Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK XXIX. - The History of Rome, Vol. 4
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BOOK XXIX. - Titus Livius (Livy), The History of Rome, Vol. 4 [10 AD]
The History of Rome by Titus Livius. Translated from the Original with Notes and Illustrations by George Baker, A.M.. First American, from the Last London Edition, in Six Volumes (New York: Peter A. Mesier et al., 1823). Vol. 4.
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In Spain, Mandonius and Indibilis, reviving hostilities, are finally subdued. Scipio goes over from Syracuse to Locri; dislodges the Carthaginian general; repulses Hannibal, and recovers that city. Peace made with Philip. The Idæan Mother brought to Rome from Phrygia; received by Publius Scipio Nasica, judged by the senate, the best man in the state. Scipio passes over into Africa. Syphax, having married a daughter of Hasdrubal, renounces his alliance with Scipio. Masinissa, who had been expelled his kingdom by Syphax, joins Scipio with two hundred horsemen; they defeat a large army commanded by Hanno. Hasdrubal and Syphax approach with a most numerous force. Scipio raises the siege of Utica, and fortifies a post for the winter. The consul Sempronius gets the better of Hannibal in a battle near Croton. Dispute between Marcus Livius and Claudius Nero, censors.
Y.R. 547. 205.WHEN Scipio arrived in Sicily, he formed his volunteers into cohorts and centuries; of which forces he kept three hundred about him, all of them vigorous young men, and ignorant of the purpose for which they were reserved, being neither enrolled in the centuries, nor supplied with arms. Then, out of the whole number of youths in Sicily, he chose also three hundred of distinguished birth and fortune as horsemen, who were to pass over with him into Africa, appointing a day on which they were to attend, equipped and furnished with horses and arms. This service appeared to them very severe, being so far from home, and attended with great fatigues and great dangers, both by sea and land; so much so, that not only themselves, but their parents and relations, were distressed with anxiety on their account. At the time appointed, they brought their horses and arms to be inspected; Scipio then told them, that “he was informed that some of the Sicilian horsemen dreaded the service on which they were going, as laborious and severe; that if any were thus affected, he wished them to acknowledge it then to him, rather than to complain afterwards, and prove inactive and useless soldiers to the state: he desired them to express their sentiments freely, assuring them they should be listened to without displeasure.” On which one of them ventured to say, that, if he had a free option, he certainly would wish to decline the service. Scipio replied; “Since then, young man, you have not dissembled your sentiments, I will provide a substitute for you, to whom you must deliver your horse, your arms, and other implements of war: take him hence directly to your house; exercise him, and take care that he be instructed in the management of his horse and arms.” These terms the other embraced with joy, on which Scipio put into his hands one of the three hundred whom he kept unarmed. When the others saw the horseman discharged in this manner, with the approbation of the general, each began to excuse himself, and receive a substitute. Thus were Roman horsemen substituted in the place of the three hundred Sicilians, without any expense to the public. The Sicilians had the trouble of instructing and exercising them; the general having ordered, that any who did not perform this, should continue in the service. We are told that this proved an excellent body of horse, and did good service to the state in many battles. Afterwards reviewing the legions, he chose out of them those soldiers who had been the longest time in the army, especially those who had served with Marcellus; believing that they were not only formed under the best discipline, but, in consequence of the long siege of Syracuse, were best skilled in the method of attacking towns; for the object to which his views were now directed, was no small matter, being nothing less than the uter destruction of Carthage. He then cantoned his army in the different towns; ordered in a supply of corn from the Sicilian states, sparing what he had brought from Italy; repaired the old ships, and sent Caius Lælius with them to Africa, to plunder the country; then hauled up the new ones on land at Panormus, that they might lie dry during the winter, because they had been hastily built of green timber; and having completed the preparations for the war, he came to Syracuse, where tranquillity was not yet entirely re-established, after the late violent commotion. The Greeks, in pursuance of a grant of the senate, demanding a restoration of their effects from some Italians, who kept possession of them with the same force with which they had seized them, Scipio, reckoning it essentially requisite to support the public faith, procured a restitution of the same; partly by a proclamation issued, and partly by sentences passed against those who persisted in retaining their unjust acquisitions. This proceeding was highly acceptable not only to the persons aggrieved, but to all the states of Sicily, and added to their alacrity in forwarding the preparations for war.
II. A formidable war was raised this summer in Spain by the instigation of Indibilis, the Illergetian, on no other grounds than the contempt which, through his great admiration of Scipio, he entertained of all other generals. He was of opinion, that “this commander was the only one whom the Romans had remaining; the others of any note, having, as he conceived, been slain by Hannibal. For, when the Scipios were cut off in Spain, they had none whom they could send thither; and, afterwards, when the war pressed too heavily on them in Italy, the present one had been recalled to act against Hannibal. That, besides, the Romans having only nominal generals in Spain, their veteran army had been withdrawn from thence: that, among the troops which remained, there was neither spirit nor firmness, as they consisted of an undisciplined multitude of new recruits: that there would never again be such an opportunity of asserting the liberty of Spain: that until that day, they had been slaves either to the Carthaginians or Romans; and that, not to one or the other by turns, but sometimes to both together: that the Carthaginians had been expelled by the Romans; and that the Romans might now be expelled by the Spaniards, if these would act with unanimity, so that being for ever freed from the dominion of foreigners, they might return to their own native manners and rites.” By these, and other the like discourses, he roused to arms, not only his own countrymen, but the Ausetanians also, a neighbouring state, with other nations that bordered on his and their country; so that, within a few days, thirty thousand foot and about four thousand horse assembled in the territory of Sedeta, according to his directions. On the other side, the Roman generals, Lucius Lentulus and Lucius Manlius Acidinus, lest the war, being neglected in the beginning, should spread with increasing violence, united their armies; and conducting them through the country of the Ausetanians in as peaceable a manner as if they were among friends, they arrived at the place where the enemy lay; and pitched their tents at three miles distance from the Spanish camp. By sending ambassadors, they endeavoured to prevail on them to lay aside their arms, but in vain. Afterwards, the Spanish horsemen having made a sudden attack on the foragers of the Romans, and the latter sending some troops to support them from one of their outposts, there ensued a battle between the cavalry, in which neither side gained any considerable advantage.
III. At sunrise next day, the whole force of the enemy appeared in arms, and drawn up in order of battle, at the distance of about a mile from the Roman camp. The Ausetanians were in the centre, the Illergetians formed the right wing, and people of several inconsiderable Spanish states the left: between the wings and the main body, they had left very wide intervals, through which the horse might charge upon occasion. The Romans drew up their army in the usual manner, yet so far following the example of the enemy as to leave passages open for the cavalry between the legions. Lentulus, however, considering that the horse could be of use only to that party which should first make an attack on the enemy’s line, divided by the intervals, commanded Servius Cornelius, tribune of the soldiers, to order them to charge through the same. The fight between the infantry being rather unfavourable to the Romans at the beginning, he was obliged to delay for a time, while the thirteenth legion from the reserve was brought up to the first line, so as to support the twelfth, which had been posted in the left wing against the Illergetians, and which began to give ground. The fight being restored, Scipio hastened to Lucius Manlius, who was exerting himself among the foremost battalions, encouraging and supporting his men by a supply of fresh troops wherever occasion required, and acquainted him that matters were safe on the left wing, and that Cornelius Servius, whom he had despatched for the purpose, would quickly assail the enemy on all sides with his cavalry. Scarcely had he uttered these words, when the Roman horse, pushing forwards into the midst of their ranks, threw the line of infantry into confusion; and at the same time closed up the passes by which the Spanish horse were to have advanced to a charge. The Spaniards, therefore, quitting all thoughts of fighting on horseback, dismounted, in order to engage on foot. When the Roman generals perceived the enemy’s disorder, that they were confused and terrified, and their battalions wavering, they encouraged, they entreated, their men, to “push them briskly while they were dismayed, and not to suffer their line to be formed again.” The barbarians could not have withstood so furious an onset, had not their prince, Indibilis, dismounting with the cavalry, thrown himself into the front of the foremost battalions of infantry. There the contest was supported for some time with great fury. At length, those who fought round the King, fell, overwhelmed with darts, and he himself, continuing to make resistance, though ready to expire, was pinned to the earth with a javelin; on which their troops betook themselves to flight in all parts. The number of the slain was the greater, because the horsemen had not time to remount their horses, being vigorously pressed by the Romans, who did not relax in the least until they had driven them from their camp. There fell on that day of the Spaniards thirteen thousand, and about eight hundred were taken. Of the Romans, and their allies, little more than two hundred were killed, most of them in the left wing. The Spaniards, who were beaten out of the camp, or who had escaped from the battle, at first dispersed about the country, and afterwards returned to their respective homes. They were soon after summoned thence to an assembly by Mandonius, where, after complaining heavily of their losses, and severely censuring the advisers of the war, they came to a resolution, that ambassadors should be sent to Scipio, with proposals to make surrender of themselves. These laid the blame on Indibilis and the other chiefs, most of whom had fallen in battle, offering to deliver up their arms. They received for answer, that “their surrender would be accepted; provided they delivered up alive Mandonius and the other promoters of the war; that if this condition was not complied with, the Romans would lead their armies into the lands of the Illegertians and Ausetanians; and afterwards into those of the other states.” This answer the ambassadors carried back to the assembly; and there Mandonius and the other chiefs were seized and delivered up to punishment. Terms of peace were then settled with the states of Spain, who were ordered to pay double taxes for that year, and to supply corn for six months, together with cloaks and vests for the army, hostages being received from about thirty states. This tumultuary rebellion in Spain having been thus suppressed, without any great difficulty, within the space of a few days after its commencement, every warlike operation was directed against Africa.
IV. Caius Lælius, having arrived in the night at Hippo Royal, led out his soldiers and marines in regular bodies, at the first light, in order to ravage the country; and, as the inhabitants had taken no precautions more than if it had been a time of peace, great damage was done, and affrighted messengers filled Carthage with the most violent alarms; affirming, that the Roman fleet had arrived, and that it was commanded by Scipio, of whose passing into Sicily they had already heard. Nor could they tell, with any degree of exactness, while their fears aggravated every circumstance, how many ships they had seen, or what number of men they had landed. At first, therefore, consternation and terror, afterwards melancholy dejection, seized the people’s minds, reflecting on the reverse of fortune which had taken place, and lamenting that “they who lately, flushed with success, had their forces lying at the gates of Rome, and after cutting off so many armies of the enemy, had made almost every state in Italy submit to them, either through fear or choice, were now, from the current of success having turned against them, to behold the devastation of Africa, and the siege of Carthage; and when they possessed not by any means such a degree of strength as the Romans had enjoyed to support them under those calamities. The latter had received, from the commonalty of Rome, and from Latium, continually increasing supplies of young men in the room of so many legions destroyed: but the citizens of Carthage were unwarlike, and equally so in the country. Auxiliaries, indeed, they had procured for pay from among the Africans; but they were a faithless race, and veering about with every blast of fortune. Then, as to the kings: Syphax, since his conference with Scipio, was apparently estranged from them: Masinissa had openly renounced their alliance, and was become their most inveterate enemy; so that they had no hope, no support on any side. Neither did Mago raise any commotions on the side of Gaul, nor join his forces to Hannibal’s: and Hannibal himself was now declining both in reputation and strength.” Their minds, which, in consequence of the late news, had sunk into these desponding reflections, were again recalled, by dread of the impending evils, to consult how they might oppose the present dangers. They resolved to levy soldiers with all haste, both in the city and the country; to hire auxiliaries from the Africans; to strengthen the forts; to collect corn; to prepare weapons and armour; to fit out ships, and send them to Hippo against the Roman fleet. While they were thus employed, news at length arrived, that it was Lælius, and not Scipio, who had come over; that his forces were no more than what were sufficient to make plundering incursions; and that the main force of the enemy was still in Sicily. Thus they got time to breathe, and began to despatch embassies to Syphax and the other princes, to endeavour to strengthen their alliances. They also sent to Philip, with a promise of two hundred talents of silver* , on condition that he invaded Sicily or Italy. Others were sent to Italy, to their two generals there, with orders to use every effort to raise the apprehensions of the enemy, so that Scipio might be induced to return home. To Mago they sent not only deputies, but twenty-five ships of war, six thousand foot, eight hundred horse, seven elephants, and also a large sum of money to hire auxiliaries, whose support might encourage him to advance his army nearer to the city of Rome, and effect a junction with Hannibal. Such were the preparations and plans at Carthage. Whilst Lælius was employed in carrying off immense booty from the country, which he found destitute of arms and protection, Masinissa, roused by the report of the arrival of a Roman fleet, came to him attended by a few horsemen. He complained, that “Scipio was dilatory in the business; otherwise before that time he would have brought over his army into Africa, while the Carthaginians were dismayed, and Syphax engaged in wars with his neighbours. That the latter was irresolute and undetermined; and that if time were allowed him to settle his own affairs as he liked, it would be seen that he had no sincere attachment to the Romans.” He desired him to “exhort and stimulate Scipio to activity;” assuring him, that “himself, though driven from his kingdom, would join him with no contemptible force, both of horse and foot.” He said, that “Lælius ought not to make any stay in Africa: that he believed a fleet had sailed from Carthage, which it would not be very safe to encounter in the absence of Scipio.” After this discourse, Masinissa departed; and next day Lælius set sail from Hippo, having his ships laden with spoil; and, returning to Sicily, delivered Masinissa’s message to Scipio.
