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F.  M.  S.



This is the first English translation of the complete works of Polybius as far as they are now known. In attempting such a task I feel that I ought to state distinctly the limits which I have proposed to myself in carrying it out. I have desired to present to English readers a faithful copy of what Polybius wrote, which should at the same time be a readable English book. I have not been careful to follow the Greek idiom; and have not hesitated to break up and curtail or enlarge his sentences, when I thought that, by doing so, I could present his meaning in more idiomatic English. Polybius is not an author likely to be studied for the sake of his Greek, except by a few technical scholars; and the modern complexion of much of his thought makes such a plan of translation both possible and desirable. How far I have succeeded I must leave my readers to decide. Again, I have not undertaken to write a commentary on Polybius, nor to discuss at length the many questions of interest which arise from his text. Such an undertaking would have required much more space than I was able to give: and happily, while my translation was passing through the press, two books have appeared, which will supply English students with much that I might have felt bound to endeavour to give—the Achaean leagueviii by Mr. Capes, and the sumptuous Oxford edition of extracts by Mr. Strachan-Davidson.

The translation is made from the text of Hultsch and follows his arrangement of the fragments. If this causes some inconvenience to those who use the older texts, I hope that such inconvenience will be minimised by the full index which I have placed at the end of the second volume.

I have not, I repeat, undertaken to write a commentary. I propose rather to give the materials for commentary to those who, for various reasons, do not care to use the Greek of Polybius. I have therefore in the first five complete books left him to speak for himself, with the minimum of notes which seemed necessary for the understanding of his text. The case of the fragments was different. In giving a translation of them I have tried, when possible, to indicate the part of the history to which they belong, and to connect them by brief sketches of intermediate events, with full references to those authors who supply the missing links.

Imperfect as the performance of such a task must, I fear, be, it has been one of no ordinary labour, and has occupied every hour that could be spared during several years of a not unlaborious life. And though I cannot hope to have escaped errors, either of ignorance or human infirmity, I trust that I may have produced what will be found of use to some historical students, in giving them a fairly faithful representation of the works of an historian who is, in fact, our sole authority for some most interesting portions of the world’s history.

It remains to give a brief account of the gradual formation of the text of Polybius, as we now have it.

The revival of interest in the study of Polybius wasix due to Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455), the founder of the Vatican Library. Soon after his election he seems to have urged Cardinal Perotti to undertake a Latin translation of the five books then known to exist. When Perotti sent him his translation of the first book, the Pope thus acknowledges it in a letter dated 28th August 1452:—1

Primus Polybii liber, quem ad nos misisti, nuper a te de Graeca in Latinam translatus, gratissimus etiam fuit et jucundissimus: quippe in ea translatione nobis cumulatissime satisfacis. Tanta enim facilitate et eloquentia transfers, ut Historia ipsa nunquam Graeca, sed prorsus Latina semper fuisse videatur. Optimum igitur ingenium tuum valde commendamus atque probamus, teque hortamur ut velis pro laude et gloria tua, et pro voluptate nimia singulare opus inchoatum perficere, nec labori parcas. Nam et rem ingenio et doctrina tua dignam, et nobis omnium gratissimam efficies; qui laborum et studiorum tuorum aliquando memores erimus.... Tu vero, si nobis rem gratam efficere cupis, nihil negligentiae committas in hoc opere traducendo. Nihil enim nobis gratius efficere poteris. Librum primum a vertice ad calcem legimus, in cujus translatione voluntati nostrae amplissime satisfactum est.

On the 3d of January 1454 the Pope writes again to Perotti thanking him for the third book; and in a letter to Torelli, dated 13th November 1453, Perotti says that he had finished his translation of Polybius in the preceding September. This translation was first printed in 1473. The Greek text was not printed till 1530, when an edition of the first five books in Greek, along with Perotti’s translation, was published at the xHague, opera Vincentii Obsopaei, dedicated to George, Marquess of Brandenburg. Perotti’s translation was again printed at Basle in 1549, accompanied by a Latin translation of the fragments of books 6 to 17 by Wolfgang Musculus, and reprinted at the Hague in 1598.

The chief fragments of Polybius fall into two classes; (1) those made by some unknown epitomator, who Casaubon even supposed might be Marcus Brutus, who, according to Plutarch, was engaged in this work in his tent the night before the battle of Pharsalus. The printing of these began with two insignificant fragments on the battle between the Rhodians and Attalus against Philip, Paris, 1536; and another de re navali, Basle, 1537. These fragments have continually accumulated by fresh discoveries. (2) The other class of fragments are those made by the order of Constantinus Porphyrogenitus (911-959), among similar ones from other historians, which were to be digested under fifty-three heads or tituli; one of which (the 27th) has come down to us, discovered in the sixteenth century, containing the selecta de legationibus; and another (the 50th) de virtute et vitio. The printing of the first of these begins with the edition of Fulvius Ursinus, published at Antwerp in 1582. This was supplemented in 1634 (Paris) by an edition by Valesius of excerpta ex collectaneis Constantini Augusti Porphyrogeneti. The first edition of something like a complete text of Polybius, containing the five entire books, the excerptae legationes, and fragments of the other books, was that of Isaac Casaubon, Paris, 1609, fo. It was accompanied by a new and very brilliant Latin translation, and a preface which has been famous among such works. It contains also a Latin translation of Aeneas Tacticus. Altogether it is a splendid book. Some additional annotationes ofxi Casaubon’s were published after his death in 1617, Paris.2 Other editions followed; that of Gronovius, Amsterdam, 1670: of Ernesti, Leipsic, 1764, containing Casaubon’s translation more or less emended, and additional fragments. But the next important step in the bibliography of Polybius was the publication of the great edition of Schweighaeuser, Leipsic, 1789-1795, in nine volumes, with a new Latin translation,—founded, however, to a great extent on Casaubon,—a new recension of the text, and still farther additions to the fragments; accompanied also by an excellent Lexicon and Onomasticon. This great work has been the foundation from which all modern commentaries on Polybius must spring. Considerable additions to the fragments, collected from MSS. in the Vatican by Cardinal Mai, were published in 1827 at Rome. The chief modern texts are those of Bekker, 1844; Duebner (with Latin translation), 1839 and 1865; Dindorf, 1866-1868, 1882 (Teubner). A new recension of the five books and all the known fragments—founded on a collation of some twelve MSS. and all previous editions, as well as all the numerous works of importance on our Author that have appeared in Germany and elsewhere—was published by F. Hultsch, Berlin, 1867-1872, in four volumes. This must now be considered the standard text. A second edition of the first volume appeared in 1888, but after that part of my translation had passed through the press.

Of English translations the earliest was by Ch. Watson, 1568, of the first five books. It is entitled xiiThe Hystories of the most famous Cronographer Polybios; Discoursing of the warres betwixt the Romanes and Carthaginenses, a rich and goodly work, conteining holsome counsels and wonderful devices against the inconstances of fickle Fortune. Englished by C[hristopher] W[atson] whereunto is annexed an Abstract, compendiously coarcted out of the life and worthy Acts perpetrate by oure puissant Prince King Henry the fift. London, Imprinted by Henry Byneman for Tho. Hacket, 1568, 8vo. See Herbert’s Ames, p. 895. Another translation of the five books was published by Edward Grimestone, London, 1634, of which a second and third edition appeared in 1648 and 1673. A translation of the Mercenary War from the first book was made by Sir Walter Raleigh, and published after his death in 1647 (London, 4to). Next, a new translation of the five books was published in London, 1693 (2 vols. 8vo), by Sir H[enry] S[hears], with a preface by Dryden. In 1741 (London, 4to) appeared “A fragment of the 6th book containing a dissertation on government, translated from the Greek of Polybius, with notes, etc., by A Gentleman.” This was followed by the first English translation, which contained any part of the fragments, as well as the five books, by the Rev. James Hampton, London, 4to, 1756-1761, which between that date and 1823 (2 vols., Oxford) went through at least seven editions. Lastly, a translation of Polybius’s account of Hannibal’s passage of the Alps is appended by Messrs. Church and Brodribb to their translation of Livy, 21-22. There is a German translation by A. Haakh and Kraz, Stuttgart, 1858-1875. And a French translation by J. A. C. Buchon, Paris, 1842, Orléans, 1875. For the numerous German essays and dissertations on the text, and particular questions arising from the history, I must xiii refer my readers to Engelmann’s Bibliotheca. In England such studies are rare. Mr. Strachan-Davidson published an essay on Polybius in Hellenica; and his edition of extracts of the text (Oxford, 1888) contains several dissertations of value. Mr. Capes (London, 1888) has published an edition of extracts referring to the Achaean league, with an introductory essay on the author and his work. And a very admirable article on Polybius appears in the recent edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica by Mr. H. F. Pelham. There is also a good paper on Polybius in the Quarterly Review for 1879, No. 296. Criticisms on Polybius, and estimates of his value as an historian, will be found in Thirlwall’s History of Greece, vol. viii.; Arnold’s History of Rome; Mommsen’s History of Rome, book iv. c. xiii.; Freeman’s History of Federal Government and Essays; Bunbury’s Ancient Geography, vol. ii. p. 16; Law’s Alps of Hannibal. For the Roman side of his history, besides the works mentioned by Mr. Strachan-Davidson, a good list of the literature on the 2d Punic war is given by Mr. W. T. Arnold in his edition of Dr. Arnold’s history of that period [London, Macmillan, 1886].

Finally, I have to express my warm thanks to Dr. Warre, Head Master of Eton, for aiding me with his unique knowledge of ancient and modern tactics in clearing up many points very puzzling to a civilian. To Mr. W. Chawner, Fellow and Tutor of Emmanuel College, for reading part of the translation in proof, and making valuable corrections and suggestions. And to Professor Ridgway, of Queen’s College, Cork, for corrections in the geographical fragments of book 34.



Introduction xvii-lx
Books I to IX 1-602




Fortune cast the life of Polybius in stirring times. His special claim to our admiration is that he understood the importance in the history of the world of the changes which were passing under his eyes, and exerted himself to trace the events which immediately preceded them, and from which they sprang, while it was yet possible to see and question surviving participators in them; to examine places, before they had lost all marks of the great events of which they had been the scene; and records or monuments before time had cast a doubt upon their meaning or authenticity. Nor is this ordinary praise. Men are apt to turn their eyes upon the past, as holding all that is worthy of contemplation, while they fail to take note of history “in the making,” or to grasp the importance of the transactions of their own day. But as every year has its decisive influence on the years which succeed it, the greatest benefactor of posterity is the man who understands and records events as they pass with care and sincerity. Laborious compilation, from the study and comparison of ancient records and monuments, has its value: it may often be all that it is possible to obtain; it may not unfrequently even serve to correct statements of contemporaries which have been deformed by carelessness or coloured by prejudice. But the best compilation is infinitely inferior in interest and instructiveness to the barest report of a contemporary. And when such a man is also an eye-witness of much that he relates; when he knew and conversed with many of the chief actors in the great events which he records; xviii when again he tells us of transactions so remote in time, that all written documents have necessarily perished, and those in more durable bronze and stone all but followed in their train, then indeed the interest rises to the highest pitch. Like Herodotus and Thucydides, then, Polybius tells us of his own times, and of the generations immediately preceding them. It is true that the part of his work which has survived in a complete form deals with a period before his own day, just as the greater part of the history of Herodotus does, but in the larger part of the fragments he is writing with even more complete personal knowledge than Thucydides. He had, again, neither the faculty for story-telling possessed by Herodotus nor the literary and dramatic force of Thucydides. The language which he spoke and wrote had lost the magic of style; had lost the lucidity and grace of Sophocles, and the rugged vigour and terseness of Thucydides. Nor had he apparently acquired any of those artifices which, while they sometimes weary us in the later rhetoricians, yet generally serve to make their writings the easiest and pleasantest of reading. Equally remote again is his style from the elaborate and involved manner of Plutarch, with its huge compound words built up of intricate sentences, more like difficult German than Greek. Polybius had no tricks of this sort;3 but his style lacks logical order and clearness. It seems rather the language of a man of affairs, who had had neither leisure to study style, nor taste to read widely with a view to literature as such. But after all it is Greek, and Greek that still retained its marvellous adaptability to every purpose, to every shade of thought, and every form of literature. Nor is his style in the purely narrative parts of his work wanting in a certain force, derived from singleness and directness of purpose. He “speaks right on,” and turns neither to the right hand nor xixthe left. It is when he reflects and argues and moralises, that his want of literary skill sometimes makes him difficult and involved; and though the thought is essentially just, and his point of view wonderfully modern, we continually feel the want of that nameless charm which the Greeks called χάρις.

His bent for historical composition was fortunately encouraged by the circumstances of his life, which gave Polybius special opportunities of satisfying his curiosity and completing his knowledge. Not only was he the son of a man who had held the highest office in the league, and so must have heard the politics and history of Achaia discussed from his earliest youth; not only from early manhood was he himself in the thick of political business; but he knew the sovereigns of Egypt and Pergamus, of Macedonia and Syria, and the Roman generals who conquered the latter. He had visited a Roman camp and witnessed its practical arrangements and discipline. And his enforced residence of sixteen years in Italy and Rome was, by the good fortune of his introduction to Aemilius Paullus and his sons, turned into an opportunity of unrivalled advantage for studying the laws, military discipline, and character of the imperial people whose world conquest he chronicles. Unlike his fellow-exiles, he did not allow his depressing circumstances to numb his faculties, exasperate his temper, or deaden his curiosity. He won the confidence of the leading men at Rome; and seems, while pushing on his inquiries with untiring vigour, to have used his influence for the benefit of his countrymen, and of all Greek subjects of Rome.

But, like so many of the writers of antiquity, he has had no one to perform for him the service he had done for others in rescuing their achievements and the particulars of their career from oblivion. Of the many testimonia collected by Schweighaeuser and others from ancient writers, scarcely one gives us any details or anecdotes of the writer, whose work they briefly describe or praise. We are reduced as usual to pick out from his own writings the scattered allusions or statements which help us to picture his character and career.

Polybius of Megalopolis was the son of Lycortas, the friend and partisan of Philopoemen, who had served the Achaean league in several capacities: as ambassador to Rome in B.C. 189, xx Birth of Polybius. along with Diophanes, on the question of the war with Sparta,4 and to Ptolemy Epiphanes in B.C. 186, 5 and finally as Strategus in B.C. 184-183. Of the year of his birth we cannot be certain. He tells us that he was elected to go on embassy from the league to Ptolemy Epiphanes in the year of the death of that monarch (B.C. 181), although he was below the legal age.6 But we do not know for certain what that age was; although it seems likely that it was thirty, that apparently being the age at which a member of the league exercised his full privileges.7 But assuming this, we do not know how much under that age he was. Two years previously (B.C. 183) he had carried the urn at Philopoemen’s funeral. This was an office usually performed by quite young men (νεανίσκοι)8, probably not much over twenty years old. As we know that he lived to write a history of the Numantine war, which ended B.C. 1339, and that he was eighty-two at the time of his death10, we shall not, I think, be probably far wrong if we place his birth in B.C. 203 and his death in B.C. 121 as Casaubon does, who notes that the latter is just sixteen years before the birth of Cicero. But though this is a good working hypothesis, it is very far from being a demonstrated fact.

Between B.C. 181-168 he was closely allied with his father in politics; and if we wish to have any conception of what he was doing, it is necessary to form some idea of the state of parties in the Peloponnese at the time.

The crowning achievement of Philopoemen’s career had been the uniting of Sparta to the Achaean league, after the murder of the tyrant Nabis by the Aetolians who had come to Sparta as his allies (B.C. 192). In B.C. 191 the Achaeans were allowed to add Messene and Elis to their league, as a reward for their services to Rome in the war against Antiochus. The Aetolian league, the chief enemy and opponent of Achaia, was reduced to a state of humble dependence on Rome in B.C. 189, after the defeat of Antiochus at Thermopylae (B.C. 191) and the Aetolian war (B.C. 191-189). From B.C. xxi190 then begins the time during which Polybius says that the “name of the Achaeans became the universal one for all the inhabitants of the Peloponnese” (2, 42). But though Sparta was included in the league she was always a restive and dissatisfied member; and the people of Elis and Messene, who were not very willing members either, were told by Flamininus that if they had any reason to complain of the federal government they were to appeal to him.11 Now, by a treaty of alliance with Rome, decreed at Sikyon in B.C. 198, it was provided that Rome should receive no envoys from separate states of the league, but only from the league itself.12 Flamininus, therefore, if he said what Livy reports him to have said, was violating this treaty. And this will be a good instance to illustrate the divisions of parties existing during the period of Polybius’s active political life (B.C. 181-169). We have seen that in B.C. 198 the Achaean league became an ally of Rome as a complete and independent state; that this state was consolidated by the addition of Sparta (192) and Elis and Messene (191) so as to embrace the whole of the Peloponnese; that its chief enemy in Greece, the Aetolian league, was rendered powerless in B.C. 189. The Macedonian influence in the Peloponnese had been abolished after the battle of Cynoscephalae (197) by the proclamation of Greek freedom by Flamininus (196). But all this seeming liberty and growth in power really depended upon the favour of Rome, and was continually endangered not only by the appeals to the Senate from separate states in the league, who conceived themselves wronged, but by treasonable representations of her own envoys, who preferred a party triumph to the welfare and independence of their country13. In these circumstances, there were naturally differences of opinion as to the proper attitude for the league government to assume towards a state, which was nominally an equal ally, but really an absolute master. There was one party who were for submissively carrying out the will of the Roman officers who from time to time visited the Peloponnese; and for conciliating the Senate by displaying a perpetual readiness to carry out its xxiiwishes, without putting forward in any way the rights which the treaty of 198 had secured to them. The leaders of this party, in the time of Philopoemen, were Aristaenos and Diophanes. The other party, headed till his death by Philopoemen, equally admitting that the Roman government could not be safely defied, were yet for aiming at preserving their country’s independence by strictly carrying out the terms of the Roman alliance, and respectfully but firmly resisting any encroachment upon those terms by the officers representing the Roman government. On Philopoemen’s death (B.C. 183) Lycortas, who had been his most devoted follower, took, along with Archon, the lead of the party which were for carrying out his policy; while Callicrates became the most prominent of the Romanising party. Lycortas was supported by his son Polybius when about B.C. 181 he began to take part in politics. Polybius seems always to have consistently maintained this policy. His view seems to have been that Rome, having crushed Philip and Antiochus, was necessarily the supreme power. The Greeks must recognise facts; must avoid offending Rome; but must do so by keeping to a position of strict legality, maintaining their rights, and neither flattering nor defying the victorious Commonwealth. He believed that the Romans meant fairly by Greece, and that Greek freedom was safe in their hands14. But the straightforward policy of the Senate, if it was ever sincere, was altered by the traitor Callicrates in B.C. 179; who, being sent to Rome to oppose what the league thought the unconstitutional restitution of certain Spartan exiles, advised the Senate to use the Romanising party in each state to secure a direct control in Achaia15. Acting on this insidious advice, the Roman government began to view with suspicion the legal and independent attitude of the other party, and to believe or affect to believe that they were enemies of the Roman supremacy. Lycortas, Archon, and Polybius, finding themselves the objects of suspicion, not less dangerous because undeserved, to the Roman government, appear to have xxiiiadopted an attitude of reserve, abstaining from taking an active or prominent part in the business of the assemblies. This, however, did not succeed in averting Roman jealousy; and the commissioners, Gaius Popilius and Gnaeus Octavius, who visited the Peloponnese in B.C. 169, gave out that those who held aloof were as displeasing to the Senate as those who openly opposed it. They were said to have resolved on formally impeaching the three statesmen before the Achaean assembly as being enemies of Rome; but when the assembly met at Aegium, they had failed to obtain any reasonable handle against them, and contented themselves with a speech of general exhortation.16 This was during the war with Perseus, when the Romans kept a vigilant eye on all parts of Greece, and closely inquired which politicians in the several states ventured to display the least sympathy with the Macedonian king, or were believed to secretly nourish any wish for his success. It speaks strongly both for the independent spirit still surviving in the league, as well as for the character of Archon and Polybius, that they were elected, apparently in the same assembly, the one Strategus and the other Hipparch for the year B.C. 169-168.17 In this office Polybius doubtless hoped to carry out the principles and discipline of Philopoemen, under whom he had probably served in the cavalry, and whose management of this branch of the service he had at any rate minutely studied.18 But there was little occasion for the use of the Achaean cavalry in his year. Being sent on a mission to Q. Marcius Philippus at Heracleia to offer the league’s assistance in the war with Perseus, when their help was declined, he remained behind after the other ambassadors had returned, to witness the campaign.19 After spending some time in the Roman camp, he was sent by Q. Marcius to prevent the Achaeans from consenting to supply five thousand men to Appius Claudius Cento in Epirus. This was a matter of considerable delicacy. He had to choose between offending one or the other powerful Roman. But he conducted the affair with prudence, and on the lines he had always laid down, those, namely, of strict legality. He found the Achaean assembly in session at Sicyon; and he carried xxivhis point by representing that the demand of Appius Claudius did not bear on the face of it the order of the Senate, without which they were prohibited from supplying the requisitions of Roman commanders.20 He thus did not betray that he was acting on the instigation of Quintus Marcius, and put himself and the league in an attitude of loyalty toward the Senate.21 In the same cautious spirit he avoided another complication. Certain complimentary statues or inscriptions had been put up in various cities of the league in honour of Eumenes, king of Pergamus, and on some offence arising had been taken down. This seems to have annoyed Eumenes exceedingly; and Polybius persuaded the people that it had been ordered by Sosigenes and Diopeithes, as judges, from feelings of personal spite, and without any act of Eumenes unfriendly to the league. He carried his point, and thus avoided offending a king who at that time was on very friendly terms with Rome.22 But while thus minded to avoid unnecessary offence, Polybius and his party were in favour of strengthening the league by alliances which could be entered upon with safety. Egypt at this time was under the joint government of two Ptolemies, Philometor and Physcon, who were being threatened with an invasion by Antiochus Epiphanes. The friendship of the league with the kings of Egypt had been of long standing, as far back as the time of Aratus; and though that friendship had been afterwards interrupted by the Macedonian policy of Aratus, just before his death the father of these kings had presented the league with ten ships and a sum of money. The two kings now sent to beg for aid; and asked that Lycortas should come as commander-in-chief, and Polybius as hipparch. Lycortas and Polybius were in favour of supplying the assistance asked.23 But the measure was opposed by Callicrates and his partisans, on the specious ground that their whole efforts should be directed to aid the Romans against Perseus. Lycortas and Polybius replied that the Romans did not require their help; and that they were bound, by gratitude, xxvas well as by treaty, to help the Ptolemies. They carried with them the popular feeling: but Callicrates outwitted them by obtaining a dispatch from Q. Marcius, urging the league to join the senate in effecting a reconciliation between Antiochus and the kings of Egypt. Polybius gave in, and advised compliance. Ambassadors were appointed to aid in the pacification; and the envoys from Alexandria were obliged to depart without effecting their object. They contented themselves with handing in to the magistrates the Royal letters, in which Lycortas and Polybius were invited by name to come to Alexandria.24

Careful, however, as he had ever been to avoid giving just offence to Rome, he and his party had long B.C. 167. been marked by the Senate as opponents of that more complete interference in the details of Achaean politics which it wished to exercise. This was partly owing to the machinations of Callicrates; but it was also the result of the deliberate policy of the Senate: and it was doubtless helped by the report of every Roman officer who had found himself thwarted by the appeal to legality, under the influence of the party in the league with which Polybius was connected.25 Accordingly, soon after the final defeat of Perseus by Aemilius Paulus in B.C. 168, and the consequent dismemberment of Macedonia, the Senate proceeded to execute its vengeance upon those citizens in every state in Greece who were believed to have been opposed to the Roman interests. The commissioners entrusted with the settlement and division of Macedonia were directed to hold an inquiry into this matter also. From every city the extreme partisans of Rome were summoned to assist them, men who were only too ready to sacrifice their political opponents to the vengeance of the power to which xxvithey had long been paying a servile and treacherous court. From Boeotia came Mnasippus; from Acarnania, Chremes; from Epirus, Charops and Nicias; from Aetolia, Lyciscus and Tisippus; and from Achaia, Callicrates, Agesias, and Philippus.26 Instigated by these advisers, the commissioners ordered the supposed covert enemies of Rome in the several states to proceed to Italy to take their trial. To Achaia two commissioners, Gaius Claudius and Gnaeus Domitius, were sent. An Achaean assembly being summoned to meet them, they announced that there were certain men of influence in the league who had helped Perseus by money and other support. They required that a vote should be passed condemning them all to death; and said that, when that was done, they would publish the names. Such a monstrous perversion of justice was too much for the assembly, who refused to vote until they knew the names. The commissioners then said that all the Strategi who had been in office since the beginning of the war were involved. One of them, Xeno, came forward, declared his innocence, and asserted that he was ready to plead his cause before any tribunal, Achaean or Roman. Upon this the commissioners required that all the accused persons should go to Rome. A list of one thousand names was drawn up, under the guidance of Callicrates, of those who were at once to proceed to Italy27 (B.C. 167). The court of inquiry, before which they were to appear, was never held. They were not allowed even to stay in Rome, but were quartered in various cities of Italy, which were made responsible for their safe custody: and there they remained until B.C. 151, when such of them as were still alive, numbering then somewhat less than three hundred, were contemptuously allowed to return.28 Among these detenus was Polybius. We do not hear that Lycortas was also one, from which it has been with some probability supposed that he was dead. More fortunate than the rest, Polybius was allowed to remain at Rome. He had made, it seems, the acquaintance of Aemilius Paulus and his two sons in Macedonia, and during xxviithe tour of Aemelius through Greece after the Macedonian war.29 And on their return to Italy he was allowed by their influence to remain in Rome; and, acting as tutor to the two boys,30 became well acquainted with all the best society in the city. The charming account which he gives31 of the mutual affection existing between him and the younger son of Aemilius (by adoption now called Publius Scipio Africanus Aemilianus) bears all the marks of sincerity, and is highly to the credit of both. To it we may add the anecdote of Plutarch, that “Scipio, in observance of the precept of Polybius, endeavoured never to leave the forum without having made a close friend of some one he met there.”

But much as he owed to the friendship of the sons of Aemilius, he owed it also to his own energy and cheerful vigour that these sixteen years of exile were not lost time in his life. He employed them, not in fruitless indulgence in homesickness, or in gloomy brooding over his wrongs, but in a careful and industrious study of the history and institutions of the people among whom he was compelled to reside32; in ingratiating himself with those members of the Senate who he thought might be useful to his countrymen; and in forming and maturing his judgment as to the course of policy they ought to pursue. Nor was he without means of gratifying lighter tastes. He was an active sportsman: and the boar-hunting in the district of Laurentum not only diverted his attention from the distressing circumstances of his exile, and kept his body in vigorous health, but obtained for him the acquaintance of many men of rank and influence. Thus for instance his intimacy with the Syrian prince Demetrius, afterwards king Demetrius Soter, was made in the hunting-field33: and the value which this young man attached to his advice and support is some measure of the opinion entertained generally of his wisdom, moderation, and good judgment. We have no further details xxviiiof his life in Rome; but we have what is better,—its fruits, in the luminous account of its polity, the constitution of its army, and the aims of its statesmen.

At last the time came when he was once more free to visit his own country, or to extend his knowledge by B.C. 151. Release of the detenus. visiting the countries which he wished to describe. After repeated applications to the Senate by embassies from Achaia, made without avail, in B.C. 151 Polybius appeared in person to plead the cause before the Fathers. There was now, it was thought, no reason for retaining these unfortunate men. The original thousand had shrunk to less than three hundred; middle-aged men had become in sixteen years old and decrepit; they had lost connexions and influence in the Peloponnese; they had learnt by bitter experience the impossibility of resisting the power of Rome, and were no longer likely to venture on organising any opposition. Their longer detention could only be a measure of vengeance, and useless vengeance. Still the debate in the Senate was long and doubtful, until it was brought to a conclusion by the contemptuous exclamation of Cato: “Are we to sit here all day discussing whether some old Greek dotards are to be buried by Italian or Achaean undertakers?” Polybius, elated by a concession thus ungraciously accorded, wished to enter the Senate once more with a further request for a restitution of their property in Achaia. But Cato bluntly bade him “remember Ulysses, who wanted to go back into the cave of the Cyclops to fetch his cap and belt.”34

Polybius seems to have returned to the Peloponnese at once, and to have remained there until B.C. 149, Coss. L. Marcius Censornius, Manius Manilius, B.C. 149. Polybius sent for to Lilybaeum. when he was suddenly summoned to serve the government whose enforced guest he had been so long. It was the year in which the Senate had determined to commence their proceedings against Carthage, which were not to be stayed until she was levelled with the ground. In B.C. 150 the victory of Massanissa had restored the oligarchs, who had been superseded by the popular anti-Roman party in Carthage. These men hastened to make every possible offer of submission to xxixRome. The Senate had made up its mind for war; and yet did not at once say so. After demanding that full satisfaction should be made to Massanissa, it next decreed that the Carthaginians must at once give three hundred of their noblest youths as hostages to the Roman consuls Manilius and Censorinus, who had sailed to Lilybaeum with secret orders to let no concession induce them to stop the war until Carthage was destroyed.35 There was naturally some hesitation in obeying this demand at Carthage; for the hostages were to be given to the Romans absolutely without any terms, and without any security. They felt that it was practically a surrender of their city. To overcome this hesitation Manilius sent for Polybius, perhaps because he had known and respected him at Rome, and believed that he could trust him; perhaps because his well-known opinion, as to the safety in trusting the Roman fides, might make him a useful agent. But also probably because he was known to many influential Carthaginians, and perhaps spoke their language.36 He started for Lilybaeum at once. But when he reached Corcyra he was met with the news that the hostages had been given up to the consul: he thought, therefore, that the chance of war was at an end, and he returned to the Peloponnese.37

He must soon have learnt his mistake. The Consul, in accordance with his secret instructions,—first to secure the arms in Carthage, and then to insist on the destruction of the town,—gradually let the wretched people know the extent of the submission required of them. These outrageous demands resulted in the Carthaginians taking the desperate resolution of standing a siege. Censorinus and his colleague accordingly began operations; but they were not capable of so great an undertaking. The eyes of the whole army were turned upon Scipio Aemilianus, who was serving as a military tribune. The siege lingered through the summer of B.C. 148 without any result; and when in the autumn Scipio left for Rome, to stand for the Aedileship, he started amidst loud expressions of hope that he might return as Consul, though below the legal age.38


The loss of so much of Polybius’s narrative at this point leaves us uncertain when he arrived in Africa: but as he met and conversed with Massanissa,39 who died in B.C. 148, it seems likely that he did join the army after all in B.C. 149. At any rate he was in Scipio’s train in B.C. 147-146, when he was in chief command of the army, first as consul, and then as proconsul; advised him on sundry points in the formation of his siege works; stood by his side when Carthage was burning; and heard him, as he watched the dreadful sight, utter with tearful eyes the foreboding of what might one day befall Rome.40 Scipio is also said to have supplied him with ships for an exploring expedition round the coast of Africa;41 and it seems most likely that this was in his year of consulship (147), as after the fall of Carthage Polybius went home.

The destruction of Carthage took place in the spring of B.C. 146. When Scipio went back to celebrate his triumph, Polybius seems to have returned to the Peloponnese, there to witness another act of vengeance on the part of Rome, and to do what he could to lighten the blow to his countrymen, and to preserve the fragments of their shattered liberties.

Among the restored Achaean exiles were Diaeus, Damocritus, Alcamenes, Theodectes, and Archicrates. They had returned with feelings embittered by their exile; and without any of the experience of active life, which might have taught them to subordinate their private thirst for revenge to the safety of their country. Callicrates died in B.C. 148, and Diaeus was Strategus in B.C. 149-148, 147-146. The appearance of the pseudo-Philip (Andriscus) in Macedonia, and the continued resistance of Carthage during his first year of office (148), encouraged him perhaps to venture on a course, and to recommend the people to adopt a policy, on which he would otherwise not have ventured. Troubles arising out of a disgraceful money transaction between the Spartan Menalchidas, Achaean Strategus, and the Oropians, who had bribed him to aid them against the Athenians, had led to a violent quarrel with Callicrates, who threatened to impeach him for treason to the league in the course of an embassy to Rome. To save himself he gave half the Oropian money to Diaeus, his successor as Strategus xxxi (B.C. 149-148). This led to a popular clamour against Diaeus: who, to save himself, falsely reported that the Senate had granted the Achaeans leave to try and condemn certain Spartans for the offence of occupying a disputed territory. Sparta was prepared to resist in arms, and a war seemed to be on the point of breaking out. Callicrates and Diaeus, however, were sent early in B.C. 148 to place the Achaean case before the Senate, while the Spartans sent Menalchidas. Callicrates died on the road. The Senate heard, therefore, the two sides from Diaeus and Menalchidas, and answered that they would send commissioners to inquire into the case. The commissioners, however, were slow in coming; so that both Diaeus and Menalchidas had time to misrepresent the Senate’s answer to their respective peoples. The Achaeans believed that they had full leave to proceed according to the league law against the Spartans; the Spartans believed that they had permission to break off from the league. B.C. 148. Once more, therefore, war was on the point of breaking out.42 Just at this time Q. Caecilius Metellus was in Macedonia with an army to crush Andriscus. He was sending some commissioners to Asia, and ordered them to visit the Peloponnese on their way and give a friendly warning. It was neglected, and the Spartans sustained a defeat, which irritated them without crushing their revolt. When Diaeus succeeded Damocritus as Strategus in B.C. 147, B.C. 147. he answered a second embassy from Metellus by a promise not to take any hostile steps until the Roman commissioners arrived. But he irritated the Spartans by putting garrisons into some forts which commanded Laconia; and they actually elected Menalchidas as a Strategus in opposition to Diaeus. But finding that he had no chance of success Menalchidas poisoned himself.43

Then followed the riot at Corinth.44 Marcus Aurelius Orestes at the head of a commission arrived at last at Corinth, and there informed the magistrates in council that the league must give up Argos, Corinth, and Sparta. The magistrates hastily summoned an assembly and announced the message from the Senate; a furious riot followed, every man in xxxii Corinth suspected of being a Spartan was seized and thrown into prison; the very residence of the Roman commissioners was not able to afford such persons any protection, and even the persons of Orestes and his colleagues were in imminent danger.

Some months afterwards a second commission arrived headed by Sextus Julius Caesar, and demanded, without any express menace, that the authors of the riot should be given up. The demand was evaded; and when Caesar returned to Rome with his report, war was at once declared.

The new Strategus, elected in the autumn of B.C. 147, was Critolaus. He was a bitter anti-Romanist like Diaeus: B.C. 147-146. and these statesmen and their party fancied that the Romans, having already two wars on hand, at Carthage and in Spain, would make any sacrifice to keep peace with Achaia. They had not indeed openly declined the demands of Sextus, but, to use Polybius’s expressive phrase, “they accepted with the left hand what the Romans offered with the right.”45 While pretending to be preparing to submit their case to the Senate, they were collecting an army from the cities of the league. Inspired with an inexplicable infatuation, which does not deserve the name of courage, Critolaus even advanced northwards towards Thermopylae, as if he could with his petty force bar the road to the Romans and free Greece. He was encouraged, it was said, by a party at Thebes which had suffered from Rome for its Macedonising policy. But, rash as the march was, it was managed with at least equal imprudence. Instead of occupying Thermopylae, they stopped short of it to besiege Trachinian Heracleia, an old Spartan colony,46 which refused to join the league. While engaged in this, Critolaus heard that Metellus (who wished to anticipate his successor Mummius) was on the march from Macedonia. He beat a hasty retreat to Scarpheia in Locris,47 which was on the road leading to Elateia and the south; here he was overtaken and defeated with considerable slaughter. Critolaus appears not to xxxiiihave fallen on the field; but he was never seen again. He was either lost in some marshes over which he attempted to escape, as Pausanias suggests, or poisoned himself, as Livy says. Diaeus, as his predecessor, became Strategus, and was elected for the following year also. Diaeus exerted himself to collect troops for the defence of Corinth, nominally as being at war with Sparta. He succeeded in getting as many as fourteen thousand infantry and six hundred cavalry, consisting partly of citizens and partly of slaves; and sent four thousand picked men under Alcamenes to hold Megara, while he himself occupied Corinth. When Metellus approached, however, this outpost at Megara hastily retreated into Corinth. Metellus took up his position in the Isthmus, and offered the Achaeans the fairest terms. Diaeus, however, induced them to reject all offers; and Metellus was kept some time encamped before Corinth.

It was now late in the spring of B.C. 146, and the new Consul, Lucius Mummius, arrived at the Roman camp. B.C. 146. Arrival of Mummius. He at once sent Metellus back to Macedonia, and quietly awaited the arrival of fresh troops, which he had sent for from Crete and Pergamum, as well as from Italy.48 He eventually had an army of about thirty thousand men, nearly double of the Greek army in Corinth. Nothing apparently was done till the late summer, or autumn. But then the final catastrophe was rapid and complete. The Roman officers regarded the Achaean force with such contempt, that they did not take proper precautions, so that Diaeus won a slight advantage against one of the Roman outposts. Flushed with this success, he drew out for a pitched battle, in which he was totally defeated. He made his way to Megalopolis, where, after killing his wife, he poisoned himself.

Thus by a series of imprudent measures, which Polybius denounces, but was not at home to oppose, the Achaean league had drifted into downright war with Rome; and, almost without a struggle, had fallen helplessly at her feet, forced to accept whatever her mercy or contempt might grant. Mercy, however, was to be preceded by stern punishment. Corinth was given up to plunder and to fire, and Polybius returned from Africa in xxxiv time to witness it.49 The destruction or deportation of works of art, of pictures, statues, and costly furniture, he could not prevent; Polybius saves some statues of national interest. but he spoke a successful word to preserve the statues of Philopoemen in the various cities from destruction; and also begged successfully for the restoration of some of the Eponymous hero Achaeus, and of Philopoemen and Aratus, which had already been transported as far as Acarnania on their way to Italy.50 He also dissuaded his friends from rushing to take their share in the plunder by purchasing the confiscated goods of Diaeus, which were put to auction and could be bought at low rates; and he refused to accept any of them himself.51

The settlement of the territories of the league was put into the hands of a commission of ten men who were sent out after the sack of Corinth; The new settlement of the Peloponnese, B.C. 146-145. while Mummius, after seeing that such towns in the Peloponnese as had joined in the war were deprived of their fortifications and arms, and after inflicting punishment upon other towns in Greece which had shown active sympathy with Perseus, especially Thebes and Chalcis, returned home to celebrate his triumph, which was adorned with marble and bronze statues and pictures from Corinth.52 The commissioners who had been sent out to make a final settlement of Greece, or Achaia, as it was henceforth to be called in official language, settled the general plan in conjunction with Mummius; but the commissioners continued their labours for six months, at the end of which time they departed, leaving Polybius to settle with each town the details of their local legislation. The general principles which the commissioners laid down were first, the entire abolition of all the leagues, and consequently of the league assemblies; each town, with its surrounding district, which had once formed a canton in the league, was to be separate and independent: its magistrates, secondly, were to be selected according to a fixed assessment of property, the old equality or democracy being abolished: xxxv thirdly, no member of one canton might own property in another: fourthly, the Boeotians were ordered to pay a heavy compensation to the Heracleots and Euboeans, and the Achaeans to the Spartans: lastly, a fixed tribute to Rome was imposed on all states in Greece.53 Some of these measures were in a few years’ time relaxed, the fines were mitigated, the rule against inter-possession of property was abolished, and the league assemblies were again allowed for certain local purposes. But this was the end of the league as a free federation. It is often said that “Greece was now reduced to the form of a Roman province under the name of Achaia.” This is true in a sense, and yet is misleading. Achaia did not become a province like the other provinces, yearly allotted to a proconsul or propraetor or legatus, until the time of Augustus. Such direct interference from a Roman magistrate as was thought necessary was left to the governor of Macedonia.54 Yet in a certain sense Achaia was treated as a separate entity, and had a “formula,” or constitution, founded on the separate local laws which the commissioners found existing, or imposed, with the help of Polybius, on the several states; it paid tribute like other provinces, and was in fact, though called free, subject to Rome.

Polybius performed his task of visiting the various towns in the Peloponnese, explaining when necessary the meaning of the new arrangements, and advising them, when they had to make others for themselves, so much to the satisfaction of every one, that there was a universal feeling that he had been a benefactor to his country, and had made the best of their situation that could be made. Statues of him are mentioned by Pausanias in several places in the Peloponnese: in Mantinea55 and at Megalopolis,56 with an inscription in elegiacs to the effect that “he had travelled over every land and sea; was an ally of the Romans, and mitigated their wrath against Greece.” Another in the temple of Persephone, near Acacesium,57 under xxxviwhich was a legend stating that “Greece would not have erred at all if she had obeyed Polybius; and that when she did err, he alone proved of any help to her.” There were others also at Pallantium,58 Tegea,59 and Olympia.60

In these services to his country Polybius was occupied in B.C. 145. Of his life after that we have no detailed record. He is believed to have visited Scipio while engaged on the siege of Numantia (B.C. 134-132), on which he wrote a separate treatise.61 We know also that he visited Alexandria in the reign of Ptolemy Physcon (B.C. 146-117), and expressed his contempt for the state of the people and their rulers.62 These years must have been also much occupied with the extension of his history, which he originally intended should end with the fall of the Macedonian kingdom (B.C. 168),63 but which was afterwards continued to the fall of Carthage and Greece (B.C. 146);64 for even if the history had been completed up to its originally intended limit, and the notice of extension afterwards inserted, there still was enough to do to occupy some years of a busy life; especially as he seems to have carried out his principle that an historian ought to be a traveller, visiting the localities of which he speaks, and testing by personal inspection the possibility of the military evolutions which he undertakes to describe. His travels appear certainly to have embraced the greater part of Gaul, and it even seems possible from one passage that he visited Britain.65 His explorations on the African coast were doubtless extensive, and he appears to have visited Phoenicia, Cilicia, and Asia Minor. We hear of him at Sardis, though we cannot fix the date of the visit.66 Lastly, Lucian tells us that, “returning from the xxxvii country, he had a fall from his horse, from the effects of which he died at the age of eighty-two.” No place is given, and no clue which may help us to be certain of the date.67 Polybius, besides the general history, had written a treatise on Tactics,68 a panegyric on Philopoemen,69 a history of the Numantine war,70 and perhaps a treatise on public speaking (δημηγορία).71


Polybius always maintains that the study of documents is only one, and not the most important, element in the equipment of an historian. The best is personal experience and personal inquiry.

Of the sources of his own history, then, the first and best Personal knowledge. may be set down as knowledge acquired by being actually present at great events, such as the destruction of Carthage and the sack of Corinth; visits to the Roman army in camp; assisting at actual debates in his own country; personal knowledge of and service under men of the first position in Achaia; personal visits to famous localities; voyages and tours undertaken for the definite object of inspection and inquiry; and, lastly, seeing and questioning the survivors of great battles, or the men who had played a leading part in conspicuous political transactions.

From his earliest youth Polybius had enjoyed some special advantages in these respects. As he himself says, “the events in Greece fell within his own generation, or that immediately preceding his own,—and he therefore could relate what he had seen, or what he had heard from eye-witnesses” (4, 2). And of the later period he “was not only an eye-witness, but in some cases an actor, and in others the chief actor” (3, 4). When he was probably under twenty we hear of his being present at an important interview between Philopoemen and Archon;72 and his election as hipparch in B.C. 169, soon after he reached the legal age, was in consequence of his having thrown himself with vigour into the practical working of the cavalry under Philopoemen. In regard to Roman history and polity, we xxxviiihave Cicero’s testimony that he was bonus auctor in primis,73 and more particularly in regard to chronology, quo nemo fuit in exquirendis temporibus diligentius.74 Nor is this praise undeserved, as is shown by his energy in pushing minute and personal inquiries. Thus he learnt the details of the Hannibalic war from some of the survivors of those actually engaged; visited the localities, and made the pass of the Alps used by Hannibal;75 studied and transcribed the stele or bronze tablet placed by Hannibal on the Lacinian promontory;76 travelled through Libya, Spain, Gaul, and the seas which washed their shores (perhaps even as far as Britain), in order to give a true account of them.77 Conversed with Massanissa on the character of the Carthaginians, as well as with many of the Carthaginians themselves.78 Carefully observed Carthagena.79 Inspected the records at Rhodes,80 and the Archives at Rome;81 and studied and transcribed the treaties preserved there.82 Visited Sardis,83 Alexandria,84 and Locri Epizephyrii.85 To this, which is by no means an exhaustive account of his travels and inquiries, may be added the fact that his intimacy with the younger Africanus, grandson by adoption and nephew by marriage of the elder Scipio, must have placed at his disposal a considerable mass of information contained in the family archives of the Scipios, as to the Hannibalian war, and especially as to the campaigns in Spain.86

Such were some of the means by which Polybius was enabled to obtain accurate and trustworthy information.

It remains to inquire how far Polybius availed himself of Use of previous writers by Polybius. the writings of others. He looks upon the study of books as an important part of an historian’s work, but, as we have seen, not the most important. His practice appears to have been conformable to his theory. The greater part of his information he gained from personal observation and personal inquiry. Nevertheless, some of his history must have been learnt from books, and very little of it could have been entirely independent xxxix of them. Still, as far as we have the means of judging from the fragments of his work that have come down to us, his obligations to his predecessors are not as extensive as that of most of those who wrote after him; nor is the number of those to whom he refers great.87

Of his preliminary sketch contained in books 1 and 2, The Punic wars. the first book, containing the account of the first Punic war and the Mercenary war, appears to have been derived mainly from the writings of Fabius Pictor (b. circ. B.C. 260), and Philinus of Agrigentum (contemporary and secretary of Hannibal). He complains that they were violent partisans, the one of Rome, the other of Carthage.88 But by comparing the two, and checking both by documents and inscriptions at Rome, he, no doubt, found sufficient material for his purpose.

The second book contains an account of the origin of the Illyrians and Gauls. war between Rome and Illyricum; of the Gallic or Celtic wars from the earliest times; and a sketch of Achaean history to the end of the Cleomenic war. The first two of these must have been compiled with great labour from various public documents and family records, as well as in part from Pictor. The sketch of Achaia. Achaean history rested mainly, as far as it depends on books, on the Memoirs of Aratus; while he studied only to refute the writings of Phylarchus the panegyrist of Cleomenes. He complains of the partiality of Phylarchus: but in this part of the history it was perhaps inevitable that his own views should have been coloured by the prejudices and prepossessions of a politician, and one who had been closely connected from boyhood with the patriotic Achaean party, led by Philopoemen, which was ever at enmity with all that Cleomenes did his utmost to establish.


For his account of Sicilian affairs he had studied the works Sicilian history. of Timaeus of Tauromenium. Although he accuses him bitterly, and at excessive length,89 of all the faults of which an historian can be guilty, he yet confesses that he found in his books much that was of assistance to him90 in regard both to Magna Graecia and Sicily; for which he also consulted the writings of Aristotle, especially it appears the now lost works on Polities (πολιτείαι), and Founding of Cities (κτίσεις). The severity of his criticism of Timaeus is supported by later authors. He was nicknamed ἐπιτίμαιος, in allusion to the petulance of his criticism of others;91 and Plutarch attacks him for his perversion of truth and his foolish and self-satisfied attempts to rival the best of the ancient writers, and to diminish the credit of the most famous philosophers.92

As far as we possess his writings, we find little trace in Greek history. Polybius of a reference to the earliest historians. Herodotus is not mentioned, though there may be some indications of acquaintance with his work;93 nor the Sicilian Philistus who flourished about B.C. 430. Thucydides is mentioned once, and Xenophon three times. Polybius was engaged in the history of a definite period, and had not much occasion to refer to earlier times; and perhaps the epitomator, in extracting what seemed of value, chose those parts especially where he was the sole or best authority.

For the early history of Macedonia, he seems to have relied Macedonia. mostly on two pupils of Isocrates, Ephorus of Cumae and Theopompus of Chios; though the malignity of the latter deprived his authority of much weight.94 He also studied the work of Alexander’s friend and victim, Callisthenes; and vehemently assailed his veracity, as others have done. More important to him perhaps were the writings of his own contemporaries, the Rhodians Antisthenes and Zeno; though he detects them in some inaccuracies, which in the case of Zeno he took the trouble to correct: xliand of Demetrius of Phalerum, whose writings he seems to have greatly admired.

For the contemporary history of Egypt and Syria he seems Egypt and Syria. to have trusted principally to personal inquiry. He expressly (2, 37) declines entering on the early history of Egypt on the ground of its having been fully done by others (referring, perhaps, to Herodotus, Manetho, and Ptolemy of Megalopolis). For the Seleucid dynasty of Syria he quotes no authorities.

On no subject does Polybius seem to have read so widely Geography. as on geography: doubtless as preparing himself not only for writing, but for being able to travel with the knowledge and intelligence necessary to enable him to observe rightly. He had studied minutely and criticised freely the writings of Dicaearchus, Pytheas, Eudoxus, and Eratosthenes. He was quick to detect fallacies in these writers, and to reject their dogmatising on the possibilities of nature; yet he does not seem to have had in an eminent degree the topographical faculty, or the power of giving a graphic picture of a locality. Modern research has tended rather to strengthen than weaken our belief in the accuracy of his descriptions, as in the case of Carthagena and the site of the battle of Cannae; still it cannot be asserted that he is to be classed high in the list of topographers, whether scientific or picturesque.

He appears to have been fairly well acquainted with the General Literature. poets; but his occasions for quoting them, as far as we have his work, are not very frequent. He seems to have known his Homer, as every Greek was bound to do. He quotes the Cypria of Stasinus, who, according to tradition, was son-in-law of Homer; Hesiod, Simonides of Ceos, Pindar, Euripides, and Epicharmus of Cos. He quotes or refers to Plato, whom he appears chiefly to have studied for his political theories; and certain technical writers, such as Aeneas Tacticus, and Cleoxenos and Democlitus, inventors of a new system of telegraphy, if they wrote it rather than taught it practically.

Even allowing for the loss of so great a part of his work, the list of authors is not a long one: and it suggests the xlii remark, which his style as well as his own professions tend to confirm, that he was not primarily a man of letters, but a man of affairs and action, who loved the stir of political agitation, and unbent his mind by the excitement of travel and the chase. Nothing moves his contempt more than the idea of Timaeus living peaceably for fifty years at Athens, holding aloof from all active life, and poring over the books in the Athenian libraries as a preparation for writing history; which, according to him, can only be worth reading when it springs, not from rummaging Record offices, but from taking a personal share in the political strife of the day; studying military tactics in the camp and field; witnessing battles; questioning the actors in great events; and visiting the sites of battles, the cities and lands which are to be described.


To the student of politics the history of Greece is chiefly interesting as offering examples of numerous small states enjoying complete local autonomy, yet retaining a feeling of a larger nationality founded in a community of blood, language, and religion; a community, that is, in the sense that, fundamentally united in these three particulars, they yet acknowledged variations even in them, which distinguished without entirely separating them. From some points of view the experiment may be regarded as having been successful. From others it was a signal failure. Local jealousies and mutual provocations not only continually set city against city, clan against clan, but perpetually suggested invitations sent by one city, or even one party in a city, to foreign potentates or peoples to interfere in their behalf against another city or party, which xliiithey hated or feared, but were too weak to resist. Thus we find the Persians, Macedonians, Syrians, and Romans successively induced to interfere in Greek politics with the assurance that there were always some states, or some party in each state, who would welcome them. From time to time men of larger views had conceived the idea of creating a united Empire of Hellas, which might present an unbroken front to the foreigner. From time to time philosophers had preached the impossibility of combining complete local independence with the idea of a strong and vigorous nationality. But the true solution of the problem had never been successfully hit upon: and after various abortive attempts at combination, Greece was left, a helpless collection of disjointed fragments, to fall under the intrigues of Macedonia and Rome.

The Achaean league was not the first attempt at such a formation; though it was the first that ever arrived at anything like a complete scheme of federalism (unless the Aetolian preceded it); and was in many respects a fresh departure in Hellenic policy, and the first experiment in federation which seemed to contain the elements of success. From the earliest times certain Greek states had combined more or less closely, or loosely, for certain specific purposes. Such were the various Amphictyonies, and especially the Amphictyonic league of Thermopylae and Delphi. The object of these was primarily religious: the worship of a particular deity, the care of a particular temple; the first condition of membership being therefore community of blood. But though this was the origin of their being, there were elements in their constitution which might have developed into some form of federalism, had it not been for the centrifugal forces that always tended to keep Greek states apart. Thus we can conceive the idea of the Pylagorae from the various states gradually giving rise to the notion of a central parliament of elected representatives; and the sphere of its activity gradually extending to matters purely political, beginning with those which were on the borderland of religion and politics. And, indeed, the action of the great Amphictyonic league at times seemed to be approaching this.96


But the forces tending to decentralisation were always the stronger: and though the league continued to exist for many centuries, it became less and less political, and less and less influential in Greece. So too with other combinations in Greece. The community (τὸ κοινὸν) of the Ionians, beginning with a common meeting for worship at the Panionium, on one memorable occasion at least seemed for a brief space to promise to develop into a federation for mutual succour and defence. In the Ionian revolt in B.C. 500, the deputies (πρόβουλοι) of the Ionian states met and determined to combine against the enemy; they even went so far as to appoint a common general or admiral. But the instinct of separation was too strong; at the first touch of difficulty and hardship the union was resolved into its elements.97

The constitution of the Boeotian league was somewhat more regular and permanent. The Boeotarchs appear to have met at regular intervals, and now and again to have succeeded in mustering a national levy. There were also four regularly constituted “Senates” to control them, though we know nothing of their constitution.98 But the league had come to nothing; partly from the resistance of the towns to the overweening pretensions of Thebes, and later from the severity of the treatment experienced by it at the hands of Alexander and his successors.

Thessaly, again, was a loose confederacy of towns or cantons, in which certain great families, such as the Aleuadae and Scopadae, held the direction of their local affairs; or some tyrannus, as Alexander of Pherae, obtained sovereign powers. Still, for certain purposes, a connexion was acknowledged, and a Tagus of Thessaly was appointed, with the power of summoning a general levy of men. For a short time prior to the Roman conquest these officers appear to have gained additional xlv importance; but Thessaly never was united enough to be of importance, in spite of its famous cavalry, even among Greek nations, far less to be capable of presenting a firm front to the foreigner.

One other early attempt at forming something like a Panhellenic union ought to be noticed. When the Persian invasion of B.C. 480 was threatening, deputies (πρόβουλοι) met at the Isthmus, sat there in council for some months, and endeavoured to unite Greece against the foreigner.99 But the one expedition which was sent solely by their instigation proved a failure.100 And when the danger was over, principally by the combined exertion of Athens and Sparta, this council seems to have died a natural death. Still for a time it acted as a supreme parliament of Greece, and assumed the power to punish with fine or death those Greeks who had medised.101

Besides these rudimentary leagues, which might, but did not, issue in some form of Panhellenic government, there were periods in Greek history in which the Hegemone of one state did something towards presenting the appearance of union. Thus Polycrates of Samos seemed at one time to be likely to succeed in forming a great Ionian Empire. And in continental Greece, before the Persian wars, we find Sparta occupying the position of an acknowledged court of reference in international questions,102—a position in which she probably had been preceded by Argos. And after those wars, by means of the confederacy of Delos, formed at first for one specific purpose—that of keeping the Aegean free of the Persians—Athens gradually rose to the position of an imperial city, claiming active control over the external politics of a considerable portion of Greece and nearly all the islands (B.C. 478-404). But this proved after all but a passing episode in Greek history. Athens perhaps misused her power; and Sparta took up the task with great professions, but in a spirit even less acceptable to the Greek world than that of Athens; and by the peace of Antalcidas (B.C. 387) the issue of the hundred xlvi years’ struggle with Persia left one of the fairest portions of Hellas permanently separated from the main body. Asiatic Greece never became Hellenic again. The fall of the Persian empire before the invasion of Alexander for a while reunited it to a semi-Greek power; but Alexander’s death left it a prey to warring tyrants. It lost its prosperity and its commerce; and whatever else it became, it was never independent, or really Hellenic again.

For a few years more Sparta and then Thebes assumed to be head of Greece, but the Macedonian supremacy secured at Chaeronea (B.C. 338), still more fully after the abortive Lamian war (B.C. 323), left Greece only a nominal freedom, again and again assured to it by various Macedonian monarchs, but really held only on sufferance. The country seemed to settle down without farther struggle into political insignificance. The games and festivals went on, and there was still some high talk of Hellenic glories. But one after another of the towns submitted to receive Macedonian garrisons and governors; and Athens, once the brilliant leader in national aspirations, practically abandoned politics, and was content to enjoy a reputation partly founded on her past, and partly on the fame of the philosophers who still taught in her gardens and porches, and attracted young men from all parts of the world to listen to their discourses, and to sharpen their wits by the acute if not very useful discussions which they promoted.103 Sparta, far from retaining her old ascendency, had been losing with it her ancient constitution, which had been the foundation of her glory, as well perhaps as in some respects the source of her weakness; and for good or evil had ceased to count for much in Hellenic politics.

In the midst of this general collapse two portions of the Hellenic race gradually formed or recovered some sort of united government, which enabled them to play a conspicuous part in the later history of Greece, and which was essentially different from any of the combinations of earlier times of xlviiwhich I have been speaking. These were the Aetolians and Achaeans.

With regard to the former our information is exceedingly Aetolian league. scanty. They were said to have been an emigration from Elis originally;104 but they were little known to the rest of Greece. Strange stories were told of them, of their savage mode of life, their scarcely intelligible language, their feeding on raw flesh, and their fierceness as soldiers. They were said to live in open villages, widely removed from each other, and without effective means of combination for mutual protection. Their piracies, which were chiefly directed to the coasts of Messenia, caused the Messenians to seize the opportunity of Demosthenes being in their neighbourhood in B.C. 426, with a considerable Athenian army, to persuade him to invade the Aetolians, who were always on the look-out to attack Naupactus, a town which the Athenians had held since B.C. 455,105 and which was naturally an object of envy to them as commanding the entrance to the Corinthian gulf. But when Demosthenes attempted the invasion, he found to his cost that the Aetolians knew how to combine, and he had to retire beaten with severe loss.106 The separate tribes in Aetolia seem soon afterwards to have had, if they had not already, some form of central government; for we find them negotiating with Agesilaus in B.C. 390, with the same object of obtaining Naupactus,107 when the Athenians had lost it, and it had fallen into the hands of the Locrians.108 The Aetolians appear to have gradually increased in importance: for we find Philip making terms with them and giving them the coveted Naupactus in B.C. 341, which had at some time previous come into the possession of the Achaeans.109 But their most conspicuous achievement, which caused them to take a position of importance in Greece, was their brilliant defeat of the invading Gauls at Delphi in B.C. 279.110 By this time their federal constitution must in some shape have been formed. The people elected a Strategus in a general meeting, usually held at Thermus, at the autumn equinox, xlviii to which apparently all Aetolians were at liberty to come, and at which questions of peace and war and external politics generally were brought forward; though meanwhile the Strategus appears to have had the right of declaring and carrying on war as he chose. There was also a hipparch and a secretary (21, 22); and a senate called Apocleti (20, 1); and a body called Synedri (C. I. G. 2350), which seem to have been judicial, and another called Nomographi (13, 1, C. I. G. 3046), who were apparently an occasional board for legislation. They produced some writers, but their works are lost. Accordingly, as Professor Mahaffy observes, “we know them entirely from their enemies.” Still the acknowledged principle on which they acted, ἄγειν λάφυρον ἀπὸ λαφύρου111—that is, that where spoils were going, whether from friend or foe, they were justified in taking a part, speaks for itself, and is enough to stamp them as at least dangerous and unpleasant neighbours.

The Achaeans have a different and more interesting Achaean league. history.

The original Achaean league consisted of a federation of twelve cities and their respective territory (μέρος): Pellene, Aegira, Aegae, Bura, Helice, Aegium, Rhypes, Patrae, Pharae, Olenus, Dyme, Tritaea.112 This league was of great antiquity, but we know nothing of its history, or how it differed from other leagues, such as I have already mentioned, in adding political to religious unity. In B.C. 454 it submitted to Athens; but was restored to its original position in the same year on the signing of the thirty years’ truce between Sparta and Athens;113 and though the Athenians demanded that their authority over it should be restored to them in B.C. 425, when they had caught the Spartan army at Sphacteria, no change appears to have been made.114 Thucydides certainly seems to speak of it, not as entirely free, but as in some special manner subject to the supremacy of Sparta. Polybius, however, claims for them, at an early period, a peculiar and honourable xlixplace in Greek politics, as being distinguished for probity and honour. Thus they were chosen as arbitrators in the intestine of Magna Graecia (about B.C. 400-390); and again, after the battle of Leuctra (B.C. 371) to mediate between Sparta and Thebes.115 They must therefore, between B.C. 425-390, have obtained a virtual independence. They shared, however, in the universal decline of Hellenic activity during the Macedonian period (B.C. 359 to about B.C. 285), and Polybius complains that they were systematically depressed by the intrigues of Sparta and Macedonia; both which powers took care to prevent any Achaean of promising ability from attaining influence in the Peloponnese.116 The same influence was exerted to estrange the Achaean cities from each other. They were garrisoned by Macedonian troops, or fell under the power of tyrants; and to all appearance the league had fared as other such combinations had fared before, and had been resolved into its original elements.

But the tradition of the old union did not die out entirely. Eight of the old cities still existed in a state of more or less vigour. Revival of the league, B.C. 284-280. Olenus and Helice had long ago disappeared by encroachments of the sea (before B.C. 371), and their places had not been filled up by others. Two other towns, Rhypes and Aegae, had from various causes ceased to be inhabited, and their places had been taken in the league (before the dissolution) by Leontium and Caryneia. There were therefore ten cities which had once known the advantages and disadvantages of some sort of federal union; as well as the misfortunes which attached to disunion, aggravated by constant interference from without.

