the great-king arrived in their camp to negotiate for peace. Antiochus offered half the expenses of the war, and the cession of his European possessions as well as of all the Greek cities in Asia Minor that had gone over to Rome; but Scipio demanded the whole costs of the war and the surrender of all Asia Minor. The former terms, he declared, might have been accepted, had the army still been before Lysimachia, or even on the European side of the Hellespont; but they did not suffice now, when the steed felt the bit and knew its rider. The attempts of the great- king to purchase peace from his antagonist after the Oriental manner by sums of money—he offered the half of his year's revenues!—failed as they deserved; the proud burgess, in return for the gratuitous restoration of his son who had fallen a captive, rewarded the great- king with the friendly advice to make peace on any terms. This was not in reality necessary: had the king possessed the resolution to prolong the war and to draw the enemy after him by retreating into the interior, a favourable issue was still by no means impossible. But Antiochus, irritated by the presumably intentional arrogance of his antagonist, and too indolent for any persevering and consistent warfare, hastened with the utmost eagerness to expose his unwieldy, but unequal, and undisciplined mass of an army to the shock of the Roman legions.

Battle of Magnesia

In the valley of the Hermus, near Magnesia at the foot of Mount Sipylus not far from Smyrna, the Roman troops fell in with the enemy late in the autumn of 564. The force of Antiochus numbered close on 80,000 men, of whom 12,000 were cavalry; the Romans—who had along with them about 5000 Achaeans, Pergamenes, and Macedonian volunteers —had not nearly half that number, but they were so sure of victory, that they did not even wait for the recovery of their general who had remained behind sick at Elaea; Gnaeus Domitius took the command in his stead. Antiochus, in order to be able even to place his immense mass of troops, formed two divisions. In the first were placed the mass of the light troops, the peltasts, bowmen, slingers, the mounted archers of Mysians, Dahae, and Elymaeans, the Arabs on their dromedaries, and the scythe-chariots. In the second division the heavy cavalry (the Cataphractae, a sort of cuirassiers) were stationed on the flanks; next to these, in the intermediate division, the Gallic and Cappadocian infantry; and in the very centre the phalanx armed after the Macedonian fashion, 16,000 strong, the flower of the army, which, however, had not room in the narrow space and had to be drawn up in double files 32 deep. In the space between the two divisions were placed 54 elephants, distributed between the bands of the phalanx and of the heavy cavalry. The Romans stationed but a few squadrons on the left wing, where the river gave protection; the mass of the cavalry and all the light armed were placed on the right, which was led by Eumenes; the legions stood in the centre. Eumenes began the battle by despatching his archers and slingers against the scythe-chariots with orders to shoot at the teams; in a short time not only were these thrown into disorder, but the camel-riders stationed next to them were also carried away, and even in the second division the left wing of heavy cavalry placed behind fell into confusion. Eumenes now threw himself with all the Roman cavalry, numbering 3000 horse, on the mercenary infantry, which was placed in the second division between the phalanx and the left wing of heavy cavalry, and, when these gave way, the cuirassiers who had already fallen into disorder also fled. The phalanx, which had just allowed the light troops to pass through and was preparing to advance against the Roman legions, was hampered by the attack of the cavalry in flank, and compelled to stand still and to form front on both sides—a movement which the depth of its disposition favoured. Had the heavy Asiatic cavalry been at hand, the battle might have been restored; but the left wing was shattered, and the right, led by Antiochus in person, had driven before it the little division of Roman cavalry opposed to it, and had reached the Roman camp, which was with great difficulty defended from its attack. In this way the cavalry were at the decisive moment absent from the scene of action. The Romans were careful not to assail the phalanx with their legions, but sent against it the archers and slingers, not one of whose missiles failed to take effect on the densely-crowded mass. The phalanx nevertheless retired slowly and in good order, till the elephants stationed in the interstices became frightened and broke the ranks. Then the whole army dispersed in tumultuous flight; an attempt to hold the camp failed, and only increased the number of the dead and the prisoners. The estimate of the loss of Antiochus at 50,000 men is, considering the infinite confusion, not incredible; the legions of the Romans had never been engaged, and the victory, which gave them a third continent, cost them 24 horsemen and 300 foot soldiers. Asia Minor submitted; including even Ephesus, whence the admiral had hastily to withdraw his fleet, and Sardes the residence of the court.

Conclusion of Peace
Expedition against the Celts of Asia Minor
Regulation of the Affairs of Asia Minor

The king sued for peace and consented to the terms proposed by the Romans, which, as usual, were just the same as those offered before the battle and consequently included the cession of Asia Minor. Till they were ratified, the army remained in Asia Minor at the expense of the king; which came to cost him not less than 3000 talents (730,000 pounds). Antiochus himself in his careless fashion soon consoled himself for the loss of half his kingdom; it was in keeping with his character, that he declared himself grateful to the Romans for saving him the trouble of governing too large an empire. But with the day of Magnesia Asia was erased from the list of great states; and never perhaps did a great power fall so rapidly, so thoroughly, and so ignominiously as the kingdom of the Seleucidae under this Antiochus the Great. He himself was soon afterwards (567) slain by the indignant inhabitants of Elymais at the head of the Persian gulf, on occasion of pillaging the temple of Bel, with the treasures of which he had sought to replenish his empty coffers.

The Roman government, after having achieved the victory, had to arrange the affairs of Asia Minor and of Greece. If the Roman rule was here to be erected on a firm foundation, it was by no means enough that Antiochus should have renounced the supremacy in the west of Asia Minor. The circumstances of the political situation there have been set forth above.(6) The Greek free cities on the Ionian and Aeolian coast, as well as the kingdom of Pergamus of a substantially similar nature, were certainly the natural pillars of the new Roman supreme power, which here too came forward essentially as protector of the Hellenes kindred in race. But the dynasts in the interior of Asia Minor and on the north coast of the Black Sea had hardly yielded for long any serious obedience to the kings of Asia, and the treaty with Antiochus alone gave to the Romans no power over the interior. It was indispensable to draw a certain line within which the Roman influence was henceforth to exercise control. Here the element of chief importance was the relation of the Asiatic Hellenes to the Celts who had been for a century settled there. These had formally apportioned among them the regions of Asia Minor, and each one of the three cantons raised its fixed tribute from the territory laid under contribution. Doubtless the burgesses of Pergamus, under the vigorous guidance of their presidents who had thereby become hereditary princes, had rid themselves of the unworthy yoke; and the fair afterbloom of Hellenic art, which had recently emerged afresh from the soil, had grown out of these last Hellenic wars sustained by a national public spirit. But it was a vigorous counterblow, not a decisive success; again and again the Pergamenes had to defend with arms their urban peace against the raids of the wild hordes from the eastern mountains, and the great majority of the other Greek cities probably remained in their old state of dependence.(7)

If the protectorate of Rome over the Hellenes was to be in Asia more than a name, an end had to be put to this tributary obligation of their new clients; and, as the Roman policy at this time declined, much more even in Asia than on the Graeco-Macedonian peninsula, the possession of the country on its own behalf and the permanent occupation therewith connected, there was no course in fact left but to carry the arms of Rome up to the limit which was to be staked off for the domain of Rome's power, and effectively to inaugurate the new supremacy among the inhabitants of Asia Minor generally, and above all in the Celtic cantons.

This was done by the new Roman commander-in-chief, Gnaeus Manlius Volso, who relieved Lucius Scipio in Asia Minor. He was subjected to severe reproach on this score; the men in the senate who were averse to the new turn of policy failed to see either the aim, or the pretext, for such a war. There is no warrant for the former objection, as directed against this movement in particular; it was on the contrary, after the Roman state had once interfered in Hellenic affairs as it had done, a necessary consequence of this policy. Whether it was the right course for Rome to undertake the protectorate over the Hellenes collectively, may certainly be called in question; but regarded from the point of view which Flamininus and the majority led by him had now taken up, the overthrow of the Galatians was in fact a duty of prudence as well as of honour. Better founded was the objection that there was not at the time a proper ground of war against them; for they had not been, strictly speaking, in alliance with Antiochus, but had only according to their wont allowed him to levy hired troops in their country. But on the other side there fell the decisive consideration, that the sending of a Roman military force to Asia could only be demanded of the Roman burgesses under circumstances altogether extraordinary, and, if once such an expedition was necessary, everything told in favour of carrying it out at once and with the victorious army that was now stationed in Asia. So, doubtless under the influence of Flamininus and of those who shared his views in the senate, the campaign into the interior of Asia Minor was undertaken in the spring of 565. The consul started from Ephesus, levied contributions from the towns and princes on the upper Maeander and in Pamphylia without measure, and then turned northwards against the Celts. Their western canton, the Tolistoagii, had retired with their belongings to Mount Olympus, and the middle canton, the Tectosages, to Mount Magaba, in the hope that they would be able there to defend themselves till the winter should compel the strangers to withdraw. But the missiles of the Roman slingers and archers—which so often turned the scale against the Celts unacquainted with such weapons, almost as in more recent times firearms have turned the scale against savage tribes—forced the heights, and the Celts succumbed in a battle, such as had often its parallels before and after on the Po and on the Seine, but here appears as singular as the whole phenomenon of this northern race emerging amidst the Greek and Phrygian nations. The number of the slain was at both places enormous, and still greater that of the captives. The survivors escaped over the Halys to the third Celtic canton of the Trocmi, which the consul did not attack. That river was the limit at which the leaders of Roman policy at that time had resolved to halt. Phrygia, Bithynia, and Paphlagonia were to become dependent on Rome; the regions lying farther to the east were left to themselves.

The affairs of Asia Minor were regulated partly by the peace with Antiochus (565), partly by the ordinances of a Roman commission presided over by the consul Volso. Antiochus had to furnish hostages, one of whom was his younger son of the same name, and to pay a war- contribution—proportional in amount to the treasures of Asia—of 15,000 Euboic talents (3,600,000 pounds), a fifth of which was to be paid at once, and the remainder in twelve yearly instalments. He was called, moreover, to cede all the lands which he possessed in Europe and, in Asia Minor, all his possessions and claims of right to the north of the range of the Taurus and to the west of the mouth of the Cestrus between Aspendus and Perga in Pamphylia, so that he retained nothing in Asia Minor but eastern Pamphylia and Cilicia. His protectorate over its kingdoms and principalities of course ceased. Asia, or, as the kingdom of the Seleucids was thenceforth usually and more appropriately named, Syria, lost the right of waging aggressive wars against the western states, and in the event of a defensive war, of acquiring territory from them on the conclusion of peace; lost, moreover, the right of navigating the sea to the west of the mouth of the Calycadnus in Cilicia with vessels of war, except for the conveyance of envoys, hostages, or tribute; was further prevented from keeping more than ten decked vessels in all, except in the case of a defensive war, from taming war-elephants, and lastly from the levying of mercenaries in the western states, or receiving political refugees and deserters from them at court. The war vessels which he possessed beyond the prescribed number, the elephants, and the political refugees who had sought shelter with him, he delivered up. By way of compensation the great-king received the title of a friend of the Roman commonwealth. The state of Syria was thus by land and sea completely and for ever dislodged from the west; it is a significant indication of the feeble and loose organization of the kingdom of the Seleucidae, that it alone, of all the great states conquered by Rome never after the first conquest desired a second appeal to the decision of arms.


The two Armenias, hitherto at least nominally Asiatic satrapies, became transformed, if not exactly in pursuance with the Roman treaty of peace, yet under its influence into independent kingdoms; and their holders, Artaxias and Zariadris, became founders of new dynasties.


Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia, whose land lay beyond the boundary laid down by the Romans for their protectorate, escaped with a money- fine of 600 talents (146,000 pounds); which was afterwards, on the intercession of his son-in-law Eumenes, abated to half that sum.


Prusias, king of Bithynia, retained his territory as it stood, and so did the Celts; but they were obliged to promise that they would no longer send armed bands beyond their bounds, and the disgraceful payments of tribute by the cities of Asia Minor came to an end. The Asiatic Greeks did not fail to repay the benefit—which was certainly felt as a general and permanent one—with golden chaplets and transcendental panegyrics.

The Free Greek Cities

In the western portion of Asia Minor the regulation of the territorial arrangements was not without difficulty, especially as the dynastic policy of Eumenes there came into collision with that of the Greek Hansa. At last an understanding was arrived at to the following effect. All the Greek cities, which were free and had joined the Romans on the day of the battle of Magnesia, had their liberties confirmed, and all of them, excepting those previously tributary to Eumenes, were relieved from the payment of tribute to the different dynasts for the future. In this way the towns of Dardanus and Ilium, whose ancient affinity with the Romans was traced to the times of Aeneas, became free, along with Cyme, Smyrna, Clazomenae, Erythrae, Chios, Colophon, Miletus, and other names of old renown. Phocaea also, which in spite of its capitulation had been plundered by the soldiers of the Roman fleet—although it did not fall under the category designated in the treaty—received back by way of compensation its territory and its freedom. Most of the cities of the Graeco-Asiatic Hansa acquired additions of territory and other advantages. Rhodes of course received most consideration; it obtained Lycia exclusive of Telmissus, and the greater part of Caria south of the Maeander; besides, Antiochus guaranteed the property and the claims of the Rhodians within his kingdom, as well as the exemption from customs-dues which they had hitherto enjoyed.

Extension of the Kingdom of Pergamus

All the rest, forming by far the largest share of the spoil, fell to the Attalids, whose ancient fidelity to Rome, as well as the hardships endured by Eumenes in the war and his personal merit in connection with the issue of the decisive battle, were rewarded by Rome as no king ever rewarded his ally. Eumenes received, in Europe, the Chersonese with Lysimachia; in Asia—in addition to Mysia which he already possessed—the provinces of Phrygia on the Hellespont, Lydia with Ephesus and Sardes, the northern district of Caria as far as the Maeander with Tralles and Magnesia, Great Phrygia and Lycaonia along with a portion of Cilicia, the district of Milyas between Phrygia and Lycia, and, as a port on the southern sea, the Lycian town Telmissus. There was a dispute afterwards between Eumenes and Antiochus regarding Pamphylia, as to how far it lay on this side of or beyond the prescribed boundary, and accordingly belonged to the former or to the latter. He further acquired the protectorate over, and the right of receiving tribute from, those Greek cities which did not receive absolute freedom; but it was stipulated in this case that the cities should retain their charters, and that the tribute should not be heightened. Moreover, Antiochus had to bind himself to pay to Eumenes the 350 talents (85,000 pounds) which he owed to his father Attalus, and likewise to pay a compensation of 127 talents (31,000 pounds) for arrears in the supplies of corn. Lastly, Eumenes obtained the royal forests and the elephants delivered up by Antiochus, but not the ships of war, which were burnt: the Romans tolerated no naval power by the side of their own. By these means the kingdom of the Attalids became in the east of Europe and Asia what Numidia was in Africa, a powerful state with an absolute constitution dependent on Rome, destined and able to keep in check both Macedonia and Syria without needing, except in extraordinary cases, Roman support. With this creation dictated by policy the Romans had as far as possible combined the liberation of the Asiatic Greeks, which was dictated by republican and national sympathy and by vanity. About the affairs of the more remote east beyond the Taurus and Halys they were firmly resolved to give themselves no concern. This is clearly shown by the terms of the peace with Antiochus, and still more decidedly by the peremptory refusal of the senate to guarantee to the town of Soli in Cilicia the freedom which the Rhodians requested for it. With equal fidelity they adhered to the fixed principle of acquiring no direct transmarine possessions. After the Roman fleet had made an expedition to Crete and had accomplished the release of the Romans sold thither into slavery, the fleet and land army left Asia towards the end of the summer of 566; on which occasion the land army, which again marched through Thrace, in consequence of the negligence of the general suffered greatly on the route from the attacks of the barbarians. The Romans brought nothing home from the east but honour and gold, both of which were already at this period usually conjoined in the practical shape assumed by the address of thanks—the golden chaplet.

Settlement of Greece
Conflicts and Peace with the Aetolians

European Greece also had been agitated by this Asiatic war, and needed reorganization. The Aetolians, who had not yet learned to reconcile themselves to their insignificance, had, after the armistice concluded with Scipio in the spring of 564, rendered intercourse between Greece and Italy difficult and unsafe by means of their Cephallenian corsairs; and not only so, but even perhaps while the armistice yet lasted, they, deceived by false reports as to the state of things in Asia, had the folly to place Amynander once more on his Athamanian throne, and to carry on a desultory warfare with Philip in the districts occupied by him on the borders of Aetolia and Thessaly, in the course of which Philip suffered several discomfitures. After this, as a matter of course, Rome replied to their request for peace by the landing of the consul Marcus Fulvius Nobilior. He arrived among the legions in the spring of 565, and after fifteen days' siege gained possession of Ambracia by a capitulation honourable for the garrison; while simultaneously the Macedonians, Illyrians, Epirots, Acarnanians, and Achaeans fell upon the Aetolians. There was no such thing as resistance in the strict sense; after repeated entreaties of the Aetolians for peace the Romans at length desisted from the war, and granted conditions which must be termed reasonable when viewed with reference to such pitiful and malicious opponents. The Aetolians lost all cities and territories which were in the hands of their adversaries, more especially Ambracia which afterwards became free and independent in consequence of an intrigue concocted in Rome against Marcus Fulvius, and Oenia which was given to the Acarnanians: they likewise ceded Cephallenia. They lost the right of making peace and war, and were in that respect dependent on the foreign relations of Rome. Lastly, they paid a large sum of money. Cephallenia opposed this treaty on its own account, and only submitted when Marcus Fulvius landed on the island. In fact, the inhabitants of Same, who feared that they would be dispossessed from their well-situated town by a Roman colony, revolted after their first submission and sustained a four months' siege; the town, however, was finally taken and the whole inhabitants were sold into slavery.


In this case also Rome adhered to the principle of confining herself to Italy and the Italian islands. She took no portion of the spoil for herself, except the two islands of Cephallenia and Zacynthus, which formed a desirable supplement to the possession of Corcyra and other naval stations in the Adriatic. The rest of the territorial gain went to the allies of Rome. But the two most important of these, Philip and the Achaeans, were by no means content with the share of the spoil granted to them. Philip felt himself aggrieved, and not without reason. He might safely say that the chief difficulties in the last war—difficulties which arose not from the character of the enemy, but from the distance and the uncertainty of the communications—had been overcome mainly by his loyal aid. The senate recognized this by remitting his arrears of tribute and sending back his hostages; but he did not receive those additions to his territory which he expected. He got the territory of the Magnetes, with Demetrias which he had taken from the Aetolians; besides, there practically remained in his hands the districts of Dolopia and Athamania and a part of Thessaly, from which also the Aetolians had been expelled by him. In Thrace the interior remained under Macedonian protection, but nothing was fixed as to the coast towns and the islands of Thasos and Lemnos which were -de facto- in Philip's hands, while the Chersonese was even expressly given to Eumenes; and it was not difficult to see that Eumenes received possessions in Europe, simply that he might in case of need keep not only Asia but Macedonia in check. The exasperation of the proud and in many respects chivalrous king was natural; it was not chicane, however, but an unavoidable political necessity that induced the Romans to take this course. Macedonia suffered for having once been a power of the first rank, and for having waged war on equal terms with Rome; there was much better reason in her case than in that of Carthage for guarding against the revival of her old powerful position.

The Achaeans

It was otherwise with the Achaeans. They had, in the course of the war with Antiochus, gratified their long-cherished wish to bring the whole Peloponnesus into their confederacy; for first Sparta, and then, after the expulsion of the Asiatics from Greece, Elis and Messene had more or less reluctantly joined it. The Romans had allowed this to take place, and had even tolerated the intentional disregard of Rome which marked their proceedings. When Messene declared that she wished to submit to the Romans but not to enter the confederacy, and the latter thereupon employed force, Flamininus had not failed to remind the Achaeans that such separate arrangements as to the disposal of a part of the spoil were in themselves unjust, and were, in the relation in which the Achaeans stood to the Romans, more than unseemly; and yet in his very impolitic complaisance towards the Hellenes he had substantially done what the Achaeans willed. But the matter did not end there. The Achaeans, tormented by their dwarfish thirst for aggrandizement, would not relax their hold on the town of Pleuron in Aetolia which they had occupied during the war, but on the contrary made it an involuntary member of their confederacy; they bought Zacynthus from Amynander the lieutenant of the last possessor, and would gladly have acquired Aegina also. It was with reluctance that they gave up the former island to Rome, and they heard with great displeasure the good advice of Flamininus that they should content themselves with their Peloponnesus.

The Achaean Patriots

The Achaeans believed it their duty to display the independence of their state all the more, the less they really had; they talked of the rights of war, and of the faithful aid of the Achaeans in the wars of the Romans; they asked the Roman envoys at the Achaean diet why Rome should concern herself about Messene when Achaia put no questions as to Capua; and the spirited patriot, who had thus spoken, was applauded and was sure of votes at the elections. All this would have been very right and very dignified, had it not been much more ridiculous. There was a profound justice and a still more profound melancholy in the fact, that Rome, however earnestly she endeavoured to establish the freedom and to earn the thanks of the Hellenes, yet gave them nothing but anarchy and reaped nothing but ingratitude. Undoubtedly very generous sentiments lay at the bottom of the Hellenic antipathies to the protecting power, and the personal bravery of some of the men who took the lead in the movement was unquestionable; but this Achaean patriotism remained not the less a folly and a genuine historical caricature. With all that ambition and all that national susceptibility the whole nation was, from the highest to the lowest, pervaded by the most thorough sense of impotence. Every one was constantly listening to learn the sentiments of Rome, the liberal man no less than the servile; they thanked heaven, when the dreaded decree was not issued; they were sulky, when the senate gave them to understand that they would do well to yield voluntarily in order that they might not need to be compelled; they did what they were obliged to do, if possible, in a way offensive to the Romans, "to save forms"; they reported, explained, postponed, evaded, and, when all this would no longer avail, yielded with a patriotic sigh. Their proceedings might have claimed indulgence at any rate, if not approval, had their leaders been resolved to fight, and had they preferred the destruction of the nation to its bondage; but neither Philopoemen nor Lycortas thought of any such political suicide—they wished, if possible, to be free, but they wished above all to live. Besides all this, the dreaded intervention of Rome in the internal affairs of Greece was not the arbitrary act of the Romans, but was always invoked by the Greeks themselves, who, like boys, brought down on their own heads the rod which they feared. The reproach repeated -ad nauseam- by the erudite rabble in Hellenic and post-Hellenic times—that the Romans had been at pains to stir up internal discord in Greece—is one of the most foolish absurdities which philologues dealing in politics have ever invented. It was not the Romans that carried strife to Greece—which in truth would have been "carrying owls to Athens"—but the Greeks that carried their dissensions to Rome.

Quarrels between Achaeans and Spartans

The Achaeans in particular, who, in their eagerness to round their territory, wholly failed to see how much it would have been for their own good that Flamininus had not incorporated the towns of Aetolian sympathies with their league, acquired in Lacedaemon and Messene a very hydra of intestine strife. Members of these communities were incessantly at Rome, entreating and beseeching to be released from the odious connection; and amongst them, characteristically enough, were even those who were indebted to the Achaeans for their return to their native land. The Achaean league was incessantly occupied in the work of reformation and restoration at Sparta and Messene; the wildest refugees from these quarters determined the measures of the diet. Four years after the nominal admission of Sparta to the confederacy matters came even to open war and to an insanely thorough restoration, in which all the slaves on whom Nabis had conferred citizenship were once more sold into slavery, and a colonnade was built from the proceeds in the Achaean city of Megalopolis; the old state of property in Sparta was re-established, the of Lycurgus were superseded by Achaean laws, and the walls were pulled down (566). At last the Roman senate was summoned by all parties to arbitrate on all these doings —an annoying task, which was the righteous punishment of the sentimental policy that the senate had pursued. Far from mixing itself up too much in these affairs, the senate not only bore the sarcasms of Achaean candour with exemplary composure, but even manifested a culpable indifference while the worst outrages were committed. There was cordial rejoicing in Achaia when, after that restoration, the news arrived from Rome that the senate had found fault with it, but had not annulled it. Nothing was done for the Lacedaemonians by Rome, except that the senate, shocked at the judicial murder of from sixty to eighty Spartans committed by the Achaeans, deprived the diet of criminal jurisdiction over the Spartans—truly a heinous interference with the internal affairs of an independent state! The Roman statesmen gave themselves as little concern as possible about this tempest in a nut-shell, as is best shown by the many complaints regarding the superficial, contradictory, and obscure decisions of the senate; in fact, how could its decisions be expected to be clear, when there were four parties from Sparta simultaneously speaking against each other at its bar? Add to this the personal impression, which most of these Peloponnesian statesmen produced in Rome; even Flamininus shook his head, when one of them showed him on the one day how to perform some dance, and on the next entertained him with affairs of state. Matters went so far, that the senate at last lost patience and informed the Peloponnesians that it would no longer listen to them, and that they might do what they chose (572). This was natural enough, but it was not right; situated as the Romans were, they were under a moral and political obligation earnestly and steadfastly to rectify this melancholy state of things. Callicrates the Achaean, who went to the senate in 575 to enlighten it as to the state of matters in the Peloponnesus and to demand a consistent and calm intervention, may have had somewhat less worth as a man than his countryman Philopoemen who was the main founder of that patriotic policy; but he was in the right.

Death of Hannibal

Thus the protectorate of the Roman community now embraced all the states from the eastern to the western end of the Mediterranean. There nowhere existed a state that the Romans would have deemed it worth while to fear. But there still lived a man to whom Rome accorded this rare honour—the homeless Carthaginian, who had raised in arms against Rome first all the west and then all the east, and whose schemes perhaps had been only frustrated by infamous aristocratic policy in the former case, and by stupid court policy in the latter. Antiochus had been obliged to bind himself in the treaty of peace to deliver up Hannibal; but the latter had escaped, first to Crete, then to Bithynia,(8) and now lived at the court of Prusias king of Bithynia, employed in aiding the latter in his wars with Eumenes, and victorious as ever by sea and by land. It is affirmed that he was desirous of stirring up Prusias also to make war on Rome; a folly, which, as it is told, sounds very far from credible. It is more certain that, while the Roman senate deemed it beneath its dignity to have the old man hunted out in his last asylum—for the tradition which inculpates the senate appears to deserve no credit—Flamininus, whose restless vanity sought after new opportunities for great achievements, undertook on his own part to deliver Rome from Hannibal as he had delivered the Greeks from their chains, and, if not to wield—which was not diplomatic—at any rate to whet and to point, the dagger against the greatest man of his time. Prusias, the most pitiful among the pitiful princes of Asia, was delighted to grant the little favour which the Roman envoy in ambiguous terms requested; and, when Hannibal saw his house beset by assassins, he took poison. He had long been prepared to do so, adds a Roman, for he knew the Romans and the word of kings. The year of his death is uncertain; probably he died in the latter half of the year 571, at the age of sixty-seven. When he was born, Rome was contending with doubtful success for the possession of Sicily; he had lived long enough to see the West wholly subdued, and to fight his own last battle with the Romans against the vessels of his native city which had itself become Roman; and he was constrained at last to remain a mere spectator, while Rome overpowered the East as the tempest overpowers the ship that has no one at the helm, and to feel that he alone was the pilot that could have weathered the storm. There was left to him no further hope to be disappointed, when he died; but he had honestly, through fifty years of struggle, kept the oath which he had sworn when a boy.

Death of Scipio

About the same time, probably in the same year, died also the man whom the Romans were wont to call his conqueror, Publius Scipio. On him fortune had lavished all the successes which she denied to his antagonist—successes which did belong to him, and successes which did not. He had added to the empire Spain, Africa, and Asia; and Rome, which he had found merely the first community of Italy, was at his death mistress of the civilized world. He himself had so many titles of victory, that some of them were made over to his brother and his cousin.(9) And yet he too spent his last years in bitter vexation, and died when little more than fifty years of age in voluntary banishment, leaving orders to his relatives not to bury his remains in the city for which he had lived and in which his ancestors reposed. It is not exactly known what drove him from the city. The charges of corruption and embezzlement, which were directed against him and still more against his brother Lucius, were beyond doubt empty calumnies, which do not sufficiently explain such bitterness of feeling; although it is characteristic of the man, that instead of simply vindicating himself by means of his account-books, he tore them in pieces in presence of the people and of his accusers, and summoned the Romans to accompany him to the temple of Jupiter and to celebrate the anniversary of his victory at Zama. The people left the accuser on the spot, and followed Scipio to the Capitol; but this was the last glorious day of the illustrious man. His proud spirit, his belief that he was different from, and better than, other men, his very decided family-policy, which in the person of his brother Lucius especially brought forward a clumsy man of straw as a hero, gave offence to many, and not without reason. While genuine pride protects the heart, arrogance lays it open to every blow and every sarcasm, and corrodes even an originally noble-minded spirit. It is throughout, moreover, the distinguishing characteristic of such natures as that of Scipio—strange mixtures of genuine gold and glittering tinsel—that they need the good fortune and the brilliance of youth in order to exercise their charm, and, when this charm begins to fade, it is the charmer himself that is most painfully conscious of the change.

Notes for Chapter IX

1. According to a recently discovered decree of the town of Lampsacus (-Mitth, des arch. Inst, in Athen-, vi. 95) the Lampsacenes after the defeat of Philip sent envoys to the Roman senate with the request that the town might be embraced in the treaty concluded between Rome and (Philip) the king (—opos sumperilephthomen [en tais sunthekais] tais genomenais Pomaiois pros ton [basilea]—), which the senate, at least according to the view of the petitioners, granted to them and referred them, as regarded other matters, to Flamininus and the ten envoys. From the latter they then obtain in Corinth a guarantee of their constitution and "letters to the kings." Flamininus also gives to them similar letters; of their contents we learn nothing more particular, than that in the decree the embassy is described as successful. But if the senate and Flamininus had formally and positively guaranteed the autonomy and democracy of the Lampsacenes, the decree would hardly dwell so much at length on the courteous answers, which the Roman commanders, who had been appealed to on the way for their intercession with the senate, gave to the envoys.

Other remarkable points in this document are the "brotherhood" of the Lampsacenes and the Romans, certainly going back to the Trojan legend, and the mediation, invoked by the former with success, of the allies and friends of Rome, the Massiliots, who were connected with the Lampsacenes through their common mother-city Phocaea.

2. The definite testimony of Hieronymus, who places the betrothal of the Syrian princess Cleopatra with Ptolemy Epiphanes in 556, taken in connection with the hints in Liv. xxxiii. 40 and Appian. Syr. 3, and with the actual accomplishment of the marriage in 561, puts it beyond a doubt that the interference of the Romans in the affairs of Egypt was in this case formally uncalled for.

3. For this we have the testimony of Polybius (xxviii. i), which the sequel of the history of Judaea completely confirms; Eusebius (p. 117, -Mai-) is mistaken in making Philometor ruler of Syria. We certainly find that about 567 farmers of the Syrian taxes made their payments at Alexandria (Joseph, xii. 4, 7); but this doubtless took place without detriment to the rights of sovereignty, simply because the dowry of Cleopatra constituted a charge on those revenues; and from this very circumstance presumably arose the subsequent dispute.

4. II. VII. Submission of Lower Italy

5. III. VII. The Romans Maintain a Standing Army in Spain

6. III. VIII. The Celts of Asia Minor ff.

7. From the decree of Lampsacus mentioned at III. IX. Difficulties with Rome, it appears pretty certain that the Lampsacenes requested from the Massiliots not merely intercession at Rome, but also intercession with the Tolistoagii (so the Celts, elsewhere named Tolistobogi, are designated in this document and in the Pergamene inscription, C. J. Gr. 3536,—the oldest monuments which mention them). Accordingly the Lampsacenes were probably still about the time of the wax with Philip tributary to this canton (comp. Liv. xxxviii. 16).

8. The story that he went to Armenia and at the request of king Artaxias built the town of Artaxata on the Araxes (Strabo, xi. p. 528; Plutarch, Luc. 31), is certainly a fiction; but it is a striking circumstance that Hannibal should have become mixed up, almost like Alexander, with Oriental fables.

