« IndietroContinua »
4. 12. Cum Gallis. These were the Boii and Insubres inhabiting Gallia Cisalpina aided by Celtic tribes from beyond the Alps called Gæsatæ. The war lasted from B. C. 225-222. It was brought to a close by the victory of Marcellus at Clastidium.
Tumultuatum. Cicero says that the Romans called a war in Italy 'tumultus' because it was 'domesticus,' and also a war with the Gauls, because it was Italiæ finitimus;' but, he adds, they applied the word to no other Livy, however, applies it to disturbances in Histria and Sardinia.
5. 1. Legati. The same men who had extracted from the Carthaginian senate the declaration of war. Q. Fabius Buteo headed the embassy.
12. Meritum, supply 'talem.'
14. Take 'ea' with 'contra.'
15. Gentis suæ homines. The Boii and Insubres, see Ex. IV. 12.
19. Massiliam. This old Greek colony, founded by the Phocæans about B. C. 600, was the steadfast ally of Rome throughout the war. It maintained its independence against the Ligurians till B. C. 154, when it was forced to appeal to Rome for aid. This led to the establishment of the Provincia,' and the Massiliots had their share of the spoil. In the civil war they shut their gates against Cæsar, and supported the Senatorial party. After a gallant defence the city was taken, and its effigy was carried in Cæsar's triumphal procession. Cicero (Phil. VI. 8) speaks of it as "the city without which our ancestors never triumphed over the Transalpine Gauls,” and speaks of the grief and indignation of the Romans at the indignity offered it. Even after its conquest it
still remained a 'libera' or 'fœderata civitas.'
26. The consuls were P. Cornelius Scipio, whose province was Spain, and C. Sempronius Blæsus, whose province was Sicily. Besides this the prætor L. Manlius Vulso was stationed in Cisalpine Gaul with a third army.
6. 1. Gadibus. Hannibal went there before starting on his campaign, to sacrifice in the temple of Melcarth, whom the Romans identified with Hercules. Carthaginem. Nova Carthago founded by Hasdrubal, the great arsenal of the Carthaginians.
3. Cicero (de Div. I. 24) narrates this dream, and quotes as his authority for the story Silenus, a Greek historian, who wrote a work called Zikeλikú, and described very fully the life and deeds of Hannibal. Cælius the Roman historian borrowed from him.
7. Cura, here means 'curiosity.'
77. Hannibal started on his march late in the spring of the year B. C. 218: he crossed the Iberus and the Pyrenees unopposed, and advanced to the Rhone through friendly tribes. Beyond the river, the influence of the Massiliots was strong, and the consul Scipio had landed with a large force to intercept his
passage. Hannibal crossed the Rhone somewhere near Avignon in the face of the Gauls, aided by a detachment, which he had sent over by a ford higher up the river to fall on the rear of the enemy in the heat of the engagement. His skirmishers fell in with some Gaulish cavalry and were worsted, but when Scipio arrived, Hannibal was three day's march distant, and pursuit was useless. He therefore returned to Massilia, and dispatched his troops to Spain under his brother Cneius, while he himself returned to Italy to meet the invader in the valley of the Po. Hannibal marched up the left bank of the Rhone to its junction with the Isère, crossed this stream, and still following the course of the Rhone for some little distance, struck off to the right, and rejoined the Isère in the neighbourhood of Grenoble. The speech here put in Hannibal's mouth is supposed to be spoken on the banks of the Rhone.
7. 2. Varie, &c., ' he works on the soldiers' mind by alternately reproaching and encouraging them.' Observe how nearly the gerund corresponds to a present participle, the sense it has retained in modern Italian.
7. Amplectantur. The present conj. is here used, because the sentence is purely adjectival.
9. Dedi. Postulo' usually is followed by 'ut.' It occurs in Plautus and Terence with the infinitive but not quite in this sense. So me ducere istis verbis postulas? 'do you expect to influence me?' Servire postulare, 'to want to be a slave.'
12. Quum ab occasu, &r., 'when they were starting on a march from west to east.' A rhetorical phrase denoting the vastness of their aims, when they began the campaign.