The first step in an attempt to resuscitate the league was taken in the 124th Olympiad (B.C. 284-280). Macedonia was at the time weakened by the troubles of a disputed succession: Pyrrhus was absorbed in his futile Italian expedition: B.C. 284. First union of Dyme, Patrae, Tritaea, Pharae. a change in the sovereign of Egypt opened a way to a possible change of policy at Alexandria: and the death of Lysimachus gave the monarchs something else to do than to trouble themselves about the Peloponnese. At this period four of the Achaean l towns, Dyme, Patrae, Tritaea, and Pharae, formed a league for mutual help. Adherence of Aegium, B.C. 279. This proving, after a trial of five years, to have some stability, it was joined by Aegium, from which the Macedonian garrison was expelled. At intervals, of which we are not informed, this was again joined by Bura and Caryneia. B.C. 279-255. These seven cities continued to constitute the entire league for twenty-five years; the federal magistrates consisting of two Strategi, elected by each city in turns, and a secretary. As to the doings of the league during this period we are entirely in the dark. Margos of Caryneia first sole Strategus, B.C. 255. The next step that we hear of is the abolition of the dual presidency and the election of Margos of Caryneia as sole Strategus. We are not told the reasons of the change; but it is clear that a divided command might often give room for delay, when delay was fatal; and for the conflict of local interests, where the interests of the community should be the paramount consideration. At any rate the change was made: and Margos, who had been a loyal servant of the league, was the first sole Strategus. His immediate successors we do not know. The next fact in the history of the league was the adherence of Sicyon, a powerful town and the first of any, not in the number of the old Achaean federation, to join. This therefore was a great step in the direction of extending the federation over the Peloponnese; and it was the work of the man destined to do much in moulding the league into the shape in which it attained its greatest effectiveness, Aratus of Sicyon. He found it weak; its cities poor and insignificant; with no aid from rich soil or good harbourage to increase its wealth or property;117 he left it, not indeed free from serious dangers and difficulties,—in part the result of his own policy in calling in the aid of the Macedonians, in part created by the persistent hostility of Aetolia and Sparta,—but yet possessed of great vitality, and fast becoming the most powerful and influential of all the Greek governments; although at no time can it be spoken of as Panhellenic without very considerable exaggeration. Aratus had been brought up in exile at Argos, after the murder of his lifather Cleinias (B.C. 271); and, when twenty years of age, by a gallant and romantic adventure, had driven out the tyrant Nicocles from Sicyon (B.C. 251). He became the chief magistrate of his native town, which he induced to join the Achaean league, thus causing, as I have said, the league to take its first step towards embracing all the Peloponnese. It seems that for five years Aratus remained chief magistrate of Sicyon, but a private citizen of the league. In B.C. 245 (though of the exact year we have no positive information), he appears to have been first elected Strategus of the league. But it was not until his second year of office, B.C. 243-242, that he began putting in practice the policy which he proposed to himself,—the expulsion of the Macedonian garrisons and the despots from the cities of the Peloponnese, with the view of their joining the league. He began with the Acrocorinthus. Corinth, freed from the foreign garrison, joined the league, and was followed soon after by Megara118 (B.C. 240). From this time Aratus was Strategus of the league in alternate years to the time of his death, the federal law not allowing two consecutive years of office.119

The death of Antigonus Gonatas (B.C. 239) led to a new departure. Hitherto the Aetolians had been in league with the Macedonians to vex and harry the Achaeans. The two leagues now made peace, and the Aetolians aided the Achaeans in their resistance to Gonatas’s successor, Demetrius (B.C. 239-229). Still the despots in many of the Peloponnesian towns held out, trusting to the support of Demetrius. When he died (B.C. 229) there was a general movement among them to abdicate and join their cities to the league. Lydiades of Megalopolis had done so during Demetrius’s lifetime; and now Aristomachus of Argos, Xeno of Hermione, and Cleonymus of Phlius did the same. The rapid extension of the Achaean league, however, could not fail to excite the jealousy of the Aetolians, to whose league belonged certain Arcadian cities such as Mantinea, Tegea, and Orchomenus. These they liiimagined to be threatened by the policy of Aratus, which was apt to proceed on the line that even a forcible attachment of a Peloponnesian town to the league was in reality a liberation of its people from a constraining power. The Spartan jealousy was aroused by the same fear. And then, as Polybius puts it, the Aetolians connived at the extension of Spartan power, even at the expense of cities in league with themselves, in order to strengthen Cleomenes in his attitude of opposition to the Achaeans.120 Aratus, however, resolved to wait for some definite act of hostility before moving. This was supplied by Cleomenes building a fort (the Athenaeum) at Belbina, in the territory of Megalopolis, a league city. Cleomenic war, B.C. 227-221. Upon this the league necessarily proclaimed war with Sparta. Thus does Polybius, a warm friend of the league, state the case in its behalf. The league, he argues, had been growing by the voluntary adherence of independent towns: it had shown no sign of an intention to attack Laconian territory, or towns in league with Aetolia: while Cleomenes had committed an act of wanton aggression and provocation by building a hostile fort in its territory. But what the other side had to say may be gathered from Plutarch’s life of Cleomenes, founded principally on the work of Phylarchus the panegyrist of Cleomenes.121 Here the case is put very differently. Aratus, according to him, had made up his mind that a union of the Peloponnesus was the one thing necessary for the safety of the league. In a great measure he had been already successful; but the parts which still stood aloof were Elis, Laconia, and the cities of Arcadia which were under the influence of Sparta.122 He therefore harassed these last by every means in his power; and the erection or fortification of the Athenaeum at Belbina by Cleomenes was in truth only a measure of necessary defence. Aratus, indeed, held that some of these Arcadian cities had been unfairly seized by Cleomenes, with the connivance liii of the Aetolians;123 but to this Cleomenes might reply that, if the league claimed the right of extending its connexion with the assent, often extorted, of the various cities annexed, the same right could not justly be denied to himself. B.C. 226-221.A series of military operations took place during the next five years, in which Cleomenes nearly always got the better of Aratus; who, able and courageous in plots and surprises, was timid and ineffective in the field. The one important blow struck by Aratus, that of seizing Mantinea, was afterwards nullified by a counter-occupation of it by the Lacedaemonians; and in spite of troubles at home, caused by his great scheme of reform, Cleomenes was by B.C. 224 in so superior a position that he could with dignity propose terms to the league. He asked to be elected Strategus, therefore.124 At first sight this seemed a means of effecting the desired union of the Peloponnese; and as such the Achaeans were inclined to accept the proposal. Aratus, however, exerted all his influence to defeat the measure: and, in spite of all his failures, his services to the league enabled him to convince his countrymen that they should reject the offer; and he was himself elected Strategus for the twelfth time in the spring of B.C. 223. Aratus has been loudly condemned for allowing a selfish jealousy to override his care for the true interests of his country, in thus refusing a prospect of a united Achaia, in which some one besides himself should be the leading man.125 But I think there is something to be said on the other side. What Aratus had been working for with a passionate eagerness was a union of free democratic states. Cleomenes, in spite of his liberal reforms at home, was a Spartan to the back bone. Aratus would have no manner of doubt that a league, with Sparta supreme in it, would inevitably become a Spartan kingdom. The forces of Sparta would be used to crush dissenting cities; and soon to put down the free institution which would always be disliked and feared by the Spartan government. Security from Macedonian influence, if it were really obtained,—and that was far from certain,—would be dearly purchased at the price of submission to Spartan tyranny, which would be more livgalling and oppressive in proportion as it was nearer and more unremitting. With these views Aratus began to turn his eyes to the Macedonian court, as the only possible means of resisting the encroaching policy of Cleomenes. The character of Antigonus Doson, who was then administering Macedonia, gave some encouragement to hope for honest and honourable conduct on his part; and after some hesitation Aratus took the final step of asking for his aid.126 I do not expect to carry the assent of many readers when I express the opinion that he was right; and that the Greek policy towards Macedonia had been from the first a grievous error,—fostered originally by the patriotic eloquence of Demosthenes, and continued ever since by that ineradicable sentiment for local autonomy which makes Greek history so interesting, but inevitably tended to the political annihilation of Greece. Had some modus vivendi been found with the series of very able sovereigns who ruled Macedonia, a strong Greek nation might have been the result, with a central government able to hold its own even in the face of the great “cloud in the West,” which was surely overshadowing Greek freedom. But this was not to be. The taste for local freedom was too strong; and showed itself by constant appeals to an outside power against neighbours, which yet the very men who appealed to it would not recognise or obey. The Greeks had to learn that nations cannot, any more than individuals, eat their cake and have it too. Local autonomy, and the complete liberty of every state to war with its neighbours as it chooses, and of every one to speak and act as he pleases, have their charms; but they are not compatible with a united resistance to a great centralised and law-abiding power. And all the eloquence of all the Greek orators rolled into one could not make up for the lack of unity, or enable the distracted Greeks to raise an army which might stand before a volley of Roman pila or a charge of Roman legionaries.

The help asked of Antigonus Doson was given with fatal readiness; but it had to be purchased by the admission of a Macedonian garrison into the Acrocorinthus, one of those “fetters of Greece,” the recovery of which had been among lvAratus’s earliest and most glorious triumphs. The battle of Sellasia (B.C. 221) settled the question of Spartan influence. Cleomenes fled to Alexandria and never returned. Sparta was not enslaved by Antigonus; who on the contrary professed to restore her ancient constitution,—probably meaning that the Ephoralty destroyed by Cleomenes was to be reconstituted, and the exiles banished by him recalled. Practically she was left a prey to a series of unscrupulous tyrants who one after the other managed to obtain absolute power, Lycurgus (B.C. 220-210), Machanidas, B.C. 210-207; Nabis, B.C. 207-192; who, though differing in their home administrations, all agreed in using the enmity of the Aetolians in order to harass and oppress the Achaeans in every possible way.

Aratus died in B.C. 213. B.C. 213. Death of Aratus. The last seven years of his life were embittered by much ill success in his struggles with the Aetolians; and by seeing Philip V., of whose presence in the Peloponnese he was the main cause, after rendering some brilliant services to the league, both in the Peloponnese and the invasion of Aetolia, develop some of the worst vices of the tyrant; and he believed himself, whether rightly or wrongly, to be poisoned by Philip’s order: “This is the reward,” he said to an attendant when he felt himself dying, “of my friendship for Philip.”127

The history of the league after his death followed the same course for some years. The war with the Aetolians went on, sometimes slackly, sometimes vigorously, as Philip V. was or was not diverted by contests with his barbarian neighbours, or by schemes for joining the Carthaginian assaults upon the Roman power.

The next phase of vigorous action on the part of the league is that which corresponds with the career of Philopoemen, B.C. 208-183, Philopoemen. who had already shown his energy and skill at the battle of Sellasia. He was elected Hipparch in B.C. 210, and Strategus in B.C. 209. In his first office he did much to reorganise the Achaean cavalry and restore them to some discipline,128 and he extended this as Strategus to the whole army.129 His life’s lvi work, however, was the defeating and either killing or confining to their frontier the tyrants of Sparta. But while he was absent from the country after B.C. 200 a new element appeared in the Peloponnese. In 197 the battle of Cynoscephalae put an end for ever to Macedonian influence, and Flamininus proclaimed the liberty of all Greece in B.C. 195 at the Nemean festival. B.C. 195-194. But Nabis was not deposed; he was secured in his power by a treaty with Rome; and when Philopoemen returned from Crete (B.C. 193), he found a fresh war on the point of breaking out owing to intrigues between that tyrant and the Aetolians. B.C. 193. They suggested, and he eagerly undertook to make, an attempt to recover the maritime towns of which he had been deprived by the Roman settlement.130193-192.Nabis at once attacked Gythium: and seemed on the point of taking it and the whole of the coast towns, which would thus have been lost to the league. Philopoemen, now again Strategus (B.C. 192), failed to relieve Gythium; but by a skilful piece of generalship inflicted so severe a defeat on Nabis, as he was returning to Sparta, that he did not venture on further movements beyond Laconia; and shortly afterwards was assassinated by some Aetolians whom he had summoned to his aid.

But the comparative peace in the Peloponnese was again broken in B.C. 189 189-187.by the Spartans seizing a maritime town called Las; the object being to relieve themselves of the restraint which shut them from the sea, and the possible attacks of the exiles who had been banished by Nabis, and who were always watching an opportunity to effect their return. Philopoemen (Strategus both 189 and 188 B.C.) led an army to the Laconian frontier in the spring of B.C. 188, and after the execution of eighty Spartans, who had been surrendered on account of the seizure of Las, and of the murder of thirty citizens who were supposed to have Achaean proclivities—Sparta submitted to his demand to raze the fortifications, dismiss the mercenaries, send away the new citizens enrolled by the tyrants, and abolish the Lycurgean laws, accepting the Achaean institutions instead. This was lvii afterwards supplemented by a demand for the restoration of the exiles banished by the tyrants. Such of the new citizens (three thousand) as did not leave the country by the day named were seized and sold as slaves.131

Sparta was now part of the Achaean league, which at this B.C. 188. time reached its highest point of power; and its alliance was solicited by the most powerful princes of the east. 188-183.It is this period which Polybius seems to have in mind in his description of the league at its best, as embracing the whole of the Peloponnese.132Lycortas Strategus, B.C. 184-182.was in this third period of the existence of the renewed league that his father Lycortas came to the front, and he himself at an early age began taking part in politics.

But the terms imposed on Sparta were essentially violent and unjust, and, as it turned out, impolitic. Cowed into submission, she proved a thorn in the side of the league. The exiles continually appealed to Rome; and after Philopoemen’s death (B.C. 183) the affairs of the league began more and more to come before the Roman Senate. As usual, traitors were at hand ready to sell their country for the sake of the triumph of their party; and Callicrates, B.C. 179.sent to Rome to plead the cause of the league,133 employed the opportunity to support himself and his party by advising the Senate to give support to “the Romanisers” in every state. This Polybius regards as the beginning of the decline of the league. And the party of moderation, to which he and his father Lycortas belonged, and which wished to assert the dignity and legal rights of their country while offering no provocation to the Romans, were eventually included under the sweeping decree which caused them, to the number of a thousand, to be deported to Italy. We have already seen, in tracing the life of Polybius, how the poor remnants of these exiles returned in B.C. 151, embittered against Rome, and having learnt nothing and forgotten nothing. And how the old quarrels were renewed, until an armed interference of Rome was brought upon them; and how the victory of lviii Mummius at Corinth (B.C. 146), and the consequent settlement of the commissioners, finally dissolved the league into separate cantons, nominally autonomous, but really entirely subject to Rome.134

The constitution of the league presents many points of interest to the student of politics, and has been elaborately discussed by more than one English scholar. I shall content myself here with pointing out some of the main features as they are mentioned by Polybius.135

The league was a federation of free towns, all retaining full local autonomy of some form or other of democracy, which for certain purposes were under federal laws and federal magistrates, elected in a federal assembly which all citizens of the league towns might if they chose attend. All towns of the league also used the same standards in coinage and weights and measures (2, 37). The assembly of the league (σύνοδος) met for election of the chief magistrate in May of each year, at first always at Aegium, but later at the other towns of the league in turn (29, 23); and a second time in the autumn.136 And besides these annual meetings, the Strategus, acting with his council of magistrates, could summon a meeting at any time for three days (e.g. at Sicyon, 23, 17); and on one occasion we find the assembly delegating its powers to the armed levy of league troops, who for the nonce were to act as an assembly (4, 7). Side by side with this general assembly was a council (βουλή), the functions and powers of which we cannot clearly ascertain. It seems to have acted as representing the general assembly in foreign affairs (4, 26; 22, 12); and, being a working committee of the whole assembly, it sometimes happened lix that when an assembly was summoned on some subject which did not rouse popular interest, it practically was the assembly (29, 24). Its numbers have been assumed to be one hundred and twenty, from the fact that Eumenes offered them a present of one hundred and twenty talents, the interest of which was to pay their expenses. But this, after all, is not a certain deduction (22, 10).

The officers of the league were: First, a President or Strategus who kept the seal of the league (4, 7), ordered the levy of federal troops, and commanded it in the field. He also summoned the assemblies, and brought the business to be done before them, which was in the form of a proposal to be accepted or rejected, not amended. He was not chairman of the assembly, but like an English minister or a Roman consul brought on the proposals. He was assisted by a kind of cabinet of ten magistrates from the several towns, who were called Demiurgi (δημιουργοὶ 23, 5).137 This was their technical name: but Polybius also speaks of them under the more general appellation of οἱ ἄρχοντες (5, 1), οἱ συνάρχοντες (23, 16), αἱ ἀρχαὶ (22, 13), αἱ συναρχίαι (27, 2). Whether the number ten had reference to the ten old towns of the league or not, it was not increased with the number of the towns; and, though we are not informed how they were elected, it seems reasonable to suppose that they were freely selected without reference to the towns from which they came, as the Strategus himself was. There was also a vice-president, or hypo-strategus, whose position was, I think, wholly military. He did not rule in absence of the Strategus, or succeed him in case of death, that being reserved for the Strategus of the previous year; but he took a certain command in war next the Strategus (5, 94; 4, 59). Besides these we hear of a Hipparch to command the league cavalry (5, 95; 7, 10, 22), an office which seems to have been regarded as stepping-stone to that of Strategus. This proved a bad arrangement, as its holder was tempted to seek popularity by winking at derelictions of duty among the cavalry who were voters.138 There was lx also a Navarch to command the regular squadron of federal ships (5, 94), who does not seem to have been so important a person. There are also mentioned certain judges (δίκασται) to administer the federal law. We hear of them, however, performing duties closely bordering on politics; for they decided whether certain honorary inscriptions, statues, or other marks of respect to king Eumenes should be allowed to remain in the Achaean cities (28, 7).

The Strategus, on the order of the assembly, raised the federal army (4, 7). The number of men raised differed according to circumstances. A fairly full levy seems to have been five thousand infantry and five hundred cavalry (4, 15). But the league also used mercenaries to a great extent. And we hear of one army which was to consist of eight thousand mercenary infantry, with five hundred mercenary cavalry; and in this case the Achaean levy was only to be three thousand infantry, with three hundred cavalry (5, 91).

The pay of the mercenaries and other league expenses were provided for by an εἰσφορά or contribution from all the states (5, 31, 91). The contributing towns appear to have been able to recover their payments as an indemnification for damage which the federal forces had failed to avert (4, 60).

The regular federal squadron of ships for guarding the sea-coasts appears to have consisted of ten triremes (2, 9; δεκαναία μακρῶν πλοίων 22, 10).

Such was the organisation of the Federal Government. It was in form purely democratic, all members of thirty years old being eligible for office, as well as possessing a vote in the assemblies. But a mass assembly where the members are widely scattered inevitably becomes oligarchic. Only the well-to-do and the energetic will be able or will care to come a long journey to attend. And as the votes in the assembly were given by towns, it must often have happened that the votes of many towns were decided by a very small number of their citizens who were there. No doubt, in times of great excitement, the attendance would be large and the vote a popular one. But the general policy of the league must have been directed by a small number of energetic men, who made politics their profession and could afford to do so.



Roman Camp.
P*. Praetorium.
T T’. Tents of the Tribuni Militum of two legions.
E E’. Equites of two legions.
P P’. Principes””
H H’. Hastati””
T T’. Triarii””
ES ES’. Equites of Socii of two legions.
PS PS’. Pedites”””
PE PE’. Equites of the Praetorian Cohort of two legions.
PP PP’. Pedites””””
EP EP’. Pedites extraordinarii of two legions.
EE EE’. Equites ””
Q. Quaestorium.
F. Forum or market-place.
V V’. Foreigners or volunteers.




1. Had the praise of History been passed over by former Chroniclers it Introduction. The importance and magnitude of the subject. would perhaps have been incumbent upon me to urge the choice and special study of records of this sort, as the readiest means men can have of correcting their knowledge of the past. But my predecessors have not been sparing in this respect. They have all begun and ended, so to speak, by enlarging on this theme: asserting again and again that the study of History is in the truest sense an education, and a training for political life; and that the most instructive, or rather the only, method of learning to bear with dignity the vicissitudes of fortune is to recall the catastrophes of others. It is evident, therefore, that no one need think it his duty to repeat what has been said by many, and said well. Least of all myself: for the surprising nature of the events which I have undertaken to relate is in itself sufficient to challenge and stimulate the attention of every one, old or young, to the study of my work. Can any one be so indifferent or idle as not to care to know by what means, and under what kind of polity, almost the whole inhabited world was conquered and brought under the dominion of the single city of Rome, and that too within a period of not quite fifty-three years? B.C. 219-167.Or who again can be so completely absorbed in other subjects of contemplation or study, as to think any of them superior in importance to the accurate understanding of an event for which the past affords no precedent.


2. We shall best show how marvellous and vast our subject Immensity of the Roman Empire shown by comparison with Persia, Sparta, Macedonia. 1. Persia.is by comparing the most famous Empires which preceded, and which have been the favourite themes of historians, and measuring them with the superior greatness of Rome. There are but three that deserve even to be so compared and measured: and they are these. The Persians for a certain length of time were possessed of a great empire and dominion. 2. Sparta. B.C. 405-394.But every time they ventured beyond the limits of Asia, they found not only their empire, but their own existence also in danger. The Lacedaemonians, after contending for supremacy in Greece for many generations, when they did get it, held it without dispute for barely twelve years. 3. Macedonia.The Macedonians obtained dominion in Europe from the lands bordering on the Adriatic to the Danube,—which after all is but a small fraction of this continent,—and, by the destruction of the Persian Empire, they afterwards added to that the dominion of Asia. And yet, though they had the credit of having made themselves masters of a larger number of countries and states than any people had ever done, they still left the greater half of the inhabited world in the hands of others. They never so much as thought of attempting Sicily, Sardinia, or Libya: and as to Europe, to speak the plain truth, they never even knew of the most warlike tribes of the West. The Roman conquest, on the other hand, was not partial. Nearly the whole inhabited world was reduced by them to obedience: and they left behind them an empire not to be paralleled in the past or rivalled in the future. Students will gain from my narrative a clearer view of the whole story, and of the numerous and important advantages which such exact record of events offers.

3. My History begins in the 140th Olympiad. The events from which it starts are these. In B.C. 220-217. The History starts from the 140th Olympiad, when the tendency towards unity first shows itself. Greece, what is called the Social war: the first waged by Philip, son of Demetrius and father of Perseus, in league with the Achaeans against the Aetolians. In Asia, the war for the possession of3 Coele-Syria which Antiochus and Ptolemy Philopator carried on against each other. In Italy, Libya, and their neighbourhood, the conflict between Rome and Carthage, generally called the Hannibalian war. My work thus begins where that of Aratus of Sicyon leaves off. Now up to this time the world’s history had been, so to speak, a series of disconnected transactions, as widely separated in their origin and results as in their localities. But from this time forth History becomes a connected whole: the affairs of Italy and Libya are involved with those of Asia and Greece, and the tendency of all is to unity. This is why I have fixed upon this era as the starting-point of my work. For it was their victory over the Carthaginians in this war, and their conviction that thereby the most difficult and most essential step towards universal empire had been taken, which encouraged the Romans for the first time to stretch out their hands upon the rest, and to cross with an army into Greece and Asia.

Now, had the states that were rivals for universal empire been familiarly known to us, A sketch of their previous history necessary to explain the success of the Romans.no reference perhaps to their previous history would have been necessary, to show the purpose and the forces with which they approached an undertaking of this nature and magnitude. But the fact is that the majority of the Greeks have no knowledge of the previous constitution, power, or achievements either of Rome or Carthage. I therefore concluded that it was necessary to prefix this and the next book to my History. I was anxious that no one, when fairly embarked upon my actual narrative, should feel at a loss, and have to ask what were the designs entertained by the Romans, or the forces and means at their disposal, that they entered upon those undertakings, which did in fact lead to their becoming masters of land and sea everywhere in our part of the world. I wished, on the contrary, that these books of mine, and the prefatory sketch which they contained, might make it clear that the resources they started with justified their original idea, and sufficiently explained their final success in grasping universal empire and dominion.


4. There is this analogy between the plan of my History and the marvellous spirit of the age with which I have to deal. The need of a comprehensive view of history as well as a close study of an epoch.Just as Fortune made almost all the affairs of the world incline in one direction, and forced them to converge upon one and the same point; so it is my task as an historian to put before my readers a compendious view of the part played by Fortune in bringing about the general catastrophe. It was this peculiarity which originally challenged my attention, and determined me on undertaking this work. And combined with this was the fact that no writer of our time has undertaken a general history. Had any one done so my ambition in this direction would have been much diminished. But, in point of fact, I notice that by far the greater number of historians concern themselves with isolated wars and the incidents that accompany them: while as to a general and comprehensive scheme of events, their date, origin, and catastrophe, no one as far as I know has undertaken to examine it. I thought it, therefore, distinctly my duty neither to pass by myself, nor allow any one else to pass by, without full study, a characteristic specimen of the dealings of Fortune at once brilliant and instructive in the highest degree. For fruitful as Fortune is in change, and constantly as she is producing dramas in the life of men, yet never assuredly before this did she work such a marvel, or act such a drama, as that which we have witnessed. And of this we cannot obtain a comprehensive view from writers of mere episodes. It would be as absurd to expect to do so as for a man to imagine that he has learnt the shape of the whole world, its entire arrangement and order, because he has visited one after the other the most famous cities in it; or perhaps merely examined them in separate pictures. That would be indeed absurd: and it has always seemed to me that men, who are persuaded that they get a competent view of universal from episodical history, are very like persons who should see the limbs of some body, which had once been living and beautiful, scattered and remote; and should imagine that to be quite as good as actually beholding the activity and beauty of the living creature itself. But if some one could there and then5 reconstruct the animal once more, in the perfection of its beauty and the charm of its vitality, and could display it to the same people, they would beyond doubt confess that they had been far from conceiving the truth, and had been little better than dreamers. For indeed some idea of a whole may be got from a part, but an accurate knowledge and clear comprehension cannot. Wherefore we must conclude that episodical history contributes exceedingly little to the familiar knowledge and secure grasp of universal history. While it is only by the combination and comparison of the separate parts of the whole,—by observing their likeness and their difference,—that a man can attain his object: can obtain a view at once clear and complete; and thus secure both the profit and the delight of History.

5. I shall adopt as the starting-point of this book the first occasion on which the Romans crossed the sea from Italy. B.C. 264-261. I begin my preliminary account in the 129th Olympiad, and with the circumstances which took the Romans to Sicily.This is just where the History of Timaeus left off; and it falls in the 129th Olympiad. I shall accordingly have to describe what the state of their affairs in Italy was, how long that settlement had lasted, and on what resources they reckoned, when they resolved to invade Sicily. For this was the first place outside Italy in which they set foot. The precise cause of their thus crossing I must state without comment; for if I let one cause lead me back to another, my point of departure will always elude my grasp, and I shall never arrive at the view of my subject which I wish to present. As to dates, then, I must fix on some era agreed upon and recognised by all: and as to events, one that admits of distinctly separate treatment; even though I may be obliged to go back some short way in point of time, and take a summary review of the intermediate transactions. For if the facts with which one starts are unknown, or even open to controversy, all that comes after will fail of approval and belief. But opinion being once formed on that point, and a general assent obtained, all the succeeding narrative becomes intelligible.


6. It was in the nineteenth year after the sea-fight at Aegospotami, and the sixteenth before the battle at Leuctra; B.C. 387-386. The rise of the Roman dominion may be traced from the retirement of the Gauls from the city. From that time one nation after another in Italy fell into their hands.the year in which the Lacedaemonians made what is called the Peace of Antalcidas with the King of Persia; the year in which the elder Dionysius was besieging Rhegium after beating the Italian Greeks on the River Elleporus; and in which the Gauls took Rome itself by storm and were occupying the whole of it except the Capitol. With these Gauls the Romans made a treaty and settlement which they were content to accept: and having thus become beyond all expectation once more masters of their own country, they made a start in their career of expansion; and in the succeeding period engaged in various wars with their neighbours. The Latini.First, by dint of valour, and the good fortune which attended them in the field, they mastered all the Latini; then they went to war with the Etruscans; The Etruscans, Gauls, and Samnites.then with the Celts; and next with the Samnites, who lived on the eastern and northern frontiers of Latium. Some time after this the Tarentines insulted the ambassadors of Rome, and, in fear of the consequences, invited and obtained the assistance of Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus, B.C. 280.This happened in the year before the Gauls invaded Greece, some of whom perished near Delphi, while others crossed into Asia. Then it was that the Romans—having reduced the Etruscans and Samnites to obedience, and conquered the Italian Celts in many battles—attempted for the first time the reduction of the rest of Italy. Southern Italy.The nations for whose possessions they were about to fight they affected to regard, not in the light of foreigners, but as already for the most part belonging and pertaining to themselves. The experience gained from their contests with the Samnites and the Celts had served as a genuine training in the art of war. Pyrrhus finally quits Italy, B.C. 274.Accordingly, they entered upon the war with spirit, drove Pyrrhus from Italy, and then undertook to fight with and subdue those who had taken part with him. They succeeded everywhere7 to a marvel, and reduced to obedience all the tribes inhabiting Italy except the Celts; after which they undertook to besiege some of their own citizens, who at that time were occupying Rhegium.

7. For misfortunes befell Messene and Rhegium, the cities built on either side of the Strait, peculiar in The story of the Mamertines at Messene, and the Roman garrison at Rhegium, Dio. Cassius fr. their nature and alike in their circumstances.

Not long before the period we are now describing some Campanian mercenaries of Agathocles, having for some time cast greedy eyes upon Messene, owing to its beauty and wealth, no sooner got an opportunity than they made a treacherous attempt upon that city. 1. Messene.They entered the town under guise of friendship, and, having once got possession of it, they drove out some of the citizens and put others to the sword. Agathocles died, B.C. 289. This done, they seized promiscuously the wives and children of the dispossessed citizens, each keeping those which fortune had assigned him at the very moment of the lawless deed. All other property and the land they took possession of by a subsequent division and retained.

The speed with which they became masters of a fair territory and city found ready imitators of their conduct. 2. Rhegium, Livy Ep. 12.The people of Rhegium, when Pyrrhus was crossing to Italy, felt a double anxiety. They were dismayed at the thought of his approach, and at the same time were afraid of the Carthaginians as being masters of the sea. Pyrrhus in Sicily, B.C. 278-275.They accordingly asked and obtained a force from Rome to guard and support them. The garrison, four thousand in number, under the command of a Campanian named Decius Jubellius, entered the city, and for a time preserved it, as well as their own faith. But at last, conceiving the idea of imitating the Mamertines, and having at the same time obtained their co-operation, they broke faith with the people of Rhegium, enamoured of the pleasant site of the town and the private wealth of the citizens, and seized the city after having, in imitation of the Mamertines, first driven out some of the people and put others to the sword. Now, though the Romans were much annoyed at this transaction,8 they could take no active steps, because they were deeply engaged in the wars I have mentioned above. But having got free from them they invested and besieged the troops. B.C. 271. C. Quintus Claudius, L. Genucius Clepsina, Coss.They presently took the place and killed the greater number in the assault,—for the men resisted desperately, knowing what must follow,—but took more than three hundred alive. These were sent to Rome, and there the Consuls brought them into the forum, where they were scourged and beheaded according to custom: for they wished as far as they could to vindicate their good faith in the eyes of the allies. The territory and town they at once handed over to the people of Rhegium.

8. But the Mamertines (for this was the name which the Campanians gave themselves after they became masters of Messene), Effect of the fall of the rebellious garrison of Rhegium on the Mamertines.as long as they enjoyed the alliance of the Roman captors of Rhegium, not only exercised absolute control over their own town and district undisturbed, but about the neighbouring territory also gave no little trouble to the Carthaginians and Syracusans, and levied tribute from many parts of Sicily. But when they were deprived of this support, the captors of Rhegium being now invested and besieged, they were themselves promptly forced back into the town again by the Syracusans, under circumstances which I will now detail.

Not long before this the military forces of the Syracusans had quarrelled with the citizens, and while stationed near Merganè elected commanders from their own body. The rise of Hiero. He is elected General by the army, B.C. 275-274.These were Artemidorus and Hiero, the latter of whom afterwards became King of Syracuse. At this time he was quite a young man, but had a certain natural aptitude for kingcraft and the politic conduct of affairs. Having taken over the command, and having by means of some of his connexions made his way into the city, he got his political opponents into his hands; but conducted the government with such mildness, and in so lofty a spirit, that the Syracusans, though by no means usually acquiescing in the election of officers by the soldiers, did on this occasion9 unanimously approve of Hiero as their general. His first step made it evident to close observers that his hopes soared above the position of a mere general.

9. He noticed that among the Syracusans the despatch of troops, and of magistrates in command of them, was always the signal for revolutionary movements of some sort or another. Secures support of Leptines by marrying his daughter.He knew, too, that of all the citizens Leptines enjoyed the highest position and credit, and that among the common people especially he was by far the most influential man existing. He accordingly contracted a relationship by marriage with him, that he might have a representative of his interests left at home at such times as he should be himself bound to go abroad with the troops for a campaign. After marrying the daughter of this man, his next step was in regard to the old mercenaries. His device for getting rid of mutinous mercenaries.He observed that they were disaffected and mutinous: and he accordingly led out an expedition, with the ostensible purpose of attacking the foreigners who were in occupation of Messene. He pitched a camp against the enemy near Centuripa, and drew up his line resting on the River Cyamosorus. Fiume Salso.But the cavalry and infantry, which consisted of citizens, he kept together under his personal command at some distance, on pretence of intending to attack the enemy on another quarter: the mercenaries he thrust to the front and allowed them to be completely cut to pieces by the foreigners; while he seized the moment of their rout to affect a safe retreat for himself and the citizens into Syracuse. This stroke of policy was skilful and successful. He had got rid of the mutinous and seditious element in the army; and after enlisting on his own account a sufficient body of mercenaries, he thenceforth carried on the business of the government in security. But seeing that the Mamertines Hiero next attacks the Mamertines and defeats them near Mylae, B.C. 268.were encouraged by their success to greater confidence and recklessness in their excursions, he fully armed and energetically drilled the citizen levies, led them out, and engaged the enemy on the Mylaean plain near the River Longanus. He inflicted a severe defeat upon them:10 took their leaders prisoners: put a complete end to their audacious proceedings: and on his return to Syracuse was himself greeted by all the allies with the title of King.

10. Thus were the Mamertines first deprived of support from Rhegium, and then subjected, from causes which I have just stated, to a complete defeat on their own account. Some of the conquered Mamertines appeal to Rome for help.Thereupon some of them betook themselves to the protection of the Carthaginians, and were for putting themselves and their citadel into their hands; while others set about sending an embassy to Rome to offer a surrender of their city, and to beg assistance on the ground of the ties of race which united them. The Romans were long in doubt. The inconsistency of sending such aid seemed manifest. A little while ago they had put some of their own citizens to death, with the extreme penalties of the law, for having broken faith with the people of Rhegium: and now so soon afterwards to assist the Mamertines, The motives of the Romans in acceding to this prayer,—jealousy of the growing power of Carthage.who had done precisely the same to Messene as well as Rhegium, involved a breach of equity very hard to justify. But while fully alive to these points, they yet saw that Carthaginian aggrandisement was not confined to Libya, but had embraced many districts in Iberia as well; and that Carthage was, besides, mistress of all the islands in the Sardinian and Tyrrhenian seas: they were beginning, therefore, to be exceedingly anxious lest, if the Carthaginians became masters of Sicily also, they should find them very dangerous and formidable neighbours, surrounding them as they would on every side, and occupying a position which commanded all the coasts of Italy. Now it was clear that, if the Mamertines did not obtain the assistance they asked for, the Carthaginians would very soon reduce Sicily. For should they avail themselves of the voluntary offer of Messene and become masters of it, they were certain before long to crush Syracuse also, since they were already lords of nearly the whole of the rest of Sicily. The Romans saw all this, and felt that it was absolutely necessary not to let Messene slip, or allow the Carthaginians to secure what would be like a bridge to enable them to cross into Italy.


11. In spite of protracted deliberations, the conflict of motives proved too strong, The Senate shirk the responsibility of decision. The people vote for helping the Mamertines.after all, to allow of the Senate coming to any decision; for the inconsistency of aiding the Messenians appeared to them to be evenly balanced by the advantages to be gained by doing so. The people, however, had suffered much from the previous wars, and wanted some means of repairing the losses which they had sustained in every department. Besides these national advantages to be gained by the war, the military commanders suggested that individually they would get manifest and important benefits from it. They accordingly voted in favour of giving the aid. B.C. 264. Appius Claudius Caudex. M. Fulvius Flaccus, Coss.The decree having thus been passed by the people, they elected one of the consuls, Appius Claudius, to the command, and sent him out with instructions to cross to Messene and relieve the Mamertines. These latter managed, between threats and false representations, to oust the Carthaginian commander who was already in possession of the citadel, invited Appius in, and offered to deliver the city into his hands. The Carthaginians crucified their commander for what they considered to be his cowardice and folly in thus losing the citadel; stationed their fleet near Pelorus; their land forces at a place called Synes; and laid vigorous siege to Messene. Hiero joins Carthage in laying siege to the Mamertines in Messene. Appius comes to the relief of the besieged, B.C. 264.Now at this juncture Hiero, thinking it a favourable opportunity for totally expelling from Sicily the foreigners who were in occupation of Messene, made a treaty with the Carthaginians. Having done this, he started from Syracuse upon an expedition against that city. He pitched his camp on the opposite side to the Carthaginians, near what was called the Chalcidian Mount, whereby the garrison were cut off from that way out as well as from the other. The Roman Consul Appius, for his part, gallantly crossed the strait by night and got into Messene. But he found that the enemy had completely surrounded the town and were vigorously pressing on the attack; and he concluded on reflection that the siege could bring him neither credit nor security so long as the enemy commanded land as well as sea. He accordingly first endeavoured12 to relieve the Mamertines from the contest altogether by sending embassies to both of the attacking forces. After vain attempts at negotiation, Appius determines to attack Hiero.Neither of them received his proposals, and at last, from sheer necessity, he made up his mind to hazard an engagement, and that he would begin with the Syracusans. So he led out his forces and drew them up for the fight: nor was the Syracusan backward in accepting the challenge, but descended simultaneously to give him battle. Hiero is defeated, and returns to Syracuse. After a prolonged struggle, Appius got the better of the enemy, and chased the opposing forces right up to their entrenchments. The result of this was that Appius, after stripping the dead, retired into Messene again, while Hiero, with a foreboding of the final result, only waited for nightfall to beat a hasty retreat to Syracuse.

12. Next morning, when Appius was assured of their flight, his confidence was strengthened, and he made up his mind to attack the Carthaginians without delay. Encouraged by this success, he attacks and drives off the Carthaginians.Accordingly, he issued orders to the soldiers to despatch their preparations early, and at daybreak commenced his sally. Having succeeded in engaging the enemy, he killed a large number of them, and forced the rest to fly precipitately to the neighbouring towns. These successes sufficed to raise the siege of Messene: and thenceforth he scoured the territory of Syracuse and her allies with impunity, and laid it waste without finding any one to dispute the possession of the open country with him; and finally he sat down before Syracuse itself and laid siege to it.

Such was the nature and motive of the first warlike expedition of the Romans beyond the shores of Italy; Such preliminary sketches are necessary for clearness, and my readers must not be surprised if I follow the same system in the case of other towns.and this was the period at which it took place. I thought this expedition the most suitable starting-point for my whole narrative, and accordingly adopted it as a basis; though I have made a rapid survey of some anterior events, that in setting forth its causes no point should be left obscure. I thought it necessary, if we were to get an adequate and comprehensive view of13 their present supreme position, to trace clearly how and when the Romans, after the disaster which they sustained in the loss of their own city, began their upward career; and how and when, once more, after possessing themselves of Italy, they conceived the idea of attempting conquests external to it. This must account in future parts of my work for my taking, when treating of the most important states, a preliminary survey of their previous history. In doing so my object will be to secure such a vantage-ground as will enable us to see with clearness from what origin, at what period, and in what circumstances they severally started and arrived at their present position. This is exactly what I have just done with regard to the Romans.

13. It is time to have done with these explanations, and to come to my subject, after a brief and summary statement of the events of which my introductory books are to treat. Subjects of the two first books of the Histories.
1. War in Sicily or first Punic War, B.C. 264-241.
2. The Mercenary or “inexpiable” war, B.C. 240-237.
3. Carthaginian movements in Spain, B.C. 241-218.
4. Illyrian war, B.C. 229-228.
5. Gallic war, B.C. 225-221.
6. Cleomenic war, B.C. 227-221. Of these the first in order of time are those which befell the Romans and Carthaginians in their war for the possession of Sicily. Next comes the Libyan or Mercenary war; immediately following on which are the Carthaginian achievements in Spain, first under Hamilcar, and then under Hasdrubal. In the course of these events, again, occurred the first expedition of the Romans into Illyria and the Greek side of Europe; and, besides that, their struggles within Italy with the Celts. In Greece at the same time the war called after Cleomenes was in full action. With this war I design to conclude my prefatory sketch and my second book.

To enter into minute details of these events is unnecessary, and would be of no advantage to my readers. It is not part of my plan to write a history of them: my sole object is to recapitulate them in a summary manner by way of introduction to the narrative I have in hand. I will, therefore, touch lightly upon the leading events of this period in a comprehensive sketch, and will endeavour to make the end of it dovetail with the commencement of my main history. In this14 way the narrative will acquire a continuity; and I shall be shown to have had good reason for touching on points already treated by others: while by such an arrangement the studiously inclined will find the approach to the story which has to be told made intelligible and easy for them. The first Punic war deserves more detailed treatment, as furnishing a better basis for comparing Rome and Carthage than subsequent wars.I shall, however, endeavour to describe with somewhat more care the first war which arose between the Romans and Carthaginians for the possession of Sicily. For it would not be easy to mention any war that lasted longer than this one; nor one in which the preparations made were on a larger scale, or the efforts made more sustained, or the actual engagements more numerous, or the reverses sustained on either side more signal. Moreover, the two states themselves were at the precise period of their history when their institutions were as yet in their original integrity, their fortunes still at a moderate level, and their forces on an equal footing. So that those who wish to gain a fair view of the national characteristics and resources of the two had better base their comparison upon this war rather than upon those which came after.

14. But it was not these considerations only which induced me to undertake the history of this war. This is rendered more necessary by the partisan misrepresentations of Philinus and Fabius Pictor.I was influenced quite as much by the fact that Philinus and Fabius, who have the reputation of writing with the most complete knowledge about it, have given us an inadequate representation of the truth. Now, judging from their lives and principles, I do not suppose that these writers have intentionally stated what was false; but I think that they are much in the same state of mind as men in love. Partisanship and complete prepossession made Philinus think that all the actions of the Carthaginians were characterised by wisdom, honour, and courage: those of the Romans by the reverse. Fabius thought the exact opposite. Now in other relations of life one would hesitate to exclude such warmth of sentiment: for a good man ought to be loyal to his friends and patriotic to his country; ought to be at one with his friends in their hatreds and likings. But directly a man15 assumes the moral attitude of an historian he ought to forget all considerations of that kind. There will be many occasions on which he will be bound to speak well of his enemies, and even to praise them in the highest terms if the facts demand it: and on the other hand many occasions on which it will be his duty to criticise and denounce his own side, however dear to him, if their errors of conduct suggest that course. For as a living creature is rendered wholly useless if deprived of its eyes, so if you take truth from History what is left is but an idle unprofitable tale. Therefore, one must not shrink either from blaming one’s friends or praising one’s enemies; nor be afraid of finding fault with and commending the same persons at different times. For it is impossible that men engaged in public affairs should always be right, and unlikely that they should always be wrong. Holding ourselves, therefore, entirely aloof from the actors, we must as historians make statements and pronounce judgment in accordance with the actions themselves.

15. The writers whom I have named exemplify the truth of these remarks. Philinus’s misrepresentations.Philinus, for instance, commencing the narrative with his second book, says that the “Carthaginians and Syracusans engaged in the war and sat down before Messene; that the Romans arriving by sea entered the town, and immediately sallied out from it to attack the Syracusans; but that after suffering severely in the engagement they retired into Messene; and that on a second occasion, having issued forth to attack the Carthaginians, they not only suffered severely but lost a considerable number of their men captured by the enemy.” But while making this statement, he represents Hiero as so destitute of sense as, after this engagement, not only to have promptly burnt his stockade and tents and fled under cover of night to Syracuse, but to have abandoned all the forts which had been established to overawe the Messenian territory. Similarly he asserts that “the Carthaginians immediately after their battle evacuated their entrenchment and dispersed into various towns, without venturing any longer even to dispute the possession of the open country; and that, accordingly, their leaders seeing that their troops were utterly demoralised16 determined in consideration not to risk a battle: that the Romans followed them, and not only laid waste the territory of the Carthaginians and Syracusans, but actually sat down before Syracuse itself and began to lay siege to it.” These statements appear to me to be full of glaring inconsistency, and to call for no refutation at all. The very men whom he describes to begin with as besieging Messene, and as victorious in the engagements, he afterwards represents as running away, abandoning the open country, and utterly demoralised: while those whom he starts by saying were defeated and besieged, he concludes by describing as engaging in a pursuit, as promptly seizing the open places, and finally as besieging Syracuse. Nothing can reconcile these statements. It is impossible. Either his initial statement, or his account of the subsequent events, must be false. In point of fact the latter part of his story is the true one. The Syracusans and Carthaginians did abandon the open country, and the Romans did immediately afterwards commence a siege of Syracuse and of Echetla, which lies in the district between the Syracusan and Carthaginian pales. For the rest it must necessarily be acknowledged that the first part of his account is false; and that whereas the Romans were victorious in the engagements under Messene, they have been represented by this historian as defeated. Through the whole of this work we shall find Philinus acting in a similar spirit: and much the same may be said of Fabius, as I shall show when the several points arise.

I have now said what was proper on the subject of this digression. Returning to the matter in hand I will endeavour by a continuous narrative of moderate dimensions to guide my readers to a true knowledge of this war.

16. When news came to Rome of the successes of Appius and his legions, B.C. 264.the people elected Manius Otacilius and Manius Valerius Consuls, and despatched their whole army to Sicily, and both Consuls in command. (Continuing from chap. xii.), B.C. 263, Manius Valerius Maximus, Manius Otacilius Crassus, Coss. The Consuls with four legions are sent to Sicily. A general move of the Sicilian cities to join them. Hiero submits.Now the Romans have in all, as distinct from allies, four legions of Roman citizens, which they enrol every year, each of which consists of four thousand infantry and three hundred cavalry: and on their arrival most17 of the cities revolted from Syracuse as well as from Carthage, and joined the Romans. And when he saw the terror and dismay of the Sicilians, and compared with them the number and crushing strength of the legions of Rome, Hiero began, from a review of all these points, to conclude that the prospects of the Romans were brighter than those of the Carthaginians. Inclining therefore from these considerations to the side of the former, he began sending messages to the Consuls, proposing peace and friendship with them. The Romans accepted his offer, their chief motive being the consideration of provisions: for as the Carthaginians had command of the sea, they were afraid of being cut off at every point from their supplies, warned by the fact that the legions which had previously crossed had run very short in that respect. They therefore gladly accepted Hiero’s offers of friendship, supposing that he would be of signal service to them in this particular. The king engaged to restore his prisoners without ransom, and to pay besides an indemnity of a hundred talents of silver. The treaty being arranged on these terms, the Romans thenceforth regarded the Syracusans as friends and allies: while King Hiero, having thus placed himself under the protection of the Romans, never failed to supply their needs in times of difficulty; and for the rest of his life reigned securely in Syracuse, devoting his energies to gaining the gratitude and good opinion of the Greeks. And in point of fact no monarch ever acquired a greater reputation, or enjoyed for a longer period the fruits of his prudent policy in private as well as in public affairs.

17. When the text of this treaty reached Rome, and the people had approved and confirmed the terms made with Hiero, The Carthaginians alarmed at Hiero’s defection make great efforts to increase their army in Sicily.the Roman government thereupon decided not to send all their forces, as they had intended doing, but only two legions. For they thought that the gravity of the war was lessened by the adhesion of the king, and at the same time that the army would thus be better off for provisions. But when the Carthaginian government saw that Hiero had become their enemy, and that the18 Romans were taking a more decided part in Sicilian politics, they conceived that they must have a more formidable force to enable them to confront their enemy and maintain their own interests in Sicily. They select Agrigentum as their headquarters.Accordingly, they enlisted mercenaries from over sea—a large number of Ligurians and Celts, and a still larger number of Iberians—and despatched them to Sicily. And perceiving that Agrigentum possessed the greatest natural advantages as a place of arms, and was the most powerful city in their province, they collected their supplies and their forces into it, deciding to use this city as their headquarters for the war.

On the Roman side a change of commanders had now taken place. B.C. 262.The Consuls who made the treaty with Hiero had gone home, and their successors, Lucius Postumius and Quintus Mamilius, were come to Sicily with their legions. The new Consuls, Lucius Postumius Megellus and Quintus Mamilius Vitulus, determined to lay siege to Agrigentum.Observing the measure which the Carthaginians were taking, and the forces they were concentrating at Agrigentum, they made up their minds to take that matter in hand and strike a bold blow. Accordingly they suspended every other department of the war, and bearing down upon Agrigentum itself with their whole army, attacked it in force; pitched their camp within a distance of eight stades from the city; and confined the Carthaginians within the walls. The Carthaginians make an unsuccessful sally.Now it was just harvest-time, and the siege was evidently destined to be a long one: the soldiers, therefore, went out to collect the corn with greater hardihood than they ought to have done. Accordingly the Carthaginians, seeing the enemy scattered about the fields, sallied out and attacked the harvesting-parties. They easily routed these; and then one portion of them made a rush to destroy the Roman entrenchment, the other to attack the pickets. But the peculiarity of their institutions saved the Roman fortunes, as it had often done before. Among them it is death for a man to desert his post, or to fly from his station on any pretext whatever. Accordingly on this, as on other occasions, they gallantly held their ground against opponents many times their own number; and though they lost many of19 their own men, they killed still more of the enemy, and at last outflanked the foes just as they were on the point of demolishing the palisade of the camp. Some they put to the sword, and the rest they pursued with slaughter into the city.

18. The result was that thenceforth the Carthaginians were somewhat less forward in making such attacks, and the Romans more cautious in foraging.

Finding that the Carthaginians would not come out to meet them at close quarters any more, The Romans form two strongly-entrenched camps.the Roman generals divided their forces: with one division they occupied the ground round the temple of Asclepius outside the town; with the other they encamped in the outskirts of the city on the side which looks towards Heracleia. The space between the camps on either side of the city they secured by two trenches,—the inner one to protect themselves against sallies from the city, the outer as a precaution against attacks from without, and to intercept those persons or supplies which always make their way surreptitiously into cities that are sustaining a siege. The spaces between the trenches uniting the camps they secured by pickets, taking care in their disposition to strengthen the several accessible points. As for food and other war material, the other allied cities all joined in collecting and bringing these to Herbesus for them: and thus they supplied themselves in abundance with necessaries, by continually getting provisions living and dead from this town, which was conveniently near. For about five months then they remained in the same position, without being able to obtain any decided advantage over each other beyond the casualties which occurred in the skirmishes. But the Carthaginians were beginning to be hard pressed by hunger, owing to the number of men shut up in the city, who amounted to no less than fifty thousand: and Hannibal, who had been appointed commander of the besieged forces, beginning by this time to be seriously alarmed at the state of things, kept perpetually sending messages to Carthage explaining their critical state, and begging for assistance. A relief comes from Carthage to Agrigentum. Thereupon the Carthaginian government put on board ship the fresh troops and elephants which they had collected,20 and despatched them to Sicily, with orders to join the other commander Hanno. This officer collected all his war material and forces into Heracleia, and as a first step possessed himself by a stratagem of Hanno seizes Herbesus.Herbesus, thus depriving the enemy of their provisions and supply of necessaries. The result of this was that the Romans found themselves in the position of besieged as much as in that of besiegers; for they were reduced by short supplies of food and scarcity of necessaries to such a condition that they more than once contemplated raising the siege. The Romans faithfully supported by Hiero.And they would have done so at last had not Hiero, by using every effort and contrivance imaginable, succeeded in keeping them supplied with what satisfied, to a tolerable extent, their most pressing wants. This was Hanno’s first step. His next was as follows.

19. He saw that the Romans were reduced by disease and want, owing to an epidemic that had broken out among them, and he believed that his own forces were strong enough to give them battle: he accordingly collected his elephants, Hanno tempts the Roman cavalry out and defeats them.of which he had about fifty, and the whole of the rest of his army, and advanced at a rapid pace from Heracleia; having previously issued orders to the Numidian cavalry to precede him, and to endeavour, when they came near the enemies’ stockade, to provoke them and draw their cavalry out; and, having done so, to wheel round and retire until they met him. The Numidians did as they were ordered, and advanced up to one of the camps. Immediately the Roman cavalry poured out and boldly charged the Numidians: the Libyans retired, according to their orders, until they reached Hanno’s division: then they wheeled round; surrounded, and repeatedly charged the enemy; killed a great number of them, and chased the rest up to their stockade. After this affair Hanno’s force encamped over against the Romans, having seized the hill called Torus, at a distance of about a mile and a quarter from their opponents. After two months, Hanno is forced to try to relieve Agrigentum, For two months they remained in position without any decisive action, though skirmishes took place daily. But as21 Hannibal all this time kept signalling and sending messages from the town to Hanno,—telling him that his men were impatient of the famine, and that many were even deserting to the enemy owing to the distress for food,—the Carthaginian general determined to risk a battle, the Romans being equally ready, but is defeated in a pitched battle, and his army cut to pieces.for the reasons I have mentioned. So both parties advanced into the space between the camps and engaged. The battle lasted a long time, but at last the Romans turned the advanced guard of Carthaginian mercenaries. The latter fell back upon the elephants and the other divisions posted in their rear; and thus the whole Punic army was thrown into confusion. The retreat became general: the larger number of the men were killed, while some effected their escape into Heracleia; and the Romans became masters of most of the elephants and all the baggage. Now night came on, and the victors, partly from joy at their success, partly from fatigue, kept their watches somewhat more carelessly than usual; Hannibal escapes by night; and the Romans enter and plunder Agrigentum.accordingly Hannibal, having given up hope of holding out, made up his mind that this state of things afforded him a good opportunity of escape. He started about midnight from the town with his mercenary troops, and having choked up the trenches with baskets stuffed full of chaff, led off his force in safety, without being detected by the enemy. When day dawned the Romans discovered what had happened, and indeed for a short time were engaged with Hannibal’s rear; but eventually they all made for the town gates. There they found no one to oppose them: they therefore threw themselves into the town, plundered it, and secured a large number of captives, besides a great booty of every sort and description.

20. Great was the joy of the Roman Senate when the news of what had taken place at Agrigentum arrived. This success inspires the Senate with the idea of expelling the Carthaginians from Sicily.Their ideas too were so raised that they no longer confined themselves to their original designs. They were not content with having saved the Mamertines, nor with the advantages gained in the course of the war; but conceived the22 idea that it was possible to expel the Carthaginians entirely from the island, and that if that were done their own power would receive a great increase: they accordingly engaged in this policy and directed their whole thoughts to this subject. As to their land forces they saw that things were going on as well as they could wish. B.C. 261.For the Consuls elected in succession to those who had besieged Agrigentum, Lucius Valerius Flaccus and Titus Otacilius Crassus, appeared to be managing the Sicilian business as well as circumstances admitted. Yet so long as the Carthaginians were in undisturbed command of the sea, the balance of success could not incline decisively in their favour. For instance, in the period which followed, though they were now in possession of Agrigentum, and though consequently many of the inland towns joined the Romans from dread of their land forces, yet a still larger number of seaboard towns held aloof from them in terror of the Carthaginian fleet. Seeing therefore that it was ever more and more the case that the balance of success oscillated from one side to the other from these causes; and, moreover, that while Italy was repeatedly ravaged by the naval force, Libya remained permanently uninjured; they became eager to get upon the sea and meet the Carthaginians there.

It was this branch of the subject that more than anything else induced me to give an account of this war at somewhat greater length than I otherwise should have done. I was unwilling that a first step of this kind should be unknown,—namely how, and when, and why the Romans first started a navy.

It was, then, because they saw that the war they had undertaken lingered to a weary length, The Romans boldly determine to build ships and meet the Carthaginians at sea.that they first thought of getting a fleet built, consisting of a hundred quinqueremes and twenty triremes. But one part of their undertaking caused them much difficulty. Their shipbuilders were entirely unacquainted with the construction of quinqueremes, because no one in Italy had at that time employed vessels of that description. There could be no more signal proof of the courage, or rather the extraordinary audacity of the Roman enterprise. Not only had they no resources for it23 of reasonable sufficiency; but without any resources for it at all, and without having ever entertained an idea of naval war,—for it was the first time they had thought of it,—they nevertheless handled the enterprise with such extraordinary audacity, that, without so much as a preliminary trial, they took upon themselves there and then to meet the Carthaginians at sea, on which they had for generations held undisputed supremacy. Proof of what I say, and of their surprising audacity, may be found in this. When they first took in hand to send troops across to Messene they not only had no decked vessels but no war-ships at all, not so much as a single galley: but they borrowed quinqueremes and triremes from Tarentum and Locri, and even from Elea and Neapolis; and having thus collected a fleet, boldly sent their men across upon it. A Carthaginian ship used as a model.It was on this occasion that, the Carthaginians having put to sea in the Strait to attack them, a decked vessel of theirs charged so furiously that it ran aground, and falling into the hands of the Romans served them as a model on which they constructed their whole fleet. And if this had not happened it is clear that they would have been completely hindered from carrying out their design by want of constructive knowledge.

21. Meanwhile, however, those who were charged with the shipbuilding were busied with the construction of the vessels; while others collected crews and were engaged in teaching them to row on dry land: which they contrived to do in the following manner. They made the men sit on rower’s benches on dry land, in the same order as they would sit on the benches in actual vessels: in the midst of them they stationed the Celeustes, and trained them to get back and draw in their hands all together in time, and then to swing forward and throw them out again, and to begin and cease these movements at the word of the Celeustes. By the time these preparations were completed the ships were built. They therefore launched them, and, after a brief preliminary practice of real sea-rowing, started on their coasting voyage along the shore of Italy, in accordance with the Consul’s order. B.C. 260. Cn. Cornelius Scipio Asina, C. Duilius, Coss.For Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio, who had been appointed by the24 Roman people a few days before to command the fleet, after giving the ship captains orders that as soon as they had fitted out the fleet they should sail to the Straits, had put to sea himself with seventeen ships and sailed in advance to Messene; for he was very eager to secure all pressing necessaries for the naval force. While there some negotiation was suggested to him for the surrender of the town of Lipara. Cornelius captured with the loss of his ships.Snatching at the prospect somewhat too eagerly, he sailed with the above-mentioned ships and anchored off the town. But having been informed in Panormus of what had taken place, the Carthaginian general Hannibal despatched Boōdes, a member of the Senate, with a squadron of twenty ships. He accomplished the voyage at night and shut up Gnaeus and his men within the harbour. When day dawned the crews made for the shore and ran away, while Gnaeus, in utter dismay, and not knowing in the least what to do, eventually surrendered to the enemy. The Carthaginians having thus possessed themselves of the ships as well as the commander of their enemies, started to rejoin Hannibal. The rest of the Roman fleet arrive and nearly capture Hannibal.Yet a few days afterwards, though the disaster of Gnaeus was so signal and recent, Hannibal himself was within an ace of falling into the same glaring mistake. For having been informed that the Roman fleet in its voyage along the coast of Italy was close at hand, he conceived a wish to get a clear view of the enemy’s number and disposition. He accordingly set sail with fifty ships, and just as he was rounding the “Italian Headland” he fell in with the enemy, who were sailing in good order and disposition. He lost most of his ships, and with the rest effected his own escape in a manner beyond hope or expectation.

22. When the Romans had neared the coasts of Sicily and learnt the disaster which had befallen Gnaeus, their first step was to send for Gaius Duilius, who was in command of the land forces. Until he should come they stayed where they were; but at the same time, hearing that the enemy’s fleet was no great way off, they busied themselves with preparations for a sea-fight. Now their ships were badly fitted out and not easy to manage, and so some one suggested to them as25 likely to serve their turn in a fight the construction of what were afterwards called “crows.” The “corvi” or #8220;crows” for boarding.Their mechanism was this. A round pole was placed in the prow, about twenty-four feet high, and with a diameter of four palms. The pole itself had a pulley on the top, and a gangway made with cross planks nailed together, four feet wide and thirty-six feet long, was made to swing round it. Now the hole in the gangway was oval shaped, and went round the pole twelve feet from one end of the gangway, which had also a wooden railing running down each side of it to the height of a man’s knee. At the extremity of this gangway was fastened an iron spike like a miller’s pestle, sharpened at its lower end and fitted with a ring at its upper end. The whole thing looked like the machines for braising corn. To this ring the rope was fastened with which, when the ships collided, they hauled up the “crows,” by means of the pulley at the top of the pole, and dropped them down upon the deck of the enemy’s ship, sometimes over the prow, sometimes swinging them round when the ships collided broadsides. And as soon as the “crows” were fixed in the planks of the decks and grappled the ships together, if the ships were alongside of each other, the men leaped on board anywhere along the side, but if they were prow to prow, they used the “crow” itself for boarding, and advanced over it two abreast. The first two protected their front by holding up before them their shields, while those who came after them secured their sides by placing the rims of their shields upon the top of the railing. Such were the preparations which they made; and having completed them they watched an opportunity of engaging at sea.

23. As for Gaius Duilius, he no sooner heard of the disaster which had befallen the commander of Victory of Duilius at Mylae, B.C. 260. the navy than handing over his legions to the military Tribunes he transferred himself to the fleet. There he learnt that the enemy was plundering the territory of Mylae, and at once sailed to attack him with the whole fleet. No sooner did the Carthaginians sight him than with joy and alacrity they put to sea with a hundred and thirty sail, feeling supreme contempt for the26 Roman ignorance of seamanship. Accordingly they all sailed with their prows directed straight at their enemy: they did not think the engagement worth even the trouble of ranging their ships in any order, but advanced as though to seize a booty exposed for their acceptance. Their commander was that same Hannibal who had withdrawn his forces from Agrigentum by a secret night movement, and he was on board a galley with seven banks of oars which had once belonged to King Pyrrhus. When they neared the enemy, and saw the “crows” raised aloft on the prows of the several ships, the Carthaginians were for a time in a state of perplexity; for they were quite strangers to such contrivances as these engines. Feeling, however, a complete contempt for their opponents, those on board the ships that were in the van of the squadron charged without flinching. But as soon as they came to close quarters their ships were invariably tightly grappled by these machines; the enemy boarded by means of the “crows,” and engaged them on their decks; and in the end some of the Carthaginians were cut down, while others surrendered in bewildered terror at the battle in which they found themselves engaged, which eventually became exactly like a land fight. The result was that they lost the first thirty ships engaged, crews and all. Among them was captured the commander’s ship also, though Hannibal himself by an unexpected piece of luck and an act of great daring effected his escape in the ship’s boat. The rest of the Carthaginian squadron were sailing up with the view of charging; but as they were coming near they saw what had happened to the ships which were sailing in the front, and accordingly sheered off and avoided the blows of the engines. Yet trusting to their speed, they managed by a manœuvre to sail round and charge the enemy, some on their broadside and others on their stern, expecting by that method to avoid danger. But the engines swung round to meet them in every direction, and dropped down upon them so infallibly, that no ships could come to close quarters without being grappled. Eventually the Carthaginians turned and fled, bewildered at the novelty of the occurrence, and with a loss of fifty ships.


