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15 bant animos; contemplantibusque modo suam, modo hostium aciem, quum non oculis magis quam ratione pensarent vires, simul læta, simul tristia obversabantur. Quæ ipsis sua sponte non succurrebant, ea duces admonendo atque hortando subiiciebant. Poenus sedecim annorum in 20 terra Italia res gestas, tot duces Romanos, tot exercitus occidione occisos et sua cuique decora, ubi ad insignem alicuius pugnæ memoria militem venerat, referebat; Scipio Hispanias et recentia in Africa proelia et confessionem hostium, quod neque non petere pacem propter metum 25 neque manere in ea præ insita animis perfidia potuissent. Ad hoc colloquium Hannibalis in secreto habitum ac liberum fingenti, qua vult, flectit. Ominatur, quibus quondam auspiciis patres eorum ad Ægates pugnaverint insulas, ea illis exeuntibus in aciem portendisse deos. Adesse 30 finem belli ac laboris; in manibus esse prædam Carthaginis, reditum domum in patriam, ad parentes, liberos, coniuges penatesque deos. Celsus hæc corpore vultuque ita læto, ut vicisse iam crederes, dicebat.

LXIII.

THE LAUGH OF HANNIBAL.

Carthagini quum prima collatio pecuniæ diutino bello exhaustis difficilis videretur, mæstitiaque et fletus in curia esset, ridentem Hannibalem ferunt conspectum. Cuius quum Hasdrubal Hædus risum increparet in publico fictu, 5 quum ipse lacrimarum causa esset, "Si, quemadmodum "oris habitus cernitur oculis" inquit, "sic et animus intus "cerni posset, facile vobis appareret, non læti, sed prope "amentis malis cordis hunc, quem increpatis, risum esse;

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'qui tamen nequaquam adeo est intempestivus, quam IO"vestræ istæ absurdæ atque abhorrentes lacrimæ sunt. "Tunc flesse decuit, quum adempta sunt nobis arma,

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"incensæ naves, interdictum externis bellis ; illo enim vul66 nere concidimus. Nec est, cur vos otio vestro consultum "ab Romanis credatis. Nulla magna civitas quiescere "potest; si foris hostem non habet, domi invenit, ut præ- 15 "valida corpora ab externis causis tuta videntur, sed suis 'ipsa viribus onerantur. Tantum nimirum ex publicis "malis sentimus, quantum ad privatas res pertinet, nec in "iis quicquam acrius quam pecuniæ damnum stimulat. "Itaque quum spolia victæ Carthagini detrahebantur, 20 quum inermem iam ac nudam destitui inter tot armatas "gentes Africa cerneretis, nemo ingemuit; nunc quia tri"butum ex privato conferendum est, tanquam in publico "funere comploratis. Quam vereor, ne propediem sentia"tis, levissimo in malo vos hodie lacrimasse!" Hæc Han- 25 nibal apud Carthaginienses.

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INTRODUCTION.

THE destruction of Rome by the Gauls, B. C. 390, had well nigh proved fatal to the Republic. Slowly through the preceding century she had established her supremacy over the neighbouring tribes, and painfully the plebeians had won, step by step, privilege after privilege from the jealous oligarchy. The long-protracted siege of Veii, B. C. 405—396, forced the State to keep an army in the field during the winter months, and to provide it with pay from the public treasury. The plebeians received a considerable share of the conquered territory of Veii. But the devastation of the city by the Gauls gave the patricians an opportunity of resuming their hateful supremacy, and it was not till the Licinian Rogations became law, B. C. 367, that Rome began that career of conquest which brought her, a century after, in collision with the great maritime state of Carthage. During that century she subdued the Etruscans in the north and the Samnites in the south, crushed the resistance of her Latin allies, and successfully repelled the invasion of Pyrrhus, who came over as the champion of the cities of Magna Græcia. The successive invasions of the Gauls, mere desultory expeditions in search of plunder, had tended to establish her ascendancy by teaching the Italian tribes to look on her as their bulwark against the common enemy. But while the Romans were thus acquiring dominion over the extensive sea-board of Italy, they had hitherto paid little attention to their navy, and the Carthaginians, jealous of their growing power, had excluded them by a special treaty, concluded B. C. 306, not only from the Eastern waters of the Mediterranean, but from Sardinia and the Atlantic. This defect was fully remedied before the end of the First Punic War, B. C. 264-241. The Romans seem to have entered on the contest without sufficiently weighing the impossibility of holding an island against the most powerful maritime State in the world; and it was not till their successes by land had been completely neutralized by their want of power at sea, that they set themselves in earnest to meet their adversaries on their own element. In spite of terrible losses they persevered, and the victory of the Ægates Insula, which decided the struggle and made Sicily a Roman province, was the reward of their determined exertions. The interval between the First and Second Punic Wars was only a breathing time, in which each nation girded itself for the final struggle. Hamilcar Barca, a man of commanding genius

and worthy in every way to be the father of Hannibal, had nearly retrieved the Carthaginian cause in Sicily, had defied the Romans for six years, and might, perhaps, have turned the tide of conquest but for the great victory of Catulus. He withdrew from Sicily baffled for the time, but with full confidence in his own genius, and thirsting for revenge. He felt himself more than a match for the Roman generals, and, by his own personal ascendancy, he had inspired the mercenaries of Carthage with that esprit de corps which alone could enable them to meet the citizen soldiers of Rome. But the revolt of these mercenaries immediately after the conclusion of the War, and the desperate struggle which ensued, convinced him that Rome could never be humbled by the agency of such unstable and unscrupulous auxiliaries. The African War was no sooner ended than Hamilcar, apparently without the sanction of the government, a close oligarchy headed by Hanno, his inveterate enemy, started for Spain, determined to make this his base of operations for the invasion of Italy, and by conciliating the native tribes, wherever it was possible to abstain from force, to weld into one homogeneous body the wild inhabitants of the Peninsula by the forces of civilization, and, when the time was ripe, to hurl them at his foe. This project, ably conceived and resolutely carried out, was, after his death, successfully prosecuted by his son-in-law Hasdrubal, who seems to have been rather a statesman than a warrior, and to have won the hearts of the Spaniards by his popular qualities and courteous address; while Hannibal, though hardly more than a boy, was even now entrusted with the command in distant expeditions.

The Romans, on the other hand, took advantage of the African War to wrest Sardinia from the Carthaginians, but they were unable to resist their progress in Spain in consequence of an invasion of the Gauls. Already Rome had pushed forward the colonies of Sena and Ariminum into their territory, and her conquests in the south might reasonably lead them to dread further aggression. But they missed their opportunity. An invasion from the north in the midst of the First Punic War would have been a serious embarrassment to the Romans; it was not till three years after its close that the Gauls of Lombardy, aided by their Transalpine brethren, made their attack. They were defeated with great slaughter as they returned from the plains of Etruria laden with booty, and the Romans, anxious to push their advantage, and aware of the impending danger on the side of Spain, resolved to reduce the Boii and Insubres, and to disarm, if possible, tribes which would inevitably join the Carthaginians, should they succeed in crossing the Alps. But they were forced to leave Hasdrubal leisure to mature his plans, and to content themselves with a treaty, by which he was bound not to advance his arms north of the Iberus (Ebro.) The Gallic War lasted four years, B. C. 225-222, and in the last year the consul Marcellus, the future conqueror of Syracuse, won the spolia opima by slaying the chief Viridomarus in single combat. To keep the Gauls in check the two important colonies of Placentia and Cremona were founded of which the former ren

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