V. About the same time, the ships which had been sent from Carthage to Mago, arrived on the coast between the country of the Albingaunian Ligurians and Genoa, near which place the Carthaginian happened at that time to lie with his fleet. On receiving orders from the deputies to collect as great a number of troops as possible, he immediately held a council of the Gauls and Ligurians, (for there was a vast multitude of both nations present,) and told them that “he had been sent for the purpose of restoring them to liberty, and, as they themselves saw, aid was now afforded him from home. But with what force, with how great an army the war was to be carried on, was a matter that depended entirely upon them. That there were two Roman armies, one in Gaul, another in Etruria; and he was well assured that Spurius Lucretius would join his forces to those of Marcus Livius; wherefore they on their side must arm many thousands, to enable them to oppose two Roman generals and two armies.” The Gauls answered, that “they had the strongest inclination to act as he advised; but as they had one Roman army in the heart of their country, and another in the next adjoining province of Etruria, almost within their sight, if it should be publicly known that they gave aid to the Carthaginians, those two armies would immediately commence hostilities against them on both sides.” They requested him to “demand such assistance only as the Gauls could supply in secret. The Ligurians,” they said, “were at liberty to determine as they thought fit, the Roman camps being far distant from their lands and cities; beside, it was reasonable that they should arm their youth, and take their part in the war.” This the Ligurians did not decline; they only required two months time to make their levies. Mago, having sent home the Gauls, hired soldiers privately in their country; provisions also of all kinds were sent to him secretly by their several states. Marcus Livius led his army of volunteer slaves from Etruria into Gaul, and having joined Lucretius, kept himself in readiness to oppose Mago, if he should move from Liguria towards the city; intending, if the Carthaginian should keep himself quiet under that corner of the Alps, to continue in the same district, near Ariminum, for the protection of Italy.
VI. After the return of Caius Lælius from Africa, although Scipio was urged to expedition by the representations of Masinissa, and the soldiers, on seeing the spoil which was landed from the ships, were inflamed with a desire of passing over immediately; yet this more important business was interrupted by one of smaller consideration, the recovery of Locri; which, at the time of the general defection of Italy, had revolted to the Carthaginians. The hope of accomplishing this was kindled by a very trifling circumstance: The operations in Bruttium were rather predatory excursions than a regular war; the Numidians having begun the practice, and the Bruttians readily joining in it, not more from their connection with the Carthaginians, than from their own natural disposition. At length the Romans themselves, by a kind of contagion, became equally fond of plunder; and, when not prevented by their officers, made excursions into the enemy’s country. By these, some Locrensians, who had come out of the city, had been surrounded, and carried off to Rhegium; and among whom were some artizans, who happened to have been often hired by the Carthaginians, to work in the citadel of Locri. They were known by the chiefs of the Locrensians, who, having been banished by the opposite faction which had given up the city to Hannibal, had retired to Rhegium. The prisoners, after answering many of their enquiries concerning affairs at home, gave them hopes, that if they were ransomed and sent back, they might be able to put the citadel into their hands; telling them that they had their residence in it, and were entirely trusted by the Carthaginians. In consequence of this, the said chiefs, who anxiously longed to return to Locri, inflamed at the same time with a desire of revenge, immediately ransomed and sent home these men: having first settled the plan for the execution of their project, with the signals which were to be given and observed between them at a distance. They then went themselves to Scipio, to Syracuse, where some of the exiles were, and informing him of the promises made by the prisoners, inspired probable hopes of success. On this, the consul despatched Marcus Sergius and Publius Matienus, military tribunes, (the exiles accompanying them,) with orders to lead three thousand men from Rhegium to Locri, and for Quintus Pleminius, proprætor, to give assistance in the business. These set out as commanded, carrying scaling ladders fitted to the height of the citadel, according to their information, and about midnight they gave the signal from the place appointed, to those who were to betray that fortress. These were prepared, and on the watch; and, letting down from their side, machines made for the purpose, received the Romans as they climbed up in several places at once. They then fell on the Carthaginian centinels, who, not apprehending any danger, were fast asleep; their dying groans were the first sound heard. A sudden consternation followed as the remainder awoke, with a general confusion from being wholly ignorant of the cause of alarm. At length, the greater part of them being roused from sleep, the truth was discovered. And now every one called loudly to arms; that the enemy were in the citadel; that the centinels were slain. The Romans being much inferior in number, would certainly have been overpowered, had not a shout, raised by those who were at the outside of the citadel, prevented the garrison from discerning on what side the danger threatened, while the darkness of the night aggravated every fear. The Carthaginians, supposing that the citadel had been surprised and taken, without attempting a contest, fled to another fortress not far distant from this. The inhabitants held the city which lay between these strong holds, as a prize for the conquerors, slight engagements happening every day. Quintus Pleminius commanded the Roman, Hamilcar the Carthaginian garrison, both of whom increased their forces daily, by calling in aid from the neighboring places. At length Hannibal prepared to come thither, so that the Romans could not have kept their ground, had not the principal part of the Locrensians, exasperated by the pride and avarice of the Carthaginians, inclined to their side.
VII. As soon as Scipio was informed that the danger increased at Locri, and that Hannibal was approaching, he began to fear, lest even the garrison might be endangered, as it was not easy to retreat from it; he therefore left the command at Messana to his brother, Lucius Scipio, and going on board as soon as the tide turned, he let his ships drive with the current. On the other hand, Hannibal sent forward directions from the river Aleces, which is not far from Locri, that his party, at dawn of day, should attack the Romans and Locrensians with their whole force; in order that, while the attention of all should be turned to the tumult occasioned thereby, he might make an unexpected assault on the opposite side of the city. When, at the first appearance of daylight, he found that the battle was begun, he did not choose to attempt the citadel, in which there was not room, had he even gained it, for such numbers to act, nor had he brought ladders to effect a scalade. Ordering, therefore, the baggage to be thrown together in a heap, he drew up his army at a little distance from the walls, to terrify the enemy; and while all things necessary for the assault were getting ready, he rode round the city with some Numidian horsemen to find out the properest place at which it might be made. As he advanced near the rampart, the person next to him happening to be struck by a dart from a scorpion, he was so terrified at the danger to which he had been exposed, that he ordered a retreat to be sounded, and fortified his camp far beyond the reach of a weapon. The Roman fleet arrived from Messana at Locri, while some hours of day remained, so that the troops were all landed and brought into the city before sunset. Next day, the Carthaginians, from the citadel, began the fight. Hannibal, now furnished with scaling ladders, and every thing proper for an assault, was coming up to the walls, when, on a sudden, a gate flying open, the Romans rushed out upon him, when he apprehended nothing less than such an encounter, and, as the attack was unexpected, two hundred of his men were slain. The rest Hannibal carried back to the camp, as soon as he understood that the consul was there in person; and sending directions to those who were in the lesser citadel, to take care of themselves, he decamped by night. On which, setting fire to the houses there, in order to obstruct any operations of the enemy, they hastened away, as if flying from a pursuit, and overtook the main body of their army at the close of day.
VIII. When Scipio saw both citadel and camp deserted by the enemy, he summoned the Locrensians to an assembly, rebuked them severely for their revolt, inflicted punishment on the chief promoters of it, and bestowed their effects on the leaders of the opposite faction, as a reward for their extraordinary fidelity towards the Romans. As to the community of the Locrensians, he said, “he would neither make any grant to them, nor take any thing from them. Let them send ambassadors to Rome, where they would obtain such a settlement of their affairs as the senate should judge reasonable. Of this he was confident, that, though they had deserved harsh treatment from the greatly provoked Romans, they would yet enjoy a better state in subjection to them than under their professed friends the Carthaginians.” Then, leaving Quintus Pleminius, lieutenant-general, with the troops which had taken the citadel, to defend the city, he returned to Messana with the forces which he had brought from thence. The Locrensians, after their revolt from the Romans, had been treated by the Carthaginians with such haughtiness and cruelty, that they could now have endured a lesser degree of severity not only with patience, but almost with content. But in all excesses, so much did Pleminius surpass Hamilcar, who had commanded their garrison, and the Roman soldiers the Carthaginians, that there seemed to be a greater emulation between them in vices than in arms. Not one of those acts, which render the power of a superior odious to the helpless, was left unpractised on the inhabitants by the commander or his troops: the most shocking insults were offered to their persons, to their children, and to their wives. Nor did their avarice refrain even from the plundering of things sacred; insomuch, that not only the temples were violated, but even the treasure of Proserpine was seized, which through all ages had remained untouched, except by Pyrrhus, who made restitution of the spoil, together with a large atonement for his sacrilege. Therefore, as at that time the King’s ships, after being wrecked and shattered, had brought nothing safe to land, except the sacred money of the goddess, so now, that same money, by a different kind of vengeance, inspired with madness all those who were polluted by the robbery of the temple, and turned them against each other with hostile fury, general against general, soldier against soldier.
IX. Pleminius was governor in chief; that part of the soldiers which he had brought with him from Rhegium were under his own immediate command; the rest under military tribunes. These tribunes, Sergius and Matienus, happened to meet one of Pleminius’s soldiers running away with a silver cup, which he had taken by force out of the house of a citizen, the owners pursuing him: on the cup being taken from him, by order of the tribunes, at first ill language was used, then ensued clamour; and at length a scuffle between the soldiers of Pleminius and those of the tribunes. The disturbance increasing, as any happened to come up to assist their party, Pleminius’s men, being worsted, ran to him in crowds, showing their blood and wounds, with violent outcries and expressions of resentment, and recounting the reproaches that had been thrown on himself; which so inflamed him, that, rushing out of his house, and calling the tribunes before him, he ordered them to be stripped, and the rods to be prepared. As some time was spent in stripping them, (for they made resistance, and implored aid,) on a sudden their own soldiers, rendered bold by their late success, ran together from all parts, as if they had been called to arms against an enemy. On seeing the persons of the tribunes already injured by the rods, they were suddenly seized with such ungovernable rage, that without regard either to his dignity, or even to humanity, after having cruelly abused his lictors, they assaulted the general himself; and having surrounded and separated him from his party, they dreadfully mangled him, cuting off his nose and ears, and leaving him almost without life. Accounts of these transactions being carried to Messana, Scipio, a few days after, sailed over to Locri in a ship of six banks of oars: and having brought Pleminius and the tribunes to trial before him, he acquitted Pleminius, and continued him in the command of the place; adjudged the tribunes guilty, and threw them into chains, that they might be sent to Rome to the senate: he then returned to Messana, and went from thence to Syracuse. Pleminius, giving a loose to his rage, because he thought that the injury done him had been treated too lightly by Scipio, and that no other person was qualified to rate the penalty in such a case but he who had suffered the wrong, ordered the tribunes to be dragged before him. After having made them undergo the utmost degree of torture which the human body is capable of enduring, he put them to death; and not satisfied with the punishment thus inflicted, he cast them out without burial. The like cruelty he used towards the chiefs of the Locrensians, who, as he heard, had complained to Scipio of the treatment they had received at his hands. But the extreme severities which he had formerly practised on those allies through lust and avarice, he now multiplied through rage and resentment, bringing infamy and detestation not only on himself, but on the general also.