9. Africanus, Asiagenus, Hispallus.

Chapter X

The Third Macedonian War

Dissatisfactions of Philip with Rome

Philip of Macedonia was greatly annoyed by the treatment which he met with from the Romans after the peace with Antiochus; and the subsequent course of events was not fitted to appease his wrath. His neighbours in Greece and Thrace, mostly communities that had once trembled at the Macedonian name not less than now they trembled at the Roman, made it their business, as was natural, to retaliate on the fallen great power for all the injuries which since the times of Philip the Second they had received at the hands of Macedonia. The empty arrogance and venal anti-Macedonian patriotism of the Hellenes of this period found vent at the diets of the different confederacies and in ceaseless complaints addressed to the Roman senate. Philip had been allowed by the Romans to retain what he had taken from the Aetolians; but in Thessaly the confederacy of the Magnetes alone had formally joined the Aetolians, while those towns which Philip had wrested from the Aetolians in other two of the Thessalian confederacies—the Thessalian in its narrower sense, and the Perrhaebian—were demanded back by their leagues on the ground that Philip had only liberated these towns, not conquered them. The Athamahes too believed that they might crave their freedom; and Eumenes demanded the maritime cities which Antiochus had possessed in Thrace proper, especially Aenus and Maronea, although in the peace with Antiochus the Thracian Chersonese alone had been expressly promised to him. All these complaints and numerous minor ones from all the neighbours of Philip as to his supporting king Prusias against Eumenes, as to competition in trade, as to the violation of contracts and the seizing of cattle, were poured forth at Rome. The king of Macedonia had to submit to be accused by the sovereign rabble before the Roman senate, and to accept justice or injustice as the senate chose; he was compelled to witness judgment constantly going against him; he had with deep chagrin to withdraw his garrisons from the Thracian coast and from the Thessalian and Perrhaebian towns, and courteously to receive the Roman commissioners, who came to see whether everything required had been carried out in accordance with instructions. The Romans were not so indignant against Philip as they had been against Carthage; in fact, they were in many respects even favourably disposed to the Macedonian ruler; there was not in his case so reckless a violation of forms as in that of Libya; but the situation of Macedonia was at bottom substantially the same as that of Carthage. Philip, however, was by no means the man to submit to this infliction with Phoenician patience. Passionate as he was, he had after his defeat been more indignant with the faithless ally than with the honourable antagonist; and, long accustomed to pursue a policy not Macedonian but personal, he had seen in the war with Antiochus simply an excellent opportunity of instantaneously revenging himself on the ally who had disgracefully deserted and betrayed him. This object he had attained; but the Romans, who saw very clearly that the Macedonian was influenced not by friendship for Rome, but by enmity to Antiochus, and who moreover were by no means in the habit of regulating their policy by such feelings of liking and disliking, had carefully abstained from bestowing any material advantages on Philip, and had preferred to confer their favours on the Attalids. From their first elevation the Attalids had been at vehement feud with Macedonia, and were politically and personally the objects of Philip's bitterest hatred; of all the eastern powers they had contributed most to maim Macedonia and Syria, and to extend the protectorate of Rome in the east; and in the last war, when Philip had voluntarily and loyally embraced the side of Rome, they had been obliged to take the same side for the sake of their very existence. The Romans had made use of these Attalids for the purpose of reconstructing in all essential points the kingdom of Lysimachus—the destruction of which had been the most important achievement of the Macedonian rulers after Alexander—and of placing alongside of Macedonia a state, which was its equal in point of power and was at the same time a client of Rome. In the special circumstances a wise sovereign, devoted to the interests of his people, would perhaps have resolved not to resume the unequal struggle with Rome; but Philip, in whose character the sense of honour was the most powerful of all noble, and the thirst for revenge the most potent of all ignoble, motives, was deaf to the voice of timidity or of resignation, and nourished in the depths of his heart a determination once more to try the hazard of the game. When he received the report of fresh invectives, such as were wont to be launched against Macedonia at the Thessalian diets, he replied with the line of Theocritus, that his last sun had not yet set.(1)

The Latter Years of Philip

Philip displayed in the preparation and the concealment of his designs a calmness, earnestness, and persistency which, had he shown them in better times, would perhaps have given a different turn to the destinies of the world. In particular the submissiveness towards Rome, by which he purchased the time indispensable for his objects, formed a severe trial for the fierce and haughty man; nevertheless he courageously endured it, although his subjects and the innocent occasions of the quarrel, such as the unfortunate Maronea, paid severely for the suppression of his resentment. It seemed as if war could not but break out as early as 571; but by Philip's instructions, his younger son, Demetrius, effected a reconciliation between his father and Rome, where he had lived some years as a hostage and was a great favourite. The senate, and particularly Flamininus who managed Greek affairs, sought to form in Macedonia a Roman party that would be able to paralyze the exertions of Philip, which of course were not unknown to the Romans; and had selected as its head, and perhaps as the future king of Macedonia, the younger prince who was passionately attached to Rome. With this purpose in view they gave it clearly to be understood that the senate forgave the father for the sake of the son; the natural effect of which was, that dissensions arose in the royal household itself, and that the king's elder son, Perseus, who, although the offspring of an unequal marriage, was destined by his father for the succession, sought to ruin his brother as his future rival. It does not appear that Demetrius was a party to the Roman intrigues; it was only when he was falsely suspected that he was forced to become guilty, and even then he intended, apparently, nothing more than flight to Rome. But Perseus took care that his father should be duly informed of this design; an intercepted letter from Flamininus to Demetrius did the rest, and induced the father to give orders that his son should be put to death. Philip learned, when it was too late, the intrigues which Perseus had concocted; and death overtook him, as he was meditating the punishment of the fratricide and his exclusion from the throne. He died in 575 at Demetrias, in his fifty-ninth year. He left behind him a shattered kingdom and a distracted household, and with a broken heart confessed to himself that all his toils and all his crimes had been in vain.

King Perseus

His son Perseus then entered on the government, without encountering opposition either in Macedonia or in the Roman senate. He was a man of stately aspect, expert in all bodily exercises, reared in the camp and accustomed to command, imperious like his father and unscrupulous in the choice of his means. Wine and women, which too often led Philip to forget the duties of government, had no charm for Perseus; he was as steady and persevering as his father had been fickle and impulsive. Philip, a king while still a boy, and attended by good fortune during the first twenty years of his reign, had been spoiled and ruined by destiny; Perseus ascended the throne in his thirty-first year, and, as he had while yet a boy borne a part in the unhappy war with Rome and had grown up under the pressure of humiliation and under the idea that a revival of the state was at hand, so he inherited along with the kingdom of his father his troubles, resentments, and hopes. In fact he entered with the utmost determination on the continuance of his father's work, and prepared more zealously than ever for war against Rome; he was stimulated, moreover, by the reflection, that he was by no means indebted to the goodwill of the Romans for his wearing the diadem of Macedonia. The proud Macedonian nation looked with pride upon the prince whom they had been accustomed to see marching and fighting at the head of their youth; his countrymen, and many Hellenes of every variety of lineage, conceived that in him they had found the right general for the impending war of liberation. But he was not what he seemed. He wanted Philip's geniality and Philip's elasticity—those truly royal qualities, which success obscured and tarnished, but which under the purifying power of adversity recovered their lustre. Philip was self-indulgent, and allowed things to take their course; but, when there was occasion, he found within himself the vigour necessary for rapid and earnest action. Perseus devised comprehensive and subtle plans, and prosecuted them with unwearied perseverance; but, when the moment arrived for action and his plans and preparations confronted him in living reality, he was frightened at his own work. As is the wont of narrow minds, the means became to him the end; he heaped up treasures on treasures for war with the Romans, and, when the Romans were in the land, he was unable to part with his golden pieces. It is a significant indication of character that after defeat the father first hastened to destroy the papers in his cabinet that might compromise him, whereas the son took his treasure-chests and embarked. In ordinary times he might have made an average king, as good as or better than many another; but he was not adapted for the conduct of an enterprise, which was from the first a hopeless one unless some extraordinary man should become the soul of the movement.

Resources of Macedonia

The power of Macedonia was far from inconsiderable. The devotion of the land to the house of the Antigonids was unimpaired; in this one respect the national feeling was not paralyzed by the dissensions of political parties. A monarchical constitution has the great advantage, that every change of sovereign supersedes old resentments and quarrels and introduces a new era of other men and fresh hopes. The king had judiciously availed himself of this, and had begun his reign with a general amnesty, with the recall of fugitive bankrupts, and with the remission of arrears of taxes. The hateful severity of the father thus not only yielded benefit, but conciliated affection, to the son. Twenty-six years of peace had partly of themselves filled up the blanks in the Macedonian population, partly given opportunity to the government to take serious steps towards rectifying this which was really the weak point of the land. Philip urged the Macedonians to marry and raise up children; he occupied the coast towns, whose inhabitants he carried into the interior, with Thracian colonists of trusty valour and fidelity. He formed a barrier on the north to check once for all the desolating incursions of the Dardani, by converting the space intervening between the Macedonian frontier and the barbarian territory into a desert, and by founding new towns in the northern provinces. In short he took step by step the same course in Macedonia, as Augustus afterwards took when he laid afresh the foundations of the Roman empire. The army was numerous—30,000 men without reckoning contingents and hired troops—and the younger men were well exercised in the constant border warfare with the Thracian barbarians. It is strange that Philip did not try, like Hannibal, to organize his army after the Roman fashion; but we can understand it when we recollect the value which the Macedonians set upon their phalanx, often conquered, but still withal believed to be invincible. Through the new sources of revenue which Philip had created in mines, customs, and tenths, and through the flourishing state of agriculture and commerce, he had succeeded in replenishing his treasury, granaries, and arsenals. When the war began, there was in the Macedonian treasury money enough to pay the existing army and 10,000 hired troops for ten years, and there were in the public magazines stores of grain for as long a period (18,000,000 medimni or 27,000,000 bushels), and arms for an army of three times the strength of the existing one. In fact, Macedonia had become a very different state from what it was when surprised by the outbreak of the second war with Rome. The power of the kingdom was in all respects at least doubled: with a power in every point of view far inferior Hannibal had been able to shake Rome to its foundations.

Attempted Coalition against Rome

Its external relations were not in so favourable a position. The nature of the case required that Macedonia should now take up the plans of Hannibal and Antiochus, and should try to place herself at the head of a coalition of all oppressed states against the supremacy of Rome; and certainly threads of intrigue ramified in all directions from the court of Pydna. But their success was slight. It was indeed asserted that the allegiance of the Italians was wavering; but neither friend nor foe could fail to see that an immediate resumption of the Samnite wars was not at all probable. The nocturnal conferences likewise between Macedonian deputies and the Carthaginian senate, which Massinissa denounced at Rome, could occasion no alarm to serious and sagacious men, even if they were not, as is very possible, an utter fiction. The Macedonian court sought to attach the kings of Syria and Bithynia to its interests by intermarriages; but nothing further came of it, except that the immortal simplicity of the diplomacy which seeks to gain political ends by matrimonial means once more exposed itself to derision. Eumenes, whom it would have been ridiculous to attempt to gain, the agents of Perseus would have gladly put out of the way: he was to have been murdered at Delphi on his way homeward from Rome, where he had been active against Macedonia; but the pretty project miscarried.


Of greater moment were the efforts made to stir up the northern barbarians and the Hellenes to rebellion against Rome. Philip had conceived the project of crushing the old enemies of Macedonia, the Dardani in what is now Servia, by means of another still more barbarous horde of Germanic descent brought from the left bank of the Danube, the Bastarnae, and of then marching in person with these and with the whole avalanche of peoples thus set in motion by the land- route to Italy and invading Lombardy, the Alpine passes leading to which he had already sent spies to reconnoitre—a grand project, worthy of Hannibal, and doubtless immediately suggested by Hannibal's passage of the Alps. It is more than probable that this gave occasion to the founding of the Roman fortress of Aquileia,(2) which was formed towards the end of the reign of Philip (573), and did not harmonize with the system followed elsewhere by the Romans in the establishment of fortresses in Italy. The plan, however, was thwarted by the desperate resistance of the Dardani and of the adjoining tribes concerned; the Bastarnae were obliged to retreat, and the whole horde were drowned in returning home by the giving way of the ice on the Danube. The king now sought at least to extend his clientship among the chieftains of the Illyrian land, the modern Dalmatia and northern Albania. One of these who faithfully adhered to Rome, Arthetaurus, perished, not without the cognizance of Perseus, by the hand of an assassin. The most considerable of the whole, Genthius the son and heir of Pleuratus, was, like his father, nominally in alliance with Rome; but the ambassadors of Issa, a Greek town on one of the Dalmatian islands, informed the senate, that Perseus had a secret understanding with the young, weak, and drunken prince, and that the envoys of Genthius served as spies for Perseus in Rome.


In the regions on the east of Macedonia towards the lower Danube the most powerful of the Thracian chieftains, the brave and sagacious Cotys, prince of the Odrysians and ruler of all eastern Thrace from the Macedonian frontier on the Hebrus (Maritza) down to the fringe of coast covered with Greek towns, was in the closest alliance with Perseus. Of the other minor chiefs who in that quarter took part with Rome, one, Abrupolis prince of the Sagaei, was, in consequence of a predatory expedition directed against Amphipolis on the Strymon, defeated by Perseus and driven out of the country. From these regions Philip had drawn numerous colonists, and mercenaries were to be had there at any time and in any number.

Greek National Party

Among the unhappy nation of the Hellenes Philip and Perseus had, long before declaring war against Rome carried on a lively double system of proselytizing, attempting to gain over to the side of Macedonia on the one hand the national, and on the other—if we may be permitted the expression—the communistic, party. As a matter of course, the whole national party among the Asiatic as well as the European Greeks was now at heart Macedonian; not on account of isolated unrighteous acts on the part of the Roman deliverers, but because the restoration of Hellenic nationality by a foreign power involved a contradiction in terms, and now, when it was in truth too late, every one perceived that the most detestable form of Macedonian rule was less fraught with evil for Greece than a free constitution springing from the noblest intentions of honourable foreigners. That the most able and upright men throughout Greece should be opposed to Rome was to be expected; the venal aristocracy alone was favourable to the Romans, and here and there an isolated man of worth, who, unlike the great majority, was under no delusion as to the circumstances and the future of the nation. This was most painfully felt by Eumenes of Pergamus, the main upholder of that extraneous freedom among the Greeks. In vain he treated the cities subject to him with every sort of consideration; in vain he sued for the favour of the communities and diets by fair- sounding words and still better-sounding gold; he had to learn that his presents were declined, and that all the statues that had formerly been erected to him were broken in pieces and the honorary tablets were melted down, in accordance with a decree of the diet, simultaneously throughout the Peloponnesus (584). The name of Perseus was on all lips; even the states that formerly were most decidedly anti-Macedonian, such as the Achaeans, deliberated as to the cancelling of the laws directed against Macedonia; Byzantium, although situated within the kingdom of Pergamus, sought and obtained protection and a garrison against the Thracians not from Eumenes, but from Perseus, and in like manner Lampsacus on the Hellespont joined the Macedonian: the powerful and prudent Rhodians escorted the Syrian bride of king Perseus from Antioch with their whole magnificent war- fleet—for the Syrian war-vessels were not allowed to appear in the Aegean—and returned home highly honoured and furnished with rich presents, more especially with wood for shipbuilding; commissioners from the Asiatic cities, and consequently subjects of Eumenes, held secret conferences with Macedonian deputies in Samothrace. That sending of the Rhodian war-fleet had at least the aspect of a demonstration; and such, certainly, was the object of king Perseus, when he exhibited himself and all his army before the eyes of the Hellenes under pretext of performing a religious ceremony at Delphi. That the king should appeal to the support of this national partisanship in the impending war, was only natural. But it was wrong in him to take advantage of the fearful economic disorganization of Greece for the purpose of attaching to Macedonia all those who desired a revolution in matters of property and of debt. It is difficult to form any adequate idea of the unparalleled extent to which the commonwealths as well as individuals in European Greece—excepting the Peloponnesus, which was in a somewhat better position in this respect —were involved in debt. Instances occurred of one city attacking and pillaging another merely to get money—the Athenians, for example, thus attacked Oropus—and among the Aetolians, Perrhaebians, and Thessalians formal battles took place between those that had property and those that had none. Under such circumstances the worst outrages were perpetrated as a matter of course; among the Aetolians, for instance, a general amnesty was proclaimed and a new public peace was made up solely for the purpose of entrapping and putting to death a number of emigrants. The Romans attempted to mediate; but their envoys returned without success, and announced that both parties were equally bad and that their animosities were not to be restrained. In this case there was, in fact, no longer other help than the officer and the executioner; sentimental Hellenism began to be as repulsive as from the first it had been ridiculous. Yet king Perseus sought to gain the support of this party, if it deserve to be called such—of people who had nothing, and least of all an honourable name, to lose —and not only issued edicts in favour of Macedonian bankrupts, but also caused placards to be put up at Larisa, Delphi, and Delos, which summoned all Greeks that were exiled on account of political or other offences or on account of their debts to come to Macedonia and to look for full restitution of their former honours and estates. As may easily be supposed, they came; the social revolution smouldering throughout northern Greece now broke out into open flame, and the national-social party there sent to Perseus for help. If Hellenic nationality was to be saved only by such means, the question might well be asked, with all respect for Sophocles and Phidias, whether the object was worth the cost.

Rupture with Perseus

The senate saw that it had delayed too long already, and that it was time to put an end to such proceedings. The expulsion of the Thracian chieftain Abrupolis who was in alliance with the Romans, and the alliances of Macedonia with the Byzantines, Aetolians, and part of the Boeotian cities, were equally violations of the peace of 557, and sufficed for the official war-manifesto: the real ground of war was that Macedonia was seeking to convert her formal sovereignty into a real one, and to supplant Rome in the protectorate of the Hellenes. As early as 581 the Roman envoys at the Achaean diet stated pretty plainly, that an alliance with Perseus was equivalent to casting off the alliance of Rome. In 582 king Eumenes came in person to Rome with a long list of grievances and laid open to the senate the whole situation of affairs; upon which the senate unexpectedly in a secret sitting resolved on an immediate declaration of war, and furnished the landing-places in Epirus with garrisons. For the sake of form an embassy was sent to Macedonia, but its message was of such a nature that Perseus, perceiving that he could not recede, replied that he was ready to conclude with Rome a new alliance on really equal terms, but that he looked upon the treaty of 557 as cancelled; and he bade the envoys leave the kingdom within three days. Thus war was practically declared.

This was in the autumn of 582. Perseus, had he wished, might have occupied all Greece and brought the Macedonian party everywhere to the helm, and he might perhaps have crushed the Roman division of 5000 men stationed under Gnaeus Sicinius at Apollonia and have disputed the landing of the Romans. But the king, who already began to tremble at the serious aspect of affairs, entered into discussions with his guest-friend the consular Quintus Marcius Philippus, as to the frivolousness of the Roman declaration of war, and allowed himself to be thereby induced to postpone the attack and once more to make an effort for peace with Rome: to which the senate, as might have been expected, only replied by the dismissal of all Macedonians from Italy and the embarkation of the legions. Senators of the older school no doubt censured the "new wisdom" of their colleague, and his un-Roman artifice; but the object was gained and the winter passed away without any movement on the part of Perseus. The Romati diplomatists made all the more zealous use of the interval to deprive Perseus of any support in Greece. They were sure of the Achaeans. Even the patriotic party among them—who had neither agreed with those social movements, nor had soared higher than the longing after a prudent neutrality—had no idea of throwing themselves into the arms of Perseus; and, besides, the opposition party there had now been brought by Roman influence to the helm, and attached itself absolutely to Rome. The Aetolian league had doubtless asked aid from Perseus in its internal troubles; but the new strategus, Lyciscus, chosen under the eyes of the Roman ambassadors, was more of a Roman partisan than the Romans themselves. Among the Thessalians also the Roman party retained the ascendency. Even the Boeotians, old partisans as they were of Macedonia, and sunk in the utmost financial disorder, had not in their collective capacity declared openly for Perseus; nevertheless at least three of their cities, Thisbae, Haliartus and Coronea, had of their own accord entered into engagements with him. When on the complaint of the Roman envoy the government of the Boeotian confederacy communicated to him the position of things, he declared that it would best appear which cities adhered to Rome, and which did not, if they would severally pronounce their decision in his presence; and thereupon the Boeotian confederacy fell at once to pieces. It is not true that the great structure of Epaminondas was destroyed by the Romans; it actually collapsed before they touched it, and thus indeed became the prelude to the dissolution of the other still more firmly consolidated leagues of Greek cities.(3) With the forces of the Boeotian towns friendly to Rome the Roman envoy Publius Lentulus laid siege to Haliartus, even before the Roman fleet appeared in the Aegean.

Preparations for War

Chalcis was occupied with Achaean, and the province of Orestis with Epirot, forces: the fortresses of the Dassaretae and Illyrians on the west frontier of Macedonia were occupied by the troops of Gnaeus Sicinius; and as soon as the navigation was resumed, Larisa received a garrison of 2000 men. Perseus during all this remained inactive and had not a foot's breadth of land beyond his own territory, when in the spring, or according to the official calendar in June, of 583, the Roman legions landed on the west coast. It is doubtful whether Perseus would have found allies of any mark, even had he shown as much energy as he displayed remissness; but, as circumstances stood, he remained of course completely isolated, and those prolonged attempts at proselytism led, for the time at least, to no result. Carthage, Genthius of Illyria, Rhodes and the free cities of Asia Minor, and even Byzantium hitherto so very friendly with Perseus, offered to the Romans vessels of war; which these, however, declined. Eumenes put his land army and his ships on a war footing. Ariarathes king of Cappadocia sent hostages, unsolicited, to Rome. The brother-in-law of Perseus, Prusias II. king of Bithynia, remained neutral. No one stirred in all Greece. Antiochus IV. king of Syria, designated in court style "the god, the brilliant bringer of victory," to distinguish him from his father the "Great," bestirred himself, but only to wrest the Syrian coast during this war from the entirely impotent Egypt.

Beginning of the War

But, though Perseus stood almost alone, he was no contemptible antagonist. His army numbered 43,000 men; of these 21,000 were phalangites, and 4000 Macedonian and Thracian cavalry; the rest were chiefly mercenaries. The whole force of the Romans in Greece amounted to between 30,000 and 40,000 Italian troops, besides more than 10,000 men belonging to Numidian, Ligurian, Greek, Cretan, and especially Pergamene contingents. To these was added the fleet, which numbered only 40 decked vessels, as there was no fleet of the enemy to oppose it—Perseus, who had been prohibited from building ships of war by the treaty with Rome, was only now erecting docks at Thessalonica—but it had on board 10,000 troops, as it was destined chiefly to co-operate in sieges. The fleet was commanded by Gaius Lucretius, the land army by the consul Publius Licinius Crassus.

The Romans Invade Thessaly

The consul left a strong division in Illyria to harass Macedonia from the west, while with the main force he started, as usual, from Apollonia for Thessaly. Perseus did not think of disturbing their arduous march, but contented himself with advancing into Perrhaebia and occupying the nearest fortresses. He awaited the enemy at Ossa, and not far from Larisa the first conflict took place between the cavalry and light troops on both sides. The Romans were decidedly beaten. Cotys with the Thracian horse had defeated and broken the Italian, and Perseus with his Macedonian horse the Greek, cavalry; the Romans had 2000 foot and 200 horsemen killed, and 600 horsemen made prisoners, and had to deem themselves fortunate in being allowed to cross the Peneius without hindrance. Perseus employed the victory to ask peace on the same terms which Philip had obtained: he was ready even to pay the same sum. The Romans refused his request: they never concluded peace after a defeat, and in this case the conclusion of peace would certainly have involved as a consequence the loss of Greece.

Their Lax and Unsuccessful Management of the War

The wretched Roman commander, however, knew not how or where to attack; the army marched to and fro in Thessaly, without accomplishing anything of importance. Perseus might have assumed the offensive; he saw that the Romans were badly led and dilatory; the news had passed like wildfire through Greece, that the Greek army had been brilliantly victorious in the first engagement; a second victory might lead to a general rising of the patriot party, and, by commencing a guerilla warfare, might produce incalculable results. But Perseus, while a good soldier, was not a general like his father; he had made his preparations for a defensive war, and, when things took a different turn, he felt himself as it were paralyzed. He made an unimportant success, which the Romans obtained in a second cavalry combai near Phalanna, a pretext for reverting, as is the habit of narrow and obstinate minds, to his first plan and evacuating Thessaly. This was of course equivalent to renouncing all idea of a Hellenic insurrection: what might have been attained by a different course was shown by the fact that, notwithstanding what had occurred, the Epirots changed sides. Thenceforth nothing serious was accomplished on either side. Perseus subdued king Genthius, chastised the Dardani, and, by means of Cotys, expelled from Thrace the Thracians friendly to Rome and the Pergamene troops. On the other hand the western Roman army took some Illyrian towns, and the consul busied himself in clearing Thessaly of the Macedonian garrisons and making sure of the turbulent Aetolians and Acarnanians by occupying Ambracia. But the heroic courage of the Romans was most severely felt by the unfortunate Boeotian towns which took part with Perseus; the inhabitants as well of Thisbae, which surrendered without resistance as soon as the Roman admiral Gaius Lucretius appeared before the city, as of Haliartus, which closed its gates against him and had to be taken by storm, were sold by him into slavery; Corcnea was treated in the same manner by the consul Crassus in spite even of its capitulation. Never had a Roman army exhibited such wretched discipline as the force under these commanders. They had so disorganized the army that, even in the next campaign of 584, the new consul Aulus Hostilius could not think of undertaking anything serious, especially as the new admiral Lucius Hortensius showed himself to be as incapable and unprincipled as his predecessor. The fleet visited the towns on the Thracian coast without result. The western army under Appius Claudius, whose headquarters were at Lychnidus in the territory of the Dassaretae, sustained one defeat after another: after an expedition to Macedonia had been utterly unsuccessful, the king in turn towards the beginning of winter assumed the aggressive with the troops which were no longer needed on the south frontier in consequence of the deep snow blocking up all the passes, took from Appius numerous townships and a multitude of prisoners, and entered into connections with king Genthius; he was able in fact to attempt an invasion of Aetolia, while Appius allowed himself to be once more defeated in Epirus by the garrison of a fortress which he had vainly besieged. The Roman main army made two attempts to penetrate into Macedonia: first, ovei the Cambunian mountains, and then through the Thessalian passes; but they were negligently planned, and both were repulsed by Perseus.

Abuses in the Army

The consul employed himself chiefly in the reorganization of the army —a work which was above all things needful, but which required a sterner man and an officer of greater mark. Discharges and furloughs might be bought, and therefore the divisions were never up to their full numbers; the men were put into quarters in summer, and, as the officers plundered on a large, the common soldiers plundered on a small, scale. Friendly peoples were subjected to the most shameful suspicions: for instance, the blame of the disgraceful defeat at Larisa was imputed to the pretended treachery of the Aetolian cavalry, and, what was hitherto unprecedented, its officers were sent to be criminally tried at Rome; and the Molossians in Epirus were forced by false suspicions into actual revolt. The allied states had war- contributions imposed upon them as if they had been conquered, and if they appealed to the Roman senate, their citizens were executed or sold into slavery: this was done, for instance, at Abdera, and similar outrages were committed at Chalcis. The senate interfered very earnestly:(4) it enjoined the liberation of the unfortunate Coroneans and Abderites, and forbade the Roman magistrates to ask contributions from the allies without its leave. Gaius Lucretius was unanimously condemned by the burgesses. But such steps could not alter the fact, that the military result of these first two campaigns had been null, while the political result had been a foul stain on the Romans, whose extraordinary successes in the east were based in no small degree on their reputation for moral purity and solidity as compared with the scandals of Hellenic administration. Had Philip commanded instead of Perseus, the war would presumably have begun with the destruction of the Roman army and the defection of most of the Hellenes; but Rome was fortunate enough to be constantly outstripped in blunders by her antagonists. Perseus was content with entrenching himself in Macedonia—which towards the south and west is a true mountain- fortress—as in a beleaguered town.

Marcius Enters Macedonia through the Pass of Tempe
The Armies on the Elpius

The third commander-in-chief also, whom Rome sent to Macedonia in 585, Quintus Marcius Philippus, that already-mentioned upright guest-friend of the king, was not at all equal to his far from easy task. He was ambitious and enterprising, but a bad officer. His hazardous venture of crossing Olympus by the pass of Lapathus westward of Tempe, leaving behind one division to face the garrison of the pass, and making his way with his main force through impracticable denies to Heracleum, is not excused by the fact of its success. Not only might a handful of resolute men have blocked the route, in which case retreat was out of the question; but even after the passage, when he stood with the Macedonian main force in front and the strongly-fortified mountain- fortresses of Tempe and Lapathus behind him, wedged into a narrow plain on the shore and without supplies or the possibility of foraging for them, his position was no less desperate than when, in his first consulate, he had allowed himself to be similarly surrounded in the Ligurian defiles which thenceforth bore his name. But as an accident saved him then, so the incapacity of Perseus saved him now. As if he could not comprehend the idea of defending himself against the Romans otherwise than by blocking the passes, he strangely gave himself over as lost as soon as he saw the Romans on the Macedonian side of them, fled in all haste to Pydna, and ordered his ships to be burnt and his treasures to be sunk. But even this voluntary retreat of the Macedonian army did not rescue the consul from his painful position. He advanced indeed without hindrance, but was obliged after four days' march to turn back for want of provisions; and, when the king came to his senses and returned in all haste to resume the position which he had abandoned, the Roman army would have been in great danger, had not the impregnable Tempe surrendered at the right moment and handed over its rich stores to the enemy. The communication with the south was by this means secured to the Roman army; but Perseus had strongly barricaded himself in his former well-chosen position on the bank of the little river Elpius, and there checked the farther advance of the Romans. So the Roman army remained, during the rest of the summer and the winter, hemmed in in the farthest corner of Thessaly; and, while the crossing of the passes was certainly a success and the first substantial one in the war, it was due not to the ability of the Roman, but to the blundering of the Macedonian, general. The Roman fleet in vain attempted the capture of Demetrias, and performed no exploit whatever. The light ships of Perseus boldly cruised between the Cyclades, protected the corn-vessels destined for Macedonia, and attacked the transports of the enemy. With the western army matters were still worse: Appius Claudius could do nothing with his weakened division, and the contingent which he asked from Achaia was prevented from coming to him by the jealousy of the consul. Moreover, Genthius had allowed himself to be bribed by Perseus with the promise of a great sum of money to break with Rome, and to imprison the Roman envoys; whereupon the frugal king deemed it superfluous to pay the money which he had promised, since Genthius was now forsooth compelled, independently of it, to substitute an attitude of decided hostility to Rome for the ambiguous position which he had hitherto maintained. Accordingly the Romans had a further petty war by the side of the great one, which had already lasted three years. In fact had Perseus been able to part with his money, he might easily have aroused enemies still more dangerous to the Romans. A Celtic host under Clondicus—10,000 horsemen and as many infantry—offered to take service with him in Macedonia itself; but they could not agree as to the pay. In Hellas too there was such a ferment that a guerilla warfare might easily have been kindled with a little dexterity and a full exchequer; but, as Perseus had no desire to give and the Greeks did nothing gratuitously, the land remained quiet.


At length the Romans resolved to send the right man to Greece. This was Lucius Aemilius Paullus, son of the consul of the same name that fell at Cannae; a man of the old nobility but of humble means, and therefore not so successful in the comitia as on the battle-field, where he had remarkably distinguished himself in Spain and still more so in Liguria. The people elected him for the second time consul in the year 586 on account of his merits—a course which was at that time rare and exceptional. He was in all respects the right man: an excellent general of the old school, strict as respected both himself and his troops, and, notwithstanding his sixty years, still hale and vigorous; an incorruptible magistrate—"one of the few Romans of that age, to whom one could not offer money," as a contemporary says of him—and a man of Hellenic culture, who, even when commander-in-chief, embraced the opportunity of travelling through Greece to inspect its works of art.