24. Having in this unlooked-for manner made good their maritime hopes the Romans were doubly encouraged in their enthusiasm for the war. Further operations in Sicily.

Segesta and Macella.

Hamilcar.For the present they put in upon the coast of Sicily, raised the siege of Segesta when it was reduced to the last extremity, and on their way back from Segesta carried the town Macella by assault. But Hamilcar, the commander of the Carthaginian land forces happened, after the naval battle, to be informed as he lay encamped near Panormus that the allies were engaged in a dispute with the Romans about the post of honour in the battles: and ascertaining that the allies were encamped by themselves between Paropus and Himeraean Thermae, he made a sudden attack in force as they were in the act of moving camp and killed almost four thousand of them. Hannibal in Sardinia.After this action Hannibal sailed across to Carthage with such ships as he had left; and thence before very long crossed to Sardinia, with a reinforcement of ships, and accompanied by some of those whose reputation as naval commanders stood high. But before very long he was blockaded in a certain harbour by the Romans, and lost a large number of ships; and was thereupon summarily arrested by the surviving Carthaginians and crucified. This came about because the first thing the Romans did upon getting a navy was to try to become masters of Sardinia.

During the next year the Roman legions in Sicily did nothing worthy of mention. B.C. 259.In the next, after the arrival of the new Consuls, Aulus Atilius and Gaius Sulpicius, they started to attack Panormus because the Carthaginian forces were wintering there. B.C. 258. Coss. A. Atilius Calatinus, G. Sulpicius, Paterculus.The Consuls advanced close up to the city with their whole force, and drew up in order of battle. But the enemy refusing to come out to meet them, they marched away and attacked the town of Hippana. This they carried by assault: but though they also took Myttistratum it was only after it had stood a lengthened siege Hippana and Myttistratum.owing to the strength of its situation. It28 was at this time, too, that they recovered Camarina, which had revolted a short time previously. They threw up works against it, and captured it Camarina.after making a breach in its walls. They treated Henna, and sundry other strong places which had been in the hands of the Carthaginians, in the same way; and when they had finished these operations they undertook to lay siege to Lipara.

25. Next year Gaius Atilius, the Consul, happened to be at anchor off Tyndaris, when he observed the Carthaginian fleet sailing by in a straggling manner. Coss. C. Atilius Regulus, Cn. Cornelius, Blasio II. B.C. 257.

Fighting off Tyndaris.He passed the word to the crews of his own ships to follow the advanced squadron, and started himself before the rest with ten ships of equal sailing powers. When the Carthaginians became aware that while some of the enemy were still embarking, others were already putting out to sea, and that the advanced squadron were considerably ahead of the rest, they stood round and went to meet them. They succeeded in surrounding and destroying all of them except the Consul’s ship, and that they all but captured with its crew. This last, however, by the perfection of its rowers and its consequent speed, effected a desperate escape. Meanwhile the remaining ships of the Romans were sailing up and gradually drawing close together. Having got into line, they charged the enemy, took ten ships with their crews, and sunk eight. The rest of the Carthaginian ships retired to the Liparean Islands.

The result of this battle was that both sides concluded that they were now fairly matched, and accordingly made more systematic efforts to secure a naval force, Winter of B.C. 257-256.and to dispute the supremacy at sea. While these things were going on, the land forces effected nothing worth recording; but wasted all their time in such petty operations as chance threw in their way. Therefore, after making the preparations B.C. 256. Coss. L. Manlius, Vulso Longus, M. Atilius Regulus II. (Suff.)I have mentioned for the approaching summer, the Romans, with three hundred and thirty decked ships of war, touched at Messene; thence put to sea, keeping Sicily on their right; and after doubling the headland Pachynus29 passed on to Ecnomus, because the land force was also in that district. The Carthaginians on their part put to sea again with three hundred and fifty decked ships, touched at Lilybaeum, and thence dropped anchor at Heracleia Minoa.

26. Now it was the purpose of the Romans to sail across to Libya and transfer the war there, Preparations for the Battle of Ecnomus.in order that the Carthaginians might find the danger affecting themselves and their own country rather than Sicily. But the Carthaginians were determined to prevent this. They knew that Libya was easily invaded, and that the invaders if they once effected a landing would meet with little resistance from the inhabitants; and they therefore made up their minds not to allow it, and were eager rather to bring the matter to a decisive issue by a battle at sea. The one side was determined to cross, the other to prevent their crossing; and their enthusiastic rivalry gave promise of a desperate struggle. The preparations of the Romans were made to suit either contingency, an engagement at sea or a disembarkation on the enemy’s soil. Accordingly they picked out the best hands from the land army and divided the whole force which they meant to take on board into four divisions. Each division had alternative titles; Roman forces. 330 ships, with average of 420 men (300 rowers + 120 marines) = 138,600 men.the first was called the “First Legion” or the “First Squadron,”—and so on with the others. The fourth had a third title besides. They were called “Triarii,” on the analogy of land armies. The total number of men thus making up the naval force amounted to nearly one hundred and forty thousand, reckoning each ship as carrying three hundred rowers and one hundred and twenty soldiers. The Carthaginians, on the other hand, made their preparations almost exclusively with a view to a naval engagement. Carthaginian numbers, 150,000 men.Their numbers, if we reckon by the number of their ships, were over one hundred and fifty thousand men. The mere recital of these figures must, I should imagine, strike any one with astonishment at the magnitude of the struggle, and the vast resources of the contending states. An actual view of them itself could hardly be more impressive than the bare statement of the number of men and ships.


Now the Romans had two facts to consider: The Roman order at Ecnomus.First, that circumstances compelled them to face the open sea; and, secondly, that their enemies had the advantage of fast sailing vessels. They therefore took every precaution for keeping their line unbroken and difficult to attack. They had only two ships with six banks of oars, those, namely, on which the Consuls Marcus Atilius and Lucius Manlius respectively were sailing. These they stationed side by side in front and in a line with each other. Behind each of these they stationed ships one behind the other in single file—the first squadron behind the one, and the second squadron behind the other. These were so arranged that, as each ship came to its place, the two files diverged farther and farther from each other; the vessels being also stationed one behind the other with their prows inclining outwards. Having thus arranged the first and second squadrons in single file so as to form a wedge, they stationed the third division in a single line at its base; so that the whole finally presented the appearance of a triangle. Behind this base they stationed the horse-transports, attaching them by towing-ropes to the ships of the third squadron. And to the rear of them they placed the fourth squadron, called the Triarii, in a single line, so extended as to overlap the line in front of them at both extremities. When these dispositions were complete the general appearance was that of a beak or wedge, the apex of which was open, the base compact and strong; while the whole was easy to work and serviceable, and at the same time difficult to break up.

27. Meanwhile the Carthaginian commanders had briefly addressed their men. The disposition of the Carthaginian fleet.They pointed out to them that victory in this battle would ensure the war in the future being confined to the question of the possession of Sicily; while if they were beaten they would have hereafter to fight for their native land and for all that they held dear. With these words they passed the word to embark. The order was obeyed with universal enthusiasm, for what had been said brought home to them the issues at stake; and they put to sea in the full fervour of excited gallantry, which might well have31 struck terror into all who saw it. When their commanders saw the arrangement of the enemies’ ships they adapted their own to match it. Three-fourths of their force they posted in a single line, extending their right wing towards the open sea with a view of outflanking their opponents, and placing their ships with prows facing the enemy; while the other fourth part was posted to form a left wing of the whole, the vessels being at right angles to the others and close to the shore. The two Carthaginian commanders were Hanno and Hamilcar. ch. 19. The former was the general who had been defeated in the engagement at Agrigentum. He now commanded the right wing, supported by beaked vessels for charging, and the fastest sailing quinqueremes for outflanking, the enemy. ch. 25.The latter, who had been in the engagement off Tyndaris, had charge of the left wing. This officer, occupying the central position of the entire line, on this occasion employed a stratagem which I will now describe. The battle.The battle began by the Romans charging the centre of the Carthaginians, because they observed that it was weakened by their great extension. The ships in the Carthaginian centre, in accordance with their orders, at once turned and fled with a view of breaking up the Roman close order. They began to retire with all speed, and the Romans pursued them with exultation. The consequence was that, while the first and second Roman squadrons were pressing the flying enemy, the third and fourth “legions” had become detached and were left behind,—the former because they had to tow the horse-transports, and the “Triarii” because they kept their station with them and helped them to form a reserve. But when the Carthaginians thought that they had drawn the first and second squadron a sufficient distance from the main body a signal was hoisted on board Hamilcar’s ship, and they all simultaneously swung their ships round and engaged their pursuers. The contest was a severe one. The Carthaginians had a great superiority in the rapidity with which they manœuvred their ships. They darted out from their line and rowed round the enemy: they approached them with ease, and retired with despatch. But the Romans, no less than the Carthaginians, had their reasons32 for entertaining hopes of victory: for when the vessels got locked together the contest became one of sheer strength: their engines, the “crows,” grappled all that once came to close quarters: and, finally, both the Consuls were present in person and were witnesses of their behaviour in battle.

28. This was the state of affairs on the centre. But meanwhile Hanno with the right wing, which had held aloof when the first encounter took place, crossing the open sea, charged the ships of the Triarii and caused them great difficulty and embarrassment: while those of the Carthaginians who had been posted near the land manœuvred into line, and getting their ships straight, charged the men who were towing the horse-transports. These latter let go the towing-ropes, grappled with the enemy, and kept up a desperate struggle.

So that the engagement was in three separate divisions, or rather there were three sea-fights going on at wide intervals from each other. Three separate battles.Now in these three engagements the opposing parties were in each case fairly matched, thanks to the original disposition of the ships, and therefore the victory was in each case closely contested. However the result in the several cases was very much what was to be expected where forces were so equal. The first to engage were the first to separate: First with Hamilcar’s squadron. for Hamilcar’s division at last were overpowered and fled. But while Lucius was engaged in securing his prizes, Marcus observing the struggle in which the Triarii and horse-transports were involved, went with all speed to their assistance, taking with him all the ships of the second squadron which were undamaged. Second squadron under Regulus. As soon as he had reached and engaged Hanno’s division, the Triarii quickly picked up courage, though they were then getting much the worst of it, and returned with renewed spirits to the fight. It was now the turn for the Carthaginians to be in difficulties. They were charged in front and on the rear, and found to their surprise that they were being surrounded by the relieving squadron. They at once gave way and retreated in the direction of the open sea.


While this was going on, Lucius, who was sailing back to rejoin his colleague, observed that the third squadron had got wedged in by the Carthaginians close in shore. Third squadron relieved by Regulus and Manlius. Accordingly he and Marcus, who had by this time secured the safety of the transports and Triarii, started together to relieve their imperilled comrades, who were now sustaining something very like a blockade. And the fact is that they would long before this have been utterly destroyed had not the Carthaginians been afraid of the “crows,” and confined themselves to surrounding and penning them in close to land, without attempting to charge for fear of being caught by the grappling-irons. The Consuls came up rapidly, and surrounding the Carthaginians captured fifty of their ships with their crews, while some few of them managed to slip away and escape by keeping close to the shore.

Such was the result of the separate engagements. But the general upshot of the whole battle was in favour of the Romans. General result.Twenty-four of their vessels were destroyed; over thirty of the Carthaginians. Not a single Roman ship was captured with its crew; sixty-four of the Carthaginians were so taken.

29. After the battle the Romans took in a fresh supply of victual, repaired and refitted the ships they had captured, bestowed upon the crews the attention which they had deserved by their victory, and then put to sea with a view of continuing their voyage to Libya. Their leading ships made the shore just under the headland called the Hermaeum, which is the extreme point on the east of the Gulf of Carthage, and runs out into the open sea in the direction of Sicily. There they waited for the rest of the ships to come up, and having got the entire fleet together coasted along until they came to the city called Aspis. Siege of Aspis. (Clupea.) Here they disembarked, beached their ships, dug a trench, and constructed a stockade round them; and on the inhabitants of the city refusing to submit without compulsion, they set to work to besiege the town. Presently those of the Carthaginians who had survived the sea-fight came to land also; and feeling sure that the enemy, in the flush of their34 victory, intended to sail straight against Carthage itself, they began by keeping a chain of advanced guards at outlying points to protect the capital with their military and naval forces. But when they ascertained that the Romans had disembarked without resistance and were engaged in besieging Aspis, they gave up the idea of watching for the descent of the fleet; but concentrated their forces, and devoted themselves to the protection of the capital and its environs.

Meanwhile the Romans had taken Aspis, had placed in it a garrison to hold it and its territory, and had besides sent home to Rome to announce the Aspis taken. events which had taken place and to ask for instructions as to the future,—what they were to do, and what arrangements they were to make. Having done this they made active preparations for a general advance and set about plundering the country. They met with no opposition in this: they destroyed numerous dwelling houses of remarkably fine construction, possessed themselves of a great number of cattle; and captured more than twenty thousand slaves whom they took to their ships. In the midst of these proceedings the messengers arrived from Rome with orders that one Consul was to remain with an adequate force, the other was to bring the fleet to Rome. Accordingly Marcus was M. Atilius Regulus remains in Africa, winter of B.C. 256-255. left behind with forty ships, fifteen thousand infantry, and five hundred cavalry; while Lucius put the crowd of captives on board, and having embarked his men, sailed along the coast of Sicily without encountering any danger, and reached Rome.

30. The Carthaginians now saw that their enemies contemplated a lengthened occupation of the country. They therefore proceeded first of all to elect two of their own citizens, Hasdrubal son of Hanno, and Bostarus, to the office of general; and next sent to Heracleia a pressing summons to Hamilcar. He obeyed immediately, and arrived at Carthage with five hundred cavalry and five thousand infantry. He was forthwith appointed general in conjunction with the other two, and entered into consultation with Hasdrubal and his colleague as to the measures necessary to be taken in the present crisis. 35 They decided to defend the country and not to allow it to be devastated without resistance.

A few days afterwards Marcus sallied forth on one of his marauding expeditions. Such towns as were unwalled he carried by assault and plundered, B.C. 256-255. The operations of Regulus in Libya. and such as were walled he besieged. Among others he came to the considerable town of Adys, and having placed his troops round it was beginning with all speed to raise siege works. The Carthaginians were both eager to relieve the town and determined to dispute the possession of the open country. They therefore led out their army; but their operations were not skilfully conducted. They indeed seized and encamped upon a piece of rising ground which commanded the enemy; but it was unsuitable to themselves. Their best hopes rested on their cavalry and their elephants, and yet they abandoned the level plain and cooped themselves up in a position at once steep and difficult of access. The enemy, as might have been expected, were not slow to take advantage of this mistake. The Roman commanders were skilful enough to understand that the best and most formidable part of the forces opposed to them was rendered useless by the nature of the ground. They did not therefore wait for them to come down to the plain and offer battle, but choosing the time which suited themselves, began at daybreak a forward movement on both sides of the hill. Defeat of the Carthaginians near Adys. In the battle which followed the Carthaginians could not use their cavalry or elephants at all; but their mercenary troops made a really gallant and spirited sally. They even forced the first division of the Romans to give way and fly: but they advanced too far, and were surrounded and routed by the division which was advancing from the other direction. This was immediately followed by the whole force being dislodged from their encampment. The elephants and cavalry as soon as they gained level ground made good their retreat without loss; but the infantry were pursued by the Romans. The latter however soon desisted from the pursuit. They presently returned, dismantled the enemy’s entrenchment, and destroyed the stockade; and from thenceforth overran the whole country-side and sacked the towns without opposition.


Among others they seized the town called Tunes. This place had many natural advantages for expeditions such as those in which they were engaged, Tunes. and was so situated as to form a convenient base of operations against the capital and its immediate neighbourhood. They accordingly fixed their headquarters in it.

31. The Carthaginians were now indeed in evil case. It was not long since they had sustained a disaster at sea: and now they had met with one on land, Distress at Carthage, which is heightened by an inroad of Numidians. not from any failure of courage on the part of their soldiers, but from the incompetency of their commanders. Simultaneously with these misfortunes, they were suffering from an inroad of the Numidians, who were doing even more damage to the country than the Romans. The terror which they inspired drove the country folk to flock for safety into the city; and the city itself had to face a serious famine as well as a panic, the former from the numbers that crowded into it, the latter from the hourly expectation of a siege. Spring of B.C. 255. Regulus proposes harsh terms. But Regulus had different views. The double defeat sustained by the Carthaginians, by land as well as by sea, convinced him that the capture of Carthage was a question of a very short time; and he was in a state of great anxiety lest his successor in the Consulship should arrive from Rome in time to rob him of the glory of the achievement. He therefore invited the Carthaginians to make terms. They were only too glad of the proposal, and sent their leading citizens to meet him. The meeting took place: but the commissioners could not bring their minds to entertain his proposals; they were so severe that it was almost more than they could bear to listen to them at all. Regulus regarded himself as practically master of the city, and considered that they ought to regard any concession on his part as a matter of favour and pure grace. The terms rejected. The Carthaginians on the other hand concluded that nothing worse could be imposed on them if they suffered capture than was now enjoined. They therefore returned home without accepting the offers of Regulus, and extremely exasperated by his unreasonable harshness. When the Carthaginian Senate37 heard the conditions offered by the Roman general, though they had almost relinquished every hope of safety, they came to the gallant and noble resolution that they would brave anything, that they would try every possible means and endure every extremity, rather than submit to terms so dishonourable and so unworthy of their past history.

32. Now it happened that just about this time one of their recruiting agents, who had some time before been despatched to Greece, arrived home. Arrival of the Spartan Xanthippus in Carthage.He brought a large number of men with him, and among them a certain Lacedaemonian named Xanthippus, a man trained in the Spartan discipline, and of large experience in war. When this man was informed of their defeat, and of how it had taken place, and when he had reviewed the military resources still left to the Carthaginians, and the number of their cavalry and elephants, he did not take long to come to a decided conclusion. He expressed his opinion to his friends that the Carthaginians had owed their defeat, not to the superiority of the Romans, but to the unskilfulness of their own commanders. The dangerous state of their affairs caused the words of Xanthippus to get abroad quickly among the people and to reach the ears of the generals; and the men in authority determined to summon and question him. He appeared, and laid his views before the magistrates; in which he showed to what they owed their present disasters, and that if they would take his advice and keep to the flat parts of the country alike in marching, encamping, and giving battle, they would be able with perfect ease to secure safety for themselves and to defeat their opponents in the field. The generals accepted the suggestion, resolved to follow his advice, and there and then put their forces at his command. Among the multitude the observation of Xanthippus was passed from mouth to mouth, and gave rise, as was to be expected, to a good deal of popular rumour and sanguine talk. This was confirmed when he had once handled the troops. The way in which he got them into order when he had led them outside the town; the skill with which he manœuvred the separate detachments, and passed the word of command down the ranks in due conformity to the rules of tactics, at38 once impressed every one with the contrast to the blundering of their former generals. The multitude expressed their approbation by loud cheers, and were for engaging the enemy without delay, convinced that no harm could happen to them as long as Xanthippus was their leader. The generals took advantage of this circumstance, and of the extraordinary recovery which they saw had taken place in the spirits of the people. They addressed them some exhortations befitting the occasion, and after a few days’ delay got their forces on foot and started. Their army consisted of twelve thousand infantry, four thousand cavalry, and nearly a hundred elephants.

33. The Romans at once noticed a change. They saw that the Carthaginians chose level country for their line of march, The new strategy of the Carthaginians. and flat places for their encampments. This novelty puzzled and rather alarmed them, yet their prevailing feeling was an eager desire to come to close quarters with the enemy. They therefore advanced to a position about ten stades from them and employed the first day in pitching a camp there. Next day, while the chief officers of the Carthaginians were discussing in a council of war what dispositions were called for, and what line of strategy they were to adopt, the common soldiers, in their eagerness for the engagement, collected in groups, shouted out the name of Xanthippus, and showed that their opinion was in favour of an immediate forward movement. Influenced by the evident enthusiasm and eagerness of the army, and by the appeals of Xanthippus that they should not let the opportunity slip, the generals gave orders to the men to get ready, and resigned to Xanthippus the entire direction of affairs, with full authority to act as he thought most advantageous. He at once acted upon this authority. The dispositions for the battle. He ordered out the elephants, and placed them in a single line in front of the whole army. The heavy phalanx of the Carthaginians he stationed at a moderate interval in the rear of these. He divided the mercenaries into three corps. One he stationed on the right wing; while the other two, which consisted of the most active, he placed with the cavalry on both wings. When the Romans39 saw that the enemy were drawn up to offer them battle they readily advanced to accept it. They were however alarmed at the elephants, and made special arrangements with a view to resist their charge. They stationed the velites in the van, and behind them the legionaries, many maniples deep, while they divided the cavalry between the two wings. Their line of battle was thus less extended than usual, but deeper. And though they had thereby made a sufficient provision against the elephants, yet being far out-numbered in cavalry, their provision in that part of the field was altogether inadequate. At length both sides had made their dispositions according to their respective plans of operation, and had placed their several men in the posts assigned to them: and now they were standing drawn up in order, and were each of them watching for the right moment for beginning the attack.

34. No sooner had Xanthippus given the order to the men on the elephants to advance and disperse The battle. the lines in front of them, and to his cavalry to outflank both wings and charge the enemy, than the Roman army—clashing their shields and spears together after their usual custom, and simultaneously raising their battle-cry—charged the enemy. The Roman cavalry being far out-numbered by the Carthaginians were soon in full retreat on both wings. But the fortune of the several divisions of the infantry was various. Those stationed on the left wing—partly because they could avoid the elephants and partly because they thought contemptuously of the mercenaries—charged the right wing of the Carthaginians, succeeded in driving them from their ground, and pursued them as far as their entrenchment. Those stationed in front of the elephants were less fortunate. The maniples in front were thrown into utter confusion by the crushing weight of the animals: knocked down and trampled upon by them they perished in heaps upon the field; yet owing to its great depth the main body remained for a time unbroken. The Romans are beaten and annihilated. But it was not for long. The maniples on the rear found themselves outflanked by the cavalry, and were forced to face round and resist them: those on the other hand who forced their way to the front through the elephants,40 and had now those beasts on their rear, found themselves confronted by the phalanx of Carthaginians, which had not yet been in action and was still in close unbroken order, and so were cut to pieces. This was followed by a general rout. Most of the Romans were trampled to death by the enormous weight of the elephants; the rest were shot down in their ranks by the numerous cavalry: and there were only a very few who attempted to save themselves by flight. But the flatness of the country was unfavourable to escape in this manner. Some of the fugitives were destroyed by the elephants and cavalry; Regulus made prisoner. while only those who fled with the general Regulus, amounting perhaps to five hundred, were after a short pursuit made prisoners with him to a man.

On the Carthaginian side there fell about eight hundred of the mercenaries, those namely who had been stationed opposite the left wing of the Romans. On the part of the Romans about two thousand survived. These were those whom I have already described as having chased the Carthaginian right wing to their entrenchment, and who were thus not involved in the general engagement. The rest were entirely destroyed with the exception of those who fled with Regulus. The surviving maniples escaped with considerable difficulty to the town of Aspis. The Carthaginians stripped the dead, and taking with them the Roman general and the rest of their prisoners, returned to the capital in a high state of exultation at the turn their affairs had now taken.

35. This event conveys many useful lessons to a thoughtful observer. Above all, the disaster of Regulus gives the clearest possible warning that no one should feel too confident of the favours of Fortune, especially in the hour of success. Eurip. fr.Here we see one, who a short time before refused all pity or consideration to the fallen, brought incontinently to beg them for his own life. Again, we are taught the truth of that saying of Euripides—

One wise man’s skill is worth a world in arms.

For it was one man, one brain, that defeated the numbers which were believed to be invincible and able to accomplish41 anything; and restored to confidence a whole city that was unmistakably and utterly ruined, and the spirits of its army which had sunk to the lowest depths of despair. I record these things in the hope of benefiting my readers. There are two roads to reformation for mankind—one through misfortunes of their own, the other through those of others: the former is the most unmistakable, the latter the less painful. One should never therefore voluntarily choose the former, for it makes reformation a matter of great difficulty and danger; but we should always look out for the latter, for thereby we can without hurt to ourselves gain a clear view of the best course to pursue. It is this which forces us to consider that the knowledge gained from the study of true history is the best of all educations for practical life. For it is history, and history alone, which, without involving us in actual danger, will mature our judgment and prepare us to take right views, whatever may be the crisis or the posture of affairs.

36. To return to our narrative. Having obtained this complete success the Carthaginians indulged in every sign of exultation. Xanthippus quits Carthage. Thanksgivings were poured out to God, and joyful congratulations interchanged among themselves. But Xanthippus, by whose means such a happy change had been brought about and such an impulse been given to the fortunes of Carthage, did not remain there long, but took ship for home again. In this he showed his wisdom and discernment. For it is the nature of extraordinary and conspicuous achievements to exasperate jealousies and envenom slander; against which a native may perhaps stand with the support of kinsfolk and friends, but a foreigner when exposed to one or the other of them is inevitably overpowered before long and put in danger. There is however another account sometimes given of the departure of Xanthippus, which I will endeavour at a more suitable opportunity to set forth.

Upon this unlooked-for catastrophe in the Libyan campaign, the Roman government at once set to The Romans prepare a fleet to relieve their beaten army. work to fit out a fleet to take off the men who were still surviving there; while the Carthaginians followed up their success by sitting42 down before Aspis, and besieging it, being anxious to get the survivors of the battle into their hands. But failing to capture the place, owing to the gallantry and determined courage of these men, they eventually raised the siege. When they heard that the Romans were preparing their fleet, and were intending to sail once more against Libya, they set about shipbuilding also, partly repairing old vessels and partly constructing new. Before very long they had manned and launched two hundred ships, and were on the watch for the coming of their enemies. B.C. 255. Coss. Ser. Fulvius Paetinus Nobilior, M. Aemilius Paullus. By the beginning of the summer the Romans had launched three hundred and fifty vessels. They put them under the command of the Consuls Marcus Aemilius and Servius Fulvius, and despatched them. This fleet coasted along Sicily; made for Libya; and having fallen in with the Carthaginian squadron off Hermaeum, at once charged and easily turned them to flight; captured a hundred and fourteen with their crews, and having taken on board their men who had maintained themselves in Libya, started from Aspis on their return voyage to Sicily.

37. The passage was effected in safety, and the coast of Camarina was reached: but there they experienced so terrible a storm, and suffered so dreadfully, as almost to beggar description. The fleet is lost in a storm. The disaster was indeed extreme: for out of their three hundred and sixty-four vessels eighty only remained. The rest were either swamped or driven by the surf upon the rocks and headlands, where they went to pieces and filled all the seaboard with corpses and wreckage. No greater catastrophe is to be found in all history as befalling a fleet at one time. And for this Fortune was not so much to blame as the commanders themselves. They had been warned again and again by the pilots not to steer along the southern coast of Sicily facing the Libyan sea, because it was exposed and yielded no safe anchorage; and because, of the two dangerous constellations, Between June 28 and July 26. one had not yet set and the other was on the point of rising (for their voyage fell between the rising of Orion and that of the Dog Star). Yet they43 attended to none of these warnings; but, intoxicated by their recent success, were anxious to capture certain cities as they coasted along, and in pursuance of this idea thoughtlessly exposed themselves to the full fury of the open sea. As far as these particular men were concerned, the disaster which they brought upon themselves in the pursuit of trivial advantages convinced them of the folly of their conduct. But it is a peculiarity of the Roman people as a whole to treat everything as a question of main strength; to consider that they must of course accomplish whatever they have proposed to themselves; and that nothing is impossible that they have once determined upon. The result of such self-confidence is that in many things they do succeed, while in some few they conspicuously fail, and especially at sea. On land it is against men only and their works that they have to direct their efforts: and as the forces against which they exert their strength do not differ intrinsically from their own, as a general rule they succeed; while their failures are exceptional and rare. But to contend with the sea and sky is to fight against a force immeasurably superior to their own: and when they trust to an exertion of sheer strength in such a contest the disasters which they meet with are signal. This is what they experienced on the present occasion: they have often experienced it since; and will continue to do so, as long as they maintain their headstrong and foolhardy notion that any season of the year admits of sailing as well as marching.

38. When the Carthaginians heard of the destruction which had befallen the Roman fleet, they made up their minds that as their late victory had made them a match for their enemy on land, so now the Roman catastrophe had made them a match for him at sea. Accordingly they devoted themselves with still greater eagerness than before to their naval and military preparations. The Carthaginians renew operations in Sicily. And first, they lost no time in despatching Hasdrubal to Sicily, and with him not only the soldiers that they had already collected, but those also whom they had recalled from Heracleia; and along with them they sent also a hundred and forty elephants. And next, after despatching him, they began fitting out two hundred ships and making all other44 preparations necessary for a naval expedition. Hasdrubal reached Lilybaeum safely, and immediately set to work to train his elephants and drill his men, and showed his intention of striking a blow for the possession of the open country.

The Roman government, when they heard of this from the survivors of the wreck on their arrival home, felt it to be a grievous misfortune; but being absolutely resolved not to give in, they determined once more to put two hundred and twenty vessels on the stocks and build afresh. B.C. 254. Coss. Gn. Cornelius Scipio Asina II., Aulus Atilius, Calatinus II. These were finished in three months, an almost incredibly short time, and the new Consuls Aulus Atilius and Gnaeus Cornelius fitted out the fleet and put to sea. As they passed through the straits they took up from Messene those of the vessels which had been saved from the wreck; and having thus arrived with three hundred ships off Panormus, which is the strongest town of all the Carthaginian province in Sicily, they began to besiege it. They threw up works in two distinct places, and after other necessary preparations brought up their battering rams. The tower next the sea was destroyed with ease, and the soldiers forced their way in through the breach: and so what is called the New Town was carried by assault; while what is called the Old Town being placed by this event in imminent danger, its inhabitants made haste to surrender it. Having thus made themselves masters of the place, the army sailed back to Rome, leaving a garrison in the town.

39. But next summer the new Consuls Gnaeus Servilius and Gaius Sempronius put again to sea with their full strength, and after touching at Sicily started thence for Libya. B.C. 253. Coss. Gn. Servilius Caepio, G. Sempronius Blaesus. There, as they coasted along the shore, they made a great number of descents upon the country without accomplishing anything of importance in any of them. At length they came to the island of the Lotophagi called Mēnix, which is not far from the Lesser Syrtis. There, from ignorance of the waters, they ran upon some shallows; the tide receded, their ships went aground, and they were in extreme peril. However,45 after a while the tide unexpectedly flowed back again, and by dint of throwing overboard all their heavy goods they just managed to float the ships. After this their return voyage was more like a flight than anything else. When they reached Sicily and had made the promontory of Lilybaeum they cast anchor at Panormus. Thence they weighed anchor for Rome, and rashly ventured upon the open sea-line as the shortest; but while on their voyage they once more encountered so terrible a storm that they lost more than a hundred and fifty ships.

The Romans after this misfortune, though they are eminently persistent in carrying out their undertakings, B.C. 252. yet owing to the severity and frequency of their disasters, now yielded to the force of circumstances and refrained from constructing another fleet. All the hopes still left to them they rested upon their land forces: and, B.C. 251. Coss. Lucius Caecilius Metellus, G. Furius Pacilus. accordingly, they despatched the Consuls Lucius Caecilius and Gaius Furius with their legions to Sicily; but they only manned sixty ships to carry provisions for the legions. The fortunes of the Carthaginians had in their turn considerably improved owing to the catastrophes I have described. They now commanded the sea without let or hindrance, since the Romans had abandoned it; while in their land forces their hopes were high. Nor was it unreasonable that it should be so. The account of the battle of Libya had reached the ears of the Romans: they had heard that the elephants had broken their ranks and had killed the large part of those that fell: and they were in such terror of them, that though during two years running after that time they had on many occasions, in the territory either of Lilybaeum or Selinus, found themselves in order of battle within five or six stades of the enemy, they never plucked up courage to begin an attack, or in fact to come down upon level ground at all, all because of their fear of an elephant charge. B.C. 252-251. And in these two seasons all they did was to reduce Therma and Lipara by siege, keeping close all the while to mountainous districts and such as were difficult to cross. The timidity and want of confidence thus displayed46 by their land forces induced the Roman government to change their minds and once more to attempt success at sea. B.C. 250.Accordingly, in the second consulship of Caius Atilius and Lucius Manlius, we find them ordering fifty ships to be built, enrolling sailors and energetically collecting a naval armament.

40. Meanwhile Hasdrubal noticed the terror displayed by the Romans whenever they had lately found themselves in the presence of the enemy. B.C. 251.He learnt also that one of the Consuls had departed and gone to Italy, and that Caecilius was lingering in Panormus with the other half of the army, Skirmishing at Panormus.with the view of protecting the corn-crops of the allies just then ripe for the harvest. He therefore got his troops in motion, marched out, and encamped on the frontier of the territory of Panormus. Caecilius saw well enough that the enemy had become supremely confident, and he was anxious to draw him on; he therefore kept his men within the walls. Hasdrubal imagined that Caecilius dared not come out to give him battle. Elated with this idea, he pushed boldly forward with his whole army and marched over the pass into the territory of Panormus. But though he was destroying all the standing crops up to the very walls of the town, Caecilius was not shaken from his resolution, but kept persistently to it, until he had induced him to cross the river which lay between him and the town. But no sooner had the Carthaginians got their elephants and men across, than Caecilius commenced sending out his light-armed troops to harass them, until he had forced them to get their whole army into fighting order. When he saw that everything was happening as he designed it, he placed some of his light troops to line the wall and moat, with instructions that if the elephants came within range they should pour volleys of their missiles upon them; but that whenever they found themselves being forced from their ground by them, they should retreat into the moat, rush out of it again, and hurl darts at the elephants which happened to be nearest. At the same time he gave orders to the armourers in the market-place to carry the missiles and heap them up outside at the foot of the wall.47 Meanwhile he took up his own position with his maniples at the gate which was opposite the enemy’s left wing, and kept despatching detachment after detachment to reinforce his skirmishers. The engagement commenced by them becoming more and more general, a feeling of emulation took possession of the officers in charge of the elephants. They wished to distinguish themselves in the eyes of Hasdrubal, and they desired that the credit of the victory should be theirs: they therefore, with one accord, charged the advanced skirmishing parties of the enemy, routed them with ease, and pursued them up to the moat. But no sooner did the elephants thus come to close quarters than they were wounded by the archers on the wall, and overwhelmed with volleys of pila and javelins which poured thick and fast upon them from the men stationed on the outer edge of the moat, and who had not yet been engaged,—and thus, studded all over with darts, and wounded past all bearing, they soon got beyond control. They turned and bore down upon their own masters, trampling men to death, and throwing their own lines into utter disorder and confusion. When Caecilius saw this he led out his men with promptitude. His troops were fresh; the enemy were in disorder; and he charged them diagonally on the flank: the result was that he inflicted a severe defeat upon them, killed a large number, and forced the rest into precipitate flight. Of the elephants he captured ten along with their Indian riders: the rest which had thrown their Indians he managed to drive into a herd after the battle, and secured every one of them. This achievement gained him the credit on all hands of having substantially benefited the Roman cause, by once more restoring confidence to the army, and giving them the command of the open country.

41. The announcement of this success at Rome was received with extreme delight; not so much at the blow inflicted on the enemy by the loss of their elephants, as at the confidence inspired in their own troops by a victory over these animals. With their confidence thus restored, the Roman government recurred to their original plan of sending out the Consuls upon this service with a fleet and naval forces; for they were eager, by all means in their power, to put a period to the war. Accordingly, in48 the fourteenth year of the war, the supplies necessary for the despatch of the expedition were got ready, and the Consuls set sail for Sicily with two hundred ships. B.C. 250. C. Caecilius Regulus II., L. Manlius Vulso II. They dropped anchor at Lilybaeum; and the army having met them there, they began to besiege it by sea and land. Their view was that if they could obtain possession of this town they would have no difficulty in transferring the seat of war to Libya. The Carthaginian leaders were of the same opinion, and entirely agreed with the Roman view of the value of the place. They accordingly subordinated everything else to this; devoted themselves to the relief of the place at all hazards; and resolved to retain this town at any sacrifice: for now that the Romans were masters of all the rest of Sicily, except Drepana, it was the only foothold they had left in the island.

To understand my story a knowledge of the topography of the district is necessary. I will therefore endeavour in a few words to convey a comprehension to my readers of its geographical position and its peculiar advantages.

42. Sicily, then, lies towards Southern Italy very much in the same relative position as the Peloponnese does to the rest of Greece. The only difference is that the one is an island, the other a peninsula; and consequently in the former case there is no communication except by sea, in the latter there is a land communication also. The shape of Sicily is a triangle, of which the several angles are represented by promontories: that to the south jutting out into the Sicilian Sea is called Pachynus; that which looks to the north forms the western extremity of the Straits of Messene and is about twelve stades from Italy, its name is Pelorus; while the third projects in the direction of Libya itself, and is conveniently situated opposite the promontories which cover Carthage, at a distance of about a thousand stades: it looks somewhat south of due west, dividing the Libyan from the Sardinian Sea, and is called Lilybaeum. On this last there is a city of the same name. It was this city that the Romans were now besieging. It was exceedingly strongly fortified: for besides its walls there was a deep ditch running all round it, and on the side of the49 sea it was protected by lagoons, to steer through which into the harbour was a task requiring much skill and practice.

The Romans made two camps, one on each side of the town, and connected them with a ditch, Siege of Lilybaeum, B.C. 250. stockade, and wall. Having done this, they began the assault by advancing their siege-works in the direction of the tower nearest the sea, which commands a view of the Libyan main. They did this gradually, always adding something to what they had already constructed; and thus bit by bit pushed their works forward and extended them laterally, till at last they had brought down not only this tower, but the six next to it also; and at the same time began battering all the others with battering-rams. The siege was carried on with vigour and terrific energy: every day some of the towers were shaken and others reduced to ruins; every day too the siege-works advanced farther and farther, and more and more towards the heart of the city. And though there were in the town, besides the ordinary inhabitants, as many as ten thousand hired soldiers, the consternation and despondency became overwhelming. Yet their commander Himilco omitted no measure within his power. As fast as the enemy demolished a fortification he threw up a new one; he also countermined them, and reduced the assailants to straits of no ordinary difficulty. Moreover, he made daily sallies, attempted to carry or throw fire into the siege-works, and with this end in view fought many desperate engagements by night as well as by day: so determined was the fighting in these struggles, that sometimes the number of the dead was greater than it ordinarily is in a pitched battle.

43. But about this time some of the officers of highest rank in the mercenary army discussed among Attempted treason in Lilybaeum. themselves a project for surrendering the town to the Romans, being fully persuaded that the men under their command would obey their orders. They got out of the city at night, went to the enemy’s camp, and held a parley with the Roman commander on the subject. But Alexon the Achaean, who on a former occasion had saved Agrigentum from destruction when the mercenary troops of Syracuse made a plot to betray it, was on this occasion50 once more the first to detect this treason, and to report it to the general of the Carthaginians. The latter no sooner heard it than he at once summoned a meeting of those officers who were still in their quarters; and exhorted them to loyalty with prayers and promises of liberal bounties and favours, if they would only remain faithful to him, and not join in the treason of the officers who had left the town. They received his speech with enthusiasm, and were there and then commissioned by him, some to go to the Celts accompanied by Hannibal, who was the son of the Hannibal killed in Sardinia, and who had a previous acquaintance with that people gained in the expedition against them; others to fetch the rest of the mercenary troops, accompanied by Alexon, because he was liked and trusted by them. These officers then proceeded to summon a meeting of their men and address them. They pledged their own credit for the bounties promised them severally by the General, and without difficulty persuaded the men to remain staunch. The result was that when the officers, who had joined in the secret mission, returned to the walls and tried to address their men, and communicate the terms offered by the Romans, so far from finding any adherents, they could not even obtain a hearing, but were driven from the wall with volleys of stones and darts. But this treason among their mercenaries constituted a serious danger: the Carthaginians had a narrow escape from absolute ruin, and they owed their preservation from it to that same Alexon whose fidelity had on a former occasion preserved for Agrigentum her territory, constitution, and freedom.

44. Meanwhile the Carthaginians at home knew nothing of what was going on. But they could calculate the requirements of a besieged garrison; Hannibal relieves Lilybaeum. and they accordingly filled fifty vessels with soldiers, furnished their commander Hannibal, a son of Hamilcar, and an officer and prime favourite of Adherbal’s, with instructions suitable to the business in hand, and despatched him with all speed: charging him to be guilty of no delay, to omit no opportunity, and to shrink from no attempt however venturesome to relieve the besieged. He put to sea with his ten thousand men, and dropped anchor at the islands called51 Aegusae, which lie in the course between Lilybaeum and Carthage, and there looked out for an opportunity of making Lilybaeum. At last a strong breeze sprang up in exactly the right quarter: he crowded all sail and bore down before the wind right upon the entrance of the harbour, with his men upon the decks fully armed and ready for battle. Partly from astonishment at this sudden appearance, partly from dread of being carried along with the enemy by the violence of the gale into the harbour of their opponents, the Romans did not venture to obstruct the entrance of the reinforcement; but stood out at sea overpowered with amazement at the audacity of the enemy.

The town population crowded to the walls, in an agony of anxiety as to what would happen, no less than in an excess of joy at the unlooked-for appearance of hope, and cheered on the crews as they sailed into the harbour, with clapping hands and cries of gladness. To sail into the harbour was an achievement of great danger; but Hannibal accomplished it gallantly, and, dropping anchor there, safely disembarked his soldiers. The exultation of all who were in the city was not caused so much by the presence of the reinforcement, though they had thereby gained a strong revival of hope, and a large addition to their strength, as by the fact that the Romans had not dared to intercept the course of the Carthaginians.

45. Himilco, the general in command at Lilybaeum, now saw that both divisions of his troops were in A sally from Lilybaeum.high spirits and eager for service,—the original garrison owing to the presence of the reinforcement, the newly arrived because they had as yet had no experience of the hardships of the situation. He wished to take advantage of the excited feelings of both parties, before they cooled, in order to organise an attempt to set fire to the works of the besiegers. He therefore summoned the whole army to a meeting, and dwelt upon the themes suitable to the occasion at somewhat greater length than usual. He raised their zeal to an enthusiastic height by the magnitude of his promises for individual acts of courage, and by declaring the favours and rewards which awaited them as an army at the hands of the Carthaginians. His speech was received with lively marks of52 satisfaction; and the men with loud shouts bade him delay no more, but lead them into the field. For the present, however, he contented himself with thanking them and expressing his delight at their excellent spirit, and bidding them go early to rest and obey their officers, dismissed them. But shortly afterwards he summoned the officers; assigned to them severally the posts best calculated for the success of the undertaking; communicated to them the watchword and the exact moment the movement was to be made; and issued orders to the commanders to be at the posts assigned with their men at the morning watch. His orders were punctually obeyed: and at daybreak he led out his forces and made attempts upon the siege-works at several points. But the Romans had not been blind to what was coming, and were neither idle nor unprepared. Wherever help was required it was promptly rendered; and at every point they made a stout resistance to the enemy. Before long there was fighting all along the line, and an obstinate struggle round the entire circuit of the wall; for the sallying party were not less than twenty thousand strong, and their opponents more numerous still. The contest was all the hotter from the fact that the men were not fighting in their regular ranks, but indiscriminately, and as their own judgment directed; the result of which was that a spirit of personal emulation arose among the combatants, because, though the numbers engaged were so great, there was a series of single combats between man and man, or company and company. However, it was at the siege-works themselves that the shouting was loudest and the throng of combatants the densest. At these troops had been massed deliberately for attack and defence. The assailants strove their utmost to dislodge the defenders, the defenders exerted all their courage to hold their ground and not yield an inch to the assailants,—and with such emulation and fury on both sides, that they ended by falling at their posts rather than yield. But there were others mingled with these, carrying torchwood and tow and fire, who made a simultaneous attack upon the battering-rams at every point: hurling these fiery missiles against them with such audacity, that the Romans were reduced to the last extremity of danger, being quite unable to overpower the53 attack of the enemy. But the general of the Carthaginians, seeing that he was losing large numbers in the engagement, It fails.without being able to gain the object of the sortie, which was to take the siege-works, ordered his trumpeters to sound a recall. So the Romans, after coming within an ace of losing all their siege-gear, finally kept possession of the works, and were able to maintain them all without dispute.

46. After this affair Hannibal eluded the enemy’s watch, and sailed out of the harbour by night with his ships to Drepana, to join the Carthaginian Commander-in-Chief, Adherbal. Drepana is about one hundred and twenty stades from Lilybaeum, and was always an object of special care to the Carthaginians from the convenience of its position and the excellence of its harbour.

Now the Carthaginian government were anxious to learn the state of affairs at Lilybaeum, but could not do so because the garrison was strictly blockaded, and the Romans were exceedingly vigilant. Hannibal the Rhodian offers to run the blockade. In this difficulty a nobleman, called Hannibal the Rhodian, came to them, and offered to run the blockade, to see what was going on in Lilybaeum with his own eyes, and to report. The offer delighted them, but they did not believe in the possibility of its fulfilment with the Roman fleet lying at the very entrance of the channel. However, the man fitted out his own private vessel and put to sea. He first crossed to one of the islands lying off Lilybaeum. Next day he obtained a wind in the right quarter, and about ten o’clock in the morning actually sailed into the harbour in the full view of the enemy, who looked on with amazement at his audacity. Next day he lost no time in setting about a return voyage. The Roman Consul had determined on taking extra precautions for watching the sea near the channel: with this view he had during the night got ready his ten fastest-sailing vessels, and taking up a position on shore close to the harbour mouth, was watching with his own eyes what would happen. The whole army was watching also; while the ships on both sides of the mouth of the channel got as close to the shallows as it was possible to approach, and there rested with their oars54 out, and ready to run down and capture the ship that was about to sail out. The Rhodian, on his side, attempted no concealment. He put boldly to sea, and so confounded the enemy by his audacity, and the speed of his vessel, that he not only sailed out without receiving any damage to ship or crew, scudding along the bows of the enemy as though they were fixed in their places, but even brought his ship to, after running a short way ahead, and, with his oars out and ready, seemed to challenge the foe to a contest. When none of them ventured to put out to attack him, because of the speed of his rowing, he sailed away: having thus with his one ship successfully defied the entire fleet of the enemy. From this time he frequently performed the same feat, and proved exceedingly serviceable both to the government at Carthage and the besieged garrison. To the former by informing them from time to time of what was pressingly necessary; and to the latter by inspiring them with confidence, and dismaying the Romans by his audacity.

47. What contributed most to encourage him to a repetition of the feat was the fact that by frequent experience he had marked out the course for himself by clear land marks. As soon as he had crossed the open sea, and was coming into sight, he used to steer as though he were coming from Italy, keeping the seaward tower exactly on his bows, in such a way as to be in a line with the city towers which faced towards Libya; and this is the only possible course to hit the mouth of the channel with the wind astern. The successful boldness of the Rhodian inspired His example is followed by others. several of those who were acquainted with these waters to make similar attempts. The Romans felt themselves to be in a great difficulty; and what was taking place determined them to attempt blocking up the mouth of the harbour. The greater part of the attempted work was a failure: the sea was too deep, and none of the material which they threw into it would hold, or in fact keep in the least compact. The breakers and the force of the current dislodged and scattered everything that was thrown in, before it could even reach the bottom. But there was one point where the water was shallow, at which a mole was with infinite labour55 made to hold together; and upon it a vessel with four banks of oars and of unusually fine build stuck fast as it was making the outward passage at night, The Rhodian is at length captured. and thus fell into the hands of the enemy. The Romans took possession of it, manned it with a picked crew, and used it for keeping a look out for all who should try to enter the harbour, and especially for the Rhodian. He had sailed in, as it happened, that very night, and was afterwards putting out to sea again in his usual open manner. He was, however, startled to see the four-banked vessel put out to sea again simultaneously with himself. He recognised what ship it was, and his first impulse was to escape her by his superior speed. But finding himself getting overhauled by the excellence of her rowers, he was finally compelled to bring to and engage at close quarters. But in a struggle of marines he was at a complete disadvantage: the enemy were superior in numbers, and their soldiers were picked men; and he was made prisoner. The possession of this ship of superior build enabled the Romans, by equipping her with whatever was wanted for the service she had to perform, to intercept all who were adventurous enough to try running the blockade of Lilybaeum.

48. Meanwhile, the besieged were energetically carrying on counterworks, having abandoned the hope of damaging or destroying the constructions of the enemy. A storm having damaged the siege-works, the Lilybaeans succeed in burning them. But in the midst of these proceedings a storm of wind, of such tremendous violence and fury, blew upon the machinery of the engines, that it wrecked the pent-houses, and carried away by its force the towers erected to cover them. Some of the Greek mercenaries perceived the advantage such a state of things offered for the destruction of the siege-works, and communicated their idea to the commander. He caught at the suggestion, and lost no time in making every preparation suitable to the undertaking. Then the young men mustered at three several points, and threw lighted brands into the enemy’s works. The length of time during which these works had been standing made them exactly in the proper state to catch fire easily; and when to this was added a violent wind,56 blowing right upon the engines and towers, the natural result was that the spreading of the fire became rapid and destructive; while all attempts on the Roman side to master it, and rescue their works, had to be abandoned as difficult or wholly impracticable. Those who tried to come to the rescue were so appalled at the scene, that they could neither fully grasp nor clearly see what was going on. Flames, sparks, and volumes of smoke blew right in their faces and blinded them; and not a few dropped down and perished without ever getting near enough to attempt to combat the fire. The same circumstances, which caused these overwhelming difficulties to the besiegers, favoured those who were throwing the fire-brands in exactly the same proportion. Everything that could obscure their vision or hurt them was blown clean away and carried into the faces of the enemy; while their being able to see the intervening space enabled the shooters to take a good aim at those of the enemy who came to the rescue, and the throwers of the fire-brands to lodge them at the proper places for the destruction of the works. The violence of the wind, too, contributed to the deadly effect of the missiles by increasing the force of their blows. Eventually the destruction was so complete, that the foundations of the siege-towers and the blocks of the battering-rams were rendered unusable by the fire. In spite of this disaster, though they gave up the idea of assaulting the place any longer by means of their works, the Romans still persisted. They surrounded the town with a ditch and stockade, threw up an additional wall to secure their own encampment, and left the completion of their purpose to time. Nor were the besieged less determined. They repaired the part of their walls which had been thrown down, and prepared to endure the siege with good courage.

49. When the announcement of these events at Rome was followed by reiterated tidings that the larger The Roman army is reinforced. part of the crews of the fleet had been destroyed, either at the works, or in the general conduct of the siege, the Roman government set zealously to work to enlist sailors; and, having collected as many as ten thousand, sent them to Sicily. They crossed the straits, and reached the camp on foot; and when they had joined, Publius Claudius,57 the Consul, assembled his tribunes, and said that it was just the time to sail to the attack of Drepana with B.C. 249. Coss. P. Claudius Pulcher, L. Junius Pullus. the whole squadron: for that Adherbal,139 who was in command there, was quite unprepared for such an event, because he as yet knew nothing of the new crews having arrived; and was fully persuaded that their fleet could not sail, owing to their loss of men in the siege. His proposition met with a ready assent from the council of officers, and he immediately set about getting his men on board, the old crews as well as those who had recently joined. As for marines, he selected the best men from the whole army, who were ready enough to join an expedition which involved so short a voyage and so immediate and certain an advantage. Having Claudius sails to attack Drepana. completed these preparations, he set sail about midnight, without being detected by the enemy; and for the first part of the day he sailed in close order, keeping the land on his right. By daybreak the leading ships could be seen coming towards Drepana; and at the first sight of them Adherbal was overwhelmed with surprise. He quickly recovered his self-possession however: and, fully appreciating the significance of the enemy’s attack, he determined to try every manœuvre, and hazard every danger, rather than allow himself and his men to be shut up in the blockade which threatened them. He lost no time in collecting his rowing-crews upon the beach, and summoning the mercenary soldiers who were in the town by proclamation. When the muster had taken place, he endeavoured to impress upon them in a few words what good hopes of victory they had, if they were bold enough to fight at sea; and what hardships they would have to endure in a blockade, if they hesitated from any fear of danger and played the coward. The men showed a ready enthusiasm for the sea-fight, and demanded with shouts that he would lead them to it without delay. He thanked them, praised their zeal, and gave the order to embark with all speed, to keep their eyes upon his ship, and follow in its wake. Having made these instructions clear as quickly as he could, he got under weigh himself 58first, and guided his fleet close under the rocks, on the opposite side of the harbour to that by which the enemy were entering.

50. When the Consul Publius saw, to his surprise, that the enemy, so far from giving in or being dismayed at his approach, Unexpected resistance of Adherbal. The Roman fleet checked. were determined upon fighting him at sea: while of his own ships some were already within the harbour, others just in the very entrance channel, and others still on their way towards it; he at once issued orders to all the ships to turn round and make the best of their way out again. The result of this was that, as some of the ships were in the harbour, and others at the entrance, they fouled each other when they began reversing their course; and not only did a great confusion arise among the men, but the ships got their oars broken also in the collisions which occurred. However, the captains exerted themselves to get the ships into line close under the shore, as they successively cleared the harbour, and with their prows directed towards the enemy. Publius himself was originally bringing up the rear of the entire squadron; but he now, while the movement was actually in execution, turned towards the open sea and transferred himself to a position on the left wing of the fleet. At the same moment Adherbal succeeded in outflanking the left of his opponents with five vessels furnished with charging beaks. He turned his own ship with its prow towards the enemy, and brought to. As each of the others came up, and fell into line with him, he sent orders to them by his staff officers to do the same as he had done. Thus they all fell in and formed a complete line. The signal which had been agreed upon before was given, and an advance was begun, which was made at first without disarranging the line. The Romans were still close in-shore, waiting for the coming out of their ships from the harbour; and this proximity to the land proved of infinite disadvantage to them in the engagement.

51. And now the fleets were within a short distance of each other: the signals were raised from the ships The battle. of the respective commanders; the charge was made; and ship grappled with ship. At first the engagement was evenly balanced, because each fleet had the pick of their59 land forces serving as marines on board. But as it went on the many advantages which, taking it as a whole, the Carthaginians possessed, gave them a continually increasing superiority. Owing to the better construction of their ships they had much the advantage in point of speed, while their position with the open sea behind them materially contributed to their success, by giving them freer space for their manœuvres. Were any of them hard pressed by the enemy? Their speed secured them a sure escape, and a wide expanse of water was open to their flight. There they would swing round and attack the leading ships which were pursuing them: sometimes rowing round them and charging their broadsides, at other times running alongside them as they lurched awkwardly round, from the weight of the vessels and the unskilfulness of the crews. In this way they were charging perpetually, and managed to sink a large number of the ships. Or was one of their number in danger? They were ready to come to the rescue, being out of danger themselves, and being able to effect a movement to right or left, by steering along the sterns of their own ships and through the open sea unmolested. The Romans beaten. The case of the Romans was exactly the reverse. If any of them were hard pressed, there was nowhere for them to retreat, for they were fighting close to the shore; and any ship of theirs that was hard driven by the enemy either backed into shallow water and stuck fast, or ran ashore and was stranded. Moreover, that most effective of all manœuvres in sea fights,—sailing through the enemy’s line and appearing on their stern while they are engaged with others,—was rendered impossible for them, owing to the bulk of their vessels; and still more so by the unskilfulness of their crews. Nor, again, were they able to bring help from behind to those who wanted it, because they were hemmed in so close to the shore that there was not the smallest space left in which those who wished to render such help might move. When the Consul saw how ill things were going for him all along the line; when he saw some of his ships sticking fast in the shallows, and others cast ashore; he took to flight. Thirty other ships which happened to be near him followed him as he sailed from the left, and coasted along the shore. But the60 remaining vessels, which amounted to ninety-three, the Carthaginians captured with their crews, except in the case of those who ran their ships ashore and got away.

52. The result of this sea fight gave Adherbal a high reputation at Carthage; for his success was looked upon as wholly due to himself, and his own foresight and courage: while at Rome Publius fell into great disrepute, and was loudly censured as having acted without due caution or calculation, and as having during his administration, as far as a single man could, involved Rome in serious disasters. He was accordingly some time afterwards brought to trial, was heavily fined, and exposed to considerable danger. Not that the Romans gave way in consequence of these events. The Romans not discouraged send the Consul L. Junius with a large supply of provisions in 800 transports, convoyed by 60 ships of war to Lilybaeum. On the contrary, they omitted nothing that was within their power to do, and continued resolute to prosecute the campaign. It was now the time for the Consular elections: as soon as they were over and two Consuls appointed; one of them, Lucius Junius,140 was immediately sent to convey corn to the besiegers of Lilybaeum, and other provisions and supplies necessary for the army, sixty ships being also manned to convoy them. Upon his arrival at Messene, Junius took over such ships as he found there to meet him, whether from the army or from the other parts of Sicily, and coasted along with all speed to Syracuse, with a hundred and twenty ships, and his supplies on board about eight hundred transports. Arrived there, he handed over to the Quaestors half his transports and some of his war-ships, and sent them off, being very anxious that what the army needed should reach them promptly. He remained at Syracuse himself, waiting for such of his ships as had not yet arrived from Messene, and collecting additional supplies of corn from the allies in the central districts of the island.


53. Meanwhile Adherbal sent the prisoners he had taken in the sea fight, and the captured vessels, to Carthage; and giving Carthalo his colleague thirty vessels, in addition to the seventy in command of which he had come, despatched him with instructions to make a sudden attack upon the enemy’s ships that were at anchor off Lilybaeum, capture all he could, Carthalo tries to intercept the transports. and set fire to the rest. In obedience to these instructions Carthalo accomplished his passage just before daybreak, fired some of the vessels, and towed off others. Great was the commotion at the quarters of the Romans. For as they hurried to the rescue of the ships, the attention of Himilco, the commander of the garrison, was aroused by their shouts; and as the day was now beginning to break, he could see what was happening, and despatched the mercenary troops who were in the town. Thus the Romans found themselves surrounded by danger on every side, and fell into a state of consternation more than usually profound and serious. The Carthaginian admiral contented himself with either towing off or breaking up some few of their vessels, and shortly afterwards coasted along under the pretence of making for Heracleia: though he was really lying in wait, with the view of intercepting those who were coming by sea to the Roman army. When his look-out men brought him word that a considerable number of vessels of all sorts were bearing down upon him, and were now getting close, he stood out to sea and started to meet them: for the success just obtained over the Romans inspired him with such contempt for them, that he was eager to come to an engagement. The vessels in question were those which had been despatched in advance under the charge of the Quaestors from Syracuse. And they too had warning of their danger. Light boats were accustomed to sail in advance of a squadron, and these announced the approach of the enemy to the Quaestors; who being convinced that they were not strong enough to stand a battle at sea, dropped anchor under a small fortified town which was subject to Rome, and which, though it had no regular harbour, yet possessed roadsteads, and headlands62 projecting from the mainland, and surrounding the roadsteads, so as to form a convenient refuge. There they disembarked; and having set up some catapults and ballistae, which they got from the town, awaited the approach of the enemy. When the Carthaginians arrived, their first idea was to blockade them: for they supposed that the men would be terrified and retreat to the fortified town, leaving them to take possession of the vessels without resistance. Their expectations, however, were not fulfilled; and finding that the men on the contrary resisted with spirit, and that the situation of the spot presented many difficulties of every description, they sailed away again after towing off some few of the transports laden with provisions, and retired to a certain river, in which they anchored and kept a look out for the enemy to renew their voyage.

54. In complete ignorance of what had happened to his advanced squadron, the Consul, who had remained behind at Syracuse, after completing all he meant to do there, put to sea; and, after rounding Pachynus, was proceeding on his voyage to Lilybaeum. The appearance of the enemy was once more signalled to the Carthaginian admiral by his look-out men, and he at once put out to sea, with the view of engaging them as far as possible away from their comrades. Junius saw the Carthaginian fleet from a considerable distance, and observing their great numbers did not dare to engage them, and yet found it impossible to avoid them by flight because they were now too close. He therefore steered towards land, and anchored under a rocky and altogether dangerous part of the shore; for he judged it better to run all risks rather than allow his squadron, with all its men, to fall into the hands of the enemy. The Carthaginian admiral saw what he had done; and determined that it was unadvisable for him to engage the enemy, or bring his ships near such a dangerous place. He therefore made for a certain headland between the two squadrons of the enemy, and there kept a look out upon both with equal vigilance. Presently, however, the weather became rough, and there was an appearance of an unusually dangerous disturbance setting in from the sea. The Carthaginian pilots, from their knowledge of the particular localities,63 and of seamanship generally, foresaw what was coming; and persuaded Carthalo to avoid the storm and round the promontory of Pachynus.141 He had the good sense to take their advice: The Roman fleet is wrecked.and accordingly these men, with great exertions and extreme difficulty, did get round the promontory and anchored in safety; while the Romans, being exposed to the storm in places entirely destitute of harbours, suffered such complete destruction, that not one of the wrecks even was left in a state available for use. Both of their squadrons in fact were completely disabled to a degree past belief.

55. This occurrence caused the Carthaginian interests to look up again and their hopes to revive. The Romans abandon the sea. But the Romans, though they had met with partial misfortunes before, had never suffered a naval disaster so complete and final. They, in fact, abandoned the sea, and confined themselves to holding the country; while the Carthaginians remained masters of the sea, without wholly despairing of the land.

Great and general was the dismay both at Rome and in the camp at Lilybaeum. Yet they did not abandon their determination of starving out that town. Lucius Junius perseveres in the siege. B.C. 248. The Roman government did not allow their disasters to prevent their sending provisions into the camp overland; and the besiegers kept up the investment as strictly as they possibly could. Lucius Junius joined the camp after the shipwreck, and, being in a state of great distress at what had happened, was all eagerness to strike some new and effective blow, and thus repair the disaster which had befallen him. Accordingly he took the first slight opening that offered to surprise and seize Eryx; Eryx. and became master both of the temple of Aphrodite and of the city. This is a mountain close to the sea-coast on that side of Sicily which looks towards Italy, between Drepana and Panormus, but nearer to Drepana of the two. It is by far the greatest mountain in Sicily next to Aetna; and on its summit, which is flat, stands the 64temple of Erycinian Aphrodite, confessedly the most splendid of all the temples in Sicily for its wealth and general magnificence. The town stands immediately below the summit, and is approached by a very long and steep ascent. Lucius seized both town and temple; and established a garrison both upon the summit and at the foot of the road to it from Drepana. He kept a strict guard at both points, but more especially at the foot of the ascent, believing that by so doing he should secure possession of the whole mountain as well as the town.