X. The time of the elections was now drawing near, when a letter was brought to Rome from Publius Licinius the consul, stating, that “he and his army were afflicted with a grievous sickness, and that they could not have stood their ground, had not the disorder attacked the enemy with the same, or even greater, violence. As therefore he could not come to the elections, he would, if the Fathers approved of it, nominate Quintus Cæcilius Metellus, dictator, for the purpose of holding them. That it was for the interest of the state, that the army of Quintus Cæcilius should be disbanded, as it could be of no use at present. Hannibal having already retired into winter-quarters; and besides, so powerful was the distemper in that camp, that unless they were speedily separated, not one of them probably would survive.” The senate left it with the consul to determine concerning those matters, in such manner as he should judge best for the good of the nation, and his own honour. The city was at that time suddenly engaged in a consideration respecting religion. Frequent showers of stones having fallen, the Sibylline books were on that occasion inspected; in which were found certain verses, importing, that “whensoever a foreign enemy shall have carried war into the land of Italy, he may be expelled and conquered, if the Idæan Mother be brought from Pessinus to Rome.” These verses, discovered by the decemvirs, affected the senate the more, because the ambassadors who had carried the offering to Delphi, affirmed also, that they had performed sacrifice, and consulted the Pythian Apollo; and that the oracle had answered, that the Romans would soon obtain a much greater victory than that which gave them the spoils of which their offering was composed. They considered as a confirmation of the same, that Scipio’s mind was impelled, as it were, by some presages of an end to the war, when he had so earnestly insisted on having Africa for his province. In order, therefore, that they might the sooner acquire the enjoyment of this triumph, portended to them by the fates, omens, and oracles, they set about considering how the goddess might be transported to Rome.
XI. The Romans were not in alliance with any of the states of Asia. However, recollecting that Æsculapius had formerly, on occasion of a pestilence, been brought from Greece before any connexion with that country; that they had already commenced a friendship with King Attalus, on account of their being united in the war against Philip, and that he would probably do any thing in his power to oblige the Roman people, they came to a resolution of sending as ambassadors to him, Marcus Valerius Lævinus, who had been twice consul, and had commanded in Greece; Marcus Cæcilius Metellus, who had been prætor; Servius Sulpicius Galba, who had been ædile; and two who had been quæstors, Caius Tremellius Flaccus and Marcus Valerius Falto. A convoy of five quinqueremes was ordered for them, that they might appear with suitable grandeur in those countries where they wished to procure a respect for the Roman name. The ambassadors in their way to Asia, having landed and gone to Delphi to the oracle, enquired what hopes might be entertained of accomplishing the business on which they had been sent: they were answered, it is said, that “they would obtain what they were in search of by means of King Attalus; and that, when they should have carried the Goddess to Rome, they were to take care that the best man in the city was the exerciser of the laws of hospitality towards her.” On coming to the King at Pergamus, he received them kindly, conducted them to Pessinus in Phrygia, delivered to them the sacred stone, which the natives said was the mother of the gods, and desired them to convey it to Rome. Marcus Valerius Falto, being sent homeward before the rest, brought an account that they were returning with the goddess; and that the best man in Rome must be sought out to pay her the due rites of hospitality. Quintus Cæcilius Metellus was, by the consul in Bruttium, nominated dictator, for the purpose of holding the elections, and his army was disbanded. Lucius Veturius Philo was made master of the horse. The elections were held by the dictator; the consuls elected were Marcus Cornelius Cethegus and Publius Sempronius Tuditanus, the latter absent, being employed in the province of Greece. The prætors were then elected: Tiberius Claudius Nero, Marcus Marcius Ralla, Lucius Scribonius Libo, and Marcus Pomponius Matho. As soon as the elections were finished, the dictator resigned his office. The Roman games were repeated thrice, the plebeian seven times. The curule ædiles were Cneius and Lucius Cornelius Lentulus; Lucius held the province of Spain, and being elected while there, continued absent during the whole time of his office. Tiberius Claudius Asellus and Marcus Junius Pennus were plebeian ædiles. In that year Marcus Marcellus dedicated the temple of Virtue, at the Capuan gate, seventeen years after it had been vowed by his father at Clastidium in Gaul, during his first consulate. Marcus Æmilius Regillus, flamen of Mars, died that year.
XII. During the two last years, the affairs of Greece had been neglected: a circumstance which enabled Philip to reduce the Ætoliaus, thus forsaken by the Romans, on whose aid alone they relied. They were therefore obliged to sue for, and agree to a peace on such terms as the King should impose: but had he not used every effort to hasten the conclusion of it, Publius Sempronius, proconsul, who succeeded Sulpicius in the command, would have fallen upon him (while engaged in settling the treaty) with ten thousand foot, one thousand horse, and thirty-five ships of war; no small force in support of an ally. The peace was scarcely concluded, when news was brought to Philip that the Romans had come to Dyrrachium; that the Parthinians, and other neighbouring nations, seeing a prospect of changing their situation, were in motion, and that Dimallum was besieged. The Romans had turned their operations to that side, instead of going forward to the assistance of the Ætolians, whither they had been sent, provoked at the peace thus made with the King without their concurrence, and contrary to the treaty. On the receipt of this news, Philip, fearing lest some greater commotions might arise among the neighbouring nations and states, proceeded by long marches to Apollonia, to which place Sempronius had retired, after sending his lieutenant-general, Lætorius, with part of the forces and fifteen ships, to Ætolia, that he might take a view of the situation of affairs, and, if possible, annihilate the compact of that people with the Macedonian. Philip laid waste the lands of the Apollonians, and, marching his forces up to the city, offered the Romans battle; they, however, remained quiet, only defending the walls, while his force was insufficient for laying siege to the place. He was yet desirous of concluding a peace with the Romans, as with the Ætolians; or, if that could not be accomplished, of obtaining a truce; and, not choosing to provoke their resentment farther by a new contest, he withdrew into his own kingdom. At the same time the Epirots, wearied by the length of the war, having first tried the disposition of the Romans, sent ambassadors to Philip concerning a general peace; affirming that they were very confident it might be brought about, if he would come to a conference with Publius Sempronius, the Roman general. They easily prevailed on him to pass into Epirus, for the King himself was not averse from the measure. There is a city in Epirus called Phœnice; there Philip, having conferred with Eropus, and Dardas, and Philip, prætors of the Epirots, had afterwards a meeting with Publius Sempronius. Amynander also, King of the Athamanians, was present at the conference, together with other magistrates of the Epirots and Acarnanians. Philip the prætor spoke first, and entreated both the King and the Roman general to put an end to hostilities; and to consider, in a favourable light, the liberty which the Epirots took in mediating between them. Publius Sempronius dictated the terms of peace;—That the Parthinians, and Dimallum, and Bargulum, and Eugenium, should be under the dominion of the Romans; that Atintania should be ceded to the Macedonian, if, on sending ambassadors, he should obtain it from the senate. Peace being agreed to on these terms, the King included in the treaty Prusias King of Bithynia, the Achæans, Bœotians, Thessalians, Acarnanians, and Epirots. On the side of the Romans, were included the Ilians, King Attalus, Pleuratus, Nabis, tyrant of the Lacedæmonians, the Eleans, Messenians, and Athenians. The conditions were committed to writing, and signed by both parties, a truce being made for two months, to allow time for ambassadors to be sent to Rome, in order that the people might ratify the whole. Every one of the tribes assented to it, because, having turned their efforts against Africa, they wished to be eased for the present from every other enemy. When all was settled, Publius Sempronius went home to Rome, to attend to the duties of his consulship.
Y.R.548. 204.XIII. In the consulate of Marcus Cornelius and Publius Sempronius, which was the fifteenth year of the Punic war, the provinces were thus decreed:—to Cornelius, Etruria, with the old army; to Sempronius, Bruttium, with power to levy new legions. Of the prætors, to Marcus Marcius fell the city jurisdiction; to Lucius Scribonius Libo, the foreign, and to the same person, Gaul; to Marcus Pomponius Matho, Sicily; and to Tiberius Claudius Nero, Sardinia. Publius Scipio’s command was prolonged for a year, with the same army and the same fleet he then had: as was also that of Publius Licinius, who was ordered to hold Bruttium, with two legions, as long as the consul should judge it to be for the interest of the state that he should continue in that province. Marcus Livius, and Spurius Lucretius, also held on their commissions, with the two legions with which they had protected Gaul against Mago; and likewise Cneius Octavius, who, after delivering up Sardinia and the legion to Tiberius Claudius, was, with forty ships of war, to defend the sea-coast, within such limits as the senate should appoint. To Marcus Pomponius, prætor in Sicily, two legions of the forces that had been at Cannæ were decreed; and it was ordered that, of the proprætors Titus Quintius and Caius Hostilius Tubulus), the former should hold Tarentum, the latter Capua, as in the former year, each with the old garrison. With respect to Spain, it was referred to the people to determine on the two proconsuls who should be sent thither; when all the tribes agreed in ordering Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, and Lucius Manlius Acidinus, in quality of proconsuls, to hold the command of that province in the same manner as they had held it the year before. The consuls gave directions for a levy of soldiers, out of whom they might at once form the new legions for Bruttium, and fill up the numbers of the other armies; for such were the orders of the senate.
XIV. Africa had not yet been publicly declared a province,—the senate, I suppose, keeping the matter secret, lest the Carthaginians should get intelligence of it. The city, however, was filled with sanguine hopes that a decisive blow would soon be struck on that shore, and that there would be an end to the Punic war. From this cause arose abundance of superstitious notions; and the minds of the people became disposed both to believe and to propagate accounts of prodigies, of which a very great number were reported: “that two suns had been seen, and that in the night-time light had suddenly appeared: that, at Setia, a blaze like that of a torch had been observed, extending from east to west: that, at Tarracina, a gate, and, at Anagnia, both a gate, and several parts of the wall, had been struck by lightning: that in the temple of Juno Sospita, at Lanuvium, a great noise had been heard, succeeded by a dreadful crash.” For the expiation of these there was a supplication of one day’s continuance; and nine days were set apart for religious offices, on account of a shower of stones that had fallen. In addition to these matters, they had to consult on the reception to be given to the Idæan Mother. For, besides the account brought by Marcus Valerius, (one of the ambassadors, who had come before the rest,) that the goddess would soon be in Italy, a late account had been received, that she was at Tarracina. The senate also was engaged in the decision of a question of no trifling importance,—who was the best man in the city. A well-grounded preference in that point, every one would certainly value, much more highly than any honours which could be conferred by the votes either of the senate or the people. They gave their judgment, that Publius Scipio, son of Cneius who had fallen in Spain, (a youth who had not yet attained a quæstorship,) was the best of all the good men in Rome. If the authors who wrote in the times nearest to this transaction, and when the memory of it was fresh, had mentioned the particular merits which induced them to make this determination, I should gladly have handed down the information to posterity: but I will not obtrude any opinion of my own, formed, as it must be, on conjecture, when relative to a matter buried in the obscurity of remote antiquity. Publius Cornelius was accordingly ordered to repair to Ostia, to meet the goddess, attended by all the matrons; to receive her himself from the ship, and then to deliver her to the said matrons, to be transported to the city. Scipio, falling down the river Tiber, as had been ordered, received the goddess from the priests, and conveyed her to the land. She was there received by the above-mentioned women, and who were the principal of the city, among whom the name of Claudia Quinta alone has been distinguished; for her character, as is said, having at one time been dubious, the share which she had in this solemn act of religion rendered her chastity no longer questionable, and she became illustrious among posterity. These, relieving each other in succession, carried this saving divinity into the temple of Victory, on the Palatine hill, whilst all the city poured out to meet her, censers being placed before the doors, wherever the procession passed, and incense burned in them; all praying that she would enter the city with good will, and a favourable disposition. This happened on the day preceding the ides of April; and which was appointed a festival. The people in crowds carried presents to the goddess, and there was a religious feast ordained, with games called Megalesian.