Perseus Is Driven Back to Pydna
Battle of Pydna
Perseus Taken Prisoner

As soon as the new general arrived in the camp at Heracleum, he gave orders for the ill-guarded pass at Pythium to be surprised by Publius Nasica, while skirmishes between the outposts in the channel of the river Elpius occupied the attention of the Macedonians; the enemy was thus turned, and was obliged to retreat to Pydna. There on the Roman 4th of September, 586, or on the 22nd of June of the Julian calendar —an eclipse of the moon, which a scientific Roman officer announced beforehand to the army that it might not be regarded as a bad omen, affords in this case the means of determining the date—the outposts accidentally fell into conflict as they were watering their horses after midday; and both sides determined at once to give the battle, which it was originally intended to postpone till the following day. Passing through the ranks in person, without helmet or shield, the grey-headed Roman general arranged his men. Scarce were they in position, when the formidable phalanx assailed them; the general himself, who had witnessed many a hard fight, afterwards acknowledged that he had trembled. The Roman vanguard dispersed; a Paelignian cohort was overthrown and almost annihilated; the legions themselves hurriedly retreated till they reached a hill close upon the Roman camp. Here the fortune of the day changed. The uneven ground and the hurried pursuit had disordered the ranks of the phalanx; the Romans in single cohorts entered at every gap, and attacked it on the flanks and in rear; the Macedonian cavalry which alone could have rendered aid looked calmly on, and soon fled in a body, the king among the foremost; and thus the fate of Macedonia was decided in less than an hour. The 3000 select phalangites allowed themselves to be cut down to the last man; it was as if the phalanx, which fought its last great battle at Pydna, had itself wished to perish there. The overthrow was fearful; 20,000 Macedonians lay on the field of battle, 11,000 were prisoners. The war was at an end, on the fifteenth day after Paullus had assumed the command; all Macedonia submitted in two days. The king fled with his gold—he still had more than 6000 talents (1,460,000 pounds) in his chest—to Samothrace, accompanied by a few faithful attendants. But he himself put to death one of these, Evander of Crete, who was to be called to account as instigator of the attempted assassination of Eumenes; and then the king's pages and his last comrades also deserted him. For a moment he hoped that the right of asylum would protect him; but he himself perceived that he was clinging to a straw. An attempt to take flight to Cotys failed. So he wrote to the consul; but the letter was not received, because he had designated himself in it as king. He recognized his fate, and surrendered to the Romans at discretion with his children and his treasures, pusillanimous and weeping so as to disgust even his conquerors. With a grave satisfaction, and with thoughts turning rather on the mutability of fortune than on his own present success, the consul received the most illustrious captive whom Roman general had ever brought home. Perseus died a few years after, as a state prisoner, at Alba on the Fucine lake;(5) his son in after years earned a living in the same Italian country town as a clerk.

Thus perished the empire of Alexander the Great, which had subdued and
Hellenized the east, 144 years after its founder's death.

Defeat and Capture of Genthius

That the tragedy, moreover, might not be without its accompaniment of farce, at the same time the war against "king" Genthius of Illyria was also begun and ended by the praetor Lucius Anicius within thirty days. The piratical fleet was taken, the capital Scodra was captured, and the two kings, the heir of Alexander the Great and the heir of Pleuratus, entered Rome side by side as prisoners.

Macedonia Broken Up

The senate had resolved that the peril, which the unseasonable gentleness of Flamininus had brought on Rome, should not recur. Macedonia was abolished. In the conference at Amphipolis on the Strymon the Roman commission ordained that the compact, thoroughly monarchical, single state should be broken up into four republican- federative leagues moulded on the system of the Greek confederacies, viz. that of Amphipolis in the eastern regions, that of Thessalonica with the Chalcidian peninsula, that of Pella on the frontiers of Thessaly, and that of Pelagonia in the interior. Intermarriages between persons belonging to different confederacies were to be invalid, and no one might be a freeholder in more than one of them. All royal officials, as well as their grown-up sons, were obliged to leave the country and resort to Italy on pain of death; the Romans still dreaded, and with reason, the throbbings of the ancient loyalty. The law of the land and the former constitution otherwise remained in force; the magistrates were of course nominated by election in each community, and the power in the communities as well as in the confederacies was placed in the hands of the upper class. The royal domains and royalties were not granted to the confederacies, and these were specially prohibited from working the gold and silvei mines, a chief source of the national wealth; but in 596 they were again permitted to work at least the silver-mines.(6) The import of salt, and the export of timber for shipbuilding, were prohibited. The land- tax hitherto paid to the king ceased, and the confederacies and communities were left to tax themselves; but these had to pay to Rome half of the former land-tax, according to a rate fixed once for all, amounting in all to 100 talents annually (24,000 pounds).(7) The whole land was for ever disarmed, and the fortress of Demetrias was razed; on the northern frontier alone a chain of posts was to be retained to guard against the incursions of the barbarians. Of the arms given up, the copper shields were sent to Rome, and the rest were burnt.

The Romans gained their object. The Macedonian land still on two occasions took up arms at the call of princes of the old reigning house; but otherwise from that time to the present day it has remained without a history.

Illyria Broken Up

Illyria was treated in a similar way. The kingdom of Genthius was split up into three small free states. There too the freeholders paid the half of the former land-tax to their new masters, with the exception of the towns, which had adhered to Rome and in return obtained exemption from land-tax—an exception, which there was no opportunity to make in the case of Macedonia. The Illyrian piratic fleet was confiscated, and presented to the more reputable Greek communities along that coast. The constant annoyances, which the Illyrians inflicted on the neighbours by their corsairs, were in this way put an end to, at least for a lengthened period.


Cotys in Thrace, who was difficult to be reached and might conveniently be used against Eumenes, obtained pardon and received back his captive son.

Thus the affairs of the north were settled, and Macedonia also was at last released from the yoke of monarchy—in fact Greece was more free than ever; a king no longer existed anywhere.

Humiliation of the Greeks in General
Course Pursued with Pergamus

But the Romans did not confine themselves to cutting the nerves and sinews of Macedonia. The senate resolved at once to render all the Hellenic states, friend and foe, for ever incapable of harm, and to reduce all of them alike to the same humble clientship. The course pursued may itself admit of justification; but the mode in which it was carried out in the case of the more powerful of the Greek client- states was unworthy of a great power, and showed that the epoch of the Fabii and the Scipios was at an end.

The state most affected by this change in the position of parties was the kingdom of the Attalids, which had been created and fostered by Rome to keep Macedonia in check, and which now, after the destruction of Macedonia, was forsooth no longer needed. It was not easy to find a tolerable pretext for depriving the prudent and considerate Eumenes of his privileged position, and allowing him to fall into disfavour. All at once, about the time when the Romans were encamped at Heracleum, strange reports were circulated regarding him—that he was in secret intercourse with Perseus; that his fleet had been suddenly, as it were, wafted away; that 500 talents had been offered for his non-participation in the campaign and 1500 for his mediation to procure peace, and that the agreement had only broken down through the avarice of Perseus. As to the Pergamene fleet, the king, after having paid his respects to the consul, went home with it at the same time that the Roman fleet went into winter quarters. The story about corruption was as certainly a fable as any newspaper canard of the present day; for that the rich, cunning, and consistent Attalid, who had primarily occasioned the breach between Rome and Macedonia by his journey in 582 and had been on that account wellnigh assassinated by the banditti of Perseus, should—at the moment when the real difficulties of a war, of whose final issue, moreover, he could never have had any serious doubt, were overcome—have sold to the instigator of the murder his share in the spoil for a few talents, and should have perilled the work of long years for so pitiful a consideration, may be set down not merely as a fabrication, but as a very silly one. That no proof was found either in the papers of Perseus or elsewhere, is sufficiently certain; for even the Romans did not venture to express those suspicions aloud, But they gained their object. Their wishes appeared in the behaviour of the Roman grandees towards Attalus, the brother of Eumenes, who had commanded the Pergamene auxiliary troops in Greece. Their brave and faithful comrade was received in Rome with open arms and invited to ask not for his brother, but for himself—the senate would be glad to give him a kingdom of his own. Attalus asked nothing but Aenus and Maronea. The senate thought that this was only a preliminary request, and granted it with great politeness. But when he took his departure without having made any further demands, and the senate came to perceive that the reigning family in Pergamus did not live on such terms with each other as were customary in princely houses, Aenus and Maronea were declared free cities. The Pergamenes obtained not a foot's breadth of territory out of the spoil of Macedonia; if after the victory over Antiochus the Romans had still saved forms as respected Philip, they were now disposed to hurt and to humiliate. About this time the senate appears to have declared Pamphylia, for the possession of which Eumenes and Antiochus had hitherto contended, independent. What was of more importance, the Galatians—who had been substantially in the power of Eumenes, ever since he had expelled the king of Pontus by force of arms from Caiatia and had on making peace extorted from him the promise that he would maintain no further communication with the Galatian princes—now, reckoning beyond doubt on the variance that had taken place between Eumenes and the Romans, if not directly instigated by the latter, rose against Eumenes, overran his kingdom, and brought him into great danger. Eumenes besought the mediation of the Romans; the Roman envoy declared his readiness to mediate, but thought it better that Attalus, who commanded the Pergamene army, should not accompany him lest the barbarians might be put into ill humour. Singularly enough, he accomplished nothing; in fact, he told on his return that his mediation had only exasperated the barbarians. No long time elapsed before the independence of the Galatians was expressly recognized and guaranteed by the senate. Eumenes determined to proceed to Rome in person, and to plead his cause in the senate. But the latter, as if troubled by an evil conscience, suddenly decreed that in future kings should not be allowed to come to Rome; and despatched a quaestor to meet him at Brundisium, to lay before him this decree of the senate, to ask him what he wanted, and to hint to him that they would be glad to see his speedy departure. The king was long silent; at length he said that he desired nothing farther, and re-embarked. He saw how matters stood: the epoch of half-powerful and half-free alliance was at an end; that of impotent subjection began.

Humiliation of Rhodes

Similar treatment befell the Rhodians. They had a singularly privileged position: their relation to Rome assumed the form not of symmachy properly so called, but of friendly equality; it did not prevent them from entering into alliances of any kind, and did not compel them to supply the Romans with a contingent on demand. This very circumstance was presumably the real reason why their good understanding with Rome had already for some time been impaired. The first dissensions with Rome had arisen in consequence of the rising of the Lycians, who were handed over to Rhodes after the defeat of Antiochus, against their oppressors who had (576) cruelly reduced them to slavery as revolted subjects; the Lycians, however, asserted that they were not subjects but allies of the Rhodians, and prevailed with this plea in the Roman senate, which was invited to settle the doubtful meaning of the instrument of peace. But in this result a justifiable sympathy with the victims of grievous oppression had perhaps the chief share; at least nothing further was done on the part of the Romans, who left this as well as other Hellenic quarrels to take their course. When the war with Perseus broke out, the Rhodians, like all other sensible Greeks, viewed it with regret, and blamed Eumenes in particular as the instigator of it, so that his festal embassy was not even permitted to be present at the festival of Helios in Rhodes. But this did not prevent them from adhering to Rome and keeping the Macedonian party, which existed in Rhodes as well as everywhere else, aloof from the helm of affairs. The permission given to them in 585 to export grain from Sicily shows the continuance of the good understanding with Rome. All of a sudden, shortly before the battle of Pydna, Rhodian envoys appeared at the Roman head-quarters and in the Roman senate, announcing that the Rhodians would no longer tolerate this war which was injurious to their Macedonian traffic and their revenue from port-dues, that they were disposed themselves to declare war against the party which should refuse to make peace, and that with this view they had already concluded an alliance with Crete and with the Asiatic cities. Many caprices are possible in a republic governed by primary assemblies; but this insane intervention of a commercial city—which can only have been resolved on after the fall of the pass of Tempe was known at Rhodes—requires special explanation. The key to it is furnished by the well-attested account that the consul Quintus Marcius, that master of the "new-fashioned diplomacy," had in the camp at Heracleum (and therefore after the occupation of the pass of Tempe) loaded the Rhodian envoy Agepolis with civilities and made an underhand request to him to mediate a peace. Republican wrongheadedness and vanity did the rest; the Rhodians fancied that the Romans had given themselves up as lost; they were eager to play the part of mediator among four great powers at once; communications were entered into with Perseus; Rhodian envoys with Macedonian sympathies said more than they should have said; and they were caught. The senate, which doubtless was itself for the most part unaware of those intrigues, heard the strange announcement, as may be conceived, with indignation, and was glad of the favourable opportunity to humble the haughty mercantile city. A warlike praetor went even so far as to propose to the people a declaration of war against Rhodes. In vain the Rhodian ambassadors repeatedly on their knees adjured the senate to think of the friendship of a hundred and forty years rather than of the one offence; in vain they sent the heads of the Macedonian party to the scaffold or to Rome; in vain they sent a massive wreath of gold in token of their gratitude for the non- declaration of war. The upright Cato indeed showed that strictly the Rhodians had committed no offence and asked whether the Romans were desirous to undertake the punishment of wishes and thoughts, and whether they could blame the nations for being apprehensive that Rome might allow herself all license if she had no longer any one to fear? His words and warnings were in vain. The senate deprived the Rhodians of their possessions on the mainland, which yielded a yearly produce of 120 talents (29,000 pounds). Still heavier were the blows aimed at the Rhodian commerce. The very prohibition of the import of salt to, and of the export of shipbuilding timber from, Macedonia appears to have been directed against Rhodes. Rhodian commerce was still more directly affected by the erection of the free port at Delos; the Rhodian customs-dues, which hitherto had produced 1,000,000 drachmae (41,000 pounds) annually, sank in a very brief period to 150,000 drachmae (6180 pounds). Generally, the Rhodians were paralyzed in their freedom of action and in their liberal and bold commercial policy, and the state began to languish. Even the alliance asked for was at first refused, and was only renewed in 590 after urgent entreaties. The equally guilty but powerless Cretans escaped with a sharp rebuke.

Intervention in the Syro-Egyptian War

With Syria and Egypt the Romans could go to work more summarily. War had broken out between them; and Coelesyria and Palaestina formed once more the subject of dispute. According to the assertion of the Egyptians, those provinces had been ceded to Egypt on the marriage of the Syrian Cleopatra: this however the court of Babylon, which was in actual possession, disputed. Apparently the charging of her dowry on the taxes of the Coelesyrian cities gave occasion to the quarrel, and the Syrian side was in the right; the breaking out of the war was occasioned by the death of Cleopatra in 581, with which at latest the payments of revenue terminated. The war appears to have been begun by Egypt; but king Antiochus Epiphanes gladly embraced the opportunity of once more—and for the last time—endeavouring to achieve the traditional aim of the policy of the Seleucidae, the acquisition of Egypt, while the Romans were employed in Macedonia. Fortune seemed favourable to him. The king of Egypt at that time, Ptolemy VI, Philometor, the son of Cleopatra, had hardly passed the age of boyhood and had bad advisers; after a great victory on the Syro-Egyptian frontier Antiochus was able to advance into the territories of his nephew in the same year in which the legions landed in Greece (583), and soon had the person of the king in his power. Matters began to look as if Antiochus wished to possess himself of all Egypt in Philometor's name; Alexandria accordingly closed its gates against him, deposed Philometor, and nominated as king in his stead his younger brother, named Euergetes II, or the Fat. Disturbances in his own kingdom recalled the Syrian king from Egypt; when he returned, he found that the brothers had come to an understanding during his absence; and he then continued the war against both. Just as he lay before Alexandria, not long after the battle of Pydna (586), the Roman envoy Gaius Popillius, a harsh rude man, arrived, and intimated to him the command of the senate that he should restore all that he had conquered and should evacuate Egypt within a set term. Antiochus asked time for consideration; but the consular drew with his staff a circle round the king, and bade him declare his intentions before he stepped beyond the circle. Antiochus replied that he would comply; and marched off to his capital that he might there, in his character of "the god, the brilliant bringer of victory," celebrate in Roman fashion his conquest of Egypt and parody the triumph of Paullus.

Measures of Security in Greece

Egypt voluntarily submitted to the Roman protectorate; and thereupon the kings of Babylon also desisted from the last attempt to maintain their independence against Rome. As with Macedonia in the war waged by Perseus, the Seleucidae in the war regarding Coelesyria made a similar and similarly final effort to recover their former power; but it is a significant indication of the difference between the two kingdoms, that in the former case the legions, in the latter the abrupt language of a diplomatist, decided the controversy. In Greece itself, as the two Boeotian cities had already paid more than a sufficient penalty, the Molottians alone remained to be punished as allies of Perseus. Acting on secret orders from the senate, Paullus in one day gave up seventy townships in Epirus to plunder, and sold the inhabitants, 150,000 in number, into slavery. The Aetolians lost Amphipolis, and the Acarnanians Leucas, on account of their equivocal behaviour; whereas the Athenians, who continued to play the part of the begging poet in their own Aristophanes, not only obtained a gift of Delos and Lemnos, but were not ashamed even to petition for the deserted site of Haliartus, which was assigned to them accordingly. Thus something was done for the Muses; but more had to be done for justice. There was a Macedonian party in every city, and therefore trials for high treason began in all parts of Greece. Whoever had served in the army of Perseus was immediately executed, whoever was compromised by the papers of the king or the statements of political opponents who flocked to lodge informations, was despatched to Rome; the Achaean Callicrates and the Aetolian Lyciscus distinguished themselves in the trade of informers. In this way the more conspicuous patriots among the Thessalians, Aetolians, Acarnanians, Lesbians and so forth, were removed from their native land; and, in particular, more than a thousand Achaeans were thus disposed of —a step taken with the view not so much of prosecuting those who were carried off, as of silencing the childish opposition of the Hellenes.

To the Achaeans, who, as usual, were not content till they got the answer which they anticipated, the senate, wearied by constant requests for the commencement of the investigation, at length roundly declared that till further orders the persons concerned were to remain in Italy. There they were placed in country towns in the interior, and tolerably well treated; but attempts to escape were punished with death. The position of the former officials removed from Macedonia was, in all probability, similar. This expedient, violent as it was, was still, as things stood, the most lenient, and the enraged Greeks of the Roman party were far from content with the paucity of the executions. Lyciscus had accordingly deemed it proper, by way of preliminary, to have 500 of the leading men of the Aetolian patriotic party slain at the meeting of the diet; the Roman commission, which needed the man, suffered the deed to pass unpunished, and merely censured the employment of Roman soldiers in the execution of this Hellenic usage. We may presume, however, that the Romans instituted the system of deportation to Italy partly in order to prevent such horrors. As in Greece proper no power existed even of such importance as Rhodes or Pergamus, there was no need in its case for any further humiliation; the steps taken were taken only in the exercise of justice—in the Roman sense, no doubt, of that term—and for the prevention of the most scandalous and palpable outbreaks of party discord.

Rome and Her Dependencies

All the Hellenistic states had thus been completely subjected to the protectorate of Rome, and the whole empire of Alexander the Great had fallen to the Roman commonwealth just as if the city had inherited it from his heirs. From all sides kings and ambassadors flocked to Rome to congratulate her; and they showed that fawning is never more abject than when kings are in the antechamber. King Massinissa, who only desisted from presenting himself in person on being expressly prohibited from doing so, ordered his son to declare that he regarded himself as merely the beneficiary, and the Romans as the true proprietors, of his kingdom, and that he would always be content with what they were willing to leave to him. There was at least truth in this. But Prusias king of Bithynia, who had to atone for his neutrality, bore off the palm in this contest of flattery; he fell on his face when he was conducted into the senate, and did homage to "the delivering gods." As he was so thoroughly contemptible, Polybius tells us, they gave him a polite reply, and presented him with the fleet of Perseus.

The moment was at least well chosen for such acts of homage. Polybius dates from the battle of Pydna the full establishment of the universal empire of Rome. It was in fact the last battle in which a civilized state confronted Rome in the field on a footing of equality with her as a great power; all subsequent struggles were rebellions or wars with peoples beyond the pale of the Romano-Greek civilization —with barbarians, as they were called. The whole civilized world thenceforth recognized in the Roman senate the supreme tribunal, whose commissions decided in the last resort between kings and nations; and to acquire its language and manners foreign princes and youths of quality resided in Rome. A clear and earnest attempt to get rid of this dominion was in reality made only once—by the great Mithradates of Pontus. The battle of Pydna, moreover, marks the last occasion on which the senate still adhered to the state-maxim that they should, if possible, hold no possessions and maintain no garrisons beyond the Italian seas, but should keep the numerous states dependent on them in order by a mere political supremacy. The aim of their policy was that these states should neither decline into utter weakness and anarchy, as had nevertheless happened in Greece nor emerge out of their half- free position into complete independence, as Macedonia had attempted to do not without success. No state was to be allowed utterly to perish, but no one was to be permitted to stand on its own resources. Accordingly the vanquished foe held at least an equal, often a better, position with the Roman diplomatists than the faithful ally; and, while a defeated opponent was reinstated, those who attempted to reinstate themselves were abased—as the Aetolians, Macedonia after the Asiatic war, Rhodes, and Pergamus learned by experience. But not only did this part of protector soon prove as irksome to the masters as to the servants; the Roman protectorate, with its ungrateful Sisyphian toil that continually needed to be begun afresh, showed itself to be intrinsically untenable. Indications of a change of system, and of an increasing disinclination on the part of Rome to tolerate by its side intermediate states even in such independence as was possible for them, were very clearly given in the destruction of the Macedonian monarchy after the battle of Pydna, The more and more frequent and more and more unavoidable intervention in the internal affairs of the petty Greek states through their misgovernment and their political and social anarchy; the disarming of Macedonia, where the northern frontier at any rate urgently required a defence different from that of mere posts; and, lastly, the introduction of the payment of land-tax to Rome from Macedonia and Illyria, were so many symptoms of the approaching conversion of the client states into subjects of Rome.

The Italian and Extra-Italian Policy of Rome

If, in conclusion, we glance back at the career of Rome from the union of Italy to the dismemberment of Macedonia, the universal empire of Rome, far from appearing as a gigantic plan contrived and carried out by an insatiable thirst for territorial aggrandizement, appears to have been a result which forced itself on the Roman government without, and even in opposition to, its wish. It is true that the former view naturally suggests itself—Sallust is right when he makes Mithradates say that the wars of Rome with tribes, cities, and kings originated in one and the same prime cause, the insatiable longing after dominion and riches; but it is an error to give forth this judgment—influenced by passion and the event—as a historical fact. It is evident to every one whose observation is not superficial, that the Roman government during this whole period wished and desired nothing but the sovereignty of Italy; that they were simply desirous not to have too powerful neighbours alongside of them; and that—not out of humanity towards the vanquished, but from the very sound view that they ought not to suffer the kernel of their empire to be stifled by the shell—they earnestly opposed the introduction first of Africa, then of Greece, and lastly of Asia into the sphere of the Roman protectorate, till circumstances in each case compelled, or at least suggested with irresistible force, the extension of that sphere. The Romans always asserted that they did not pursue a policy of conquest, and that they were always the party assailed; and this was something more, at any rate, than a mere phrase. They were in fact driven to all their great wars with the exception of that concerning Sicily—to those with Hannibal and Antiochus, no less than to those with Philip and Perseus—either by a direct aggression or by an unparalleled disturbance of the existing political relations; and hence they were ordinarily taken by surprise on their outbreak. That they did not after victory exhibit the moderation which they ought to have done in the interest more especially of Italy itself; that the retention of Spain, for instance, the undertaking of the guardianship of Africa, and above all the half-fanciful scheme of bringing liberty everywhere to the Greeks, were in the light of Italian policy grave errors, is sufficiently clear. But the causes of these errors were, on the one hand a blind dread of Carthage, on the other a still blinder enthusiasm for Hellenic liberty; so little did the Romans exhibit during this period the lust of conquest, that they, on the contrary, displayed a very judicious dread of it. The policy of Rome throughout was not projected by a single mightly intellect and bequeathed traditionally from generation to generation; it was the policy of a very able but somewhat narrow-minded deliberative assembly, which had far too little power of grand combination, and far too much of a right instinct for the preservation of its own commonwealth, to devise projects in the spirit of a Caesar or a Napoleon. The universal empire of Rome had its ultimate ground in the political development of antiquity in general. The ancient world knew nothing of a balance of power among nations; and therefore every nation which had attained internal unity strove either directly to subdue its neighbors, as did the Hellenic states, or at any rate to render them innocuous, as Rome did,—an effort, it is true, which also issued ultimately in subjugation. Egypt was perhaps the only great power in antiquity which seriously pursued a system of equilibrium; on the opposite system Seleucus and Antigonous, Hannibal and Scipio, came into collision. And, if it seems to us sad that all the other richly- endowed and highly-developed nations of antiquity had to perish in order to enrich a single one out of the whole, and that all in the long run appear to have only arisen to contribute to the greatness of Italy and to the decay involved in that greatness, yet historical justice must acknowledge that this result was not produced by the military superiority of the legion over the phalanx, but was the necessary development of the international relations of antiquity generally-so that the issue was not decided by provoking chance, but was the fulfillment of an unchangeable, and therefore endurable, destiny.

Notes for Chapter X

1. —Ide gar prasde panth alion ammi dedukein— (i. 102).

2. II. VII. Last Struggles in Italy

3. The legal dissolution of the Boeotian confederacy, however, took place not at this time, but only after the destruction of Corinth (Pausan. vii. 14, 4; xvi. 6).

4. The recently discovered decree of the senate of 9th Oct. 584, which regulates the legal relations of Thisbae (Ephemeris epigraphica, 1872, p. 278, fig.; Mitth. d. arch. Inst., in Athen, iv. 235, fig.), gives a clear insight into these relations.

5. The story, that the Romans, in order at once to keep the promise which had guaranteed his life and to take vengeance on him, put him to death by depriving him of sleep, is certainly a fable.

6. The statement of Cassiodorus, that the Macedonian mines were reopened in 596, receives its more exact interpretation by means of the coins. No gold coins of the four Macedonias are extant; either therefore the gold-mines remained closed, or the gold extracted was converted into bars. On the other hand there certainly exist silver coins of Macedonia -prima- (Amphipolis) in which district the silver- mines were situated. For the brief period, during which they must have been struck (596-608), the number of them is remarkably great, and proves either that the mines were very energetically worked, or that the old royal money was recoined in large quantity.

7. The statement that the Macedonian commonwealth was "relieved of seignorial imposts and taxes" by the Romans (Polyb. xxxvii. 4) does not necessarily require us to assume a subsequent remission of these taxes: it is sufficient, for the explanation of Polybius' words, to assume that the hitherto seignorial tax now became a public one. The continuance of the constitution granted to the province of Macedonia by Paullus down to at least the Augustan age (Liv. xlv. 32; Justin, xxxiii. 2), would, it is true, be compatible also with the remission of the taxes.

Chapter XI

The Government and the Governed

Formation of New Parties

The fall of the patriciate by no means divested the Roman commonwealth of its aristocratic character. We have already(1) indicated that the plebeian party carried within it that character from the first as well as, and in some sense still more decidedly than, the patriciate; for, while in the old body of burgesses an absolute equality of rights prevailed, the new constitution set out from a distinction between the senatorial houses who were privileged in point of burgess rights and of burgess usufructs, and the mass of the other citizens. Immediately, therefore, on the abolition of the patriciate and the formal establishment of civic equality, a new aristocracy and a corresponding opposition were formed; and we have already shown how the former engrafted itself as it were on the fallen patriciate, and how, accordingly, the first movements of the new party of progress were mixed up with the last movements of the old opposition between the orders.(2) The formation of these new parties began in the fifth century, but they assumed their definite shape only in the century which followed. The development of this internal change is, as it were, drowned amidst the noise of the great wars and victories, and not merely so, but the process of formation is in this case more withdrawn from view than any other in Roman history. Like a crust of ice gathering imperceptibly over the surface of a stream and imperceptibly confining it more and more, this new Roman aristocracy silently arose; and not less imperceptibly, like the current concealing itself beneath and slowly extending, there arose in opposition to it the new party of progress. It is very difficult to sum up in a general historical view the several, individually insignificant, traces of these two antagonistic movements, which do not for the present yield their historical product in any distinct actual catastrophe. But the freedom hitherto enjoyed in the commonwealth was undermined, and the foundation for future revolutions was laid, during this epoch; and the delineation of these as well as of the development of Rome in general would remain imperfect, if we should fail to give some idea of the strength of that encrusting ice, of the growth of the current beneath, and of the fearful moaning and cracking that foretold the mighty breaking up which was at hand.

Germs of the Nobility in the Patriciate

The Roman nobility attached itself, in form, to earlier institutions belonging to the times of the patriciate. Persons who once had filled the highest ordinary magistracies of the state not only, as a matter of course, practically enjoyed all along a higher honour, but also had at an early period certain honorary privileges associated with their position. The most ancient of these was doubtless the permission given to the descendants of such magistrates to place the wax images of these illustrious ancestors after their death in the family hall, along the wall where the pedigree was painted, and to have these images carried, on occasion of the death of members of the family, in the funeral procession.(3) To appreciate the importance of this distinction, we must recollect that the honouring of images was regarded in the Italo-Hellenic view as unrepublican, and on that account the Roman state-police did not at all tolerate the exhibition of effigies of the living, and strictly superintended that of effigies of the dead. With this privilege were associated various external insignia, reserved by law or custom for such magistrates and their descendants:—the golden finger-ring of the men, the silver-mounted trappings of the youths, the purple border on the toga and the golden amulet-case of the boys (4)—trifling matters, but still important in a community where civic equality even in external appearance was so strictly adhered to,(5) and where, even during the second Punic war, a burgess was arrested and kept for years in prison because he had appeared in public, in a manner not sanctioned by law, with a garland of roses upon his head.(6)

Patricio-Plebian Nobility

These distinctions may perhaps have already existed partially in the time of the patrician government, and, so long as families of higher and humbler rank were distinguished within the patriciate, may have served as external insignia for the former; but they certainly only acquired political importance in consequence of the change of constitution in 387, by which the plebeian families that attained the consulate were placed on a footing of equal privilege with the patrician families, all of whom were now probably entitled to carry images of their ancestors. Moreover, it was now settled that the offices of state to which these hereditary privileges were attached should include neither the lower nor the extraordinary magistracies nor the tribunate of the plebs, but merely the consulship, the praetorship which stood on the same level with it,(7) and the curule aedileship, which bore a part in the administration of public justice and consequently in the exercise of the sovereign powers of the state.(8) Although this plebeian nobility, in the strict sense of the term, could only be formed after the curule offices were opened to plebeians, yet it exhibited in a short time, if not at the very first, a certain compactness of organization—doubtless because such a nobility had long been prefigured in the old senatorial plebeian families. The result of the Licinian laws in reality therefore amounted nearly to what we should now call the creation of a batch of peers. Now that the plebeian families ennobled by their curule ancestors were united into one body with the patrician families and acquired a distinctive position and distinguished power in the commonwealth, the Romans had again arrived at the point whence they had started; there was once more not merely a governing aristocracy and a hereditary nobility—both of which in fact had never disappeared—but there was a governing hereditary nobility, and the feud between the gentes in possession of the government and the commons rising in revolt against the gentes could not but begin afresh. And matters very soon reached that stage. The nobility was not content with its honorary privileges which were matters of comparative indifference, but strove after separate and sole political power, and sought to convert the most important institutions of the state—the senate and the equestrian order—from organs of the commonwealth into organs of the plebeio-patrician aristocracy.