56. Next year, the eighteenth of the war, the Carthaginians appointed Hamilcar Barcas general, and put the management of the fleet in his hands. B.C. 247. He took over the command, and started to ravage the Italian coast. After devastating the districts of Locri, and the rest of Bruttium, he sailed away with his whole fleet to the coast of Panormus and seized on a place called Hercte, Occupation of Hercte by Hamilcar. which lies between Eryx and Panormus on the coast, and is reputed the best situation in the district for a safe and permanent camp. For it is a mountain rising sheer on every side, standing out above the surrounding country to a considerable height. The table-land on its summit has a circumference of not less than a hundred stades, within which the soil is rich in pasture and suitable for agriculture; the sea-breezes render it healthy; and it is entirely free from all dangerous animals. On the side which looks towards the sea, as well as that which faces the central part of the island, it is enclosed by inaccessible precipices; while the spaces between them require only slight fortifications, and of no great extent, to make them secure. There is in it also an eminence, which serves at once as an acropolis and as a convenient tower of observation, commanding the surrounding district. It also commands a harbour conveniently situated for the passage from Drepana and Lilybaeum to Italy, in which there is always abundant depth of water; finally, it can only be reached by three ways—two from the land side, one from the sea, all of them difficult. Here Hamilcar entrenched himself. It was a bold measure: but he had no city which he could count upon as friendly, and no other hope on which he could rely; and65 though by so doing he placed himself in the very midst of the enemy, he nevertheless managed to involve the Romans in many struggles and dangers. To begin with, he would start from this place and ravage the seaboard of Italy as far as Cumae; and again on shore, when the Romans had pitched a camp to overawe him, in front of the city of Panormus, within about five stades of him, he harassed them in every sort of way, and forced them to engage in numerous skirmishes, B.C. 247-244. for the space of nearly three years. Of these combats it is impossible to give a detailed account in writing.

57. It is like the case of two boxers, eminent alike for their courage and their physical condition, engaged in a formal contest for the prize. As the match goes on, blow after blow is interchanged without intermission; but to anticipate, or keep account of every feint or every blow delivered is impossible for combatants and spectators alike. Still one may conceive a sufficiently distinct idea of the affair by taking into account the general activity of the men, the ambition actuating each side, and the amount of their experience, strength, and courage. The same may be said of these two generals. No writer could set down, and no reader would endure the wearisome and profitless task of reading, a detailed statement of the transactions of every day; why they were undertaken, and how they were carried out. For every day had its ambuscade on one side or the other, its attack, or assault. A general assertion in regard to the men, combined with the actual result of their mutual determination to conquer, will give a far better idea of the facts. It may be said then, generally, that nothing was left untried,—whether it be stratagems which could be learnt from history, or plans suggested by the necessities of the hour and the immediate circumstances of the case, or undertakings depending upon an adventurous spirit and a reckless daring. The matter, however, for several reasons, could not be brought to a decisive issue. In the first place, the forces on either side were evenly matched: and in the second place, while the camps were in the case of both equally impregnable, the space which separated the two was very small. The result of this was that skirmishes between66 detached parties on both sides were always going on during the day, and yet nothing decisive occurred. For though the men actually engaged in such skirmishes from time to time were cut to pieces, it did not affect the main body. They had only to wheel round to find themselves out of the reach of danger behind their own defences. Once there, they could face about and again engage the enemy.

58. Presently however Fortune, acting like a good umpire in the games, transferred them by a bold stroke from the locality just described, Siege of Eryx, B.C. 244. and the contest in which they were engaged, to a struggle of greater danger and a locality of narrower dimensions. The Romans, as we have said, were in occupation of the summit of Eryx, and had a guard stationed at its foot. But Hamilcar managed to seize the town which lay between these two spots. There ensued a siege of the Romans who were on the summit, supported by them with extraordinary hardihood and adventurous daring: while the Carthaginians, finding themselves between two hostile armies, and their supplies brought to them with difficulty, because they were in communication with the sea at only one point and by one road, yet held out with a determination that passes belief. Every contrivance which skill or force could sustain did they put in use against each other, as before; every imaginable privation was submitted to; surprises and pitched battles were alike tried: and finally they left the combat a drawn one, not, as Fabius says, from utter weakness and misery, but like men still unbroken and unconquered. The fact is that before either party had got completely the better of the other, though they had maintained the conflict for another two years, B.C. 243-242. the war happened to be decided in quite a different manner.

Such was the state of affairs at Eryx and with the forces employed there. The obstinate persistence of the Romans and Carthaginians. The two nations engaged were like well-bred game-cocks that fight to their last gasp. You may see them often, when too weak to use their wings, yet full of pluck to the end, and striking again and again. Finally, chance brings them the opportunity of once more grappling, and they hold on until one or other of them drops down dead.


59. So it was with the Romans and Carthaginians. They were worn out by the labours of the war; the perpetual succession of hard fought struggles was at last driving them to despair; their strength had become paralysed, and their resources reduced almost to extinction by war-taxes and expenses extending over so many years. And yet the Romans did not give in. For the last five years indeed they had entirely abandoned the sea, partly because of the disasters they had sustained there, and partly because they felt confident of deciding the war by means of their land forces; but they now determined for the third time to make trial of their fortune in naval warfare. They saw that their operations were not succeeding according to their calculations, mainly owing to the obstinate gallantry of the Carthaginian general. They therefore adopted this resolution from a conviction that by this means alone, if their design were but well directed, would they be able to bring the war to a successful conclusion. In their first attempt they had been compelled to abandon the sea by disasters arising from sheer bad luck; in their second by the loss of the naval battle off Drepana. This third attempt was successful: they shut off the Carthaginian forces at Eryx from getting their supplies by sea, and eventually put a period to the whole war. Nevertheless it was essentially an effort of despair. The Romans once more fit out a fleet. The treasury was empty, and would not supply the funds necessary for the undertaking, which were, however, obtained by the patriotism and generosity of the leading citizens. They undertook singly, or by two or three combining, according to their means, to supply a quinquereme fully fitted out, on the understanding that they were to be repaid if the expedition was successful. By these means a fleet of two hundred quinqueremes were quickly prepared, built on the model of the ship of the Rhodian. B.C. 242. Coss. C. Lutatius Catulus, A. Postumius Albinus. Gaius Lutatius was then appointed to the command, and despatched at the beginning of the summer. His appearance on the coasts of Sicily was a surprise: the whole of the Carthaginian fleet had gone home; and he took possession both of the harbour near Drepana, and the roadsteads near Lilybaeum. He then threw up works68 round the city on Drepana, and made other preparations for besieging it. And while he pushed on these operations with all his might, he did not at the same time lose sight of the approach of the Carthaginian fleet. He kept in mind the original idea of this expedition, that it was by a victory at sea alone that the result of the whole war could be decided. He did not, therefore, allow the time to be wasted or unemployed. He practised and drilled his crews every day in the manœuvres which they would be called upon to perform; and by his attention to discipline generally brought his sailors in a very short time to the condition of trained athletes for the contest before them.

60. That the Romans should have a fleet afloat once more, and be again bidding for the mastery at sea, was a contingency wholly unexpected by the Carthaginians. The Carthaginians send Hanno with a fleet. They at once set about fitting out their ships, loaded them with corn and other provisions, and despatched their fleet: determined that their troops round Eryx should not run short of necessary provisions. Hanno, who was appointed to command the fleet, put to sea and arrived at the island called Holy Isle. He was eager as soon as possible, if he could escape the observation of the enemy, to get across to Eryx; disembark his stores; and having thus lightened his ships, take on board as marines those of the mercenary troops who were suitable to the service, and Barcas with them; and not to engage the enemy until he had thus reinforced himself. But Lutatius was informed of the arrival of Hanno’s squadron, and correctly interpreted their design. He at once took on board the best soldiers of his army, and crossed to the Island of Aegusa, which lies directly opposite Lilybaeum. There he addressed his forces some words suitable to the occasion, and gave full instructions to the pilots, with the understanding that a battle was to be fought on the morrow. 10th March B.C. 241. A strong breeze is blowing. At daybreak the next morning Lutatius found that a strong breeze had sprung up on the stern of the enemy, and that an advance towards them in the teeth of it would be difficult for his ships. The sea too was rough and boisterous: and for a while he could not make up his mind what he had69 better do in the circumstances. Finally, however, he was decided by the following considerations. If he boarded the enemy’s fleet during the continuance of the storm, he would only have to contend with Hanno, and the levies of sailors which he had on board, before they could be reinforced by the troops, and with ships which were still heavily laden with stores: but if he waited for calm weather, and allowed the enemy to get across and unite with their land forces, he would then have to contend with ships lightened of their burden, and therefore in a more navigable condition, and against the picked men of the land forces; and what was more formidable than anything else, against the determined bravery of Hamilcar. He made up his mind, therefore, not to let the present opportunity slip; Lutatius however decides to fight. and when he saw the enemy’s ships crowding sail, he put to sea with all speed. The rowers, from their excellent physical condition, found no difficulty in overcoming the heavy sea, and Lutatius soon got his fleet into single line with prows directed to the foe.

61. When the Carthaginians saw that the Romans were intercepting their passage across, they lowered their masts, The battle of Aegusa. and after some words of mutual exhortation had been uttered in the several ships, closed with their opponents. But the respective state of equipment of the two sides was exactly the converse of what it had been in the battle off Drepana; and the result of the battle was, therefore, naturally reversed also. The Romans had reformed their mode of shipbuilding, and had eased their vessels of all freight, except the provisions necessary for the battle: while their rowers having been thoroughly trained and got well together, performed their office in an altogether superior manner, and were backed up by marines who, being picked men from the legions, were all but invincible. The case with the Carthaginians was exactly the reverse. Their ships were heavily laden and therefore unmanageable in the engagement; while their rowers were entirely untrained, and merely put on board for the emergency; and such marines as they had were raw recruits, who had never had any previous experience of any difficult or dangerous70 service. The fact is that the Carthaginian government never expected that the Romans would again attempt to dispute the supremacy at sea: they had, therefore, in contempt for them, neglected their navy. The result was that, as soon as they closed, their manifold disadvantages quickly decided the battle against them. Victory of the Romans. They had fifty ships sunk, and seventy taken with their crews. The rest set their sails, and running before the wind, which luckily for them suddenly veered round at the nick of time to help them, got away again to Holy Isle. The Roman Consul sailed back to Lilybaeum to join the army, and there occupied himself in making arrangements for the ships and men which he had captured; which was a business of considerable magnitude, for the prisoners made in the battle amounted to little short of ten thousand.

62. As far as strength of feeling and desire for victory were concerned, this unexpected reverse did not diminish the readiness of the Carthaginians to carry on the war; but when they came to reckon up their resources they were at a complete standstill. Barcas makes terms. On the one hand, they could not any longer send supplies to their forces in Sicily, because the enemy commanded the sea: on the other, to abandon and, as it were, to betray these, left them without men and without leaders to carry on the war. They therefore sent a despatch to Barcas with all speed, leaving the decision of the whole matter in his hands. Nor was their confidence misplaced. He acted the part of a gallant general and a sensible man. As long as there was any reasonable hope of success in the business he had in hand, nothing was too adventurous or too dangerous for him to attempt; and if any general ever did so, he put every chance of victory to the fullest proof. But when all his endeavours miscarried, and no reasonable expectation was left of saving his troops, he yielded to the inevitable, and sent ambassadors to treat of peace and terms of accommodation. And in this he showed great good sense and practical ability; for it is quite as much the duty of a leader to be able to see when it is time to give in, as when it is the time to win a victory. Lutatius was ready enough to listen to the proposal, because he was fully aware that the71 resources of Rome were at the lowest ebb from the strain of the war; and eventually it was his fortune to put an end to the contest by a treaty of which I here give the terms. The treaty, B.C. 242. “Friendship is established between the Carthaginians and Romans on the following terms, provided always that they are ratified by the Roman people. The Carthaginians shall evacuate the whole of Sicily: they shall not make war upon Hiero, nor bear arms against the Syracusans or their allies. The Carthaginians shall give up to the Romans all prisoners without ransom. The Carthaginians shall pay to the Romans in twenty years 2200 Euboic talents of silver.142

63. When this treaty was sent to Rome the people refused to accept it, but sent ten commissioners to examine into the business. Upon their arrival they made no change in the general terms of the treaty, but they introduced some slight alterations in the direction of increased severity towards Carthage. Thus they reduced the time allowed for the payment of the indemnity by one half; they added a thousand talents to the sum demanded; and extended the evacuation of Sicily to all islands lying between Sicily and Italy.

Such were the conditions on which the war was ended, after lasting twenty-four years continuously. Greatness of the war. It was at once the longest, most continuous, and most severely contested war known to us in history. Apart from the other battles fought and the preparations made, which I have described in my previous chapters, there were two sea fights, in one of which the combined numbers of the two fleets exceeded five hundred quinqueremes, in the other nearly approached seven hundred. In the course of the war, counting what were destroyed by shipwreck, the Romans lost seven hundred quinqueremes, the Carthaginians five hundred. Those therefore who have spoken with wonder of the sea-battles of an Antigonus, a Ptolemy, or a Demetrius, and the greatness of their fleets, would we may well believe have been overwhelmed with astonishment at the hugeness of these proportions if they had had to tell the story of this war.143 If, further, 72we take into consideration the superior size of the quinqueremes, compared with the triremes employed by the Persians against the Greeks, and again by the Athenians and Lacedaemonians in their wars with each other, we shall find that never in the whole history of the world have such enormous forces contended for mastery at sea.

These considerations will establish my original observation, and show the falseness of the opinion entertained by certain Greeks. It was not by mere chance or without knowing what they were doing that the Romans struck their bold stroke for universal supremacy and dominion, and justified their boldness by its success. No: it was the natural result of discipline gained in the stern school of difficulty and danger.

64. And no doubt the question does naturally arise here as to why they find it impossible in our days to man so many ships, or take the sea with such large fleets, though masters of the world, and possessing a superiority over others many times as great as before. The explanation of this difficulty will be clearly understood when we come to the description of their civil constitution. I look upon this description as a most important part of my work, and one demanding close attention on the part of my readers. For the subject is calculated to afford pleasure in the contemplation, and is up to this time so to speak absolutely unknown, thanks to historians, some of whom have been ignorant, while others have given so confused an account of it as to be practically useless. For the present it suffices to say that, as far as the late war was concerned, the two nations were closely matched in the character of the designs they entertained, as well as in the lofty courage they showed in prosecuting them: and this is especially true of the eager ambition displayed on either side to secure the supremacy. But in the individual gallantry of their men the Romans had decidedly the advantage; while we must credit the Carthaginians with the best general of the day both for genius and daring. I mean Hamilcar Barcas, own father of Rome’s future enemy Hannibal.

65. The confirmation of this peace was followed by events which involved both nations in a struggle of an identical or73 similar nature. At Rome the late war was succeeded by a social war against the Faliscans, which, however, they brought to a speedy and successful termination by the capture of Falerii after only a few days’ siege. War between Rome and Falerii. The Carthaginians were not so fortunate. Just about the same time they found themselves confronted by three enemies at once, their own mercenaries, the Numidians, and such Libyans as joined the former in their revolt. The mercenary war, B.C. 241. And this war proved to be neither insignificant nor contemptible. It exposed them to frequent and terrible alarms; and, finally, it became a question to them not merely of a loss of territory, but of their own bare existence, and of the safety of the very walls and buildings of their city. There are many reasons that make it worth while to dwell upon the history of this war: yet I must give only a summary account of it, in accordance with the original plan of this work. The nature and peculiar ferocity of the struggle, which has been generally called the “truceless war,” may be best learnt from its incidents. It conveys two important lessons: it most conspicuously shows those who employ mercenaries what dangers they should foresee and provide against; and secondly, it teaches how wide the distinction is between the character of troops composed of a confused mass of uncivilised tribes, and of those which have had the benefit of education, the habits of social life, and the restraints of law. But what is of most importance to us is, that we may trace from the actual events of this period the causes which led to the war between Rome and Carthage in the time of Hannibal. These causes have not only been a subject of dispute among historians, but still continue to be so among those who were actually engaged; it is therefore a matter of importance to enable students to form an opinion on this matter as nearly as possible in accordance with the truth.

66. The course of events at Carthage subsequent to the peace was as follows: Evacuation of Sicily.As soon as possible after it was finally ratified Barcas withdrew the troops at Eryx to Lilybaeum, and then immediately laid down his command. Gesco, who was commandant of the town, proceeded to transport the soldiers into74 Libya. But foreseeing what was likely to happen, he very prudently embarked them in detachments, and did not send them all in one voyage. His object was to gain time for the Carthaginian government; so that one detachment should come to shore, receive the pay due to them, and depart from Carthage to their own country, before the next detachment was brought across and joined them. In accordance with this idea Gesco began the transportation of the troops. But the Government—partly because the recent expenses had reduced their finances to a low ebb, partly because they felt certain that, if they collected the whole force and entertained them in Carthage, they would be able to persuade the mercenaries to accept something less than the whole pay due to them—did not dismiss the detachments as they landed, but kept them massed in the city. But when this resulted in the commission of many acts of lawlessness by night and day, they began to feel uneasy at their numbers and their growing licentiousness; and required the officers, until such time as arrangements for discharging their pay should have been made, and the rest of the army should have arrived, to withdraw with The mercenaries sent to Sicca. all their men to a certain town called Sicca, receiving each a piece of gold for their immediate necessities. As far as quitting the city was concerned they were ready enough to obey; but they desired to leave their heavy baggage there as before, on the ground that they would soon have to return to the city for their wages. But the Carthaginian government were in terror lest, considering the length of their absence and their natural desire for the society of wives or children, they would either not quit the city at all; or, if they did, would be sure to be enticed by these feelings to return, and that thus there would be no decrease of outrages in the city. Accordingly they forced them to take their baggage with them: but it was sorely against the will of the men, and roused strong feelings of animosity among them. These mercenaries being forced to retire to Sicca, lived there as they chose without any restraint upon their lawlessness. For they had obtained two things the most demoralising for hired forces, and which in a word are in themselves the all-sufficient source and origin of mutinies,—relaxation of discipline75 and want of employment.144 For lack of something better to do, some of them began calculating, always to their own advantage, the amount of pay owing to them; and thus making out the total to be many times more than was really due, they gave out that this was the amount which they ought to demand from the Carthaginians. Moreover they all began to call to mind the promises made to them by the generals in their harangues, delivered on various occasions of special danger, and to entertain high hopes and great expectations of the amount of compensation which awaited them. The natural result followed.

67. When the whole army had mustered at Sicca, and Hanno, now appointed general in Libya, The beginning of the outbreak, B.C. 241. far from satisfying these hopes and the promises they had received, talked on the contrary of the burden of the taxes and the embarrassment of the public finances; and actually endeavoured to obtain from them an abatement even from the amount of pay acknowledged to be due to them; excited and mutinous feelings at once began to manifest themselves. There were constant conferences hastily got together, sometimes in separate nationalities, sometimes of the whole army; and there being no unity of race or language among them, the whole camp became a babel of confusion, a scene of inarticulate tumult, and a veritable revel of misrule. For the Carthaginians being always accustomed to employ mercenary troops of miscellaneous nationalities, in securing that an army should consist of several different races, act wisely as far as the prevention of any rapid combinations for mutiny, or difficulty on the part of the commanders in overawing insubordination, are concerned: but the policy utterly breaks down when an outburst of anger, or popular delusion, or internal dissension, has actually occurred; for it makes it impossible for the commander to soothe excited feelings, to remove misapprehensions, or to show the ignorant their error. Armies in such a state are not usually content with mere human wickedness; they end by assuming the ferocity of wild beasts and the vindictiveness of insanity.

This is just what happened in this case. There were in the army Iberians and Celts, men from Liguria and the Balearic 76Islands, and a considerable number of half-bred Greeks, mostly deserters and slaves; while the main body consisted of Libyans. Consequently it was impossible to collect and address them en masse, or to approach them with this view by any means whatever. There was no help for it: the general could not possibly know their several languages; and to make a speech four or five times on the same subject, by the mouths of several interpreters, was almost more impossible, if I may say so, than that. The only alternative was for him to address his entreaties and exhortations to the soldiers through their officers. And this Hanno continually endeavoured to do. But there was the same difficulty with them. Sometimes they failed to understand what he said: at others they received his words with expressions of approval to his face, and yet from error or malice reported them in a contrary sense to the common soldiers. The result was a general scene of uncertainty, mistrust, and misunderstanding. And to crown all, they took it into their heads that the Carthaginian government had a design in thus sending Hanno to them: that they purposely did not send the generals who were acquainted with the services they had rendered in Sicily, and who had been the authors of the promises made to them; but had sent the one man who had not been present at any of these transactions. Whether that were so or not, they finally broke off all negotiations with Hanno; conceived a violent mistrust of their several commanders; and in a furious outburst of anger with the Carthaginians started towards the city, and pitched their camp about a hundred and twenty stades from Carthage, at the town of Tunes, to the number of over twenty thousand.

68. The Carthaginians saw their folly when it was too late. It was a grave mistake to have collected so large a number of mercenaries into one place The mercenaries at Tunes. without any warlike force of their own citizens to fall back upon: but it was a still graver mistake to have delivered up to them their children and wives, with their heavy baggage to boot; which they might have retained as hostages, and thus have had greater security for concerting their own measures, and more power of ensuring obedience to their orders. However, being thoroughly alarmed at the action77 of the men in regard to their encampment, they went to every length in their eagerness to pacify their anger. They sent them supplies of provisions in rich abundance, Attempts to pacify them. to be purchased exactly on their own terms, and at their own price. Members of the Senate were despatched, one after the other, to treat with them; and they were promised that whatever they demanded should be conceded if it were within the bounds of possibility. Day by day the ideas of the mercenaries rose higher. For their contempt became supreme when they saw the dismay and excitement in Carthage; The demands of the mercenaries.their confidence in themselves was profound; and their engagements with the Roman legions in Sicily had convinced them, that not only was it impossible for the Carthaginians to face them in the field, but that it would be difficult to find any nation in the world who could. Therefore, when the Carthaginians conceded the point of their pay, they made a further claim for the value of the horses they had lost. When this too was conceded, they said that they ought to receive the value of the rations of corn due to them from a long time previous, reckoned at the highest price reached during the war. And in short, the ill-disposed and mutinous among them being numerous, they always found out some new demand which made it impossible to come to terms. Upon the Carthaginian government, however, pledging themselves to the full extent of their powers, they eventually agreed to refer the matter to the arbitration of some one of the generals who had been actually engaged in Sicily. Now they were displeased with Hamilcar Barcas, who was one of those under whom they had fought in Sicily, because they thought that their present unfavourable position was attributable chiefly to him. The dispute referred to the arbitration of Gesco. They thought this from the fact that he never came to them as an ambassador, and had, as was believed, voluntarily resigned his command. But towards Gesco their feelings were altogether friendly. He had, as they thought, taken every possible precaution for their interests, and especially in the arrangements for their conveyance to Libya. Accordingly they referred the dispute to the arbitration of the latter.


69. Gesco came to Tunes by sea, bringing the money with him. There he held a meeting first of the officers, and then of the men, according to their nationalities; rebuked them for their past behaviour, and endeavoured to convince them as to their duty in the present: but most of all he dwelt upon their obligation in the future to show themselves well-disposed towards the people whose pay they had been so long enjoying. Finally, he proceeded to discharge the arrears of pay, taking each nationality separately. But there was a certain Campanian in the army, Spendius. a runaway Roman slave named Spendius, a man of extraordinary physical strength and reckless courage in the field. Alarmed lest his master should recover possession of him, and he should be put to death with torture, in accordance with the laws of Rome, this man exerted himself to the utmost in word and deed to break off the arrangement with the Carthaginians. He was seconded by a Libyan called Mathōs, Mathōs. who was not a slave but free, and had actually served in the campaign. But he had been one of the most active agitators in the late disturbances: and being in terror of punishment for the past, he now gave in his adhesion to the party of Spendius; and taking the Libyans aside, suggested to them that, when the men of other races had received their pay, and taken their departure to their several countries, the Carthaginians would wreak upon them the full weight of the resentment which they had, in common with themselves, incurred; and would look upon their punishment as a means of striking terror into all the inhabitants of Libya. It did not take long to rouse the men by such arguments, nor were they at a loss for a pretext, however insignificant. In discharging the pay, Gesco postponed the payment of the valuations of rations and horses. Spendius and Mathōs cause an outbreak. This was enough: the men at once hurried to make a meeting; Spendius and Mathōs delivered violent invectives against Gesco and the Carthaginians; their words were received with every sign of approval; no one else could get a hearing; whoever did attempt to speak was promptly stoned to death, without the assembly so much as waiting to ascertain whether he intended to support the party of Spendius or no.


A considerable number of privates as well as officers were killed in this manner in the various émeutes which took place; and from the constant repetition of this act of violence the whole army learnt the meaning of the word βάλλε. “throw,” although there was not another word which was intelligible to them all in common. The most usual occasion for this to happen was when they collected in crowds flushed with wine after their midday meal. On such occasions, if only some one started the cry “throw,” such volleys were poured in from every side, and with such rapidity, that it was impossible for any one to escape who once ventured to stand forward to address them. The result was that soon no one had the courage to offer them any counsel at all; and they accordingly appointed Mathōs and Spendius as theirō commanders.

70. This complete disorganisation and disorder did not escape the observation of Gesco. But his chief anxiety was to secure the safety of his country; and seeing clearly that, if these men were driven to exasperation, the Carthaginians would be in danger of total destruction, he exerted himself with desperate courage and persistence: sometimes summoning their officers, sometimes calling a meeting of the men according to their nationalities and remonstrating with them. But on one occasion the Libyans, not having received their wages as soon as they considered that they ought to have been paid to them, approached Gesco himself with some insolence. Gesco and his staff seized and thrown into chains. With the idea of rebuking their precipitancy he refused to produce the pay, and bade them “go and ask their general Mathōs for it.” This so enraged them, that without a moment’s delay they first made a raid upon the money that was kept in readiness, and then arrested Gesco and the Carthaginians with him. Mathōs and Spendius thought that the speediest way to secure an outbreak of war was for the men to commit some outrage upon the sanctity of law and in violation of their engagements. They therefore co-operated with the mass of the men in their reckless outrages; plundered the baggage of the Carthaginians along with their money; manacled Gesco and his staff with every mark of insolent violence, and committed80 them into custody. Thenceforth they were at open war with Carthage, having bound themselves together by oaths which were at once impious and contrary to the principles universally received among mankind.

This was the origin and beginning of the mercenary, or, as it is also called, the Libyan war. B.C. 240.Mathōs lost no time after this outrage in sending emissaries to the various cities in Libya, urging them to assert their freedom, and begging them to come to their aid and join them in their undertaking. The appeal was successful: nearly all the cities in Libya readily listened to the proposal that they should revolt against Carthage, and were soon zealously engaged in sending them supplies and reinforcements. They therefore divided themselves into two parties; one of which laid siege to Utica, the other to Hippo Zarytus, because these two cities refused to participate in the revolt.

71. Three things must be noticed in regard to the Carthaginians. First, among them the means of life of private persons are supplied by the produce of the land; secondly, all public expenses for war material and stores are discharged from the tribute paid by the people of Libya; and thirdly, it is their regular custom to carry on war by means of mercenary troops. At this moment they not only found themselves unexpectedly deprived of all these resources at once, but saw each one of them actually employed against themselves. Despair at Carthage.Such an unlooked-for event naturally reduced them to a state of great discouragement and despair. After the long agony of the Sicilian war they were in hopes, when the peace was ratified, that they might obtain some breathing space and some period of settled content. The very reverse was now befalling them. They were confronted by an outbreak of war still more difficult and formidable. In the former they were disputing with Rome for the possession of Sicily: but this was a domestic war, and the issue at stake was the bare existence of themselves and their country. Besides, the many battles in which they had been engaged at sea had naturally left them ill supplied with arms, sailors, and vessels. They had no store of provisions ready, and no expectation whatever of external assistance from81 friends or allies. They were indeed now thoroughly taught the difference between a foreign war, carried on beyond the seas, and a domestic insurrection and disturbance.

72. And for these overpowering miseries they had themselves to thank more than any one else. During the late war they had availed themselves of what they regarded as a reasonable pretext for exercising their supremacy over the inhabitants of Libya with excessive harshness. They had exacted half of all agricultural produce; had doubled the tribute of the towns; and, in levying these contributions, had refused to show any grace or indulgence whatever to those who were in embarrassed circumstances. Their admiration and rewards were reserved, not for those generals who treated the people with mildness and humanity, but exclusively for those who like Hanno secured them the most abundant supplies and war material, though at the cost of the harshest treatment of the provincials.

These people therefore needed no urging to revolt: a single messenger sufficed. Revolt of the country people. The women, who up to this time had passively looked on while their husbands and fathers were being led off to prison for the non-payment of the taxes, now bound themselves by an oath in their several towns that they would conceal nothing that they possessed; and, stripping off their ornaments, unreservedly contributed them to furnish pay for the soldiers. They thus put such large means into the hands of Mathōs and Spendius, that they not only discharged the arrears due to the mercenaries, which they had promised them as an inducement to mutiny, but remained well supplied for future needs. A striking illustration of the fact that true policy does not regard only the immediate necessities of the hour, but must ever look still more keenly to the future.

73. No such considerations, however, prevented the Carthaginians in their hour of distress from appointing Hanno general; Hanno’s management of the war.because he had the credit of having on a former occasion reduced the city called Hecatompylos, in Libya, to obedience. They also set about collecting mercenaries; arming their own citizens who were of military age; training and drilling the city cavalry;82 and refitting what were left of their ships, triremes, penteconters, and the largest of the pinnaces. Meanwhile Mathōs, being joined by as many as seventy thousand Libyans, distributed these fresh troops between the two forces which were besieging Utica and Hippo Zarytus, and carried on those sieges without let or hindrance. At the same time they kept firm possession of the encampment at Tunes, and had thus shut out the Carthaginians from the whole of outer Libya. For Carthage itself stands on a projecting peninsula in a gulf, nearly surrounded by the sea and in part also by a lake. The isthmus that connects it with Libya is three miles broad: upon one side of this isthmus, in the direction of the open sea and at no great distance, stands the city of Utica, and on the other stands Tunes, upon the shore of the lake. The mercenaries occupied both these points, and having thus cut off the Carthaginians from the open country, proceeded to take measures against Utica itself. They made frequent excursions up to the town wall, sometimes by day and sometimes by night, and were continually throwing the citizens into a state of alarm and absolute panic.

74. Hanno, however, was busying himself with some success in providing defences. In this department of a general’s duty he showed considerable ability; but he was quite a different man at the head of a sally in force: he was not sagacious in his use of opportunities, and managed the whole business with neither skill nor promptitude. It was thus that his first expedition miscarried when he went to Fails to relieve Utica. relieve Utica. The number of his elephants, of which he had as many as a hundred, struck terror into the enemy; yet he made so poor a use of this advantage that, instead of turning it into a complete victory, he very nearly brought the besieged, as well as himself, to utter destruction. He brought from Carthage catapults and darts, and in fact all the apparatus for a siege; and having encamped outside Utica undertook an assault upon the enemy’s entrenchment. The elephants forced their way into the camp, and the enemy, unable to withstand their weight and the fury of their attack, entirely evacuated the position. They lost a large number from wounds inflicted by the elephants83’ tusks; while the survivors made their way to a certain hill, which was a kind of natural fortification thickly covered with trees, and there halted, relying upon the strength of the position. But Hanno, accustomed to fight with Numidians and Libyans, who, once turned, never stay their flight till they are two days removed from the scene of the action, imagined that he had already put an end to the war and had gained a complete victory. He therefore troubled himself no more about his men, or about the camp generally, but went inside the town and occupied himself with his own personal comfort. But the mercenaries, who had fled in a body on to the hill, had been trained in the daring tactics of Barcas, and accustomed from their experience in the Sicilian warfare to retreat and return again to the attack many times in the same day. They now saw that the general had left his army and gone into the town, and that the soldiers, owing to their victory, were behaving carelessly, and in fact slipping out of the camp in various directions: they accordingly got themselves into order and made an assault upon the camp; killed a large number of the men; forced the rest to fly ignominiously to the protection of the city walls and gates; and possessed themselves of all the baggage and apparatus belonging to the besieged, which Hanno had brought outside the town in addition to his own, and thus put into the hands of the enemy.

But this was not the only instance of his incompetence. A few days afterwards, near a place called Gorza, he came right upon the enemy, who lay Hanno’s continued ill success. encamped there, and had two opportunities of securing a victory by pitched battles; and two more by surprising them, as they changed quarters close to where he was. But in both cases he let the opportunities slip for want of care and proper calculation.

75. The Carthaginians, therefore, when they saw his mismanagement of the campaign, once more placed Hamilcar Barcas at the head of affairs; and despatched him to the war as commander-in-chief, Hamilcar Barcas takes the command. with seventy elephants, the newly-collected mercenaries, and the deserters from the enemy; and along with them the cavalry and infantry enrolled from the citizens themselves,84 amounting in all to ten thousand men. His appearance from the first produced an immediate impression. The expedition was unexpected; and he was thus able, by the dismay which it produced, to lower the courage of the enemy. He succeeded in raising the siege of Utica, and showed himself worthy of his former achievements, and of the confidence felt in him by the people. What he accomplished on this service was this.

A chain of hills runs along the isthmus connecting Carthage with the mainland, which are difficult of access, and are crossed by artificial passes into the mainland; of these hills Mathōs had occupied all the available points and posted guards there. Besides these there is a river called Macaras (Bagradas), which at certain points interrupts the passage of travellers from the city to the mainland, and though for the most He gets his men across the Macaras. part impassable, owing to the strength of its stream, is only crossed by one bridge. This means of egress also Mathōs was guarding securely, and had built a town on it. The result was that, to say nothing of the Carthaginians entering the mainland with an army, it was rendered exceedingly difficult even for private individuals, who might wish to make their way through, to elude the vigilance of the enemy. This did not escape the observation and care of Hamilcar; and while revolving every means and every chance of putting an end to this difficulty about a passage, he at length hit upon the following. He observed that where the river discharges itself into the sea its mouth got silted up in certain positions of the wind, and that then the passage over the river at its mouth became like that over a marsh. He accordingly got everything ready in the camp for the expedition, without telling any one what he was going to do; and then watched for this state of things to occur. When the right moment arrived, he started under cover of night; and by daybreak had, without being observed by any one, got his army across this place, to the surprise of the citizens of Utica as well as of the enemy. Marching across the plain, he led his men straight against the enemy who were guarding the bridge.

76. When he understood what had taken place Spendius advanced into the plain to meet Hamilcar. The force from the city at the bridge amounted to ten thousand men; that from before85 Utica to more than fifteen thousand men; both of which now advanced to support each other. When they had effected a junction they imagined that they had And defeats Spendius. the Carthaginians in a trap, and therefore with mutual words of exhortation passed the order to engage, and at once commenced. Hamilcar was marching with his elephants in front, his cavalry and light troops next, while his heavy armed hoplites brought up the rear. But when he saw the precipitation of the enemy’s attack, he passed the word to his men to turn to the rear. His instructions were that the troops in front should, after thus turning to the rear, retire with all speed: while he again wheeled to the right about what had been originally his rear divisions, and got them into line successively so as to face the enemy. The Libyans and mercenaries mistook the object of this movement, and imagined that the Carthaginians were panic-stricken and in full retreat. Thereupon they broke from their ranks and, rushing forward, began a vigorous hand to hand struggle. When, however, they found that the cavalry had wheeled round again, and were drawn up close to the hoplites, and that the rest of the army also was being brought up, surprise filled the Libyans with panic; they immediately turned and began a retreat as precipitate and disorderly as their advance. In the blind flight which followed some of them ran foul of their own rear-guard, who were still advancing, and caused their own destruction or that of their comrades; but the greater part were trampled to death by the cavalry and elephants who immediately charged. As many as six thousand of the Libyans and foreign troops were killed, and about two thousand taken prisoners. The rest made good their escape, either to the town on the bridge or to the camp near Utica. After this victory Hamilcar followed close upon the heels of the enemy, carried the town on the bridge by assault, the enemy there abandoning it and flying to Tunes, and then proceeded to scour the rest of the district: some of the towns submitting, while the greater number he had to reduce by force. And thus he revived in the breasts of the Carthaginians some little spirit and courage, or at least rescued them from the state of absolute despair into which they had fallen.

77. Meanwhile Mathōs himself was continuing the siege86 of Hippo Zarytus, and he now counselled Autaritus, the leader of the Gauls, and Spendius to stick close to the skirts of the enemy, avoiding the plains, Mathōs harasses Hamilcar’s march. because the enemy were strong in cavalry and elephants, but marching parallel with them on the slopes of the mountains, and attacking them whenever they saw them in any difficulty. While suggesting these tactics, he at the same time sent messengers to the Numidians and Libyans, entreating them to come to their aid, and not to let slip the opportunity of securing their own freedom. Accordingly, Spendius took with him a force of six thousand men, selected from each of the several nationalities at Tunes, and started, keeping along a line of hills parallel to the Carthaginians. Besides these six thousand he had two thousand Gauls under Autaritus, who were all that were left of the original number, the rest having deserted to the Romans during the period of the occupation of Eryx. Now it happened that, just when Hamilcar had taken up a position in a certain plain which was surrounded on all sides by mountains, the reinforcements of Numidians and Libyans joined Spendius. The Carthaginians, therefore, suddenly found a Libyan encampment right on their front, another of Numidians on their rear, and that of Spendius on their flank; and it seemed impossible to escape from the danger which thus menaced them on every side.

78. But there was at that time a certain Narávas, a Numidian of high rank and warlike spirit, who entertained an ancestral feeling of affection for the Carthaginians, Hamilcar is joined by the Numidian Narávas. rendered especially warm at that time by admiration for Hamilcar. He now thought that he had an excellent opportunity for an interview and association with that general; and accordingly came to the Carthaginian quarters with a body of a hundred Numidians, and boldly approaching the out-works, remained there waving his hand. Wondering what his object could be Hamilcar sent a horseman to see; to whom Narávas said that he wished for an interview with the general. The Carthaginian leader still showing hesitation and incredulity, Narávas committed his horse and javelins to the care of his guards, and boldly came into the camp unarmed.87 His fearlessness made a profound impression not unmixed with surprise. No further objection, however, was made to his presence, and the desired interview was accorded; in which he declared his goodwill to the Carthaginians generally, and his especial desire to be friends with Barcas. “This was the motive of his presence,” he said; “he was come with the full intention of taking his place by his side and of faithfully sharing all his actions and undertakings.” Hamilcar, on hearing these words, was so immensely charmed by the young man’s courage in coming, and his honest simplicity in the interview, that he not only consented to accept his co-operation, but promised also with an oath that he would give him his daughter in marriage if he kept faith with Carthage to the end. The agreement having been thus made, Narávas came with his division of Numidians, numbering two thousand. Thus reinforced Hamilcar offered the enemy battle; which Spendius, having joined forces with the Libyans, accepted; and descending into Again defeats Spendius. the plain engaged the Carthaginians. In the severe battle which followed Hamilcar’s army was victorious: a result which he owed partly to the excellent behaviour of the elephants, but particularly to the brilliant services rendered by Narávas. Autaritus and Spendius managed to escape; but of the rest as many as ten thousand were killed and four thousand taken prisoners. When the victory was complete, Hamilcar gave permission to those of the prisoners who chose to enlist in his army, and furnished them with arms from the spoils of the enemy’s slain: those who did not choose to accept this offer he summoned to a meeting and harangued them. He told them that the crimes committed by them up to that moment were pardoned, and they were permitted to go their several ways, wheresoever they chose, but on condition that none of them bore arms against Carthage again: if any one of them were ever caught so doing, he warned them distinctly that he would meet with no mercy.

79. This conspiracy of Mathōs and Spendius caused an outbreak about this same time in another quarter. For the mercenaries who were in Mutiny in Sardinia. garrison in Sardinia, inspired by their example, attacked the Carthaginians in the island; beleaguered Bostarus,88 the commander of the foreign contingent, in the citadel; and finally put him and his compatriots to the sword. The Carthaginians thereupon sent another army into the island under Hanno. But the men deserted to the mutineers; who then seized Hanno and crucified him, and exercising all their ingenuity in the invention of tortures racked to death every Carthaginian in the island. Having got the towns into their power, they thenceforth kept forcible possession of the island; until they quarrelled with the natives and were driven by them into Italy. This was the way in which Carthage lost Sardinia, an island of first rate importance from its size, the number of its inhabitants, and its natural products. But as many have described it at great length, I do not think that I need repeat statements about which there is no manner of dispute.

To return to Libya. The indulgence shown by Hamilcar to the captives alarmed Mathōs and Spendius and Autaritus the Gaul. B.C. 239. Plan of Spendius for doing away with the good impression made by the leniency of Barcas.They were afraid that conciliatory treatment of this sort would induce the Libyans, and the main body of the mercenaries, to embrace with eagerness the impunity thus displayed before their eyes. They consulted together, therefore, how they might by some new act of infamy inflame to the highest pitch of fury the feelings of their men against the Carthaginians. They finally determined upon the following plan. They summoned a meeting of the soldiers; and when it was assembled, they introduced a bearer of a despatch which they represented to have been sent by their fellow conspirators in Sardinia. The despatch warned them to keep a careful watch over Gesco and all his fellow prisoners (whom, as has been stated, they had treacherously seized in Tunes), as certain persons in the camp were secretly negotiating with the Carthaginians for their release. Taking this as his text, Spendius commenced by urging the men not to put any trust in the indulgence shown by the Carthaginian general to the prisoners of war, “For,” said he, “it is with no intention of saving their lives that he adopted this course in regard to the prisoners; his aim was, by releasing them, to get us into his power, that punishment might not be confined to some of us, but might fall on all at once.” He went on to89 urge them to be on their guard, lest by letting Gesco’s party go they should teach their enemies to despise them; and should also do great practical damage to their own interests, by suffering a man to escape who was an excellent general, and likely to be a most formidable enemy to themselves. Before he had finished this speech another courier arrived, pretending to have been sent by the garrison at Tunes, and bearing a despatch containing warnings similar to that from Sardinia.

80. It was now the turn of Autaritus the Gaul. “Your only hope,” he said, “of safety is to reject all hopes which rest on the Carthaginians. So long as any man clings to the idea of indulgence at their hands, he cannot possibly be a genuine ally of yours. Never trust, never listen, never attend to anyone, unless he recommend unrelenting hostility and implacable hatred towards the Carthaginians: all who speak on the other side regard as traitors and enemies.” After this preface, he gave it as his advice that they should put to death with torture both Gesco and those who had been seized with him, as well as the Carthaginian prisoners of war who had been captured since. Now this Autaritus was the most effective speaker of any, because he could make himself understood to a large number of those present at a meeting. For, owing to his length of service, he knew how to speak Phoenician; and Phoenician was the language in which the largest number of men, thanks to the length of the late war, could listen to with satisfaction. Accordingly his speech was received with acclamation, and he stood down amidst loud applause. But when many came forward from the several nationalities at the same time; and, moved by Gesco’s former kindnesses to themselves, would have deprecated at least the infliction of torture, not a word of what they said was understood: partly because many were speaking at the same time, and partly because each spoke in his own language. But when at length it was disclosed that what they meant was to dissuade the infliction of torture, upon one of those present shouting out “Throw!” they promptly stoned to death all who had come forward to speak; and their relations Murder of Gesco. buried their bodies, which were crushed into shapeless masses as though by the feet of elephants. Still they at90 least were buried. But the followers of Spendius now seized Gesco and his fellow prisoners, numbering about seven hundred, led them outside the stockade, and having made them march a short distance from the camp, first cut off their hands, beginning with Gesco, the man whom a short while before they had selected out of all Carthage as their benefactor and had chosen as arbitrator in their controversy. When they had cut off their hands, they proceeded to lop off the extremities of the unhappy men, and having thus mutilated them and broken their legs, they threw them still alive into a trench.

81. When news of this dreadful affair reached the Carthaginians, they were powerless indeed to do anything, but they were filled with horror; and in a transport of agony despatched messengers to Hamilcar and the second general Hanno, entreating them to rally to their aid and avenge the unhappy victims; and at the same time they sent heralds to the authors of this crime to negotiate for the recovery of the dead bodies. But the latter sternly refused; and warned the messengers to send neither herald nor ambassador to them again; for the same punishment which had just befallen Gesco awaited all who came. And for the future they passed a resolution, which they encouraged each other to observe, to put every Carthaginian whom they caught to death with torture; and that whenever they captured one of their auxiliaries they would cut off his hands and send him back to Carthage. And this resolution they exactly and persistently carried out. Such horrors justify the remark that it is not only the bodies of men, and the ulcers and imposthumes which are bred in them, that grow to a fatal and completely incurable state of inflammation, but their souls also most of all. For as in the case of ulcers, sometimes medical treatment on the one hand only serves to irritate them and make them spread more rapidly, while if, on the other hand, the medical treatment is stopped, having nothing to check their natural destructiveness, they gradually destroy the substance on which they feed; just so at times it happens that similar plague spots and gangrenes fasten upon men’s souls; and when this is so, no wild beast can be more wicked or more cruel than a man. To men in such a91 frame of mind if you show indulgence or kindness, they regard it as a cover for trickery and sinister designs, and only become more suspicious and more inflamed against the authors of it; while if you retaliate, their passions are aroused to a kind of dreadful rivalry, and then there is no crime too monstrous or too cruel for them to commit. The upshot with these men was, that their feelings became so brutalised that they lost the instincts of humanity: which we must ascribe in the first place, and to the greatest extent, to uncivilised habits and a wretchedly bad early training; but many other things contributed to this result, and among them we must reckon as most important the acts of violence and rapacity committed by their leaders, sins which at that time were prevalent among the whole mercenary body, but especially so with their leaders.

82. Alarmed by the recklessness displayed by the enemy, Hamilcar summoned Hanno to join him, being convinced that a consolidation of the two armies would give him the best chance of putting an end to the whole war. Such of the enemy as he took in the field he put to execution on the spot, while those who were made prisoners and brought to him he threw to the elephants to be trampled to death; for he now made up his mind that the only possibility of Quarrels of Hanno and Hamilcar. finishing the war was to entirely destroy the enemy. But just as the Carthaginians were beginning to entertain brighter hopes in regard to the war, a reverse as complete as it was unexpected brought their fortunes to the lowest ebb. For these two generals, when they had joined forces, quarrelled so bitterly with each other, that they not only omitted to take advantage of chances against the enemy, but by their mutual animosity gave the enemy many opportunities against themselves. Finding this to be the case, the Carthaginian government sent out instructions that one of the generals was to retire, the other to remain, and that the army itself was to decide which of them it should be. This was one cause of the reverse in the fortunes of Carthage at this time. Another, which was almost contemporaneous, was this. Their chief hope of furnishing the army with provisions and other necessaries rested upon the supplies that were being brought from a place to which they give the92 name of Emporiae: but as these supplies were on their way, they were overtaken by a storm at sea and entirely destroyed. This was all the more fatal because Sardinia was lost to them at the time, as we have seen, and that island had always been of the greatest service to them in difficulties of this sort. But the worst blow of all was the revolt of the Revolt of Hippo Zarytus and Utica. cities of Hippo Zarytus and Utica, the only cities in all Libya that had been faithful to them, not only in the present war, but also at the time of the invasion of Agathocles, as well as that of the Romans. To both these latter they had offered a gallant resistance; and, in short, had never at any time adopted any policy hostile to Carthage. But now they were not satisfied with simply revolting to the Libyans, without any reason to allege for their conduct. With all the bitterness of turncoats, they suddenly paraded an ostentatious friendship and fidelity to them, and gave practical expression to implacable rage and hatred towards the Carthaginians. They killed every man of the force which had come from Carthage to their aid, as well as its commander, and threw the bodies from the wall. They surrendered their town to the Libyans, while they even refused the request of the Carthaginians to be allowed to bury the corpses of their unfortunate soldiers. Mathōs and Spendius were so elated by these events that they were emboldened to attempt Carthage itself. But Barcas had now got Hannibal as his coadjutor, who had been sent by the citizens to the army in the place of Hanno,—recalled in accordance with the sentence of the army, which the government had left to their discretion in reference to the disputes that arose between the two generals. Accompanied, therefore, by this Hannibal and by Narávas, Hamilcar scoured the country to intercept the supplies of Mathōs and Spendius, receiving his most efficient support in this, as in other things, from the Numidian Narávas.

83. Such being the position of their forces in the field, the Carthaginians, finding themselves hemmed in on every side, were compelled to have recourse to the help of the free states in alliance with them.145 Now Hiero, of Syracuse, had during this 93 war been all along exceedingly anxious to do everything which the Carthaginians asked him; and at this point of it was more forward to do so than ever, Hiero of Syracuse.from a conviction that it was for his interest, with a view alike to his own sovereignty and to his friendship with Rome, that Carthage should not perish, and so leave the superior power to work its own will without resistance. And his reasoning was entirely sound and prudent. It is never right to permit such a state of things; nor to help any one to build up so preponderating a power as to make resistance to it impossible, however just the cause. Not that the Romans themselves had failed to observe the obligations of the treaty, Friendly disposition of Rome.or were showing any failure of friendly dispositions; though at first a question had arisen between the two powers, from the following circumstance. At the beginning of the war, certain persons sailing from Italy with provisions for the mutineers, the Carthaginians captured them and forced them to land in their own harbour; and presently had as many as five hundred such persons in their prisons. This caused considerable annoyance at Rome: but, after sending ambassadors to Carthage and recovering possession of the men by diplomatic means, the Romans were so much gratified that, by way of returning the favour, they restored the prisoners made in the Sicilian war whom they still retained; and from that time forth responded cheerfully and generously to all requests made to them. They allowed their merchants to export to Carthage whatever from time to time was wanted, and prohibited those who were exporting to the mutineers. When, subsequently, the mercenaries in Sardinia, having revolted from Carthage, invited their interference on the island, they did not respond to the invitation; nor when the people of Utica offered them their submission did they accept it, but kept strictly to the engagements contained in the treaty.

84. The assistance thus obtained from these allies encouraged the Carthaginians to maintain their resistance: while Mathōs and Spendius found themselves quite as much in the position of besieged as in that of besiegers; for Hamilcar’s force reduced them to such distress for provisions that they94 were at last compelled to raise the siege. However, after a short interval, they managed to muster the most B.C. 238. Hamilcar, with assistance from Sicily, surrounds Mathōs and Spendius. effective of the mercenaries and Libyans, to the number in all of fifty thousand, among whom, besides others, was Zarzas the Libyan, with his division, and commenced once more to watch and follow on the flank of Hamilcar’s march. Their method was to keep away from the level country, for fear of the elephants and the cavalry of Narávas; but to seize in advance of him all points of vantage, whether it were rising ground or narrow pass. In these operations they showed themselves quite a match for their opponents in the fury of their assault and the gallantry of their attempts; but their ignorance of military tactics frequently placed them at a disadvantage. It was, in fact, a real and practical illustration of the difference between scientific and unscientific warfare: between the art of a general and the mechanical movements of a soldier. Like a good draught-player, by isolating and surrounding them, he destroyed large numbers in detail without coming to a general engagement at all; and in movements of more importance he cut off many without resistance by enticing them into ambushes; while he threw others into utter dismay by suddenly appearing where they least expected him, sometimes by day and sometimes by night: and all whom he took alive he threw to the elephants. Finally, he managed unexpectedly to beleaguer them on ground highly unfavourable to them and convenient for his own force; and reduced them to such a pitch of distress that, neither venturing to risk an engagement nor being able to run away, because they were entirely surrounded by a trench and stockade, they were at last compelled by starvation to feed on each other: a fitting retribution at the hands of Providence for their violation of all laws human and divine in their conduct to their enemies. To sally forth to an engagement they did not dare, for certain defeat stared them in the face, and they knew what vengeance awaited them if they were taken; and as to making terms, it never occurred to them to mention it, they were conscious that they had gone too far for that. They still hoped for the arrival of relief from Tunes, of which their95 officers assured them, and accordingly shrank from no suffering however terrible.

85. But when they had used up for food the captives in this horrible manner, and then the bodies of their slaves, and still no one came to their relief from Tunes, their sufferings became too dreadful to bear; and the common soldiers broke out into open threats of violence against their officers. Thereupon Autaritus, Zarzas, and Spendius decided to put themselves into the hands of the enemy and to hold a parley with Hamilcar, and try to make terms. They accordingly sent a herald and obtained permission for the despatch of an embassy. It consisted of ten ambassadors, Spendius and Autaritus fall into the hands of Hamilcar.who, on their arrival at the Carthaginian camp, concluded an agreement with Hamilcar on these terms: “The Carthaginians may select any ten men they choose from the enemy, and allow the rest to depart with one tunic a-piece.” No sooner had these terms been agreed to, than Hamilcar said at once that he selected, according to the terms of the agreement, the ten ambassadors themselves. The Carthaginians thus got possession of Autaritus, Spendius, and the other most conspicuous officers. The Libyans saw that their officers were arrested, and not knowing the terms of the treaty, believed that some perfidy was being practised against them, and accordingly flew to seize their arms. Hamilcar thereupon surrounded them with his elephants and his entire force, and destroyed them to a man. This slaughter, by which more than forty thousand perished, took place near a place called the Saw, so named from its shape resembling that tool.

86. This achievement of Hamilcar revived the hopes of the Carthaginians who had been in absolute despair: while he, in conjunction with Narávas and Hannibal, Siege of Mathōs in Tunes.employed himself in traversing the country and visiting the cities. His victory secured the submission of the Libyans; and when they had come in, and the greater number of the towns had been reduced to obedience, he and his colleagues advanced to attack Tunes, and commenced besieging Mathōs. Hannibal pitched his camp on the side of the town nearest to Carthage, and96 Hamilcar on the opposite side. When this was done they brought the captives taken from the army of Spendius and crucified them in the sight of the enemy. But observing that Hannibal was conducting his command with negligence and over-confidence, Defeat and death of Hannibal.Mathōs assaulted the ramparts, killed many of the Carthaginians, and drove the entire army from the camp. All the baggage fell into the hands of the enemy, and Hannibal himself was made a prisoner. They at once took him up to the cross on which Spendius was hanging, and after the infliction of exquisite tortures, took down the latter’s body and fastened Hannibal, still living, to his cross; and then slaughtered thirty Carthaginians of the highest rank round the corpse of Spendius. It seemed as though Fortune designed a competition in cruelty, giving either side alternately the opportunity of outdoing the other in mutual vengeance. Owing to the distance of the two camps from each other it was late before Barcas discovered the attack made from the town; nor, when he had discovered it, could he even then go to the rescue with the necessary speed, because the intervening country was rugged and difficult. He therefore broke up his camp, and leaving Tunes marched down the bank of the river Macaras, and pitched his camp close to its mouth and to the sea.

87. This unexpected reverse reduced the Carthaginians once more to a melancholy state of despair. By a final effort the Carthaginians raise a reinforcement for Hamilcar. But though their recent elation of spirit was followed so closely by this depression, they did not fail to do what they could for their own preservation. They selected thirty members of the Senate; with them they associated Hanno, who had some time ago been recalled; and, arming all that were left of military age in the city, despatched them to Barcas, with the feeling that they were now making their supreme effort. They strictly charged the members of the Senate to use every effort to reconcile the two generals Hamilcar and Hanno, and to make them forget their old quarrel and act harmoniously, in view of the imminence of the danger. Accordingly, after the employment of many various arguments, they induced the generals to meet; and Hanno and Barcas were compelled to97 give in and yield to their representations. The result was that they ever afterwards co-operated with each other so cordially, that Mathōs found himself continually worsted in the numerous skirmishes which took place round the town called Leptis, as well as certain other towns; and at last became eager to bring the matter to the decision of a general engagement, a desire in which the Carthaginians also shared in an equal degree. Both sides therefore having determined upon this course: they summoned all their allies to join them in confronting the peril, and collected the garrisons stationed in the various towns, conscious that they were about to stake their all on the hazard. All being ready on either side for the conflict, they gave each other battle by mutual consent, Mathōs beaten and captured. both sides being drawn up in full military array. When victory declared itself on the side of the Carthaginians, the larger number of the Libyans perished on the field; and the rest, having escaped to a certain town, surrendered shortly afterwards; while Mathōs himself was taken prisoner by his enemies.

88. Most places in Libya submitted to Carthage after this battle. But the towns of Hippo and Utica still held out, Reduction of Hippo and Utica, B.C. 238.feeling that they had no reasonable grounds for obtaining terms, because their original acts of hostility left them no place for mercy or pardon. So true is it that even in such outbreaks, however criminal in themselves, it is of inestimable advantage to be moderate, and to refrain from wanton acts which commit their perpetrator beyond all power of forgiveness. Nor did their attitude of defiance help these cities. Hanno invested one and Barcas the other, and quickly reduced them to accept whatever terms the Carthaginians might determine.

The war with the Libyans had indeed reduced Carthage to dreadful danger; but its termination enabled her not only to re-establish her authority over Libya, but also to inflict condign punishment upon the authors of the revolt. For the last act in the drama was performed by the young men conducting a triumphal procession through the town, B.C. 241-238.and finally inflicting every kind of torture upon Mathōs. For three years and about four months did the98 mercenaries maintain a war against the Carthaginians which far surpassed any that I ever heard of for cruelty and inhumanity.

And about the same time the Romans took in hand a naval expedition to Sardinia upon the request of the mercenaries who had deserted from that island and come to Italy; The Romans interfere in Sardinia.and when the Carthaginians expressed indignation at this, on the ground that the lordship over Sardinia more properly belonged to them, and were preparing to take measures against those who caused the revolt of the island, the Romans voted to declare war against them, on the pretence that they were making warlike preparations, not against Sardinia, but against themselves. The Carthaginians, however, having just had an almost miraculous escape from annihilation in the recent war, were in every respect disabled from renewing their quarrel with the Romans. They therefore yielded to the necessities of the hour, and not only abandoned Sardinia, but paid the Romans twelve hundred talents into the bargain, that they might not be obliged to undertake the war for the present.



1. In the previous book I have described how the Romans, having subdued all Italy, began to aim at foreign dominion; Recapitulation of the subjects treated in Book I.how they crossed to Sicily, and the reasons of the war which they entered into against the Carthaginians for the possession of that island. Next I stated at what period they began the formation of a navy; and what befell both the one side and the other up to the end of the war; the consequence of which was that the Carthaginians entirely evacuated Sicily, and the Romans took possession of the whole island, except such parts as were still under the rule of Hiero. Following these events I endeavoured to describe how the mutiny of the mercenaries against Carthage, in what is called the Libyan War, burst out; the lengths to which the shocking outrages in it went; its surprises and extraordinary incidents, until its conclusion, and the final triumph of Carthage. I must now relate the events which immediately succeeded these, touching summarily upon each in accordance with my original plan.

As soon as they had brought the Libyan war to a conclusion the Carthaginian government collected an army B.C. 238, Hamilcar and his son Hannibal sent to Spain. and despatched it under the command of Hamilcar to Iberia. This general took over the command of the troops, and with his son Hannibal, then nine years old, crossing by the Pillars of Hercules, set about recovering the Carthaginian possessions in Iberia. He spent nine years in Iberia, B.C. 238-229.and after reducing many Iberian tribes by war or diplomacy to obedience to Carthage he died in a manner worthy of his great achievements; for he lost his life in a battle against the most warlike and powerful tribes, in which he showed a conspicuous100 and even reckless personal gallantry. The Carthaginians appointed his son-in-law Hasdrubal to succeed him, who was at the time in command of the fleet.

2. It was at this same period that the Romans for the first time crossed to Illyricum and that part of Illyricum. Europe with an army. The history of this expedition must not be treated as immaterial; but must be carefully studied by those who wish to understand clearly the story I have undertaken to tell, and to trace the progress and consolidation of the Roman Empire.

Agron, king of the Illyrians, was the son of Pleuratus, and possessed the most powerful force, both by land and sea, B.C. 233-232. of any of the kings who had reigned in Illyria before him. By a bribe received from Demetrius he was induced to promise help to the Medionians, who were at that time being besieged by the Aetolians, Siege of Medion in Acarnania. who, being unable to persuade the Medionians to join their league, had determined to reduce the city by force. They accordingly levied their full army, pitched their camp under the walls of the city, and kept up a continuous blockade, using every means to force their way in, and every kind of siege-machine. But when the time of the annual election of their Strategus drew near, the besieged being now in great distress, and seeming likely every day to surrender, the existing Strategus made an appeal to the Aetolians. He argued that as he had had during his term of office all the suffering and the danger, it was but fair that when they got possession of the town he should have the apportioning of the spoil, and the privilege of inscribing his name on such arms as should be preserved for dedication. This was resisted by some, and especially by those who were candidates for the office, who urged upon the Assembly not to prejudge this matter, but to leave it open for fortune to determine who was to be invested with this honour; and, finally, the Aetolians decided that whoever was general when the city was taken should share the apportioning of the spoils, and the honour of inscribing the arms, with his predecessor.

3. The decision was come to on the day before the election of a new Strategus, and the transference of the command had,101 according to the Aetolian custom, to take place. But on that very night a hundred galleys with five thousand Illyrians on board, The Illyrians relieve Medion.sailed up to land near Medion. Having dropped anchor at daybreak, they effected a disembarkation with secrecy and despatch; they then formed in the order customary in their country, and advanced in their several companies against the Aetolian lines. These last were overwhelmed with astonishment at the unexpected nature and boldness of the move; but they had long been inspired with overweening self-confidence, and having full reliance in their own forces were far from being dismayed. They drew up the greater part of their hoplites and cavalry in front of their lines on the level ground, and with a portion of their cavalry and their light infantry they hastened to occupy some rising ground in front of their camp, which nature had made easily defensible. A single charge, however, of the Illyrians, whose numbers and close order gave them irresistible weight, served to dislodge the light-armed troops, and forced the cavalry who were on the ground with them to retire to the hoplites. But the Illyrians, being on the higher ground, and charging down from it upon the Aetolian troops formed up on the plain, routed them without difficulty; the Medionians at the same time making a diversion in their favour by sallying out of the town and charging the Aetolians. Thus, after killing a great number, and taking a still greater number prisoners, and becoming masters also of their arms and baggage, the Illyrians, having carried out the orders of their king, conveyed their baggage and the rest of the booty to their boats, and immediately set sail for their own country.

4. This was a most unexpected relief to the Medionians. They met in public assembly and deliberated on the whole business, and especially as to the inscribing the arms reserved for dedication. They decided, in mockery of the Aetolian decree, that the inscription should contain the name of the Aetolian commander on the day of battle, and of the candidates for succession to his office. And indeed Fortune seems, in what happened to them, to have designed a display of her power to the rest of mankind. The very thing which these men were in momentary expectation of undergoing at the hands of their102 enemies, she put it in their power to inflict upon those enemies, and all within a very brief interval. The unexpected disaster of the Aetolians, too, may teach all the world not to calculate on the future as though it were the actually existent, and not to reckon securely on what may still turn out quite otherwise, but to allow a certain margin to the unexpected. And as this is true everywhere and to every man, so is it especially true in war.