XV. When they came to consider of the supplies for the legions that were in the provinces, it was suggested by certain of the senators, that there were some things, which, however they might have been tolerated in times of distress, ought not to be any longer endured; since, by the favour of the gods, they had been delivered from the apprehension of danger. The attention of the fathers being roused, they proceeded to mention, that the twelve Latine colonies, which had refused a supply of soldiers to Quintus Fabius, and Quintus Fulvius, when consuls, enjoyed now, for almost the sixth year, an immunity from serving in war; as if it had been a privilege granted to do them honour, and on account of their good conduct, while the worthy and dutiful allies, in return for their fidelity and obedience, had been exhausted by continual levies through the course of many years. These words at once recalled to the recollection of the senate, a matter which had been almost forgotten, and at the same time roused their resentment; so that, before they suffered the consuls to proceed on any other business, they decreed, that “the consuls should summon to Rome the magistrates, and ten principal inhabitants from each of the following colonies, so privileged: Nepete, Sutrium, Ardæa, Gales, Alba, Carseoli, Sara, Suessa, Setia, Circæa, Narnia, and Interamna; and should give them orders, that whatever was the greatest number of soldiers, which they had separately furnished to the Roman people, at any time, since the enemy came into Italy, they should now provide to the amount of twice that number of footmen, and one hundred and twenty horsemen: and if any of them were unable to produce so many horsemen, that then they should be allowed to bring three footmen, instead of each horseman. That both horsemen and footmen should be chosen from among the wealthiest orders, and should be sent wherever there was occasion for a supply out of Italy. That if any of them should refuse to comply with this requisition, it was their pleasure, that the magistrates and deputies of that colony should be detained; and if they demanded an audience of the senate, that it should not be granted them, until they had obeyed those injunctions; and farther, that an annual tax of one as on every thousand which they possessed, should be imposed on them. That a survey of persons and estates should be made in those colonies, according to a regulation of the Roman censors, which should be the same that was directed for the Roman people, and a return of this made at Rome by the censors of the said colonies on their oaths, and before they went out of office.” The magistrates and principal inhabitants of the places in question being summoned to Rome, in pursuance of this decree of the senate, and receiving the commands of the consuls respecting the soldiers and the tax, they all declared violently against them, exclaiming, “that it was impossible for them to raise such a number of soldiers; that they could scarcely accomplish it if their whole property were to be estreated by the regulation. They begged and entreated that they might be allowed to appear before the senate, and implore a mitigation of their sentence. They had been guilty of no crime, that deserved to be punished by their ruin; but, even if they were to be ruined, neither their own guilt, nor the resentment of the Roman people, could make them furnish a greater number of soldiers than they actually had.” The consuls, unmoved, ordered the deputies to remain at Rome, and the magistrates to go home, to make the levies, assuring them, that “they should have no audience of the senate, until they had strictly fulfilled its orders.” Their hopes of obtaining an audience being thus cut off, the levies were completed without difficulty; the number of young men in those colonies being much increased, by their having been so long exempt from service.
XVI. Another affair also, and which had been almost as long passed over in silence, was proposed for consideration by Marcus Valerius Lævinus; who said, “it was highly reasonable that the several sums of money, which had been contributed by private persons, when Marcus Claudius and himself were consuls, should now be repaid. That no one ought to be surprised, at his thus appearing in an affair wherein the public faith was pledged; for, besides that, in some respect it peculiarly concerned the consul of that year in which the money had been advanced; he had also been the first adviser of the same, on account of the emptiness of the treasury, and the inability of the people to pay taxes.” The senate were well pleased at being reminded of this matter, and the consuls being ordered to propose the question, decreed, that “money should be discharged in three payments: that the present consuls should make the first payment immediately; and that the other two instalments should be made by the third and fifth consuls from that time.” All their cares soon after gave place to one alone, when, on the arrival of ambassadors, they were made acquainted with the grievances of the Locrensians, of which, until that day, they had been ignorant; grievances which greatly disturbed the people, who were, however, less provoked at the villany of Quintus Pleminius, than at the partiality or negligence shown in the business by Scipio. As the consuls were sitting in the comitium, ten ambassadors of the Locrensians in squalid mourning apparel, holding out branches of olive (the badges of suppliants) according to the Grecian custom, prostrated themselves on the ground before the tribunal with lamentable cries. On inquiring who they were, they answered, that “they were Locrensians, who had experienced such treatment from Quintus Pleminius, the lieutenant-general, and his soldiers, as the Roman people would not wish even the Carthaginians to suffer; and that they requested the favour of being admitted to an audience of the senate, that they might represent to them their deplorable situation.”
XVII. An audience being granted, the eldest of them spoke to this effect: “Conscript Fathers, I know that it would tend exceedingly to increase the regard which you may think proper to afford to our complaints, if you were fully informed of the manner in which Locri was betrayed to Hannibal, and also by what means the Carthaginian garrison was expelled, and the town re-established under your dominion. For if the people, generally taken, were entirely clear of the guilt of the revolt, and if it also appeared, that our return to obedience, and to acknowledgment of your authority, was not only voluntary, but effected by our own co-operation and courage, you would feel the greater indignation at such grievous and unmerited injuries being inflicted on good and faithful allies, by your lieutenant-general and his soldiers. But I think it better to defer the subject of our changes of party to another time; and that for two reasons: first, that it may be discussed in the presence of Publius Scipio, who regained possession of Locri, and was a witness of our behaviour, whether good or bad; and secondly, that, let our conduct have been what it may, we ought not to have suffered the evils which have been poured on us. We cannot, Conscript Fathers, disown, that, while we had a Carthaginian garrison, we suffered many cruelties and indignities, as well from Hamilcar the commander there, as from the Numidians and Africans. But what are these, when compared with what we this day endure? I request, Conscript Fathers, that you will hear without being offended, what I unwillingly mention. All mankind are in suspense whether they are to see you or the Carthaginians sovereigns of the world. Now, if an estimation were to be formed of the Roman and Carthaginian governments, from the treatment which we of Locri have borne on the one hand, and from that which on the other we at this present time bear, without remission, from your garrison, there is no one who would not rather choose Africans than Romans for his masters. Yet, observe what dispositions the Locrensians have, notwithstanding, shown towards you. When we were ill-treated by the Carthaginians in a much less degree, we had recourse to your general for redress. Now, when we suffer from your garrison worse than hostile cruelty, we have carried our complaints to no other but to you. Conscript Fathers, you will consider our desperate situation, or we are left without any resource, for which we can even pray to the immortal gods. Quintus Pleminius, lieutenant-general, was sent with a body of troops to recover Locri from the Carthaginians, and was left with those troops to garrison the town. In this your officer, Conscript Fathers, (the extremity of our miseries gives me spirit to speak freely,) there is nothing of a man but the figure and appearance; nor of a Roman citizen, but the features, the dress, and the sound of the Latine language. He is a pestilent and savage monster; such, as fables tell us, formerly lay on each side of the streight which divides us from Sicily, causing the destruction of mariners. If, however, he had been content with practising his own atrocities alone against us your allies, that one gulf, however deep, we should patiently have filled up. As the case at present stands, he has made every one of your centurions and soldiers a Pleminius: so much does he wish to render licentiousness and wickedness universal. All rob, spoil, beat, wound, slay; ravish both matrons and virgins; while free-born children are torn from the embraces of their parents. Our city is every day stormed, every day plundered; all parts of it resound with the lamentations of women and children, who are seized and dragged away. Whoever knows our sufferings cannot but be surprised that we still subsist under them, and that our persecutors are not yet wearied. It is neither in my power to recapitulate, nor ought you to be troubled with hearing, the particulars of our calamities; I shall comprise them in general terms. I affirm that there is not one house, that there is not one man in Locri, exempt from injury; I affirm that there is no instance of cruelty, lust, or avarice, which has not been put in practice against every one capable of being the object of it. It is scarcely possible to estimate which was the more lamentable disaster to the city, its being taken in war by the enemy, or its being crushed under the violence and arms of a tyrant sent to protect it, yet bent on its destruction. Every evil, Conscript Fathers, which cities taken by storm suffer, we have suffered, and still continue to suffer, without remission. Every kind of barbarity which the most merciless and unreasonable tyrants practise against their oppressed countrymen, has Pleminius practised against us, our children, and our wives.
XVIII. “There is one thing, Conscript Fathers, concerning which we are obliged, by the regard to religion impressed on our minds, both to make a particular complaint, and to express our wish that you may think proper so to attend to the same, as to free your state from any guilt resulting from it: for we have seen with what due solemnity you not only worship your own, but even receive foreign deities. We have a temple of Proserpine, of extraordinary sanctity, of which probably some account may have reached you during the war with Pyrrhus: for in his return from Sicily, sailing near Locri with his fleet, among other violent outrages against our city, on account of our fidelity to you, he plundered the treasures of Proserpine, which, to that day, had ever remained untouched; and then putting the money on board his ships, he left the land. What was then the result, Conscript Fathers? His fleet was next day shattered by a most furious tempest, and all the vessels which carried the sacred treasure were thrown on our coasts. By the greatness of this calamity, that haughty King being at length convinced that there were gods, ordered all the money to be searched for, collected, and carried back to the treasury of Proserpine. Never afterwards was he successful in any one instance; but after being driven out of Italy, and having entered Argos inconsiderately by night, he fell by an ignoble hand; he met a dishonourable death. Although your lieutenant-general and military tribunes had heard these and many other such things, (which were not contrived for the purpose of increasing respect to the deity, but presented to the observation of our ancestors and selves, through the immediate influence of the goddess:) yet, notwithstanding this, I say, they dared to lay their impious hands on the treasures, till then untouched, except in the instance of Pyrrhus, and with the sacrilegious spoil to pollute themselves, their families, and your armies; whose service, we beseech you, Conscript Fathers, for your own sakes, for your honour’s sake, not to employ in any business, either in Italy or in Africa, until you have first expiated their guilt, lest they atone for the crimes which they have committed, not by their own blood merely, but by some public disaster: although, even at present, the anger of the goddess does not fail to show itself against both your officers and men. They have already, more than once, engaged each other in pitched battles: Pleminius was leader of one party, the two military tribunes of the other: never did they use their weapons with more eagerness against the Carthaginians, than on this occasion; and, by their mad proceedings, they would have afforded Hannibal an opportunity of recovering the possession of Locri, had not Scipio, whom we sent for, arrived in time to prevent it. It may be said, perhaps, that the subalterns who had been polluted by the sacrilege, were alone agitated with phrenzy, and that no influence of the goddess appeared in punishing the officers; whereas, in fact, it has been here most conspicuous. The tribunes were scourged with rods by the lieutenant-general; afterwards, the lieutenant-general was treacherously seized by the tribunes; and, his whole body being mangled, and his nose and ears cut off, he was left apparently lifeless. Recovering from his wounds, he threw the military tribunes into chains, scourged them, made them suffer every kind of torture usually inflicted only on slaves, put them to a cruel death, and then prohibited them the rites of burial. Such penalties has the goddess exacted from the plunderers of her temple; nor will she desist from harassing them with every kind of phrenzy, until the sacred money shall be replaced in the treasury. Our ancestors, being engaged in a grievous war with the Crotonians, intended, because this temple lies without the walls, to remove the money therein deposited into the city; when a voice was heard by night from the shrine, commanding them to desist; for that the goddess would defend her own treasures. This admonition arrested their hands; yet, when intending to surround the temple with a wall, and which they had raised to some height, it suddenly fell down in ruins. Thus, it is seen that not only now, but at several other times, the goddess has either secured her own habitation, her sacred fane; or has exacted heavy atonements from those who dared to violate it. Our injuries she cannot avenge; Conscript Fathers, it can alone be done by you. To you, and to your honour, we fly, and, as suppliants, implore relief. For whether you suffer Locri to continue under the present lieutenant-general and garrison, or deliver our countrymen up to Hannibal and the Carthaginians, to be punished as their anger may direct, it will be equally fatal to them. We do not require that you should, at once, give credit to us, and to charges made in the general’s absence, or without allowing him to make his defence: let him come, let him hear them in person; let him clear himself of them, if he can. In fine, if there be any act of iniquity which one man can commit against others, that he has not committed against us, we consent, if it be possible, again to endure our griefs, and that he shall be acquitted of all guilt towards both gods and men.”