The Nobility in Possession of the Senate

The dependence -de jure- of the Roman senate of the republic, more especially of the larger patricio-plebeian senate, on the magistracy had rapidly become lax, and had in fact been converted into independence. The subordination of the public magistracies to the state-council, introduced by the revolution of 244;(9) the transference of the right of summoning men to the senate from the consul to the censor;(10) lastly, and above all, the legal recognition of the right of those who had been curule magistrates to a seat and vote in the senate,(11) had converted the senate from a council summoned by the magistrates and in many respects dependent on them into a governing corporation virtually independent, and in a certain sense filling up its own ranks; for the two modes by which its members obtained admission—election to a curule office and summoning by the censor—were both virtually in the power of the governing board itself. The burgesses, no doubt, at this epoch were still too independent to allow the entire exclusion of non-nobles from the senate, and the nobility were perhaps still too judicious even to wish for this; but, owing to the strictly aristocratic gradations in the senate itself—in which those who had been curule magistrates were sharply distinguished, according to their respective classes of -consulares-, -praetorii-, and -aedilicii-, from the senators who had not entered the senate through a curule office and were therefore excluded from debate—the non-nobles, although they probably sat in considerable numbers in the senate, were reduced to an insignificant and comparatively uninfluential position in it, and the senate became substantially a mainstay of the nobility.

The Nobility in Possession of the Equestrian Centuries

The institution of the equites was developed into a second, less important but yet far from unimportant, organ of the nobility. As the new hereditary nobility had not the power to usurp sole possession of the comitia, it necessarily became in the highest degree desirable that it should obtain at least a separate position within the body representing the community. In the assembly of the tribes there was no method of managing this; but the equestrian centuries under the Servian organization seemed as it were created for the very purpose. The 1800 horses which the community furnished(12) were constitutionally disposed of likewise by the censors. It was, no doubt, the duty of these to select the equites on military grounds and at their musters to insist that all horsemen incapacitated by age or otherwise, or at all unserviceable, should surrender their public horse; but the very nature of the institution implied that the equestrian horses should be given especially to men of means, and it was not at all easy to hinder the censors from looking to genteel birth more than to capacity, and from allowing men of standing who were once admitted, senators particularly, to retain their horse beyond the proper time. Perhaps it was even fixed by law that the senator might retain it as long as he wished. Accordingly it became at least practically the rule for the senators to vote in the eighteen equestrian centuries, and the other places in these were assigned chiefly to the young men of the nobility. The military system, of course, suffered from this not so much through the unfitness for effective service of no small part of the legionary cavalry, as through the destruction of military equality to which the change gave rise, inasmuch as the young men of rank more and more withdrew from service in the infantry. The closed aristocratic corps of the equites proper came to set the tone for the whole legionary cavalry, taken from the citizens who were of highest position by descent and wealth. This enables us in some degree to understand why the equites during the Sicilian war refused to obey the order of the consul Gaius Aurelius Cotta that they should work at the trenches with the legionaries (502), and why Cato, when commander-in-chief of the army in Spain, found himself under the necessity of addressing a severe reprimand to his cavalry. But this conversion of the burgess-cavalry into a mounted guard of nobles redounded not more decidedly to the injury of the commonwealth than to the advantage of the nobility, which acquired in the eighteen equestrian centuries a suffrage not merely separate but giving the tone to the rest.

Separation of the Orders in the Theatre

Of a kindred character was the formal separation of the places assigned to the senatorial order from those occupied by the rest of the multitude as spectators at the national festivals. It was the great Scipio, who effected this change in his second consulship in 560. The national festival was as much an assembly of the people as were the centuries convoked for voting; and the circumstance that the former had no resolutions to pass made the official announcement of a distinction between the ruling order and the body of subjects—which the separation implied—all the more significant. The innovation accordingly met with much censure even from the ruling class, because it was simply invidious and not useful, and because it gave a very manifest contradiction to the efforts of the more prudent portion of the aristocracy to conceal their exclusive government under the forms of civil equality.

The Censorship a Prop of the Nobility

These circumstances explain, why the censorship became the pivot of the later republican constitution; why an office, originally standing by no means in the first rank, came to be gradually invested with external insignia which did not at all belong to it in itself and with an altogether unique aristocratic-republican glory, and was viewed as the crown and completion of a well-conducted public career; and why the government looked upon every attempt of the opposition to introduce their men into this office, or even to hold the censor responsible to the people for his administration during or after his term of office, as an attack on their palladium, and presented a united front of resistance to every such attempt. It is sufficient in this respect to mention the storm which the candidature of Cato for the censorship provoked, and the measures, so extraordinarily reckless and in violation of all form, by which the senate prevented the judicial prosecution of the two unpopular censors of the year 550. But with their magnifying the glory of the censorship the government combined a characteristic distrust of this, their most important and for that very reason most dangerous, instrument. It was thoroughly necessary to leave to the censors absolute control over the personal composition of the senate and the equites; for the right of exclusion could not well be separated from the right of summoning, and it was indispensable to retain such a right, not so much for the purpose of removing from the senate capable men of the opposition—a course which the smooth-going government of that age cautiously avoided—as for the purpose of preserving around the aristocracy that moral halo, without which it must have speedily become a prey to the opposition. The right of ejection was retained; but what they chiefly needed was the glitter of the naked blade—the edge of it, which they feared, they took care to blunt. Besides the check involved in the nature of the office—under which the lists of the members of the aristocratic corporations were liable to revision only at intervals of five years —and besides the limitations resulting from the right of veto vested in the colleague and the right of cancelling vested in the successor, there was added a farther check which exercised a very sensible influence; a usage equivalent to law made it the duty of the censor not to erase from the list any senator or knight without specifying in writing the grounds for his decision, or, in other words, adopting, as a rule, a quasi-judicial procedure.

Remodelling of the Constitution According to the Views of the Nobility
Inadequate Number of Magistrates

In this political position—mainly based on the senate, the equites, and the censorship—the nobility not only usurped in substance the government, but also remodelled the constitution according to their own views. It was part of their policy, with a view to keep up the appreciation of the public magistracies, to add to the number of these as little as possible, and to keep it far below what was required by the extension of territory and the increase of business. Only the most urgent exigencies were barely met by the division of the judicial functions hitherto discharged by a single praetor between two judges —one of whom tried the lawsuits between Roman burgesses, and the other those that arose between non-burgesses or between burgess and non-burgess—in 511, and by the nomination of four auxiliary consuls for the four transmarine provinces of Sicily (527), Sardinia including Corsica (527), and Hither and Further Spain (557). The far too summary mode of initialing processes in Rome, as well as the increasing influence of the official staff, are doubtless traceable in great measure to the practically inadequate numbers of the Roman magistracy.

Election of Officers in the Comitia

Among the innovations originated by the government—which were none the less innovations, that almost uniformly they changed not the letter, but merely the practice of the existing constitution—the most prominent were the measures by which the filling up of officers' posts as well as of civil magistracies was made to depend not, as the letter of the constitution allowed and its spirit required, simply on merit and ability, but more and more on birth and seniority. As regards the nomination of staff-officers this was done not in form, but all the more in substance. It had already, in the course of the previous period, been in great part transferred from the general to the burgesses;(13) in this period came the further step, that the whole staff-officers of the regular yearly levy—the twenty-four military tribunes of the four ordinary legions—were nominated in the -comitia tributa-. Thus a line of demarcation more and more insurmountable was drawn between the subalterns, who gained their promotion from the general by punctual and brave service, and the staff, which obtained its privileged position by canvassing the burgesses.(14) With a view to check simply the worst abuses in this respect and to prevent young men quite untried from holding these important posts, it became necessary to require, as a preliminary to the bestowal of staff appointments, evidence of a certain number of years of service. Nevertheless, when once the military tribunate, the true pillar of the Roman military system, was laid down as the first stepping-stone in the political career of the young aristocrats, the obligation of service inevitably came to be frequently eluded, and the election of officers became liable to all the evils of democratic canvassing and of aristocratic exclusiveness. It was a cutting commentary on the new institution, that in serious wars (as in 583) it was found necessary to suspend this democratic mode of electing officers, and to leave once more to the general the nomination of his staff.

Restrictions on the Election of Consuls and Censors

In the case of civil offices, the first and chief object was to limit re-election to the supreme magistracies. This was certainly necessary, if the presidency of annual kings was not to be an empty name; and even in the preceding period reelection to the consulship was not permitted till after the lapse often years, while in the case if the censorship it was altogether forbidden.(15) No farther law was passed in the period before us; but an increased stringency in its application is obvious from the fact that, while the law as to the ten years' interval was suspended in 537 during the continuance of the war in Italy, there was no farther dispensation from it afterwards, and indeed towards the close of this period re-election seldom occurred at all. Moreover, towards the end of this epoch (574) a decree of the people was issued, binding the candidates for public magistracies to undertake them in a fixed order of succession, and to observe certain intervals between the offices, and certain limits of age. Custom, indeed, had long prescribed both of these; but it was a sensibly felt restriction of the freedom of election, when the customary qualification was raised into a legal requirement, and the right of disregarding such requirements in extraordinary cases was withdrawn from the elective body. In general, admission to the senate was thrown open to persons belonging to the ruling families without distinction as to ability, while not only were the poorer and humbler ranks of the population utterly precluded from access to the offices of government, but all Roman burgesses not belonging to the hereditary aristocracy were practically excluded, not indeed exactly from the senate, but from the two highest magistracies, the consulship and the censorship. After Manius Curius and Gaius Fabricius,(16) no instance can be pointed out of a consul who did not belong to the social aristocracy, and probably no instance of the kind occurred at all. But the number of the -gentes-, which appear for the first time in the lists of consuls and censors in the half-century from the beginning of the war with Hannibal to the close of that with Perseus, is extremely limited; and by far the most of these, such as the Flaminii, Terentii, Porcii, Acilii, and Laelii, may be referred to elections by the opposition, or are traceable to special aristocratic connections. The election of Gaius Laelius in 564, for instance, was evidently due to the Scipios. The exclusion of the poorer classes from the government was, no doubt, required by the altered circumstances of the case. Now that Rome had ceased to be a purely Italian state and had adopted Hellenic culture, it was no longer possible to take a small farmer from the plough and to set him at the head of the community. But it was neither necessary nor beneficial that the elections should almost without exception be confined to the narrow circle of the curule houses, and that a "new man" could only make his way into that circle by a sort of usurpation.(17) No doubt a certain hereditary character was inherent not merely in the nature of the senate as an institution, in so far as it rested from the outset on a representation of the clans,(18) but in the nature of aristocracy generally, in so far as statesmanly wisdom and statesmanly experience are bequeathed from the able father to the able son, and the inspiring spirit of an illustrious ancestry fans every noble spark within the human breast into speedier and more brilliant flame. In this sense the Roman aristocracy had been at all times hereditary; in fact, it had displayed its hereditary character with great naivete in the old custom of the senator taking his sons with him to the senate, and of the public magistrate decorating his sons, as it were by anticipation, with the insignia of the highest official honour—the purple border of the consular, and the golden amulet-case of the triumphator. But, while in the earlier period the hereditariness of the outward dignity had been to a certain extent conditioned by the inheritance of intrinsic worth, and the senatorial aristocracy had guided the state not primarily by virtue of hereditary right, but by virtue of the highest of all rights of representation—the right of the excellent, as contrasted with the ordinary, man—it sank in this epoch (and with specially great rapidity after the end of the Hannibalic war) from its original high position, as the aggregate of those in the community who were most experienced in counsel and action, down to an order of lords filling up its ranks by hereditary succession, and exercising collegiate misrule.

Family Government

Indeed, matters had already at this time reached such a height, that out of the grave evil of oligarchy there emerged the still worse evil of usurpation of power by particular families. We have already spoken(19) of the offensive family-policy of the conqueror of Zama, and of his unhappily successful efforts to cover with his own laurels the incapacity and pitifulness of his brother; and the nepotism of the Flaminini was, if possible, still more shameless and scandalous than that of the Scipios. Absolute freedom of election in fact turned to the advantage of such coteries far more than of the electing body. The election of Marcus Valerius Corvus to the consulship at twenty- three had doubtless been for the benefit of the state; but now, when Scipio obtained the aedileship at twenty-three and the consulate at thirty, and Flamininus, while not yet thirty years of age, rose from the quaestorship to the consulship, such proceedings involved serious danger to the republic. Things had already reached such a pass, that the only effective barrier against family rule and its consequences had to be found in a government strictly oligarchical; and this was the reason why even the party otherwise opposed to the oligarchy agreed to restrict the freedom of election.

Government of the Nobility
Internal Administration

The government bore the stamp of this gradual change in the spirit of the governing class. It is true that the administration of external affairs was still dominated at this epoch by that consistency and energy, by which the rule of the Roman community over Italy had been established. During the severe disciplinary times of the war as to Sicily the Roman aristocracy had gradually raised itself to the height of its new position; and if it unconstitutionally usurped for the senate functions of government which by right foil to be shared between the magistrates and the comitia alone, it vindicated the step by its certainly far from brilliant, but sure and steady, pilotage of the vessel of the state during the Hannibalic storm and the complications thence arising, and showed to the world that the Roman senate was alone able, and in many respects alone deserved, to rule the wide circle of the Italo-Hellenic states. But admitting the noble attitude of the ruling Roman senate in opposition to the outward foe —an attitude crowned with the noblest results—we may not overlook the fact, that in the less conspicuous, and yet far more important and far more difficult, administration of the internal affairs of the state, both the treatment of the existing arrangements and the new institutions betray an almost opposite spirit, or, to speak more correctly, indicate that the opposite tendency has already acquired the predominance in this field.

Decline in the Administration

In relation, first of all, to the individual burgess the government was no longer what it had been. The term "magistrate" meant a man who was more than other men; and, if he was the servant of the community, he was for that very reason the master of every burgess. But the tightness of the rein was now visibly relaxed. Where coteries and canvassing flourish as they did in the Rome of that age, men are chary of forfeiting the reciprocal services of their fellows or the favour of the multitude by stern words and impartial discharge of official duty. If now and then magistrates appeared who displayed the gravity and the sternness of the olden time, they were ordinarily, like Cotta (502) and Cato, new men who had not sprung from the bosom of the ruling class. It was already something singular, when Paullus, who had been named commander-in-chief against Perseus, instead of tendering his thanks in the usual manner to the burgesses, declared to them that he presumed they had chosen him as general because they accounted him the most capable of command, and requested them accordingly not to help him to command, but to be silent and obey.

As to Military Discipline and Administration of Justice

The supremacy and hegemony of Rome in the territories of the Mediterranean rested not least on the strictness of her military discipline and her administration of justice. Undoubtedly she was still, on the whole, at that time infinitely superior in these respects to the Hellenic, Phoenician, and Oriental states, which were without exception thoroughly disorganized; nevertheless grave abuses were already occurring in Rome. We have previously(20) pointed out how the wretched character of the commanders-in-chief—and that not merely in the case of demagogues chosen perhaps by the opposition, like Gaius Flaminius and Gaius Varro, but of men who were good aristocrats—had already in the third Macedonian war imperilled the weal of the state. And the mode in which justice was occasionally administered is shown by the scene in the camp of the consul Lucius Quinctius Flamininus at Placentia (562). To compensate a favourite youth for the gladiatorial games of the capital, which through his attendance on the consul he had missed the opportunity of seeing, that great lord had ordered a Boian of rank who had taken refuge in the Roman camp to be summoned, and had killed him at a banquet with his own hand. Still worse than the occurrence itself, to which various parallels might be adduced, was the fact that the perpetrator was not brought to trial; and not only so, but when the censor Cato on account of it erased his name from the roll of the senate, his fellow-senators invited the expelled to resume his senatorial stall in the theatre —he was, no doubt, the brother of the liberator of the Greeks, and one of the most powerful coterie-leaders in the senate.

As to the Management of Finances

The financial system of the Roman community also retrograded rather than advanced during this epoch. The amount of their revenues, indeed, was visibly on the increase. The indirect taxes—there were no direct taxes in Rome—increased in consequence of the enlargement of the Roman territory, which rendered it necessary, for example, to institute new customs-offices along the Campanian and Bruttian coasts at Puteoli, Castra (Squillace), and elsewhere, in 555 and 575. The same reason led to the new salt-tariff of 550 fixing the scale of prices at which salt was to be sold in the different districts of Italy, as it was no longer possible to furnish salt at one and the same price to the Roman burgesses now scattered throughout the land; but, as the Roman government probably supplied the burgesses with salt at cost price, if not below it, this financial measure yielded no gain to the state. Still more considerable was the increase in the produce of the domains. The duty indeed, which of right was payable to the treasury from the Italian domain-lands granted for occupation, was in the great majority of cases neither demanded nor paid. On the other hand the -scriptura- was retained; and not only so, but the domains recently acquired in the second Punic war, particularly the greater portion of the territory of Capua(21) and that of Leontini,(22) instead of being given up to occupation, were parcelled out and let to petty temporary lessees, and the attempts at occupation made in these cases were opposed with more than usual energy by the government; by which means the state acquired a considerable and secure source of income. The mines of the state also, particularly the important Spanish mines, were turned to profit on lease. Lastly, the revenue was augmented by the tribute of the transmarine subjects. From extraordinary sources very considerable sums accrued during this epoch to the state treasury, particularly the produce of the spoil in the war with Antiochus, 200 millions of sesterces (2,000,000 pounds), and that of the war with Perseus, 210 millions of sesterces (2,100,000 pounds)—the latter, the largest sum in cash which ever came at one time into the Roman treasury.

But this increase of revenue was for the most part counterbalanced by the increasing expenditure. The provinces, Sicily perhaps excepted, probably cost nearly as much as they yielded; the expenditure on highways and other structures rose in proportion to the extension of territory; the repayment also of the advances (-tributa-) received from the freeholder burgesses during times of severe war formed a burden for many a year afterwards on the Roman treasury. To these fell to be added very considerable losses occasioned to the revenue by the mismanagement, negligence, or connivance of the supreme magistrates. Of the conduct of the officials in the provinces, of their luxurious living at the expense of the public purse, of their embezzlement more especially of the spoil, of the incipient system of bribery and extortion, we shall speak in the sequel. How the state fared generally as regarded the farming of its revenues and the contracts for supplies and buildings, may be estimated from the circumstance, that the senate resolved in 587 to desist from the working of the Macedonian mines that had fallen to Rome, because the lessees of the minerals would either plunder the subjects or cheat the exchequer—truly a naive confession of impotence, in which the controlling board pronounced its own censure. Not only was the duty from the occupied domain-land allowed tacitly to fall into abeyance, as has been already mentioned, but private buildings in the capital and elsewhere were suffered to encroach on ground which was public property, and the water from the public aqueducts was diverted to private purposes: great dissatisfaction was created on one occasion when a censor took serious steps against such trespassers, and compelled them either to desist from the separate use of the public property, or to pay the legal rate for the ground and water. The conscience of the Romans, otherwise in economic matters so scrupulous, showed, so far as the community was concerned, a remarkable laxity. "He who steals from a burgess," said Cato, "ends his days in chains and fetters; but he who steals from the community ends them in gold and purple." If, notwithstanding the fact that the public property of the Roman community was fearlessly and with impunity plundered by officials and speculators, Polybius still lays stress on the rarity of embezzlement in Rome, while Greece could hardly produce a single official who had not touched the public money, and on the honesty with which a Roman commissioner or magistrate would upon his simple word of honour administer enormous sums, while in the case of the paltriest sum in Greece ten letters were sealed and twenty witnesses were required and yet everybody cheated, this merely implies that social and economic demoralization had advanced much further in Greece than in Rome, and in particular, that direct and palpable peculation was not as yet so flourishing in the one case as in the other. The general financial result is most clearly exhibited to us by the state of the public buildings, and by the amount of cash in the treasury. We find in times of peace a fifth, in times of war a tenth, of the revenues expended on public buildings; which, in the circumstances, does not seem to have been a very copious outlay. With these sums, as well as with fines which were not directly payable into the treasury, much was doubtless done for the repair of the highways in and near the capital, for the formation of the chief Italian roads,(23) and for the construction of public buildings. Perhaps the most important of the building operations in the capital, known to belong to this period, was the great repair and extension of the network of sewers throughout the city, contracted for probably in 570, for which 24,000,000 sesterces (240,000 pounds) were set apart at once, and to which it may be presumed that the portions of the -cloacae- still extant, at least in the main, belong. To all appearance however, even apart from the severe pressure of war, this period was inferior to the last section of the preceding epoch in respect of public buildings; between 482 and 607 no new aqueduct was constructed at Rome. The treasure of the state, no doubt, increased; the last reserve in 545, when: they found themselves under the necessity of laying hands on it, amounted only to 164,000 pounds (4000 pounds of gold);(24) whereas a short time after the close of this period (597) close on 860,000 pounds in precious metals were stored in the treasury. But, when we take into account the enormous extraordinary revenues which in the generation after the close of the Hannibalic war came into the Roman treasury, the latter sum surprises us rather by its smallness than by its magnitude. So far as with the extremely meagre statements before us it is allowable to speak of results, the finances of the Roman state exhibit doubtless an excess of income over expenditure, but are far from presenting a brilliant result as a whole.

Italian Subjects
Passive Burgesses

The change in the spirit of the government was most distinctly apparent in the treatment of the Italian and extra-Italian subjects of the Roman community. Formerly there had been distinguished in Italy the ordinary, and the Latin, allied communities, the Roman burgesses -sine suffragio- and the Roman burgesses with the full franchise. Of these four classes the third was in the course of this period almost completely set aside, inasmuch as the course which had been earlier taken with the communities of passive burgesses in Latium and Sabina, was now applied also to those of the former Volscian territory, and these gradually—the last perhaps being in the year 566 Arpinum, Fundi, and Formiae—obtained full burgess-rights. In Campania Capua along with a number of minor communities in the neighbourhood was broken up in consequence of its revolt from Rome in the Hannibalic war. Although some few communities, such as Velitrae in the Volscian territory, Teanum and Cumae in Campania, may have remained on their earlier legal footing, yet, looking at the matter in the main, this franchise of a passive character may be held as now superseded.


On the other hand there emerged a new class in a position of peculiar inferiority, without communal freedom and the right to carry arms, and, in part, treated almost like public slaves (-peregrini dediticii-); to which, in particular, the members of the former Campanian, southern Picentine, and Bruttian communities, that had been in alliance with Hannibal,(25) belonged. To these were added the Celtic tribes tolerated on the south side of the Alps, whose position in relation to the Italian confederacy is indeed only known imperfectly, but is sufficiently characterized as inferior by the clause embodied in their treaties of alliance with Rome, that no member of these communities should ever be allowed to acquire Roman citizenship.(26)


The position of the non-Latin allies had, as we have mentioned before,(27) undergone a change greatly to their disadvantage in consequence of the Hannibalic war. Only a few communities in this category, such as Neapolis, Nola, Rhegium, and Heraclea, had during all the vicissitudes of that war remained steadfastly on the Roman side, and therefore retained their former rights as allies unaltered; by far the greater portion were obliged in consequence of having changed sides to acquiesce in a revision of the existing treaties to their disadvantage. The reduced position of the non-Latin allies is attested by the emigration from their communities into the Latin: when in 577 the Samnites and Paelignians applied to the senate for a reduction of their contingents, their request was based on the ground that during late years 4000 Samnite and Paelignian families had migrated to the Latin colony of Fregellae.


That the Latins—which term now denoted the few towns in old Latium that were not included in the Roman burgess-union, such as Tibur and Praeneste, the allied cities placed in law on the same footing with them, such as several of the Hernican towns, and the Latin colonies dispersed throughout Italy—were still at this time in a better position, is implied in their very name; but they too had, in proportion, hardly less deteriorated. The burdens imposed on them were unjustly increased, and the pressure of military service was more and more devolved from the burgesses upon them and the other Italian allies. For instance, in 536, nearly twice as many of the allies were called out as of the burgesses: after the end of the Hannibalic war all the burgesses received their discharge, but not all the allies; the latter were chiefly employed for garrison duty and for the odious service in Spain; in the triumphal largess of 577 the allies received not as formerly an equal share with the burgesses, but only the half, so that amidst the unrestrained rejoicing of that soldiers' carnival the divisions thus treated as inferior followed the chariot of victory in sullen silence: in the assignations of land in northern Italy the burgesses received ten jugera of arable land each, the non-burgesses three -jugera- each. The unlimited liberty of migration had already at an earlier period been taken from the Latin communities, and migration to Rome was only allowed to them in the event of their leaving behind children of their own and a portion of their estate in the community which had been their home.(28) But these burdensome requirements were in various ways evaded or transgressed; and the crowding of the burgesses of Latin townships to Rome, and the complaints of their magistrates as to the increasing depopulation of the cities and the impossibility under such circumstances of furnishing the fixed contingent, led the Roman government to institute police-ejections from the capital on a large scale (567, 577). The measure might be unavoidable, but it was none the less severely felt. Moreover, the towns laid out by Rome in the interior of Italy began towards the close of this period to receive instead of Latin rights the full franchise, which previously had only been given to the maritime colonies; and the enlargement of the Latin body by the accession of new communities, which hitherto had gone on so regularly, thus came to an end. Aquileia, the establishment of which began in 571, was the latest of the Italian colonies of Rome that received Latin rights; the full franchise was given to the colonies, sent forth nearly at the same time, of Potentia, Pisaurum, Mutina, Parma, and Luna (570-577). The reason for this evidently lay in the decline of the Latin as compared with the Roman franchise. The colonists conducted to the new settlements were always, and now more than ever, chosen in preponderating number from the Roman burgesses; and even among the poorer portion of these there was a lack of people willing, for the sake even of acquiring considerable material advantages, to exchange their rights as burgesses for those of the Latin franchise.

Roman Franchise More Difficult of Acquisition

Lastly, in the case of non-burgesses—communities as well as individuals—admission to the Roman franchise was almost completely foreclosed. The earlier course incorporating the subject communities in that of Rome had been dropped about 400, that the Roman burgess body might not be too much decentralized by its undue extension; and therefore communities of half-burgesses were instituted.(29) Now the centralization of the community was abandoned, partly through the admission of the half-burgess communities to the full franchise, partly through the accession of numerous more remote burgess-colonies to its ranks; but the older system of incorporation was not resumed with reference to the allied communities. It cannot be shown that after the complete subjugation of Italy even a single Italian community exchanged its position as an ally for the Roman franchise; probably none after that date in reality acquired it Even the transition of individual Italians to the Roman franchise was confined almost solely to the case of magistrates of the Latin communities(30) and, by special favour, of individual non-burgesses admitted to share it at the founding of burgess-colonies.(31)

It cannot be denied that these changes -de facto- and -de jure- in the relations of the Italian subjects exhibit at least an intimate connection and consistency. The situation of the subject classes was throughout deteriorated in proportion to the gradations previously subsisting, and, while the government had formerly endeavoured to soften the distinctions and to provide means of transition from one to another, now the intermediate links were everywhere set aside and the connecting bridges were broken down. As within the Roman burgess-body the ruling class separated itself from the people, uniformly withdrew from public burdens, and uniformly took for itself the honours and advantages, so the burgesses in their turn asserted their distinction from the Italian confederacy, and excluded it more and more from the joint enjoyment of rule, while transferring to it a double or triple share in the common burdens. As the nobility, in relation to the plebeians, returned to the close exclusiveness of the declining patriciate, so did the burgesses in relation to the non-burgesses; the plebeiate, which had become great through the liberality of its institutions, now wrapped itself up in the rigid maxims of patricianism. The abolition of the passive burgesses cannot in itself be censured, and, so far as concerned the motive which led to it, belongs presumably to another connection to be discussed afterwards; but through its abolition an intermediate link was lost. Far more fraught with peril, however, was the disappearance of the distinction between the Latin and the other Italian communities. The privileged position of the Latin nation within Italy was the foundation of the Roman power; that foundation gave way, when the Latin towns began to feel that they were no longer privileged partakers in the dominion of the powerful cognate community, but substantially subjects of Rome like the rest, and when all the Italians began to find their position equally intolerable. It is true, that there were still distinctions: the Bruttians and their companions in misery were already treated exactly like slaves and conducted themselves accordingly, deserting, for instance, from the fleet in which they served as galley-slaves, whenever they could, and gladly taking service against Rome; and the Celtic, and above all the transmarine, subjects formed by the side of the Italians a class still more oppressed and intentionally abandoned by the government to contempt and maltreatment at the hands of the Italians. But such distinctions, while implying a gradation of classes among the subjects, could not withal afford even a remote compensation for the earlier contrast between the cognate, and the alien, Italian subjects. A profound dissatisfaction prevailed through the whole Italian confederacy, and fear alone prevented it from finding loud expression. The proposal made in the senate after the battle at Cannae, to give the Roman franchise and a seat in the senate to two men from each Latin community, was made at an unseasonable time, and was rightly rejected; but it shows the apprehension with which men in the ruling community even then viewed the relations between Latium and Rome. Had a second Hannibal now carried the war to Italy, it may be doubted whether he would have again been thwarted by the steadfast resistance of the Latin name to a foreign domination.

The Provinces

But by far the most important institution which this epoch introduced into the Roman commonwealth, and that at the same time which involved the most decided and fatal deviation from the course hitherto pursued, was the new provincial magistracies. The earlier state-law of Rome knew nothing of tributary subjects: the conquered communities were either sold into slavery, or merged in the Roman commonwealth, or lastly, admitted to an alliance which secured to them at least communal independence and freedom from taxation. But the Carthaginian possessions in Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain, as well as the kingdom of Hiero, had paid tribute and rent to their former masters: if Rome was desirous of retaining these possessions at all, it was in the judgment of the short-sighted the most judicious, and undoubtedly the most convenient, course to administer the new territories entirely in accordance with the rules heretofore observed. Accordingly the Romans simply retained the Carthagino-Hieronic provincial constitution, and organized in accordance with it those provinces also, such as Hither Spain, which they wrested from the barbarians. It was the shirt of Nessus which they inherited from the enemy. Beyond doubt at first the Roman government intended, in imposing taxes on their subjects, not strictly to enrich themselves, but only to cover the cost of administration and defence; but they already deviated from this course, when they made Macedonia and Illyria tributary without undertaking the government or the guardianship of the frontier there. The fact, however, that they still maintained moderation in the imposition of burdens was of little consequence, as compared with the conversion of their sovereignty into a right yielding profit at all; the fall was the same, whether a single apple was taken or the tree was plundered.

