« IndietroContinua »
Their demands were twofold: first, that they should be exempted from military service as long as they might be concerned in this business of the state ; the other, that when they had sent goods on ship-board, any damage afterwards sustained either through the means of storms, or of the enemy, should be at the public loss. Both being complied with, they concluded the contract, and with the money of private persons : such were the habits of thinking, such the love of their country, which, with uniform influence, pervaded all ranks of men. As all engagements were entered into with great spirit, so were they fulfilled with the most faithful punctuality, and exactly in the same manner, as if the supplies were drawn, as formerly, out of an opulent treasury. At this time, the town of Illiturgi, having revolted to the Romans, was besieged by Hasdrubal, Mago, and Hamilcar son of Bomilcar. Between these three camps, the Scipios, after a difficult struggle, and a great slaughter of their opponents, forced their way into the place, introducing a quantity of corn, of which there had been a scarcity. Then, after exhorting the townsmen to defend their walls, with the same courage with which they had seen the Roman troops fight in their behalf, they marched to attack the largest of the camps, where Hasdrubal had the command. Thither also came up the two other Carthaginian generals, with their two armies, who perceived that on the issue of that attack the fate of all depended : the troops in camp therefore sallied out to the fight. There were in the engagement, of the enemy, sixty thousand ; of the Romans about sixteen thousand; yet so far was the victory from being doubtful, that the Romans slew a greater number of the Carthaginians than they themselves had in the field ; took above three thousand prisoners; somewhat less than one thousand horses ; fifty-nine military standards ; killed five elephants in the battle ; and took possession of the three camps on one and the same day. When the siege of Illiturgi was thus raised, the Carthaginian armies marched to lay siege to Intibili; recruiting their forces out of that province, which was, above all others, fond of war, provided either plunder or hire was in view, and which, at that time, abounded with young men. A second general engagement took place, attended with the same event on both sides : upwards of thirteen thousand of the enemy were killed, and more than two thousand taken, with fortytwo standards and nine elephants. On this, almost every state in Spain joined the party of the Romans; and, during this campaign, the events of the war there were much more important than those in Italy.
HISTORY OF ROME.
Hieronymus, king of Syracuse, takes part with the Carthaginians; is put to
death by bis subjects, on account of his tyranny and cruelty. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, pro-consul, with an army composed mostly of slaves, defeats the Carthaginian army under Hanno, at Beneventum ; gives the slaves liberty. Most of the States in Sicily go over to the side of the Carthaginians. Claudius Marcellus, consul, besieges Syracuse. War declared against Philip king of Macedonia, who is surprised by night, and routed at Apollonia. Operations of the Scipios, against the Carthaginians, in Spain. Treaty of friendship with Syphax king of Numidia ; he is de. feated by Massinissa king of the Massylians. The Celtiberians join the Romans, and their troops are taken into pay : the first instance of merce. naries serving in a Roman army.
I. ON his return from Campania into Bruttium, Hanno, assisted by the Bruttians, who served him also as Y.R. 537. guides, endeavoured to gain possession of the Greek B.C. 215. cities, which were the more inclined to adhere to their alliance with Rome, for the very reason that they saw the Bruttians, whom they both hated and feared, taking part with the Carthaginians. The first attempt was made on Rhegium, and several days were spent there to no purpose. Meanwhile the Locrians hastily conveyed from the country into the city, corn, timber, and other necessaries, for which they might have occasion, wishing at the same time to leave nothing which the enemy could seize ; while the multitude,
which poured out of the gates, became every day more and more numerous. At last, those only were left in the place, who were obliged to prepare the works, and to carry weapons to the posts of defence. Against this mixed multitude, consisting of persons of all ages and ranks, and straggling through the fields, mostly unarmed, Hamilcar, the Carthaginian, sent out his cavalry, who, having received orders not to hurt any of them, only threw their squadrons in the way to cut off their retreat to the city, towards which they directed their scattered flight. The general himself, having taken his station on an eminence, which commanded a view both of that and the adjacent country, ordered a cohort of Bruttians to approach the walls, and invite the leaders of the Locrians to a conference, and, with assurances of Hannibal's friendship, to persuade them to a surrender. At the beginning of the conference, the Bruttians had no credit given to any of their representations. Afterwards, when the Carthaginians appeared on the hills, and the few citizens, who had effected an escape, had informed the townsmen that the rest of the multitude were in the enemy's power, then, overcome by fear, they answered, that they would consult the people. Accordingly, they instantly summoned an assembly, in which appeared all of the most unsettled who wished for a change of measures and of allies, with those, whose relations had been intercepted by the enemy, and who had their judgments influenced by those pledges, as if so many hostages had been given for their conduct; while a few rather approving in silence, than venturing openly to maintain the cause which they would have espoused, it was concluded, with every appearance of perfect unanimity, to surrender to the Carthaginians. Lucius Atilius, the commander of the garrison, and the Roman soldiers who were with him, were privately conveyed to the harbour, and put on board ships, to be carried off to Rhegium, and then the townsmen received Hasdrubal and his Carthaginians into the city, on the condition of an alliance being immediately entered into on terms of equality. When they had surrendered, they were very near losing the benefit of this stipulation ; for the Carthaginian general accused them of having covertly sent away the Roinan commander, while they alleged that he had escaped without their privity. A body of cavalry was now sent in pursuit, in case, by any accident, the current might detain him in the streight, or drive the ships to land : these did not overtake him; but they saw other ships crossing from Messana to Rhegium, which carried Roman soldiers, sent by the prætor, Claudius, as a garrison for the security of that city : in consequence of this, the enemy withdrew immediately from Rhegium. In pursuance of orders from Hannibal, a treaty of peace was concluded with the Locrians, on these terms, that “ they should live in freedom under their own laws; that the city should be open always to the Carthaginians, but that the harbour should remain in their possession, as at first; and that, as the fundamental principle of the treaty, the Carthaginians should, on all occasions, assist the Locrians, and the Locrians the Carthaginians.”
II. The Carthaginians, after this, marched back from the streight, while the Bruttians expressed great dissatisfaction at their having left Rhegium and Locri in safety, for they had destined to themselves the plunder of those places. Wherefore, having formed into bodies, and armed fifteen thousand of their own young men, they set out to lay siege to Croto, another Grecian city and a sea-port; thinking that it would prove a very great accession to their power, if they should gain possession of an harbour on the coast, and of a strongly fortified town. They were embarrassed by the considerations, that they could not well venture to proceed without calling in the Carthaginians to their assistance, lest they should appear to conduct themselves, in any case, inconsistently with the character of confederates; and that, on the contrary, should the Carthaginian general again act rather as an um