18. Subsistere. The infinitive of indignation or surprise.
23. Eos ipsos. These were some envoys from the Cisalpine Gauls, who offered to be his guides into Italy.
31. Exhaustum esse. This infinitive is akin to that noticed above; it is frequently found in 'obliqua oratio,' where the question is purely rhetorical, and does not ask for information.
32. Quicquam, not ' aliquid' because the question implies a negative.
34. Cederent-sperent. This change of tense occurs because the first is a single action, the second a continuous one.
36. Interjacentem, a Livian word.
8. 1. Druentia. This is the modern Durance. It will be seen on reference to an Atlas that this river is quite out of Hannibal's route, if we suppose him to be marching parallel with and north of the Isère. The difficulties of Livy's narrative are insurmountable. It is nearly certain that Hannibal crossed the Little Mt. Cenis passing up the Val de Maurienne, and then passing over the Col de Clapier which just overlooks Susa. The Durance valley would lead him to Alpis Cottia (M. Genève) or to Vesulus (Monte Viso.)
4. Præcepta, sc. animo, they had been forwarned.'
6. Torrida. A word rarely used of extreme cold; but look out 'uro' and 'aduro.'
8. 9. Erigere agmen to march up hill.
10. Insidentes, governs 'imminentes tumulos.'
35. Suo ipsum tumultu misceri, 'disordered by its own unwieldiness.' 37. Transversis rupibus,' the cliffs lying across the route.' The text is due to Madvig; the MSS. read 'perversis rupibus juxta.'
41. Quam, belongs to 'plus' not to 'prius.'
42. Maxime-faciebant, added to the dangers of the march,' perhaps we should read 'primus,' the 'quam' following so closely may have led to the alteration.
47. Turba 'the confusion.'
49. Ruinæ maxime modo, ‘just like a mass of falling débris.'
65. Populum, seems here to be=dîμos, 'a township' or 'village.'
68. Memorantes (se) doctos alienis malis malle, &c.
70. Ad fidem promissorum, ' as a pledge of good faith.'
78. The position of 'sollicitus' is remarkable. It illustrates the tendency to avoid the adverbial form.
84. Accipienda clades fuerit,' they must have sustained loss.'
97. Daret. This subjunctive is common in Livy but rare in Cicero. verbs signifying repeated action are usually followed by the indicative, but see below, 'quacunque incederent,' 'ubi fides iis non esset.'
98. Sicut-ita, ' though-yet.' Compare l. 122, below.
109. Vergiliæ. The Pleiads set soon after the beginning of November. 'Vergiliæ ' is derived from 'vergo,' perhaps because the Pleiads always appear sloping towards the horizon.
117. Summum, ' at the most.'
125. Hærere affixi, 'to support themselves firmly,' the MSS. read ‘afflicti.' 128. Tentabundus, 'feeling his way.' These adjectives were originally gerundives, they are frequentative in sense, and more common in later writers.
131. Mille admodum, 'fully a thousand.' Polybius says that the land-slip was a stadium and a half in length, (rather less than 1000 feet,) which Livy has misunderstood and inserted the absurd exaggeration of the text.
149. In connitendo,' in the effort to rise.'
154. Munire rupem, 'to make a road down the cliff.'
156. Trees of immense size are hardly compatible with the 'nuda cacumina' mentioned just below.
158. This famous story is alluded to in Juvenal, Sat. X. 152—3,
"Opposuit natura Alpemque nivemque,
'Diducit scopulos, et montem rumpit aceto.'
An attempt has been made to explain the presence of the vinegar by reference to the sour wine, ogos, which the soldiers would have with them. Pliny claims for vinegar the power of splitting rocks heated by fire, and no doubt had this story in his mind. Polybius says nothing on this head.
8. 160. Molliuntque, &c., 'they ease the steep descent by gentle gradients.'
9. Hannibal entered Italy with 20,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry; he must therefore have lost 33,000 men since leaving the Pyrenees, when he had 50,000 infantry and 9,000 cavalry. He had left New Carthage in June; it was now late in September. He first subdued the Taurini who were engaged in the feud with his allies the Insubres, and then marched to meet Scipio, who had landed at Pisa, crossed the Po at Placentia, and was eager to engage before the Gauls declared absolutely for the invader. Both armies had pushed forward their cavalry to reconnoitre, and a skirmish took place on the banks of the Ticinus.