Position of the Governors

Punishment followed in the steps of wrong. The new provincial system necessitated the appointment of governors, whose position was absolutely incompatible not only with the welfare of the provinces, but with the Roman constitution. As the Roman community in the provinces took the place of the former ruler of the land, so their governor appeared there in the king's stead; the Sicilian praetor, for example, resided in the palace of Hiero at Syracuse. It is true, that by right the governor nevertheless ought to administer his office with republican honesty and frugality. Cato, when governor of Sardinia, appeared in the towns subject to him on foot and attended by a single servant, who carried his coat and sacrificial ladle; and, when he returned home from his Spanish governorship, he sold his war-horse beforehand, because he did not hold himself entitled to charge the state with the expenses of its transport. There is no question that the Roman governors—although certainly but few of them pushed their conscientiousness, like Cato, to the verge of being niggardly and ridiculous—made in many cases a powerful impression on the subjects, more especially on the frivolous and unstable Greeks, by their old- fashioned piety, by the reverential stillness prevailing at their repasts, by their comparatively upright administration of office and of justice, especially by their proper severity towards the worst bloodsuckers of the provincials—the Roman revenue-farmers and bankers—and in general by the gravity and dignity of their deportment. The provincials found their government comparatively tolerable. They had not been pampered by their Carthaginian stewards and Syracusan masters, and they were soon to find occasion for recalling with gratitude the present rods as compared with the coming scorpions: it is easy to understand how, in later times, the sixth century of the city appeared as the golden era of provincial rule. But it was not practicable for any length of time to be at once republican and king. Playing the part of governors demoralized the Roman ruling class \vith fearful rapidity. Haughtiness and arrogance towards the provincials were so natural in the circumstances, as scarcely to form matter of reproach against the individual magistrate. But already it was a rare thing—and the rarer, because the government adhered rigidly to the old principle of not paying public officials —that a governor returned with quite clean hands from his province; it was already remarked upon as something singular that Paullus, the conqueror of Pydna, did not take money. The bad custom of delivering to the governor "honorary wine" and other "voluntary" gifts seems as old as the provincial constitution itself, and may perhaps have been a legacy from the Carthaginians; even Cato in his administration of Sardinia in 556 had to content himself with regulating and moderating such contributions. The right of the magistrates, and of those travelling on the business of the state generally, to free quarters and free conveyance was already employed as a pretext for exactions. The more important right of the magistrate to make requisitions of grain in his province—partly for the maintenance of himself and his retinue (-in cellam-) partly for the provisioning of the army in case of war, or on other special occasions at a fair valuation—was already so scandalously abused, that on the complaint of the Spaniards the senate in 583 found it necessary to withdraw from the governors the right of fixing the price of the supplies for either purpose.(32) Requisitions had begun to be made on the subjects even for the popular festivals in Rome; the unmeasured vexatious demands made on the Italian as well as extra-Italian communities by the aedile Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, for the festival which he had to provide, induced the senate officially to interfere against them (572). The liberties which Roman magistrates at the close of this period allowed themselves to take not only with the unhappy subjects, but even with the dependent free-states and kingdoms, are illustrated by the raids of Gaius Volso in Asia Minor,(33) and above all by the scandalous proceedings in Greece during the war with Perseus.(34)

Control over the Governors
Supervision of the Senate over the Provinces and Their Governors

The government had no right to be surprised at such things, for it provided no serious check on the excesses of this capricious military administration. Judicial control, it is true, was not entirely wanting. Although, according to the universal but more than questionable rule of allowing no complaint to be brought against a commander-in-chief during his term of office,(35) the Roman governor could ordinarily be called to account only after the mischief had been done, yet he was amenable both to a criminal and to a civil prosecution. In order to the institution of the former, a tribune of the people by virtue of the judicial power pertaining to him had to take the case in hand and bring it to the bar of the people; the civil action was remitted by the senator who administered the corresponding praetorship to a jury appointed, according to the constitution of the tribunal in those times, from the ranks of the senate. In both cases, therefore, the control lay in the hands of the ruling class, and, although the latter was still sufficiently upright and honourable not absolutely to set aside well-founded complaints, and the senate even in various instances, at the call of those aggrieved, condescended itself to order the institution of a civil process, yet the complaints of poor men and foreigners against powerful members of the ruling aristocracy—submitted to judges and jurymen far remote from the scene and, if not involved in the like guilt, at least belonging to the same order as the accused—could from the first only reckon on success in the event of the wrong being clear and crying; and to complain in vain was almost certain destruction. The aggrieved no doubt found a sort of support in the hereditary relations of clientship, which the subject cities and provinces entered into with their conquerors and other Romans brought into close contact with them. The Spanish governors felt that no one could with impunity maltreat clients of Cato; and the circumstance that the representatives of the three nations conquered by Paullus—the Spaniards, Ligurians, and Macedonians—would not forgo the privilege of carrying his bier to the funeral pile, was the noblest dirge in honour of that noble man. But not only did this special protection give the Greeks opportunity to display in Rome all their talent for abasing themselves in presence of their masters, and to demoralize even those masters by their ready servility—the decrees of the Syracusans in honour of Marcellus, after he had destroyed and plundered their city and they had complained of his conduct in these respects to the senate in vain, form one of the most scandalous pages in the far from honourable annals of Syracuse —but, in connection with the already dangerous family-politics, this patronage on the part of great houses had also its politically perilous side. In this way the result perhaps was that the Roman magistrates in some degree feared the gods and the senate, and for the most part were moderate in their plundering; but they plundered withal, and did so with impunity, if they but observed such moderation. The mischievous rule became established, that in the case of minor exactions and moderate violence the Roman magistrate acted in some measure within his sphere and was in law exempt from punishment, so that those who were aggrieved had to keep silence; and from this rule succeeding ages did not fail to draw the fatal consequences. Nevertheless, even though the tribunals had been as strict as they were lax, the liability to a judicial reckoning could only check the worst evils. The true security for a good administration lay in a strict and uniform supervision by the supreme administrative authority: and this the senate utterly failed to provide. It was in this respect that the laxity and helplessness of the collegiate government became earliest apparent. By right the governors ought to have been subjected to an oversight far more strict and more special than had sufficed for the administration of Italian municipal affairs; and now, when the empire embraced great transmarine territories, the arrangements, through which the government preserved to itself the supervision of the whole, ought to have undergone a corresponding expansion. In both respects the reverse was the case. The governors ruled virtually as sovereign; and the most important of the institutions serving for the latter purpose, the census of the empire, was extended to Sicily alone, not to any of the provinces subsequently acquired. This emancipation of the supreme administrative officials from the central authority was more than hazardous. The Roman governor, placed at the head of the armies of the state, and in possession of considerable financial resources: subject to but a lax judicial control, and practically independent of the supreme administration; and impelled by a sort of necessity to separate the interest of himself and of the people whom he governed from that of the Roman community and to treat them as conflicting, far more resembled a Persian satrap than one of the commissioners of the Roman senate at the time of the Samnite wars. The man, moreover, who had just conducted a legalized military tyranny abroad, could with difficulty find his way back to the common civic level, which distinguished between those who commanded and those who obeyed, but not between masters and slaves. Even the government felt that their two fundamental principles—equality within the aristocracy, and the subordination of the power of the magistrates to the senatorial college—began in this instance to give way in their hands. The aversion of the government to the acquisition of new provinces and to the whole provincial system; the institution of the provincial quaestorships, which were intended to take at least the financial power out of the hands of the governors; and the abolition of the arrangement—in itself so judicious—for a longer tenure of such offices,(36) very clearly evince the anxiety felt by the more far- seeing of the Roman statesmen as to the fruits of the seed thus sown. But diagnosis is not cure. The internal government of the nobility continued to follow the direction once given to it; and the decay of the administration and of the financial system—paving the way for future revolutions and usurpations—steadily pursued its course, if not unnoticed, yet unchecked.

The Opposition

If the new nobility was less sharply defined than the old aristocracy of the clans, and if the encroachment on the other burgesses as respected the joint enjoyment of political rights was in the one case -de jure-, in the other only -de facto-, the second form of inferiority was for that very reason worse to bear and worse to throw off than the first. Attempts to throw it off were, as a matter of course, not wanting. The opposition rested on the support of the public assembly, as the nobility did on the senate: in order to understand the opposition, we must first describe the Roman burgess- body during this period as regards its spirit and its position in the commonwealth.

Character of the Roman Burgess-Body

Whatever could be demanded of an assembly of burgesses like the Roman, which was not the moving spring, but the firm foundation, of the whole machinery—a sure perception of the common good, a sagacious deference towards the right leader, a steadfast spirit in prosperous and evil days, and, above all, the capacity of sacrificing the individual for the general welfare and the comfort of the present for the advantage of the future—all these qualities the Roman community exhibited in so high a degree that, when we look to its conduct as a whole, all censure is lost in reverent admiration. Even now good sense and discretion still thoroughly predominated. The whole conduct of the burgesses with reference to the government as well as to the opposition shows quite clearly that the same mighty patriotism before which even the genius of Hannibal had to quit the field prevailed also in the Roman comitia. No doubt they often erred; but their errors originated not in the mischievous impulses of a rabble, but in the narrow views of burgesses and farmers. The machinery, however, by means of which the burgesses intervened in the course of public affairs became certainly more and more unwieldy, and the circumstances in which they were placed through their own great deeds far outgrew their power to deal with them. We have already stated, that in the course of this epoch most of the former communities of passive burgesses, as well as a considerable number of newly established colonies, received the full Roman franchise.(37) At the close of this period the Roman burgess-body, in a tolerably compact mass, filled Latium in its widest sense, Sabina, and a part of Campania, so that it reached on the west coast northward to Caere and southward to Cumae; within this district there were only a few cities not included in it, such as Tibur, Praeneste, Signia, Norba, and Ferentinum. To this fell to be added the maritime colonies on the coasts of Italy which uniformly possessed the full Roman franchise, the Picenian and Trans- Apennine colonies of the most recent times, to which the franchise must have been conceded,(38) and a very considerable number of Roman burgesses, who, without forming separate communities in a strict sense, were scattered throughout Italy in market-villages and hamlets (-fora et conciliabula-). To some extent the unwieldiness of a civic community so constituted was remedied, for the purposes of justice(39) and of administration, by the deputy judges previously mentioned;(40) and already perhaps the maritime(41) and the new Picenian and Trans- Apennine colonies exhibited at least the first lineaments of the system under which afterwards smaller urban communities were organized within the great city-commonwealth of Rome. But in all political questions the primary assembly in the Roman Forum remained alone entitled to act; and it is obvious at a glance, that this assembly was no longer, in its composition or in its collective action, what it had been when all the persons entitled to vote could exercise their privilege as citizens by leaving their farms in the morning and returning home the same evening. Moreover the government—whether from want of judgment, from negligence, or from any evil design, we cannot tell—no longer as formerly enrolled the communities admitted to the franchise after 513 in newly instituted election-districts, but included them along with others in the old; so that gradually each tribe came to be composed of different townships scattered over the whole Roman territory. Election-districts such as these, containing on an average 8000—the urban naturally having more, the rural fewer —persons entitled to vote, without local connection or inward unity, no longer admitted of any definite leading or of any satisfactory previous deliberation; disadvantages which must have been the more felt, since the voting itself was not preceded by any free debate. Moreover, while the burgesses had quite sufficient capacity to discern their communal interests, it was foolish and utterly ridiculous to leave the decision of the highest and most difficult questions which the power that ruled the world had to solve to a well-disposed but fortuitous concourse of Italian farmers, and to allow the nomination of generals and the conclusion of treaties of state to be finally judged of by people who understood neither the grounds nor the consequences of their decrees. In all matters transcending mere communal affairs the Roman primary assemblies accordingly played a childish and even silly part. As a rule, the people stood and gave assent to all proposals; and, when in exceptional instances they of their own impulse refused assent, as on occasion of the declaration of war against Macedonia in 554,(42) the policy of the market-place certainly made a pitiful opposition—and with a pitiful issue—to the policy of the state.

Rise of a City Rabble

At length the rabble of clients assumed a position, formally of equality and often even, practically, of superiority, alongside of the class of independent burgesses. The institutions out of which it sprang were of great antiquity. From time immemorial the Roman of quality exercised a sort of government over his freedmen and dependents, and was consulted by them in all their more important affairs; a client, for instance, was careful not to give his children in marriage without having obtained the consent of his patron, and very often the latter directly arranged the match. But as the aristocracy became converted into a special ruling class concentrating in its hands not only power but also wealth, the clients became parasites and beggars; and the new adherents of the rich undermined outwardly and inwardly the burgess class. The aristocracy not only tolerated this sort of clientship, but worked it financially and politically for their own advantage. Thus, for instance, the old penny collections, which hitherto had taken place chiefly for religious purposes and at the burial of men of merit, were now employed by lords of high standing—for the first time by Lucius Scipio, in 568, on occasion of a popular festival which he had in contemplation—for the purpose of levying on extraordinary occasions a contribution from the public. Presents were specially placed under legal restriction (in 550), because the senators began under that name to take regular tribute from their clients. But the retinue of clients was above all serviceable to the ruling class as a means of commanding the comitia; and the issue of the elections shows clearly how powerfully the dependent rabble already at this epoch competed with the independent middle class.

The very rapid increase of the rabble in the capital particularly, which is thus presupposed, is also demonstrable otherwise. The increasing number and importance of the freedmen are shown by the very serious discussions that arose in the previous century,(43) and were continued during the present, as to their right to vote in the public assemblies, and by the remarkable resolution, adopted by the senate during the Hannibalic war, to admit honourable freedwomen to a participation in the public collections, and to grant to the legitimate children of manumitted fathers the insignia hitherto belonging only to the children of the free-born.(44) The majority of the Hellenes and Orientals who settled in Rome were probably little better than the freedmen, for national servility clung as indelibly to the former as legal servility to the latter.

Systematic Corruption of the Multitude
Distributions of Grain

But not only did these natural causes co-operate to produce a metropolitan rabble: neither the nobility nor the demagogues, moreover, can be acquitted from the reproach of having systematically nursed its growth, and of having undermined, so far as in them lay, the old public spirit by flattery of the people and things still worse. The electors as a body were still too respectable to admit of direct electoral corruption showing itself on a great scale; but the favour of those entitled to vote was indirectly courted by methods far from commendable. The old obligation of the magistrates, particularly of the aediles, to see that corn could be procured at a moderate price and to superintend the games, began to degenerate into the state of things which at length gave rise to the horrible cry of the city populace under the Empire, "Bread for nothing and games for ever!" Large supplies of grain, cither placed by the provincial governors at the disposal of the Roman market officials, or delivered at Rome free of cost by the provinces themselves for the purpose of procuring favour with particular Roman magistrates, enabled the aediles, from the middle of the sixth century, to furnish grain to the population of the capital at very low prices. "It was no wonder," Cato considered, "that the burgesses no longer listened to good advice—the belly forsooth had no ears."


Popular amusements increased to an alarming extent. For five hundred years the community had been content with one festival in the year, and with one circus. The first Roman demagogue by profession, Gaius Flaminius, added a second festival and a second circus (534);(45) and by these institutions—the tendency of which is sufficiently indicated by the very name of the new festival, "the plebeian games"—he probably purchased the permission to give battle at the Trasimene lake. When the path was once opened, the evil made rapid progress. The festival in honour of Ceres, the goddess who protected the plebeian order,(46) must have been but little, if at all, later than the plebeian games. On the suggestion of the Sibylline and Marcian prophecies, moreover, a fourth festival was added in 542 in honour of Apollo, and a fifth in 550 in honour of the "Great Mother" recently transplanted from Phrygia to Rome. These were the severe years of the Hannibalic war—on the first celebration of the games of Apollo the burgesses were summoned from the circus itself to arms; the superstitious fear peculiar to Italy was feverishly excited, and persons were not wanting who took advantage of the opportunity to circulate Sibylline and prophetic oracles and to recommend themselves to the multitude through their contents and advocacy: we can scarcely blame the government, which was obliged to call for so enormous sacrifices from the burgesses, for yielding in such matters. But what was once conceded had to be continued; indeed, even in more peaceful times (581) there was added another festival, although of minor importance—the games in honour of Flora. The cost of these new festal amusements was defrayed by the magistrates entrusted with the providing of the respective festivals from their own means: thus the curule aediles had, over and above the old national festival, those of the Mother of the Gods and of Flora; the plebeian aediles had the plebeian festival and that of Ceres, and the urban praetor the Apollinarian games. Those who sanctioned the new festivals perhaps excused themselves in their own eyes by the reflection that they were not at any rate a burden on the public purse; but it would have been in reality far less injurious to burden the public budget with a number of useless expenses, than to allow the providing of an amusement for the people to become practically a qualification for holding the highest office in the state. The future candidates for the consulship soon entered into a mutual rivalry in their expenditure on these games, which incredibly increased their cost; and, as may well be conceived, it did no harm if the consul expectant gave, over and above this as it were legal contribution, a voluntary "performance" (-munus-), a gladiatorial show at his own expense for the public benefit. The splendour of the games became gradually the standard by which the electors measured the fitness of the candidates for the consulship. The nobility had, in truth, to pay dear for their honours—a gladiatorial show on a respectable scale cost 720,000 sesterces (7200 pounds)—but they paid willingly, since by this means they absolutely precluded men who were not wealthy from a political career.

Squandering of the Spoil

Corruption, however, was not restricted to the Forum; it was transferred even to the camp. The old burgess militia had reckoned themselves fortunate when they brought home a compensation for the toil of war, and, in the event of success, a trifling gift as a memorial of victory. The new generals, with Scipio Africanus at their head, lavishly scattered amongst their troops the money of Rome as well as the proceeds of the spoil: it was on this point, that Cato quarrelled with Scipio during the last campaigns against Hannibal in Africa. The veterans from the second Macedonian war and that waged in Asia Minor already returned home throughout as wealthy men: even the better class began to commend a general, who did not appropriate the gifts of the provincials and the gains of war entirely to himself and his immediate followers, and from whose camp not a few men returned with gold, and many with silver, in their pockets: men began to forget that the moveable spoil was the property of the state. When Lucius Paullus again dealt with it in the old mode, his own soldiers, especially the volunteers who had been allured in numbers by the prospect of rich plunder, fell little short of refusing to the victor of Pydna by popular decree the honour of a triumph—an honour which they already threw away on every one who had subjugated three Ligurian villages.

Decline of Warlike Spirit

How much the military discipline and the martial spirit of the burgesses suffered from this conversion of war into a traffic in plunder, may be traced in the campaigns against Perseus; and the spread of cowardice was manifested in a way almost scandalous during the insignificant Istrian war (in 576). On occasion of a trifling skirmish magnified by rumour to gigantic dimensions, the land army and the naval force of the Romans, and even the Italians, ran off homeward, and Cato found it necessary to address a special reproof to his countrymen for their cowardice. In this too the youth of quality took precedence. Already during the Hannibalic war (545) the censors found occasion to visit with severe penalties the remissness of those who were liable to military service under the equestrian census. Towards the close of this period (574?) a decree of the people prescribed evidence of ten years' service as a qualification for holding any public magistracy, with a view to compel the sons of the nobility to enter the army.


But perhaps nothing so clearly evinces the decay of genuine pride and genuine honour in high and low alike as the hunting after insignia and titles, which appeared under different forms of expression, but with substantial identity of character, among all ranks and classes. So urgent was the demand for the honour of a triumph that there was difficulty in upholding the old rule, which accorded a triumph only to the ordinary supreme magistrate who augmented the power of the commonwealth in open battle, and thereby, it is true, not unfrequently excluded from that honour the very authors of the most important successes. There was a necessity for acquiescence, while those generals, who had in vain solicited, or had no prospect of attaining, a triumph from the senate or the burgesses, marched in triumph on their own account at least to the Alban Mount (first in 523). No combat with a Ligurian or Corsican horde was too insignificant to be made a pretext for demanding a triumph. In order to put an end to the trade of peaceful triumphators, such as were the consuls of 574, the granting of a triumph was made to depend on the producing proof of a pitched battle which had cost the lives of at least 5000 of the enemy; but this proof was frequently evaded by false bulletins—already in houses of quality many an enemy's armour might be seen to glitter, which had by no means come thither from the field of battle. While formerly the commander-in-chief of the one year had reckoned it an honour to serve next year on the staff of his successor, the fact that the consular Cato took service as a military tribune under Tiberius Sempronius Longus (560) and Manius Glabrio (563;(47)), was now regarded as a demonstration against the new-fashioned arrogance. Formerly the thanks of the community once for all had sufficed for service rendered to the state: now every meritorious act seemed to demand a permanent distinction. Already Gaius Duilius, the victor of Mylae (494), had gained an exceptional permission that, when he walked in the evening through the streets of the capital, he should be preceded by a torch-bearer and a piper. Statues and monuments, very often erected at the expense of the person whom they purported to honour, became so common, that it was ironically pronounced a distinction to have none. But such merely personal honours did not long suffice. A custom came into vogue, by which the victor and his descendants derived a permanent surname from the victories they had won—a custom mainly established by the victor of Zama who got himself designated as the hero of Africa, his brother as the hero of Asia, and his cousin as the hero of Spain.(48) The example set by the higher was followed by the humbler classes. When the ruling order did not disdain to settle the funeral arrangements for different ranks and to decree to the man who had been censor a purple winding-sheet, it could not complain of the freedmen for desiring that their sons at any rate might be decorated with the much-envied purple border. The robe, the ring, and the amulet-case distinguished not only the burgess and the burgess's wife from the foreigner and the slave, but also the person who was free-born from one who had been a slave, the son of free-born, from the son of manumitted, parents, the son of the knight and the senator from the common burgess, the descendant of a curule house from the common senator(49)—and this in a community where all that was good and great was the work of civil equality!

The dissension in the community was reflected in the ranks of the opposition. Resting on the support of the farmers, the patriots raised a loud cry for reform; resting on the support of the mob in the capital, demagogism began its work. Although the two tendencies do not admit of being wholly separated but in various respects go hand in hand, it will be necessary to consider them apart.

The Party of Reform

The party of reform emerges, as it were, personified in Marcus Porcius Cato (520-605). Cato, the last statesman of note belonging to that earlier system which restricted its ideas to Italy and was averse to universal empire, was for that reason accounted in after times the model of a genuine Roman of the antique stamp; he may with greater justice be regarded as the representative of the opposition of the Roman middle class to the new Hellenico-cosmopolite nobility. Brought up at the plough, he was induced to enter on a political career by the owner of a neighbouring estate, one of the few nobles who kept aloof from the tendencies of the age, Lucius Valerius Flaccus. That upright patrician deemed the rough Sabine farmer the proper man to stem the current of the times; and he was not deceived in his estimate. Beneath the aegis of Flaccus, and after the good old fashion serving his fellow-citizens and the commonwealth in counsel and action, Cato fought his way up to the consulate and a triumph, and even to the censorship. Having in his seventeenth year entered the burgess-army, he had passed through the whole Hannibalic war from the battle on the Trasimene lake to that of Zama; had served under Marcellus and Fabius, under Nero and Scipio; and at Tarentum and Sena, in Africa, Sardinia, Spain, and Macedonia, had shown himself capable as a soldier, a staff- officer, and a general. He was the same in the Forum, as in the battle-field. His prompt and fearless utterance, his rough but pungent rustic wit, his knowledge of Roman law and Roman affairs, his incredible activity and his iron frame, first brought him into notice in the neighbouring towns; and, when at length he made his appearance on the greater arena of the Forum and the senate-house in the capital, constituted him the most influential advocate and political orator of his time. He took up the key-note first struck by Manius Curius, his ideal among Roman statesmen;(50) throughout his long life he made it his task honestly, to the best of his judgment, to assail on all hands the prevailing declension; and even in his eighty-fifth year he battled in the Forum with the new spirit of the times. He was anything but comely—he had green eyes, his enemies alleged, and red hair—and he was not a great man, still less a far-seeing statesman. Thoroughly narrow in his political and moral views, and having the ideal of the good old times always before his eyes and on his lips, he cherished an obstinate contempt for everything new. Deeming himself by virtue of his own austere life entitled to manifest an unrelenting severity and harshness towards everything and everybody; upright and honourable, but without a glimpse of any duty lying beyond the sphere of police order and of mercantile integrity; an enemy to all villany and vulgarity as well as to all refinement and geniality, and above all things the foe of his foes; he never made an attempt to stop evils at their source, but waged war throughout life against symptoms, and especially against persons. The ruling lords, no doubt, looked down with a lofty disdain on the ignoble growler, and believed, not without reason, that they were far superior; but fashionable corruption in and out of the senate secretly trembled in the presence of the old censor of morals with his proud republican bearing, of the scar-covered veteran from the Hannibalic war, and of the highly influential senator and the idol of the Roman farmers. He publicly laid before his noble colleagues, one after another, his list of their sins; certainly without being remarkably particular as to the proofs, and certainly also with a peculiar relish in the case of those who had personally crossed or provoked him. With equal fearlessness he reproved and publicly scolded the burgesses for every new injustice and every fresh disorder. His vehement attacks provoked numerous enemies, and he lived in declared and irreconcilable hostility with the most powerful aristocratic coteries of the time, particularly the Scipios and Flaminini; he was publicly accused forty-four times. But the farmers —and it is a significant indication how powerful still in the Roman middle class was the spirit which had enabled them to survive the day of Cannae—never allowed the unsparing champion of reform to lack the support of their votes. Indeed when in 570 Cato and his like-minded patrician colleague, Lucius Flaccus, solicited the censorship, and announced beforehand that it was their intention when in that office to undertake a vigorous purification of the burgess-body through all its ranks, the two men so greatly dreaded were elected by the burgesses notwithstanding all the exertions of the nobility; and the latter were obliged to submit, while the great purgation actually took place and erased among others the brother of Africanus from the roll of the equites, and the brother of the deliverer of the Greeks from the roll of the senate.

Police Reform

This warfare directed against individuals, and the various attempts to repress the spirit of the age by means of justice and of police, however deserving of respect might be the sentiments in which they originated, could only at most stem the current of corruption for a short time; and, while it is remarkable that Cato was enabled in spite of that current, or rather by means of it, to play his political part, it is equally significant that he was as little successful in getting rid of the leaders of the opposite party as they were in getting rid of him. The processes of count and reckoning instituted by him and by those who shared his views before the burgesses uniformly remained, at least in the cases that were of political importance, quite as ineffectual as the counter-accusations directed against him. Nor was much more effect produced by the police-laws, which were issued at this period in unusual numbers, especially for the restriction of luxury and for the introduction of a frugal and orderly housekeeping, and some of which have still to be touched on in our view of the national economics.

Assignations of Land

Far more practical and more useful were the attempts made to counteract the spread of decay by indirect means; among which, beyond doubt, the assignations of new farms out of the domain land occupy the first place. These assignations were made in great numbers and of considerable extent in the period between the first and second war with Carthage, and again from the close of the latter till towards the end of this epoch. The most important of them were the distribution of the Picenian possessions by Gaius Flaminius in 522;(51) the foundation of eight new maritime colonies in 560;(52) and above all the comprehensive colonization of the district between the Apennines and the Po by the establishment of the Latin colonies of Placentia, Cremona,(53) Bononia,(54) and Aquileia,(55) and of the burgess- colonies, Potentia, Pisaurum, Mutina, Parma, and Luna(56) in the years 536 and 565-577. By far the greater part of these highly beneficial foundations may be ascribed to the reforming party. Cato and those who shared his opinions demanded such measures, pointing, on the one hand, to the devastation of Italy by the Hannibalic war and the alarming diminution of the farms and of the free Italian population generally, and, on the other, to the widely extended possessions of the nobles—occupied along with, and similarly to, property of their own—in Cisalpine Gaul, in Samnium, and in the Apulian and Bruttian districts; and although the rulers of Rome did not probably comply with these demands to the extent to which they might and should have complied with them, yet they did not remain deaf to the warning voice of so judicious a man.

Reforms in the Military Service

Of a kindred character was the proposal, which Cato made in the senate, to remedy the decline of the burgess-cavalry by the institution of four hundred new equestrian stalls.(57) The exchequer cannot have wanted means for the purpose; but the proposal appears to have been thwarted by the exclusive spirit of the nobility and their endeavour to remove from the burgess-cavalry those who were troopers merely and not knights. On the other hand, the serious emergencies of the war, which even induced the Roman government to make an attempt —fortunately unsuccessful—to recruit their armies after the Oriental fashion from the slave-market,(58) compelled them to modify the qualifications hitherto required for service in the burgess-army, viz. a minimum census of 11,000 -asses- (43 pounds), and free birth. Apart from the fact that they took up for service in the fleet the persons of free birth rated between 4000 -asses- (17 pounds) and 1500 -asses- (6 pounds) and all the freedmen, the minimum census for the legionary was reduced to 4000 -asses- (17 pounds); and, in case of need, both those who were bound to serve in the fleet and the free-born rated between 1500 -asses- (6 pounds) and 375 -asses- (1 pound 10 shillings) were enrolled in the burgess-infantry. These innovations, which belong presumably to the end of the preceding or beginning of the present epoch, doubtless did not originate in party efforts any more than did the Servian military reform; but they gave a material impulse to the democratic party, in so far as those who bore civic burdens necessarily claimed and eventually obtained equalization of civic rights. The poor and the freedmen began to be of some importance in the commonwealth from the time when they served it; and chiefly from this cause arose one of the most important constitutional changes of this epoch —the remodelling of the -comitia centuriata-, which most probably took place in the same year in which the war concerning Sicily terminated

Reform of the Centuries

According to the order of voting hitherto followed in the centuriate comitia, although the freeholders were no longer—as down to the reform of Appius Claudius(59) they had been—the sole voters, the wealthy had the preponderance. The equites, or in other words the patricio-plebeian nobility, voted first, then those of the highest rating, or in other words those who had exhibited to the censor an estate of at least 100,000 -asses- (420 pounds);(60) and these two divisions, when they kept together, had derided every vote. The suffrage of those assessed under the four following classes had been of doubtful weight; that of those whose valuation remained below the standard of the lowest class, 11,000 -asses- (43 pounds), had been essentially illusory. According to the new arrangement the right of priority in voting was withdrawn from the equites, although they retained their separate divisions, and it was transferred to a voting division chosen from the first class by lot. The importance of that aristocratic right of prior voting cannot be estimated too highly, especially at an epoch in which practically the influence of the nobility on the burgesses at large was constantly on the increase. Even the patrician order proper were still at this epoch powerful enough to fill the second consulship and the second censorship, which stood open in law alike to patricians and plebeians, solely with men of their own body, the former up to the close of this period (till 582), the latter even for a generation longer (till 623); and in fact, at the most perilous moment which the Roman republic ever experienced —in the crisis after the battle of Cannae—they cancelled the quite legally conducted election of the officer who was in all respects the ablest—the plebeian Marcellus—to the consulship vacated by the death of the patrician Paullus, solely on account of his plebeianism. At the same time it is a significant token of the nature even of this reform that the right of precedence in voting was withdrawn only from the nobility, not from those of the highest rating; the right of prior voting withdrawn from the equestrian centuries passed not to a division chosen incidentally by lot from the whole burgesses, but exclusively to the first class. This as well as the five grades generally remained as they were; only the lower limit was probably shifted in such a way that the minimum census was, for the right of voting in the centuries as for service in the legion, reduced from 11,000 to 4000 -asses-. Besides, the formal retention of the earlier rates, while there was a general increase in the amount of men's means, involved of itself in some measure an extension of the suffrage in a democratic sense. The total number of the divisions remained likewise unchanged; but, while hitherto, as we have said, the 18 equestrian centuries and the 80 of the first class had, standing by themselves, the majority in the 193 voting centuries, in the reformed arrangement the votes of the first class were reduced to 70, with the result that under all circumstances at least the second grade came to vote. Still more important, and indeed the real central element of the reform, was the connection into which the new voting divisions were brought with the tribal arrangement. Formerly the centuries originated from the tribes on the footing, that whoever belonged to a tribe had to be enrolled by the censor in one of the centuries. From the time that the non-freehold burgesses had been enrolled in the tribes, they too came thus into the centuries, and, while they were restricted in the -comitia tributa- to the four urban divisions, they had in the -comitia centuriata- formally the same right with the freehold burgesses, although probably the censorial arbitrary prerogative intervened in the composition of the centuries, and granted to the burgesses enrolled in the rural tribes the preponderance also in the centuriate assembly. This preponderance was established by the reformed arrangement on the legal footing, that of the 70 centuries of the first class, two were assigned to each tribe and, accordingly, the non-freehold burgesses obtained only eight of them; in a similar way the preponderance must have been conceded also in the four other grades to the freehold burgesses. In a like spirit the previous equalization of the freedmen with the free-born in the right of voting was set aside at this time, and even the freehold freedmen were assigned to the four urban tribes. This was done in the year 534 by one of the most notable men of the party of reform, the censor Gaius Flaminius, and was then repeated and more stringently enforced fifty years later (585) by the censor Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, the father of the two authors of the Roman revolution. This reform of the centuries, which perhaps in its totality proceeded likewise from Flaminius, was the first important constitutional change which the new opposition wrung from the nobility, the first victory of the democracy proper. The pith of it consists partly in the restriction of the censorial arbitrary rule, partly in the restriction of the influence of the nobility on the one hand, and of the non- freeholders and the freedmen on the other, and so in the remodelling of the centuriate comitia according to the principle which already held good for the comitia of the tribes; a course which commended itself by the circumstance that elections, projects of law, criminal impeachments, and generally all affairs requiring the co-operation of the burgesses, were brought throughout to the comitia of the tribes and the more unwieldy centuries were but seldom called together, except where it was constitutionally necessary or at least usual, in order to elect the censors, consuls, and praetors, and in order to resolve upon an aggressive war.