When his galleys returned, and he heard from his officers the events of the expedition, Death of Agron, who is succeeded by his wife Teuta, B.C. 231. King Agron was so beside himself with joy at the idea of having conquered the Aetolians, whose confidence in their own prowess had been extreme, that, giving himself over to excessive drinking and other similar indulgences, he was attacked by a pleurisy of which in a few days he died. His wife Teuta succeeded him on the throne; and managed the various details of administration by means of friends whom she could trust. But her woman’s head had been turned by the success just related, and she fixed her gaze upon that, and had no eyes for anything going on outside the country. Her first measure was to grant letters of marque to privateers, authorising them to plunder all whom they fell in with; and she next collected a fleet and military force as large as the former one, and despatched them with general instructions to the leaders to regard every land as belonging to an enemy.

5. Their first attack was to be upon the coast of Elis and Messenia, which had been from time immemorial the scene of the raids of the Illyrians. Teuta’s piratical fleet, B.C. 230. For owing to the length of their seaboard, and to the fact that their most powerful cities were inland, troops raised to resist them had a great way to go, and were long in coming to the spot where the Illyrian pirates landed; who accordingly overran those districts, and swept them clean without having anything to fear. However, when this fleet was off Phoenice in Epirus they landed to get supplies. Takes Phoenice in Epirus.There they fell in with some Gauls, who to the number of eight hundred were stationed at Phoenice, being in the pay of the Epirotes; and contracted with them to betray the town into their hands. Having made this103 bargain, they disembarked and took the town and everything in it at the first blow, the Gauls within the walls acting in collusion with them. When this news was known, the Epirotes raised a general levy and came in haste to the rescue. Arriving in the neighbourhood of Phoenice, they pitched their camp so as to have the river which flows past Phoenice between them and the enemy, tearing up the planks of the bridge over it for security. But news being brought them that Scerdilaidas with five thousand Illyrians was marching overland by way of the pass near Antigoneia, they detached some of their forces to guard that town; while the main body gave themselves over to an unrestrained indulgence in all the luxuries which the country could supply; and among other signs of demoralisation they neglected the necessary precaution of posting sentries and night pickets. The division of their forces, as well as the careless conduct of the remainder, did not escape the observation of the Illyrians; who, sallying out at night, and replacing the planks on the bridge, crossed the river safely, and having secured a strong position, remained there quietly for the rest of the night. At daybreak both armies drew up their forces in front of the town and engaged. In this battle the Epirotes were decidedly worsted: a large number of them fell, still more were taken prisoners, and the rest fled in the direction of the country of the Atintanes.

6. Having met with this reverse, and having lost all the hopes which they had cherished, The Aetolian and Achaean leagues send a force to the relief of the Epirotes. A truce is made. The Illyrians depart.the Epirotes turned to the despatch of ambassadors to the Aetolians and Achaeans, earnestly begging for their assistance. Moved by pity for their misfortunes, these nations consented; and an army of relief sent out by them arrived at Helicranum. Meanwhile the Illyrians who had occupied Phoenice, having effected a junction with Scerdilaidas, advanced with him to this place, and, taking up a position opposite to this army of relief, wished at first to give it battle. But they were embarrassed by the unfavourable nature of the ground; and just then a despatch was received from Teuta, ordering their instant return, because certain Illyrians had revolted to the Dardani104. Accordingly, after merely stopping to plunder Epirus, they made a truce with the inhabitants, by which they undertook to deliver up all freemen, and the city of Phoenice, for a fixed ransom. They then took the slaves they had captured and the rest of their booty to their galleys, and some of them sailed away; while those who were with Scerdilaidas retired by land through the pass at Antigoneia, after inspiring no small or ordinary terror in the minds of the Greeks who lived along the coast. For seeing the most securely placed and powerful city of Epirus thus unexpectedly reduced to slavery, they one and all began henceforth to feel anxious, not merely as in former times for their property in the open country, but for the safety of their own persons and cities.

The Epirotes were thus unexpectedly preserved: but so far from trying to retaliate on those who had wronged them, or expressing gratitude to those who had come to their relief, they sent ambassadors in conjunction with the Acarnanians to Queen Teuta, and made a treaty with the Illyrians, in virtue of which they engaged henceforth to co-operate with them and against the Achaean and Aetolian leagues. All which proceedings showed conclusively the levity of their conduct towards men who had stood their friends, as well as an originally short-sighted policy in regard to their own interests.

7. That men, in the infirmity of human nature, should fall into misfortunes which defy calculation, is the fault not of the sufferers but of Fortune, and of those who do the wrong; but that they should from mere levity, and with their eyes open, thrust themselves upon the most serious disasters is without dispute the fault of the victims themselves. Therefore it is that pity and sympathy and assistance await those whose failure is due to Fortune: reproach and rebuke from all men of sense those who have only their own folly to thank for it.

It is the latter that the Epirotes now richly deserved at the hands of the Greeks. For in the first place, who in his senses, knowing the common report as to the character of the Gauls, would not have hesitated to trust to them a city so rich, The career of a body of Gallic mercenaries, and offering so many opportunities for treason? And again, who would not have been on his guard against the bad character of this105 particular body of them? For they had originally been driven from their native country by an outburst of popular indignation at an act of treachery done by them to their own kinsfolk and relations. Then having been received by the Carthaginians, because of the exigencies of the war in which the latter were engaged, at Agrigentum, and being drafted into Agrigentum to garrison it (being at the time more than three thousand strong), they seized the opportunity of a dispute as to pay, arising between the soldiers and their generals, to plunder the city; and again being brought by the Carthaginians into Eryx to perform the same duty, at Eryx. they first endeavoured to betray the city and those who were shut up in it with them to the Romans who were besieging it; and when they failed in that treason, they deserted in a body to the enemy: whose trust they also betrayed by plundering the temple of Aphrodite in Eryx. Thoroughly convinced, therefore, of their abominable character, as soon as they had made peace with Carthage the Romans made it their first business to disarm them, put them on board ship, and forbid them ever to enter any part of Italy. Disarmed by the Romans. These were the men whom the Epirotes made the protectors of their democracy and the guardians of their laws! To such men as these they entrusted their most wealthy city! How then can it be denied that they were the cause of their own misfortunes?

My object, in commenting on the blind folly of the Epirotes, is to point out that it is never wise to introduce a foreign garrison, especially of barbarians, which is too strong to be controlled.

8. To return to the Illyrians. From time immemorial they had oppressed and pillaged vessels sailing from Italy: Illyrian pirates.and now while their fleet was engaged at Phoenice a considerable number of them, separating from the main body, committed acts of piracy on a number of Italian merchants: some they merely plundered, The Romans interfere, B.C. 230. others they murdered, and a great many they carried off alive into captivity. Now, though complaints against the Illyrians had reached the Roman government in times past, they had always been106 neglected; but now when more and more persons approached the Senate on this subject, they appointed two ambassadors, Gaius and Lucius Coruncanius, to go to Illyricum and investigate the matter. But on the arrival of her galleys from Epirus, the enormous quantity and beauty of the spoils which they brought home (for Phoenice was by far the wealthiest city in Epirus at that time), so fired the imagination of Queen Teuta, that she was doubly eager to carry on the predatory warfare on the coasts of Greece. At the moment, however, she was stopped by the rebellion at home; but it had not taken her long to put down the revolt in Illyria, and she was engaged in besieging Issa, the last town which held out, when just at that very time the Roman ambassadors arrived. A time was fixed for their audience, and they proceeded to discuss the injuries which their citizens had sustained. Queen Teuta’s reception of the Roman legates. Throughout the interview, however, Teuta listened with an insolent and disdainful air; and when they had finished their speech, she replied that she would endeavour to take care that no injury should be inflicted on Roman citizens by Illyrian officials; but that it was not the custom for the sovereigns of Illyria to hinder private persons from taking booty at sea. Angered by these words, the younger of the two ambassadors used a plainness of speech which, though thoroughly to the point, was rather ill-timed. “The Romans,” he said, “O Teuta, have a most excellent custom of using the State for the punishment of private wrongs and the redress of private grievances: and we will endeavour, God willing, before long to compel you to improve the relations between the sovereign and the subject in Illyria.” The queen received this plain speaking with womanish passion and unreasoning anger. So enraged was she at the speech that, A Roman legate assassinated.in despite of the conventions universally observed among mankind, she despatched some men after the ambassadors, as they were sailing home, to kill the one who had used this plainness. Upon this being reported at Rome the people were highly incensed at the queen’s violation of the law of nations, and at once set about preparations for war, enrolling legions and collecting a fleet.


9. When the season for sailing was come Teuta sent out a larger fleet of galleys than ever against the Greek shores, B.C. 229. Another piratical fleet sent out by Teuta.some of which sailed straight to Corcyra; while a portion of them put into the harbour of Epidamnus on the pretext of taking in victual and water, but really to attack the town. Their treacherous attack on Epidamnus, which is repulsed. The Epidamnians received them without suspicion and without taking any precautions. Entering the town therefore clothed merely in their tunics, as though they were only come to fetch water, but with swords concealed in the water vessels, they slew the guards stationed at the gates, and in a brief space were masters of the gate-tower. Being energetically supported by a reinforcement from the ships, which came quickly up in accordance with a pre-arrangement, they got possession of the greater part of the walls without difficulty. But though the citizens were taken off their guard they made a determined and desperate resistance, and the Illyrians after maintaining their ground for some time were eventually driven out of the town. So the Epidamnians on this occasion went near to lose their city by their carelessness; but by the courage which they displayed they saved themselves from actual damage while receiving a useful lesson for the future. The Illyrians who had engaged in this enterprise made haste to put to sea, Attack on Corcyra. and, rejoining the advanced squadron, put in at Corcyra: there, to the terror of the inhabitants, they disembarked and set about besieging the town. Dismayed and despairing of their safety, the Corcyreans, The Corcyreans appeal to the Aetolian and Achaean leagues. acting in conjunction with the people of Apollonia and Epidamnus, sent off envoys to the Achaean and Aetolian leagues, begging for instant help, and entreating them not to allow of their being deprived of their homes by the Illyrians. The petition was accepted, and the Achaean and Aetolian leagues combined to send aid. The ten decked ships of war belonging to the Achaeans were manned, and having been fitted out in a few days, set sail for Corcyra in hopes of raising the siege.

10. But the Illyrians obtained a reinforcement of seven decked ships from the Acarnanians, in virtue of their treaty with108 that people, and, putting to sea, engaged the Achaean fleet off the islands called Paxi. The Acarnanian and Achaean ships fought without victory declaring for either, Defeat of the Achaean ships. and without receiving any further damage than having some of their crew wounded. But the Illyrians lashed their galleys four together, and, caring nothing for any damage that might happen to them, grappled with the enemy by throwing their galleys athwart their prows and encouraging them to charge; when the enemies’ prows struck them, and got entangled by the lashed-together galleys getting hitched on to their forward gear, the Illyrians leaped upon the decks of the Achaean ships and captured them by the superior number of their armed men. In this way they took four triremes, and sunk one quinquereme with all hands, on board of which Margos of Caryneia was sailing, who had all his life served the Achaean league with complete integrity. The vessels engaged with the Acarnanians, seeing the triumphant success of the Illyrians, and trusting to their own speed, hoisted their sails to the wind and effected their voyage home without further disaster. The Illyrians, on the other hand, filled with self-confidence by their success, continued their siege of the town in high spirits, and without putting themselves to any unnecessary trouble; Corcyra submits.while the Corcyreans, reduced to despair of safety by what had happened, after sustaining the siege for a short time longer, made terms with the Illyrians, consenting to receive a garrison, and with it Demetrius of Pharos. After this had been settled, the Illyrian admirals put to sea again; and, having arrived at Epidamnus, once more set about besieging that town.

11. In this same season one of the Consuls, Gnaeus Fulvius, started from Rome with two hundred ships, and the other Consul, Aulus Postumius, B.C. 229. The Roman Consuls, with fleet and army, start to punish the Illyrians. with the land forces. The plan of Gnaeus was to sail direct to Corcyra, because he supposed that he should find the result of the siege still undecided. But when he found that he was too late for that, he determined nevertheless to sail to the island because he wished to know the exact facts as to what had109 happened there, and to test the sincerity of the overtures that had been made by Demetrius. For Demetrius, Demetrius of Pharos. being in disgrace with Teuta, and afraid of what she might do to him, had been sending messages to Rome, offering to put the city and everything else of which he was in charge into their hands. Delighted at the appearance of the Romans, the Corcyreans not only surrendered the garrison to them, with the consent of Demetrius, Corcyra becomes a “friend of Rome.”but committed themselves also unconditionally to the Roman protection; believing that this was their only security in the future against the piratical incursions of the Illyrians. So the Romans, having admitted the Corcyreans into the number of the friends of Rome, sailed for Apollonia, with Demetrius to act as their guide for the rest of the campaign. At the same time the other Consul, Aulus Postumius.Aulus Postumius, conveyed his army across from Brundisium, consisting of twenty thousand infantry and about two thousand horse. This army, as well as the fleet under Gnaeus Fulvius, being directed upon Apollonia, which at once put itself under Roman protection, both forces were again put in motion on news being brought that Epidamnus was being besieged by the enemy. No sooner did the Illyrians learn the approach of the Romans than they hurriedly broke up the siege and fled. The Romans, taking the Epidamnians under their protection, advanced into the interior of Illyricum, subduing the Ardiaei as they went. The Roman settlement of Illyricum. They were met on their march by envoys from many tribes: those of the Partheni offered an unconditional surrender, as also did those of the Atintanes. Both were accepted: and the Roman army proceeded towards Issa, which was being besieged by Illyrian troops. On their arrival, they forced the enemy to raise the siege, and received the Issaeans also under their protection. Besides, as the fleet coasted along, they took certain Illyrian cities by storm; among which was Nutria, where they lost not only a large number of soldiers, but some of the Military Tribunes also and the Quaestor. But they captured twenty of the galleys which were conveying the plunder from the country.


Of the Illyrian troops engaged in blockading Issa, those that belonged to Pharos were left unharmed, as a favour to Demetrius; while all the rest scattered and fled to Arbo. Teuta herself, with a very few attendants, escaped to Rhizon, a small town very strongly fortified, and situated on the river of the same name. Having accomplished all this, and having placed the greater part of Illyria under Demetrius, and invested him with a wide dominion, the Consuls retired to Epidamnus with their fleet and army.

12. Then Gnaeus Fulvius sailed back to Rome with the larger part of the naval and military forces, while Postumius, staying behind and collecting forty vessels and a legion from the cities in that district, wintered there to guard the Ardiaei and other tribes that had committed themselves to the protection of Rome. Just before spring in the next year, B.C. 228. Teuta submits. Teuta sent envoys to Rome and concluded a treaty; in virtue of which she consented to pay a fixed tribute, and to abandon all Illyricum, with the exception of some few districts: and what affected Greece more than anything, she agreed not to sail beyond Lissus with more than two galleys, and those unarmed. When this arrangement had been concluded, Postumius sent legates to the Aetolian and Achaean leagues, who on their arrival first explained the reasons for the war and the Roman invasion; and then stated what had been accomplished in it, and read the treaty which had been made with the Illyrians. The envoys then returned to Corcyra after receiving the thanks of both leagues: for they had freed Greece by this treaty from a very serious cause for alarm, the fact being that the Illyrians were not the enemies of this or that people, but the common enemies of all alike.

Such were the circumstances of the first armed interference of the Romans in Illyricum and that part of Europe, and their first diplomatic relations with Greece; and such too were the motives which suggested them. But having thus begun, the Romans immediately afterwards sent envoys to Corinth and Athens. And it was then that the Corinthians first admitted Romans to take part in the Isthmian games.

13. We must now return to Hasdrubal in Iberia. He had during this period been conducting his command with ability111 and success, and had not only given in general a great impulse to the Carthaginian interests there, but in particular had greatly strengthened them by the Hasdrubal in Spain. The founding of New Carthage, B.C. 228. fortification of the town, variously called Carthage, and New Town, the situation of which was exceedingly convenient for operations in Libya as well as in Iberia. I shall take a more suitable opportunity of speaking of the site of this town, and pointing out the advantages offered by it to both countries: I must at present speak of the impression made by Hasdrubal’s policy at Rome. Seeing him strengthening the Carthaginian influence in Spain, and rendering it continually more formidable, the Romans were anxious to interfere in the politics of that country. They discovered, as they thought, that they had allowed their suspicions to be lulled to sleep, and had meanwhile given the Carthaginians the opportunity of consolidating their power. They did not venture, however, at the moment to impose conditions or make war on them, because they were in almost daily dread of an attack from the Celts. Dread of the Gauls.They determined therefore to mollify Hasdrubal by gentle measures, and so to leave themselves free to attack the Celts first and try conclusions with them: for they were convinced that, with such enemies on their flank, they would not only be unable to keep their hold over the rest of Italy, but even to reckon on safety in their own city. Treaty with Hasdrubal.Accordingly, while sending envoys to Hasdrubal, and making a treaty with him by which the Carthaginians, without saying anything of the rest of Iberia, engaged not to cross the Iber in arms, they pushed on the war with the Celts in Italy.

14. This war itself I shall treat only summarily, to avoid breaking the thread of my history; but I must go back somewhat in point of time, and refer to the period at which these tribes originally occupied their districts in Italy. For the story I think is worth knowing for its own sake, and must absolutely be kept in mind, if we wish to understand what tribes and districts they were on which Hannibal relied to assist him in his bold design of destroying the Roman dominion. I will first describe the country in which they live, its nature, and its112 relation to the rest of Italy; for if we clearly understand its peculiarities, geographical and natural, we shall be better able to grasp the salient points in the history of the war.

Italy, taken as a whole, is a triangle, of which the eastern side is bounded by the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Gulf, The Geography of Italy.its southern and western sides by the Sicilian and Tyrrhenian seas; these two sides converge to form the apex of the triangle, which is represented by the southern promontory of Italy called Cocinthus, and which separates the Ionian from the Sicilian Sea.146 The third side, or base of this triangle, is on the north, and is formed by the chain of the Alps stretching right across the country, beginning at Marseilles and the coast of the Sardinian Sea, and with no break in its continuity until within a short distance of the head of the Adriatic. To the south of this range, which I said we must regard as the base of the triangle, are the most northerly plains of Italy, the largest and most fertile of any with which I am acquainted in all Europe. This is the district with which we are at present concerned. Taken as a whole, it too forms a triangle, the apex of which is the point where the Apennines and Alps converge, Col di Tenda.above Marseilles, and not far from the coast of the Sardinian Sea. The northern side of this triangle is formed by the Alps, extending for 2200 stades; the southern by the Apennines, extending 3600; and the base is the seaboard of the Adriatic, from the town of Sena to the head of the gulf, a distance of more than 2500 stades. The total length of the three sides will thus be nearly 10,000 stades.

15. The yield of corn in this district is so abundant that wheat is often sold at four obols a Sicilian medimnus, Gallia Cis-Alpina.barley at two, or a metretes of wine for an equal measure of barley. The quantity of panic and millet produced is extraordinary; and the amount of acorns grown in the oak forests scattered about the country may be gathered from the fact that, though nowhere are more 113pigs slaughtered than in Italy, for sacrifices as well as for family use, and for feeding the army, by far the most important supply is from these plains. The cheapness and abundance of all articles of food may also be clearly shown from the fact that travellers in these parts, when stopping at inns, do not bargain for particular articles, but simply ask what the charge is per head for board. And for the most part the innkeepers are content to supply their guests with every necessary at a charge rarely exceeding half an as (that is, the fourth part of an obol)147 a day each. Of the numbers, stature, and personal beauty of the inhabitants, and still more of their bravery in war, we shall be able to satisfy ourselves from the facts of their history.

16. Such parts of both slopes of the Alps as are not too rocky or too precipitous are inhabited by different tribes; those on the north towards the Rhone by the Gauls, The Alps.called Transalpine; those towards the Italian plains by the Taurisci and Agones and a number of other barbarous tribes. The name Transalpine is not tribal, but local, from the Latin proposition trans, “across.” The summits of the Alps, from their rugged character, and the great depth of eternal snow, are entirely uninhabited. Both slopes of the Apennines, The Apennines. towards the Tuscan Sea and towards the plains, are inhabited by the Ligurians, from above Marseilles and the junction with the Alps to Pisae on the coast, the first city on the west of Etruria, and inland to Arretium. Next to them come the Etruscans; and next on both slopes the Umbrians. The distance between the Apennines and the Adriatic averages about five hundred stades; and when it leaves the northern plains the chain verges to the right, and goes entirely through the middle of the rest of Italy, as far as the Sicilian Sea. The remaining portion of this triangle, namely the plain along the sea coast, extends as far as the town of Sena. The Padus, celebrated by the poets under the name of Eridanus, The Po.rises in the Alps near the apex of the triangle, and flows down to the plains with a southerly course; but after reaching the plains, it turns to the east, and flowing through them discharges114 itself by two mouths into the Adriatic. The larger part of the plain is thus cut off by it, and lies between this river and the Alps to the head of the Adriatic. In body of water it is second to no river in Italy, because the mountain streams, descending from the Alps and Apennines to the plain, one and all flow into it on both sides; and its stream is at its height and beauty about the time of the rising of the Dog Star, 15th July. because it is then swollen by the melting snows on those mountains. It is navigable for nearly two thousand stades up stream, the ships entering by the mouth called Olana; for though it is a single main stream to begin with, it branches off into two at the place called Trigoboli, of which streams the northern is called the Padoa, the southern the Olana. At the mouth of the latter there is a harbour affording as safe anchorage as any in the Adriatic. The whole river is called by the country folk the Bodencus. As to the other stories current in Greece about this river,—I mean Phaethon and his fall, and the tears of the poplars and the black clothes of the inhabitants along this stream, which they are said to wear at this day as mourning for Phaethon,—all such tragic incidents I omit for the present, as not being suitable to the kind of work I have in hand; but I shall return to them at some other more fitting opportunity, particularly because Timaeus has shown a strange ignorance of this district.

17. To continue my description. These plains were anciently inhabited by Etruscans,148 at the same period as what are called the Phlegraean plains round Capua and Nola; which latter, Gauls expel Etruscans from the valley of the Po. however, have enjoyed the highest reputation, because they lay in a great many people’s way and so got known. In speaking then of the history of the Etruscan Empire, we should not refer to the district occupied by them at the present time, but to these northern plains, and to what they did when they inhabited them. Their chief intercourse was with the Celts, because they occupied the adjoining districts; who, envying the beauty of their lands, seized some slight pretext to gather a great host and expel the Etruscans from115 the valley of the Padus, which they at once took possession of themselves. First, the country near the source of the Padus was occupied by the Laevi and Lebecii; after them the Insubres settled in the country, the largest tribe of all; and next them, along the bank of the river, the Cenomani. But the district along the shore of the Adriatic was held by another very ancient tribe called Venĕti, in customs and dress nearly allied to Celts, but using quite a different language, about whom the tragic poets have written a great many wonderful tales. South of the Padus, in the Apennine district, first beginning from the west, the Ananes, and next them the Boii settled. Next them, on the coast of the Adriatic, the Lingones; and south of these, still on the sea-coast, the Senones. These are the most important tribes that took possession of this part of the country. Their character.They lived in open villages, and without any permanent buildings. As they made their beds of straw or leaves, and fed on meat, and followed no pursuits but those of war and agriculture, they lived simple lives without being acquainted with any science or art whatever. Each man’s property, moreover, consisted in cattle and gold; as they were the only things that could be easily carried with them, when they wandered from place to place, and changed their dwelling as their fancy directed. They made a great point, however, of friendship: for the man who had the largest number of clients or companions in his wanderings, was looked upon as the most formidable and powerful member of the tribe.149

18. In the early times of their settlement they did not merely subdue the territory which they occupied, but rendered also many of the neighbouring peoples subject to them, whom they overawed by their audacity. Some time afterwards they conquered the Romans in battle, and pursuing the flying116 legions, in three days after the battle occupied Rome itself with the exception of the Capitol. But a circumstance intervened which recalled them home, Battle of the Allia, 18th July, B.C. 390. an invasion, that is to say, of their territory by the Venĕti. Accordingly they made terms with the Romans, handed back the city, and returned to their own land; and subsequently were occupied with domestic wars. Some of the tribes, also, who dwelt on the Alps, comparing their own barren districts with the rich territory occupied by the others, were continually making raids upon them, and collecting their forces to attack them. Latin war, B.C. 349-340. This gave the Romans time to recover their strength, and to come to terms with the people of Latium. B.C. 360.When, thirty years after the capture of the city, the Celts came again as far as Alba, the Romans were taken by surprise; and B.C. 348. having had no intelligence of the intended invasion, nor time to collect the forces of the Socii, did not venture to give them battle. But when another invasion in great force took place twelve years later, they did get previous intelligence of it; and, having mustered their allies, sallied forth to meet them with great spirit, being eager to engage them and fight a decisive battle. But the Gauls were dismayed at their approach; and, being besides weakened by internal feuds, retreated homewards as soon as night fell, with all the appearance of a regular flight. B.C. 334. After this alarm they kept quiet for thirteen years; at the end of which period, seeing that the power of the Romans was growing formidable, they made a peace and a definite treaty with them.

19. They abided by this treaty for thirty years: but at that time, alarmed by a threatening movement on the part of the Transalpine tribes, B.C. 299.and fearing that a dangerous war was imminent, they diverted the attack of the invading horde from themselves by presents and appeals to their ties of kindred, but incited them to attack the Romans, joining in the expedition themselves. They directed their march through Etruria, and were joined by the Etruscans; and the combined armies, after taking a great quantity of booty, got safely back from the Roman territory. But when they got117 home, they quarrelled about the division of the spoil, and in the end destroyed most of it, as well as the flower of their own force. This is the way of the Gauls when they have appropriated their neighbours’ property; and it mostly arises from brutal drunkenness, and intemperate feeding. B.C. 297. In the fourth year after this, the Samnites and Gauls made a league, gave the Romans battle in the neighbourhood of Camerium, and slew a large number. Incensed at this defeat, the Romans marched out a few days afterwards, and with two Consular armies engaged the enemy in the territory of Sentinum; and, having killed the greater number of them, forced the survivors to retreat in hot haste each to his own land. B.C. 283.Again, after another interval of ten years, the Gauls besieged Arretium with a great army, and the Romans went to the assistance of the town, and were beaten in an engagement under its walls. The Praetor Lucius150 having fallen in this battle, Manius Curius was appointed in his place. The ambassadors, sent by him to the Gauls to treat for the prisoners, were treacherously murdered by them. At this the Romans, in high wrath, sent an expedition against them, which was met by the tribe called the Senones. In a pitched battle the army of the Senones were cut to pieces, and the rest of the tribe expelled from the country; into which the Romans sent the first colony which they ever planted in Gaul—namely, Sena Gallica.the town of Sena, so called from the tribe of Gauls which formerly occupied it. This is the town which I mentioned before as lying on the coast at the extremity of the plains of the Padus.

20. Seeing the expulsion of the Senones, and fearing the same fate for themselves, the Boii made a general levy, summoned the Etruscans to join them, and set out to war. They mustered their forces near the lacus Vadimonis, and there gave the Romans battle; in which the Etruscans indeed suffered a loss of more than half their men, while scarcely any of the Boii escaped. B.C. 282.But yet in the very next year the same two nations joined forces once more; and arming even those of them who had only just reached manhood, gave the Romans battle again; and it was not until they had been utterly 118defeated in this engagement that they humbled themselves so far as to send ambassadors to Rome and make a treaty.151

These events took place in the third year before Pyrrhus crossed into Italy, and in the fifth before the destruction of the Gauls at Delphi. For at this period fortune seems to have plagued the Gauls with a kind of epidemic of war. But the Romans gained two most important advantages from these events. First, their constant defeats at the hands of the Gauls had inured them to the worst that could befall them; and so, when they had to fight with Pyrrhus, they came to the contest like trained and experienced gladiators. And in the second place, they had crushed the insolence of the Gauls just in time to allow them to give an undivided attention, first to the war with Pyrrhus for the possession of Italy, and then to the war with Carthage for the supremacy in Sicily.

21. After these defeats the Gauls maintained an unbroken peace with Rome for forty-five years. But when the generation which had witnessed the actual struggle had passed away, and a younger generation of men had taken their places, filled with unreflecting hardihood, and who had neither experienced nor seen any suffering or reverse, they began, as was natural, to disturb the settlement; B.C. 236.and on the one hand to let trifling causes exasperate them against Rome, and on the other to invite the Alpine Gauls to join the fray. At first these intrigues were carried on by their chiefs without the knowledge of the tribesmen; and accordingly, when an armed host of Transalpine Gauls arrived at Ariminum, the Boii were suspicious; and forming a conspiracy against their own leaders, as well as against the new-comers, they put their own two kings Atis and Galatus to death, and cut each other to pieces in a pitched battle. Just then the Romans, alarmed at the threatened invasion, had despatched an army; but learning that the Gauls had committed this act of self-destruction, it returned home again. In the fifth year after this alarm, in the Consulship of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, the Romans119 divided among their citizens the territory of Picenum, from which they had ejected the Senones when they conquered them: B.C. 232.a democratic measure introduced by Gaius Flaminius, and a policy which we must pronounce to have been the first step in the demoralisation of the people, as well as the cause of the next Gallic war. For many of the Gauls, and especially the Boii whose lands were coterminous with the Roman territory, entered upon that war from the conviction that the object of Rome in her wars with them was no longer supremacy and empire over them, but their total expulsion and destruction.

22. Accordingly the two most extensive tribes, the Insubres and Boii, joined in the despatch of messengers to the tribes living about the Alps and on the Rhone, B.C. 231. who from a word which means “serving for hire,” are called Gaesatae. To their kings Concolitanus and Aneroetes they offered a large sum of gold on the spot; and, for the future, pointed out to them the greatness of the wealth of Rome, and all the riches of which they would become possessed, if they took it. In these attempts to inflame their cupidity and induce them to join the expedition against Rome they easily succeeded. For they added to the above arguments pledges of their own alliance; and reminded them of the campaign of their own ancestors in which they had seized Rome itself, and had been masters of all it contained, as well as the city itself, for seven months; and had at last evacuated it of their own free will, and restored it by an act of free grace, returning unconquered and scatheless with the booty to their own land. These arguments made the leaders so eager for the expedition, that there never at any other time came from that part of Gaul a larger host, or one consisting of more notable warriors. Meanwhile, the Romans, informed of what was coming, partly by report and partly by conjecture, were in such a state of constant alarm and excitement, that they hurriedly enrolled legions, collected supplies, and sent out their forces to the frontier, as though the enemy were already in their territory, before the Gauls had stirred from their own lands.

It was this movement of the Gauls that, more than anything else, helped the Carthaginians to consolidate their power in120 Iberia. For the Romans, as I have said, looked upon the Celtic question as the more pressing one of the two, as being so near home; and were forced to wink at what was going on in Iberia, in their anxiety to settle it satisfactorily first. Having, therefore, put their relations with the Carthaginians on a safe footing by the treaty with Hasdrubal, which I spoke of a short time back,152 they gave an undivided attention to the Celtic war, convinced that their interest demanded that a decisive battle should be fought with them.

23. The Gaesatae, then, having collected their forces, crossed the Alps and descended into the valley of the Padus with a formidable army, B. C. 225. Coss. L. Aemilius Papus. C. Atilius Regulus.furnished with a variety of armour, in the eighth year after the distribution of the lands of Picenum. The Insubres and Boii remained loyal to the agreement they had made with them: but the Venĕti and Cenomani being induced by embassies from Rome to take the Roman side, the Celtic kings were obliged to leave a portion of their forces behind, to guard against an invasion of their territory by those tribes. They themselves, with their main army, consisting of one hundred and fifty thousand foot, and twenty thousand horse and chariots, struck camp and started on their march, which was to be through Etruria, in high spirits. As soon as it was known at Rome that the Celts had crossed the Alps, one of the Consuls, Lucius Aemilius Papus, was sent with an army to Ariminum to guard against the passage of the enemy, and one of the Praetors into Etruria: for the other Consul, Gaius Atilius Regulus, happened to be in Sardinia with his legions. There was universal terror in Rome, for the danger threatening them was believed to be great and formidable. And naturally so: for the old fear of the Gauls had never been eradicated from their minds. No one thought of anything else: they were incessantly occupied in mustering the legions, or enrolling new ones, and in ordering up such of the allies as were ready for service. The proper magistrates were ordered to give in lists of all citizens of military age; that it might at once be known to what the total of the available forces amounted. And such stores of corn, and darts, and other military equipments121 were collected as no one could remember on any former occasion. From every side assistance was eagerly rendered; for the inhabitants of Italy, in their terror at the Gallic invasion, no longer thought of the matter as a question of alliance with Rome, or of the war as undertaken to support Roman supremacy, but each people regarded it as a danger menacing themselves and their own city and territory. The response to the Roman appeal therefore was prompt.

24. But in order that we may learn from actual facts how great the power was which Hannibal subsequently ventured to attack, The Roman resources.and what a mighty empire he faced when he succeeded in inflicting upon the Roman people the most severe disasters, I must now state the amount of the forces they could at that time bring into the field. The two Consuls had marched out with four legions, each consisting of five thousand two hundred infantry and three hundred cavalry. Besides this there were with each Consul allies to the number of thirty thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry. Of Sabines and Etruscans too, there had come to Rome, for that special occasion, four thousand horse and more than fifty thousand foot. These were formed into an army and sent in advance into Etruria, under the command of one of the Praetors. Moreover, the Umbrians and Sarsinatae, hill tribes of the Apennine district, were collected to the number of twenty thousand; and with them were twenty thousand Venĕti and Cenomani. These were stationed on the frontier of the Gallic territory, that they might divert the attention of the invaders, by making an incursion into the territory of the Boii. These were the forces guarding the frontier. In Rome itself, ready as a reserve in case of the accidents of war, there remained twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse of citizens, and thirty thousand foot and two thousand horse of the allies. Lists of men for service had also been returned, of Latins eighty thousand foot and five thousand horse; of Samnites seventy thousand foot and seven thousand horse; of Iapygians and Messapians together fifty thousand foot and sixteen thousand horse; and of Lucanians thirty thousand foot and three thousand horse; of Marsi, and Marrucini, and Ferentani, and Vestini, twenty thousand foot122 and four thousand horse. And besides these, there were in reserve in Sicily and Tarentum two legions, each of which consisted of about four thousand two hundred foot, and two hundred horse. Of the Romans and Campanians the total of those put on the roll was two hundred and fifty thousand foot and twenty-three thousand horse; so that the grand total of the forces actually defending Rome was over 150,000 foot, 6000 cavalry:153 and of the men able to bear arms, Romans and allies, over 700,000 foot and 70,000 horse; while Hannibal, when he invaded Italy, had less than twenty thousand to put against this immense force.

25. There will be another opportunity of treating the subject in greater detail; for the present I must return to the Celts. The Gauls enter Etruria.Having entered Etruria, they began their march through the country, devastating it as they chose, and without any opposition; and finally directed their course against Rome itself. But when they were encamped under the walls of Clusium, which is three days’ march from Rome, news was brought them that the Roman forces, which were on duty in Etruria, were following on their rear and were close upon them; upon which they turned back to meet them, eager to offer them battle. The Praetor’s army defeated at Clusium.The two armies came in sight of each other about sunset, and encamped for the night a short distance apart. But when night fell, the Celts lit their watch fires; and leaving their cavalry on the ground, with instructions that, as soon as daylight made them visible to the enemy, they should follow by the same route, they made a secret retreat along the road to Faesulae, and took up their position there; that they might be joined by their own cavalry, and might disconcert the attack of the enemy. Accordingly, when at daybreak the Romans saw that the cavalry were alone, they believed that the Celts had fled, and hastened in pursuit of the retreating horse; but when they approached the spot where the enemy were stationed, the Celts suddenly left their position and fell upon them. The struggle was at first maintained with fury on 123both sides: but the courage and superior numbers of the Celts eventually gave them the victory. No less than six thousand Romans fell: while the rest fled, most of whom made their way to a certain strongly fortified height, and there remained. The first impulse of the Celts was to besiege them: but they were worn out by their previous night march, and all the suffering and fatigue of the day; leaving therefore a detachment of cavalry to keep guard round the hill, they hastened to procure rest and refreshment, resolving to besiege the fugitives next day unless they voluntarily surrendered.

26. But meanwhile Lucius Aemilius, who had been stationed on the coast of the Adriatic at Ariminum, On the arrival of Aemilius the Gauls retire. having been informed that the Gauls had entered Etruria and were approaching Rome, set off to the rescue; and after a rapid march appeared on the ground just at the critical moment. He pitched his camp close to the enemy; and the fugitives on the hill, seeing his watch fires, and understanding what had happened, quickly recovered their courage and sent some of their men unarmed to make their way through the forest and tell the Consul what had happened. This news left the Consul as he thought no alternative but to fight. He therefore ordered the Tribunes to lead out the infantry at daybreak, while he, taking command of the cavalry, led the way towards the hill. The Gallic chieftains too had seen his watch fires, and understood that the enemy was come; and at once held council of war. The advice of King Aneroestes was, “that seeing the amount of booty they had taken,—an incalculable quantity indeed of captives, cattle, and other spoil,—they had better not run the risk of another general engagement, but return home in safety; and having disposed of this booty, and freed themselves from its incumbrance, return, if they thought good, to make another determined attack upon Rome.” Having resolved to follow the advice of Aneroestes in the present juncture, the chiefs broke up their night council, and before daybreak struck camp, and marched through Etruria by the road which follows the coast of the Ligurian bay. While Lucius, having taken off the remnant of the army from the hill, and combined it with his own forces, determined that it would not be by any means124 advantageous to offer the enemy regular battle; but that it was better to dog their footsteps, watching for favourable times and places at which to inflict damage upon them, or wrest some of their booty from their hands.

27. Just at that time the Consul Gaius Atilius had crossed from Sardinia, and having landed at Pisae was on his way to Rome; Atilius landing at Pisa intercepts the march of the Gauls.and therefore he and the enemy were advancing to meet each other. When the Celts were at Telamon in Etruria, their advanced guard fell in with that of Gaius, and the men being made prisoners informed the Consul in answer to questions of what had taken place; and told him that both the armies were in the neighbourhood: that of the Celts, namely, and that of Lucius close upon their rear. Though somewhat disturbed at the events which he thus learnt, Gaius regarded the situation as a hopeful one, when he considered that the Celts were on the road between two hostile armies. He therefore ordered the Tribunes to martial the legions and to advance at the ordinary pace, and in line as far as the breadth of the ground permitted; while he himself having surveyed a piece of rising ground which commanded the road, and under which the Celts must march, took his cavalry with him and hurried on to seize the eminence, and so begin the battle in person; convinced that by these means he would get the principal credit of the action for himself. At first the Celts not knowing anything about the presence of Gaius Atilius, but supposing from what was taking place, that the cavalry of Aemilius had outmarched them in the night, and were seizing the points of vantage in the van of their route, immediately detached some cavalry and light armed infantry to dispute the possession of this eminence. But having shortly afterwards learnt the truth about the presence of Gaius from a prisoner who was brought in, they hurriedly got their infantry into position, and drew them up so as to face two opposite ways, some, that is, to the front and others to the rear. For they knew that one army was following on their rear; and they expected from the intelligence which had reached them, and from what they saw actually occurring, that they would have to meet another on their front.

28. Aemilius had heard of the landing of the legions at125 Pisae, but had not expected them to be already so far on their road; but the contest at the eminence proved to him that the two armies were quite close. The battle of the horse. Atilius falls. He accordingly despatched his horse at once to support the struggle for the possession of the hill, while he marshalled his foot in their usual order, and advanced to attack the enemy who barred his way. The Celts had stationed the Alpine tribe of the Gaesatae to face their enemies on the rear, and behind them the Insubres; on their front they had placed the Taurisci, and the Cispadane tribe of the Boii, facing the legions of Gaius. Their waggons and chariots they placed on the extremity of either wing, while the booty they massed upon one of the hills that skirted the road, under the protection of a guard. The army of the Celts was thus double-faced, and their mode of marshalling their forces was effective as well as calculated to inspire terror. The Insubres and Boii were clothed in their breeches and light cloaks; but the Gaesatae from vanity and bravado threw these garments away, and fell in in front of the army naked, with nothing but their arms; believing that, as the ground was in parts encumbered with brambles, which might possibly catch in their clothes and impede the use of their weapons, they would be more effective in this state. At first the only actual fighting was that for the possession of the hill: and the numbers of the cavalry, from all three armies, that had joined in the struggle made it a conspicuous sight to all. In the midst of it the Consul Gaius fell, fighting with reckless bravery in the thick of the battle, and his head was brought to the king of the Celts. The Roman cavalry, however, continued the struggle with spirit, and finally won the position and overpowered their opponents. Then the foot also came to close quarters.

29. It was surely a peculiar and surprising battle to witness, and scarcely less so to hear described. A battle, to begin with, in which three distinct armies were engaged, must have presented a strange and unusual appearance, and must have been fought under strange and unusual conditions. Again, it must have seemed to a spectator open to question, whether the position of the Gauls were the most dangerous conceivable, from being between two attacking forces; or the most favourable, as126 enabling them to meet both armies at once, while their own two divisions afforded each other a mutual support: and, above all, as putting retreat out of the question, or any hope of safety except in victory. For this is the peculiar advantage of having an army facing in two opposite directions. The Romans, on the other hand, while encouraged by having got their enemy between two of their own armies, were at the same time dismayed by the ornaments and clamour of the Celtic host. For there were among them such innumerable horns and trumpets, which were being blown simultaneously in all parts of their army, and their cries were so loud and piercing, that the noise seemed not to come merely from trumpets and human voices, but from the whole country-side at once. Not less terrifying was the appearance and rapid movement of the naked warriors in the van, which indicated men in the prime of their strength and beauty: while all the warriors in the front ranks were richly adorned with gold necklaces and bracelets. These sights certainly dismayed the Romans; still the hope they gave of a profitable victory redoubled their eagerness for the battle.

30. When the men who were armed with the pilum advanced in front of the legions, in accordance with the regular method of Roman warfare, The infantry engage. and hurled their pila in rapid and effective volleys, the inner ranks of the Celts found their jerkins and leather breeches of great service; but to the naked men in the front ranks this unexpected mode of attack caused great distress and discomfiture. For the Gallic shields not being big enough to cover the man, the larger the naked body the more certainty was there of the pilum hitting. And at last, not being able to retaliate, because the pilum-throwers were out of reach, and their weapons kept pouring in, some of them, in the extremity of their distress and helplessness, threw themselves with desperate courage and reckless violence upon the enemy, and thus met a voluntary death; while others gave ground step by step towards their own friends, whom they threw into confusion by this manifest acknowledgment of their panic. Thus the courage of the Gaesatae had broken down before the preliminary attack of the pilum. But when the throwers of it had rejoined their ranks, and the whole Roman127 line charged, the Insubres, Boii, and Taurisci received the attack, and maintained a desperate hand-to-hand fight. Though almost cut to pieces, they held their ground with unabated courage, in spite of the fact that man for man, as well as collectively, they were inferior to the Romans in point of arms. The shields and swords of the latter were proved to be manifestly superior for defence and attack, for the Gallic sword can only deliver a cut, but cannot thrust. And when, besides, the Roman horse charged down from the high ground on their flank, and attacked them vigorously, the infantry of the Celts were cut to pieces on the field, while their horse turned and fled.

31. Forty thousand of them were slain, and quite ten thousand taken prisoners, among whom was one of their kings, Aemilius returns home.Concolitanus: the other king, Aneroestes, fled with a few followers; joined a few of his people in escaping to a place of security; and there put an end to his own life and that of his friends. Lucius Aemilius, the surviving Consul, collected the spoils of the slain and sent them to Rome, and restored the property taken by the Gauls to its owners. Then taking command of the legions, he marched along the frontier of Liguria, and made a raid upon the territory of the Boii; and having satisfied the desires of the legions with plunder, returned with his forces to Rome in a few days’ march. There he adorned the Capitol with the captured standards and necklaces, which are gold chains worn by the Gauls round their necks; but the rest of the spoils, and the captives, he converted to the benefit of his own estate and to the adornment of his triumph.

Thus was the most formidable Celtic invasion repelled, which had been regarded by all Italians, and especially by the Romans, as a danger of the utmost gravity. The victory inspired the Romans with a hope that they might be able to entirely expel the Celts from the valley of the Padus: and accordingly the Consuls of the next year, B.C. 224. Quintus Fulvius Flaccus and Titus Manlius Torquatus, were both sent out with their legions, and military preparations on a large scale, against them. By a rapid attack they terrified the Boii into making submission to Rome; but the campaign had no other practical effect, because, during the128 rest of it, there was a season of excessive rains, and an outbreak of pestilence in the army.

32. The Consuls of the next year, however, Publius Furius Philus and Caius Flaminius, once more invaded the Celtic lands, B.C. 223. marching through the territory of the Anamares, who live not far from Placentia.154 Having secured the friendship of this tribe, they crossed into the country of the Insubres, near the confluence of the Adua and Padus. They suffered some annoyance from the enemy, as they were crossing the river, and as they were pitching their camp; and after remaining for a short time, they made terms with the Insubres and left their country. After a circuitous march of several days, they crossed the River Clusius, and came into the territory of the Cenomani. As these people were allies of Rome, they reinforced the army with some of their men, which then descended once more from the Alpine regions into the plains belonging to the Insubres, and began laying waste their land and plundering their houses. The Insubrian chiefs, seeing that nothing could change the determination of the Romans to destroy them, determined that they had better try their fortune by a great and decisive battle. They therefore mustered all their forces, took down from the temple of Minerva the golden standards, which are called “the immovables,” and having made other necessary preparations, in high spirits and formidable array, encamped opposite to their enemies to the number of fifty thousand. Seeing themselves thus out-numbered, the Romans at first determined to avail themselves of the forces of the allied Celtic tribes; but when they reflected on the fickle character of the Gauls, and that they were about to fight with an enemy of the same race as these auxiliary troops, they hesitated to associate such men with themselves, at a crisis of such danger, and in an action of such importance. However, they finally decided to do this. They themselves stayed on the side of the river next the enemy: and sending the Celtic contingent to the other side, they pulled up the bridges; which at once precluded any fear of danger from them, and left themselves no hope of safety 129except in victory; the impassable river being thus in their rear. These dispositions made, they were ready to engage.

33. The Romans are thought to have shown uncommon skill in this battle; the Tribunes instructing the troops how they were to conduct themselves both collectively and individually. Battle with the Insubres. They had learned from former engagements that Gallic tribes were always most formidable at the first onslaught, before their courage was at all damped by a check; and that the swords with which they were furnished, as I have mentioned before, could only give one downward cut with any effect, but that after this the edges got so turned and the blade so bent, that unless they had time to straighten them with their foot against the ground, they could not deliver a second blow. The Tribunes accordingly gave out the spears of the Triarii, who are the last of the three ranks, to the first ranks, or Hastati: and ordering the men to use their swords only, after their spears were done with, they charged the Celts full in front. When the Celts had rendered their swords useless by the first blows delivered on the spears, the Romans closed with them, and rendered them quite helpless, by preventing them from raising their hands to strike with their swords, which is their peculiar and only stroke, because their blade has no point. The Romans, on the contrary, having excellent points to their swords, used them not to cut but to thrust: and by thus repeatedly hitting the breasts and faces of the enemy, they eventually killed the greater number of them. And this was due to the foresight of the Tribunes: for the Consul Flaminius is thought to have made a strategic mistake in his arrangements for this battle. By drawing up his men along the very brink of the river, he rendered impossible a manœuvre characteristic of Roman tactics, because he left the lines no room for their deliberate retrograde movements; for if, in the course of the battle, the men had been forced ever so little from their ground, they would have been obliged by this blunder of their leader to throw themselves into the river. However, the valour of the soldiers secured them a brilliant victory, as I have said, and they returned to Rome with abundance of booty of every kind, and of trophies stripped from the enemy.


34. Next year, upon embassies coming from the Celts, desiring peace and making unlimited offers of submission, B.C. 222. Attack on the Insubres.the new Consuls, Marcus Claudius Marcellus and Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, were urgent that no peace should be granted them. Thus frustrated, they determined to try a last chance, and once more took active measures to hire thirty thousand Gaesatae,—the Gallic tribe which lives on the Rhone. Having obtained these, they held themselves in readiness, and waited for the attack of their enemies. At the beginning of spring the Consuls assumed command of their forces, and marched them into the territory of the Insubres; and there encamped under the walls of the city of Acerrae, which lies between the Padus and the Alps, and laid siege to it. The Insubres, being unable to render any assistance, because all the positions of vantage had been seized by the enemy first, and being yet very anxious to break up the siege of Acerrae, detached a portion of their forces to affect a diversion by crossing the Padus and laying siege to Clastidium. Intelligence of this movement being brought to the Consuls, Marcus Claudius, taking with him his cavalry and some light infantry, made a forced march to relieve the besieged inhabitants. When the Celts heard of his approach, they raised the siege; and, marching out to meet him, offered him battle. At first they held their ground against a furious charge of cavalry which the Roman Consul launched at them; but when they presently found themselves surrounded by the enemy on their rear and flank, unable to maintain the fight any longer, they fled before the cavalry; and many of them were driven into the river, and were swept away by the stream, though the larger number were cut down by their enemies. Acerrae also, richly stored with corn, fell into the hands of the Romans: the Gauls having evacuated it, and retired to Mediolanum, which is the most commanding position in the territory of the Insubres. Gnaeus followed them closely, and suddenly appeared at Mediolanum. The Gauls at first did not stir; but upon his starting on his return march to Acerrae, they sallied out, and having boldly attacked his rear, killed a good many men, and even drove a part of it into flight; until Gnaeus recalled some of his vanguard, and urged131 them to stand and engage the enemy. The Roman soldiers obeyed orders, and offered a vigorous resistance to the attacking party. The Celts, encouraged by their success, held their ground for a certain time with some gallantry, but before long turned and fled to the neighbouring mountains. Gnaeus followed them, wasting the country as he went, and took Mediolanum by assault. At this the chiefs of the Insubres, despairing of safety, made a complete and absolute submission to Rome.

35. Such was the end of the Celtic war: which, for the desperate determination and boldness of the enemy, for the obstinacy of the battles fought, and for the number of those who fell and of those who were engaged, is second to none recorded in history, but which, regarded as a specimen of scientific strategy, is utterly contemptible. The Gauls showed no power of planning or carrying out a campaign, and in everything they did were swayed by impulse rather than by sober calculation. As I have seen these tribes, after a short struggle, entirely ejected from the valley of the Padus, with the exception of some few localities lying close to the Alps, I thought I ought not to let their original attack upon Italy pass unrecorded, any more than their subsequent attempts, or their final ejectment: for it is the function of the historian to record and transmit to posterity such episodes in the drama of Fortune; that our posterity may not from ignorance of the past be unreasonably dismayed at the sudden and unexpected invasions of these barbarians, but may reflect how short-lived and easily damped the spirit of this race is; and so may stand to their defence, and try every possible means before yielding an inch to them. I think, for instance, that those who have recorded for our information the invasion of Greece by the Persians, B.C. 480.
B.C. 279. and of Delphi by the Gauls, have contributed materially to the struggles made for the common freedom of Greece. For a superiority in supplies, arms, or numbers, would scarcely deter any one from putting the last possible hope to the test, in a struggle for the integrity and the safety of his city and its territory, if he had before his eyes the surprising result of those expeditions; and remembered how many myriads of men, what daring confidence, and what immense armaments were baffled132 by the skill and ability of opponents, who conducted their measures under the dictates of reason and sober calculation. And as an invasion of Gauls has been a source of alarm to Greece in our day, as well as in ancient times, I thought it worth while to give a summary sketch of their doings from the earliest times.

36. Our narrative now returns to Hasdrubal, whom we left in command of the Carthaginian forces in Iberia. Death of Hasdrubal in Spain, B.C. 221. See chap. 13. After eight years command in that country, he was assassinated in his own house at night by a certain Celt in revenge for some private wrong. Before his death he had done much to strengthen the Carthaginian power in Iberia, not so much by military achievements, as by the friendly relations which he maintained with the native princes. Succession of Hannibal to the command in Spain. His hostility to Rome. Now that he was dead, the Carthaginians invested Hannibal with the command in Iberia, in spite of his youth, because of the ability in the conduct of affairs, and the daring spirit which he had displayed. He had no sooner assumed the command, than he nourished a fixed resolve to make war on Rome; nor was it long before he carried out this resolution. From that time forth there were constant suspicions and causes of offence arising between the Carthaginians and Romans. And no wonder: for the Carthaginians were meditating revenge for their defeats in Sicily; and the Romans were made distrustful from a knowledge of their designs. These things made it clear to every one of correct judgment that before long a war between these two nations was inevitable.

37. At the same period the Achaean league and King Philip, with their allies, were entering upon the war with the Aetolian league, Social war, B.C. 220-217.which is called the Social war. Now this was the point at which I proposed to begin my general history; and as I have brought the account of the affairs of Sicily and Libya, and those which immediately followed, in a continuous narrative, up to the date of the beginning of the Social and Second Punic, generally called the Hannibalic, wars, it will be proper to leave this branch of my subject for a while, and to take up the history of events133 in Greece, that I may start upon my full and detailed narrative, after bringing the prefatory sketch of the history of the several countries to the same point of time. For since I have not undertaken, as previous writers have done, to write the history of particular peoples, such as the Greeks or Persians, but the history of all known parts of the world at once, because there was something in the state of our own times which made such a plan peculiarly feasible,—of which I shall speak more at length hereafter,—it will be proper, before entering on my main subject, to touch briefly on the state of the most important of the recognised nations of the world.

Of Asia and Egypt I need not speak before the time at which my history commences. The previous history of these countries has been written by a number of historians already, and is known to all the world; nor in our days has any change specially remarkable or unprecedented occurred to them demanding a reference to their past. The progress of the Achaean league.But in regard to the Achaean league, and the royal family of Macedonia, it will be in harmony with my design to go somewhat farther back: for the latter has become entirely extinct; while the Achaeans, as I have stated before, have in our time made extraordinary progress in material prosperity and internal unity. For though many statesmen had tried in past times to induce the Peloponnesians to join in a league for the common interests of all, and had always failed, because every one was working to secure his own power rather than the freedom of the whole; yet in our day this policy has made such progress, and been carried out with such completeness, that not only is there in the Peloponnese a community of interests such as exists between allies or friends, but an absolute identity of laws, weights, measures, and currency.155 All the States have the same magistrates, senate, and judges. Nor is there any difference between the entire Peloponnese and a single city, except in the fact that its inhabitants are not included within the same wall; in other respects, both as a whole and in their 134individual cities, there is a nearly absolute assimilation of institutions.

38. It will be useful to ascertain, to begin with, how it came to pass that the name of the Achaeans became the universal one for all the inhabitants of the Peloponnese. The origin of the name as embracing all the Peloponnese.For the original bearers of this ancestral name have no superiority over others, either in the size of their territory and cities, or in wealth, or in the prowess of their men. For they are a long way off being superior to the Arcadians and Lacedaemonians in number of inhabitants and extent of territory; nor can these latter nations be said to yield the first place in warlike courage to any Greek people whatever. Whence then comes it that these nations, with the rest of the inhabitants of the Peloponnese, have been content to adopt the constitution and the name of the Achaeans? To speak of chance in such a matter would not be to offer any adequate solution of the question, and would be a mere idle evasion. A cause must be sought; for without a cause nothing, expected or unexpected, can be accomplished. The cause then, in my opinion, was this. Nowhere could be found a more unalloyed and deliberately established system of equality and absolute freedom, and, in a word, of democracy, than among the Achaeans. This constitution found many of the Peloponnesians ready enough to adopt it of their own accord: many were brought to share in it by persuasion and argument: some, though acting under compulsion at first, were quickly brought to acquiesce in its benefits; for none of the original members had any special privilege reserved for them, but equal rights were given to all comers: the object aimed at was therefore quickly attained by the two most unfailing expedients of equality and fraternity. This then must be looked upon as the source and original cause of Peloponnesian unity and consequent prosperity.

That this was the original principle on which the Achaeans acted in forming their constitution might be demonstrated by many proofs; but for the present purpose it will be sufficient to allege one or two in confirmation of my assertion.

39. And first: When the burning of the Pythagorean135 clubs in Magna Grecia was followed by great constitutional disturbances, as was natural on the sudden disappearance of the leading men in each state; and the Greek cities in that part of Italy became the scene of murder, revolutionary warfare, and every kind of confusion; deputations were sent from most parts of Greece to endeavour to bring about some settlement of these disorders.156 But the disturbed states preferred the intervention of the Achaeans above all others, and showed the greatest confidence in them, in regard to the measures to be adopted for removing the evils that oppressed them. Nor was this the only occasion on which they displayed this preference. For shortly afterwards there was a general movement among them to adopt the model of the Achaean constitution. The first states to move in the matter were Croton, Sybaris, and Caulonia, who began by erecting a common temple to Zeus Homorios,157 and a place in which to hold their meetings and common councils. Ζεύς ὁμάριος or ἀμάριος They then adopted the laws and customs of the Achaeans, and determined to conduct their constitution according to their principles; but finding themselves hampered by the tyranny of Dionysius of Syracuse, B.C. 405-367.and also by the encroachment of the neighbouring barbarians, they were forced much against their will to abandon them. Again, later on, when the Lacedaemonians met with their unexpected reverse at Leuctra, and the Thebans as unexpectedly claimed the hegemony in Greece, B.C. 371. a feeling of uncertainty prevailed throughout the country, and especially among the Lacedaemonians and Thebans themselves, because the former refused to allow that they were beaten, the latter felt hardly certain that they had conquered. On this occasion, once more, the 136Achaeans were the people selected by the two parties, out of all Greece, to act as arbitrators on the points in dispute. And this could not have been from any special view of their power, for at that time they were perhaps the weakest state in Greece; it was rather from a conviction of their good faith and high principles, in regard to which there was but one opinion universally entertained. At that period of their history, however, they possessed only the elements of success; success itself, and material increase, were barred by the fact that they had not yet been able to produce a leader worthy of the occasion. Whenever any man had given indications of such ability, he was systematically thrust into the background and hampered, at one time by the Lacedaemonian government, and at another, still more effectually, by that of Macedonia.

40. When at length, however, the country did obtain leaders of sufficient ability, it quickly manifested its intrinsic excellence by the accomplishment of that most glorious achievement,-—the union of the Peloponnese. The originator of this policy in the first instance was Aratus of Sicyon; its active promotion and consummation was due to Philopoemen of Megalopolis; while Lycortas and his party must be looked upon as the authors of the permanence which it enjoyed. The actual achievements of these several statesmen I shall narrate in their proper places: but while deferring a more detailed account of the other two, I think it will be right to briefly record here, as well as in a future portion of my work, the political measures of Aratus, because he has left a record of them himself in an admirably honest and lucid book of commentaries.

I think the easiest method for myself, and most intelligible to my readers, will be to start from the period of the restoration of the Achaean league and federation, after its disintegration into separate states by the Macedonian kings: from which time it has enjoyed an unbroken progress towards the state of completion which now exists, and of which I have already spoken at some length.

41. The period I mean is the 124th Olympiad. In this occurred the first league of Patrae and Dyme, and the deaths of Ptolemy son of Lagus, Lysimachus, Seleucus, Ptolemy Ceraunus. 124th Olympiad, B.C. 284-280.In137 the period before this the state of Achaia was as follows. It was ruled by kings from the time of Tisamenus, son of Orestes, who, being expelled from Sparta on the return of the Heraclidae, formed a kingdom in Achaia. The last of this royal line to maintain his power was Ogyges, whose sons so alienated the people by their unconstitutional and tyrannical government, that a revolution took place and a democracy was established. In the period subsequent to this, First Achaean league.up to the time of the establishment of the supreme authority of Alexander and Philip, their fortunes were subject to various fluctuations, but they always endeavoured to maintain intact in their league a democratical form of government, as I have already stated. This league consisted of twelve cities, all of them still surviving, with the exception of Olenus, and Helice which was engulfed by the sea before the battle of Leuctra. B.C. 371.The other ten were Patrae, Dyme, Pharae, Tritaea, Leontium, Aegium, Aegeira, Pellene, Bura, Caryneia. In the period immediately succeeding Alexander, and B.C. 323-284.before the above-named 124th Olympiad, these cities, chiefly through the instrumentality of the Macedonian kings, became so estranged and ill-disposed to each other, and so divided and opposed in their interests, that some of them had to submit to the presence of foreign garrisons, sent first by Demetrius and Cassander, and afterwards by Antigonus Gonatas, while others even fell under the power of Tyrants; for no one set up more of such absolute rulers in the Greek states than this last-named king.

But about the 124th Olympiad, as I have said, a change of sentiment prevailed among the Achaean cities, B.C. 284-280, Second Achaean league. and they began again to form a league. This was just at the time of Pyrrhus’s invasion of Italy. The first to take this step were the peoples of Dyme, Patrae, Tritaea, and Pharae. And as they thus formed the nucleus of the league, we find no column extant recording the compact between these cities. But about five years afterwards the people of Aegium expelled their foreign garrison and joined the league; next, the people of Bura put their tyrant to death and did the same; simultaneously,138 the state of Caryneia was restored to the league. For Iseas, the then tyrant of Caryneia, when he saw the expulsion of the garrison from Aegium, and the death of the despot in Bura at the hands of Margos and the Achaeans, and when he saw that he was himself on the point of being attacked on all sides, voluntarily laid down his office; and having obtained a guarantee for his personal safety from the Achaeans, formally gave in the adhesion of his city to the league.

42. My object in thus going back in point of time was, first, to show clearly at what epoch the Achaeans entered into the second league, which exists at this day, and which were the first members of the original league to do so; and, secondly, that the continuity of the policy pursued by the Achaeans might rest, not on my word only, but on the evidence of the actual facts. It was in virtue of this policy,—by holding out the bait of equality and freedom, and by invariably making war upon and crushing those who on their own account, or with the support of the kings, enslaved any of the states within their borders, that they finally accomplished the design which they had deliberately adopted, in some cases by their own unaided efforts, and in others by the help of their allies. For in fact whatever was effected in this direction, by the help of these allies in after times, must be put down to the credit of the deliberately adopted policy of the Achaeans themselves. They acted indeed jointly with others in many honourable undertakings, and in none more so than with the Romans: yet in no instance can they be said to have aimed at obtaining from their success any advantage for a particular state. In return for the zealous assistance rendered by them to their allies, they bargained for nothing but the freedom of each state and the union of the Peloponnese. But this will be more clearly seen from the record of their actual proceedings.