1. The Carthaginians had been encouraged by a proclamation of liberty to all the slaves who followed the army, and a promise to their masters of a double number of slaves when the foe was conquered.
4. Examen apum. This prodigy seems to have been especially connected with foreign invasion. Compare Virg. Æn. VII. 64, sq. where a swarm pitches on a bay-tree in the palace of Latinus, and the seer exclaims Externum 'cernimus adventare virum.'
5. Procuratis. A word frequently used by Livy in the sense of averting evil omens by sacrifice. The 'o' is short in Ovid and Tibullus; long in Virgil.
Compare proficiscor, profundo, procella, propago, propino.
14. Frenatos equites. These were the Spaniards 8,000 strong, the Numidians being 12,000.
21. It has been remarked that the Romans in almost every battle they lost were out-flanked by the enemy, their obstinate adherence to routine preventing the change of front and flexibility of movement which would have frustrated such attempts.
30. Protegens, the nom. of the pres. part. is used of a continuous, not of a single, action.
31. Cedendo, see Note at Ex. 7, line 2.
32. Cælius Antipater, an orator and jurist, lived about 100 years after the Second Punic War, of which he wrote the history. Livy speaks of him with respect; Cicero praises his style. He was the first to raise historical composition above the level of a mere chronicle of events.
34. It may be doubted whether 'fama' is nom. or abl. This neuter sense of 'obtineo' is not found in Cicero; the same may be said of 'teneo.'
10. After the skirmish at Ticinus, Scipio retreated, crossed the Po at Placentia, destroying his bridge of boats to prevent pursuit, and took up a strong position on the banks of the Trebia, having the river to protect his front, his
right wing resting on the spurs of the Apennines, his left on Placentia. Here he was joined by Sempronius, who took the command, as Scipio was still disabled by his wound. This rash officer was allured by Hannibal to abandon his position, cross the Trebia, swollen by winter rains, and attack the Carthaginians, who were drawn up to meet him. An ambush set by Hannibal during the night, near the banks of the river under the command of Mago, burst out on the Romans in the heat of the engagement and completed their discomfiture. The wreck of the army took refuge in Placentia and Cremona; Hannibal thus found himself master of Cisalpine Gaul, and was enabled to rest his troops in preparation for the next year's campaign. For a fuller account of the battle of the Trebia consult a Roman History.
10. 1. Dum,' as long as.' 'Dum' is followed by the imperfect where the action is continuous; where the action is single, even in past time, the present is used.
4. Ligures. This people represents a very ancient tide of immigration, earlier even than the Celts, and probably akin to the Basques in Spain. They lived along the Riviera from Nice to Spezzia, besides occupying the western part of the plain of Lombardy. The Taurini (Turin) were a Ligurian tribe. Virgil speaks of them as hardy, 'assueti malo.' For another side of their character, see En. XI. 700, sq.
14. Deprensi, 'caught in the storm.' Compare Hor. Od. II. 16, 2.
16. Explicare,' of the canvass.'
17. Statuere,' of the tent-poles.'
11. This chapter well illustrates the strong hold superstition had on the Roman character. Livy himself is evidently a sceptic: the long breathless list of prodigies here given seems almost intended to produce a ludicrous effect.
7. This apparition as well as that mentioned below of men near Amiternum were probably caused by a cloud-reflection, like the spectre of the Brocken.
12. Lapidibus pluvisse. These showers were probably meteoric. Humboldt has a fancy that the craters of the Alban district were not altogether quiescent, and that phenomena of this kind recorded by Roman writers were sometimes volcanic.
13. Sortes extenuatæ. These 'sortes' were a kind of dice or tablets with mystical figures inscribed on them, and drawn out usually by a boy, from a Ivessel of water, when an oracular answer was required. They were made of gold, wood, or other materials. The prodigy in this case consisted in the shrinking of these dice.
15. Decemviri sacris faciundis, in whose care were the Sibylline books.
18. Lustrata. Victims were taken in solemn procession round the city and sacrificed in the Campus Martius. This ceremony was performed regularly by the Censor every fifth year; hence the word 'lustrum,' signifying a period of five years.