XIX. When the ambassadors had concluded their discourse, being asked by Quintus Fabius, whether they had laid those complaints before Publius Scipio, they answered, that “an embassy had been sent to him; but that he was taken up with the preparations for the war: and that, either before this time, he had passed over into Africa, or would do so in a very few days. That they had experienced what great interest the lieutenant-general had with the commander, when, after hearing the cause between him and the tribunes, he threw the tribunes into chains, and left the lieutenant-general, who was equally guilty, or rather more so, in possession of the same power as before.” The ambassadors being ordered to withdraw, the principal senators inveighed severely not only against Pleminius, but against Scipio also; but, above all, Quintus Fabius, who asserted, that “he was born for the corruption of military discipline; that, through such conduct, he had lost, in Spain, nearly as many men by mutiny as in war; that he both indulged the licentiousness of the soldiers, and let his own passions loose against them, in a manner customary only among foreigners and kings.” To this speech he added a resolution equally harsh: that “they should pass a vote, that Quintus Pleminius, lieutenant-general, be brought to Rome, and stand his trial in chains: and that, if the complaints of the Locrensians should appear to be well founded, he should be put to death in prison, and his effects confiscated. That Publius Scipio, on account of his having gone out of his province without an order of the senate, should be recalled; and that application should be made to the tribunes of the commons, to take the sense of the people on the abrogating of his commission. That the Locrensians should be called in, and receive this answer from the senate: that, as to the injuries stated to have been done to them, neither the senate nor the people of Rome approved of their being done; that they should be complimented with the appellations of worthy men, allies, and friends; that their children, their wives, and whatever else had been taken from them by violence, should be restored; that a search should be made for the entire money which had been carried off from the temple of Proserpine, and that double the sum should be replaced in the treasury. That a solemn expiation should be performed, the college of pontiffs being first consulted on this question: inasmuch as the sacred treasures had been removed and violated, what atonements, to what gods, and with what victims, should they be made? That the soldiers who were at Locri should be all transported into Sicily; and that four cohorts of allies, of the Latine confederacy, should be brought to Locri for a garrison.” The collecting of the votes could not be finished that day, the zeal of the parties for and against Scipio rising to a great degree of warmth; for, besides the crime of Pleminius, and the calamities of the Locrensians, the general’s own manner of living was represented as so far from being Roman, that it was not even military: that “he walked in the public place, having a cloak and slippers; that he gave much of his time to books of entertainment, and the schools of exercise; and that his whole corps of officers, with equal indolence and effeminacy, indulged in all the pleasures of Syracuse; that Carthage was quite forgotten among them; that the whole army, (debauched and licentious, like that at Sucro in Spain, or that now at Locri,) was more formidable to the allies than to the enemy.”
XX. These representations were compounded of a mixture of truth and falsehood, yet carrying an appearance of the former. The opinion of Quintus Metellus, however, prevailed, who, concurring with Maximus in the other points, dissented from him in that concerning Scipio; affirming, that “it would be the height of inconsistency, if the person whom, when but a youth, the state had some time since made choice of as the only commander capable of recovering Spain; whom, after he had actually recovered it, they had elected consul for the purpose of putting an end to the Punic war, and whom they conceived able to draw away Hannibal from Italy, and even to subdue Africa:—that this man, as if he were Quintus Pleminius, should be, in a manner, condemned without a trial, and suddenly recalled from his province, he repeated, were highly inconsistent. The abominable facts which the Locrensians complain of, are not alleged to have been committed when Scipio was present; nor can any thing else be laid to his charge than the having been tender of the lieutenant-general, either through good nature or respect. That it was his opinion, that Marcus Pomponius, the prætor, to whose lot Sicily had fallen, should, within the next three days, repair to his province. That the consuls should choose out of the senate ten deputies, whom they should send along with the prætor, together with two tribunes of the people and an ædile; and that, with the assistance of this council, the prætor should make an inquiry into the affair. If it should be found that the oppressions of the Locrensians arose from the orders or with the approbation of Publius Scipio, that they should then command him to quit the province. If Publius Scipio should have already passed over into Africa, that in such case the tribunes of the commons and the ædile, with two of the deputies, whom the prætor should judge fittest, should immediately proceed thither: the tribunes and the ædile to bring back Scipio from thence; the deputies to command the forces until a new general should be appointed. But if Marcus Pomponius and the ten deputies should discover that those severities had not been committed, either by the order or with the approbation of Publius Scipio, that then Scipio should remain with the army, and carry on the war as he had proposed.” A decree of the senate having passed to this effect, application was made to the tribunes of the commons, to settle among themselves, or choose by lot, which two were to go with the prætor and deputies. The college of pontiffs were consulted about the expiations to be performed on account of the spoliation in the temple of Proserpine at Locri. Marcus Claudius Marcellus, and Marcus Cincius Alimentus, tribunes of the commons, accompanied the prætor and the ten deputies; with whom an ædile of the commons was also sent. The instructions were, that should Scipio (whether in Sicily or Africa) refuse to obey the orders of the prætor, the tribunes were to give directions to the ædile to apprehend and bring him home, under the authority of their inviolable office. It was intended that they should proceed first to Locri, and then to Messana.
XXI. Concerning Pleminius, there are two different accounts: some say, that, on hearing what had passed at Rome, he was going to Naples into exile, when he happened to meet Quintus Metellus, one of the deputies, and was by him forcibly carried back to Rhegium; others, that Scipio himself had sent a lieutenant-general, with thirty of the most distinguished among the cavalry, to throw Pleminius into chains, and also the principals in the mutiny. All these, however, either by the orders of Scipio before, or of the prætor now, were given in charge to the inhabitants of Rhegium, to be kept in custody. The prætor and deputies proceeding to Locri, applied their first care, as they had been directed, to the business respecting religion; and causing search to be made for all the sacred money, appropriated both by Pleminius and the soldiers, they replaced it in the treasury, together with the sum which they had brought with them, performing a solemn expiation. This done, the prætor calling the soldiers together, ordered them to carry the standards out of the city, and to form a camp in the plain; denouncing, by proclamation, severe penalties against any one who should either stay behind, or carry out with him any thing that was not his own property; at the same time authorising the Locrensians to seize whatever belonged to themselves, and to search for such of their effects as were concealed; above all insisting, that the freedom of their persons should be instantly admitted, with threats of heavy punishment against any one who should disobey this injunction. He then held an assembly of the Locrensians, and told them, that “the Roman people, and the senate, restored to them their liberty and their laws. That if any one meant to bring a charge against Pleminius, or any other person, he must follow them to Rhegium: or if their state had to prefer a complaint against Publius Scipio, as being the author of those crimes which had been perpetrated at Locri against gods and men, that they should then send deputies to Rhegium also, and that he, with the council, would there hear their cause.” The Locrensians returned thanks to the prætor, to the deputies, and to the senate and people of Rome; declaring “that they would prosecute Pleminius. That, as to Scipio, although he had shown but little feeling for the injuries done them, yet he was such a man as they would much rather have for their friend than their enemy. That they firmly believed, the many shocking cruelties which had been practised were neither by the orders or with the approbation of Publius Scipio, who had only given too much credit to Pleminius, too little to them: that some men’s natural disposition was such, that they showed rather a dislike to the commission of faults, than sufficient resolution to punish them, when committed.” This relieved the prætor and council from a heavy burthen, that of enquiring into the conduct of Scipio. They condemned Pleminius, with thirty-two others, whom they sent in chains to Rome; and then proceeded to Scipio, that, witnessing all matters, they might carry certain information to Rome as to the truth of those reports which had been propagated concerning his manner of living, inactivity, and total relaxation of military discipline.
XXII. While they were on their way to Syracuse, Scipio prepared, not words, but facts, to clear himself of any charges in the remission of duty. He ordered all the troops to assemble in that city, and the fleet to be got in readiness, as if, on that day, there was to be an engagement with the Carthaginians both on land and sea. On the arrival of the commissioners, he gave them a kind reception and entertainment, and next day showed them both the land and naval forces, not only marshalled in exact order, but the former performing their evolutions, and the fleet in the harbour exhibiting a representation of a naval combat. The prætor and deputies were then led round to take a view of the armories, granaries, and other warlike preparations; and with such admiration were they struck, of each in particular, and of the whole together, as to become thoroughly persuaded, that the Carthaginians would be vanquished by that general and that army, or by no other. They desired him to set out on his voyage, with the blessing of the gods; and to fulfil, as soon as possible, the hopes of the Roman people,—those hopes which they had conceived on that day, when all the centuries concurred in naming him first consul: saying this, they left the place, and with as much joy as if they were to carry to Rome the news of a victory, not of a grand preparation for war. Pleminius, and those who were in the same circumstances with him, were, on their arrival at Rome, immediately thrown into prison. When first produced by the tribunes, the people found no room for mercy, prepossessed as they were by the calamities of the Locrensians. However, after having been repeatedly brought forward, and the odium abating through length of time, the public resentment was softened; while the maimed condition of Pleminius, and the respect they had for Scipio, even in his absence, conciliated for them some degree of favour. Nevertheless, Pleminius died in confinement, and before his trial was finished. Clodius Licinius, in the third book of his Roman history, relates, indeed, that this Pleminius, during the votive games which Africanus, in his second consulate, exhibited at Rome, made an attempt, by means of some persons whom he had bribed, to set fire to the city in several places, that he might have an opportunity of breaking the prison, and making his escape; and that on the discovery of his wicked design, he was committed to the dungeon by order of the senate. Concerning Scipio, there were no proceedings but in the senate; where the encomiums made by all the deputies and the tribunes on that general, his fleet, and army, induced them to vote, that he should pass over into Africa as soon as possible; with liberty to make his own choice, from out the forces then in Sicily, which to carry with him, and which to leave for the defence of the province.