43. For the first twenty-five years of the league between the cities I have mentioned, a secretary and two strategi for the whole union were elected by each city in turn. But after this period they determined to appoint one strategus only,158 and put the entire139 management of the affairs of the union in his hands. The first to obtain this honour was Margos of Caryneia. B.C. 255-254. Margos.

B.C. 251-250. Aratus. In the fourth year after this man’s tenure of the office, Aratus of Sicyon caused his city to join the league, which, by his energy and courage, he had, when only twenty years of age, delivered from the yoke of its tyrant. In the eighth year again after this, Aratus, being elected strategus for the B.C. 243-242. second time, laid a plot to seize the Acrocorinthus, then held by Antigonus; and by his success freed the inhabitants of the Peloponnese from a source of serious alarm: and having thus liberated Corinth he caused it to join the league. Victory of Lutatius off the insulae Aegates, B.C. 241.In his same term of office he got Megara into his hands, and caused it to join also. These events occurred in the year before the decisive defeat of the Carthaginians, in consequence of which they evacuated Sicily and consented for the first time to pay tribute to Rome.

Having made this remarkable progress in his design in so short a time, Aratus continued thenceforth in the position of leader of the Achaean league, and in the consistent direction of his whole policy to one single end; which was to expel Macedonians from the Peloponnese, to depose the despots, and to establish in each state the common freedom which their ancestors had enjoyed before them. So long, therefore, as Antigonus Gonatas was alive, Antigonus Gonatas, B.C. 283-239. he maintained a continual opposition to his interference, as well as to the encroaching spirit of the Aetolians, and in both cases with signal skill and success; although their presumption and contempt for justice had risen to such a pitch, that they had actually made a formal compact with each other for the disruption of the Achaeans.

44. After the death of Antigonus, however, the Achaeans made terms with the Aetolians, and joined them energetically in the war against Demetrius; and, in place of the feelings of estrangement and hostility, there gradually grew up a sentiment of brotherhood and affection between the two peoples. Upon 140the death of Demetrius, after a reign of only ten years, just about the time of the first invasion of Illyricum by the Romans, Demetrius, B.C. 239-229.the Achaeans had a most excellent opportunity of establishing the policy which they had all along maintained. For the despots in the Peloponnese were in despair at the death of Demetrius. It was the loss to them of their chief supporter and paymaster. And now Aratus was for ever impressing upon them that they ought to abdicate, holding out rewards and honours for those of them who consented, and threatening those who refused with still greater vengeance from the Achaeans. There was therefore a general movement among them to voluntarily restore their several states to freedom and to join the league. I ought however to say that Ludiades of Megalopolis, in the lifetime of Demetrius, of his own deliberate choice, and foreseeing with great shrewdness and good sense what was going to happen, had abdicated his sovereignty and become a citizen of the national league. His example was followed by Aristomachus, tyrant of Argos, Xeno of Hermione, and Cleonymus of Phlius, who all likewise abdicated and joined the democratic league.

45. But the increased power and national advancement which these events brought to the Achaeans excited the envy of the Aetolians; who, The Aetolians and Antigonus Doson, B.C. 229-220.besides their natural inclination to unjust and selfish aggrandisement, were inspired with the hope of breaking up the union of Achaean states, as they had before succeeded in partitioning those of Acarnania with Alexander,159 and had planned to do those of Achaia with Antigonus Gonatas. Instigated once more by similar expectations, they had now the assurance to enter into communication and close alliance at once with Antigonus (at that time ruling Macedonia as guardian of the young King Philip), and with Cleomenes, King of Sparta. They saw that Antigonus had undisputed possession of the throne of Macedonia, while he was an open and avowed enemy of the Achaeans owing to the surprise of the Acrocorinthus; and they supposed that if they could get the 141Lacedaemonians to join them in their hostility to the league, they would easily subdue it, by selecting a favourable opportunity for their attack, and securing that it should be assaulted on all sides at once. And they would in all probability have succeeded, but that they had left out the most important element in the calculation, namely, that in Aratus they had to reckon with an opponent to their plans of ability equal to almost any emergency. Accordingly, when they attempted this violent and unjust interference in Achaia, so far from succeeding in any of their devices, they, on the contrary, strengthened Aratus, the then president of the league, as well as the league itself. So consummate was the ability with which he foiled their plan and reduced them to impotence. The manner in which this was done will be made clear in what I am about to relate.

46. There could be no doubt of the policy of the Aetolians. They were ashamed indeed to attack the Achaeans openly, The Aetolians intrigue with Cleomenes, King of Sparta, B.C. 229-227. because they could not ignore their recent obligations to them in the war with Demetrius: but they were plotting with the Lacedaemonians; and showed their jealousy of the Achaeans by not only conniving at the treacherous attack of Cleomenes upon Tegea, Mantinea, and Orchomenus (cities not only in alliance with them, but actually members of their league), but by confirming his occupation of those places. In old times they had thought almost any excuse good enough to justify an appeal to arms against those who, after all, had done them no wrong: yet they now allowed themselves to be treated with such treachery, and submitted without remonstrance to the loss of the most important towns, solely with the view of creating in Cleomenes a formidable antagonist to the Achaeans. These facts were not lost upon Aratus and the other officers of the league: and they resolved that, without taking the initiative in going to war with any one, they would resist the attempts of the Lacedaemonians. Such was their determination, and for a time they persisted in it: but immediately afterwards Cleomenes began to build the hostile fort in the territory of Megalopolis, called the Athenaeum,160 and showed an undisguised142 and bitter hostility. Aratus and his colleagues accordingly summoned a meeting of the league, and it was decided to proclaim war openly against Sparta.

47. This was the origin of what is called the Cleomenic war. At first the Achaeans were for depending on their own resources for facing the Lacedaemonians. Cleomenes, B.C. 227-221. They looked upon it as more honourable not to look to others for preservation, but to guard their own territory and cities themselves; and at the same time the remembrances of his former services made them desirous of keeping up their friendship with Ptolemy,161 and averse from the appearance of seeking aid elsewhere. But when the war had lasted some time; and Cleomenes had revolutionised the constitution of his country, and had turned its constitutional monarchy into a despotism; and, moreover, was conducting the war with extraordinary skill and boldness: Aratus applies to Antigonus Doson.seeing clearly what would happen, and fearing the reckless audacity of the Aetolians, Aratus determined that his first duty was to be well beforehand in frustrating their plans. He satisfied himself that Antigonus was a man of activity and practical ability, with some pretensions to the character of a man of honour; he however knew perfectly well that kings look on no man as a friend or foe from personal considerations, but ever measure friendships and enmities solely by the standard of expediency. He, therefore, conceived the idea of addressing himself to this monarch, and entering into friendly relations with him, taking occasion to point out to him the certain result of his present policy. But to act openly in this matter he thought inexpedient for several reasons. By doing so he would not only incur the opposition of Cleomenes and the Aetolians, but would cause consternation among the Achaeans themselves, because his appeal to their enemies would give the impression that he had abandoned all the hopes he once had in them. This was the very last idea he desired should go abroad; and he therefore determined to conduct this intrigue in secrecy.


The result of this was that he was often compelled to speak and act towards the public in a sense contrary to his true sentiments, that he might conceal his real design by suggesting one of an exactly opposite nature. For which reason there are some particulars which he did not even commit to his own commentaries.

48. It did not escape the observation of Aratus that the people of Megalopolis would be more ready than others to seek the protection of Antigonus, and the hopes of safety offered by Macedonia; for their neighbourhood to Sparta exposed them to attack before the other states; while they were unable to get the help which they ought to have, because the Achaeans were themselves hard pressed and in great difficulties. Besides they had special reasons for entertaining feelings of affection towards the royal family of Macedonia, Philip II. in the Peloponnese, B.C. 338.founded on the favours received in the time of Philip, son of Amyntas. He therefore imparted his general design under pledge of secrecy to Nicophanes and Cercidas of Megalopolis, who were family friends of his own and of a character suited to the undertaking; and by their means experienced no difficulty in inducing the people of Megalopolis to send envoys to the league, to advise that an application for help should be made to Antigonus. Nicophanes and Cercidas were themselves selected to go on this mission to the league, and thence, if their view was accepted, to Antigonus. The league consented to allow the people of Megalopolis to send the mission; and accordingly Nicophanes lost no time in obtaining an interview with the king. About the interests of his own country he spoke briefly and summarily, confining himself to the most necessary statements; the greater part of his speech was, in accordance with the directions of Aratus, concerned with the national question.

49. The points suggested by Aratus for the envoy to dwell on were “the scope and object of the understanding between the Aetolians and Cleomenes, The message to Antigonus Doson. and the necessity of caution on the part primarily of the Achaeans, but still more even on that of Antigonus himself: first, because the Achaeans plainly could not resist the attack of both; and, secondly, because if the Aetolians and144 Cleomenes conquered them, any man of sense could easily see that they would not be satisfied or stop there. For the encroaching spirit of the Aetolians, far from being content to be confined by the boundaries of the Peloponnese, would find even those of Greece too narrow for them. Again, the ambition of Cleomenes was at present directed to the supremacy in the Peloponnese: but this obtained, he would promptly aim at that of all Greece, in which it would be impossible for him to succeed without first crushing the government of Macedonia. They were, therefore, to urge him to consider, with a view to the future, which of the two courses would be the more to his own interests,—to fight for supremacy in Greece in conjunction with the Achaeans and Boeotians against Cleomenes in the Peloponnese; or to abandon the most powerful race, and to stake the Macedonian empire on a battle in Thessaly, against a combined force of Aetolians and Boeotians, with the Achaeans and Lacedaemonians to boot. If the Aetolians, from regard to the goodwill shown them by the Achaeans in the time of Demetrius, were to pretend to be anxious to keep the peace as they were at present doing, they were to assert that the Achaeans were ready to engage Cleomenes by themselves; and if fortune declared in their favour they would want no assistance from any one: but if fortune went against them, and the Aetolians joined in the attack, they begged him to watch the course of events, that he might not let things go too far, but might aid the Peloponnesians while they were still capable of being saved. He had no need to be anxious about the good faith or gratitude of the Achaeans: when the time for action came, Aratus pledged himself to find guarantees which would be satisfactory to both parties; and similarly would himself indicate the moment at which the aid should be given.”

50. These arguments seemed to Antigonus to have been put by Aratus with equal sincerity and ability: and after listening to them, he eagerly took the first necessary step by writing a letter to the people of Megalopolis with an offer of assistance, on condition that such a measure should receive the consent of the Achaeans. When Nicophanes and Cercidas returned home and delivered this despatch from the king,145 reporting at the same time his other expressions of goodwill and zeal in the cause, the spirits of the people of Megalopolis were greatly elated; and they were all eagerness to attend the meeting of the league, and urge that measures should be taken to secure the alliance of Antigonus, and to put the management of the war in his hands with all despatch. Aratus wishes to do without the king if possible. Aratus learnt privately from Nicophanes the king’s feelings towards the league and towards himself; and was delighted that his plan had not failed, and that he had not found the king completely alienated from himself, as the Aetolians hoped he would be. He regarded it also as eminently favourable to his policy, that the people of Megalopolis were so eager to use the Achaean league as the channel of communication with Antigonus. For his first object was if possible to do without this assistance; but if he were compelled to have recourse to it, he wished that the invitation should not be sent through himself personally, but that it should rather come from the Achaeans as a nation. For he feared that, if the king came, and conquered Cleomenes and the Lacedaemonians in the war, and should then adopt any policy hostile to the interests of the national constitution, he would have himself by general consent to bear the blame of the result: while Antigonus would be justified, by the injury which had been inflicted on the royal house of Macedonia in the matter of the Acrocorinthus. Accordingly when Megalopolitan envoys appeared in the national council, and showed the royal despatch, and further declared the general friendly disposition of the king, and added an appeal to the congress to secure the king’s alliance without delay; and when also the sense of the meeting was clearly shown to be in favour of taking this course, Aratus rose, and, after setting forth the king’s zeal, and complimenting the meeting upon their readiness to act in the matter, he proceeded to urge upon them in a long speech that “They should try if possible to preserve their cities and territory by their own efforts, for that nothing could be more honourable or more expedient than that: but that, if it turned out that fortune declared against them in this effort, they might then have recourse to the assistance of their friends; but not until they146 had tried all their own resources to the uttermost.” This speech was received with general applause: and it was decided to take no fresh departure at present, and to endeavour to bring the existing war to a conclusion unaided.

51. But when Ptolemy, despairing of retaining the league’s friendship, began to furnish Cleomenes with Euergetes jealous of the Macedonian policy of Aratus, helps Cleomenes. supplies,—which he did with a view of setting him up as a foil to Antigonus, thinking the Lacedaemonians offered him better hopes than the Achaeans of being able to thwart the policy of the Macedonian kings; and when the Achaeans themselves had suffered three defeats,—one at Lycaeum in an engagement with Cleomenes whom they had met on a march; and again in a pitched battle at Ladocaea in the territory of Megalopolis, in which Lydiades fell; and a third time decisively at a place called Hecatomboeum in the territory of Dyme where their whole forces had been engaged,—after these misfortunes, no further delay was possible, and they were compelled by the force of circumstances to appeal unanimously to Antigonus. Thereupon Aratus sent his son to Antigonus, and ratified the terms of the subvention. The great difficulty was this: it was believed to be certain that the king would send no assistance, except on the condition of the restoration of the Acrocorinthus, and of having the city of Corinth put into his hands as a base of operations in this war; and on the other hand it seemed impossible that the Achaeans should venture to put the Corinthians in the king’s power against their own consent. The final determination of the matter was accordingly postponed, that they might investigate the question of the securities to be given to the king.

52. Meanwhile, on the strength of the dismay caused by his successes, Cleomenes was making an unopposed progress through the cities, The Achaeans offer to surrender the Acrocorinthus to Antigonus. winning some by persuasion and others by threats. In this way, he got possession of Caphyae, Pellene, Pheneus, Argos, Phlius, Cleonae, Epidaurus, Hermione, Troezen, and last of all Corinth, while he personally commanded a siege of Sicyon. But this in reality relieved the Achaeans from a very grave difficulty. For the Corinthians by ordering147 Aratus, as Strategus of the league, and the Achaeans to evacuate the town, and by sending messages to Cleomenes inviting his presence, gave the Achaeans a ground of action and a reasonable pretext for moving. Aratus was quick to take advantage of this; and, as the Achaeans were in actual possession of the Acrocorinthus, he made his peace with the royal family of Macedonia by offering it to Antigonus; and at the same time gave thus a sufficient guarantee for friendship in the future, and further secured Antigonus a base of operations for the war with Sparta.

Upon learning of this compact between the league and Antigonus, Cleomenes raised the siege of Cleomenes prepares to resist. Sicyon and pitched his camp near the Isthmus; and, having thrown up a line of fortification uniting the Acrocorinthus with the mountain called the “Ass’s Back,” began from this time to expect with confidence the empire of the Peloponnese. But Antigonus had made his preparations long in advance, in accordance with the suggestion of Aratus, and was only waiting for the right moment to act. Antigonus comes to the Isthmus, B.C. 224. And now the news which he received convinced him that the entrance of Cleomenes into Thessaly, at the head of an army, was only a question of a very few days: he accordingly despatched envoys to Aratus and the league to conclude the terms of the treaty162 and marched to the Isthmus with his army by way of Euboea. He took this route because the Aetolians, after trying other expedients for preventing Antigonus bringing this aid, now forbade his marching south of Thermopylae with an army, threatening that, if he did, they would offer armed opposition to his passage.

53. Thus Antigonus and Cleomenes were encamped face 148to face: the former desirous of effecting an entrance into the Peloponnese, Cleomenes determined to prevent him.

Meanwhile the Achaeans, in spite of their severe disasters, did not abandon their purpose or give up all hopes of retrieving their fortunes. The Achaeans seize Argos. They gave Aristotle of Argos assistance when he headed a rising against the Cleomenic faction; and, under the command of Timoxenus the Strategus, surprised and seized Argos. And this must be regarded as the chief cause of the improvement which took place in their fortunes; for this reverse checked the ardour of Cleomenes and damped the courage of his soldiers in advance, as was clearly shown by what took place afterwards. For though Cleomenes had already possession of more advantageous posts, and was in the enjoyment of more abundant supplies than Antigonus, and was at the same time inspired with superior courage and ambition: yet, as soon as he was informed that Argos was in the hands of the Achaeans, he at once drew back, abandoned all these advantages, and retreated from the Isthmus with every appearance of precipitation, in terror of being completely surrounded by his enemies. At first he retired upon Argos, and for a time made some attempt to regain the town. But the Achaeans offered a gallant resistance; and the Argives themselves were stirred up to do the same by remorse for having admitted him before: and so, having failed in this attempt also, he marched back to Sparta by way of Mantinea.

54. On his part, Antigonus advanced without any casualty into the Peloponnese, and took over the Acrocorinthus; Antigonus receives the Acrocorinthus. and, without wasting time there, pushed on in his enterprise and entered Argos. He only stayed there long enough to compliment the Argives on their conduct, and to provide for the security of the city; and then immediately starting again directed his march towards Arcadia; and after ejecting the garrisons from the posts which had been fortified by Cleomenes in the territories of Aegys and Belmina, and, putting those strongholds in the hands of the people of Megalopolis, he went to Aegium to attend the meeting of the Achaean league. There he made a statement of his own proceedings, and consulted with the meeting as to the measures to be taken in the149 future. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the allied army, and went into winter quarters at Sicyon and Corinth.

At the approach of spring he broke up his camp and got on the march. On the third day he arrived at B.C. 223. Recovery of Tegea. Tegea, and being joined there by the Achaean forces, he proceeded to regularly invest the city. But the vigour displayed by the Macedonians in conducting the siege, and especially in the digging of mines, soon reduced the Tegeans to despair, and they accordingly surrendered. After taking the proper measures for securing the town, Antigonus proceeded to extend his expedition. Skirmish with Cleomenes.He now marched with all speed into Laconia; and having found Cleomenes in position on the frontier, he was trying to bring him to an engagement, and was harassing him with skirmishing attacks, when news was brought to him by his scouts that the garrison Capture of Orchomenus and Mantinea. of Orchomenus had started to join Cleomenes. He at once broke up his camp, hurried thither, and carried the town by assault. Having done that, he next invested Mantinea and began to besiege it. This town also being soon terrified into surrender by the Macedonians, he started again along the road to Heraea and Telphusa. and Heraea and Telphusa. These towns, too, being secured by the voluntary surrender of their inhabitants, as the winter was by this time approaching, he went again to Aegium to attend the meeting of the league. His Macedonian soldiers he sent away to winter at home, while he himself remained to confer with the Achaeans on the existing state of affairs.

55. But Cleomenes was on the alert. He saw that the Macedonians in the army of Antigonus had been sent home; and that the king and his mercenaries in Aegium were three days’ march from Megalopolis; and this latter town he well knew to be difficult to guard, owing to its great extent, and the sparseness of its inhabitants; and, moreover, that it was just then being kept with even greater carelessness than usual, owing to Antigonus being in the country; and what was more important than anything else, he knew that the larger number of its men of military age had fallen at the battles of Lycaeum150 and Ladoceia. There happened to be residing in Megalopolis some Messenian exiles; by whose help he managed, under cover of night, to get within the walls without being detected. When day broke he had a narrow escape from being ejected, if not from absolute destruction, through the valour of the citizens. This had been his fortune three months before, when he had made his way into the city by the region which is called the Cōlaeum: but on this occasion, by the superiority of his force, and the seizure in advance of the strongest positions in the town, he succeeded in effecting his purpose. He eventually ejected the inhabitants, and took entire possession of the city; which, once in his power, he dismantled in so savage and ruthless a manner as to preclude the least hope that it might ever be restored. The reason of his acting in this manner was, I believe, that Megalopolis and Stymphalus were the only towns in which, during the vicissitudes of that period, he never succeeded in obtaining a single partisan, or inducing a single citizen to turn traitor. For the passion for liberty and the loyalty of the Clitorians had been stained by the baseness of one man, Thearces; whom the Clitorians, with some reason, denied to be a native of their city, asserting that he had been foisted in from Orchomenus, and was the offspring of one of the foreign garrison there.

56. For the history of the same period, with which we are now engaged, there are two authorities, Digression (to ch. 63) on the misstatements of Phylarchus. Aratus and Phylarchus,163 whose opinions are opposed in many points and their statements contradictory. I think, therefore, it will be advantageous, or rather necessary, since I follow Aratus in my account of the Cleomenic war, to go into the question; and not by any neglect on my part to suffer misstatements in historical151 writings to enjoy an authority equal to that of truth. The fact is that the latter of these two writers has, throughout the whole of his history, made statements at random and without discrimination. It is not, however, necessary for me to criticise him on other points on the present occasion, or to call him to strict account concerning them; but such of his statements as relate to the period which I have now in hand, that is the Cleomenic war, these I must thoroughly sift. They will be quite sufficient to enable us to form a judgment on the general spirit and ability with which he approaches historical writing. It was his object to bring into prominence the cruelty of Antigonus and the Macedonians, Mantinea.as well as that of Aratus and the Achaeans; and he accordingly asserts that, when Mantinea fell into their hands, it was cruelly treated; and that the most ancient and important of all the Arcadian towns was involved in calamities so terrible as to move all Greece to horror and tears. And being eager to stir the hearts of his readers to pity, and to enlist their sympathies by his story, he talks of women embracing, tearing their hair, and exposing their breasts; and again of the tears and lamentations of men and women, led off into captivity along with their children and aged parents. And this he does again and again throughout his whole history, by way of bringing the terrible scene vividly before his readers. I say nothing of the unworthiness and unmanliness of the course he has adopted: let us only inquire what is essential and to the purpose in history. Surely an historian’s object should not be to amaze his readers by a series of thrilling anecdotes; nor should he aim at producing speeches which might have been delivered, nor study dramatic propriety in details like a writer of tragedy: but his function is above all to record with fidelity what was actually said or done, however commonplace it may be. For the purposes of history and of the drama are not the same, but widely opposed to each other. In the former the object is to strike and delight by words as true to nature as possible; in the latter to instruct and convince by genuine words and deeds; in the former the effect is meant to be temporary, in the latter permanent. In the former, again, the power of carrying an audience is the chief excellence, because the object152 is to create illusion; but in the latter the thing of primary importance is truth, because the object is to benefit the learner. And apart from these considerations, Phylarchus, in most of the catastrophes which he relates, omits to suggest the causes which gave rise to them, or the course of events which led up to them: and without knowing these, it is impossible to feel the due indignation or pity at anything which occurs. For instance, everybody looks upon it as an outrage that the free should be struck: still, if a man provokes it by an act of violence, he is considered to have got no more than he deserved; and, where it is done for correction and discipline, those who strike free men are deemed worthy of honour and gratitude. Again, the killing of a fellow-citizen is regarded as a heinous crime, deserving the severest penalties: and yet it is notorious that the man who kills a thief, or his wife’s paramour, is held guiltless; while he who kills a traitor or tyrant in every country receives honours and pre-eminence. And so in everything our final judgment does not depend upon the mere things done, but upon their causes and the views of the actors, according as these differ.

57. Now the people of Mantinea had in the first instance abandoned the league, and voluntarily submitted, first to the Aetolians, and afterwards to Cleomenes. B.C. 227. Being therefore, in accordance with this policy, members of the Lacedaemonian community, in the fourth year before the coming of Antigonus, their city was forcibly taken possession of by the Achaeans owing to the skilful plotting of Aratus. But on that occasion, so far from being subjected to any severity for their act of treason, it became a matter of general remark how promptly the feelings of the conquerors and the conquered underwent a revolution. As soon as he had got possession of the town, Aratus issued orders to his own men that no one was to lay a finger on anything that did not belong to him; and then, having summoned the Mantineans to a meeting, he bade them be of good cheer, and stay in their own houses; for that, as long as they remained members of the league, their safety was secured. On their part, the Mantineans, surprised at this unlooked-for prospect of safety, immediately experienced a universal revulsion of feeling. The very men against whom153 they had a little while before been engaged in a war, in which they had seen many of their kinsfolk killed, and no small number grievously wounded, they now received into their houses, and entertained as their guests, interchanging every imaginable kindness with them. And naturally so. For I believe that there never were men who met with more kindly foes, or came out of a struggle with what seemed the most dreadful disasters more scatheless, than did the Mantineans, owing to the humanity of Aratus and the Achaeans towards them.

58. But they still saw certain dangers ahead from intestine disorders, and the hostile designs of the Aetolians and Lacedaemonians; they subsequently, therefore, sent envoys to the league asking for a guard for their town. The request was granted: and three hundred of the league army were selected by lot to form it. These men on whom the lot fell started for Mantinea; and, abandoning their native cities and their callings in life, remained there to protect the lives and liberties of the citizens. Besides them, the league despatched two hundred mercenaries, who joined the Achaean guard in protecting the established constitution. But this state of things did not last long: an insurrection broke out in the town, and the Mantineans called in the aid of the Lacedaemonians; delivered the city into their hands; and put to death the garrison sent by the league. It would not be easy to mention a grosser or blacker act of treachery. Even if they resolved to utterly set at nought the gratitude they owed to, and the friendship they had formed with, the league; they ought at least to have spared these men, and to have let every one of them depart under some terms or another: for this much it is the custom by the law of nations to grant even to foreign enemies. But in order to satisfy Cleomenes and the Lacedaemonians of their fidelity in the policy of the hour, they deliberately, and in violation of international law, consummated a crime of the most impious description. To slaughter and wreak vengeance on the men who had just before taken their city, and refrained from doing them the least harm, and who were at that very moment engaged in protecting their lives and liberties,—can anything be imagined more detestable? What punishment can be conceived to correspond154 with its enormity? If one suggests that they would be rightly served by being sold into slavery, with their wives and children, as soon as they were beaten in war; it may be answered that this much is only what, by the laws of warfare, awaits even those who have been guilty of no special act of impiety. They deserved therefore to meet with a punishment even more complete and heavy than they did; so that, even if what Phylarchus mentions did happen to them, there was no reason for the pity of Greece being bestowed on them: praise and approval rather were due to those who exacted vengeance for their impious crime. But since, as a matter of fact, nothing worse befel the Mantineans than the plunder of their property and the selling of their free citizens into slavery, this historian, for the mere sake of a sensational story, has not only told a pure lie, but an improbable lie. His wilful ignorance also was so supreme, that he was unable to compare with this alleged cruelty of the Achaeans the conduct of the same people in the case of Tegea, which they took by force at the same period, and yet did no injury to its inhabitants. And yet, if the natural cruelty of the perpetrators was the sole cause of the severity to Mantinea, it is to be presumed that Tegea would have been treated in the same way. But if their treatment of Mantinea was an exception to that of every other town, the necessary inference is that the cause for their anger was exceptional also.

59. Again Phylarchus says that Aristomachus the Argive, a man of a most distinguished family, Aristomachus.who had been despot of Argos, as his fathers had been before him, upon falling into the hands of Antigonus and the league “was hurried off to Cenchreae and there racked to death,—an unparalleled instance of injustice and cruelty.” But in this matter also our author preserves his peculiar method. He makes up a story about certain cries of this man, when he was on the rack, being heard through the night by the neighbours: “some of whom,” he says, “rushed to the house in their horror, or incredulity, or indignation at the outrage.” As for the sensational story, let it pass; I have said enough on that point. But I must express my opinion that, even if Aristomachus had committed no crime against the Achaeans besides, yet his whole life and155 his treason to his own country deserved the heaviest possible punishment. And in order, forsooth, to enhance this man’s reputation, and move his reader’s sympathies for his sufferings, our historian remarks that he had not only been a tyrant himself, but that his fathers had been so before him. It would not be easy to bring a graver or more bitter charge against a man than this: for the mere word “tyrant” involves the idea of everything that is wickedest, and includes every injustice and crime possible to mankind. And if Aristomachus endured the most terrible tortures, as Phylarchus says, he yet would not have been sufficiently punished for the crime of one day, in which, when Aratus had effected an entrance into Argos with the Achaean soldiers,—and after supporting the most severe struggles and dangers for the freedom of its citizens, had eventually been driven out, because the party within who were in league with him had not ventured to stir, for fear of the tyrant,—Aristomachus availed himself of the pretext of their complicity with the irruption of the Achaeans to put to the rack and execute eighty of the leading citizens, who were perfectly innocent, in the presence of their relations. I pass by the history of his whole life and the crimes of his ancestors; for that would be too long a story.

60. But this shows that we ought not to be indignant if a man reaps as he has sown; but rather if he is allowed to end his days in peace, without experiencing such retribution at all. Nor ought we to accuse Antigonus or Aratus of crime, for having racked and put to death a tyrant whom they had captured in war: to have killed and wreaked vengeance on whom, even in time of peace, would have brought praise and honour to the doers from all right-minded persons.

But when, in addition to these crimes, he was guilty also of treachery to the league, what shall we say that he deserved? The facts of the case are these. He abdicated his sovereignty of Argos shortly before, finding himself in difficulties, owing to the state of affairs brought on by the death of Demetrius. He was, however, protected by the clemency and generosity of the league; and, much to his own surprise, was left unmolested. For the Achaean government not only secured him an indemnity for all crimes committed by him while despot, but 156 admitted him as a member of the league, and invested him with the highest office in it,—that, namely, of Commander-in-Chief and Strategus.164 All these favours he immediately forgot, as soon as his hopes were a little raised by the Cleomenic war; and at a crisis of the utmost importance he withdrew his native city, as well as his own personal adhesion, from the league, and attached them to its enemies. For such an act of treason what he deserved was not to be racked under cover of night at Cenchreae, and then put to death, as Phylarchus says: he ought to have been taken from city to city in the Peloponnese, and to have ended his life only after exemplary torture in each of them. And yet the only severity that this guilty wretch had to endure was to be drowned in the sea by order of the officers at Cenchreae.

61. There is another illustration of this writer’s manner to be found in his treatment of the cases of Mantinea and Megalopolis. Megalopolis.The misfortunes of the former he has depicted with his usual exaggeration and picturesqueness: apparently from the notion, that it is the peculiar function of an historian to select for special mention only such actions as are conspicuously bad. But about the noble conduct of the Megalopolitans at that same period he has not said a word: as though it were the province of history to deal with crimes rather than with instances of just and noble conduct; or as though his readers would be less improved by the record of what is great and worthy of imitation, than by that of such deeds as are base and fit only to be avoided. For instance, he has told us clearly enough how Cleomenes took the town, preserved it from damage, and forthwith sent couriers to the Megalopolitans in Messene with a despatch, offering them the safe enjoyment of their country if they would throw in their lot with him;—and his object in telling all this is to enhance the magnanimity and moderation of Cleomenes towards his enemies. Nay, he has gone farther, and told us how the people of Megalopolis would not allow the letter to 157 be read to the end, and were not far from stoning the bearers of it. Thus much he does tell us. But the sequel to this, so appropriate to an historian,—the commendation, I mean, and honourable mention of their noble conduct,—this he has altogether left out. And yet he had an opportunity ready to his hand. For if we view with approval the conduct of a people who merely by their declarations and votes support a war in behalf of friends and allies; while to those who go so far as to endure the devastation of their territory, and a siege of their town, we give not only praise but active gratitude: what must be our estimate of the people of Megalopolis? Must it not be of the most exalted character? First of all, they allowed their territory to be at the mercy of Cleomenes, and then consented to be entirely deprived of their city, rather than be false to the league: and, finally, in spite of an unexpected chance of recovering it, they deliberately preferred the loss of their territory, the tombs of their ancestors, their temples, their homes and property, of everything in fact which men value most, to forfeiting their faith to their allies. No nobler action has ever been, or ever will be performed; none to which an historian could better draw his reader’s attention. For what could be a higher incentive to good faith, or the maintenance of frank and permanent relations between states? But of all this Phylarchus says not a word, being, as it seems to me, entirely blind as to all that is noblest and best suited to be the theme of an historian.

62. He does, however, state in the course of his narrative that, from the spoils of Megalopolis, six thousand talents fell to the Lacedaemonians, and its wealth.of which two thousand, according to custom, were given to Cleomenes. This shows, to begin with, an astounding ignorance of the ordinary facts as to the resources of Greece: a knowledge which above all others should be possessed by historians. I am not of course now speaking of the period in which the Peloponnese had been ruined by the Macedonian kings, and still more completely by a long continuance of intestine struggles; but of our own times, in which it is believed, by the establishment of its unity, to be enjoying the highest prosperity of which it is capable. Still 158 even at this period, if you could collect all the movable property of the whole Peloponnese (leaving out the value of slaves), it would be impossible to get so large a sum of money together. That I speak on good grounds and not at random will appear from the following fact. Every one has read that when the Athenians, in conjunction with the Thebans, B.C. 378. entered upon the war with the Lacedaemonians, and despatched an army of twenty thousand men, and manned a hundred triremes, they resolved to supply the expenses of the war by the assessment of a property tax; and accordingly had a valuation taken, not only of the whole land of Attica and the houses in it, but of all other property: but yet the value returned fell short of six thousand talents by two hundred and fifty; which will show that what I have just said about the Peloponnese is not far wide of the mark. But at this period the most exaggerated estimate could scarcely give more than three hundred talents, as coming from Megalopolis itself; for it is acknowledged that most of the inhabitants, free and slaves, escaped to Messene. But the strongest confirmation of my words is the case of Mantinea, which, as he himself observes, was second to no Arcadian city in wealth and numbers. Though it was surrendered after a siege, so that no one could escape, and no property could without great difficulty be concealed; yet the value of the whole spoil of the town, including the price of the captives sold, amounted at this same period to only three hundred talents.

63. But a more astonishing misstatement remains to be remarked. In the course of his history of this war, Ptolemy Euergetes and Cleomenes. Phylarchus asserts “that about ten days before the battle an ambassador came from Ptolemy announcing to Cleomenes, that the king declined to continue to support him with supplies, and advised him to make terms with Antigonus. And that when this message had been delivered to Cleomenes, he made up his mind that he had better put his fortune to the supreme test as soon as possible, before his forces learnt about this message, because he could not hope to provide the soldiers’ pay from his own resources.” But if he had at that very time become the master of six thousand talents, he would have been better supplied 159 than Ptolemy himself. And as for war with Antigonus, if he had become master of only three hundred talents, he would have been able to continue it without any difficulty. But the writer states two inconsistent propositions—that Cleomenes depended wholly on Ptolemy for money: and that he at the same time had become master of that enormous sum. Is this not irrational, and grossly careless besides? I might mention many instances of a similar kind, not only in his account of this period, but throughout his whole work; but I think for my present purpose enough has been said.

64. Megalopolis having fallen, then, Antigonus spent the winter at Argos. But at the approach of spring Cleomenes collected his army, B.C. 222. Cleomenes invades Argos. addressed a suitable exhortation to them, and led them into the Argive territory. Most people thought this a hazardous and foolhardy step, because the places at which the frontier was crossed were strongly fortified; but those who were capable of judging regarded the measure as at once safe and prudent. For seeing that Antigonus had dismissed his forces, he reckoned on two things,—there would be no one to resist him, and therefore he would run no risk; and when the Argives found that their territory was being laid waste up to their walls, they would be certain to be roused to anger and to lay the blame upon Antigonus: therefore, if on the one hand Antigonus, unable to bear the complaints of the populace, were to sally forth and give him battle with his present forces, Cleomenes felt sure of an easy victory; but if on the other hand Antigonus refused to alter his plans, and kept persistently aloof, he believed that he would be able to effect a safe retreat home, after succeeding by this expedition in terrifying his enemies and inspiring his own forces with courage. And this was the actual result. For as the devastation of the country went on, crowds began to collect and abuse Antigonus: but like a wise general and king, he refused to allow any consideration to outweigh that of sound strategy, and persisted in remaining inactive. Accordingly Cleomenes, in pursuance of his plan, having terrified his enemies and inspired courage in his own army for the coming struggle, returned home unmolested.

65. Summer having now come, and the Macedonian and160 Achaean soldiers having assembled from their winter quarters, Antigonus moved his army, along with his allies, into Laconia. The summer campaign. The army of Antigonus.The main force consisted of ten thousand Macedonians for the phalanx, three thousand light armed, and three hundred cavalry. With these were a thousand Agraei; the same number of Gauls; three thousand mercenary infantry, and three hundred cavalry; picked troops of the Achaeans, three thousand infantry and three hundred cavalry; and a thousand Megalopolitans armed in the Macedonian manner, under the command of Cercidas of Megalopolis. Of the allies there were two thousand infantry, and two hundred cavalry, from Boeotia; a thousand infantry and fifty cavalry from Epirus; the same number from Acarnania; and sixteen hundred from Illyria, under the command of Demetrius of Pharos. The whole amounted to twenty-eight thousand infantry and twelve hundred cavalry.

Cleomenes had expected the attack, and had secured the passes into the country by posting garrisons, The position of Cleomenes at Sellasia. digging trenches, and felling trees; while he took up position at a place called Sellasia, with an army amounting to twenty thousand, having calculated that the invading forces would take that direction: which turned out to be the case. This pass lies between two hills, called respectively Evas and Olympus, and the road to Sparta follows the course of the river Oenus. Cleomenes strengthened both these hills by lines of fortification, consisting of trench and palisade. On Evas he posted the perioeci and allies, under the command of his brother Eucleidas; while he himself held Olympus with the Lacedaemonians and mercenaries. On the level ground along the river he stationed his cavalry, with a division of his mercenaries, on both sides of the road. When Antigonus arrived, he saw at once the strength of the position, and the skill with which Cleomenes had selected the different branches of his army to occupy the points of vantage, so that the whole aspect of the position was like that of skilled soldiers drawn up ready for a charge. For no preparation for attack or defence had been omitted; but everything was in order, either for offering battle with effect, or for holding an almost unassailable position.


66. The sight of these preparations decided Antigonus not to make an immediate attack upon the position, or rashly hazard an engagement. He pitched his camp a short distance from it, covering his front by the stream called Gorgylus, and there remained for some days; informing himself by reconnaissances of the peculiarities of the ground and the character of the troops, and at the same time endeavouring by feigned movements to elicit the intentions of the enemy. But he could never find an unguarded point, or one where the troops were not entirely on the alert, for Cleomenes was always ready at a moment’s notice to be at any point that was attacked. He therefore gave up all thoughts of attacking the position; and finally an understanding was come to between him and Cleomenes to bring the matter to the decision of battle. And, indeed, Fortune had there brought into competition two commanders equally endowed by nature with military skill. To face the division of the enemy on Evas Antigonus stationed his Macedonian hoplites with brazen shields, and the Illyrians, drawn up in alternate lines, under the command of Alexander, son of Acmetus, and Demetrius of Pharos, respectively. Behind them he placed the Acarnanians and Cretans, and behind them again were two thousand Achaeans to act as a reserve. His cavalry, on the banks of the river Oenous, were posted opposite the enemy’s cavalry, under the command of Alexander, and flanked by a thousand Achaean infantry and the same number of Megalopolitans. Antigonus himself determined to lead his mercenaries and Macedonian troops in person against the division on Olympus commanded by Cleomenes. Owing to the narrowness of the ground, the Macedonians were arranged in a double phalanx, one close behind the other, while the mercenaries were placed in front of them. It was arranged that the Illyrians, who had bivouacked in full order during the previous night along the river Gorgylus, close to the foot of Evas, were to begin their assault on the hill when they saw a flag of linen raised from the direction of Olympus; and that the Megalopolitans and cavalry should do the same when the king raised a scarlet flag.

67. The moment for beginning the battle had come: the signal was given to the Illyrians, and the word passed by the 162 officers to their men to do their duty, and in a moment they started into view of the enemy and began assaulting the hill. Battle of Sellasia. But the light-armed troops who were stationed with Cleomenes’s cavalry, observing that the Achaean lines were not covered by any other troops behind them, charged them on the rear; and thus reduced the division while endeavouring to carry the hill of Evas to a state of great peril,—being met as they were on their front by Eucleidas from the top of the hill, Philopoemen’s presence of mind. and being charged and vigorously attacked by the light-armed mercenaries on their rear. It was at this point that Philopoemen of Megalopolis, with a clear understanding of the situation and a foresight of what would happen, vainly endeavoured to point out the certain result to his superior officers. They disregarded him for his want of experience in command and his extreme youth; and, accordingly he acted for himself, and cheering on the men of his own city, made a vigorous charge on the enemy. This effected a diversion; for the light-armed mercenaries, who were engaged in harassing the rear of the party ascending Evas, hearing the shouting and seeing the cavalry engaged, abandoned their attack upon this party and hurried back to their original position to render assistance to the cavalry. The result was that the division of Illyrians, Macedonians, and the rest who were advancing with them, no longer had their attention diverted by an attack upon their rear, and so continued their advance upon the enemy with high spirits and renewed confidence. And this afterwards caused it to be acknowledged that to Philopoemen was due the honour of the success against Eucleidas.

68. It is clear that Antigonus at any rate entertained that opinion, for after the battle he asked Alexander, the commander of the cavalry, with the view of convicting him of his shortcoming, “Why he had engaged before the signal was given?” And upon Alexander answering that “He had not done so, but that a young officer from Megalopolis had presumed to anticipate the signal, contrary to his wish:” Antigonus replied, “That young man acted like a good general in grasping the situation; you, general, were the youngster.”

What Eucleidas ought to have done, when he saw the enemy163’s lines advancing, was to have rushed down at once upon them; thrown their ranks into disorder; and then retired himself, step by step, to continually higher ground into a safe position: for by thus breaking them up and depriving them, to begin with, of the advantages of their peculiar armour and disposition, he would have secured the victory by the superiority of his position. But he did the very opposite of all this, and thereby forfeited the advantages of the ground. As though victory were assured, he kept his original position on the summit of the hill, with the view of catching the enemy at as great an elevation as possible, that their flight might be all the longer over steep and precipitous ground. The result, as might have been anticipated, was exactly the reverse. Defeat of Eucleidas. For he left himself no place of retreat, and by allowing the enemy to reach his position, unharmed and in unbroken order, he was placed at the disadvantage of having to give them battle on the very summit of the hill; and so, as soon as he was forced by the weight of their heavy armour and their close order to give any ground, it was immediately occupied by the Illyrians; while his own men were obliged to take lower ground, because they had no space for manœuvring on the top. The result was not long in arriving: they suffered a repulse, which the difficult and precipitous nature of the ground over which they had to retire turned into a disastrous flight.

69. Simultaneously with these events the cavalry engagement was also being brought to a decision; in which all the Achaean cavalry, and especially Philopoemen, fought with conspicuous gallantry, for to them it was a contest for freedom. Philopoemen himself had his horse killed under him, and while fighting accordingly on foot received a severe wound through both his thighs. Defeat of Cleomenes.Meanwhile the two kings on the other hill Olympus began by bringing their light-armed troops and mercenaries into action, of which each of them had five thousand. Both the kings and their entire armies had a full view of this action, which was fought with great gallantry on both sides: the charges taking place sometimes in detachments, and at other times along the whole line, and an eager emulation being displayed between the several ranks, and even between in 164dividuals. But when Cleomenes saw that his brother’s division was retreating, and that the cavalry in the low ground were on the point of doing the same, alarmed at the prospect of an attack at all points at once, he was compelled to demolish the palisade in his front, and to lead out his whole force in line by one side of his position. A recall was sounded on the bugle for the light-armed troops of both sides, who were on the ground between the two armies: and the phalanxes shouting their war cries, and with spears couched, charged each other. Then a fierce struggle arose: the Macedonians sometimes slowly giving ground and yielding to the superior courage of the soldiers of Sparta, and at another time the Lacedaemonians being forced to give way before the overpowering weight of the Macedonian phalanx. At length Antigonus ordered a charge in close order and in double phalanx; the enormous weight of this peculiar formation proved sufficient to finally dislodge the Lacedaemonians from their strongholds, and they fled in disorder and suffering severely as they went. Cleomenes himself, with a guard of cavalry, effected his retreat to Sparta: but the same night he went down to Gythium, where all preparations for crossing the sea had been made long before in case of mishap, and with his friends sailed to Alexandria.

70. Having surprised and taken Sparta, Antigonus treated the citizens with magnanimity and humanity; and after re-establishing their ancient constitution, he left the town in a few days, on receiving intelligence that the Illyrians had invaded Macedonia and were laying waste the country. This was an instance of the fantastic way in which Fortune decides the most important matters. For if Cleomenes had only put off the battle for a few days, or if when he returned to Sparta he had only held out for a brief space of time, he would have saved his crown.

As it was, Antigonus after going to Tegea and restoring its constitution, arrived on the second day at Argos, at the very time of the Nemean games. Death of Antigonus Doson, B.C. 220. Having at this assembly received every mark of immortal honour and glory at the hands of the Achaean community, as well as of the several states, he made all 165 haste to reach Macedonia. He found the Illyrians still in the country, and forced them to give him battle, in which, though he proved entirely successful, he exerted himself to such a pitch in shouting encouragement to his men, that he ruptured a bloodvessel, and fell into an illness which terminated shortly in his death. He was a great loss to the Greeks, whom he had inspired with good hopes, not only by his support in the field, but still more by his character and good principles. He left the kingdom of Macedonia to Philip, son of Demetrius.

71. My reason for writing about this war at such length, was the advisability, or rather necessity, in view of the general purpose of my history, of making clear the relations existing between Macedonia and Greece at a time which coincides with the period of which I am about to treat.

Just about the same time, by the death of Euergetes, Ptolemy Philopator succeeded to the throne of Egypt. At the same period died Seleucus, son of that Seleucus who had the double surnames of Callinicus and Pogon: he was succeeded on the throne of Syria by his brother Antiochus. The deaths of these three sovereigns—Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus—fell in the same Olympiad, B.C. 284-280. B.C. 224-220. as was the case with the three immediate successors to Alexander the Great,—Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus,—for the latter all died in the 124th Olympiad, and the former in the 139th.

I may now fitly close this book. I have completed the introduction and laid the foundation on which my history must rest. I have shown when, how, and why the Romans, after becoming supreme in Italy, began to aim at dominion outside of it, and to dispute with the Carthaginians the dominion of the sea. I have at the same time explained the state of Greece, Macedonia, and Carthage at this epoch. I have now arrived at the period which I originally marked out,—that namely in which the Greeks were on the point of beginning the Social, the Romans the Hannibalic war, and the kings in Asia the war for the possession of Coele-Syria. The termination therefore of the wars just described, and the death of the princes engaged in them, forms a natural period to this book.



1. I stated in my first book that my work was to start from the Social war, the Hannibalian war, and the war for the possession of Coele-Syria. In the same book I stated my reasons for devoting my first two books to a sketch of the period preceding those events. I will now, after a few prefatory remarks as to the scope of my own work, address myself to giving a complete account of these wars, the causes which led to them, and which account for the proportions to which they attained.

The one aim and object, then, of all that I have undertaken to write is to show how, when, and why all the known parts of the world fell under the dominion of Rome. A summary of the work from B.C. 220 to B.C. 168. Now as this great event admits of being exactly dated as to its beginning, duration, and final accomplishment, I think it will be advantageous to give, by way of preface, a summary statement of the most important phases in it between the beginning and the end. For I think I shall thus best secure to the student an adequate idea of my whole plan, for as the comprehension of the whole is a help to the understanding of details, and the knowledge of details of great service to the clear conception of the whole; believing that the best and clearest knowledge is that which is obtained from a combination of these, I will preface my whole history by a brief summary of its contents.

I have already described its scope and limits. As to its several parts, the first consists of the above mentioned wars, while the conclusion or closing scene is the fall of the Macedonian monarchy. The time included between these limits is fifty-three years, and never has an equal space embraced167 events of such magnitude and importance.B.C. 220-216. In describing them I shall start from the 140th Olympiad and shall arrange my exposition in the following order:

2. First I shall indicate the causes of the Punic or Hannibalian war: and shall have to describe how the Carthaginians entered Italy; 1. The cause and course of the Hannibalian war. broke up the Roman power there; made the Romans tremble for their safety and the very soil of their country; and contrary to all calculation acquired a good prospect of surprising Rome itself.

I shall next try to make it clear how in the same period Philip of Macedon, after finishing his war with 2. Macedonian treaty with Carthage, B.C. 216. the Aetolians, and subsequently settling the affairs of Greece, entered upon a design of forming an offensive and defensive alliance with Carthage.

Then I shall tell how Antiochus and Ptolemy Philopator first quarrelled and finally went to war with 3. Syrian war, B.C. 218. each other for the possession of Coele-Syria.

Next how the Rhodians and Prusias went to war with the Byzantines, and compelled them to desist from 4. Byzantine war, B.C. 220. exacting dues from ships sailing into the Pontus.

At this point I shall pause in my narrative to introduce a disquisition upon the Roman Constitution, First digression on the Roman Constitution. in which I shall show that its peculiar character contributed largely to their success, not only in reducing all Italy to their authority, and in acquiring a supremacy over the Iberians and Gauls besides, but also at last, after their conquest of Carthage, to their conceiving the idea of universal dominion.

Along with this I shall introduce another Second on Hiero of Syracuse. digression on the fall of Hiero of Syracuse.

After these digressions will come the disturbances in Egypt; how, after the death of King Ptolemy, 5. The attempted partition of the dominions of Ptolemy Epiphanes, B.C. 204. Antiochus and Philip entered into a compact for the partition of the dominions of that monarch’s infant son. I shall describe their treacherous dealings, Philip laying hands upon the islands of the Aegean, and Caria and Samos, Antiochus upon Coele-Syria and Phoenicia.


3. Next, after a summary recapitulation of the proceedings of the Carthaginians and Romans in Iberia, Libya, 6. War with Philip, B.C. 201-197. and Sicily, I shall, following the changes of events, shift the scene of my story entirely to Greece. Here I shall first describe the naval battles of Attalus and the Rhodians against Philip; and the war between Philip and Rome, the persons engaged, its circumstances, and result.

Next to this I shall have to record the wrath of the Aetolians, in consequence of which they invited the aid of Antiochus, and thereby gave rise to what is 7. Asiatic war, B.C. 192-191. called the Asiatic war against Rome and the Achaean league. Having stated the causes of this war, and described the crossing of Antiochus into Europe, I shall have to show first in what manner he was driven from Greece; secondly, how, being defeated in the war, he was forced to cede all his territory west of Taurus; and thirdly, how the Romans, after crushing the insolence of the Gauls, secured undisputed possession of Asia, and freed all the nations on the west of Taurus from the fear of barbarian inroads and the lawless violence of the Gauls.

Next, after reviewing the disasters of the Aetolians and Cephallenians, I shall pass to the wars waged 8. Gallic wars of Eumenes and Prusias. by Eumenes against Prusias and the Gauls; as well as that carried on in alliance with Ariarathes against Pharnaces.

Finally, after speaking of the unity and settlement of the Peloponnese, and of the growth of the commonwealth of Rhodes, I shall add a summary of 9. Union of the Peloponnese. Antiochus Epiphanes in Egypt. Fall of the Macedonian monarchy, B.C. 188-168. my whole work, concluding by an account of the expedition of Antiochus Epiphanes against Egypt; of the war against Perseus; and the destruction of the Macedonian monarchy. Throughout the whole narrative it will be shown how the policy adopted by the Romans in one after another of these cases, as they arose, led to their eventual conquest of the whole world.

4. And if our judgment of individuals and constitutions, for praise or blame, could be adequately formed from a simple consideration of their successes or defeats, I must necessarily169 have stopped at this point, and have concluded my history as soon as I reached these last events in accordance with my original plan. For at this point the fifty-three years were coming to an end, and the progress of the Roman power had arrived at its consummation. And, besides, by this time the acknowledgment had been extorted from all that the supremacy of Rome must be accepted, and her commands obeyed. The plan extended to embrace the period from B.C. 168-146. But in truth, judgments of either side founded on the bare facts of success or failure in the field are by no means final. It has often happened that what seemed the most signal successes have, from ill management, brought the most crushing disasters in their train; while not unfrequently the most terrible calamities, sustained with spirit, have been turned to actual advantage. I am bound, therefore, to add to my statement of facts a discussion on the subsequent policy of the conquerors, and their administration of their universal dominion: and again on the various feelings and opinions entertained by other nations towards their rulers. And I must also describe the tastes and aims of the several nations, whether in their private lives or public policy. The present generation will learn from this whether they should shun or seek the rule of Rome; and future generations will be taught whether to praise and imitate, or to decry it. The usefulness of my history, whether for the present or the future, will mainly lie in this. For the end of a policy should not be, in the eyes either of the actors or their historians, simply to conquer others and bring all into subjection. Nor does any man of sense go to war with his neighbours for the mere purpose of mastering his opponents; nor go to sea for the mere sake of the voyage; nor engage in professions and trades for the sole purpose of learning them. In all these cases the objects are invariably the pleasure, honour, or profit which are the results of the several employments. Accordingly the object of this work shall be to ascertain exactly what the position of the several states was, after the universal conquest by which they fell under the power of Rome, until the commotions and disturbances which broke out at a later period. These I designed to170 make the starting-point of what may almost be called a new work, partly because of the greatness and surprising nature of the events themselves, but chiefly because, in the case of most of them, I was not only an eye-witness, but in some cases one of the actors, and in others the chief director.

5. The events I refer to are the wars of Rome against the Celtiberians and Vaccaei; those of Carthage A new departure; the breaking-up of the arrangement made after the fall of Macedonia. Wars of Carthage against Massinissa; and of Rome against the Celtiberians, B.C. 155-150; and against Carthage (3d Punic war, B.C. 149-146). against Massinissa, king of Libya; and those of Attalus and Prusias in Asia. Then also Ariarathes, King of Cappadocia, having been ejected from his throne by Orophernes through the agency of King Demetrius, recovered his ancestral power by the help of Attalus; while Demetrius, son of Seleucus, after twelve years’ possession of the throne of Syria, was deprived of it, and of his life at the same time, by a combination of the other kings against him. Then it was, too, that the Romans restored to their country those Greeks who had been charged with guilt in the matter of the war with Perseus, after formally acquitting them of the crimes alleged against them. Not long afterwards the same people turned their hands against Carthage: at first with the intention of forcing its removal to some other spot, but finally, for reasons to be afterwards stated, with the resolution of utterly destroying it. Contemporaneous with this came the renunciation by the Macedonians of their friendship to Rome, and by the Lacedaemonians of their membership of the Achaean league, to which the disaster that befell all Greece alike owed its beginning and end.

This is my purpose: but its fulfilment must depend upon whether Fortune protracts my life to the necessary length. I am persuaded, however, that, even if the common human destiny does overtake me, this theme will not be allowed to lie idle for want of competent men to handle it; for there are many besides myself who will readily undertake its completion. But having given the heads of the most remarkable events, with the object of enabling the reader to grasp the general scope of my history as well as the arrangement of its several171 parts, I must now, remembering my original plan, go back to the point at which my history starts.

6. Some historians of the Hannibalian war, when they wish to point out to us the causes of this contest The origin of the 2d Punic war; between Rome and Carthage, allege first the siege of Saguntum by the Carthaginians, and, secondly, their breach of treaty by crossing the river called by the natives the Iber. But though I should call these the first actions in the war, B.C. 334, I cannot admit them to be its causes. One might just as well say B.C. 192, that the crossing of Alexander the Great into Asia was the cause of the Persian war, and the descent of Antiochus upon Demetrias the cause of his war with Rome. In neither would it be a probable or true statement. In the first case, this action of Alexander’s could not be called the cause of a war, for which both he and his father Philip in his lifetime had made elaborate preparations: and in the second case, we know that the Aetolian league had done the same, with a view to a war with Rome, before Antiochus came upon the scene. Such definitions are only worthy of men who cannot distinguish between a first overt act and a cause or pretext; and who do not perceive that a cause is the first in a series of events of which such an overt act is the last. I shall therefore regard the first attempt to put into execution what had already been determined as a “beginning,” but I shall look for “causes” in the motives which suggested such action and the policy which dictated it; for it is by these, and the calculations to which they give rise, that men are led to decide upon a particular line of conduct. The soundness of this method will be proved by the following considerations. The true causes and origin of the invasion of Persia by Alexander are patent to everybody. They were, B.C. 401-400, first, the return march of the Greeks under Xenophon through the country from the upper Satrapies; in the course of which, though throughout Asia all the populations were hostile, not a single barbarian ventured to face them: B.C. 396-394, secondly, the invasion of Asia by the Spartan king Agesilaus, in which, though he was obliged by troubles in Greece to return in the middle of his172 expedition without effecting his object, he yet found no resistance of any importance or adequacy. It was these circumstances which convinced Philip of the cowardice and inefficiency of the Persians; and comparing them with his own high state of efficiency for war, and that of his Macedonian subjects, and placing before his eyes the splendour of the rewards to be gained by such a war, and the popularity which it would bring him in Greece, he seized on the pretext of avenging the injuries done by Persia to Greece, and determined with great eagerness to undertake this war; and was in fact at the time of his death engaged in making every kind of preparation for it.

Here we have the cause and the pretext of the Persian war. Alexander’s expedition into Asia was the first action in it.

7. So too of the war of Antiochus with Rome. The cause was evidently the exasperation of the Aetolians, and of the war with Antiochus. who, thinking that they had been slighted in a number of instances at the end of the war with Philip, not only called in the aid of Antiochus, but resolved to go to every extremity in satisfying the anger which the events of that time had aroused in them. This was the cause. As for the pretext, it was the liberation of Greece, which they went from city to city with Antiochus proclaiming, without regard to reason or truth; while the first act in the war was the descent of Antiochus upon Demetrias.

My object in enlarging upon this distinction is not to attack the historians in question, but to rectify the ideas of the studious. A physician can do no good to the sick who does not know the causes of their ailments; nor can a statesman do any good who is unable to conceive the manner, cause, and source of the events with which he has from time to time to deal. Surely the former could not be expected to institute a suitable system of treatment for the body; nor the latter to grapple with the exigencies of the situation, without possessing this knowledge of its elements. There is nothing, therefore, which we ought to be more alive to, and to seek for, than the causes of every event which occurs. For the most important results are often produced by trifles; and it is invariably easier to apply remedial measures at the beginning, before things have got beyond the stage of conception and intention.


8. Now the Roman annalist Fabius asserts that the cause of the Hannibalian war, besides the injury inflicted upon Saguntum, The credibility of Fabius Pictor. was the encroaching and ambitious spirit of Hasdrubal. “Having secured great power in Iberia, he returned to Libya with the design of destroying the constitution and reducing Carthage to a despotism. But the leading statesmen, getting timely warning of his intention, banded themselves together and successfully opposed him. Suspecting this Hasdrubal retired from Libya, and thenceforth governed Iberia entirely at his own will without taking any account whatever of the Carthaginian Senate. This policy had had in Hannibal from his earliest youth a zealous supporter and imitator; and when he succeeded to the command in Iberia he continued it: and accordingly, even in the case of this war with Rome, was acting on his own authority and contrary to the wish of the Carthaginians; for none of the men of note in Carthage approved of his attack upon Saguntum.” This is the statement of Fabius, who goes on to say, that “after the capture of that city an embassy arrived in Carthage from Rome demanding that Hannibal should be given up on pain of a declaration of war.”

Now what answer could Fabius have given if we had put the following question to him? “What better chance or opportunity could the Carthaginians have had of combining justice and interest? According to your own account they disliked the proceeding of Hannibal: why did they not submit to the demands of Rome by surrendering the author of the injury; and thus get rid of the common enemy of the state without the odium of doing it themselves, and secure the safety of their territory by ridding themselves of the threatened war—all of which they could have effected by merely passing a decree?” If this question were put, I say, it would admit of no answer. The fact is that, so far from doing anything of the sort, they maintained the war in accordance with Hannibal’s policy for seventeen years; and refused to make terms until, at the end of a most determined struggle, they found their own city and persons in imminent danger of destruction.

9. I do not allude to Fabius and his annals from any fear of their wearing such an air of probability in themselves as to174 gain any credit,—for the fact is that his assertions are so contrary to reason, that it does not need any argument of mine to help his readers to perceive it,—but I wished to warn those who take up his books not to be misled by the authority of his name, but to be guided by facts. For there is a certain class of readers in whose eyes the personality of the writer is of more account than what he says. They look to the fact that Fabius was a contemporary and a member of the Senate, and assume without more ado that everything he says may be trusted. My view, however, is that we ought not to hold the authority of this writer lightly: yet at the same time that we should not regard it as all-sufficient; but in reading his writings should test them by a reference to the facts themselves.

This is a digression from my immediate subject, which is the war between Carthage and Rome. The Hannibalian or 2nd Punic war. First cause. The cause of this war we must reckon to be the exasperation of Hamilcar, surnamed Barcas, the father of Hannibal. The result of the war in Sicily had not broken the spirit of that commander. He regarded himself as unconquered; for the troops at Eryx which he commanded were still sound and undismayed: and though he yielded so far as to make a treaty, it was a concession to the exigencies of the times brought on by the defeat of the Carthaginians at sea. But he never relaxed in his determined purpose of revenge; and, had it not been for the mutiny of the mercenaries at Carthage, he would at once have sought and made another occasion for bringing about a war, as far as he was able to do so: as it was, he was preoccupied by the domestic war, and had to give his attention entirely to that.

10. When the Romans, at the conclusion of this mercenary war, proclaimed war with Carthage, the latter at first was inclined to resist at all hazards, B.C. 238. Bk. i. ch. 88. Second cause. because the goodness of her cause gave her hopes of victory,—as I have shown in my former book, without which it would be impossible to understand adequately either this or what is to follow. The Romans, however, would not listen to anything: and the Carthaginians therefore yielded to the force of circumstances; and though feeling bitterly aggrieved, yet being quite unable to do anything, evacuated Sardinia, and consented175 to pay a sum of twelve hundred talents, in addition to the former indemnity paid them, on condition of avoiding the war at that time. This is the second and the most important cause of the subsequent war. For Hamilcar, having this public grievance in addition to his private feelings of anger, as soon as he had secured his country’s safety by reducing the rebellious mercenaries, set at once about securing the Carthaginian power in Iberia with the intention of using it as a base of operations against Rome. Third cause. So that I record as a third cause of the war the Carthaginian success in Iberia: for it was the confidence inspired by their forces there which encouraged them to embark upon it. It would be easy to adduce other facts to show that Hamilcar, though he had been dead ten years at its commencement, largely contributed to bring about the second Punic war, but what I am about to say will be sufficient to establish the fact.