Thus this reform did not introduce a new principle into the constitution, but only brought into general application the principle that had long regulated the working of the practically more frequent and more important form of the burgess-assemblies. Its democratic, but by no means demagogic, tendency is clearly apparent in the position which it took up towards the proper supports of every really revolutionary party, the proletariate and the freedmen. For that reason the practical significance of this alteration in the order of voting regulating the primary assemblies must not be estimated too highly. The new law of election did not prevent, and perhaps did not even materially impede, the contemporary formation of a new politically privileged order. It is certainly not owing to the mere imperfection of tradition, defective as it undoubtedly is, that we are nowhere able to point to a practical influence exercised by this much- discussed reform on the course of political affairs. An intimate connection, we may add, subsisted between this reform, and the already-mentioned abolition of the Roman burgess-communities -sine suffragio-, which were gradually merged in the community of full burgesses. The levelling spirit of the party of progress suggested the abolition of distinctions within the middle class, while the chasm between burgesses and non-burgesses was at the same time widened and deepened.

Results of the Efforts at Reform

Reviewing what the reform party of this age aimed at and obtained, we find that it undoubtedly exerted itself with patriotism and energy to check, and to a certain extent succeeded in checking, the spread of decay—more especially the falling off of the farmer class and the relaxation of the old strict and frugal habits—as well as the preponderating political influence of the new nobility. But we fail to discover any higher political aim. The discontent of the multitude and the moral indignation of the better classes found doubtless in this opposition their appropriate and powerful expression; but we do not find either a clear insight into the sources of the evil, or any definite and comprehensive plan of remedying it. A certain want of thought pervades all these efforts otherwise so deserving of honour, and the purely defensive attitude of the defenders forebodes little good for the sequel. Whether the disease could be remedied at all by human skill, remains fairly open to question; the Roman reformers of this period seem to have been good citizens rather than good statesmen, and to have conducted the great struggle between the old civism and the new cosmopolitanism on their part after a somewhat inadequate and narrow-minded fashion.


But, as this period witnessed the rise of a rabble by the side of the burgesses, so it witnessed also the emergence of a demagogism that flattered the populace alongside of the respectable and useful party of opposition. Cato was already acquainted with men who made a trade of demagogism; who had a morbid propensity for speechifying, as others had for drinking or for sleeping; who hired listeners, if they could find no willing audience otherwise; and whom people heard as they heard the market-crier, without listening to their words or, in the event of needing help, entrusting themselves to their hands. In his caustic fashion the old man describes these fops formed after the model of the Greek talkers of the agora, dealing in jests and witticisms, singing and dancing, ready for anything; such an one was, in his opinion, good for nothing but to exhibit himself as harlequin in a procession and to bandy talk with the public—he would sell his talk or his silence for a bit of bread. In reality these demagogues were the worst enemies of reform. While the reformers insisted above all things and in every direction on moral amendment, demagogism preferred to insist on the limitation of the powers of the government and the extension of those of the burgesses.

Abolition of the Dictatorship

Under the former head the most important innovation was the practical abolition of the dictatorship. The crisis occasioned by Quintus Fabius and his popular opponents in 537(61) gave the death-blow to this all-along unpopular institution. Although the government once afterwards, in 538, under the immediate impression produced by the battle of Cannae, nominated a dictator invested with active command, it could not again venture to do so in more peaceful times. On several occasions subsequently (the last in 552), sometimes after a previous indication by the burgesses of the person to be nominated, a dictator was appointed for urban business; but the office, without being formally abolished, fell practically into desuetude. Through its abeyance the Roman constitutional system, so artificially constructed, lost a corrective which was very desirable with reference to its peculiar feature of collegiate magistrates;(62) and the government, which was vested with the sole power of creating a dictatorship or in other words of suspending the consuls, and ordinarily designated also the person who was to be nominated as dictator, lost one of its most important instruments. Its place was but very imperfectly supplied by the power—which the senate thenceforth claimed—of conferring in extraordinary emergencies, particularly on the sudden outbreak of revolt or war, a quasi- dictatorial power on the supreme magistrates for the time being, by instructing them "to take measures for the safety of the commonwealth at their discretion," and thus creating a state of things similar to the modern martial law.

Election of Priests by the Community

Along with this change the formal powers of the people in the nomination of magistrates as well as in questions of government, administration, and finance, received a hazardous extension. The priesthoods—particularly those politically most important, the colleges of men of lore—according to ancient custom filled up the vacancies in their own ranks, and nominated also their own presidents, where these corporations had presidents at all; and in fact, for such institutions destined to transmit the knowledge of divine things from generation to generation, the only form of election in keeping with their spirit was cooptation. It was therefore—although not of great political importance—significant of the incipient disorganization of the republican arrangements, that at this time (before 542), while election into the colleges themselves was left on its former footing, the designation of the presidents—the -curiones- and -pontifices- —from the ranks of those corporations was transferred from the colleges to the community. In this case, however, with a pious regard for forms that is genuinely Roman, in order to avoid any error, only a minority of the tribes, and therefore not the "people," completed the act of election.

Interference of the Community in War and Administration

Of greater importance was the growing interference of the burgesses in questions as to persons and things belonging to the sphere of military administration and external policy. To this head belong the transference of the nomination of the ordinary staff-officers from the general to the burgesses, which has been already mentioned;(63) the elections of the leaders of the opposition as commanders-in-chief against Hannibal;(64) the unconstitutional and irrational decree of the people in 537, which divided the supreme command between the unpopular generalissimo and his popular lieutenant who opposed him in the camp as well as at home;(65) the tribunician complaint laid before the burgesses, charging an officer like Marcellus with injudicious and dishonest management of the war (545), which even compelled him to come from the camp to the capital and there demonstrate his military capacity before the public; the still more scandalous attempts to refuse by decree of the burgesses to the victor of Pydna his triumph;(66) the investiture—suggested, it is true, by the senate—of a private man with extraordinary consular authority (544;(67)); the dangerous threat of Scipio that, if the senate should refuse him the chief command in Africa, he would seek the sanction of the burgesses (549;(68)); the attempt of a man half crazy with ambition to extort from the burgesses, against the will of the government, a declaration of war in every respect unwarranted against the Rhodians (587;(69)); and the new constitutional axiom, that every state-treaty acquired validity only through the ratification of the people.

Interference of the Community with the Finances

This joint action of the burgesses in governing and in commanding was fraught in a high degree with peril. But still more dangerous was their interference with the finances of the state; not only because any attack on the oldest and most important right of the government —the exclusive administration of the public property—struck at the root of the power of the senate, but because the placing of the most important business of this nature—the distribution of the public domains—in the hands of the primary assemblies of the burgesses necessarily dug the grave of the republic. To allow the primary assembly to decree the transference of public property without limit to its own pocket is not only wrong, but is the beginning of the end; it demoralizes the best-disposed citizens, and gives to the proposer a power incompatible with a free commonwealth. Salutary as was the distribution of the public land, and doubly blameable as was the senate accordingly for omitting to cut off this most dangerous of all weapons of agitation by voluntarily distributing the occupied lands, yet Gaius Flaminius, when he came to the burgesses in 522 with the proposal to distribute the domains of Picenum, undoubtedly injured the commonwealth more by the means than he benefited it by the end. Spurius Cassius had doubtless two hundred and fifty years earlier proposed the same thing;(70) but the two measures, closely as they coincided in the letter, were yet wholly different, inasmuch as Cassius submitted a matter affecting the community to that community while it was in vigour and self-governing, whereas Flaminius submitted a question of state to the primary assembly of a great empire.

Nullity of the Comitia

Not the party of the government only, but the party of reform also, very properly regarded the military, executive, and financial government as the legitimate domain of the senate, and carefully abstained from making full use of, to say nothing of augmenting, the formal power vested in primary assemblies that were inwardly doomed to inevitable dissolution. Never even in the most limited monarchy was a part so completely null assigned to the monarch as was allotted to the sovereign Roman people: this was no doubt in more than one respect to be regretted, but it was, owing to the existing state of the comitial machine, even in the view of the friends of reform a matter of necessity. For this reason Cato and those who shared his views never submitted to the burgesses a question, which trenched on government strictly so called; and never, directly or indirectly, by decree of the burgesses extorted from the senate the political or financial measures which they wished, such as the declaration of war against Carthage and the assignations of land. The government of the senate might be bad; the primary assemblies could not govern at all. Not that an evil-disposed majority predominated in them; on the contrary the counsel of a man of standing, the loud call of honour, and the louder call of necessity were still, as a rule, listened to in the comitia, and averted the most injurious and disgraceful results. The burgesses, before whom Marcellus pleaded his cause, ignominiously dismissed his accuser, and elected the accused as consul for the following year: they suffered themselves also to be persuaded of the necessity of the war against Philip, terminated the war against Perseus by the election of Paullus, and accorded to the latter his well-deserved triumph. But in order to such elections and such decrees there was needed some special stimulus; in general the mass having no will of its own followed the first impulse, and folly or accident dictated the decision.

Disorganisation of Government

In the state, as in every organism, an organ which no longer discharges its functions is injurious. The nullity of the sovereign assembly of the people involved no small danger. Any minority in the senate might constitutionally appeal to the comitia against the majority. To every individual, who possessed the easy art of addressing untutored ears or of merely throwing away money, a path was opened up for his acquiring a position or procuring a decree in his favour, to which the magistrates and the government were formally bound to do homage. Hence sprang those citizen-generals, accustomed to sketch plans of battle on the tables of taverns and to look down on the regular service with compassion by virtue of their inborn genius for strategy: hence those staff-officers, who owed their command to the canvassing intrigues of the capital and, whenever matters looked serious, had at once to get leave of absence -en masse-; and hence the battles on the Trasimene lake and at Cannae, and the disgraceful management of the war with Perseus. At every step the government was thwarted and led astray by those incalculable decrees of the burgesses, and as was to be expected, most of all in the very cases where it was most in the right.

But the weakening of the government and the weakening of the community itself were among the lesser dangers that sprang from this demagogism. Still more directly the factious violence of individual ambition pushed itself forward under the aegis of the constitutional rights of the burgesses. That which formally issued forth as the will of the supreme authority in the state was in reality very often the mere personal pleasure of the mover; and what was to be the fate of a commonwealth in which war and peace, the nomination and deposition of the general and his officers, the public chest and the public property, were dependent on the caprices of the multitude and its accidental leaders? The thunder-storm had not yet burst; but the clouds were gathering in denser masses, and occasional peals of thunder were already rolling through the sultry air. It was a circumstance, moreover, fraught with double danger, that the tendencies which were apparently most opposite met together at their extremes both as regarded ends and as regarded means. Family policy and demagogism carried on a similar and equally dangerous rivalry in patronizing and worshipping the rabble. Gaius Flaminius was regarded by the statesmen of the following generation as the initiator of that course from which proceeded the reforms of the Gracchi and—we may add—the democratico-monarchical revolution that ensued. But Publius Scipio also, although setting the fashion to the nobility in arrogance, title-hunting, and client-making, sought support for his personal and almost dynastic policy of opposition to the senate in the multitude, which he not only charmed by the dazzling effect of his personal qualities, but also bribed by his largesses of grain; in the legions, whose favour he courted by all means whether right or wrong; and above all in the body of clients, high and low, that personally adhered to him. Only the dreamy mysticism, on which the charm as well as the weakness of that remarkable man so largely depended, never suffered him to awake at all, or allowed him to awake but imperfectly, out of the belief that he was nothing, and that he desired to be nothing, but the first burgess of Rome.

To assert the possibility of a reform would be as rash as to deny it: this much is certain, that a thorough amendment of the state in all its departments was urgently required, and that in no quarter was any serious attempt made to accomplish it. Various alterations in details, no doubt, were made on the part of the senate as well as on the part of the popular opposition. The majorities in each were still well disposed, and still frequently, notwithstanding the chasm that separated the parties, joined hands in a common endeavour to effect the removal of the worst evils. But, while they did not stop the evil at its source, it was to little purpose that the better-disposed listened with anxiety to the dull murmur of the swelling flood and worked at dikes and dams. Contenting themselves with palliatives, and failing to apply even these—especially such as were the most important, the improvement of justice, for instance, and the distribution of the domains—in proper season and due measure, they helped to prepare evil days for their posterity. By neglecting to break up the field at the proper time, they allowed weeds even to ripen which they had not sowed. To the later generations who survived the storms of revolution the period after the Hannibalic war appeared the golden age of Rome, and Cato seemed the model of the Roman statesman. It was in reality the lull before the storm and the epoch of political mediocrities, an age like that of the government of Walpole in England; and no Chatham was found in Rome to infuse fresh energy into the stagnant life of the nation. Wherever we cast our eyes, chinks and rents are yawning in the old building; we see workmen busy sometimes in filling them up, sometimes in enlarging them; but we nowhere perceive any trace of preparations for thoroughly rebuilding or renewing it, and the question is no longer whether, but simply when, the structure will fall. During no epoch did the Roman constitution remain formally so stable as in the period from the Sicilian to the third Macedonian war and for a generation beyond it; but the stability of the constitution was here, as everywhere, not a sign of the health of the state, but a token of incipient sickness and the harbinger of revolution.

Notes for Chapter XI

1. II. III. New Aristocracy

2. II. III. New Opposition

3. II. III. Military Tribunes with Consular Powers

4. All these insignia probably belonged on their first emergence only to the nobility proper, i. e. to the agnate descendants of curule magistrates; although, after the manner of such decorations, all of them in course of time were extended to a wider circle. This can be distinctly proved in the case of the gold finger-ring, which in the fifth century was worn only by the nobility (Plin. H. N., xxxiii. i. 18), in the sixth by every senator and senator's son (Liv. xxvi. 36), in the seventh by every one of equestrian rank, under the empire by every one who was of free birth. So also with the silver trappings, which still, in the second Punic war, formed a badge of the nobility alone (Liv. xxvi. 37); and with the purple border of the boys' toga, which at first was granted only to the sons of curule magistrates, then to the sons of equites, afterwards to those of all free-born persons, lastly—yet as early as the time of the second Punic war —even to the sons of freedmen (Macrob. Sat. i. 6). The golden amulet-case (-bulla-) was a badge of the children of senators in the time of the second Punic war (Macrob. l. c.; Liv. xxvi. 36), in that of Cicero as the badge of the children of the equestrian order (Cic. Verr. i. 58, 152), whereas children of inferior rank wore the leathern amulet (-lorum-). The purple stripe (-clavus-) on the tunic was a badge of the senators (I. V. Prerogatives of the Senate) and of the equites, so that at least in later times the former wore it broad, the latter narrow; with the nobility the -clavus- had nothing to do.

5. II. III. Civic Equality

6. Plin. H. N. xxi. 3, 6. The right to appear crowned in public was acquired by distinction in war (Polyb. vi. 39, 9; Liv. x. 47); consequently, the wearing a crown without warrant was an offence similar to the assumption, in the present day, of the badge of a military order of merit without due title.

7. II. III. Praetorship

8. Thus there remained excluded the military tribunate with consular powers (II. III. Throwing Open of Marriage and of Magistracies) the proconsulship, the quaestorship, the tribunate of the people, and several others. As to the censorship, it does not appear, notwithstanding the curule chair of the censors (Liv. xl. 45; comp, xxvii. 8), to have been reckoned a curule office; for the later period, however, when only a man of consular standing could be made censor, the question has no practical importance. The plebeian aedileship certainly was not reckoned originally one of the curule magistracies (Liv. xxiii. 23); it may, however, have been subsequently included amongst them.

9. II. I. Government of the Patriciate

10. II. III. Censorship

11. II. III. The Senate

12. The current hypothesis, according to which the six centuries of the nobility alone amounted to 1200, and the whole equestrian force accordingly to 3600 horse, is not tenable. The method of determining the number of the equites by the number of duplications specified by the annalists is mistaken: in fact, each of these statements has originated and is to be explained by itself. But there is no evidence either for the first number, which is only found in the passage of Cicero, De Rep. ii. 20, acknowledged as miswritten even by the champions of this view, or for the second, which does not appear at all in ancient authors. In favour, on the other hand, of the hypothesis set forth in the text, we have, first of all, the number as indicated not by authorities, but by the institutions themselves; for it is certain that the century numbered 100 men, and there were originally three (I. V. Burdens of the Burgesses), then six (I. Vi. Amalgamation of the Palatine and Quirinal Cities), and lastly after the Servian reform eighteen (I. VI. The Five Classes), equestrian centuries. The deviations of the authorities from this view are only apparent. The old self-consistent tradition, which Becker has developed (ii. i, 243), reckons not the eighteen patricio-plebeian, but the six patrician, centuries at 1800 men; and this has been manifestly followed by Livy, i. 36 (according to the reading which alone has manuscript authority, and which ought not to be corrected from Livy's particular estimates), and by Cicero l. c. (according to the only reading grammatically admissible, MDCCC.; see Becker, ii. i, 244). But Cicero at the same time indicates very plainly, that in that statement he intended to describe the then existing amount of the Roman equites in general. The number of the whole body has therefore been transferred to the most prominent portion of it by a prolepsis, such as is common in the case of the old annalists not too much given to reflection: just in the same way 300 equites instead of 100 are assigned to the parent-community, including, by anticipation, the contingents of the Tities and the Luceres (Becker, ii. i, 238). Lastly, the proposition of Cato (p. 66, Jordan), to raise the number of the horses of the equites to 2200, is as distinct a confirmation of the view proposed above, as it is a distinct refutation of the opposite view. The closed number of the equites probably continued to subsist down to Sulla's time, when with the -de facto- abeyance of the censorship the basis of it fell away, and to all appearance in place of the censorial bestowal of the equestrian horse came its acquisition by hereditary right; thenceforth the senator's son was by birth an -eques-. Alongside, however, of this closed equestrian body, the -equites equo publico-, stood from an early period of the republic the burgesses bound to render mounted service on their own horses, who are nothing but the highest class of the census; they do not vote in the equestrian centuries, but are regarded otherwise as equites, and lay claim likewise to the honorary privileges of the equestrian order.

In the arrangement of Augustus the senatorial houses retained the hereditary equestrian right; but by its side the censorial bestowal of the equestrian horse is renewed as a prerogative of the emperor and without restriction to a definite time, and thereby the designation of equites for the first class of the census as such falls into abeyance.

13. II. III. Increasing Powers of the Burgesses

14. II. VIII. Officers

15. II. III. Restrictions As to the Accumulation and Reoccupation of Offices

16. II. III. New Opposition

17. The stability of the Roman nobility may be clearly traced, more especially in the case of the patrician -gentes-, by means of the consular and aedilician Fasti. As is well known, the consulate was held by one patrician and one plebeian in each year from 388 to 581 (with the exception of the years 399, 400, 401, 403, 405, 409, 411, in which both consuls were patricians). Moreover, the colleges of curule aediles were composed exclusively of patricians in the odd years of the Varronian reckoning, at least down to the close of the sixth century, and they are known for the sixteen years 541, 545, 547, 549, 551, 553, 555, 557, 561, 565, 567, 575, 585, 589, 591, 593. These patrician consuls and aediles are, as respects their -gentes-, distributed as follows:—

              Consuls Consuls Curule aediles of those
              388-500 501-581 16 patrician colleges

Cornelii 15 15 15
Valerii 10 8 4
Claudii 4 8 2
Aemilii 9 6 2
Fabii 6 6 1
Manlii 4 6 1
Postumii 2 6 2
Servilii 3 4 2
Quinctii 2 3 1
Furii 2 3 -
Sulpicii 6 4 2
Veturii - 2 -
Papirii 3 1 -
Nautii 2 - -
Julii 1 - 1
Foslii 1 - -
                  —- —- —-
                   70 70 32

Thus the fifteen or sixteen houses of the high nobility, that were powerful in the state at the time of the Licinian laws, maintained their ground without material change in their relative numbers—which no doubt were partly kept up by adoption—for the next two centuries, and indeed down to the end of the republic. To the circle of the plebeian nobility new -gentes- doubtless were from time to time added; but the old plebian houses, such as the Licinii, Fulvii, Atilii, Domitii, Marcii, Junii, predominate very decidedly in the Fasti throughout three centuries.

18. I. V. The Senate

19. III. IX. Death of Scipio

20. III. X. Their Lax and Unsuccessful Management of the War f.

21. III. VI. In Italy

22. III. VI. Conquest of Sicily

23. The expenses of these were, however, probably thrown in great part on the adjoining inhabitants. The old system of making requisitions of task-work was not abolished: it must not unfrequently have happened that the slaves of the landholders were called away to be employed in the construction of roads. (Cato, de R. R. 2 )

24. III. VI. Pressure of the War

25. III. VI. In Italy

26. III. VII. Celtic Wars

27. III. VI In Italy

28. III. VII. Latins

29. II. VII. Non-Latin Allied Communities

30. III. VII. Latins

31. Thus, as is well known, Ennius of Rudiae received burgess-rights from one of the triumvirs, Q. Fulvius Nobilior, on occasion of the founding of the burgess-colonies of Potentia and Pisaurum (Cic. Brut. 20, 79); whereupon, according to the well-known custom, he adopted the -praenomen- of the latter. The non-burgesses who were sent to share in the foundation of a burgess-colony, did not, at least in tin's epoch, thereby acquire -de jure- Roman citizenship, although they frequently usurped it (Liv. xxxiv. 42); but the magistrates charged with the founding of a colony were empowered, by a clause in the decree of the people relative to each case, to confer burgess-rights on a limited number of persons (Cic. pro Balb. 21, 48).

32. III. VII. Administration of Spain

33. III. IX. Expedition against the Celts in Asia Minor

34. III. X. Their Lax and Unsuccessful Management of the War f.

35. II. I. Term of Office

36. III. VII. Administration of Spain

37. III. XI. Italian Subjects, Roman Franchise More Difficult of Acquisition

38. III. XI. Roman Franchise More Difficult of Acquisition

39. In Cato's treatise on husbandry, which, as is well known, primarily relates to an estate in the district of Venafrum, the judicial discussion of such processes as might arise is referred to Rome only as respects one definite case; namely, that in which the landlord leases the winter pasture to the owner of a flock of sheep, and thus has to deal with a lessee who, as a rule, is not domiciled in the district (c. 149). It may be inferred from this, that in ordinary cases, where the contract was with a person domiciled in the district, such processes as might spring out of it were even in Cato's time decided not at Rome, but before the local judges.

40. II. VII. The Full Roman Franchise

41. II. VII. Subject Communities

42. III. VIII. Declaration of War by Rome

43. II. III. The Burgess-Body

44. III. XI. Patricio-Plebian Nobility

45. The laying out of the circus is attested. Respecting the origin of the plebeian games there is no ancient tradition (for what is said by the Pseudo-Asconius, p. 143, Orell. is not such); but seeing that they were celebrated in the Flaminian circus (Val. Max. i, 7, 4), and first certainly occur in 538, four years after it was built (Liv. xxiii. 30), what we have stated above is sufficiently proved.

46. II. II. Political Value of the Tribunate

47. III. IX. Landing of the Romans

48. III. IX. Death of Scipio. The first certain instance of such a surname is that of Manius Valerius Maximus, consul in 491, who, as conqueror of Messana, assumed the name Messalla (ii. 170): that the consul of 419 was, in a similar manner, called Calenus, is an error. The presence of Maximus as a surname in the Valerian (i. 348) and Fabian (i. 397) clans is not quite analogous.

49. III. XI. Patricio-Plebian Nobility

50. II. III. New Opposition

51. III. III. The Celts Conquered by Rome

52. III. VI. In Italy

53. III. III. The Celts Conquered by Rome

54. III. VII. Liguria

55. III. VII. Measures Adopted to Check the Immigration of the Transalpine Gauls

56. III. VII. Liguria

57. III. XI. The Nobility in Possession of the Equestrian Centuries

58. III. V. Attitude of the Romans, III. VI. Conflicts in the South of Italy

59. II. III. The Burgess-Body

60. As to the original rates of the Roman census it is difficult to lay down anything definite. Afterwards, as is well known, 100,000 -asses- was regarded as the minimum census of the first class; to which the census of the other four classes stood in the (at least approximate) ratio of 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/9. But these rates are understood already by Polybius, as by all later authors, to refer to the light -as- (1/10th of the -denarius-), and apparently this view must be adhered to, although in reference to the Voconian law the same sums are reckoned as heavy -asses- (1/4 of the -denarius-: Geschichte des Rom. Munzwesens, p. 302). But Appius Claudius, who first in 442 expressed the census-rates in money instead of the possession of land (II. III. The Burgess-Body), cannot in this have made use of the light -as-, which only emerged in 485 (II. VIII. Silver Standard of Value). Either therefore he expressed the same amounts in heavy -asses-, and these were at the reduction of the coinage converted into light; or he proposed the later figures, and these remained the same notwithstanding the reduction or the coinage, which in this case would have involved a lowering of the class-rates by more than the half. Grave doubts may be raised in opposition to either hypothesis; but the former appears the more credible, for so exorbitant an advance in democratic development is not probable either for the end of the fifth century or as an incidental consequence of a mere administrative measure, and besides it would scarce have disappeared wholly from tradition. 100,000 light -asses-, or 40,000 sesterces, may, moreover, be reasonably regarded as the equivalent of the original Roman full hide of perhaps 20 -jugera- (I. VI. Time and Occasion of the Reform); so that, according to this view, the rates of the census as a whole have changed merely in expression, and not in value.

61. III. V. Fabius and Minucius

62. II. I. The Dictator

63. III. XI. Election of Officers in the Comitia

64. III. V. Flaminius, New Warlike Preparations in Rome

65. III. V. Fabius and Minucius

66. III. XI. Squandering of the Spoil

67. III. VI. Publius Scipio

68. III. VI. The African Expedition of Scipio

69. III. X. Humiliation of Rhodes

70. II. II. Agrarian Law of Spurius Cassius

Chapter XII

The Management of Land and of Capital

Roman Economics

It is in the sixth century of the city that we first find materials for a history of the times exhibiting in some measure the mutual connection of events; and it is in that century also that the economic condition of Rome emerges into view more distinctly and clearly. It is at this epoch that the wholesale system, as regards both the cultivation of land and the management of capital, becomes first established under the form, and on the scale, which afterwards prevailed; although we cannot exactly discriminate how much of that system is traceable to earlier precedent, how much to an imitation of the methods of husbandry and of speculation among peoples that were earlier civilized, especially the Phoenicians, and how much to the increasing mass of capital and the growth of intelligence in the nation. A summary outline of these economic relations will conduce to a more accurate understanding of the internal history of Rome.

Roman husbandry(1) applied itself either to the farming of estates, to the occupation of pasture lands, or to the tillage of petty holdings. A very distinct view of the first of these is presented to us in the description given by Cato.

Farming of Estates
Their Size

The Roman land-estates were, considered as larger holdings, uniformly of limited extent. That described by Cato had an area of 240 jugera; a very common measure was the so-called -centuria- of 200 -jugera-. Where the laborious culture of the vine was pursued, the unit of husbandry was made still less; Cato assumes in that case an area of 100 -jugera-. Any one who wished to invest more capital in farming did not enlarge his estate, but acquired several estates; accordingly the amount of 500 -jugera-,(2) fixed as the maximum which it was allowable to occupy, has been conceived to represent the contents of two or three estates.

Management of the Estate

Object of Husbandry

The heritable lease was not recognised in the management of Italian private any more than of Roman public land; it occurred only in the case of the dependent communities. Leases for shorter periods, granted either for a fixed sum of money or on condition that the lessee should bear all the costs of tillage and should receive in return a share, ordinarily perhaps one half, of the produce,(3) were not unknown, but they were exceptional and a makeshift; so that no distinct class of tenant-farmers grew up in Italy.(4) Ordinarily therefore the proprietor himself superintended the cultivation of his estates; he did not, however, manage them strictly in person, but only appeared from time to time on the property in order to settle the plan of operations, to look after its execution, and to audit the accounts of his servants. He was thus enabled on the one hand to work a number of estates at the same time, and on the other hand to devote himself, as circumstances might require, to public affairs.

The grain cultivated consisted especially of spelt and wheat, with some barley and millet; turnips, radishes, garlic, poppies, were also grown, and—particularly as fodder for the cattle—lupines, beans, pease, vetches, and other leguminous plants. The seed was sown ordinarily in autumn, only in exceptional cases in spring. Much activity was displayed in irrigation and draining; and drainage by means of covered ditches was early in use. Meadows also for supplying hay were not wanting, and even in the time of Cato they were frequently irrigated artificially. Of equal, if not of greater, economic importance than grain and vegetables were the olive and the vine, of which the former was planted between the crops, the latter in vineyards appropriated to itself.(5) Figs, apples, pears, and other fruit trees were cultivated; and likewise elms, poplars, and other leafy trees and shrubs, partly for the felling of the wood, partly for the sake of the leaves which were useful as litter and as fodder for cattle. The rearing of cattle, on the other hand, held a far less important place in the economy of the Italians than it holds in modern times, for vegetables formed the general fare, and animal food made its appearance at table only exceptionally; where it did appear, it consisted almost solely of the flesh of swine or lambs. Although the ancients did not fail to perceive the economic connection between agriculture and the rearing of cattle, and in particular the importance of producing manure, the modern combination of the growth of corn with the rearing of cattle was a thing foreign to antiquity. The larger cattle were kept only so far as was requisite for the tillage of the fields, and they were fed not on special pasture-land, but, wholly during summer and mostly during winter also, in the stall Sheep, again, were driven out on the stubble pasture; Cato allows 100 head to 240 -jugera-. Frequently, however, the proprietor preferred to let his winter pasture to a large sheep-owner, or to hand over his flock of sheep to a lessee who was to share the produce, stipulating for the delivery of a certain number of lambs and of a certain quantity of cheese and milk. Swine—Cato assigns to a large estate ten sties—poultry, and pigeons were kept in the farmyard, and fed as there was need; and, where opportunity offered, a small hare-preserve and a fish-pond were constructed—the modest commencement of that nursing and rearing of game and fish which was afterwards prosecuted to so enormous an extent.

Means of Husbandry

The labours of the field were performed by means of oxen which were employed for ploughing, and of asses, which were used specially for the carriage of manure and for driving the mill; perhaps a horse also was kept, apparently for the use of the master. These animals were not reared on the estate, but were purchased; oxen and horses at least were generally castrated. Cato assigns to an estate of 100 -jugera- one, to one of 240 -jugera- three, yoke of oxen; a later writer on agriculture, Saserna, assigns two yoke to the 200 -jugera-. Three asses were, according to Cato's estimate, required for the smaller, and four for the larger, estate.