XXIII. During these transactions at Rome, the Carthaginians, on their side, passed the winter in extreme anxiety. They fixed beacons on every promontory; kept scouts in incessant motion, every messenger filling them with terror. They had acquired, however, an advantage of no small moment towards the defence of Africa,—an alliance with King Syphax; an assistance, on which they supposed the Romans to have relied, and as being their great inducement to set foot on Africa. Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, was not only connected with the King in hospitality, (as has been mentioned above, when he and Scipio happened to come to him at the same time from Spain,) but mention had been also made of an affinity to be contracted between them, by the King marrying Hasdrubal’s daughter. Hasdrubal had gone with a design of completing this business, and fixing a time for the nuptials, the damsel being now marriageable; and finding him inflamed with desire, (for the Numidians are, beyond all other barbarians, inclined to amorous pleasures,) he sent for her from Carthage, and hastened the wedding. Among other instances of mutual regard and affection, (and in order that their private connection might be cemented by a public one,) an alliance between the King and the people of Carthage was ratified by oath, and their faith reciprocally pledged that they would have the same friends and enemies. But Hasdrubal remembered that the King had previously entered into a league with Scipio, and knowing how unsteady and changeable were the minds of the barbarians, he dreaded lest, if Scipio once came into Africa, that match might prove a slender tie: he therefore seized the opportunity while the warmth of the Numidian’s new passion was at the highest; and calling to his aid the blandishments of his daughter, prevailed on him to send ambassadors into Sicily to Scipio, and by them to warn him, “not to be induced, by a reliance on his former promises, to pass over to Africa, for that he was now united to the people of Carthage, both by his marriage with a citizen of that state, daughter of Hasdrubal, whom he had seen entertained in his house, and also by a public treaty. He recommended it strongly to the Romans, to carry on the war against the Carthaginians, at a distance from Africa, as they had hitherto done; lest he might be under a necessity of interfering in their disputes, and of joining one or the other, while he wished to decline taking part with either. If Scipio should enter Africa, and advance his army towards Carthage, he must then of necessity fight, as well in defence of the country wherein he himself was born, as in support of the native city of his spouse, her parent, and household gods.”
XXIV. The ambassadors, charged with these despatches from the King to Scipio, had an interview with him at Syracuse. Scipio, though disappointed in a matter of the utmost consequence to the success of his affairs in Africa, and in the high expectations which he had entertained from that quarter, sent back the ambassadors speedily, before their business should become publicly known, and gave them a letter for the King, in which he conjured him, in the most forcible terms, not “to violate the laws of hospitality; nor the alliance which he had concluded with the Roman people; nor justice, nor faith, (their right hands pledged,) nor act in any thing offensive to the gods, the witnesses and guarantees of compacts.” The coming of the Numidians was generally known, for they had walked about the city, and had been frequently at the prætorium; so that it was feared, should the subject of their embassy transpire, that the troops might become alarmed at the prospect of being to fight against Syphax and the Carthaginians. Scipio judged it prudent, therefore, to divert their thoughts from the truth, by prepossessing them with false informations. Calling them to an assembly, he said, “that there was no room for longer delay; that the Kings, their allies, pressed him to pass over to Africa immediately. That Masinissa had before come in person to Lælius, complaining of time being wasted in inactivity; and that Syphax now sent despatches to the like effect; requiring, that either the troops should at length be carried over to Africa; or, if the plan was changed, that he should be made acquainted with it, in order that he might adopt such measures as would be convenient to himself and beneficial to his kingdom. Since, therefore, every preparation had been made, and as the business admitted no longer hesitation, it was his intention, after bringing over the fleet to Lilybæum, and assembling at that place all the forces of horse and foot, to pass into Africa, with the favour of the gods, the first day on which the ships could sail.” He sent a letter to Marcus Pomponius, to come to that port, in order that they might consult together as to what particular legions, and what number of men he should carry to Africa; with orders also to all the sea-coast, that the ships of burthen should be all seized, and brought thither. When the troops and vessels had assembled at Lilybæum, neither could the city contain the men, nor the barbour the ships; and such an ardent desire to pass into Africa possessed them all, that they appeared, not as if going to be employed in war, but in receiving the rewards of victory already secured; especially those of the army of Cannæ, for they expected, by exerting themselves on the present occasion, and under the then general, to put an end to their ignominious service. Scipio showed not the least inclination to reject soldiers of that description, knowing that the misfortune at Cannæ had not arisen from their want of spirit, and that, besides, there were none in the Roman army who had served so long, or who had acquired so much experience, both in a variety of battles, and in attacking towns. The legions of Cannæ were the fifth and sixth. After giving notice that he would carry these to Africa, he reviewed them man by man, and leaving behind such as he thought unfit for the service, he substituted in their places those whom he had brought from Italy, and filled up those legions in such a manner, that each contained six thousand two hundred foot and three hundred horse; the horse and foot of the allies, of the Latine confederacy, he chose also out of the army of Cannæ.
XXV. Authors differ widely with regard to the number of men carried over to Africa. In one I find ten thousand foot, and two thousand two hundred horse; in another, sixteen thousand foot, and one thousand six hundred horse: while others augment them more than half, and assert, that thirty-five thousand horse and foot were put on board the ships. Some have not stated the numbers; and among these, as the matter is uncertain, I choose to place myself. Cœlius, indeed, avoids specifying the same; but he magnifies to an immense extent the idea that he gives of their multitude; he tells us, that birds fell to the ground, stunned by the shouts of the soldiers; and that it might have been well imagined, that there was not a man left behind either in Italy or in Sicily. Scipio took upon himself the charge of embarking the men in a regular manner. The seamen were kept in order on board the ships by Caius Lælius, who had the command of the fleet. The care of shipping the stores was allotted to Marcus Pomponius, the prætor. A quantity of food sufficient for forty-five days was put on board: as much of it ready dressed as would serve for fifteen days. When all were embarked, the general sent round boats to bring the pilots and masters, with two soldiers out of each ship, to the Forum, to receive orders. Being there assembled, he first inquired whether they had put water on board for men and cattle, and for as many days as they had corn; they answered, that there was water on board for forty-five days. He then charged the soldiers, that attentive to their duty, they should behave themselves quietly, so that the seamen might perform their business without interruption; informed them, that he and Lucius Scipio, with twenty ships of war, would protect the transports on the right division; and Caius Lælius commander of the fleet, and Marcus Porcius Cato the quæstor, with the same number, those on the left: that the ships of war would carry each a single light, the transports two; that the signal by night, on board the ship of the commander in chief, would consist of three lights. The pilots had orders to steer to Emporium, where the land is remarkably fertile; consequently the country abounds with plenty of all things. The inhabitants are unwarlike, as is generally the case where the soil is rich; and Scipio supposed that they might be overpowered before succour could arrive from Carthage. Having issued these orders he commanded them to return to their ships, and on the signal being given next day, with the favour of the gods, to set sail.
XXVI. Many Roman fleets had sailed from Sicily, and from that same harbour; but never did any equipment afford so grand a spectacle, either in the present war, (which was not surprising, as most of those fleets had only gone in quest of plunder,) or even in any former one. And yet his force could not be fully estimated from a view of the present armament, for not only two consuls with their armies had passed from thence before, but there had been almost as many warvessels in their fleets, as there were transports attending Scipio. These, it is true, were not less than four hundred, but of ships of battle he had only fifty. But the Romans had more alarming apprehensions from one war than from the other; from the second than from the former; as well by reason of its being waged in Italy, as of the dreadful destruction of so many armies, together with their commanders. Scipio, however, had attracted an extraordinary degree of attention. He had acquired a high degree of renown, partly by his bravery, partly by the happy success which had attended it, and which gave room to expect from him the most glorious atchievements. Besides, the very object proposed of passing into the enemy’s country, which had not been attempted by any general during that war, strongly roused men’s feelings; for he had on all occasions publicly declared, that his intention was to draw Hannibal away from Italy, to transfer the war to Africa, and to finish it there. Not only the whole of the inhabitants of Lilybæum crowded together to the harbour to get a view of them, but also deputies from all parts of Sicily; who came for the purpose of showing that mark of respect, not only to Scipio, but to Marcus Pomponius, prætor of the province. The legions likewise, which were to be left on the island, quitted their quarters in compliment to their fellow-soldiers. In a word, the fleet exhibited a grand prospect to those on land, and the land to those on shipboard, it being covered all around with the admiring multitude.
XXVII. As soon as day appeared, a herald having commanded silence, Scipio, in the admiral’s ship, spoke thus: “Ye gods and goddesses, who preside over the seas and lands, I pray and beseech you, that whatever affairs have been carried on, or shall hereafter be carried on, during my command, may all conduce to the happiness of myself, the state, and people of Rome; of the allies, and the Latine confederates, who follow my party, command, and auspices, and those of the Roman people on sea, on land, and on rivers. Lend your favourable aid to all those measures, and further them by happy advancements; bring us all home, unhurt and victorious, decorated with spoils, laden with booty, and exulting in triumph. Grant us the opportunity of taking vengeance on our foes; and whatever attempts the Carthaginian people have made to injure our state, grant to me, and to the Roman people, power to retaliate the same evils on the state of Carthage.” After these prayers, he threw into the sea, according to custom, the raw entrails of a victim which had been slain: and gave by a trumpet the signal for sailing. The wind being favourable and blowing fresh, when they set sail, they were soon carried out of sight of land; but about noon a fog arose, which made it difficult to keep the ships from running foul of each other. As they advanced into the open sea, the wind abated: during the following night the haziness continued, but at the rising of the sun it was dispersed, and the wind freshened. The pilot soon after told Scipio, that “Africa was not above five miles distant; that he saw the promontory of Mercury; and that if he gave orders to steer thither, the whole fleet would be immediately in harbour.” As soon as Scipio came within sight of land, he prayed to the gods that his seeing Africa might be happy for the state, and for himself: he then gave orders to make sail for another landing place. They proceeded with the same wind; but a fog arising, as on the day before, hid the land from their sight; and increasing as the night came on, involved every object in obscurity. They therefore cast anchor, lest the ships should run foul of each other, or be driven on shore. At day-break, however, the wind sprung up, dispersed the fog, and discovered the coast of Africa. Scipio, inquiring the name of the nearest promontory, and being told that it was called Cape Fair, said, “the omen is pleasing; steer your ships thither.” The fleet ran down accordingly, and all the forces were disembarked. I am inclined to follow the accounts of very many Greek and Latin authors; which are, that the voyage was prosperous, and without danger or confusion. Cælius alone, (except that he does not represent the ships as being lost,) gives a narration of every other dreadful occurrence, which could be occasioned by wind or waves; that, at last, the fleet was driven from Africa to the island Ægimurus; that, from thence, with difficulty, they recovered their course; and that the men had, without orders from the general, escaped to land in boats from the almost foundering vessels, just in short as from a shipwreck, without arms and in the utmost disorder.
XXVIII. The troops being landed, formed their camp on the nearest rising grounds. The sight of the fleet, with the bustle of landing, spread consternation and terror, not only through the parts adjoining the sea, but even among the cities. For not only crowds of women and children, mixing with the bands of men, had filled up all the roads, but the country-people also drove their cattle before them, so that it seemed as if they were all at once forsaking Africa. Those caused much greater terror in the cities than they had felt themselves, particularly at Carthage, where the tumult was almost as great as though the enemy were at its gates; for, since the consulate of Marcus Attilius Regulus, and Lucius Manlius, a space of nearly fifty years, they had seen no Roman army, except those predatory squadrons, from which some troops had made descents on the adjoining coast, seizing whatever chance threw in their way, but who had always made a hasty retreat to their ships, and before the peasantry had taken the alarm. For this reason, the consternation and panic was now the greater; and, in fact, they had neither a powerful army at home, nor a general whom they could oppose to the invaders. Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, was by far the first person in the city, not only in character and wealth, but also by reason of his affinity with the King. They considered, however, that he had been vanquished, and put to flight in several battles, in Spain, by this same Scipio; and that as a commander, he was no more to be equalled with the Roman general, than their tumultuary forces were with the Roman army. The people were therefore called to arms, as though Scipio were ready to attack the city; the gates were hastily shut, armed men placed on the walls, and watches and outposts fixed, together with a regular guard, during the following night. Next day, five hundred horsemen, who were despatched to gain intelligence, and to disturb the enemy on their landing, fell in with the advanced guards of the Romans: for Scipio, having sent his fleet to Utica, had proceeded to some distance from the coast, and had seized on the next high grounds, placing outposts of cavalry in proper places, and sending others into the country to plunder.