11. When, after his final defeat by the Romans, Hannibal had at last quitted his country and was staying at the court of Antiochus, Hannibal’s oath. the warlike attitude of the Aetolian league induced the Romans to send ambassadors to Antiochus, that they might be informed of the king’s intentions. These ambassadors found that Antiochus was inclined to the Aetolian alliance, and was eager for war with Rome; B.C. 195. they accordingly paid great court to Hannibal with a view of bringing him into suspicion with the king. And in this they entirely succeeded. As time went on the king became ever more and more suspicious of Hannibal, until at length an opportunity occurred for an explanation of the alienation that had been thus secretly growing up between them. Hannibal then defended himself at great length, but without success, until at last he made the following statement: B.C. 238. “When my father was about to go on his Iberian expedition I was nine years old: and as he was offering the sacrifice to Zeus I stood near the altar. The sacrifice successfully performed, my father poured the libation and went through the usual ritual. He then bade all the other worshippers stand a little back, and calling me to him asked me affectionately whether I wished to go with him on his expedition. Upon176 my eagerly assenting, and begging with boyish enthusiasm to be allowed to go, he took me by the right hand and led me up to the altar, and bade me lay my hand upon the victim and swear that I would never be friends with Rome. So long, then, Antiochus, as your policy is one of hostility to Rome, you may feel quite secure of having in me a most thorough-going supporter. But if ever you make terms or friendship with her, then you need not wait for any slander to make you distrust me and be on your guard against me; for there is nothing in my power that I would not do against her.”

12. Antiochus listened to this story, and being convinced that it was told with genuine feeling and sincerity, gave up all his suspicions. And we, too, must regard this as an unquestionable proof of the animosity of Hamilcar and of the aim of his general policy; which, indeed, is also proved by facts. For he inspired his son-in-law Hasdrubal and his son Hannibal with a bitterness of resentment against Rome which nothing could surpass. Hasdrubal, indeed, was prevented by death from showing the full extent of his purpose; but time gave Hannibal abundant opportunity to manifest the hatred of Rome which he had inherited from his father.

The most important thing, then, for statesmen to observe is the motives of those who lay aside old enmities or form new friendships; and to ascertain when their consent to treaties is a mere concession to the necessities of the hour, and when it is the indication of a real consciousness of defeat. In the former case they must be on their guard against such people lying in wait for an opportunity; while in the latter they may unhesitatingly impose whatever injunctions are necessary, in full reliance on the genuineness of their feelings whether as subjects or friends. So much for the causes of the war. I will now relate the first actions in it.

13. The Carthaginians were highly incensed by their loss of Sicily, but their resentment was heightened still more, as I have said, by the transaction as to Sardinia, and by the addition recently made to their tribute. Accordingly, when the greater part of Iberia had fallen into their power, they were on the alert to seize any opportunity that presented itself of retaliating upon Rome. At the death of Hasdrubal, to whom177 they had committed the command in Iberia after the death of Hamilcar, they waited at first to ascertain Death of Hamilcar, B.C. 229. the feelings of the army; but when news came from thence that the troops had elected Hannibal as commander-in-chief, a popular assembly was at once held, and the choice of the army confirmed by a unanimous vote. As soon as he had taken over the command, Hannibal Death of Hasdrubal, B.C. 221. set out to subdue the tribe of the Olcades; and, having arrived before their most formidable city Althaea, he pitched his camp under its walls; and by a series of energetic and formidable assaults succeeded before long in taking it: by which the rest of the tribe were overawed into submission to Carthage. Having imposed a contribution upon the towns, and thus become possessed of a large sum of money, he went to the New Town to winter. There, by a liberal treatment of the forces under his command, giving them an instalment of their pay at once and promising the rest, he established an excellent feeling towards himself in the army, as well as great hopes for the future.

14. Next summer he set out on another expedition against the Vaccaei, in which he took Salmantica by B.C. 220. Hannibal attacks the Vaccaei. assault, but only succeeded in storming Arbucala, owing to the size of the town and the number and valour of its inhabitants, after a laborious siege. After this he suddenly found himself in a position of very great danger on his return march: being set upon by the Carpesii, the strongest tribe in those parts, who were joined also by neighbouring tribes, incited principally by refugees of the Olcades, but roused also to great wrath by those who escaped from Salmantica. If the Carthaginians had been compelled to give these people regular battle, there can be no doubt that they would have been defeated: but as it was, Hannibal, with admirable skill and caution, slowly retreated until he had put the Tagus between himself and the enemy; and thus giving battle at the crossing of the stream, supported by it and the elephants, of which he had about forty, he gained, to every one’s surprise, a complete success. For when the barbarians attempted to force a crossing at several points of the river at once, the greater number of them were killed as they left the water by178 the elephants, who marched up and down along the brink of the river and caught them as they were coming out. Many of them also were killed in the river itself by the cavalry, because the horses were better able than the men to stand against the stream, and also because the cavalry were fighting on higher ground than the infantry which they were attacking. At length Hannibal turned the tables on the enemy, and, recrossing the river, attacked and put to flight their whole army, to the number of more than a hundred thousand men. After the defeat of this host, no one south of the Iber rashly ventured to face him except the people of Saguntum. From that town Hannibal tried his best to keep aloof; because, acting on the suggestions and advice of his father Hamilcar, he did not wish to give the Romans an avowed pretext for war until he had thoroughly secured the rest of the country.

15. But the people of Saguntum kept sending ambassadors to Rome, partly because they foresaw what was coming, Saguntum appeals to Rome. Winter of B.C. 220-219.and trembled for their own existence, and partly that the Romans might be kept fully aware of the growing power of the Carthaginians in Iberia. For a long time the Romans disregarded their words: but now they sent out some commissioners to see what was going on. Just at that time Hannibal had finished the conquests which he intended for that season, and was going into winter quarters at the New Town again, which was in a way the chief glory and capital town of the Carthaginians in Iberia. He found there the embassy from Rome, granted them an interview, and listened to the message with which they were charged. It was a strong injunction to him to leave Saguntum alone, as being under the protection of Rome; and not to cross the Iber, in accordance with the agreement come to in the time of Hasdrubal. To this Hannibal answered with all the heat of youth, inflamed by martial ardour, Hannibal’s defiance. recent success, and his long-standing hatred of Rome. He charged the Romans with having a short time before, when on some political disturbances arising in the town they had been chosen to act as arbitrators, seized the opportunity to put some of the leading citizens to death; and he declared that the Carthaginians would not allow the Saguntines to be179 thus treacherously dealt with, for it was the traditional policy of Carthage to protect all persons so wronged. At the same time he sent home for instructions as to what he was to do “in view of the fact that the Saguntines were injuring certain of their subject allies.” And altogether he was in a state of unreasoning anger and violent exasperation, which prevented him from availing himself of the real causes for war, and made him take refuge in pretexts which would not admit of justification, after the manner of men whose passions master all considerations of equity. How much better it would have been to demand of Rome the restoration of Sardinia, and the remission of the tribute, which she had taken an unfair opportunity to impose on pain of a declaration of war. As it was, he said not a word of the real cause, but alleged the fictitious one of the matter of Saguntum; and so got the credit of beginning the war, not only in defiance of reason, but still more in defiance of justice. The Roman ambassadors, finding that there must undoubtedly be a war, sailed to Carthage to enter the same protest before the people there. They expected, however, that they would have to fight not in Italy, but in Iberia, and that they would have Saguntum as a base of operations.

16. Wherefore the Senate, by way of preparing to undertake this business, and foreseeing that the war Illyrian war, B.C. 219. would be severe and protracted, and at a long distance from the mother country, determined to make Illyria safe. For it happened that, just at this time, Demetrius of Pharos was sacking and subduing to his authority the cities of Illyria which were subject to Rome, and had sailed beyond Lissus, in violation of the treaty, with fifty galleys, and had ravaged many of the Cyclades. For he had quite forgotten the former kindnesses done him by Rome, and had conceived a contempt for its power, when he saw it threatened first by the Gauls and then by Carthage; and he now rested all his hopes on the royal family of Macedonia, because he had fought on the side of Antigonus, and shared with him the dangers of the war against Cleomenes. These transactions attracted the observation of the Romans; who, seeing that the royal house of Macedonia180 was in a flourishing condition, were very anxious to secure the country east of Italy, feeling convinced that they would have ample time to correct the rash folly of the Illyrians, and rebuke and chastise the ingratitude and temerity of Demetrius. But they were deceived in their calculations. For Hannibal anticipated their measures by the capture of Saguntum: the result of which was that the war took place not in Iberia, but close B.C. 219. Coss. M. Livius Salinator L. Aemilius Paullus. to Rome itself, and in various parts throughout all Italy. However, with these ideas fixed in their minds, the Romans despatched Lucius Aemilius just before summer to conduct the Illyrian campaign in the first year of the 140th Olympiad.

17. But Hannibal had started from New Carthage and was leading his army straight against Saguntum. Hannibal besieges Saguntum. This city is situated on the seaward foot of the mountain chain on which the frontiers of Iberia and Celtiberia converge, and is about seven stades from the sea. The district cultivated by its inhabitants is exceedingly productive, and has a soil superior to any in all Iberia. Under the walls of this town Hannibal pitched his camp and set energetically to work on the siege, foreseeing many advantages that would accrue if he could take it. Of these the first was that he would thereby disappoint the Romans in their expectation of making Iberia the seat of war: a second was that he would thereby strike a general terror, which would render the already obedient tribes more submissive, and the still independent ones more cautious of offending him: but the greatest advantage of all was that thereby he would be able to push on his advance, without leaving an enemy on his rear. Besides these advantages, he calculated that the possession of this city would secure him abundant supplies for his expedition, and create an enthusiasm in the troops excited by individual acquisitions of booty; while he would conciliate the goodwill of those who remained at Carthage by the spoils which would be sent home. With these ideas he pressed on the siege with energy: sometimes setting an example to his soldiers by personally sharing in the fatigues of throwing up the siege works; and sometimes cheering on his men and recklessly exposing himself to danger.


After a siege extending to the eighth month, in the course of which he endured every kind of suffering and Fall of Saguntum. anxiety, he finally succeeded in taking the town. An immense booty in money, slaves, and property fell into his hands, which he disposed of in accordance with his original design. The money he reserved for the needs of his projected expedition; the slaves were distributed according to merit among his men; while the property was at once sent entire to Carthage. The result answered his expectations: the army was rendered more eager for action; the home populace more ready to grant whatever he asked; and he himself was enabled, by the possession of such abundant means, to carry out many measures that were of service to his expedition.

18. While this was taking place, Demetrius, discovering the intentions of Rome, threw a sufficient garrison into Dimale and victualled it in proportion. Illyrian war, B.C. 219. In the other towns he put those who were opposed to him to death, and placed the chief power in the hands of his own partisans; and selecting six thousand of the bravest of his subjects, quartered them in Pharos. When the Consul arrived in Illyria with his army, he found the enemies of Rome confident in the strength of Dimale and the elaborate preparations in it, and encouraged to resistance by their belief in its impregnability; he determined, therefore, to attack that town first, in order to strike terror into the enemy. Accordingly, after addressing an exhortation to the several officers of the legions, and throwing up siege works at several points, he began the siege in form. In seven days he took the town by assault, which so dismayed the enemy, that envoys immediately appeared from all the towns, surrendering themselves unconditionally to the protection of Rome. The Consul accepted their submission: and after imposing such conditions as appeared suitable to the several cases, he sailed to Pharos to attack Demetrius himself. Being informed that the city there was strongly fortified, thronged with excellent soldiers, and well-furnished with provisions and all other munitions of war, he began to entertain misgivings that the siege would be long and difficult; and therefore, with a view to these difficulties, he adopted on the spur of the moment the following182 stratagem. He crossed to the island by night with his whole army. The greater part of it he disembarked at a spot where the ground was well-wooded and low; while with only twenty ships he sailed at daybreak to the harbour nearest the town. The smallness of the number of the ships moved only the contempt of Demetrius when he saw them, and he immediately marched out of the town down to the harbour to oppose the landing of the enemy.

19. A violent struggle at once began: and, as it went on, division after division of the troops in the city Capture of Pharos. came down to support him, until at length the whole force had poured out to take part in the engagement. The Romans who had landed in the night arrived at the critical moment, after a march by an obscure route; and seizing a strong position on some rising ground between the city and the harbour, efficiently cut off from the city the troops that had sallied out. When Demetrius became aware of what had taken place, he desisted from opposing the disembarkation; and having rallied his men and addressed the ranks, he put them in motion, with the resolution of fighting a pitched battle with the troops on the hill. When the Romans saw the Illyrian advance being made in good order and with great spirit, they formed their ranks and charged furiously. At the same moment the Roman troops which had just effected their landing, seeing what was going on, charged the enemy on the rear, who being thus attacked on both sides, were thrown into great disorder and confusion. The result was that, finding both his van and his rear in difficulties, Demetrius fled. Some of his men retreated towards the city; but most of them escaped by bye-paths into various parts of the island. Demetrius himself made his way to some galleys which he kept at anchor at a solitary point on the coast, with a view to every contingency; and going on board, he sailed away at nightfall, and arrived unexpectedly at the court of King Philip, where he passed the remainder of his life:—a man whose undoubted boldness and courage were unsupported by either prudence or judgment. His end was of a piece with the whole tenor of his life; for while endeavouring at the instigation of Philip to seize Messene, he exposed himself during183 the battle with a careless rashness which cost him his life; of which I shall speak in detail when I come to that period.

The Consul Aemilius having thus taken Pharos at a blow, levelled the city to the ground; and then having become master of all Illyria, and having ordered all its affairs as he thought right, returned towards the end of the summer to Rome, where he celebrated a triumph amid expressions of unmixed approval; for people considered that he had managed this business with great prudence and even greater courage.

20. But when news came to Rome of the fall of Saguntum, there was indeed no debate on the question of war, Indignation at Rome at the fall of Saguntum.as some historians assert; who even add the speeches delivered on either side. But nothing could be more ridiculous. For is it conceivable that the Romans should have a year before proclaimed war with the Carthaginians in the event of their entering the territory of Saguntum, and yet, when the city itself had been taken, should have debated whether they should go to war or no? Just as absurd are the wonderful statements that the senators put on mourning, and that the fathers introduced their sons above twelve years old into the Senate House, who, being admitted to the debate, refrained from divulging any of its secrets even to their nearest relations. All this is as improbable as it is untrue; unless we are to believe that Fortune, among its other bounties, granted the Romans the privilege of being men of the world from their cradles. I need not waste any more words upon such compositions as those of Chaereas and Sosilus;165 which, in my judgment, are more like the gossip of the barber’s shop and the pavement than history.

The truth is that, when the Romans heard of the disaster at Saguntum, they at once elected envoys, whom Envoys sent to Carthage to demand surrender of Hannibal. they despatched in all haste to Carthage with the offer of two alternatives, one of which appeared to the Carthaginians to involve disgrace as well as injury if they accepted it, while the other was the 184beginning of a great struggle and of great dangers. For one of these alternatives was the surrender of Hannibal and his staff to Rome, the other was war. When the Roman envoys arrived and declared their message to the Senate, the choice proposed to them between these alternatives was listened to by the Carthaginians with indignation. Still they selected the most capable of their number to state their case, which was grounded on the following pleas.

21. Passing over the treaty made with Hasdrubal, as not having ever been made, and, if it had, as not being binding on them because made without their consent (and on this point they quoted the precedent of the Romans themselves, who in the Sicilian war repudiated the terms agreed upon and accepted by Lutatius, as having been made without their consent)—passing over this, they pressed with all the vehemence they could, throughout the discussion, the last treaty made in the Sicilian war; in which they affirmed that there was no clause relating to Iberia, but one expressly providing security for the allies of both parties to the treaty. Now, they pointed out that the Saguntines at that time were not allies of Rome, and therefore were not protected by the clause. To prove their point, they read the treaty more than once aloud. On this occasion the Roman envoys contented themselves with the reply that, while Saguntum was intact, the matter in dispute admitted of pleadings and of a discussion on its merits; but that, that city having been treacherously seized, they had only two alternatives,—either to deliver the persons guilty of the act, and thereby make it clear that they had no share in their crime, and that it was done without their consent; or, if they were not willing to do that, and avowed their complicity in it, to take the consequences.

The question of treaties between Rome and Carthage was referred to in general terms in the course of this debate: but I think a more particular examination of it will be useful both to practical statesmen, who require to know the exact truth of the matter, in order to avoid mistakes in any critical deliberation; and to historical students, that they may not be led astray by 185the ignorance or partisan bias of historians; but may have before them a conspectus, acknowledged to be accurate, of the various compacts which have been made between Rome and Carthage from the earliest times to our own day.

22. The first treaty between Rome and Carthage was made in the year of Lucius Junius Brutus and Marcus Horatius, Treaties between Rome and Carthage.the first Consuls appointed after the expulsion of the kings, by which men also the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus was consecrated. This was twenty-eight years before the invasion of Greece by Xerxes. Of this treaty I append a translation, The first treaty, B.C. 509-508. as accurate as I could make it,—for the fact is that the ancient language differs so much from that at present in use, that the best scholars among the Romans themselves have great difficulty in interpreting some points in it, even after much study. The treaty is as follows:—

“There shall be friendship between the Romans and their allies, and the Carthaginians and their allies, on these conditions:

“Neither the Romans nor their allies are to sail beyond the Fair Promontory, unless driven by stress of weather or the fear of enemies. If any one of them be driven ashore he shall not buy or take aught for himself save what is needful for the repair of his ship and the service of the gods, and he shall depart within five days.

“Men landing for traffic shall strike no bargain save in the presence of a herald or town-clerk. Whatever is sold in the presence of these, let the price be secured to the seller on the credit of the state—that is to say, if such sale be in Libya or Sardinia.

“If any Roman comes to the Carthaginian province in Sicily he shall enjoy all rights enjoyed by others. The Carthaginians shall do no injury to the people of Ardea, Antium, Laurentium, Circeii, Tarracina, nor any other people of the Latins that are subject to Rome.

“From those townships even which are not subject to Rome166 they shall hold their hands; and if they take one shall deliver it unharmed to the Romans. They shall build no fort 186in Latium; and if they enter the district in arms, they shall not stay a night therein.”

23. The “Fair Promontory” here referred to is that which lies immediately to the north of Carthage; south of which the Carthaginians stipulated that the Romans should not sail with ships of war, because, as I imagine, they did not wish them to be acquainted with the coast near Byzacium, or the lesser Syrtis, which places they call Emporia, owing to the productiveness of the district. The treaty then goes on to say that, if any one of them is driven thither by stress of weather or fear of an enemy, and stands in need of anything for the worship of the gods and the repair of his vessel, this and no more he may take; and all those who have come to anchor there must necessarily depart within five days. To Carthage, and all the country on the Carthaginian side of the Fair Promontory in Libya, to Sardinia, and the Carthaginian province of Sicily, the treaty allows the Romans to sail for mercantile purposes; and the Carthaginians engage their public credit that such persons shall enjoy absolute security.

It is clear from this treaty that the Carthaginians speak of Sardinia and Libya as belonging to them entirely; but, on the other hand, make a distinction in the case of Sicily, and only stipulate for that part of it which is subject to Carthage. Similarly, the Romans also only stipulate concerning Latium; the rest of Italy they do not mention, as not being under their authority.

24. After this treaty there was a second, in which we find that the Carthaginians have included the Second treaty, B.C. 306 (?). Tyrians and the township of Utica in addition to their former territory; and to the Fair Promontory Mastia and Tarseium are added, as the points east of which the Romans are not to make marauding expeditions or found a city. The treaty is as follows: “There shall be friendship between the Romans and their allies, and the Carthaginians, Tyrians, and township of Utica, on these terms: The Romans shall not maraud, nor traffic, nor found a city east of the Fair Promontory, Mastia, Tarseium. If the Carthaginians take any city in Latium which is not subject to Rome, they may keep the prisoners and the187 goods, but shall deliver up the town. If the Carthaginians take any folk, between whom and Rome a peace has been made in writing, though they be not subject to them, they shall not bring them into any harbours of the Romans; if such an one be so brought ashore, and any Roman lay claim to him,167 he shall be released. In like manner shall the Romans be bound towards the Carthaginians.

“If a Roman take water or provisions from any district within the jurisdiction of Carthage, he shall not injure, while so doing, any between whom and Carthage there is peace and friendship. Neither shall a Carthaginian in like case. If any one shall do so, he shall not be punished by private vengeance, but such action shall be a public misdemeanour.

“In Sardinia and Libya no Roman shall traffic nor found a city; he shall do no more than take in provisions and refit his ship. If a storm drive him upon those coasts, he shall depart within five days.

“In the Carthaginian province of Sicily and in Carthage he may transact business and sell whatsoever it is lawful for a citizen to do. In like manner also may a Carthaginian at Rome.”

Once more in this treaty we may notice that the Carthaginians emphasise the fact of their entire possession of Libya and Sardinia, and prohibit any attempt of the Romans to land in them at all; and on the other hand, in the case of Sicily, they clearly distinguish their own province in it. So, too, the Romans, in regard to Latium, stipulate that the Carthaginians shall do no wrong to Ardea, Antium, Circeii, Tarracina, all of which are on the seaboard of Latium, to which alone the treaty refers.

25. A third treaty again was made by Rome at the time of the invasion of Pyrrhus into Sicily, before the Third treaty, B.C. 279. Carthaginians undertook the war for the possession of Sicily. This treaty contains the same provisions as the two earlier treaties with these additional clauses:—

“If they make a treaty of alliance with Pyrrhus, the Romans or Carthaginians shall make it on such terms as 188not to preclude the one giving aid to the other, if that one’s territory is attacked.

“If one or the other stand in need of help, the Carthaginians shall supply the ships, whether for transport or war; but each people shall supply the pay for its own men employed on them.

“The Carthaginians shall also give aid by sea to the Romans if need be; but no one shall compel the crews to disembark against their will.”

Provision was also made for swearing to these treaties. In the case of the first, the Carthaginians were to swear by the gods of their ancestors, the Romans by Jupiter Lapis, in accordance with an ancient custom; in the case of the last treaty, by Mars and Quirinus.

The form of swearing by Jupiter Lapis was this. The commissioner for swearing to the treaty took a stone in his hand, and, having taken the oath in the name of his country, added these words, “If I abide by this oath may he bless me; but if I do otherwise in thought or act, may all others be kept safe each in his own country, under his own laws, in enjoyment of his own goods, household gods, and tombs,—may I alone be cast out, even as this stone is now.” And having uttered these words he throws the stone from his hand.

26. Seeing that such treaties exist and are preserved to this day, engraved on brass in the treasury of Misstatement of Philinus. the Aediles in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, the historian Philinus certainly does give us some reason to be surprised at him. Not at his ignorance of their existence: for even in our own day those Romans and Carthaginians, whose age placed them nearest to the times, and who had the reputation of taking the greatest interest in public affairs, were unaware of it. But what is surprising is, that he should have ventured on a statement exactly opposite: “That there was a treaty between Rome and Carthage, in virtue of which the Romans were bound to keep away from the whole of Sicily, the Carthaginians from the whole of Italy; and that the Romans broke the treaty and their oath when they first crossed over to Sicily.” Whereas there does not exist, nor ever has existed, any such written compact at all. Yet189 this assertion he makes in so many words in his second book. I referred to this in the preface of my work, but reserved a more detailed discussion of it to this place; which was necessary, because the assertion of Philinus has misled a considerable number of people on this point. I have nothing to say if a man chooses to attack the Romans for crossing into Sicily, on the grounds of their having taken the Mamertines into alliance at all; or in having thus acted in answer to their request, after these men’s treachery to Rhegium as well as Messene: but if any one supposes that in so crossing they broke oaths or treaties, he is manifestly ignorant of the truth.

27. At the end of the first Punic war another treaty was made, of which the chief provisions were these: Fourth treaty, B.C. 241. “The Carthaginians shall evacuate Sicily and all islands lying between Italy and Sicily.

“The allies of neither of the parties to the treaty shall be attacked by the other.

“Neither party shall impose any contribution, nor erect any public building, nor enlist soldiers in the dominions of the other, nor make any compact of friendship with the allies of the other.

“The Carthaginians shall within ten years pay to the Romans two-thousand two-hundred talents, and a thousand on the spot; and shall restore all prisoners, without ransom, to the Romans.”

Afterwards, at the end of the Mercenary war in Africa, the Romans went so far as to pass a decree for war Fifth treaty, B.C. 238. with Carthage, but eventually made a treaty to the following effect: “The Carthaginians shall evacuate Sardinia, and pay an additional twelve hundred talents.”

Finally, in addition to these treaties, came that negotiated with Hasdrubal in Iberia, in which it was Sixth treaty, B.C. 228. stipulated that “the Carthaginians should not cross the Iber with arms.”

Such were the mutual obligations established between Rome and Carthage from the earliest times to that of Hannibal.

28. As we find then that the Roman invasion of Sicily was190 not in contravention of their oaths, so we must acknowledge in the case of the second proclamation of war, No excuse for the Roman claim on Sardinia.in consequence of which the treaty for the evacuation of Sardinia was made, that it is impossible to find any reasonable pretext or ground for the Roman action. The Carthaginians were beyond question compelled by the necessities of their position, contrary to all justice, to evacuate Sardinia, and to pay this enormous sum of money. For as to the allegation of the Romans, that they had during the Mercenary war been guilty of acts of hostility to ships sailing from Rome,—that was barred by their own act in restoring, without ransom, the Carthaginian prisoners, in gratitude for similar conduct on the part of Carthage to Romans who had landed on their shores; a transaction which I have spoken of at length in my previous book.168

These facts established, it remains to decide by a thorough investigation to which of the two nations the origin of the Hannibalian war is to be imputed.

29. I have explained the pleas advanced by the Carthaginians; I must now state what is alleged on the contrary by the Romans. For though it is true that in this particular interview, owing to their anger at the fall of Saguntum, they did not use these arguments, yet they were appealed to on many occasions, and by many of their citizens. The Roman Case.First, they argued that the treaty of Hasdrubal could not be ignored, as the Carthaginians had the assurance to do: for it did not contain the clause, which that of Lutatius did, making its validity conditional on its ratification by the people of Rome; but Hasdrubal made the agreement absolutely and authoritatively that “the Carthaginians should not cross the Iber in arms.”

Next they alleged that the clause in the treaty respecting Sicily, which by their own admission stipulated that “the allies of neither party should be attacked by the other,” did not refer to then existing allies only, as the Carthaginians interpreted it; for in that case a clause would have been added, disabling either from making new alliances in addition to those already existing, or excluding allies, taken subsequently to the making of the 191treaty, from its benefits. But since neither of these provisions was made, it was plain that both the then existing allies, and all those taken subsequently on either side, were entitled to reciprocal security. And this was only reasonable. For it was not likely that they would have made a treaty depriving them of the power, when opportunity offered, of taking on such friends or allies as seemed to their interest; nor, again, if they had taken any such under their protection, was it to be supposed that they would allow them to be injured by any persons whatever. But, in fact, the main thing present in the minds of both parties to the treaty was, that they should mutually agree to abstain from attacking each other’s allies, and on no account admit into alliance with themselves the allies of the other: and it was to subsequent allies that this particular clause applied, “Neither shall enlist soldiers, or impose contributions on the provinces or allies of the other; and all shall be alike secure of attack from the other side.”

30. These things being so, they argued that it was beyond controversy that Saguntum had accepted the protection of Rome, several years before the time of Hannibal. The strongest proof of this, and one which would not be contested by the Carthaginians themselves, was that, when political disturbances broke out at Saguntum, the people chose the Romans, and not the Carthaginians, as arbitrators to settle the dispute and restore their constitution, although the latter were close at hand and were already established in Iberia.

I conclude, then, that if the destruction of Saguntum is to be regarded as the cause of this war, the Carthaginians must be acknowledged to be in Mutual provocation. the wrong, both in view of the treaty of Lutatius, which secured immunity from attack for the allies of both parties, and in view of the treaty of Hasdrubal, which disabled the Carthaginians from passing the Iber with arms.169 If on the other hand the taking Sardinia from them, and imposing the heavy money fine which accompanied it, are to 192be regarded as the causes, we must certainly acknowledge that the Carthaginians had good reason for undertaking the Hannibalian war: for as they had only yielded to the pressure of circumstances, so they seized a favourable turn in those circumstances to revenge themselves on their injurers.

31. Some uncritical readers may perhaps say that such minute discussion on points of this kind is unnecessary. And if any man were entirely self-sufficing in every event, I might allow that the accurate knowledge of the past, though a graceful accomplishment, was perhaps not essential: but as long as it is not in mere mortals to say this, either in public or private affairs,—seeing that no man of sense, even if he is prosperous for the moment, will ever reckon with certainty on the future,—then I say that such knowledge is essential, and not merely graceful. For take the three commonest cases. Suppose, first, a statesman to be attacked either in his own person or in that of his country: or, secondly, suppose him to be anxious for a forward policy and to anticipate the attack of an enemy: or, lastly, suppose him to desire to maintain the status quo. In all these cases it is history alone that can supply him with precedents, and teach him how, in the first case, to find supporters and allies; in the second, to incite co-operation; and in the third, to give vigour to the conservative forces which tend to maintain, as he desires, the existing state of things. In the case of contemporaries, it is difficult to obtain an insight into their purposes; because, as their words and actions are dictated by a desire of accommodating themselves to the necessity of the hour, and of keeping up appearances, the truth is too often obscured. Whereas the transactions of the past admit of being tested by naked fact; and accordingly display without disguise the motives and purposes of the several persons engaged; and teach us from what sort of people to expect favour, active kindness, and assistance, or the reverse. They give us also many opportunities of distinguishing who would be likely to pity us, feel indignation at our wrongs, and defend our cause,—a power that contributes very greatly to national as well as individual security. Neither the writer nor the reader of history, therefore, should confine his attention to a bare statement of facts: he must take into account all that193 preceded, accompanied, or followed them. For if you take from history all explanation of cause, principle, and motive, and of the adaptation of the means to the end, what is left is a mere panorama without being instructive; and, though it may please for the moment, has no abiding value.

32. Another mistake is to look upon my history as difficult to obtain or master, because of the number and size of the books. Compare it in these particulars with the various writings of the episodical historians. Is it not much easier to purchase and read my forty books, which are as it were all in one piece, and so to follow with a comprehensive glance the events in Italy, Sicily, and Libya from the time of Pyrrhus to the fall of Carthage, and those in the rest of the world from the flight of Cleomenes of Sparta, continuously, to the battle between the Achaeans and Romans at the Isthmus? To say nothing of the fact that the compositions of these historians are many times as numerous as mine, it is impossible for their readers to get any certain information from them: first, because most of them differ in their account of the same transactions; and secondly, because they omit contemporary history,—the comparative review of which would put a very different complexion upon events to that derived from isolated treatment,—and are unable to touch upon the most decisive events at all. For, indeed, the most important parts of history are those which treat the events which follow or accompany a certain course of conduct, and pre-eminently so those which treat of causes. For instance, we see that the war with Antiochus took its rise from that with Philip; that with Philip from the Hannibalian; and the Hannibalian from the Sicilian war: and though between these wars there were numerous events of various character, they all converged upon the same consummation. Such a comprehensive view may be obtained from universal history, but not from the histories of particular wars, such as those with Perseus or Philip; unless we fondly imagine that, by reading the accounts contained in them of the pitched battles, we gain a knowledge of the conduct and plan of the whole war. This of course is not the case; and in the present instance I hope that there will be as wide a difference between my history and such episodical194 compositions, as between real learning and mere listening.

33. To resume the story of the Carthaginians and the Roman deputies.170 To the arguments of the former the Answer of Fabius. See Livy, 21, 18. ambassadors made no answer, except that the senior among them, in the presence of the assembly, pointed to the folds of his toga and said that in them he carried peace and war, and that he would bring out and leave with them whichever they bade him. The Carthaginian Suffete171 bade him bring out whichever of the two he chose: and upon the Roman saying that it should be war, a majority of the senators cried out in answer that they accepted it. It was on these terms that the Senate and the Roman ambassadors parted.

Meanwhile Hannibal, upon going into winter quarters at New Carthage, first of all dismissed the Iberians to their various cities, with the view of their being prepared and vigorous for the next campaign. Winter of 219-218 B.C. Hannibal’s arrangements for the coming campaign. Secondly, he instructed his brother Hasdrubal in the management of his government in Iberia, and of the preparations to be made against Rome, in case he himself should be separated from him. Thirdly, he took precautions for the security of Libya, by selecting with prudent skill certain soldiers from the home army to come over to Iberia, and certain from the Iberian army to go to Libya; by which interchange he secured cordial feeling of confidence between the two armies. The Iberians sent to Libya were the Thersitae, the Mastiani, as well as the Oretes and Olcades, mustering together twelve hundred cavalry and thirteen thousand eight hundred and fifty foot. Besides these there were eight hundred and seventy slingers from the Balearic Isles, whose name, as that of the islands they inhabit, is derived from the word ballein, “to throw,” because of their peculiar skill with the sling. Most of these troops he ordered to be stationed at Metagonia in Libya, and the rest in Carthage itself. And from the cities in the district 195of Metagonia he sent four thousand foot also into Carthage, to serve at once as hostages for the fidelity of their country, and as an additional guard for the city. With his brother Hasdrubal in Iberia he left fifty quinqueremes, two quadriremes, and five triremes, thirty-two of the quinqueremes being furnished with crews, and all five of the triremes; also cavalry consisting of four hundred and fifty Libyophenicians and Libyans, three hundred Lergetae, eighteen hundred Numidians of the Massolian, Massaesylian, Maccoeian, and Maurian tribes, who dwell by the ocean; with eleven thousand eight hundred and fifty Libyans, three hundred Ligures, five hundred of the Balearic Islanders, and twenty-one elephants.

The accuracy of this enumeration of Hannibal’s Iberian establishment need excite no surprise, though The inscription recording these facts. it is such as a commander himself would have some difficulty in displaying; nor ought I to be condemned at once of imitating the specious falsehoods of historians: for the fact is that I myself found on Lacinium172 a bronze tablet, which Hannibal had caused to be inscribed with these particulars when he was in Italy; and holding it to be an entirely trustworthy authority for such facts, I did not hesitate to follow it.

34. Though Hannibal had taken every precaution for the security of Libya and Iberia, he yet waited for the messengers whom he expected to arrive from the Celts. He had thoroughly acquainted himself with the fertility and populousness of the districts at the foot of the Alps and in the valley of the Padus, as well as with the warlike courage of the men; but most important of all, with their hostile feelings to Rome derived from the previous war, which I described in my last book, with the express purpose of enabling my readers to follow my narrative. He therefore reckoned very much on the chance of their co-operation; and was careful to send messages to the chiefs of the Celts, whether dwelling actually on the Alps or on the Italian side of them, with unlimited promises; because he believed that he would be able to confine the war against Rome to Italy, if he could make his way through the intervening difficulties to these parts, and avail 196himself of the active alliance of the Celts. When his messengers returned with a report that the Celts were ready to help him and all eagerness for his approach; and that the passage of the Alps, though laborious and difficult, was not, however, impossible, he collected his forces from their winter quarters at the approach of spring. Just before receiving this report he had learnt the circumstances attending the Roman embassy at Carthage. Encouraged by the assurance thus given him, that he would be supported by the popular sentiment at home, he no longer disguised from his army that the object of the forthcoming campaign was Rome; and tried to inspire them with courage for the undertaking. He explained to them how the Romans had demanded the surrender of himself and all the officers of the army: and pointed out the fertility of the country to which they were going, and the goodwill and active alliance which the Celts were prepared to offer them. When the crowd of soldiers showed an enthusiastic readiness to accompany him, he dismissed the assembly, after thanking them, and naming the day on which he intended to march.

35. These measures satisfactorily accomplished while he was in winter quarters, and the security of Libya B.C. 218. Hannibal breaks up his winter quarters and starts for Italy. and Iberia being sufficiently provided for; when the appointed day arrived, Hannibal got his army in motion, which consisted of ninety thousand infantry and about twelve thousand cavalry. After crossing the Iber, he set about subduing the tribes of the Ilurgetes and Bargusii, as well as the Aerenosii and Andosini, as far as the Pyrenees. When he had reduced all this country under his power, and taken certain towns by storm, which he did with unexpected rapidity, though not without severe fighting and serious loss; he left Hanno in chief command of all the district north of the Iber, and with absolute authority over the Burgusii, who were the people that gave him most uneasiness on account of their friendly feeling towards Rome. He then detached from his army ten thousand foot and a thousand horse for the service of Hanno,—to whom also he entrusted the heavy baggage of the troops that were to accompany himself,—and the same number to go to their own197 land. The object of this last measure was twofold: he thereby left a certain number of well-affected persons behind him; and also held out to the others a hope of returning home, both to those Iberians who were to accompany him on his march, and to those also who for the present were to remain at home, so that there might be a general alacrity to join him if he were ever in want of a reinforcement. He then set his remaining troops in motion unencumbered by heavy baggage, fifty thousand infantry and nine thousand cavalry, and led them through the Pyrenees to the passage of the river Rhone. The army was not so much numerous, as highly efficient, and in an extraordinary state of physical training from their continuous battles with the Iberians.

36. But as a knowledge of topography is necessary for the right understanding of my narrative, Geography of Hannibal’s march.I must state the places from which Hannibal started, through which he marched, and into which he descended when he arrived in Italy. Nor must I, like some historians, content myself with mentioning the mere names of places and rivers, under the idea that that is quite sufficient to give a clear knowledge. My opinion is that, in the case of well-known places, the mention of names is of great assistance, but that, in the case of unknown countries, names are no better than unintelligible and unmeaning sounds: for the understanding having nothing to go upon, and being unable by referring to something known to translate the words into thought, the narrative becomes confused and vague, and conveys no clear idea. A plan therefore must be discovered, whereby it shall be possible, while speaking of unknown countries, to convey real and intelligible notions.

The first, most important, and most general conception is that of the division of the heaven into four quarters, which all of us that are capable of a general idea at all know as east, west, south, and north. The next is to arrange the several parts of the globe according to these points, and always to refer in thought any place mentioned to one or other of them. We shall thus get an intelligible and familiar conception of places which we do not know or have never seen.


37. This principle established as universally applicable to the world, the next point will be to make the General view of the geography of the world. geography of our own part of it intelligible by a corresponding division.

It falls, then, into three divisions, each distinguished by a particular name,—Asia, Libya, Europe.173 The boundaries are respectively the Don, the Nile, and the Straits of the Pillars of Hercules. Asia lies between the Don and the Nile, and lies under that portion of the heaven which is between the north-east and the south. Libya lies between the Nile and the Pillars of Hercules, and falls beneath the south portion of the heaven, extending to the south-west without a break, till it reaches the point of the equinoctial sunset, which corresponds with the Pillars of Hercules. These two divisions of the earth, therefore, regarded in a general point of view, occupy all that part which is south of the Mediterranean from east to west. Europe with respect to both of these lies to the north facing them, and extending continuously from east to west. Its most important and extensive part lies under the northern sky between the river Don and the Narbo, which is only a short distance west of Marseilles and the mouths by which the Rhone discharges itself into the Sardinian Sea. From Narbo is the district occupied by the Celts as far as the Pyrenees, stretching continuously from the Mediterranean to the Mare Externum. The rest of Europe south of the Pyrenees, to the point where it approaches the Pillars of Hercules, is bounded on one side by the Mediterranean, on the other by the Mare Externum; and that part of it which is washed by the Mediterranean as far as the Pillars of Hercules is called Iberia, while the part which lies along the Outer or Great Sea has no general name, because it has but recently been discovered, and is inhabited entirely by barbarous tribes, who are very numerous, and of whom I will speak in more detail hereafter.

38. But as no one up to our time has been able to settle in regard to those parts of Asia and Libya, where they approach199 each other in the neighbourhood of Ethiopia, whether the continent is continuous to the south, The extreme north and south unknown.or is surrounded by the sea, so it is in regard to the part between Narbo and the Don: none of us as yet knows anything of the northern extent of this district, and anything we can ever know must be the result of future exploration; and those who rashly venture by word of mouth or written statements to describe this district must be looked upon as ignorant or romancing.

My object in these observations was to prevent my narrative being entirely vague to those who were unacquainted with the localities. I hoped that, by keeping these broad distinctions in mind, they would have some definite standard to which to refer every mention of a place, starting from the primary one of the division of the sky into four quarters. For, as in the case of physical sight, we instinctively turn our faces to any object pointed at; so in the case of the mind, our thoughts ought to turn naturally to localities as they are mentioned from time to time.

It is time now to return to the story we have in hand.

39. At this period the Carthaginians were masters of the whole Mediterranean coast of Libya from the Altars of Philaenus,174 opposite the Great Syrtis, to the Pillars of Hercules, a seaboard of over sixteen thousand stades. They had also crossed the strait of the Pillars of Hercules, and got possession of the whole seaboard of Iberia on the Mediterranean as far as the Pyrenees, which separate the Iberes from the Celts—that is, for a distance of about eight thousand stades: for it is three thousand from the Pillars to New Carthage, from which Hannibal started for Italy; two thousand six hundred from thence to the Iber; and from that river to The length of the march from Carthagena to the Po, 1125 Roman miles. Emporium again sixteen hundred; from which town, I may add, to the passage of the Rhone is a distance of about sixteen hundred stades; for all these distances have now been carefully measured by the Romans and marked with milestones at every 200eighth stade.175 After crossing the river there was a march up stream along its bank of fourteen hundred stades, before reaching the foot of the pass over the Alps into Italy. The pass itself was about twelve hundred stades, which being crossed would bring him into the plains of the Padus in Italy. So that the whole length of his march from New Carthage was about nine thousand stades, or 1125 Roman miles. Of the country he had thus to traverse he had already passed almost half in mere distance, but in the difficulties the greater part of his task was still before him.

40. While Hannibal was thus engaged in effecting a passage over the Pyrenees, where he was greatly alarmed Coss. P. Cornelius Scipio and Tib. Sempronius Longus. B.C. 218. The Consuls are sent, one to Spain, and the other to Africa. at the extraordinary strength of the positions occupied by the Celts; the Romans, having heard the result of the embassy to Carthage, and that Hannibal had crossed the Iber earlier than they expected, at the head of an army, voted to send Publius Cornelius Scipio with his legions into Iberia, and Tiberius Sempronius Longus into Libya. And while the Consuls were engaged in hastening on the enrolment of their legions and other military preparations, the people were active in bringing to completion the colonies which they had already voted to send into Gaul. They accordingly caused the fortification of these towns to be energetically pushed on, and ordered the colonists to be in residence within thirty days: six thousand having been assigned to each colony. One of these colonies was on the south bank of the Padus, and was called Placentia; Placentia and Cremona. the other on the north bank, called Cremona. But no sooner had these colonies been formed, than the Boian Gauls, who had long been lying in wait to throw off their loyalty to Rome, but had up to that time lacked an opportunity, encouraged by the news that reached them of Hannibal’s approach, revolted; thus abandoning the hostages which they had given at the end of the war described in my last book. The ill-feeling still remaining towards Rome enabled them to induce the Insubres201 to join in the revolt; and the united tribes swept over the territory recently allotted by the Romans, and following close upon the track of the flying colonists, laid siege to the Roman colony of Mutina, in which the fugitives had taken refuge. Among them were the triumviri or three commissioners who had been sent out to allot the lands, of whom one—Gaius Lutatius—was an ex-consul, the other two ex-praetors. Outrage by Boii and Insubres. These men having demanded a parley with the enemy, the Boii consented: but treacherously seized them upon their leaving the town, hoping by their means to recover their own hostages. The praetor Lucius Manlius was on guard in the district with an army, and as soon as he heard what had happened, he advanced with all speed to the relief of Mutina. But the Boii, having got intelligence of his approach, prepared an ambuscade; and as soon as his army had entered a certain wood, they rushed out upon it from every side and killed a large number of his men. The survivors at first fled with precipitation: but having gained some higher ground, they rallied sufficiently to enable them with much difficulty to effect an honourable retreat. Even so, the Boii followed close upon their heels, and besieged them in a place called the village of Tannes.176 When the news arrived at Rome, that the fourth legion was surrounded and closely besieged by the Boii, the people in all haste despatched the legions which had been voted to the Consul Publius, to their relief, under the command of a Praetor, and ordered the Consul to enrol two more legions for himself from the allies.

41. Such was the state of Celtic affairs from the beginning to the arrival of Hannibal; thus completing the course of events which I have already had occasion to describe.

Meanwhile the Consuls, having completed the necessary preparations for their respective missions, set sail at the beginning Tiberius Sempronius prepares to attack Carthage. of summer—Publius to Iberia, with sixty ships, and Tiberius Sempronius to Libya, with a hundred and sixty quinqueremes. The latter thought by means of this great fleet to strike terror into the enemy; and made vast preparations at Lilybaeum,202 collecting fresh troops wherever he could get them, as though with the view of at once blockading Carthage itself.

Publius Cornelius coasted along Liguria, and crossing in five days from Pisae to Marseilles, dropped Publius Scipio lands near Marseilles. anchor at the most eastern mouth of the Rhone, called the Mouth of Marseilles,177 and began disembarking his troops. For though he heard that Hannibal was already crossing the Pyrenees, he felt sure that he was still a long way off, owing to the difficulty of his line of country, and the number of the intervening Celtic tribes. But long before he was expected, Hannibal had arrived at the crossing of the Rhone, keeping the Sardinian Sea on his right as he marched, and having made his way through the Celts partly by bribes and partly by force. Being informed that the enemy were at hand, Publius was at first incredulous of the fact, because of the rapidity of the advance; but wishing to know the exact state of the case,—while staying behind himself to refresh his troops after their voyage, and to consult with the Tribunes as to the best ground on which to give the enemy battle,—he sent out a reconnoitring party, consisting of three hundred of his bravest horse; joining with them as guides and supports some Celts, who chanced to be serving as mercenaries at the time in Marseilles.

42. Meanwhile Hannibal had reached the river and was trying to get across it where the stream was single, Hannibal reaches the Rhone.at a distance of four days’ march from the sea. He did all he could to make the natives living by the river friendly to him, and purchased from them all their canoes of hollow trunks, and wherries, of which there were a large number, owing to the extensive sea traffic of the inhabitants of the Rhone valley. He got from them also the timber suited to the construction of these canoes; and so in two days had an innumerable supply of transports, every soldier seeking to be independent of his neighbour, and to have the means of crossing in his own hands. But now a large multitude of barbarians collected on the other side of the stream to hinder the passage of the Carthaginians. When Hannibal saw them, he came to the conclusion203 that it would be impossible either to force a passage in the face of so large a body of the enemy, or to remain where he was, for fear of being attacked on all sides at once: and he accordingly, on the third night, sent forward a detachment of his army with native guides, under the command of Hanno, the son of the Suffete178 Bomilcar. A detachment crosses higher up the river.This force marched up stream along the bank for two hundred stades, until they arrived at a certain spot where the stream is divided by an eyot, and there halted. They found enough wood close at hand to enable them, by nailing or tying it together, to construct within a short time a large number of rafts good enough for temporary use; and on these they crossed in safety, without any one trying to stop them. Then, seizing upon a strong position, they kept quiet for the rest of the day: partly to refresh themselves after their fatigues, and at the same time to complete their preparations for the service awaiting them, as they had been ordered to do. Hannibal was preparing to proceed much in the same way with the forces left behind with himself; but his chief difficulty was in getting the elephants across, of which he had thirty-seven.

43. When the fifth night came, however, the division which had crossed first started before daybreak The crossing begun. to march down the opposite bank of the river and attack the barbarians; while Hannibal, having his men in readiness, began to attempt the passage of the river. He had filled the wherries with the heavy-armed cavalry, and the canoes with the most active of his foot; and he now arranged that the wherries should cross higher up the stream, and the canoes below them, that the violence of the current might be broken by the former, and the canoes cross more safely. The plan for the horses was that they should swim at the stern of the wherries, one man on each side of the stern guiding three or four with leading reins: so that a considerable number of horses were brought over at once with the first detachment. When they saw what the enemy meant to do, the barbarians, without forming their ranks, poured out of their entrenchments in scattered groups, 204feeling no doubt of being able to stop the crossing of the Carthaginians with ease. As soon as Hannibal saw by the smoke, which was the signal agreed upon, that the advanced detachment on the other side was approaching, he ordered all to go on board, and the men in charge of the transports to push out against the stream. This was promptly done: and then began a most anxious and exciting scene. Cheer after cheer rose from the men who were working the boats, as they struggled to outstrip each other, and exerted themselves to the utmost to overcome the force of the current. On the edge of either bank stood the two armies: the one sharing in the struggles of their comrades by sympathy, and shouting encouragement to them as they went; while the barbarians in front of them yelled their war-cries and challenged them to battle. While this was going on the barbarians had abandoned their tents, which the Carthaginians on that side of the river suddenly and unexpectedly seized. Some of them proceeded to set fire to the camp, while the greater number went to attack the men who were standing ready to resist the passage. Surprised by this unlooked-for event, some of the barbarians rushed off to save their tents, while others prepared to resist the attack of the enemy, and were now actually engaged. Seeing that everything was going as he had intended, Hannibal at once formed the first division as it disembarked: and after addressing some encouraging words to it, closed with the barbarians, who, having no time to form their ranks, and being taken by surprise, were quickly repulsed and put to flight.

44. Being thus master of the passage of the river, and victorious over those who opposed him, Completedthe first care of the Carthaginian leader was to bring his whole army across. This being expeditiously accomplished, he pitched his camp for that night by the river-side, and on the morrow, when he was told that the Roman fleet was anchored off the mouths of the river, he detached five hundred Numidian horsemen to reconnoitre the enemy and find out their position, their numbers, and what they were going to do; and at the same time selected suitable men to manage the passage of the elephants. These arrangements made, he summoned a meeting of his army and introduced205 Magilus and the other chiefs who had come to him from the valley of the Padus, and caused them to declare to the whole army, Message from friendly Gauls. by means of an interpreter, the resolutions passed by their tribes. The points which were the strongest encouragement to the army were, first, the actual appearance of envoys inviting them to come, and promising to take part in the war with Rome; secondly, the confidence inspired by their promise of guiding them by a route where they would be abundantly supplied with necessaries, and which would lead them with speed and safety into Italy; and, lastly, the fertility and vast extent of the country to which they were going, and the friendly feelings of the men with whose assistance they were about to fight the armies of Rome.

Such was the substance of the speeches of the Celts. When they had withdrawn, Hannibal himself rose, and after reminding the soldiers of what they had already achieved, and pointing out that, though they had under his counsel and advice engaged in many perilous and dangerous enterprises, they had never failed in one, he bade them “not lose courage now that the most serious part of their undertaking was accomplished. The Rhone was crossed: they had seen with their own eyes the display of goodwill and zeal of their allies. Let this convince them that they should leave the rest to him with confidence; and while obeying his orders show themselves men of courage and worthy of their former deeds.” These words being received with shouts of approval, and other manifestations of great enthusiasm, on the part of the soldiers, Hannibal dismissed the assembly with words of praise to the men and a prayer to the gods on their behalf; after giving out an order that they should refresh themselves, and make all their preparations with despatch, as the advance must begin on the morrow.

45. When the assembly had been dismissed, the reconnoitring party of Numidians returned in headlong flight, Skirmish between reconnoitring parties.after losing more than half their numbers. Not far from the camp they had fallen in with a party of Roman horse, who had been sent out by Publius on the same errand; and an engagement took place with such fury on either side, that the Romans and206 Celts lost a hundred and forty men, and the Numidians more than two hundred. After this skirmish, the Romans pursued them up to the Carthaginian entrenchments: and having surveyed it, they hastened back to announce to the Consul the presence of the enemy. As soon as they arrived at the Roman camp with this intelligence, Publius put his baggage on board ship, and marched his men up the bank of the river, with the earnest desire of forcing the enemy to give him battle.

But at sunrise on the day after the assembly, Hannibal having stationed his whole cavalry on the rear, in the direction of the sea, so as to cover the advance, ordered his infantry to leave the entrenchment and begin their march; while he himself waited behind for the elephants, and the men who had not yet crossed the river.

46. The mode of getting the elephants across was as follows. They made a number of rafts strongly compacted, The passage of the elephants. which they lashed firmly two and two together, so as to form combined a breadth of about fifty feet, and brought them close under the bank at the place of crossing. To the outer edge of these they lashed some others and made them join exactly; so that the whole raft thus constructed stretched out some way into the channel, while the edges towards the stream were made fast to the land with ropes tied to trees which grew along the brink, to secure the raft keeping its place and not drifting down the river. These combined rafts stretching about two hundred feet across the stream, they joined two other very large ones to the outer edges, fastened very firmly together, but connected with the others by ropes which admitted of being easily cut. To these they fastened several towing lines, that the wherries might prevent the rafts drifting down stream, and might drag them forcibly against the current and so get the elephants across on them. Then they threw a great deal of earth upon all the rafts, until they had raised the surface to the level of the bank, and made it look like the path on the land leading down to the passage. The elephants were accustomed to obey their Indian riders until they came to water, but could never be induced to step into water: they therefore led them upon this earth, putting two females in front whom the others207 obediently followed. When they had set foot on the rafts that were farthest out in the stream, the ropes were cut which fastened these to the other rafts, the towing lines were pulled taut by the wherries, and the elephants, with the rafts on which they stood, were quickly towed away from the mound of earth. When this happened, the animals were terror-stricken; and at first turned round and round, and rushed first to one part of the raft and then to another, but finding themselves completely surrounded by the water, they were too frightened to do anything, and were obliged to stay where they were. And it was by repeating this contrivance of joining a pair of rafts to the others, that eventually the greater part of the elephants were got across. Some of them, however, in the middle of the crossing, threw themselves in their terror into the river: but though their Indian riders were drowned, the animals themselves got safe to land, saved by the strength and great length of their probosces; for by raising these above the water, they were enabled to breathe through them, and blow out any water that got into them, while for the most part they got through the river on their feet.

47. The elephants having been thus got across, Hannibal formed them and the cavalry into a rear-guard, and marched up the river bank away from the sea in an easterly direction, as though making for the central district of Europe.

The Rhone rises to the north-west of the Adriatic Gulf on the northern slopes of the Alps,179 and flowing westward, eventually discharges itself into the Sardinian Sea. It flows for the most part through a deep valley, to the north of which lives the Celtic tribe of the Ardyes; while its southern side is entirely walled in by the northern slopes of the Alps, the ridges of which, beginning at Marseilles and extending to the head of the Adriatic, separate it from the valley of the Padus, of which I have already had occasion to speak at length. It was these mountains that Hannibal now crossed from the Rhone valley into Italy.

Some historians of this passage of the Alps, in their desire 208to produce a striking effect by their descriptions of the wonders of this country, have fallen into two errors which are more alien than anything else to the spirit of history,—perversion of fact and inconsistency. Introducing Hannibal as a prodigy of strategic skill and boldness, they yet represent him as acting with the most conspicuous indiscretion; and then, finding themselves involved in an inextricable maze of falsehood, they try to cut the knot by the introduction of gods and heroes into what is meant to be genuine history. They begin by saying that the Alps are so precipitous and inaccessible that, so far from horses and troops, accompanied too by elephants, being able to cross them, it would be very difficult for even active men on foot to do so: and similarly they tell us that the desolation of this district is so complete, that, had not some god or hero met Hannibal’s forces and showed them the way, they would have been hopelessly lost and perished to a man.

Such stories involve both the errors I have mentioned,—they are both false and inconsistent.

48. For could a more irrational proceeding on the part of a general be imagined than that of Hannibal, if, when in command of so numerous an army, on whom the success of his expedition entirely depended, he allowed himself to remain in ignorance of the roads, the lie of the country, the route to be taken, and the people to which it led, and above all as to the practicability of what he was undertaking to do? They, in fact, represent Hannibal, when at the height of his expectation of success, doing what those would hardly do who have utterly failed and have been reduced to despair,—that is, to entrust themselves and their forces to an unknown country. And so, too, what they say about the desolation of the district, and its precipitous and inaccessible character, only serves to bring their untrustworthiness into clearer light. For first, they pass over the fact that the Celts of the Rhone valley had on several occasions before Hannibal came, and that in very recent times, crossed the Alps with large forces, and fought battles with the Romans in alliance with the Celts of the valley of the Padus, as I have already stated. And secondly, they are unaware of the fact that a very numerous tribe of people inhabit the Alps. Accordingly in their ignorance of these facts they take refuge209 in the assertion that a hero showed Hannibal the way. They are, in fact, in the same case as tragedians, who, beginning with an improbable and impossible plot, are obliged to bring in a deus ex machina to solve the difficulty and end the play. The absurd premises of these historians naturally require some such supernatural agency to help them out of the difficulty: an absurd beginning could only have an absurd ending. For of course Hannibal did not act as these writers say he did; but, on the contrary, conducted his plans with the utmost prudence. He had thoroughly informed himself of the fertility of the country into which he designed to descend, and of the hostile feelings of its inhabitants towards Rome, and for his journey through the difficult district which intervened he employed native guides and pioneers, whose interests were bound up with his own. I speak with confidence on these points, because I have questioned persons actually engaged on the facts, and have inspected the country, and gone over the Alpine pass myself, in order to inform myself of the truth and see with my own eyes.

49. Three days after Hannibal had resumed his march, the Consul Publius arrived at the passage of the river. Scipio finds that Hannibal has escaped him.He was in the highest degree astonished to find the enemy gone: for he had persuaded himself that they would never venture to take this route into Italy, on account of the numbers and fickleness of the barbarians who inhabited the country. But seeing that they had done so, he hurried back to his ships and at once embarked his forces. He then despatched his brother Gnaeus to conduct the campaign in Iberia, while he himself turned back again to Italy by sea, being anxious to anticipate the enemy by marching through Etruria to the foot of the pass of the Alps.

Meanwhile, after four days’ march from the passage of the Rhone, Hannibal arrived at the place called the Island, Hannibal’s march to the foot of the Alps.a district thickly inhabited and exceedingly productive of corn. Its name is derived from its natural features: for the Rhone and Isara flowing on either side of it make the apex of a triangle where they meet, very nearly of the same size and shape as the delta of the Nile, except that the base of the latter is formed by the210 sea into which its various streams are discharged, while in the case of the former this base is formed by mountains difficult to approach or climb, and, so to speak, almost inaccessible. When Hannibal arrived in this district he found two brothers engaged in a dispute for the royal power, and confronting each other with their armies. The elder sought his alliance and invited his assistance in gaining the crown: and the advantage which such a circumstance might prove to him at that juncture of his affairs being manifest, he consented; and having joined him in his attack upon his brother, and aided in expelling him, he obtained valuable support from the victorious chieftain. For this prince not only liberally supplied his army with provisions, but exchanged all their old and damaged weapons for new ones, and thus at a very opportune time thoroughly restored the efficiency of the troops: he also gave most of the men new clothes and boots, which proved of great advantage during their passage of the mountains. But his most essential service was that, the Carthaginians being greatly alarmed at the prospect of marching through the territory of the Allobroges, he acted with his army as their rear-guard, and secured them a safe passage as far as the foot of the pass.

50. Having in ten days’ march accomplished a distance of eight hundred stades along the river bank, The ascent. Hannibal began the ascent of the Alps,180 and immediately found himself involved in the most serious dangers. For as long as the Carthaginians were on the plains, the various chiefs of the Allobroges refrained from attacking them from fear of their cavalry, as well as of the Gauls who were escorting them. But when these last departed back again to their own lands, and Hannibal began to enter the mountainous region, the chiefs of the Allobroges collected large numbers of their tribe and occupied the points of vantage in advance, on the route by which Hannibal’s troops were constrained to make their ascent. If they had only kept their design secret, the Carthaginian army would have been entirely 211destroyed: as it was, their plans became known, and though they did much damage to Hannibal’s army, they suffered as much themselves. For when that general learnt that the natives were occupying the points of vantage, he halted and pitched his camp at the foot of the pass, and sent forward some of his Gallic guides to reconnoitre the enemy and discover their plan of operations. The order was obeyed: and he ascertained that it was the enemy’s practice to keep under arms, and guard these posts carefully, during the day, but at night to retire to some town in the neighbourhood. Hannibal accordingly adapted his measures to this strategy of the enemy. He marched forward in broad daylight, and as soon as he came to the mountainous part of the road, pitched his camp only a little way from the enemy. At nightfall he gave orders for the watch-fires to be lit; and leaving the main body of his troops in the camp, and selecting the most suitable of his men, he had them armed lightly, and led them through the narrow parts of the road during the night, and seized on the spots which had been previously occupied by the enemy: they having, according to their regular custom, abandoned them for the nearest town.

51. When day broke the natives saw what had taken place, and at first desisted from their attempts; The Gauls harass the army. but presently the sight of the immense string of beasts of burden, and of the cavalry, slowly and painfully making the ascent, tempted them to attack the advancing line. Accordingly they fell upon it at many points at once; and the Carthaginians sustained severe losses, not so much at the hands of the enemy, as from the dangerous nature of the ground, which proved especially fatal to the horses and beasts of burden. For as the ascent was not only narrow and rough, but flanked also with precipices, at every movement which tended to throw the line into disorder, large numbers of the beasts of burden were hurled down the precipices with their loads on their backs. And what added more than anything else to this sort of confusion were the wounded horses; for, maddened by their wounds, they either turned round and ran into the advancing beasts of burden, or, rushing furiously forward, dashed aside everything212 that came in their way on the narrow path, and so threw the whole line into disorder. Hannibal saw what was taking place, and knowing that, even if they escaped this attack, they could never survive the loss of all their baggage, he took with him the men who had seized the strongholds during the night and went to the relief of the advancing line. Having the advantage of charging the enemy from the higher ground he inflicted a severe loss upon them, but suffered also as severe a one in his own army; for the commotion in the line now grew worse, and in both directions at once—thanks to the shouting and struggling of these combatants: and it was not until he had killed the greater number of the Allobroges, and forced the rest to fly to their own land, that the remainder of the beasts of burden and the horses got slowly, and with difficulty, over the dangerous ground. Hannibal himself rallied as many as he could after the fight, and assaulted the town from which the enemy had sallied; and finding it almost deserted, because its inhabitants had been all tempted out by the hope of booty, he got possession of it: from which he obtained many advantages for the future as well as for the present. The immediate gain consisted of a large number of horses and beasts of burden, and men taken with them; and for future use he got a supply of corn and cattle sufficient for two or three days: but the most important result of all was the terror inspired in the next tribes, which prevented any one of those who lived near the ascent from lightly venturing to meddle with him again.

52. Here he pitched a camp and remained a day, and started again. For the next three days Treachery of the Gauls. he accomplished a certain amount of his journey without accident. But on the fourth he again found himself in serious danger. For the dwellers along his route, having concerted a plan of treachery, met him with branches and garlands, which among nearly all the natives are signs of friendship, as the herald’s staff is among the Greeks. Hannibal was cautious about accepting such assurances, and took great pains to discover what their real intention and purpose were. The Gauls however professed to be fully aware of the capture of the town, and the destruction213 of those who had attempted to do him wrong; and explained that those events had induced them to come, because they wished neither to inflict nor receive any damage; and finally promised to give him hostages. For a long while Hannibal hesitated and refused to trust their speeches. But at length coming to the conclusion that, if he accepted what was offered, he would perhaps render the men before him less mischievous and implacable; but that, if he rejected them, he must expect undisguised hostility from them, he acceded to their request, and feigned to accept their offer of friendship. The barbarians handed over the hostages, supplied him liberally with cattle, and in fact put themselves unreservedly into his hands; so that for a time Hannibal’s suspicions were allayed, and he employed them as guides for the next difficulty that had to be passed. They guided the army for two days: and then these tribes collected their numbers, and keeping close up with the Carthaginians, attacked them just as they were passing through a certain difficult and precipitous gorge.