The human labour on the farm was regularly performed by slaves. At the head of the body of slaves on the estate (-familia rustica-) stood the steward (-vilicus-, from -villa-), who received and expended, bought and sold, went to obtain the instructions of the landlord, and in his absence issued orders and administered punishment. Under him were placed the stewardess (-vilica-) who took charge of the house, kitchen and larder, poultry-yard and dovecot: a number of ploughmen (-bubulci-) and common serfs, an ass-driver, a swineherd, and, where a flock of sheep was kept, a shepherd. The number, of course, varied according to the method of husbandry pursued. An arable estate of 200 -jugera- without orchards was estimated to require two ploughmen and six serfs: a similar estate with two orchards two plough-men and nine serfs; an estate of 240 -jugera- with olive plantations and sheep, three ploughmen, five serfs, and three herdsmen. A vineyard naturally required a larger expenditure of labour: an estate of 100 -jugera- with vine-plantations was supplied with one ploughman, eleven serfs, and two herdsmen. The steward of course occupied a freer position than the other slaves: the treatise of Mago advised that he should be allowed to marry, to rear children, and to have funds of his own, and Cato advises that he should be married to the stewardess; he alone had some prospect, in the event of good behaviour, of obtaining liberty from his master. In other respects all formed a common household. The slaves were, like the larger cattle, not bred on the estate, but purchased at an age capable of labour in the slave-market; and, when through age or infirmity they had become incapable of working, they were again sent with other refuse to the market.(6) The farm- buildings (-villa rustica-) supplied at once stabling for the cattle, storehouses for the produce, and a dwelling for the steward and the slaves; while a separate country house (-villa urbana-) for the master was frequently erected on the estate. Every slave, even the steward himself, had all the necessaries of life delivered to him on the master's behalf at certain times and according to fixed rates; and upon these he had to subsist. He received in this way clothes and shoes, which were purchased in the market, and which the recipients had merely to keep in repair; a quantity of wheat monthly, which each had to grind for himself; as also salt, olives or salted fish to form a relish to their food, wine, and oil. The quantity was adjusted according to the work; on which account the steward, who had easier work than the common slaves, got scantier measure than these. The stewardess attended to all the baking and cooking; and all partook of the same fare. It was not the ordinary practice to place chains on the slaves; but when any one had incurred punishment or was thought likely to attempt an escape, he was set to work in chains and was shut up during the night in the slaves' prison.(7)

Other Labourers

Ordinarily these slaves belonging to the estate were sufficient; in case of need neighbours, as a matter of course, helped each other with their slaves for day's wages. Otherwise labourers from without were not usually employed, except in peculiarly unhealthy districts, where it was found advantageous to limit the amount of slaves and to employ hired persons in their room, and for the ingathering of the harvest, for which the regular supply of labour on the farm did not suffice. At the corn and hay harvests they took in hired reapers, who often instead of wages received from the sixth to the ninth sheaf of the produce reaped, or, if they also thrashed, the fifth of the grain: Umbrian labourers, for instance, went annually in great numbers to the vale of Rieti, to help to gather in the harvest there. The grape and olive harvest was ordinarily let to a contractor, who by means of his men—hired free labourers, or slaves of his own or of others— conducted the gleaning and pressing under the inspection of some persons appointed by the landlord for the purpose, and delivered the produce to the master;(8) very frequently the landlord sold the harvest on the tree or branch, and left the purchaser to look after the ingathering.

Spirit of the System

The whole system was pervaded by the utter regardless-ness characteristic of the power of capital. Slaves and cattle stood on the same level; a good watchdog, it is said in a Roman writer on agriculture, must not be on too friendly terms with his "fellow- slaves." The slave and the ox were fed properly so long as they could work, because it would not have been good economy to let them starve; and they were sold like a worn-out ploughshare when they became unable to work, because in like manner it would not have been good economy to retain them longer. In earlier times religious considerations had here also exercised an alleviating influence, and had released the slave and the plough-ox from labour on the days enjoined for festivals and for rest.(9) Nothing is more characteristic of the spirit of Cato and those who shared his sentiments than the way in which they inculcated the observance of the holiday in the letter, and evaded it in reality, by advising that, while the plough should certainly be allowed to rest on these days, the slaves should even then be incessantly occupied with other labours not expressly prohibited. On principle no freedom of movement whatever was allowed to them—a slave, so runs one of Cato's maxims, must either work or sleep—and no attempt was ever made to attach the slaves to the estate or to their master by any bond of human sympathy. The letter of the law in all its naked hideousness regulated the relation, and the Romans indulged no illusions as to the consequences. "So many slaves, so many foes," said a Roman proverb. It was an economic maxim, that dissensions among the slaves ought rather to be fostered than suppressed. In the same spirit Plato and Aristotle, and no less strongly the oracle of the landlords, the Carthaginian Mago, caution masters against bringing together slaves of the same nationality, lest they should originate combinations and perhaps conspiracies of their fellow-countrymen. The landlord, as we have already said, governed his slaves exactly in the same way as the Roman community governed its subjects in the "country estates of the Roman people," the provinces; and the world learned by experience, that the ruling state had modelled its new system of government on that of the slave-holder. If, moreover, we have risen to that little-to-be-envied elevation of thought which values no feature of an economy save the capital invested in it, we cannot deny to the management of the Roman estates the praise of consistency, energy, punctuality, frugality, and solidity. The pithy practical husbandman is reflected in Cato's description of the steward, as he ought to be. He is the first on the farm to rise and the last to go to bed; he is strict in dealing with himself as well as with those under him, and knows more especially how to keep the stewardess in order, but is also careful of his labourers and his cattle, and in particular of the ox that draws the plough; he puts his hand frequently to work and to every kind of it, but never works himself weary like a slave; he is always at home, never borrows nor lends, gives no entertainments, troubles himself about no other worship than that of the gods of the hearth and the field, and like a true slave leaves all dealings with the gods as well as with men to his master; lastly and above all, he modestly meets that master and faithfully and simply, without exercising too little or too much of thought, conforms to the instructions which that master has given. He is a bad husbandman, it is elsewhere said, who buys what he can raise on his own land; a bad father of a household, who takes in hand by day what can be done by candle-light, unless the weather be bad; a still worse, who does on a working-day what might be done on a holiday; but worst of all is he, who in good weather allows work to go on within doors instead of in the open air. The characteristic enthusiasm too of high farming is not wanting; and the golden rules are laid down, that the soil was given to the husbandman not to be scoured and swept but to be sown and reaped, and that the farmer therefore ought first to plant vines and olives and only thereafter, and that not too early in life, to build himself a villa. A certain boorishness marks the system, and, instead of the rational investigation of causes and effects, the well-known rules of rustic experience are uniformly brought forward; yet there is an evident endeavour to appropriate the experience of others and the products of foreign lands: in Cato's list of the sorts of fruit trees, for instance, Greek, African, and Spanish species appear.

Husbandry of the Petty Farmers

The husbandry of the petty farmer differed from that of the estate- holder only or chiefly in its being on a smaller scale. The owner himself and his children in this case worked along with the slaves or in their room. The quantity of cattle was reduced, and, where an estate no longer covered the expenses of the plough and of the yoke that drew it, the hoe formed the substitute. The culture of the olive and the vine was less prominent, or was entirely wanting.

In the vicinity of Rome or of any other large seat of consumption there existed also carefully-irrigated gardens for flowers and vegetables, somewhat similar to those which one now sees around Naples; and these yielded a very abundant return.

Pastoral Husbandry

Pastoral husbandry was prosecuted on a great scale far more than agriculture. An estate in pasture land (-saltus-) had of necessity in every case an area considerably greater than an arable estate—the least allowance was 800 -jugera- —and it might with advantage to the business be almost indefinitely extended. Italy is so situated in respect of climate that the summer pasture in the mountains and the winter pasture in the plains supplement each other: already at that period, just as at the present day, and for the most part probably along the same paths, the flocks and herds were driven in spring from Apulia to Samnium, and in autumn back again from Samnium to Apulia. The winter pasturage, however, as has been already observed, did not take place entirely on ground kept for the purpose, but was partly the grazing of the stubbles. Horses, oxen, asses, and mules were reared, chiefly to supply the animals required by the landowners, carriers, soldiers, and so forth; herds of swine and of goats also were not neglected. But the almost universal habit of wearing woollen stuffs gave a far greater independence and far higher development to the breeding of sheep. The management was in the hands of slaves, and was on the whole similar to the management of the arable estate, the cattle-master (-magister pecoris-) coming in room of the steward. Throughout the summer the shepherd-slaves lived for the most part not under a roof, but, often miles remote from human habitations, under sheds and sheepfolds; it was necessary therefore that the strongest men should be selected for this employment, that they should be provided with horses and arms, and that they should be allowed far greater freedom of movement than was granted to the slaves on arable estates.

Competition of Transmarine Corn

In order to form some estimate of the economic results of this system of husbandry, we must consider the state of prices, and particularly the prices of grain at this period. On an average these were alarmingly low; and that in great measure through the fault of the Roman government, which in this important question was led into the most fearful blunders not so much by its short-sightedness, as by an unpardonable disposition to favour the proletariate of the capital at the expense of the farmers of Italy. The main question here was that of the competition between transmarine and Italian corn. The grain which was delivered by the provincials to the Roman government, sometimes gratuitously, sometimes for a moderate compensation, was in part applied by the government to the maintenance of the Roman official staff and of the Roman armies on the spot, partly given up to the lessees of the -decumae- on condition of their either paying a sum of money for it or of their undertaking to deliver certain quantities of grain at Rome or wherever else it should be required. From the time of the second Macedonian war the Roman armies were uniformly supported by transmarine corn, and, though this tended to the benefit of the Roman exchequer, it cut off the Italian farmer from an important field of consumption for his produce. This however was the least part of the mischief. The government had long, as was reasonable, kept a watchful eye on the price of grain, and, when there was a threatening of dearth, had interfered by well-timed purchases abroad; and now, when the corn-deliveries of its subjects brought into its hands every year large quantities of grain—larger probably than were needed in times of peace—and when, moreover, opportunities were presented to it of acquiring foreign grain in almost unlimited quantity at moderate prices, there was a natural temptation to glut the markets of the capital with such grain, and to dispose of it at rates which either in themselves or as compared with the Italian rates were ruinously low. Already in the years 551-554, and in the first instance apparently at the suggestion of Scipio, 6 -modii- (1 1/2 bush.) of Spanish and African wheat were sold on public account to the citizens of Rome at 24 and even at 12 -asses- (1 shilling 8 pence or ten pence). Some years afterwards (558), more than 240,000 bushels of Sicilian grain were distributed at the latter illusory price in the capital. In vain Cato inveighed against this shortsighted policy: the rise of demagogism had a part in it, and these extraordinary, but presumably very frequent, distributions of grain under the market price by the government or individual magistrates became the germs of the subsequent corn-laws. But, even where the transmarine corn did not reach the consumers in this extraordinary mode, it injuriously affected Italian agriculture. Not only were the masses of grain which the state sold off to the lessees of the tenths beyond doubt acquired under ordinary circumstances by these so cheaply that, when re-sold, they could be disposed of under the price of production; but it is probable that in the provinces, particularly in Sicily—in consequence partly of the favourable nature of the soil, partly of the extent to which wholesale farming and slave-holding were pursued on the Carthaginian system(10)—the price of production was in general considerably lower than in Italy, while the transport of Sicilian and Sardinian corn to Latium was at least as cheap as, if not cheaper than, its transport thither from Etruria, Campania, or even northern Italy. In the natural course of things therefore transmarine corn could not but flow to the peninsula, and lower the price of the grain produced there. Under the unnatural disturbance of relations occasioned by the lamentable system of slave-labour, it would perhaps have been justifiable to impose a duty on transmarine corn for the protection of the Italian farmer; but the very opposite course seems to have been pursued, and with a view to favour the import of transmarine corn to Italy, a prohibitive system seems to have been applied in the provinces—for though the Rhodians were allowed to export a quantity of corn from Sicily by way of special favour, the export of grain from the provinces must probably, as a rule, have been free only as regarded Italy, and the transmarine corn must thus have been monopolized for the benefit of the mother-country.

Prices of Italian Corn

The effects of this system are clearly evident. A year of extraordinary fertility like 504—when the people of the capital paid for 6 Roman -modii- (1 1/2 bush.) of spelt not more than 3/5 of a -denarius- (about 5 pence), and at the same price there were sold 180 Roman pounds (a pound = 11 oz.) of dried figs, 60 pounds of oil, 72 pounds of meat, and 6 -congii- (= 4 1/2 gallons) of wine—is scarcely by reason of its very singularity to be taken into account; but other facts speak more distinctly. Even in Cato's time Sicily was called the granary of Rome. In productive years Sicilian and Sardinian corn was disposed of in the Italian ports for the freight. In the richest corn districts of the peninsula—the modern Romagna and Lombardy —during the time of Polybius victuals and lodgings in an inn cost on an average half an -as- (1/3 pence) per day; a bushel and a half of wheat was there worth half a -denarius- (4 pence). The latter average price, about the twelfth part of the normal price elsewhere,(11) shows with indisputable clearness that the producers of grain in Italy were wholly destitute of a market for their produce, and in consequence corn and corn-land there were almost valueless.

Revolution in Roman Agriculture

In a great industrial state, whose agriculture cannot feed its population, such a result might perhaps be regarded as useful or at any rate as not absolutely injurious; but a country like Italy, where manufactures were inconsiderable and agriculture was altogether the mainstay of the state, was in this way systematically ruined, and the welfare of the nation as a whole was sacrificed in the most shameful fashion to the interests of the essentially unproductive population of the capital, to which in fact bread could never become too cheap. Nothing perhaps evinces so clearly as this, how wretched was the constitution and how incapable was the administration of this so-called golden age of the republic. Any representative system, however meagre, would have led at least to serious complaints and to a perception of the seat of the evil; but in those primary assemblies of the burgesses anything was listened to sooner than the warning voice of a foreboding patriot. Any government that deserved the name would of itself have interfered; but the mass of the Roman senate probably with well-meaning credulity regarded the low prices of grain as a real blessing for the people, and the Scipios and Flamininuses had, forsooth, more important things to do—to emancipate the Greeks, and to exercise the functions of republican kings. So the ship drove on unhindered towards the breakers.

Decay of the Farmers

When the small holdings ceased to yield any substantial clear return, the farmers were irretrievably ruined, and the more so that they gradually, although more slowly than the other classes, lost the moral tone and frugal habits of the earlier ages of the republic It was merely a question of time, how rapidly the hides of the Italian farmers would, by purchase or by resignation, become merged in the larger estates.

Culture of Oil and Wine, and Rearing of Cattle

The landlord was better able to maintain himself than the farmer. The former produced at a cheaper rate than the latter, when, instead of letting his land according to the older system to petty temporary lessees, he caused it according to the newer system to be cultivated by his slaves. Accordingly, where this course had not been adopted even at an earlier period,(12) the competition of Sicilian slave-corn compelled the Italian landlord to follow it, and to have the work performed by slaves without wife or child instead of families of free labourers. The landlord, moreover, could hold his ground better against competitors by means of improvements or changes in cultivation, and he could content himself with a smaller return from the soil than the farmer, who wanted capital and intelligence and who merely had what was requisite for his subsistence. Hence the Roman landholder comparatively neglected the culture of grain—which in many rases seems to have been restricted to the raising of the quantity required for the staff of labourers(13)—and gave increased attention to the production of oil and wine as well as to the breeding of cattle. These, under the favourable climate of Italy, had no need to fear foreign competition; Italian wine, Italian oil, Italian wool not only commanded the home markets, but were soon sent abroad; the valley of the Po, which could find no consumption for its corn, provided the half of Italy with swine and bacon. With this the statements that have reached us as to the economic results of the Roman husbandry very well agree. There is some ground for assuming that capital invested in land was reckoned to yield a good return at 6 per cent; this appears to accord with the average interest of capital at this period, which was about twice as much. The rearing of cattle yielded on the whole better results than arable husbandry: in the latter the vineyard gave the best return, next came the vegetable garden and the olive orchard, while meadows and corn-fields yielded least.(14)

It is of course presumed that each species of husbandry was prosecuted under the conditions that suited it, and on the soil which was adapted to its nature. These circumstances were already in themselves sufficient to supersede the husbandry of the petty farmer gradually by the system of farming on a great scale; and it was difficult by means of legislation to counteract them. But an injurious effect was produced by the Claudian law to be mentioned afterwards (shortly before 536), which excluded the senatorial houses from mercantile speculation, and thereby artificially compelled them to invest their enormous capitals mainly in land or, in other words, to replace the old homesteads of the farmers by estates under the management of land- stewards and by pastures for cattle. Moreover special circumstances tended to favour cattle-husbandry as contrasted with agriculture, although the former was far more injurious to the state. First of all, this form of extracting profit from the soil—the only one which in reality demanded and rewarded operations on a great scale—was alone in keeping with the mass of capital and with the spirit of the capitalists of this age. An estate under cultivation, although not demanding the presence of the master constantly, required his frequent appearance on the spot, while the circumstances did not well admit of his extending the estate or of his multiplying his possessions except within narrow limits; whereas an estate under pasture admitted of unlimited extension, and claimed little of the owner's attention. For this reason men already began to convert good arable land into pasture even at an economic loss—a practice which was prohibited by legislation (we know not when, perhaps about this period) but hardly with success. The growth of pastoral husbandry was favoured also by the occupation of domain-land. As the portions so occupied were ordinarily large, the system gave rise almost exclusively to great estates; and not only so, but the occupiers of these possessions, which might be resumed by the state at pleasure and were in law always insecure, were afraid to invest any considerable amount in their cultivation—by planting vines for instance, or olives. The consequence was, that these lands were mainly turned to account as pasture.

Management of Money

We are prevented from giving a similar comprehensive view of the moneyed economy of Rome, partly by the want of special treatises descending from Roman antiquity on the subject, partly by its very nature which was far more complex and varied than that of the Roman husbandry. So far as can be ascertained, its principles were, still less perhaps than those of husbandry, the peculiar property of the Romans; on the contrary, they were the common heritage of all ancient civilization, under which, as under that of modern times, the operations on a great scale naturally were everywhere much alike. In money matters especially the mercantile system appears to have been established in the first instance by the Greeks, and to have been simply adopted by the Romans. Yet the precision with which it was carried out and the magnitude of the scale on which its operations were conducted were so peculiarly Roman, that the spirit of the Roman economy and its grandeur whether for good or evil are pre-eminently conspicuous in its monetary transactions.


The starting-point of the Roman moneyed economy was of course money-lending; and no branch of commercial industry was more zealously prosecuted by the Romans than the trade of the professional money-lender (-fenerator-) and of the money-dealer or banker (-argent arius-). The transference of the charge of the larger monetary transactions from the individual capitalists to the mediating banker, who receives and makes payments for his customers, invests and borrows money, and conducts their money dealings at home and abroad—which is the mark of a developed monetary economy—was already completely carried out in the time of Cato. The bankers, however, were not only the cashiers of the rich in Rome, but everywhere insinuated themselves into minor branches of business and settled in ever-increasing numbers in the provinces and dependent states. Already throughout the whole range of the empire the business of making advances to those who wanted money began to be, so to speak, monopolized by the Romans.

Speculation of Contractors

Closely connected with this was the immeasurable field of enterprise. The system of transacting business through mediate agency pervaded the whole dealings of Rome. The state took the lead by letting all its more complicated revenues and all contracts for furnishing supplies and executing buildings to capitalists, or associations of capitalists, for a fixed sum to be given or received. But private persons also uniformly contracted for whatever admitted of being done by contract—for buildings, for the ingathering of the harvest,(15) and even for the partition of an inheritance among the heirs or the winding up of a bankrupt estate; in which case the contractor—usually a banker—received the whole assets, and engaged on the other hand to settle the liabilities in full or up to a certain percentage and to pay the balance as the circumstances required.

Manufacturing Industry

The prominence of transmarine commerce at an early period in the Roman national economy has already been adverted to in its proper place. The further stimulus, which it received during the present period, is attested by the increased importance of the Italian customs-duties in the Roman financial system.(16) In addition to the causes of this increase in the importance of transmarine commerce which need no further explanation, it was artificially promoted by the privileged position which the ruling Italian nation assumed in the provinces, and by the exemption from customs-dues which was probably even now in many of the client-states conceded by treaty to the Romans and Latins.

On the other hand, industry remained comparatively undeveloped. Trades were no doubt indispensable, and there appear indications that to a certain extent they were concentrated in Rome; Cato, for instance, advises the Campanian landowner to purchase the slaves' clothing and shoes, the ploughs, vats, and locks, which he may require, in Rome. From the great consumption of woollen stuffs the manufacture of cloth must undoubtedly have been extensive and lucrative.(17) But no endeavours were apparently made to transplant to Italy any such professional industry as existed in Egypt and Syria, or even merely to carry it on abroad with Italian capital. Flax indeed was cultivated in Italy and purple dye was prepared there, but the latter branch of industry at least belonged essentially to the Greek Tarentum, and probably the import of Egyptian linen and Milesian or Tyrian purple even now preponderated everywhere over the native manufacture.

Under this category, however, falls to some extent the leasing or purchase by Roman capitalists of landed estates beyond Italy, with a view to carry on the cultivation of grain and the rearing of cattle on a great scale. This species of speculation, which afterwards developed to proportions so enormous, probably began particularly in Sicily, within the period now before us; seeing that the commercial restrictions imposed on the Siceliots,(18) if not introduced for the very purpose, must have at least tended to give to the Roman speculators, who were exempt from such restrictions, a sort of monopoly of the profits derivable from land.

Management of Business by Slaves

Business in all these different branches was uniformly carried on by means of slaves. The money-lenders and bankers instituted, throughout the range of their business, additional counting-houses and branch banks under the direction of their slaves and freedmen. The company, which had leased the customs-duties from the state, appointed chiefly its slaves and freedmen to levy them at each custom-house. Every one who took contracts for buildings bought architect-slaves; every one who undertook to provide spectacles or gladiatorial games on account of those giving them purchased or trained a company of slaves skilled in acting, or a band of serfs expert in the trade of fighting. The merchant imported his wares in vessels of his own under the charge of slaves or freedmen, and disposed of them by the same means in wholesale or retail. We need hardly add that the working of mines and manufactories was conducted entirely by slaves. The situation of these slaves was, no doubt, far from enviable, and was throughout less favourable than that of slaves in Greece; but, if we leave out of account the classes last mentioned, the industrial slaves found their position on the whole more tolerable than the rural serfs. They had more frequently a family and a practically independent household, with no remote prospect of obtaining freedom and property of their own. Hence such positions formed the true training school of those upstarts from the servile class, who by menial virtues and often by menial vices rose to the rank of Roman citizens and not seldom attained great prosperity, and who morally, economically, and politically contributed at least as much as the slaves themselves to the ruin of the Roman commonwealth.

Extent of Roman Mercantile Transactions
Coins and Moneys

The Roman mercantile transactions of this period fully kept pace with the contemporary development of political power, and were no less grand of their kind. Any one who wishes to have a clear idea of the activity of the traffic with other lands, needs only to look into the literature, more especially the comedies, of this period, in which the Phoenician merchant is brought on the stage speaking Phoenician, and the dialogue swarms with Greek and half Greek words and phrases. But the extent and zealous prosecution of Roman business-dealings may be traced most distinctly by means of coins and monetary relations. The Roman denarius quite kept pace with the Roman legions. We have already mentioned(19) that the Sicilian mints—last of all that of Syracuse in 542—were closed or at any rate restricted to small money in consequence of the Roman conquest, and that in Sicily and Sardinia the -denarius- obtained legal circulation at least side by side with the older silver currency and probably very soon became the exclusive legal tender. With equal if not greater rapidity the Roman silver coinage penetrated into Spain, where the great silver-mines existed and there was virtually no earlier national coinage; at a very early period the Spanish towns even began to coin after the Roman standard.(20) On the whole, as Carthage coined only to a very limited extent,(21) there existed not a single important mint in addition to that of Rome in the region of the western Mediterranean, with the exception of that of Massilia and perhaps also those of the Illyrian Greeks in Apollonia and Dyrrhachium. Accordingly, when the Romans began to establish themselves in the region of the Po, these mints were about 525 subjected to the Roman standard in such a way, that, while they retained the right of coining silver, they uniformly —and the Massiliots in particular—were led to adjust their —drachma— to the weight of the Roman three-quarter -denarius-, which the Roman government on its part began to coin, primarily for the use of Upper Italy, under the name of the "coin of victory" (-victoriatus- ). This new system, dependent on the Roman, not merely prevailed throughout the Massiliot, Upper Italian, and Illyrian territories; but these coins even penetrated into the barbarian lands on the north, those of Massilia, for instance, into the Alpine districts along the whole basin of the Rhone, and those of Illyria as far as the modern Transylvania. The eastern half of the Mediterranean was not yet reached by the Roman money, as it had not yet fallen under the direct sovereignty of Rome; but its place was filled by gold, the true and natural medium for international and transmarine commerce. It is true that the Roman government, in conformity with its strictly conservative character, adhered—with the exception of a temporary coinage of gold occasioned by the financial embarrassment during the Hannibalic war(22)—steadfastly to the rule of coining silver only in addition to the national-Italian copper; but commerce had already assumed such dimensions, that it was able even in the absence of money to conduct its transactions with gold by weight. Of the sum in cash, which lay in the Roman treasury in 597, scarcely a sixth was coined or uncoined silver, five-sixths consisted of gold in bars,(23) and beyond doubt the precious metals were found in all the chests of the larger Roman capitalists in substantially similar proportions. Already therefore gold held the first place in great transactions; and, as may be further inferred from this fact, in general commerce the preponderance belonged to that carried on with foreign lands, and particularly with the east, which since the times of Philip and Alexander the Great had adopted a gold currency.

Roman Wealth

The whole gain from these immense transactions of the Roman capitalists flowed in the long run to Rome; for, much as they went abroad, they were not easily induced to settle permanently there, but sooner or later returned to Rome, either realizing their gains and investing them in Italy, or continuing to carry on business from Rome as a centre by means of the capital and connections which they had acquired. The moneyed superiority of Rome as compared with the rest of the civilized world was, accordingly, quite as decided as its political and military ascendency. Rome in this respect stood towards other countries somewhat as the England of the present day stands towards the Continent—a Greek, for instance, observes of the younger Scipio Africanus, that he was not rich "for a Roman." We may form some idea of what was considered as riches in the Rome of those days from the fact, that Lucius Paullus with an estate of 60 talents (14,000 pounds) was not reckoned a wealthy senator, and that a dowry—such as each of the daughters of the elder Scipio Africanus received—of 50 talents (12,000 pounds) was regarded as a suitable portion for a maiden of quality, while the estate of the wealthiest Greek of this century was not more than 300 talents (72,000 pounds).

Mercantile Spirit

It was no wonder, accordingly, that the mercantile spirit took possession of the nation, or rather—for that was no new thing in Rome—that the spirit of the capitalist now penetrated and pervaded all other aspects and stations of life, and agriculture as well as the government of the state began to become enterprises of capitalists. The preservation and increase of wealth quite formed a part of public and private morality. "A widow's estate may diminish;" Cato wrote in the practical instructions which he composed for his son, "a man must increase his means, and he is deserving of praise and full of a divine spirit, whose account-books at his death show that he has gained more than he has inherited." Wherever, therefore, there was giving and counter-giving, every transaction although concluded without any sort of formality was held as valid, and in case of necessity the right of action was accorded to the party aggrieved if not by the law, at any rate by mercantile custom and judicial usage;(24) but the promise of a gift without due form was null alike in legal theory and in practice. In Rome, Polybius tells us, nobody gives to any one unless he must do so, and no one pays a penny before it falls due, even among near relatives. The very legislation yielded to this mercantile morality, which regarded all giving away without recompense as squandering; the giving of presents and bequests and the undertaking of sureties were subjected to restriction at this period by decree of the burgesses, and heritages, if they did not fall to the nearest relatives, were at least taxed. In the closest connection with such views mercantile punctuality, honour, and respectability pervaded the whole of Roman life. Every ordinary man was morally bound to keep an account-book of his income and expenditure—in every well-arranged house, accordingly, there was a separate account-chamber (-tablinum-)—and every one took care that he should not leave the world without having made his will: it was one of the three matters in his life which Cato declares that he regretted, that he had been a single day without a testament. Those household books were universally by Roman usage admitted as valid evidence in a court of justice, nearly in the same way as we admit the evidence of a merchant's ledger. The word of a man of unstained repute was admissible not merely against himself, but also in his own favour; nothing was more common than to settle differences between persons of integrity by means of an oath demanded by the one party and taken by the other—a mode of settlement which was reckoned valid even in law; and a traditional rule enjoined the jury, in the absence of evidence, to give their verdict in the first instance for the man of unstained character when opposed to one who was less reputable, and only in the event of both parties being of equal repute to give it in favour of the defendant.(25) The conventional respectability of the Romans was especially apparent in the more and more strict enforcement of the rule, that no respectable man should allow himself to be paid for the performance of personal services. Accordingly, magistrates, officers, jurymen, guardians, and generally all respectable men entrusted with public functions, received no other recompense for the services which they rendered than, at most, compensation for their outlays; and not only so, but the services which acquaintances (-amici-) rendered to each other—such as giving security, representation in lawsuits, custody (-depositum-), lending the use of objects not intended to be let on hire (-commodatum-), the managing and attending to business in general (-procuratio-)—were treated according to the same principle, so that it was unseemly to receive any compensation for them and an action was not allowable even where a compensation had been promised. How entirely the man was merged in the merchant, appears most distinctly perhaps in the substitution of a money-payment and an action at law for the duel —even for the political duel—in the Roman life of this period. The usual form of settling questions of personal honour was this: a wager was laid between the offender and the party offended as to the truth or falsehood of the offensive assertion, and under the shape of an action for the stake the question of fact was submitted in due form of law to a jury; the acceptance of such a wager when offered by the offended or offending party was, just like the acceptance of a challenge to a duel at the present day, left open in law, but was often in point of honour not to be avoided.


One of the most important consequences of this mercantile spirit, which displayed itself with an intensity hardly conceivable by those not engaged in business, was the extraordinary impulse given to the formation of associations. In Rome this was especially fostered by the system already often mentioned whereby the government had its business transacted through middlemen: for from the extent of the transactions it was natural, and it was doubtless often required by the state for the sake of greater security, that capitalists should undertake such leases and contracts not as individuals, but in partnership. All great dealings were organized on the model of these state-contracts. Indications are even found of the occurrence among the Romans of that feature so characteristic of the system of association—a coalition of rival companies in order jointly to establish monopolist prices.(26) In transmarine transactions more especially and such as were otherwise attended with considerable risk, the system of partnership was so extensively adopted, that it practically took the place of insurances, which were unknown to antiquity. Nothing was more common than the nautical loan, as it was called—the modern "bottomry"—by which the risk and gain of transmarine traffic were proportionally distributed among the owners of the vessel and cargo and all the capitalists advancing money for the voyage. It was, however, a general rule of Roman economy that one should rather take small shares in many speculations than speculate independently; Cato advised the capitalist not to fit out a single ship with his money, but in concert with forty-nine other capitalists to send out fifty ships and to take an interest in each to the extent of a fiftieth part. The greater complication thus introduced into business was overcome by the Roman merchant through his punctual laboriousness and his system of management by slaves and freedmen —which, regarded from the point of view of the pure capitalist, was far preferable to our counting-house system. Thus these mercantile companies, with their hundred ramifications, largely influenced the economy of every Roman of note. There was, according to the testimony of Polybius, hardly a man of means in Rome who had not been concerned as an avowed or silent partner in leasing the public revenues; and much more must each have invested on an average a considerable portion of his capital in mercantile associations generally.

All this laid the foundation for that endurance of Roman wealth, which was perhaps still more remarkable than its magnitude. The phenomenon, unique perhaps of its kind, to which we have already called attention(27)—that the standing of the great clans remained almost the same throughout several centuries—finds its explanation in the somewhat narrow but solid principles on which they managed their mercantile property.

Moneyed Aristocracy

In consequence of the one-sided prominence assigned to capital in the Roman economy, the evils inseparable from a pure capitalist system could not fail to appear.

Civil equality, which had already received a fatal wound through the rise of the ruling order of lords, suffered an equally severe blow in consequence of the line of social demarcation becoming more and more distinctly drawn between the rich and the poor. Nothing more effectually promoted this separation in a downward direction than the already-mentioned rule—apparently a matter of indifference, but in reality involving the utmost arrogance and insolence on the part of the capitalists—that it was disgraceful to take money for work; a wall of partition was thus raised not merely between the common day- labourer or artisan and the respectable landlord or manufacturer, but also between the soldier or subaltern and the military tribune, and between the clerk or messenger and the magistrate. In an upward direction a similar barrier was raised by the Claudian law suggested by Gaius Flaminius (shortly before 536), which prohibited senators and senators' sons from possessing sea-going vessels except for the transport of the produce of their estates, and probably also from participating in public contracts—forbidding them generally from carrying on whatever the Romans included under the head of "speculation" (-quaestus-).(28) It is true that this enactment was not called for by the senators; it was on the contrary a work of the democratic opposition, which perhaps desired in the first instance merely to prevent the evil of members of the governing class personally entering into dealings with the government. It may be, moreover, that the capitalists in this instance, as so often afterwards, made common cause with the democratic party, and seized the opportunity of diminishing competition by the exclusion of the senators. The former object was, of course, only very imperfectly attained, for the system of partnership opened up to the senators ample facilities for continuing to speculate in secret; but this decree of the people drew a legal line of demarcation between those men of quality who did not speculate at all or at any rate not openly and those who did, and it placed alongside of the aristocracy which was primarily political an aristocracy which was purely moneyed—the equestrian order, as it was afterwards called, whose rivalries with the senatorial order fill the history of the following century.