XXIX. These, having met with the Carthaginian horsemen, slew a small number of them in fight, and the greater part of the remainder, as they pursued them, flying; among whom was Hanno their commander, a young man of distinction. Scipio not only laid waste the country round, but captured also a very wealthy city which lay near him; in which, besides other things which were immediately put on board the transports and sent to Sicily, there were taken of freemen and slaves, not less than eight thousand. But what gave the Romans the greatest joy on the commencement of their operations was, the arrival of Massinissa, who came, according to some, with no more than two hundred horsemen; but most authors say, with two thousand. Now, as he was by far the greatest of all the kings of that age, and performed the most important services to the Roman state, it appears worth while to digress a little, in order to relate the great vicissitudes of fortune which he experienced in the loss and recovery of his father’s kingdom. While he was fighting on the side of the Carthaginians, in Spain, his father, whose name was Gala, died: the kingdom, according to the custom of the Numidians, came to the king’s brother Æsalces, who was far advanced in years. In a short time after, Æsalces also dying, Capusa, the elder of his two sons, the other of whom was very young, got possession of his father’s dominions: but his title being supported, more by the regard paid to the right of descent, than from any respect to his character, or any strength which he possessed, there stood forth a person called Mezetulus, related by blood in some degree to the royal family. His progenitors, however, had always opposed their interests, and their issue had, with various success, disputed the throne with the branch then in possession. This man, having roused his countrymen to arms, among whom his influence was great, by reason of their dislike to the reigning dynasty, levied open war; so that the King was obliged to take the field, and fight for the crown. In that battle Capusa fell, together with a great number of the principal men of the kingdom; while the whole nation of the Massylians submitted to the dominion and government of Mezetulus. He did not, however, assume the regal title; but, satisfied with the modest one of Protector, gave the name of king to the boy Lacumaces, the surviving son of him whom he had slain. In hopes of procuring an alliance with the Carthaginians, he took to wife a Carthaginian woman of distinction, daughter of Hannibal’s sister, formerly married to King Æsalces; and sending ambassadors to Syphax, renewed with him an old connection of hospitality, endeavouring, by all these measures, to secure a support against Masinissa.
XXX. On the other hand, Masinissa, hearing that his uncle was dead, and afterwards that his cousin-german was slain, came over from Spain into Mauritania. The King of the Moors, at that time, was Bocchar: applying to him as a suppliant, he obtained, by the humblest entreaties, four thousand Moors to escort him on his journey, not being able to prevail for any aid in the war. When he arrived with these on the frontiers of the kingdom, as he had before despatched messengers to his own and his father’s friends, about five hundred Numidians assembled about him. He then sent back the Moors according to his engagement: and although the numbers that joined him were short of his expectations, and not such as might encourage him to undertake an affair of moment; yet, believing that by entering upon action, and making some effort, he should gather strength for a more important enterprise, he threw himself in the way of the young King Lacumaces, as he was going to Syphax at Thapsus. The attendants of Lacumaces flying back in consternation, Masinissa took the city at the first assault, received the submission of some of the King’s party who surrendered, and slew others who attempted to resist; but the greatest part of them, with the boy himself, escaped during the tumult to Thapsus, whither they had at first intended to go. The success of Masinissa in this small exploit, and on the first commencement of his operations, drew the regards of the Numidians towards him, while the old soldiers of Gala flocked from all parts of the country and the towns, inviting the young prince to proceed to the recovery of his father’s kingdom. Mezetulus was superior in number of men: for, besides the army with which he had conquered Capusa, he was strengthened by some troops who had submitted after the King was slain; the boy Lacumaces having likewise brought succours from Syphax. Mezetulus had fifteen thousand foot, ten thousand horse, with whom Masinissa engaged in battle, though much inferior in number. The valour, however, of the veteran soldiers prevailed, aided by the skill of their leader, who had gained experience in the war between the Romans and Carthaginians. The young King, with his guardian and a small body of Massylians, escaped into the territories of the Carthaginians. Masinissa thus recovered his father’s throne, yet, foreseeing that he should have a much more severe struggle to maintain against Syphax, he thought it best to come to a reconciliation with his cousin-german. Proper persons were accordingly sent to give Lacumaces hopes, that if he put himself under the protection of Masinissa, he should enjoy the same honourable provision which Æsalces had formerly known under Gala; and to assure Mezetulus not only of impunity, but of an entire restitution of all his property. As they both preferred a moderate share of fortune at home to exile, he brought them over to his side, notwithstanding the Carthaginians used every means to prevent it.
XXXI. During these transactions Hasdrubal happened to be with Syphax: and when the Numidian seemed to think that it was of little consequence to him whether the government of the Massylians were in the hands of Lacumaces or of Masinissa, he told him that “he would be greatly mistaken in supposing that Masinissa would be content with the acquisitions which had satisfied his father Gala, or his uncle Æsalces. That he was possessed of much greater spirit and understanding than had ever appeared in any of his race; that he had often in Spain exhibited, both to his allies and enemies, instances of such courage as is very rarely seen; that both Syphax and the Carthaginians, unless they smothered that rising flame, would soon be enveloped in a general conflagration, when it would not be in their power to help themselves; that as yet his strength was infirm, and might be easily broken, while he was endeavouring to heal the divisions of his kingdom.” By such kind of arguments Syphax was induced to lead an army to the frontiers of the Massylians, into a district about which there had often been not only verbal disputes, but battles fought, with Gala; and there to pitch his camp, as if it were his acknowledged property; alleging that “if any opposition were made, which was what was most to be wished, he would have an opportunity of fighting: but if the district were abandoned through fear, he should then proceed into the heart of the kingdom: that the Massylians would either submit to his authority without a contest, or, at all events, would be unable to contend with him.” Stimulated by such discourses, Syphax made war on Masinissa, and, in the first encounter, routed and dispersed the Massylians. Masinissa fled from the field, attended only by a few horsemen, to a mountain which the natives call Balbus. A number of families with their tents and cattle, which is all their wealth, followed their King: the rest of the Massylians submitted to Syphax. The mountain, of which the fugitive took possession, abounds with grass and water; and as it was thus well adapted to the grazing of cattle, it supplied abundance of food, to feed men living on flesh and milk. Excursions from hence were made through all the neighbouring parts; at first secretly, and by night; afterwards openly. The lands of the Carthaginians suffered most, because there was greater plenty of spoil there, than among the Numidians, and it was carried off with less danger. At length they became so bold as to carry down their booty to the sea, and sell it to merchants, who brought their ships thither for the purpose; and on these occasions, greater numbers of the Carthaginians were slain and made prisoners, than often happens in a regular engagement. On this subject, the Carthaginians made heavy complaints to Syphax, earnestly pressing him to crush this remnant of the foe. To this he was himself well inclined, but thought it rather beneath the dignity of a king to pursue a vagrant robber, as he styled him, through the mountains.
XXXII. Bocchar, a spirited and enterprising general, was chosen by the Numidian for that employment. Four thousand foot, and two thousand horse were given him; with a promise of immense reward if he should bring back the head of Masinissa; or rather if he should take him alive, for that the latter would be to him a matter of inexpressible joy. Falling unexpectedly on Masinissa’s men, when they were scattered about, and off their guard, and who were in considerable numbers, he shut them out, together with their cattle, from the protection of those who were in arms, driving Masinissa himself, with his few followers, to the summit of the mountain. On this, considering the war as nearly finished, he sent to the King both the booty of cattle and the prisoners, and also a part of his forces, which were more numerous than the remainder of the business required. Then, with no more than five hundred foot and two hundred horse pursuing Masinissa, who had gone down from the top of the mountain, he shut him up in a narrow valley, securing the entrances at each end. Great slaughter was there made of the Massylians: Masinissa, with not more than fifty horsemen, effected a retreat through the intricate passes of the mountains, with which the pursuers were unacquainted. Bocchar, however, closely followed his steps, and overtaking him in an open plain, near the city Clupea, surrounded him in such a manner, that he slew every one of his followers except four horsemen; Masinissa, with these, and after receiving a wound, slipped out of his hands, as it were, during the tumult. Their flight was in full view, a body of horse being spread over the whole plain, some of whom pursued these five remaining enemies, while others, in order to meet them, pushed across their route. A large river lay in the way of the fugitives, into which they plunged their horses without hesitation, being pressed by greater danger from behind. Hurried away by the current, they were carried down obliquely; and two of them being swallowed by its violent rapidity in sight of the enemy, they believed that Masinissa himself had perished: but, with the two other horsemen, he landed among some bushes on the farther bank. This put an end to Bocchar’s pursuit, for he durst not venture into the river; and besides, he was persuaded that the object of it no longer existed: he therefore returned to the King, with the ill-grounded report of Masinissa’s death. Messengers were despatched with the joyful news to Carthage; though in its spread over Africa, men’s minds were variously affected by it. Masinissa, while healing his wound by the application of herbs, and in a secret cave, lived for several days on what the two horsemen procured by pillage. As soon as it was cicatrised, and he thought himself able to bear the motion, he set out again with wonderful resolution, to make another effort for the recovery of his kingdom. He collected in his way not more than forty horsemen; but, as soon as he arrived among the Massylians, and made himself known to them, they were so powerfully actuated both by their former affection and the unhoped-for joy at seeing him, in safety, whom they believed to have perished, that in a few days six thousand armed foot and four thousand horse repaired to his standard; and he not only got possession of his father’s kingdom, but laid waste the countries in alliance with the Carthaginians, and the frontiers of the Masæsylians, the dominion of Syphax. Having thus provoked the Numidian to war, he took post between Cirtha and Hippo, on the tops of mountains, in a situation convenient for all his purposes.
XXXIII. Syphax, thinking this an affair of too much importance to be entrusted to the management of his generals, sent a part of his army with his son Vermina, then a youth; with orders to march round in a circuit, and fall upon the enemy’s rear, when he himself should have attracted their attention to his side. Vermina set out by night, so as to be concealed until he should begin the attack: but Syphax decamped in the day, and marched openly, as he was to engage in a regular pitched battle. When he thought that sufficient time had been allowed for those who had been sent round to have arrived at their station, he led his forces, by a gentle acclivity, directly up the mountain, for he relied both on his numbers, and the ambuscade whichh he had prepared on his enemy’s rear. Masinissa, on the other side, drew up his men, depending chiefly on the advantage of the ground; although, had it been much less in his favour, he would not have declined the fight. The battle was furious, and for a long time doubtful: Masinissa being favoured by his situation and the bravery of his men; Syphax by his numbers, which were more than abundant. This great multitude being divided, one part pressed on in front, while the other part surrounded the rear; which gave a decided victory to Syphax; nor was there even room for the enemy to escape, inclosed as they were on both sides: the rest, therefore, horse and foot, were either slain or taken. Masinissa collected round himself, in close order, about two hundred horsemen, whom he divided into three squadrons, with orders to break through the enemy, having appointed a place where they should re-assemble, after being separated in their flight. He himself made his way through the midst of their weapons, as he had proposed; the other two squadrons failed in the attempt; one surrendering through fear, the other, after a more obstinate resistance, being overwhelmed with darts, and cut to pieces. Vermina followed close on the steps of Masinissa, who baffled him by frequently turning out of one road into another; and whom he at length obliged, harassed with extreme fatigue, to desist from the pursuit, and arrived himself with sixty horsemen at the lesser Syrtis. There, with the honourable consciousness of having often attempted the recovery of his father’s kingdom, he rested until the coming of Caius Lælius and the Roman fleet to Africa, between the Carthaginian Emporia and the nation of the Garamantians. From these circumstances, I am inclined to believe, that Masinissa came afterwards to Scipio, rather with a small body of forces than a large one: for the very great number which has been mentioned by some, suits the condition of a king on the throne; the smaller that of an exile.
XXXIV. The Carthaginians, having lost a large party of horse, together with their commander, made up another body of cavalry, by a new levy, and gave the command of it to Hanno, son of Hamilcar. They sent frequently for Hasdrubal and Syphax by letters and messengers, and at length by ambassadors. Hasdrubal was ordered to come to the aid of his native city, which was threatened with a siege, while Syphax was entreated to bring relief to Carthage, and to all Africa. Scipio was at that time near Utica, about five miles from the city; having removed from the sea-coast, where, for a few days, he had a camp adjoining the fleet. Hanno, having received the newly-raised body of cavalry, (which, so far from being strong enough to make any attempt on the enemy, was not even sufficient to protect the country from devastation,) made it his first care to increase their number by pressing. Those of other nations were not rejected; but he collected mostly Numidians, who are by far the best horsemen in Africa. Having got together four thousand horse, he took up his quarters in a city called Salera, fifteen miles from the Roman camp. When this was told to Scipio, he said, with surprise, “What! cavalry lodging in houses during the summer! Let them be even more in number, while they have such a commander.” The less they showed of activity, the less time he thought should be lost by himself; he therefore sent forward Masinissa with the cavalry, giving them directions to ride up to the gates, and entice the enemy out to battle. That when their multitudes should pour out, and become too powerful in the contest, he should give way by degrees; and that he would himself come up in time to support the fight. When the advanced party had, as he supposed, effected his purpose, he followed with the Roman horse, and proceeded, without being observed, under cover of some rising grounds which lay very conveniently round the windings of the road. Masinissa, according to the plan laid down, acted at one time, as if threatening an assault, at another, as if seized with fear; now riding up to the very gates, and now retreating with dissembled haste, which gave such boldness to the enemy, that they were at length tempted to come out of the town, and pursue him, with disorder, in his counterfeited flight. All, however, had not come forth; and with these remaining numbers the commander was not a little perplexed. Some, overpowered with wine and sleep, he had to compel to the taking of arms, others he had to stop who were running out by the gates without their standards, and in scattered parties, wholly regardless of order or ranks. Masinissa withstood them at first, while they rushed rashly to the charge; but soon after, greater numbers pouring out, and their whole force of cavalry joining in the conflict, they could no longer be resisted. Yet Masinissa did not betake himself to a hasty flight; but retired leisurely, until he drew them on to the hills which concealed the Roman cavalry. These immediately rising up, their strength unimpaired, and their horses fresh, spread themselves round Hanno and the Africans, who were fatigued in the fight and the pursuit; and Masinissa, suddenly wheeling about, returned to the charge. About one thousand, who composed the first division, and who could not easily retreat, were, together with Hanno the commander, surrounded and slain: the rest, terrified principally by the death of their general, fled in confusion, and were pursued, for thirty miles, by the conquerors, who took or slew two thousand more of the cavalry. It appeared, that there were among these not less than two hundred Carthaginian horsemen; several of them of the richest and most distinguished families.
XXXV. It happened that the same day on which this battle was fought, the ships, which had carried the booty to Sicily, returned with stores, as if they had foreseen that they were to bear away another cargo as before. All writers do not mention two generals of the Carthaginians, of the same name, being slain, in two battles of the cavalry; apprehending, I suppose, that there was a mistake, occasioned by the same fact being related twice. Nay, Cælius and Valerius even assert, that Hanno was taken prisoner. Scipio made presents to the officers and horsemen, according to the behaviour of each; and, above all, he paid extraordinary honours to Masinissa. Having placed a strong garrison in Salera, he set out with the rest of the army; and not only laid waste the country wherever he marched, but also took some cities and towns, and thereby widely diffused the terror of his arms. Scipio returned to the camp on the seventh day after he had left it, bringing with him a great number of men and cattle, and a vast quantity of plunder. He then dismissed the ships, heavily laden, a second time, with all kinds of spoil. From that time, laying aside small expeditions, and predatory excursions, he turned the whole force of the war to the siege of Utica; intending, if he should take it, to establish his headquarters there for the future, in order to the better execution of the rest of his designs. While the marine forces made their approaches on that side of the city which is washed by the sea, those of the land advanced from a rising ground hanging almost over the walls. Engines and machines had been sent from Sicily, with the stores; and many were made in the armory, where a number of artificers, skilled in such works, were retained for the purpose. The people of Utica, attacked on all sides by such a powerful force, had no hopes but from the Carthaginians; nor the Carthaginians any but from Hasdrubal, and from him only, as he should be able to influence Syphax. But all measures proceeded too slowly for their anxious desire of aid, of which they stood so much in need. Hasdrubal, though he had, by the most diligent press, made up the number of thirty thousand foot, and three thousand horse, yet durst not move towards the camp of the enemy before the arrival of Syphax. Syphax soon came, with fifty thousand foot, and ten thousand horse; and immediately decamping from Carthage, sat down at a small distance from Utica, and the intrenchments of the Romans. Their approach produced at least this consequence, that Scipio, after having besieged Utica for near forty days, and tried every expedient for its reduction in vain, was obliged to retire from it, as the winter was now at hand. He fortified his winter camp on a promontory, joined to the continent by a narrow isthmus, and which stretches out to some length into the sea; and included the naval camp within the same intrenchment. The legions were stationed on the middle of the isthmus; the ships were hauled on shore, and the seamen occupied the coast which faces the north; the cavalry a valley on the south. Such were the transactions in Africa to the latter end of autumn.
XXXVI. Various stores were imported from Sicily and Italy; and besides the corn collected from all quarters of the adjacent country, Cneius Octavius, proprætor, brought a vast quantity out of Sardinia, from Tiberius Claudius, the prætor: in consequence of which, not only the granaries already built were filled, but new ones were erected. Clothing was wanted for the troops: that matter was given in charge to Octavius, with directions to apply to the prætor, and to try if any could be procured by him; a business which he carefully attended to, for in a short time twelve hundred gowns and twelve thousand jackets were sent. During the same summer in which these things passed in Africa, Publius Sempronius, consul, who had the province of Bruttium, on his march in the district of Croton, engaged Hannibal in a tumultuary battle, or rather a kind of skirmishing. The Romans were worsted; and one thousand two hundred of the consul’s army slain. The rest returned in confusion to the camp, which, however, the enemy did not dare to assault. During the silence of the following night, Sempronius marched away, and, having sent directions to Publius Licinius, proconsul, to bring up his legions, he made a junction of their forces; thus, two commanders and two armies returned upon Hannibal. Neither party declined an engagement: the consul deriving confidence from his forces being doubled; the Carthaginian, from his late victory. Sempronius led up his own legions into the first line, those of Licinius were placed in reserve. In the beginning of the battle the consul vowed a temple to Fortuna Primigenia, if he should defeat the enemy on that day; and the object of his vow was accomplished. The Carthaginians were routed, and put to flight: above four thousand fell, somewhat less than three hundred were made prisoners, with whom were taken forty horses, and eleven military standards. Hannibal, dismayed by this overthrow, drew off his army to Croton. At the same time Marcus Cornelius, consul, not so much by force of his arms as by the terror of his judicial proceedings, kept Etruria in obedience; though it was almost entirely devoted to Mago, and to the hope of obtaining, by his means, a change of government. The inquisitions, directed by the senate, he executed with the utmost impartiality; and many of the Tuscan nobles, who had either gone themselves, or sent deputies to Mago, about the revolt of their states, stood trial, and were found guilty. Others, from a consciousness of guilt, went into voluntary exile; and by thus withdrawing, though condemned in their absence, could suffer only in a confiscation of their effects.
XXXVII. While the consuls were thus employed in different parts, the censors at Rome, (Marcus Livius and Caius Claudius,) called over the list of the senate. Quintus Fabius Maximus was again chosen principal; seven were disgraced, not one, however, of those who had sat in the curule chair. The orders for repairing public buildings were enforced with the greatest strictness. A road was contracted for, to be made from the ox market to the temple of Venus, with public seats; and a temple to be built, for the Great Mother, on the Palatine hill. A new tax, from the sale of salt, was established. This article had been sold at the sixth part of an as, both at Rome, and in all parts of Italy: and it was now directed to be supplied at the same rate at Rome, at a higher in the country towns and markets, and at various prices in different places. People were firmly persuaded, that Livius had contrived this tax in resentment, and on account of a sentence having been formerly passed on him, which he had considered as unjust; and that, in fixing the price of salt, the greatest burthen had been laid on those tribes by whose influence he had been condemned: hence the surname of Salinator was given to him. The lustrum was closed later than usual; because the censors sent persons through all the provinces, to bring them a return of the number of Roman citizens in each of the armies. Including these, there were rated, in the survey, two hundred and fourteen thousand men. Caius Claudius Nero had the honour of closing the lustrum. The senate then received a survey of twelve colonies, presented by the censors of those colonies, which had never been done before, in order that records might appear in the public archives of their proportion of strength both in men and money. The review of the knights then began; and it so happened that both the censors had a horse at the public expense. When they came to the Pollian tribe, in which was enrolled the name of Marcus Livius, and whom the herald hesitated to cite, Nero called to him, “Cite Marcus Livius:” and being actuated either by some remains of their old enmity, or by an unseasonable affectation of strictness, he ordered Livius to sell his horse, because he had been condemned by a sentence of the people. In like manner Marcus Livius, when they came to the Narnian tribe, in which the name of his colleague appeared, he ordered him to dispose of his horse, for two reasons: one, that he had given false evidence; the other, that he had not been sincere in his reconciliation with him. Thus they became engaged in a scandalous contest, each aspersing the character of the other, though at the same time he injured his own. On going out of their office of censor, when Caius Claudius had taken the oath respecting the observance of the laws, and had gone up to the treasury, among the names of those whom he left disfranchised in the treasury list, he gave in the name of his associate. Marcus Livius also came thither, and, except the Metian tribe, which had neither concurred in his condemnation, nor in appointing him consul or censor, he left the whole Roman people, thirty-four tribes, disfranchised in the treasury list; and this (he said) he did, because they had not only condemned him when innocent, but had elected him, while under the said sentence, both consul and censor; so that they could not deny that they had been guilty, either of one great fault in giving their sentence, or of two in the elections. He added, that Caius Claudius would be included in the list among the thirty-four tribes; but that if there had been any precedent of inserting any person twice in the treasury list, he would have inserted his name particularly. The contest between the censors, thus mutually reproaching each other, was shameful; while the rebuke given to the giddiness of the people was highly becoming a censor, and the strict principles of that age. The censors having fallen into disrepute, Cneius Bæbius, tribune of the people, thinking that their situation afforded him an opportunity of gaining notice, summoned them both to a trial before the people: but the senate interfered, and stopped any farther proceedings, lest the office of censor should, in future, be subjected to the humour of the populace.
XXXVIII. During the same summer the consul took Clampetia in Bruttium, by storm. Consentia and Pandosia, with other towns of small consequence, surrendered voluntarily; and, as the time of the elections drew near, it was thought more expedient to call home Cornelius from Etruria, where there was no employment for his arms. He elected Cneius Servilius Cæpio, and Cneius Servilius Geminus. The election of the prætors was then held: there were chosen Cneius Cornelius Lentulus, Publius Quintilius Varus, Publius Ælius Pætus, and Publius Villius Tappulus; although the two latter were ædiles of the commons. The consul, as soon as the elections were over, returned into Etruria to his army. The priests who died that year, and those who were substituted in the places of others, were Tiberius Veturius Philo, flamen of Mars, elected and inaugurated in the room of Marcus Æmilius Regillus, deceased the year before. In the room of Marcus Pomponius Matho, augur and decemvir, were elected, as decemvir, Marcus Aurelius Cotta; as augur, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, who was then very young; an instance in those times extremely rare in the disposal of a priest’s office. Golden chariots, with four horses, were that year placed in the Capitol by the curule ædiles, Caius Livius and Marcus Servilius Geminus. The Roman games were repeatedly exhibited for two days. In like manner the Plebeian, for two days, by the ædiles Publius Ælius and Publius Villius. There was also a feast of Jove on occasion of the games.