Sterility of the Capitalist Question

A further consequence of the one-sided power of capital was the disproportionate prominence of those branches of business which were the most sterile and the least productive for the national economy as a whole. Industry, which ought to have held the highest place, in fact occupied the lowest. Commerce flourished; but it was universally passive, importing, but not exporting. Not even on the northern frontier do the Romans seem to have been able to give merchandise in exchange for the slaves, who were brought in numbers from the Celtic and probably even from the Germanic territories to Ariminum and the other markets of northern Italy; at least as early as 523 the export of silver money to the Celtic territory was prohibited by the Roman government. In the intercourse with Greece, Syria, Egypt, Cyrene, and Carthage, the balance of trade was necessarily unfavourable to Italy. Rome began to become the capital of the Mediterranean states, and Italy to become the suburbs of Rome; the Romans had no wish to be anything more, and in their opulent indifference contented themselves with a passive commerce, such as every city which is nothing more than a capital necessarily carries on—they possessed, forsooth, money enough to pay for everything which they needed or did not need. On the other hand the most unproductive of all sorts of business, the traffic in money and the farming of the revenue, formed the true mainstay and stronghold of the Roman economy. And, lastly, whatever elements that economy had contained for the production of a wealthy middle class, and of a lower one making enough for its subsistence, were extinguished by the unhappy system of employing slaves, or, at the best, contributed to the multiplication of the troublesome order of freedmen.

The Capitalists and Public Opinion

But above all the deep rooted immorality, which is inherent in an economy of pure capital, ate into the heart of society and of the commonwealth, and substituted an absolute selfishness for humanity and patriotism. The better portion of the nation were very keenly sensible of the seeds of corruption which lurked in that system of speculation; and the instinctive hatred of the great multitude, as well as the displeasure of the well-disposed statesman, was especially directed against the trade of the professional money-lender, which for long had been subjected to penal laws and still continued under the letter of the law amenable to punishment. In a comedy of this period the money-lender is told that the class to which he belongs is on a parallel with the -lenones- —

-Eodem hercle vos pono et paro; parissumi estis ibus.
Hi saltem in occultis locis prostant: vos in foro ipso.
Vos fenore, hi male suadendo et lustris lacerant homines.
Rogitationes plurimas propter vos populus scivit,
Quas vos rogatas rumpitis: aliquam reperitis rimam.
Quasi aquam ferventem frigidam esse, ita vos putatis leges.-

Cato the leader of the reform party expresses himself still more emphatically than the comedian. "Lending money at interest," he says in the preface to his treatise on agriculture, "has various advantages; but it is not honourable. Our forefathers accordingly ordained, and inscribed it among their laws, that the thief should be bound to pay twofold, but the man who takes interest fourfold, compensation; whence we may infer how much worse a citizen they deemed the usurer than the thief." There is no great difference, he elsewhere considers, between a money-lender and a murderer; and it must be allowed that his acts did not fall short of his words—when governor of Sardinia, by his rigorous administration of the law he drove the Roman bankers to their wits' end. The great majority of the ruling senatorial order regarded the system of the speculators with dislike, and not only conducted themselves in the provinces on the whole with more integrity and honour than these moneyed men, but often acted as a restraint on them. The frequent changes of the Roman chief magistrates, however, and the inevitable inequality in their mode of handling the laws, necessarily abated the effort to check such proceedings.

Reaction of the Capitalist System on Agriculture

The Romans perceived moreover—as it was not difficult to perceive —that it was of far more consequence to give a different direction to the whole national economy than to exercise a police control over speculation; it was such views mainly that men like Cato enforced by precept and example on the Roman agriculturist. "When our forefathers," continues Cato in the preface just quoted, "pronounced the eulogy of a worthy man, they praised him as a worthy farmer and a worthy landlord; one who was thus commended was thought to have received the highest praise. The merchant I deem energetic and diligent in the pursuit of gain; but his calling is too much exposed to perils and mischances. On the other hand farmers furnish the bravest men and the ablest soldiers; no calling is so honourable, safe, and free from odium as theirs, and those who occupy themselves with it are least liable to evil thoughts." He was wont to say of himself, that his property was derived solely from two sources —agriculture and frugality; and, though this was neither very logical in thought nor strictly conformable to the truth,(29) yet Cato was not unjustly regarded by his contemporaries and by posterity as the model of a Roman landlord. Unhappily it is a truth as remarkable as it is painful, that this husbandry, commended so much and certainly with so entire good faith as a remedy, was itself pervaded by the poison of the capitalist system. In the case of pastoral husbandry this was obvious; for that reason it was most in favour with the public and least in favour with the party desirous of moral reform. But how stood the case with agriculture itself? The warfare, which from the third onward to the fifth century capital had waged against labour, by withdrawing under the form of interest on debt the revenues of the soil from the working farmers and bringing them into the hands of the idly consuming fundholder, had been settled chiefly by the extension of the Roman economy and the throwing of the capital which existed in Latium into the field of mercantile activity opened up throughout the range of the Mediterranean. Now even the extended field of business was no longer able to contain the increased mass of capital; and an insane legislation laboured simultaneously to compel the investment of senatorial capital by artificial means in Italian estates, and systematically to reduce the value of the arable land of Italy by interference with the prices of grain. Thus there began a second campaign of capital against free labour or—what was substantially the same thing in antiquity—against the small farmer system; and, if the first had been bad, it yet seemed mild and humane as compared with the second. The capitalists no longer lent to the farmer at interest —a course, which in itself was not now practicable because the petty landholder no longer aimed at any considerable surplus, and was moreover not sufficiently simple and radical—but they bought up the farms and converted them, at the best, into estates managed by stewards and worked by slaves. This likewise was called agriculture; it was essentially the application of the capitalist system to the production of the fruits of the soil. The description of the husbandmen, which Cato gives, is excellent and quite just; but how does it correspond to the system itself, which he portrays and recommends? If a Roman senator, as must not unfrequently have been the case, possessed four such estates as that described by Cato, the same space, which in the olden time when small holdings prevailed had supported from 100 to 150 farmers' families, was now occupied by one family of free persons and about 50, for the most part unmarried, slaves. If this was the remedy by which the decaying national economy was to be restored to vigour, it bore, unhappily, an aspect of extreme resemblance to the disease.

Development of Italy

The general result of this system is only too clearly obvious in the changed proportions of the population. It is true that the condition of the various districts of Italy was very unequal, and some were even prosperous. The farms, instituted in great numbers in the region between the Apennines and the Po at the time of its colonization, did not so speedily disappear. Polybius, who visited that quarter not long after the close of the present period, commends its numerous, handsome, and vigorous population: with a just legislation as to corn it would doubtless have been possible to make the basin of the Po, and not Sicily the granary of the capital. In like manner Picenum and the so-called -ager Gallicus- acquired a numerous body of farmers through the distributions of domain-land consequent on the Flaminian law of 522—a body, however, which was sadly reduced in the Hannibalic war. In Etruria, and perhaps also in Umbria, the internal condition of the subject communities was unfavourable to the flourishing of a class of free farmers, Matters were better in Latium—which could not be entirely deprived of the advantages of the market of the capital, and which had on the whole been spared by the Hannibalic war—as well as in the secluded mountain-valleys of the Marsians and Sabellians. On the other hand the Hannibalic war had fearfully devastated southern Italy and had ruined, in addition to a number of smaller townships, its two largest cities, Capua and Tarentum, both once able to send into the field armies of 30,000 men. Samnium had recovered from the severe wars of the fifth century: according to the census of 529 it was in a position to furnish half as many men capable of arms as all the Latin towns, and it was probably at that time, next to the -ager Romanus-, the most flourishing region of the peninsula. But the Hannibalic war had desolated the land afresh, and the assignations of land in that quarter to the soldiers of Scipio's army, although considerable, probably did not cover the loss. Campania and Apulia, both hitherto well-peopled regions, were still worse treated in the same war by friend and foe. In Apulia, no doubt, assignations of land took place afterwards, but the colonies instituted there were not successful. The beautiful plain of Campania remained more populous; but the territory of Capua and of the other communities broken up in the Hannibalic war became state-property, and the occupants of it were uniformly not proprietors, but petty temporary lessees. Lastly, in the wide Lucanian and Bruttian territories the population, which was already very thin before the Hannibalic war, was visited by the whole severity of the war itself and of the penal executions that followed in its train; nor was much done on the part of Rome to revive the agriculture there—with the exception perhaps of Valentia (Vibo, now Monteleone), none of the colonies established there attained real prosperity.

Falling Off in the Population

With every allowance for the inequality in the political and economic circumstances of the different districts and for the comparatively flourishing condition of several of them, the retrogression is yet on the whole unmistakeable, and it is confirmed by the most indisputable testimonies as to the general condition of Italy. Cato and Polybius agree in stating that Italy was at the end of the sixth century far weaker in population than at the end of the fifth, and was no longer able to furnish armies so large as in the first Punic war. The increasing difficulty of the levy, the necessity of lowering the qualification for service in the legions, and the complaints of the allies as to the magnitude of the contingents to be furnished by them, confirm these statements; and, in the case of the Roman burgesses, the numbers tell the same tale. In 502, shortly after the expedition of Regulus to Africa, they amounted to 298,000 men capable of bearing arms; thirty years later, shortly before the commencement of the Hannibalic war (534), they had fallen off to 270,000, or about a tenth, and again twenty years after that, shortly before the end of the same war (550), to 214,000, or about a fourth; and a generation afterwards—during which no extraordinary losses occurred, but the institution of the great burgess-colonies in the plain of northern Italy in particular occasioned a perceptible and exceptional increase —the numbers of the burgesses had hardly again reached the point at which they stood at the commencement of this period. If we had similar statements regarding the Italian population generally, they would beyond all doubt exhibit a deficit relatively still more considerable. The decline of the national vigour less admits of proof; but it is stated by the writers on agriculture that flesh and milk disappeared more and more from the diet of the common people. At the same time the slave population increased, as the free population declined. In Apulia, Lucania, and the Bruttian land, pastoral husbandry must even in the time of Cato have preponderated over agriculture; the half-savage slave-herdsmen were here in reality masters in the house. Apulia was rendered so insecure by them that a strong force had to be stationed there; in 569 a slave-conspiracy planned on the largest scale, and mixed up with the proceedings of the Bacchanalia, was discovered there, and nearly 7000 men were condemned as criminals. In Etruria also Roman troops had to take the field against a band of slaves (558), and even in Latium there were instances in which towns like Setia and Praeneste were in danger of being surprised by a band of runaway serfs (556). The nation was visibly diminishing, and the community of free burgesses was resolving itself into a body composed of masters and slaves; and, although it was in the first instance the two long wars with Carthage which decimated and ruined both the burgesses and the allies, the Roman capitalists beyond doubt contributed quite as much as Hamilcar and Hannibal to the decline in the vigour and the numbers of the Italian people. No one can say whether the government could have rendered help; but it was an alarming and discreditable fact, that the circles of the Roman aristocracy, well-meaning and energetic as in great part they were, never once showed any insight into the real gravity of the situation or any foreboding of the full magnitude of the danger. When a Roman lady belonging to the high nobility, the sister of one of the numerous citizen-admirals who in the first Punic war had ruined the fleets of the state, one day got among a crowd in the Roman Forum, she said aloud in the hearing of those around, that it was high time to place her brother once more at the head of the fleet and to relieve the pressure in the market-place by bleeding the citizens afresh (508). Those who thus thought and spoke were, no doubt, a small minority; nevertheless this outrageous speech was simply a forcible expression of the criminal indifference with which the whole noble and rich world looked down on the common citizens and farmers.

They did not exactly desire their destruction, but they allowed it to run its course; and so desolation advanced with gigantic steps over the flourishing land of Italy, where countless free men had just been enjoying a moderate and merited prosperity.

Notes for Chapter XII

1. In order to gain a correct picture of ancient Italy, it is necessary for us to bear in mind the great changes which have been produced there by modern cultivation. Of the -cerealia-, rye was not cultivated in antiquity; and the Romans of the empire were astonished to rind that oats, with which they were well acquainted as a weed, was used by the Germans for making porridge. Rice was first cultivated in Italy at the end of the fifteenth, and maize at the beginning of the seventeenth, century. Potatoes and tomatoes were brought from America; artichokes seem to be nothing but a cultivated variety of the cardoon which was known to the Romans, yet the peculiar character superinduced by cultivation appears of more recent origin. The almond, again, or "Greek nut," the peach, or "Persian nut," and also the "soft nut" (-nux mollusca-), although originally foreign to Italy, are met with there at least 150 years before Christ. The date-palm, introduced into Italy from Greece as into Greece from the East, and forming a living attestation of the primitive commercial-religious intercourse between the west and the east, was already cultivated in Italy 300 years before Christ (Liv. x. 47; Pallad. v. 5, 2; xi. 12, i) not for its fruit (Plin. H. N. xiii. 4, 26), but, just as in the present day, as a handsome plant, and for the sake of the leaves which were used at public festivals. The cherry, or fruit of Cerasus on the Black Sea, was later in being introduced, and only began to be planted in Italy in the time of Cicero, although the wild cherry is indigenous there; still later, perhaps, came the apricot, or "Armenian plum." The citron-tree was not cultivated in Italy till the later ages of the empire; the orange was only introduced by the Moors in the twelfth or thirteenth, and the aloe (Agave Americana) from America only in the sixteenth, century. Cotton was first cultivated in Europe by the Arabs. The buffalo also and the silkworm belong only to modern, not to ancient Italy.

It is obvious that the products which Italy had not originally are for the most part those very products which seem to us truly "Italian;" and if modern Germany, as compared with the Germany visited by Caesar, may be called a southern land, Italy has since in no less degree acquired a "more southern" aspect.

2. II. III. Licinio-Sextian Laws

3. According to Cato, de R. R, 137 (comp. 16), in the case of a lease with division of the produce the gross produce of the estate, after deduction of the fodder necessary for the oxen that drew the plough, was divided between lessor and lessee (-colonus partiarius-) in the proportions agreed upon between them. That the shares were ordinarily equal may be conjectured from the analogy of the French -bail a cheptel- and the similar Italian system of half-and-half leases, as well as from the absence of all trace of any other scheme of partition. It is erroneous to refer to the case of the -politor-, who got the fifth of the grain or, if the division took place before thrashing, from the sixth to the ninth sheaf (Cato, 136, comp. 5); he was not a lessee sharing the produce, but a labourer assumed in the harvest season, who received his daily wages according to that contract of partnership (III. XII. Spirit of the System).

4. The lease lirst assumed real importance when the Roman capitalists began to acquire transmarine possessions on a great scale; then indeed they knew how to value it, when a temporary lease was continued through several generations (Colum. i. 7, 3).

5. That the space between the vines was occupied not by grain, but only at the most by such fodder plants as easily grew in the shade, is evident from Cato (33, comp. 137), and accordingly Columella (iii. 3) calculates on no other accessory gain in the case of a vineyard except the produce of the young shoots sold. On the other hand, the orchard (-arbustum-) was sown like any corn field (Colum. ii. 9, 6). It was only where the vine was trained on living trees that corn was cultivated in the intervals between them.

6. Mago, or his translator (in Varro, R. R., i. 17, 3), advises that slaves should not be bred, but should be purchased not under 22 years of age; and Cato must have had a similar course in view, as the personal staff of his model farm clearly shows, although he does not exactly say so. Cato (2) expressly counsels the sale of old and diseased slaves. The slave-breeding described by Columella (I. I. Italian History), under which female slaves who had three sons were exempted from labour, and the mothers of four sons were even manumitted, was doubtless an independent speculation rather than a part of the regular management of the estate—similar to the trade pursued by Cato himself of purchasing slaves to be trained and sold again (Plutarch, Cat. Mai. 21). The characteristic taxation mentioned in this same passage probably has reference to the body of servants properly so called (-familia urbana-).

7. In this restricted sense the chaining of slaves, and even of the sons of the family (Dionys. ii. 26), was very old; and accordingly chained field-labourers are mentioned by Cato as exceptions, to whom, as they could not themselves grind, bread had to be supplied instead of grain (56). Even in the times of the empire the chaining of slaves uniformly presents itself as a punishment inflicted definitively by the master, provisionally by the steward (Colum. i. 8; Gai. i. 13; Ulp. i. ii). If, notwithstanding, the tillage of the fields by means of chained slaves appeared in subsequent times as a distinct system, and the labourers' prison (-ergastulum-)—an underground cellar with window-aperatures numerous but narrow and not to be reached from the ground by the hand (Colum. i. 6)—became a necessary part of the farm- buildings, this state of matters was occasioned by the fact that the position of the rural serfs was harder than that of other slaves and therefore those slaves were chiefly taken for it, who had, or seemed to have, committed some offence. That cruel masters, moreover, applied the chains without any occasion to do so, we do not mean to deny, and it is clearly indicated by the circumstance that the law- books do not decree the penalties applicable to slave transgressors against those in chains, but prescribe the punishment of the half- chained. It was precisely the same with branding; it was meant to be, strictly, a punishment; but the whole flock was probably marked (Diodor. xxxv. 5; Bernays, —Phokytides—, p. xxxi.).

8. Cato does not expressly say this as to the vintage, but Varro does so (I. II. Relation of the Latins to the Umbro-Samnites), and it is implied in the nature of the case. It would have been economically an error to fix the number of the slaves on a property by the standard of the labours of harvest; and least of all, had such been the case, would the grapes have been sold on the tree, which yet was frequently done (Cato, 147).

9. Columella (ii. 12, 9) reckons to the year on an average 45 rainy days and holidays; with which accords the statement of Tertullian (De Idolol. 14), that the number of the heathen festival days did not come up to the fifty days of the Christian festal season from Easter to Whitsunday. To these fell to be added the time of rest in the middle of winter after the completion of the autumnal bowing, which Columella estimates at thirty days. Within this time, doubtless, the moveable "festival of seed-sowing" (-feriae sementivae-; comp. i. 210 and Ovid. Fast, i. 661) uniformly occurred. This month of rest must not be confounded with the holidays for holding courts in the season of the harvest (Plin. Ep. viii. 21, 2, et al.) and vintage.

10. III. I. The Carthaginian Dominion in Africa

11. The medium price of grain in the capital may be assumed at least for the seventh and eighth centuries of Rome at one -denarius- for the Roman -modius-, or 2 shillings 8 pence per bushel of wheat, for which there is now paid (according to the average of the prices in the provinces of Brandenburg and Pomerania from 1816 to 1841) about 3 shillings 5 pence. Whether this not very considerable difference between the Roman and the modern prices depends on a rise in the value of corn or on a fall in the value of silver, can hardly be decided.

It is very doubtful, perhaps, whether in the Rome of this and of later times the prices of corn really fluctuated more than is the case in modern times. If we compare prices like those quoted above, of 4 pence and 5 pence for the bushel and a half, with those of the worst times of war-dearth and famine—such as in the second Punic war when the same quantity rose to 9 shillings 7 pence (1 -medimnus- = 15 — drachmae—; Polyb. ix. 44), in the civil war to 19 shillings 2 pence (1 -modius- = 5 -denarii-; Cic. Verr. iii. 92, 214), in the great dearth under Augustus, even to 21 shillings 3 pence (5 -modii- =27 1/2 -denarii-; Euseb. Chron. p. Chr. 7, Scal.)—the difference is indeed immense; but such extreme cases are but little instructive, and might in either direction be found recurring under the like conditions at the present day.

12. II. VIII. Farming of Estates

13. Accordingly Cato calls the two estates, which he describes, summarily "olive-plantation" (-olivetum-) and "vineyard" (-vinea-), although not wine and oil merely, but grain also and other products were cultivated there. If indeed the 800 -culei-, for which the possessor of the vineyard is directed to provide himself with casks (11), formed the maximum of a year's vintage, the whole of the 100 -jugera- must have been planted with vines, because a produce of 8 -culei- per -jugerum- was almost unprecedented (Colum. iii. 3); but Varro (i. 22) understood, and evidently with reason, the statement to apply to the case of the possessor of a vineyard who found it necessary to make the new vintage before he had sold the old.

14. That the Roman landlord made on an average 6 per cent from his capital, may be inferred from Columella, iii. 3, 9. We have a more precise estimate of the expense and produce only in the case of the vine yard, for which Columella gives the following calculation of the cost per -jugerum-:

Price of the ground 1000 sesterces. Price of the slaves who work it 1143 (proportion to-jugerum-) Vines and stakes 2000 Loss of interest during the first two years 497 —— Total 4640 sesterces= 47 pounds.

He calculates the produce as at any rate 60 -amphorae-, worth at least 900 sesterces (9 pounds), which would thus represent a return of 17 per cent. But this is somewhat illusory, as, apart from bad harvests, the cost of gathering in the produce (III. XII. Spirit of the System), and the expenses of the maintenance of the vines, stakes, and slaves, are omitted from the estimate.

The gross produce of meadow, pasture, and forest is estimated by the same agricultural writer as, at most, 100 sesterces per -jugerum-, and that of corn land as less rather than more: in fact, the average return of 25 -modii- of wheat per -jugerum- gives, according to the average price in the capital of 1 -denarius- per -modius-, not more than 100 sesterces for the gross proceeds, and at the seat of production the price must have been still lower. Varro (iii. 2) reckons as a good ordinary gross return for a larger estate 150 sesterces per -jugerum-. Estimates of the corresponding expense have not reached us: as a matter of course, the management in this instance cost much less than in that of a vineyard.

All these statements, moreover, date from a century or more after Gate's death. From him we have only the general statement that the breeding of cattle yielded a better return than agriculture (ap. Cicero, De Off. ii. 25, 89; Colum. vi. praef. 4, comp. ii. 16, 2; Plin. H. N. xviii. 5, 30; Plutarch, Cato, 21); which of course is not meant to imply that it was everywhere advisable to convert arable land into pasture, but is to be understood relatively as signifying that the capital invested in the rearing of flocks and herds on mountain pastures and other suitable pasture-land yielded, as compared with capital invested in cultivating Suitable corn land, a higher interest. Perhaps the circumstance has been also taken into account in the calculation, that the want of energy and intelligence in the landlord operates far less injuriously in the case of pasture-land than in the highly-developed culture of the vine and olive. On an arable estate, according to Cato, the returns of the soil stood as follows in a descending series:—1, vineyard; 2, vegetable garden; 3, osier copse, which yielded a large return in consequence of the culture of the vine; 4, olive plantation; 5, meadow yielding hay; 6, corn fields; 7, copse; 8, wood for felling; 9, oak forest for forage to the cattle; all of which nine elements enter into the scheme of husbandry for Cato's model estates.

The higher net return of the culture of the vine as compared with that of corn is attested also by the fact, that under the award pronounced in the arbitration between the city of Genua and the villages tributary to it in 637 the city received a sixth of wine, and a twentieth of grain, as quitrent.

15. III. XII. Spirit of the System

16. III. XI. As to the Management of the Finances

17. The industrial importance of the Roman cloth-making is evident from the remarkable part which is played by the fullers in Roman comedy. The profitable nature of the fullers' pits is attested by Cato (ap. Plutarch, Cat 21).

18. III. III. Organization of the Provinces

19. III. III. Property

20. III. VII. The State of Culture in Spain

21. III. I. Comparison between Carthage and Rome

22. III. VI. Pressure of the War

23. There were in the treasury 17,410 Roman pounds of gold, 22,070 pounds of uncoined, and 18,230 pounds of coined, silver. The legal ratio of gold to silver was: 1 pound of gold = 4000 sesterces, or 1: 11.91.

24. On this was based the actionable character of contracts of buying, hiring, and partnership, and, in general, the whole system of non-formal actionable contracts.

25. The chief passage as to this point is the fragment of Cato in Gellius, xiv. 2. In the case of the -obligatio litteris- also, i. e. a claim based solely on the entry of a debt in the account-book of the creditor, this legal regard paid to the personal credibility of the party, even where his testimony in his own cause is concerned, affords the key of explanation; and hence it happened that in later times, when this mercantile repute had vanished from Roman life, the -obligatio litteris-, while not exactly abolished, fell of itself into desuetude.

26. In the remarkable model contract given by Cato (141) for the letting of the olive harvest, there is the following paragraph:—

"None [of the persons desirous to contract on the occasion of letting] shall withdraw, for the sake of causing the gathering and pressing of the olives to be let at a dearer rate; except when [the joint bidder] immediately names [the other bidder] as his partner. If this rule shall appear to have been infringed, all the partners [of the company with which the contract has been concluded] shall, if desired by the landlord or the overseer appointed by him, take an oath [that they have not conspired in this way to prevent competition]. If they do not take the oath, the stipulated price is not to be paid." It is tacitly assumed that the contract is taken by a company, not by an individual capitalist.

27. III. XIII. Religious Economy

28. Livy (xxi. 63; comp. Cic. Verr. v. 18, 45) mentions only the enactment as to the sea-going vessels; but Asconius (in Or. in toga cand. p. 94, Orell.) and Dio. (lv. 10, 5) state that the senator was also forbidden by law to undertake state-contracts (-redemptiones-); and, as according to Livy "all speculation was considered unseemly for a senator," the Claudian law probably reached further than he states.

29. Cato, like every other Roman, invested a part of his means in the breeding of cattle, and in commercial and other undertakings. But it was not his habit directly to violate the laws; he neither speculated in state-leases—which as a senator he was not allowed to do—nor practised usury. It is an injustice to charge him with a practice in the latter respect at variance with his theory; the -fenus nauticum-, in which he certainly engaged, was not a branch of usury prohibited by the law; it really formed an essential part of the business of chartering and freighting vessels.

Chapter XIII

Faith and Manners

Roman Austerity and Roman Pride

Life in the case of the Roman was spent under conditions of austere restraint, and, the nobler he was, the less he was a free man. All-powerful custom restricted him to a narrow range of thought and action; and to have led a serious and strict or, to use the characteristic Latin expressions, a sad and severe life, was his glory. No one had more and no one had less to do than to keep his household in good order and manfully bear his part of counsel and action in public affairs. But, while the individual had neither the wish nor the power to be aught else than a member of the community, the glory and the might of that community were felt by every individual burgess as a personal possession to be transmitted along with his name and his homestead to his posterity; and thus, as one generation after another was laid in the tomb and each in succession added its fresh contribution to the stock of ancient honours, the collective sense of dignity in the noble families of Rome swelled into that mighty civic pride, the like of which the earth has never seen again, and the traces of which, as strange as they are grand, seem to us, wherever we meet them, to belong as it were to another world. It was one of the characteristic peculiarities of this powerful sense of citizenship, that it was, while not suppressed, yet compelled by the rigid simplicity and equality that prevailed among the citizens to remain locked up within the breast during life, and was only allowed to find expression after death; but then it was displayed in the funeral rites of the man of distinction so conspicuously and intensely, that this ceremonial is better fitted than any other phenomenon of Roman life to give to us who live in later times a glimpse of that wonderful spirit of the Romans.

A Roman Funeral

It was a singular procession, at which the burgesses were invited to be present by the summons of the public crier: "Yonder warrior is dead; whoever can, let him come to escort Lucius Aemilius; he is borne forth from his house." It was opened by bands of wailing women, musicians, and dancers; one of the latter was dressed out and furnished with a mask after the likeness of the deceased, and by gesture doubtless and action recalled once more to the multitude the appearance of the well-known man. Then followed the grandest and most peculiar part of the solemnity—the procession of ancestors—before which all the rest of the pageant so faded in comparison, that men of rank of the true Roman type enjoined their heirs to restrict the funeral ceremony to that procession alone. We have already mentioned that the face-masks of those ancestors who had filled the curule aedileship or any higher ordinary magistracy, wrought in wax and painted—modelled as far as possible after life, but not wanting even for the earlier ages up to and beyond the time of the kings—were wont to be placed in wooden niches along the walls of the family hall, and were regarded as the chief ornament of the house. When a death occurred in the family, suitable persons, chiefly actors, were dressed up with these face-masks and the corresponding official costume to take part in the funeral ceremony, so that the ancestors—each in the principal dress worn by him in his lifetime, the triumphator in his gold-embroidered, the censor in his purple, and the consul in his purple-bordered, robe, with their lictors and the other insignia of office—all in chariots gave the final escort to the dead. On the bier overspread with massive purple and gold-embroidered coverlets and fine linen cloths lay the deceased himself, likewise in the full costume of the highest office which he had filled, and surrounded by the armour of the enemies whom he had slain and by the chaplets which in jest or earnest he had won. Behind the bier came the mourners, all dressed in black and without ornament, the sons of the deceased with their heads veiled, the daughters without veil, the relatives and clansmen, the friends, the clients and freedmen. Thus the procession passed on to the Forum. There the corpse was placed in an erect position; the ancestors descended from their chariots and seated themselves in the curule chairs; and the son or nearest gentile kinsman of the deceased ascended the rostra, in order to announce to the assembled multitude in simple recital the names and deeds of each of the men sitting in a circle around him and, last of all, those of him who had recently died.

This may be called a barbarous custom, and a nation of artistic feelings would certainly not have tolerated the continuance of this odd resurrection of the dead down to an epoch of fully-developed civilization; but even Greeks who were very dispassionate and but little disposed to reverence, such as Polybius, were greatly impressed by the naive pomp of this funeral ceremony. It was a conception essentially in keeping with the grave solemnity, the uniform movement, and the proud dignity of Roman life, that departed generations should continue to walk, as it were, corporeally among the living, and that, when a burgess weary of labours and of honours was gathered to his fathers, these fathers themselves should appear in the Forum to receive him among their number.

The New Hellenism

But the Romans had now reached a crisis of transition. Now that the power of Rome was no longer confined to Italy but had spread far and wide to the east and to the west, the days of the old home life of Italy were over, and a Hellenizing civilization came in its room. It is true that Italy had been subject to the influence of Greece, ever since it had a history at all. We have formerly shown how the youthful Greece and the youthful Italy—both of them with a certain measure of simplicity and originality—gave and received intellectual impulses; and how at a later period Rome endeavoured after a more external manner to appropriate to practical use the language and inventions of the Greeks. But the Hellenism of the Romans of the present period was, in its causes as well as its consequences, something essentially new. The Romans began to feel the need of a richer intellectual life, and to be startled as it were at their own utter want of mental culture; and, if even nations of artistic gifts, such as the English and Germans, have not disdained in the pauses of their own productiveness to avail themselves of the miserable French culture for filling up the gap, it need excite no surprise that the Italian nation now flung itself with fervid zeal on the glorious treasures as well as on the dissolute filth of the intellectual development of Hellas. But it was an impulse still more profound and deep-rooted, which carried the Romans irresistibly into the Hellenic vortex. Hellenic civilization still doubtless called itself by that name, but it was Hellenic no longer; it was, in fact, humanistic and cosmopolitan. It had solved the problem of moulding a mass of different nations into one whole completely in the field of intellect, and to a certain extent also in that of politics; and, now when the same task on a wider scale devolved on Rome, she took over Hellenism along with the rest of the inheritance of Alexander the Great. Hellenism therefore was no longer a mere stimulus or accessory influence; it penetrated the Italian nation to the very core. Of course, the vigorous home life of Italy strove against the foreign element. It was only after a most vehement struggle that the Italian farmer abandoned the field to the cosmopolite of the capital; and, as in Germany the French coat called forth the national Germanic frock, so the reaction against Hellenism aroused in Rome a tendency which opposed the influence of Greece on principle, in a fashion altogether foreign to the earlier centuries, and in doing so fell pretty frequently into downright follies and absurdities.

Hellenism in Politics