53. Hannibal’s army would now have certainly been utterly destroyed, had it not been for the fact that his Severe losses. fears were still on the alert, and that, having a prescience of what was to come, he had placed his baggage and cavalry in the van and his hoplites in the rear. These latter covered his line, and were able to stem the attack of the enemy, and accordingly the disaster was less than it would otherwise have been. As it was, however, a large number of beasts of burden and horses perished; for the advantage of the higher ground being with the enemy, the Gauls moved along the slopes parallel with the army below, and by rolling down boulders, or throwing stones, reduced the troops to a state of the utmost confusion and danger; so that Hannibal with half his force was obliged to pass the night near a certain white rock,181 which afforded them protection, separated from his horses and baggage which he was covering; until after a whole night’s struggle they slowly and with difficulty emerged from the gorge.

Next morning the enemy had disappeared: and Hannibal, having effected a junction with his cavalry and baggage, led214 his men towards the head of the pass, without falling in again with any important muster of the natives, Arrives at the summit. though he was harassed by some of them from time to time; who seized favourable opportunities, now on his van and now on his rear, of carrying off some of his baggage. His best protection was his elephants; on whatever parts of the line they were placed the enemy never ventured to approach, being terrified at the unwonted appearance of the animals. The ninth day’s march brought him to the head of the pass: and there he encamped for two days, partly to rest his men and partly to allow stragglers to come up. Whilst they were there, many of the horses who had taken fright and run away, and many of the beasts of burden that had got rid of their loads, unexpectedly appeared: they had followed the tracks of the army and now joined the camp.

54. But by this time, it being nearly the period of the setting of the Pleiads, the snow was beginning 9th November. to be thick on the heights; and seeing his men in low spirits, owing both to the fatigue they had gone through, and that which still lay before them, Hannibal called them together and tried to cheer them by dwelling on the one possible topic of consolation in his power, namely the view of Italy: which lay stretched out in both directions below those mountains, giving the Alps the appearance of a citadel to the whole of Italy. By pointing therefore to the plains of the Padus, and reminding them of the friendly welcome which awaited them from the Gauls who lived there, and at the same time indicating the direction of Rome itself, he did somewhat to raise the drooping spirits of his men.

Next day he began the descent, in which he no longer met with any enemies, except some few secret pillagers; The descent.but from the dangerous ground and the snow he lost almost as many men as on the ascent. For the path down was narrow and precipitous, and the snow made it impossible for the men to see where they were treading, while to step aside from the path, or to stumble, meant being hurled down the precipices. The troops however bore up against the fatigue, having now215 grown accustomed to such hardships; but when they came to a place where the path was too narrow for the elephants or beasts of burden to pass,—and which, narrowed before by landslips extending about a stade and a half, had recently been made more so by another landslip,—then once more despondency and consternation fell upon the troops. Hannibal’s first idea was to avoid this mauvais pas by a detour, but this route too being made impossible by a snow-storm, he abandoned the idea.

55. The effect of the storm was peculiar and extraordinary. For the present fall of snow coming A break in the road. upon the top of that which was there before, and had remained from the last winter, it was found that the former, being fresh, was soft and offered no resistance to the foot; but when the feet reached the lower frozen snow, they could no longer make any impression upon it, but the men found both their feet slipping from under them, as though they were on hard ground with a layer of mud on the top. And a still more serious difficulty followed: for not being able to get a foothold on the lower snow, when they fell and tried to get themselves up by their hands and knees, the men found themselves plunging downwards quicker and quicker, along with everything they laid hold of, the ground being a very steep decline. The beasts, however, when they fell did break through this lower snow as they struggled to rise, and having done so were obliged to remain there with their loads, as though they were frozen to it, both from the weight of these loads and the hardness of the old snow. Giving up, therefore, all hope of making this detour, he encamped upon the ridge after clearing away the snow upon it. He then set large parties of his men to work, and, with infinite toil, began constructing a road on the face of the precipice. One day’s work sufficed to make a path practicable for beasts of burden and horses; and he accordingly took them across at once, and having pitched his camp at a spot below the snow line, he let them go in search of pasture; while he told off the Numidians in detachments to proceed with the making of the road; and after three days’ difficult and painful labour he got his elephants across, though in a miserable condition from216 hunger. For the tops of the Alps, and the parts immediately below them, are completely treeless and bare of vegetation, because the snow lies there summer and winter; but about half-way down the slopes on both sides they produce trees and shrubs, and are, in fact, fit for human habitation.

56. So Hannibal mustered his forces and continued the descent; and on the third day after passing He reaches the plains. the precipitous path just described he reached the plains. From the beginning of his march he had lost many men by the hands of the enemy, and in crossing rivers, and many more on the precipices and dangerous passes of the Alps; and not only men in this last way, but horses and beasts of burden in still greater numbers. The whole march from New Carthage had occupied five months, the actual passage of the Alps fifteen days; and he now boldly entered the valley of the Padus, and the territory of the Insubres, with such of his army as survived, consisting of twelve thousand Libyans and eight thousand Iberians, and not more than six thousand cavalry in all, as he himself distinctly states on the column erected on the promontory of Lacinium to record the numbers.

At the same time, as I have before stated, Publius having left his legions under the command of his brother Gnaeus, with orders to prosecute the Iberian campaign and offer an energetic resistance to Hasdrubal, landed at Pisae with a small body of men. Thence he marched through Etruria, and taking over the army of the Praetors which was guarding the country against the Boii, he arrived in the valley of the Padus; and, pitching his camp there, waited for the enemy with an eager desire to give him battle.

57. Having thus brought the generals of the two nations and the war itself into Italy, before beginning Digression on the limits of history. the campaign, I wish to say a few words about what I conceive to be germane or not to my history.

I can conceive some readers complaining that, while devoting a great deal of space to Libya and Iberia, I have said little or nothing about the strait of the Pillars of Hercules, the Mare Externum, or the British Isles, and the manufacture of217 tin in them, or even of the silver and gold mines in Iberia itself, of which historians give long and contradictory accounts. It was not, let me say, because I thought these subjects out of place in history that I passed them over; but because, in the first place, I did not wish to be diffuse, or distract the attention of students from the main current of my narrative; and, in the next place, because I was determined not to treat of them in scattered notices or casual allusions, but to assign them a distinct time and place, and at these, to the best of my ability, to give a trustworthy account of them. On the same principle I must deprecate any feeling of surprise if, in the succeeding portions of my history, I pass over other similar topics, which might seem naturally in place, for the same reasons. Those who ask for dissertations in history on every possible subject, are somewhat like greedy guests at a banquet, who, by tasting every dish on the table, fail to really enjoy any one of them at the time, or to digest and feel any benefit from them afterwards. Such omnivorous readers get no real pleasure in the present, and no adequate instruction for the future.

58. There can be no clearer proof, than is afforded by these particular instances, that this department of historical writing stands above all others in need of study and correction. For as all, or at least the greater number of writers, have endeavoured to describe the peculiar features and positions of the countries on the confines of the known world, and in doing so have, in most cases, made egregious mistakes, it is impossible to pass over their errors without some attempt at refutation; and that not in scattered observations or casual remarks, but deliberately and formally. But such confutation should not take the form of accusation or invective. While correcting their mistakes we should praise the writers, feeling sure that, had they lived to the present age, they would have altered and corrected many of their statements. The fact is that, in past ages, we know of very few Greeks who undertook to investigate these remote regions, owing to the insuperable difficulties of the attempt. The dangers at sea were then more than can easily be calculated, and those on land more numerous still. And even if one did reach these countries on the confines of the world, whether compulsorily or voluntarily, the difficulties in the way218 of a personal inspection were only begun: for some of the regions were utterly barbarous, others uninhabited; and a still greater obstacle in way of gaining information as to what he saw was his ignorance of the language of the country. And even if he learnt this, a still greater difficulty was to preserve a strict moderation in his account of what he had seen, and despising all attempts to glorify himself by traveller’s tales of wonder, to report for our benefit the truth and nothing but the truth.

59. All these impediments made a true account of these regions in past times difficult, if not impossible. Nor ought we to criticise severely the omissions or mistakes of these writers: rather they deserve our praise and admiration for having in such an age gained information as to these places, which distinctly advanced knowledge. In our own age, however, the Asiatic districts have been opened up both by sea and land owing to the empire of Alexander, and the other places owing to the supremacy of Rome. Men too of practical experience in affairs, being released from the cares of martial or political ambition, have thereby had excellent opportunities for research and inquiry into these localities; and therefore it will be but right for us to have a better and truer knowledge of what was formerly unknown. And this I shall endeavour to establish, when I find a fitting opportunity in the course of my history. I shall be especially anxious to give the curious a full knowledge on these points, because it was with that express object that I confronted the dangers and fatigues of my travels in Libya, Iberia, and Gaul, as well as of the sea which washes the western coasts of these countries; that I might correct the imperfect knowledge of former writers, and make the Greeks acquainted with these parts of the known world.

After this digression, I must go back to the pitched battles between the Romans and Carthaginians in Italy.

60. After arriving in Italy with the number of troops which I have already stated, Rest and recovery. Hannibal pitched his camp at the very foot of the Alps, and was occupied, to begin with, in refreshing his men. For not only had his whole army suffered terribly from the difficulties of transit in the ascent, and still more in the219 descent of the Alps, but it was also in evil case from the shortness of provisions, and the inevitable neglect of all proper attention to physical necessities. Many had quite abandoned all care for their health under the influence of starvation and continuous fatigue; for it had proved impossible to carry a full supply of food for so many thousands over such mountains, and what they did bring was in great part lost along with the beasts that carried it. So that whereas, when Hannibal crossed the Rhone, he had thirty-eight thousand infantry, and more than eight thousand cavalry, he lost nearly half in the pass, as I have shown above; while the survivors had by these long continued sufferings become almost savage in look and general appearance. Hannibal therefore bent his whole energies to the restoration of the spirits and bodies of his men, and of their horses also. When his army had thus sufficiently recovered, finding the Taurini, Taking of Turin. who live immediately under the Alps, at war with the Insubres and inclined to be suspicious of the Carthaginians, Hannibal first invited them to terms of friendship and alliance; and, on their refusal, invested their chief city and carried it after a three day’s siege. Having put to the sword all who had opposed him, he struck such terror into the minds of the neighbouring tribes, that they all gave in their submission out of hand. The other Celts inhabiting these plains were also eager to join the Carthaginians, according to their original purpose; but the Roman legions had by this time advanced too far, and had intercepted the greater part of them: they were therefore unable to stir, and in some cases were even obliged to serve in the Roman ranks. This determined Hannibal not to delay his advance any longer, but to strike some blow which might encourage those natives who were desirous of sharing his enterprise.

61. When he heard, while engaged on this design, that Publius had already crossed the Padus with his army, Approach of Scipio. and was at no great distance, he was at first inclined to disbelieve the fact, reflecting that it was not many days since he had left him near the passage of the Rhone, and that the voyage from Marseilles to Etruria was a long and difficult one. He was told, moreover, that from the220 Tyrrhenian Sea to the Alps through Italian soil was a long march, without good military roads. But when messenger after messenger confirmed the intelligence with increased positiveness, he was filled with amazement and admiration at the Consul’s plan of campaign, and promptness in carrying it out. The feelings of Publius were much the same: for he had not expected that Hannibal would even attempt the passage of the Alps with forces of different races, or, if he did attempt it, that he could escape utter destruction. Entertaining such ideas he was immensely astonished at his courage and adventurous daring, when he heard that he had not only got safe across, but was actually besieging certain towns in Italy. Similar feelings were entertained at Rome when the news arrived there. For scarcely had the last rumour about the taking of Saguntum by the Carthaginians ceased to attract attention, and scarcely had the measures adopted in view of that event been taken,—namely the despatch of one Consul to Libya to besiege Carthage, and of the other to Iberia to meet Hannibal there,—than news came that Hannibal had arrived in Italy with his army, and was already besieging certain towns in it. Thrown into great alarm by this unexpected turn of affairs, the Roman government sent at once to Tiberius at Lilybaeum, telling him of the presence of the enemy in Italy, Tiberius Sempronius recalled. and ordering him to abandon the original design of his expedition, and to make all haste home to reinforce the defences of the country. Tiberius at once collected the men of the fleet and sent them off, with orders to go home by sea; while he caused the Tribunes to administer an oath to the men of the legions that they would all appear at a fixed day at Ariminum by bedtime. Ariminum is a town on the Adriatic, situated at the southern boundary of the valley of the Padus. In every direction there was stir and excitement: and the news being a complete surprise to everybody, there was everywhere a great and irrepressible anxiety as to the future.

62. The two armies being now within a short distance of each other, Hannibal and Publius both thought Gallic prisoners. it necessary to address their men in terms suitable to the occasion.


The manner in which Hannibal tried to encourage his army was this. He mustered the men, and caused some youthful prisoners whom he had caught when they were attempting to hinder his march on the Alpine passes, to be brought forward. They had been subjected to great severities with this very object, loaded with heavy chains, half-starved, and their bodies a mass of bruises from scourging. Hannibal caused these men to be placed in the middle of the army, and some suits of Gallic armour, such as are worn by their kings when they fight in single combat, to be exhibited; in addition to these he placed there some horses, and brought in some valuable military cloaks. He then asked these young prisoners, which of them were willing to fight with each other on condition of the conqueror taking these prizes, and the vanquished escaping all his present miseries by death. Upon their all answering with a loud shout that they were desirous of fighting in these single combats, he bade them draw lots; and the pair, on whom the first lot fell, to put on the armour and fight with each other. As soon as the young men heard these orders, they lifted up their hands, and each prayed the gods that he might be one of those to draw the lot. And when the lots were drawn, those on whom they fell were overjoyed, and the others in despair. When the fight was finished, too, the surviving captives congratulated the one who had fallen no less than the victor, as having been freed from many terrible sufferings, while they themselves still remained to endure them. And in this feeling the Carthaginian soldiers were much disposed to join, all pitying the survivors and congratulating the fallen champion.

63. Having by this example made the impression he desired upon the minds of his troops, Hannibal’s speech. Hannibal then came forward himself and said, “that he had exhibited these captives in order that they might see in the person of others a vivid representation of what they had to expect themselves, and might so lay their plans all the better in view of the actual state of affairs. Fortune had summoned them to a life and death contest very like that of the two captives, and in which the prize of victory was the same. For they must either conquer, or die, or fall alive into222 the hands of their enemies; and the prize of victory would not be mere horses and military cloaks, but the most enviable position in the world if they became masters of the wealth of Rome: or if they fell in battle their reward would be to end their life fighting to their last breath for the noblest object, in the heat of the struggle, and with no sense of pain; while if they were beaten, or from desire of life were base enough to fly, or tried to prolong that life by any means except victory, every sort of misery and misfortune would be their lot: for it was impossible that any one of them could be so irrational or senseless, when he remembered the length of the journey he had performed from his native land, and the number of enemies that lay between him and it, and the size of the rivers he had crossed, as to cherish the hope of being able to reach his home by flight. They should therefore cast away such vain hopes, and regard their position as being exactly that of the combatants whom they had but now been watching. For, as in their case, all congratulated the dead as much as the victor, and commiserated the survivors; so they should think of the alternatives before themselves, and should, one and all, come upon the field of battle resolved, if possible, to conquer, and, if not, to die. Life with defeat was a hope that must by no means whatever be entertained. If they reasoned and resolved thus, victory and safety would certainly attend them: for it never happened that men who came to such a resolution, whether of deliberate purpose or from being driven to bay, were disappointed in their hope of beating their opponents in the field. And when it chanced, as was the case with the Romans, that the enemy had in most cases a hope of quite an opposite character, from the near neighbourhood of their native country making flight an obvious means of safety, then it was clear that the courage which came of despair would carry the day.”

When he saw that the example and the words he had spoken had gone home to the minds of the rank and file, and that the spirit and enthusiasm which he aimed at inspiring were created, he dismissed them for the present with commendations, and gave orders for an advance at daybreak on the next morning.


64. About the same day Publius Scipio, having now crossed the Padus, and being resolved to make Scipio crosses the Ticinus. a farther advance across the Ticinus, ordered those who were skilled in such works to construct a bridge across this latter river; and then summoned a meeting of the remainder of his army and addressed them: dwelling principally on the reputation of their country and of the ancestors’ achievements. But he referred particularly to their present position, saying, “that they ought to entertain no doubt of victory, though they had never as yet had any experience of the enemy; and should regard it as a piece of extravagant presumption of the Carthaginians to venture to face Romans, by whom they had been so often beaten, and to whom they had for so many years paid tribute and been all but slaves. And when in addition to this they at present knew thus much of their mettle,—that they dared not face them, what was the fair inference to be drawn for the future? Their cavalry, in a chance encounter on the Rhone with those of Rome, had, so far from coming off well, lost a large number of men, and had fled with disgrace to their own camp; and the general and his army, as soon as they knew of the approach of his legions, had beat a retreat, which was exceedingly like a flight, and, contrary to their original purpose, had in their terror taken the road over the Alps. And it was evident that Hannibal had destroyed the greater part of his army; and that what he had left was feeble and unfit for service, from the hardships they had undergone: in the same way he had lost the majority of his horses, and made the rest useless from the length and difficult nature of the journey. They had, therefore, only to show themselves to the enemy.” But, above all, he pointed out that “his own presence at their head ought to be special encouragement to them: for that he would not have left his fleet and Spanish campaign, on which he had been sent, and have come to them in such haste, if he had not seen on consideration that his doing so was necessary for his country’s safety, and that a certain victory was secured to him by it.”

The weight and influence of the speaker, as well as their belief in his words, roused great enthusiasm among the men; which Scipio acknowledged, and then dismissed them with the224 additional injunction that they should hold themselves in readiness to obey any order sent round to them.

65. Next day both generals led their troops along the river Padus, on the bank nearest the Alps, Skirmish of cavalry near the Ticinus, Nov. B.C. 219. the Romans having the stream on their left, the Carthaginians on their right; and having ascertained on the second day, by means of scouts, that they were near each other, they both halted and remained encamped for that day: but on the next, both taking their cavalry, and Publius his sharp-shooters also, they hurried across the plain to reconnoitre each other’s forces. As soon as they came within distance, and saw the dust rising from the side of their opponents, they drew up their lines for battle at once. Publius put his sharp-shooters and Gallic horsemen in front, and bringing the others into line, advanced at a slow pace. Hannibal placed his cavalry that rode with bridles, and was most to be depended on, in his front, and led them straight against the enemy; having put the Numidian cavalry on either wing to take the enemy on the flanks. The two generals and the cavalry were in such hot haste to engage, that they closed with each other before the sharp-shooters had an opportunity of discharging their javelines at all. Before they could do so, they left their ground, and retreated to the rear of their own cavalry, making their way between the squadrons, terrified at the approaching charge, and afraid of being trampled to death by the horses which were galloping down upon them. The cavalry charged each other front to front, and for a long time maintained an equal contest; and a great many men dismounting on the actual field, there was a mixed fight of horse and foot. The Numidian horse, however, having outflanked the Romans, charged them on the rear: and so the sharp-shooters, who had fled from the cavalry charge at the beginning, were now trampled to death by the numbers and furious onslaught of the Numidians; while the front ranks originally engaged with the Carthaginians, after losing many of their men and inflicting a still greater loss on the enemy, finding themselves charged on the rear by the Numidians, broke into flight: most of them scattering in every direction, while some of them kept closely massed round the Consul.


66. Publius then broke up his camp, and marched through the plains to the bridge over the Padus, in haste to get Scipio retires to Placentia on the right bank of the Po. his legions across before the enemy came up. He saw that the level country where he was then was favourable to the enemy with his superiority in cavalry. He was himself disabled by a wound;182 and he decided that it was necessary to shift his quarters to a place of safety. For a time Hannibal imagined that Scipio would give him battle with his infantry also: but when he saw that he had abandoned his camp, he went in pursuit of him as far as the bridge over the Ticinus; but finding that the Hannibal crosses the Po higher up and follows Scipio to Placentia. greater part of the timbers of this bridge had been torn away, while the men who guarded the bridge were left still on his side of the river, he took them prisoners to the number of about six hundred, and being informed that the main army was far on its way, he wheeled round and again ascended the Padus in search of a spot in it which admitted of being easily bridged. After two days’ march he halted and constructed a bridge over the river by means of boats. He committed the task of bringing over the army to Hasdrubal;183 while he himself crossed at once, and busied himself in receiving the ambassadors who arrived from the neighbouring districts. For no sooner had he gained the advantage in the cavalry engagement, than all the Celts in the vicinity hastened to fulfil their original engagement by avowing themselves his friends, supplying him with provisions, and joining the Carthaginian forces. After giving these men a cordial reception, and getting his own army across the Padus, he began to march back again down stream, with an earnest desire of giving the enemy battle. Publius, too, had crossed the river and was now encamped under the walls of the Roman colony Placentia. There he made no sign of any intention to move; for he was engaged in trying to heal his own wound and those of his men, and considered that he had a secure base of operations where he was. A two days’ march 226from the place where he had crossed the Padus brought Hannibal to the neighbourhood of the enemy; and on the third day he drew out his army for battle in full view of his opponents: but as no one came out to attack, he pitched his camp about fifty stades from them.

67. But the Celtic contingent of the Roman army, seeing that Hannibal’s prospects looked the brighter of the two, Treachery of the Gauls serving in the army of Scipio. concerted their plans for a fixed time, and waited in their several tents for the moment of carrying them out. When the men within the rampart of the camp had taken their supper and were gone to bed, the Celts let more than half the night pass, and just about the time of the morning watch armed themselves and fell upon the Romans who were quartered nearest to them; killed a considerable number, and wounded not a few; and, finally, cutting off the heads of the slain, departed with them to join the Carthaginians, to the number of two thousand infantry and nearly two hundred cavalry. They were received with great satisfaction by Hannibal; who, after addressing them encouragingly, and promising them all suitable rewards, sent them to their several cities, to declare to their compatriots what they had done, and to urge them to make alliance with him: for he knew that they would now all feel compelled to take part with him, when they learnt the treachery of which their fellow-countrymen had been guilty to the Romans. Just at the same time the Boii came in, and handed over to him the three Agrarian Commissioners, sent from Rome to divide the lands; whom, as I have already related, they had seized by a sudden act of treachery at the beginning of the war. Hannibal gratefully acknowledged their good intention, and made a formal alliance with those who came: but he handed them back their prisoners, bidding them keep them safe, in order to get back their own hostages from Rome, as they intended at first.

Publius regarded this treachery as of most serious importance; and feeling sure that the Celts in the Scipio changes his position at Placentia to one on the Trebia. neighbourhood had long been ill-disposed, and would, after this event, all incline to the Carthaginians, he made up his mind that some precaution for the future was necessary. The next night, therefore,227 just before the morning watch, he broke up his camp and marched for the river Trebia, and the high ground near it, feeling confidence in the protection which the strength of the position and the neighbourhood of his allies would give him.

68. When Hannibal was informed of Scipio’s change of quarters, he sent the Numidian horse in pursuit at once, Hannibal follows him. and the rest soon afterwards, following close behind with his main army. The Numidians, finding the Roman camp empty, stopped to set fire to it: which proved of great service to the Romans; for if they had pushed on and caught up the Roman baggage, a large number of the rear-guard would have certainly been killed by the cavalry in the open plains. But as it was, the greater part of them got across the River Trebia in time; while those who were after all too far in the rear to escape, were either killed or made prisoners by the Carthaginians.

Scipio, however, having crossed the Trebia occupied the first high ground; and having strengthened Scipio’s position on the slopes of Apennines, near the source of the Trebia. his camp with trench and palisade, waited the arrival of his colleague, Tiberius Sempronius, and his army; and was taking the greatest pains to cure his wound, because he was exceedingly anxious to take part in the coming engagement. Hannibal pitched his camp about forty stades from him. While the numerous Celts inhabiting the plains, excited by the good prospects of the Carthaginians, supplied his army with provisions in great abundance, and were eager to take their share with Hannibal in every military operation or battle.

When news of the cavalry engagement reached Rome, the disappointment of their confident expectations caused a feeling of consternation in the minds of the people. Not but that plenty of pretexts were found to prove to their own satisfaction that the affair was not a defeat. Some laid the blame on the Consul’s rashness, and others on the treacherous lukewarmness of the Celts, which they concluded from their recent revolt must have been shown by them on the field. But, after all, as the infantry was still unimpaired, they made up their minds that the general result was still as hopeful as ever. Accordingly, when Tiberius and his legions arrived at Rome, and228 marched through the city, they believed that his mere appearance at the seat of war would settle the matter.

His men met Tiberius at Ariminum, according to their oath, and he at once led them forward in all Tiberius Sempronius joins Scipio. haste to join Publius Scipio. The junction effected, and a camp pitched by the side of his colleague, he was naturally obliged to refresh his men after their forty days’ continuous march between Ariminum and Lilybaeum: but he went on with all preparations for a battle; and was continually in conference with Scipio, asking questions as to what had happened in the past, and discussing with him the measures to be taken in the present.

69. Meanwhile Hannibal got possession of Clastidium, by the treachery of a certain Brundisian, Fall of Clastidium. Hannibal’s policy towards the Italians. to whom it had been entrusted by the Romans. Having become master of the garrison and the stores of corn he used the latter for his present needs; but took the men whom he had captured with him, without doing them any harm, being desirous of showing by an example the policy he meant to pursue; that those whose present position towards Rome was merely the result of circumstances should not be terrified, and give up hope of being spared by him. The man who betrayed Clastidium to him he treated with extraordinary honour, by way of tempting all men in similar situations of authority to share the prospects of the Carthaginians. But afterwards, finding that certain Celts who lived in the fork of the Padus and the Trebia, while pretending to have made terms with him, were sending messages to the Romans at the same time, believing that they would thus secure themselves from being harmed by either side, he sent two thousand infantry with some Celtic and Numidian cavalry with orders to devastate their territory. This order being executed, and a great booty obtained, the Celts appeared at the Roman camp beseeching their aid. Tiberius had been all along looking out for an opportunity of striking a blow: A skirmish favourable to the Romans. and once seized on this pretext for sending out a party, consisting of the greater part of his cavalry; and a thousand sharp-shooters of his infantry along with them; who having speedily come up229 with the enemy on the other side of the Trebia, and engaged them in a sharp struggle for the possession of the booty, forced the Celts and Numidians to beat a retreat to their own camp. Those who were on duty in front of the Carthaginian camp quickly perceived what was going on, and brought some reserves to support the retreating cavalry; then the Romans in their turn were routed, and had to retreat to their camp. At this Tiberius sent out all his cavalry and sharp-shooters; whereupon the Celts again gave way, and sought the protection of their own camp. The Carthaginian general being unprepared for a general engagement, and thinking it a sound rule not to enter upon one on every casual opportunity, or except in accordance with a settled design, acted, it must be confessed, on this occasion with admirable generalship. He checked their flight when his men were near the camp, and forced them to halt and face about; but he sent out his aides and buglers to recall the rest, and prevented them from pursuing and engaging the enemy any more. So the Romans after a short halt went back, having killed a large number of the enemy, and lost very few themselves.

70. Excited and overjoyed at this success Tiberius was all eagerness for a general engagement. Now, it was in his power to administer the war for the present as he chose, Sempronius resolves to give battle. owing to the ill-health of Publius Scipio; yet wishing to have his colleague’s opinion in support of his own, he consulted him on this subject. Publius however took quite an opposite view of the situation. He thought his legions would be all the better for a winter under arms; and that the fidelity of the fickle Celts would never stand the test of want of success and enforced inactivity on the part of the Carthaginians: they would be certain, he thought, to turn against them once more. Besides, when he had recovered from his wound, he hoped to be able to do good service to his country himself. With these arguments he tried to dissuade Tiberius from his design. The latter felt that every one of these arguments were true and sound; but, urged on by ambition and a blind confidence in his fortune, he was eager to have the credit of the decisive action to himself, before Scipio should be able to be present230 at the battle, or the next Consuls arrive to take over the command; for the time for that to take place was now approaching. As therefore he selected the time for the engagement from personal considerations, rather than with a view to the actual circumstances of the case, he was bound to make a signal failure.

Hannibal took much the same view of the case as Scipio, and was therefore, unlike him, eager for a battle; because, in the first place, he wished to avail himself of the enthusiasm of the Celts before it had at all gone off: in the second place, he wished to engage the Roman legions while the soldiers in them were raw recruits without practice in war: and, in the third place, because he wished to fight the battle while Scipio was still unfit for service: but most of all because he wanted to be doing something and not to let the time slip by fruitlessly; for when a general leads his troops into a foreign country, and attempts what looks like a desperate undertaking, the one chance for him is to keep the hopes of his allies alive by continually striking some fresh blow.

Such were Hannibal’s feelings when he knew of the intended attack of Tiberius.

71. Now he had some time before remarked a certain piece of ground which was flat and treeless, Hannibal prepares an ambuscade. and yet well suited for an ambush, because there was a stream in it with a high overhanging bank thickly covered with thorns and brambles. Here he determined to entrap the enemy. The place was admirably adapted for putting them off their guard; because the Romans were always suspicious of woods, from the fact of the Celts invariably choosing such places for their ambuscades, but felt no fear at all of places that were level and without trees: not knowing that for the concealment and safety of an ambush such places are much better than woods; because the men can command from them a distant view of all that is going on: while nearly all places have sufficient cover to make concealment possible,—a stream with an overhanging bank, reeds, or ferns, or some sort of bramble-bushes,—which are good enough to hide not infantry only, but sometimes even cavalry, if the simple precaution is taken of laying conspicuous231 arms flat upon the ground and hiding helmets under shields. Hannibal had confided his idea to his brother Mago and to his council, who had all approved of the plan. Accordingly, when the army had supped, he summoned this young man to his tent, who was full of youthful enthusiasm, and had been trained from boyhood in the art of war, and put under his command a hundred cavalry and the same number of infantry. These men he had himself earlier in the day selected as the most powerful of the whole army, and had ordered to come to his tent after supper. Having addressed and inspired them with the spirit suitable to the occasion, he bade each of them select ten of the bravest men of their own company, and to come with them to a particular spot in the camp. The order having been obeyed, he despatched the whole party, numbering a thousand cavalry and as many infantry, with guides, to the place selected for the ambuscade; and gave his brother directions as to the time at which he was to make the attempt. At daybreak he himself mustered the Numidian cavalry, who were conspicuous for their powers of endurance; and after addressing them, and promising them rewards if they behaved with gallantry, he ordered them to ride up to the enemy’s lines, and then quickly cross the river, and by throwing showers of darts at them tempt them to come out: his object being to get at the enemy before they had had their breakfast, or made any preparations for the day. The other officers of the army also he summoned, and gave them similar instructions for the battle, ordering all their men to get breakfast and to see to their arms and horses.

72. As soon as Tiberius saw the Numidian horse approaching, he immediately sent out his cavalry by itself Battle of the Trebia, December B.C. 218. with orders to engage the enemy, and keep them in play, while he despatched after them six thousand foot armed with javelins, and got the rest of the army in motion, with the idea that their appearance would decide the affair: for his superiority in numbers, and his success in the cavalry skirmish of the day before, had filled him with confidence. But it was now mid-winter and the day was snowy and excessively cold, and men and horses were marching out almost entirely without having tasted food; and232 accordingly, though the troops were at first in high spirits, yet when they had crossed the Trebia, swollen by the floods which the rain of the previous night had brought down from the high ground above the camp, wading breast deep through the stream, they were in a wretched state from the cold and want of food as the day wore on. While the Carthaginians on the contrary had eaten and Hannibal’s forces. drunk in their tents, and got their horses ready, and were all anointing and arming themselves round the fires. Hannibal waited for the right moment to strike, and as soon as he saw that the Romans had crossed the Trebia, throwing out eight thousand spearmen and slingers to cover his advance, he led out his whole army. When he had advanced about eight stades from the camp, he drew up his infantry, consisting of about twenty thousand Iberians, Celts, and Libyans, in one long line, while he divided his cavalry and placed half on each wing, amounting in all to more than ten thousand, counting the Celtic allies; his elephants also he divided between the two wings, where they occupied the front rank. Meanwhile Tiberius The Roman forces. had recalled his cavalry because he saw that they could do nothing with the enemy. For the Numidians when attacked retreated without difficulty, scattering in every direction, and then faced about again and charged, which is the peculiar feature of their mode of warfare. But he drew up his infantry in the regular Roman order, consisting of sixteen thousand citizens and twenty thousand allies; for that is the complete number of a Roman army in an important campaign, when the two Consuls are compelled by circumstances to combine forces.184 He then placed the cavalry on either wing, numbering four thousand, and advanced against the enemy in gallant style, in regular order, and at a deliberate pace.

73. When the two forces came within distance, the light-armed troops in front of the two armies The Roman cavalry retreat. closed with each other. In this part of the battle the Romans were in many respects at a disadvantage, while the Carthaginians had everything in their favour. For the Roman spearmen had been on hard 233service ever since daybreak, and had expended most of their weapons in the engagement with the Numidians, while those weapons which were left had become useless from being long wet. Nor were the cavalry, or indeed the whole army, any better off in these respects. The case of the Carthaginians was exactly the reverse: they had come on the field perfectly sound and fresh, and were ready and eager for every service required of them. As soon, therefore, as their advanced guard had retired again within their lines, and the heavy-armed soldiers were engaged, the cavalry on the two wings of the Carthaginian army at once charged the enemy with all the effect of superiority in numbers, and in the condition both of men and horses secured by their freshness when they started. The Roman cavalry on the contrary retreated: and the flanks of the line being thus left unprotected, the Carthaginian spearmen and the main body of the Numidians, passing their own advanced guard, charged the Roman flanks: and, by the damage which they did them, prevented them from keeping up the fight with the troops on their front. The heavy-armed soldiers, however, who were in the front rank of both armies, and in the centre of that, maintained an obstinate and equal fight for a considerable time.

74. Just then the Numidians, who had been lying in ambush, left their hiding-place, Both Roman wings defeated.and by a sudden charge on the centre of the Roman rear produced great confusion and alarm throughout the army. Finally both the Roman wings, being hard pressed in front by the elephants, and on both flanks by the light-armed troops of the enemy, gave way, and in their flight were forced upon the river behind them. After this, while the centre of the Roman rear was losing heavily, and suffering severely from the attack of the Numidian ambuscade, their front, thus driven to bay, defeated the Celts and a division of Africans, and, after killing a large number of them, succeeded in cutting their way through the Carthaginian line. Then seeing that their wings had been forced off their ground, they gave up all hope of relieving them or getting back to their camp, partly because of the number of the enemy’s cavalry, and partly because they were hindered by the river and the234 pelting storm of rain which was pouring down upon their heads. They therefore closed their ranks, The Roman centre fights its way to Placentia. and made their way safely to Placentia, to the number of ten thousand. Of the rest of the army the greater number were killed by the elephants and cavalry on the bank of the Trebia; while those of the infantry who escaped, and the greater part of the cavalry, managed to rejoin the ten thousand mentioned above, and arrived with them at Placentia. Meanwhile the Carthaginian army pursued the enemy as far as the Trebia; but being prevented by the storm from going farther, returned to their camp. They regarded the result of the battle with great exultation, as a complete success; for the loss of the Iberians and Africans had been light, the heaviest having fallen on the Celts. But from the rain and the snow which followed it, they suffered so severely, that all the elephants except one died, and a large number of men and horses perished from the cold.

75. Fully aware of the nature of his disaster, but wishing to conceal its extent as well as he could from the people at home, Tiberius sent messengers to announce that a battle had taken place, but that the storm had deprived them of the victory. For the moment this news was believed at Rome; but when soon afterwards it became known that the Carthaginians were in possession of the Roman camp, and that all the Celts had joined them: while their own troops had abandoned their camp, and, after retiring from the field of battle, were all collected in the neighbouring cities; and were besides being supplied with necessary provisions by sea up the Padus, the Roman people became only too certain of what had really happened in the battle. Winter of B.C. 118-117. Great exertions at Rome to meet the danger. It was a most unexpected reverse, and it forced them at once to urge on with energy the remaining preparations for the war. They reinforced those positions which lay in the way of the enemy’s advance; sent legions to Sardinia and Sicily, as well as garrisons to Tarentum, and other places of strategical importance; and, moreover, fitted out a fleet of sixty quinqueremes. The Consuls designate, Gnaeus Servilius and Gaius Flaminius, were collecting the allies and enrolling the235 citizen legions, and sending supplies to Ariminum and Etruria, with a view of going to the seat of war by those two routes. They sent also to king Hiero asking for reinforcements, who sent them five hundred Cretan archers and a thousand peltasts. In fact they pushed on their preparations in every direction with energy. For the Roman people are most formidable, collectively and individually, when they have real reason for alarm.

76. While these events were happening in Italy, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio, who had been left by his Gnaeus Scipio in Spain. brother Publius in command of the fleet, setting sail from the mouth of the Rhone, came to land with his whole squadron at a place in Iberia called Emporium. Starting from this town, he made descents upon the coast, landing and besieging those who refused to submit to him along the seaboard as far as the Iber; and treating with every mark of kindness those who acceded to his demands, and taking all the precautions he could for their safety. When he had garrisoned those towns on the coast that submitted, he led his whole army inland, having by this time a not inconsiderable contingent of Iberian allies; and took possession of the towns on his line of march, some by negotiation and some by force of arms. The Carthaginian troops which Hannibal had left in that district under the command of Hanno, lay entrenched to resist him under the walls of a town called Cissa.

Defeating this army in a pitched battle, Gnaeus not only got possession of a rich booty, for the whole baggage of the army invading Italy had been left under its charge, but secured the friendly alliance of all the Iberian tribes north of the Iber, and took both Hanno, the general of the Carthaginians, and Andobales, the general of the Iberians, prisoners. The latter was despot of central Iberia, and had always been especially inclined to the side of Carthage.

Immediately he learnt what had happened, Hasdrubal crossed the Iber to bring aid. There he ascertained that the Roman troops left in charge of the fleet had abandoned all precautions, and were trading on the success of the land forces to pass their time in ease. He therefore took with him eight236 thousand infantry and one thousand cavalry of his own army, and finding the men of the fleet scattered about the country, he killed a great many of them and forced the rest to fly for refuge to their ships. He then retired across the Iber again, and employed himself in fortifying and garrisoning the posts south of the river, taking up his winter quarters at New Carthage. When Gnaeus rejoined his fleet, he punished the authors of the disaster according to the Roman custom; and then collected his land and sea forces together in Tarraco, and there took up his winter quarters; and by dividing the booty equally between his soldiers, inspired them at once with affection towards himself and eagerness for future service. Such was the course of the Iberian campaign.

77. At the beginning of the following spring, Gaius Flaminius marched his army through Etruria, B.C. 217.and pitched his camp at Arretium; while his colleague Gnaeus Servilius on the other hand went to Ariminum, to await the advance of the enemy in that direction.

Passing the winter in the Celtic territory, Hannibal kept his Roman prisoners in close confinement, Hannibal conciliates the Italians. supplying them very sparingly with food; while he treated their allies with great kindness from the first, and finally called them together and addressed them, alleging, “that he had not come to fight against them, but against Rome in their behalf; and that, therefore, if they were wise, they would attach themselves to him: because he had come to restore freedom to the Italians, and to assist them to recover their cities and territory which they had severally lost to Rome.” With these words he dismissed them without ransom to their own homes: wishing by this policy to attract the inhabitants of Italy to his cause, and to alienate their affections from Rome, and to awaken the resentment of all those who considered themselves to have suffered by the loss of harbours or cities under the Roman rule.

78. While he was in these winter quarters also he practised a ruse truly Punic. Being apprehensive that from the fickleness of their character, and the newness of the tie between himself and them, the Celts might lay plots against his life, he caused a number of wigs to be made for him, suited in237 appearance to men of various ages; and these he constantly varied, changing at the same time his clothes also to harmonise with the particular wig which he wore. He thus made it hard to recognise him, not only for those who met him suddenly, but even for his intimates. But seeing that the Celts were discontented at the lengthened continuance of the war within their borders, and were in a state of restless hurry to invade the enemy’s territory,—on the pretence of hatred for Rome, but in reality from love of booty,—he determined to break up his camp as soon as possible, and satisfy the desires of his army. Accordingly as soon as the change of season set in, by questioning those who were reputed to know the country best, he ascertained that the other roads leading into Etruria were long and well known to the enemy, but that the one which led through the marshes was short, and would bring them upon Flaminius as a surprise.185 This was what suited his peculiar genius, and he therefore decided to take this route. But when the report was spread in his army that the general was going to lead them through some marshes, every soldier felt alarmed at the idea of the quagmires and deep sloughs which they would find on this march.

79. But after a careful inquiry as to what part of the road was firm or boggy, Hannibal broke up his camp and marched out. Hannibal starts for Etruria. Spring of B.C. 217.He placed the Libyans and Iberians and all his best soldiers in the van, and the baggage within their lines, that there might be plenty of provisions for their immediate needs. Provisions for the future he entirely neglected. Because he calculated that on reaching the enemy’s territory, if he were beaten he should not require them, and if he were victorious he would find abundance in the open country. Behind this vanguard he placed the Celts, and in the rear of all the cavalry. He entrusted the command of the rear-guard to his brother Mago, that he might see to the security of all, and especially to guard against the cowardice and impatience of hard labour which characterised the Celts; in order that, if the 238difficulty of the route should induce them to turn back, he might intercept them by means of the cavalry and force them to proceed. In point of fact, the Iberians and Libyans, having great powers of endurance and being habituated to such fatigues, and also because when they marched through them the marshes186 were fresh and untrodden, accomplished their march with a moderate amount of distress: but the Celts advanced with great difficulty, because the marshes were now disturbed and trodden into a deep morass: and being quite unaccustomed to such painful labours, they bore the fatigue with anger and impatience; but were hindered from turning back by the cavalry in their rear. All however suffered grievously, especially from the impossibility of getting sleep on a continuous march of four days and three nights through a route which was under water: but none suffered so much, or lost so many men, as the Celts. Most of his beasts of burden also slipping in the mud fell and perished, and could then only do the men one service: they sat upon their dead bodies, and piling up baggage upon them so as to stand out above the water, they managed to get a snatch of sleep187 for a short portion of the night. Another misfortune was that a considerable number of the horses lost their hoofs by the prolonged march through bog. Hannibal himself was with difficulty and much suffering got across riding on the only elephant left alive, enduring great agony from a severe attack of ophthalmia, by which he eventually lost the sight of one eye, because the time and the difficulties of the situation did not admit of his waiting or applying any treatment to it.

80. Having crossed the marshes in this unexpected manner, Hannibal found Flaminius in Etruria encamped under the walls of Arretium. Hannibal in the valley of the Arno. For the present he pitched his camp close to the marshes, to refresh his army, and to investigate the plans of his enemies and the lie of the country in his front. And being informed that the country before him abounded in wealth, and that Flaminius 239was a mere mob-orator and demagogue, with no ability for the actual conduct of military affairs, and was moreover unreasonably confident in his resources; he calculated that, if he passed his camp and made a descent into the district beyond, partly for fear of popular reproach and partly from a personal feeling of irritation, Flaminius would be unable to endure to watch passively the devastation of the country, and would spontaneously follow him wherever he went; and being eager to secure the credit of a victory for himself, without waiting for the arrival of his colleague, would give him many opportunities for an attack.

81. And in making these calculations Hannibal showed his consummate prudence and strategical ability. Hannibal correctly judges the character of Flaminius. For it is mere blind ignorance to believe that there can be anything of more vital importance to a general than the knowledge of his opponent’s character and disposition. As in combats between individuals or ranks, he who would conquer must observe carefully how it is possible to attain his object, and what part of his enemy appears unguarded or insufficiently armed,—so must a commander of an army look out for the weak place, not in the body, but in the mind of the leader of the hostile force. For it has often happened before now that from mere idleness and lack of energy, men have let not only the welfare of the state, but even their private fortunes fall to ruin: some are so addicted to wine that they cannot sleep without bemusing their intellects with drink; and others so infatuated in their pursuit of sensual pleasures, that they have not only been the ruin of their cities and fortunes, but have forfeited life itself with disgrace. In the case of individuals, however, cowardice and sloth bring shame only on themselves; but when it is a commander-in-chief that is concerned, the disaster affects all alike and is of the most fatal consequence. It not only infects the men under him with an inactivity like his own; but it often brings absolute dangers of the most serious description upon those who trust such a general. For rashness, temerity, and uncalculating impetuosity, as well as foolish ambition and vanity, give an easy victory to the enemy. And are the source of numerous dangers to one’s friends: for a man who is the240 prey of such weaknesses falls the easiest victim to every stratagem, ambush or ruse. The general then who can gain a clear idea of his opponent’s weaknesses, and direct his attack on the point where he is most open to it, will very soon be the victor in the campaign. For as a ship, if you deprive it of its steerer, falls with all its crew into the hands of the enemy; so, in the case of an army in war, if you outwit or out-manœuvre its general, the whole will often fall into your hands.

82. Nor was Hannibal mistaken in his calculations in regard to Flaminius. For no sooner had he Flaminius is drawn out of camp. left the neighbourhood of Faesulae, and, advancing a short way beyond the Roman camp, made a raid upon the neighbouring country, than Flaminius became excited, and enraged at the idea that he was despised by the enemy: and as the devastation of the country went on, and he saw from the smoke that rose in every direction that the work of destruction was proceeding, he could not patiently endure the sight. Some of his officers advised that they should not follow the enemy at once nor engage him, but should act on the defensive, in view of his great superiority in cavalry; and especially that they should wait for the other Consul, and not give battle until the two armies were combined. But Flaminius, far from listening to their advice, was indignant at those who offered it; and bade them consider what the people at home would say at the country being laid waste almost up to the walls of Rome itself, while they remained encamped in Etruria on the enemy’s rear. Finally, with these words, he set his army in motion, without any settled plan of time or place; but bent only on falling in with the enemy, as though certain victory awaited him. For he had managed to inspire the people with such confident expectations, that the unarmed citizens who followed his camp in hope of booty, bringing chains and fetters and all such gear, were more numerous than the soldiers themselves.

Meanwhile Hannibal was advancing on his way to Rome through Etruria, keeping the city of Cortona and its hills on his left, and the Thrasymene lake on his right; and as he marched, he burned and wasted the country with a view of241 rousing the wrath of the enemy and tempting him to come out. And when he saw Flaminius get well within distance, and observed that the ground he then occupied was suited to his purpose, he bent his whole energies on preparing for a general engagement.

83. The route which he was following led through a low valley enclosed on both sides by long lines of lofty hills. The ambuscade at Lake Thrasymene.Of its two ends, that in front was blocked by an abrupt and inaccessible hill, and that on the rear by the lake, between which and the foot of the cliff there is only a very narrow defile leading into this valley. Making his way to the end of the valley along the bank of the lake, Hannibal posted himself with the Spanish and Libyan troops on the hill immediately in front of him as he marched, and pitched a camp on it; but sent his Balearic slingers and light-armed troops by a détour, and stationed them in extended order under the cover of the hills to the right of the valley; and by a similar détour placed the Gauls and cavalry under the cover of hills to the left, causing them also to extend their line so far as to cover the entrance of the defile running between the cliff and lake into the valley.188

Having made these preparations during the night, and having thus enclosed the valley with ambuscades, Hannibal remained quiet. In pursuit of him came Flaminius, in hot haste to close with the enemy. It was late in the evening before he pitched his camp on the border of the lake; and at daybreak next morning, just before the morning watch, he led his front maniples forward along the borders of the lake into the valley with a view of engaging the enemy.

84. The day was exceedingly misty: and as soon as the greater part of the Roman line was in the valley, The battle, 22d June. and the leading maniples were getting close to him, Hannibal gave the signal for attack; and at the same time 242sent orders to the troops lying in ambush on the hills to do the same, and thus delivered an assault upon the enemy at every point at once. Flaminius was taken completely by surprise: the mist was so thick, and the enemy were charging down from the upper ground at so many points at once, that not only were the Centurions and Tribunes unable to relieve any part of the line that was in difficulties, but were not even able to get any clear idea of what was going on: for they were attacked simultaneously on front, rear, and both flanks. The result was that most of them were cut down in the order of march, without being able to defend themselves: exactly as though they had been actually given up to slaughter by the folly of their leader. Flaminius himself, in a state of the utmost distress and despair, was attacked and killed by a company of Celts. As many as fifteen thousand Romans fell in the valley, who could neither yield nor defend themselves, being habituated to regard it as their supreme duty not to fly or quit their ranks. But those who were caught in the defile between the lake and the cliff perished in a shameful, or rather a most miserable, manner: for being thrust into the lake, some in their frantic terror endeavoured to swim with their armour on, and presently sank and were drowned; while the greater number, wading as far as they could into the lake, remained there with their heads above water; and when the cavalry rode in after them, and certain death stared them in the face, they raised their hands and begged for quarter, offering to surrender, and using every imaginary appeal for mercy; but were finally despatched by the enemy, or, in some cases, begged the favour of the fatal blow from their friends, or inflicted it on themselves. A number of men, however, amounting perhaps to six thousand, who were in the valley, defeated the enemy immediately in front of them; but though they might have done much to retrieve the fortune of the day, they were unable to go to the relief of their comrades, or get to the rear of their opponents, because they could not see what was going on. They accordingly243 pushed on continually to the front, always expecting to find themselves engaged with some of the enemy: until they discovered that, without noticing it, they were issuing upon the higher ground. But when they were on the crest of the hills, the mist broke and they saw clearly the disaster which had befallen them; and being no longer able to do any good, since the enemy was victorious all along the line, and in complete possession of the ground, they closed their ranks and made for a certain Etrurian village. After the battle Maharbal was sent by Hannibal with the Iberians and light-armed troops to besiege the village; and seeing themselves surrounded by a complication of dangers, they laid down their arms and surrendered on condition of their lives being spared. Such was the end of the final engagement between the Romans and Carthaginians in Etruria.

85. When the prisoners who had surrendered on terms were with the other prisoners brought to Hannibal, Hannibal’s treatment of prisoners. he had them all collected together to the number of more than fifteen thousand, and began by saying that Maharbal had no authority to grant them their lives without consulting him. He then launched out into an invective against Rome: and when he had finished that, he distributed all the prisoners who were Romans among the companies of his army to be held in safe keeping; but allowed all the allies to depart without ransom to their own country, with the same remark as he had made before, that “he was not come to fight against Italians, but in behalf of Italians against Rome.” He then gave his army time to refresh themselves after their fatigue, and buried those of highest rank who had fallen in his army, amounting to about thirty; the total number of his loss being fifteen hundred, most of whom were Celts. He then began considering, in conjunction with his brother and friends, where and how he should continue his attack, for he now felt confident of ultimate success.

When the news of this disaster reached Rome, the chief men of the state could not, Dismay at Rome.in view of the gravity of the blow, conceal its extent or soften it down, but were forced to assemble the people and tell them the truth. When the Praetor, therefore,244 from the Rostra said, “We have been beaten in a great battle,” there was such a consternation, that those who had been present at the battle as well as at this meeting, felt the disaster to be graver than when they were on the field of battle itself. And this feeling of the people was not to be wondered at. For many years they had been unaccustomed to the word or the fact of defeat, and they could not now endure reverse with patience or dignity. The Senate, however, rose to the occasion, and held protracted debates and consultations as to the future, anxiously considering what it was the duty of all classes to do, and how they were to do it.

86. About the same time as the battle of Thrasymene, the Consul Gnaeus Servilius, Servilius’s advanced guard cut to pieces.who had been stationed on duty at Ariminum,—which is on the coast of the Adriatic, where the plains of Cis-Alpine Gaul join the rest of Italy, not far from the mouths of the Padus,—having heard that Hannibal had entered Etruria and was encamped near Flaminius, designed to join the latter with his whole army. But finding himself hampered by the difficulty of transporting so heavy a force, he sent Gaius Centenius forward in haste with four thousand horse, intending that he should be there before himself in case of need. But Hannibal, getting early intelligence after the battle of Thrasymene of this reinforcement of the enemy, sent Maharbal with his light-armed troops, and a detachment of cavalry, who falling in with Gaius, killed nearly half his men at the first encounter; and having pursued the remainder to a certain hill, on the very next day took them all prisoners. The news of the battle of Thrasymene was three days’ old at Rome, and the sorrow caused by it was, so to speak, at its hottest, when this further disaster was announced. The consternation caused by it was no longer confined to the people. The Senate now fully shared in it; and it was resolved that the usual annual arrangements for the election of magistrates should be suspended, and a more radical remedy be sought for the present dangers; for they came to the conclusion that their affairs were in such a state, as to require a commander with absolute powers.

Feeling now entirely confident of success, Hannibal rejected245 the idea of approaching Rome for the present; but traversed the country plundering it without resistance, Hannibal’s advance after the battle.and directing his march towards the coast of the Adriatic. Having passed through Umbria and Picenum, he came upon the coast after a ten days’ march with such enormous booty, that the army could neither drive nor carry all the wealth which they had taken, and after killing a large number of people on his road. For the order was given, usual in the storming of cities, to kill all adults who came in their way: an order which Hannibal was prompted to give now by his deep-seated hatred of Rome.189

87. Pitching his camp on the shore of the Adriatic, in a district extraordinarily rich in every kind of produce, he took great pains to refresh his men and restore their health, and no less so that of the horses. For the cold and squalor of a winter spent in Gallia Cis-Alpina without the protection of a roof, and then the painful march through the marshes, had brought upon most of the horses, and the men as well, an attack of scurvy and all its consequences. Having therefore now got possession of a rich country, he got his horses into condition again, and restored the bodies and spirits of his soldiers; and made the Libyans change their own for Roman arms selected for the purpose, which he could easily do from being possessed of so many sets stripped from the bodies of the enemy. He now sent messengers, too, to Carthage by sea, to report what had taken place, for this was the first time he had reached the sea since he entered Italy. The Carthaginians were greatly rejoiced at the news: and took measures with enthusiasm for forwarding supplies to their armies, both in Iberia and Italy.

Meanwhile the Romans had appointed Quintus Fabius Dictator,190 a man distinguished no less for his wisdom than his246 high birth; as is still commemorated by the fact that the members of his family are even now called Maximi, Q. Fabius Maximus Dictator. that is “Greatest,” in honour of his successful achievements. A Dictator differs from the Consuls in this, that each Consul is followed by twelve lictors, the Dictator by twenty-four. Again, the Consuls have frequently to refer to the Senate to enable them to carry out their proposed plans, but the Dictator is absolute, and when he is appointed all other magistrates in Rome are at once deprived of power, except the Tribunes of the People.191 I shall, however, take another opportunity of speaking in more detail about these officers. With the Dictator they appointed Marcus Minucius master of the horse; this is an officer under the Dictator, and takes his place when engaged elsewhere.

88. Though Hannibal shifted his quarters from time to time for short distances in one direction or another, he remained in the neighbourhood of the Adriatic; and by bathing his horses with old wine, of which he had a great store, cured them of the scab and got them into condition again. By a similar treatment he cured his men of their wounds, and got the others into a sound state of health and spirits for the service before them. After traversing with fire and sword the territories of Praetutia,192 Hadriana, Marrucina, and Frentana, he started on his road to Iapygia. This district is divided among three peoples, each with a district name, Daunii, Peucetii, and Messapii. Hannibal first invaded the territory of the Daunii, beginning from Luceria, a Roman colony, and laid the country waste. He next encamped near Vibo, and overran the territory of Arpi, and plundered all Daunia without resistance.

Meanwhile Fabius, after offering the usual sacrifice to the gods upon his appointment, started with his Fabius takes the command. master of the horse and four legions which had been enrolled for the purpose; and having effected a junction near Daunia with the troops that 247had come to the rescue from Ariminum, he relieved Gnaeus of his command on shore and sent him with an escort to Rome, with orders to be ready with help for any emergency, in case the Carthaginians made any movement by sea. Fabius himself, with his master of the horse, took over the command of the whole army and pitched his camp opposite the Carthaginians, near a place called Aecae,193 about six miles from the enemy.

89. When Hannibal learnt that Fabius had arrived, he determined to terrify the enemy by promptly attacking. Cunctator.He therefore led out his army, approached the Roman camp, and there drew up his men in order of battle; but when he had waited some time, and nobody came out to attack him, he drew off and retired to his own camp. For Fabius, having made up his mind to incur no danger and not to risk a battle, but to make the safety of his men his first and greatest object, kept resolutely to this purpose. At first he was despised for it, and gave rise to scandalous insinuations that he was an utter coward and dared not face an engagement: but in course of time he compelled everybody to confess and allow that it was impossible for any one to have acted, in the existing circumstances, with greater discretion and prudence. And it was not long before facts testified to the wisdom of his policy. Nor was it wonderful that it was so. For the forces of his opponents had been trained from their earliest youth without intermission in war; had a general who had grown up with them and from childhood had been instructed in the arts of the camp; had won many battles in Iberia, and twice running had beaten the Romans and their allies: and, what was more than all, had thoroughly made up their minds that their one hope of safety was in victory. In every respect the circumstances of the Roman army were the exact opposite of these; and therefore, their manifest inferiority making it impossible for Fabius to offer the enemy battle, he fell back upon those resources in which the Romans had the advantage of the enemy; clung to them; and conducted the war by their means: and they were—an inexhaustible supply of provisions and of men.


90. He, then, during the following months, kept his army continually hovering in the neighbourhood of the enemy, his superior knowledge of the country enabling him to occupy beforehand all the posts of vantage; and having supplies in abundance on his rear, he never allowed his soldiers to go on foraging expeditions, or get separated, on any pretence, from the camp; but keeping them continually massed together and in close union, he watched for favourable opportunities of time and place; and by this method of proceeding captured and killed a large number of the enemy, who in their contempt of him straggled from their camp in search of plunder. His object in these manœuvres was twofold,—to gradually diminish the limited numbers of the enemy: and to strengthen and renew by such successes in detail the spirits of his own men, which had been depressed, to begin with, by the general defeat of their armies. But nothing would induce him to agree to give his enemy a set battle. Minucius discontented. This policy however was by no means approved of by his master of the horse, Marcus. He joined in the general verdict, and decried Fabius in every one’s hearing, as conducting his command in a cowardly and unenterprising spirit; and was himself eager to venture upon a decisive engagement.

Meanwhile the Carthaginians, after wasting these districts, crossed the Apennines; and descending upon Samnium, Hannibal in Samnium and Apulia. which was rich and had been free from war for many years past, found themselves in possession of such an abundance of provisions, that they could get rid of them neither by use nor waste. They overran also the territory of Beneventum, which was a Roman colony; and took the town of Venusia, which was unwalled and richly furnished with every kind of property. All this time the Romans were following on his rear, keeping one or two days’ march behind him, but never venturing to approach or engage the enemy. Accordingly, when Hannibal saw that Fabius plainly meant to decline a battle, but yet would not abandon the country altogether, he formed the bold resolution of penetrating to the plains round Capua; and actually did so as far as Falernum, convinced that thereby he should do one of two things,—force the enemy to give him battle, or249 make it evident to all that the victory was his, and that the Romans had abandoned the country to him. This he hoped would strike terror into the various cities, and cause them to be eager to revolt from Rome. For up to that time, though the Romans had been beaten in two battles, not a single city in Italy had revolted to the Carthaginians; but all maintained their fidelity, although some of them were suffering severely;—a fact which may show us the awe and respect which the Republic had inspired in its allies.

91. Hannibal, however, had not adopted this plan without good reason. For the plains about Capua are the best in Italy for fertility and beauty and proximity to the sea, and for the commercial harbours, into which merchants run who are sailing to Italy from nearly all parts of the world. They contain, moreover, the most famous and beautiful cities of Italy. On its seaboard are Sinuessa, Cumae, Puteoli, Naples, and Nuceria; and inland to the north there are Cales and Teanum, to the east and south [Caudium194] and Nola. In the centre of these plains lies the richest of all the cities, that of Capua. No tale in all mythology wears a greater appearance of probability than that which is told of these, which, like others remarkable for their beauty, are called the Phlegraean plains; for surely none are more likely for beauty and fertility to have been contended for by gods. In addition to these advantages, they are strongly protected by nature and difficult of approach; for one side is protected by the sea, and the rest by a long and high chain of mountains, through which there are but three passes from the interior, narrow and difficult, one from Samnium [a second from Latium195] and a third from Hirpini. So that if the Carthaginians succeeded in fixing their quarters in these plains, they would have the advantage of a kind of theatre, in which to display the terrors of their power before the gaze of all Italy; and would make a spectacle also of the cowardice of their enemies in shrinking from giving them battle, while they themselves would be proved beyond dispute to be masters of the country.


92. With this view Hannibal crossed from Samnium by the pass of the hill called Eribianus,196 and encamped on the bank of the river Vulturnus, Hannibal descends into the Falernian plain. which almost divides these plains in half. His camp was on the side of the river towards Rome, but he overran the whole plain with foraging parties. Though utterly aghast at the audacity of the enemy’s proceedings, Fabius stuck all the more firmly to the policy upon which he had determined. But his colleague Minucius, and all the centurions and tribunes of the army, thinking that they had caught the enemy in an excellent trap, were of opinion that they should make all haste into the plains, and not allow the most splendid part of the country to be devastated. Until they reached the spot, Fabius hurried on, and feigned to share their eager and adventurous spirit; and, when he was near the ager Falernus, he showed himself on the mountain skirts and kept in a line with the enemy, that he might not be thought by the allies to abandon the country: but he would not let his army descend into the plain, being still unwilling to risk a general engagement, partly for the same reasons as before, and partly because the enemy were conspicuously superior in cavalry.

After trying to provoke his enemies, and collecting an unlimited amount of booty by laying waste the whole plain, Fabius lies in wait.Hannibal began taking measures for removing: wishing not to waste his booty, but to stow it in some safe place, which he might also make his winter quarters; that the army might not only be well off for the present, but might have abundant supplies all through the winter. Fabius, learning that he meditated returning the same way as he came, and seeing that the pass was a narrow one, and extremely well suited for an attack by ambush, placed about four thousand men at the exact spot that he would have to pass; while he, with the main body of his troops, encamped on a hill which commanded the entrance of the pass.

93. Fabius hoped when the Carthaginians came thither, and encamped on the plain immediately under the foot of the hill, that he would be able to snatch away their251 plunder without any risk to himself; and, most of all, might even put an end to the whole war by means of Hannibal eludes him. the excellent situation for an attack in which he now was. He was accordingly wholly intent on forming plans for this purpose, anxiously considering in what direction and in what manner he should avail himself of the advantages of the ground, and which of his men were to be the first to attack the enemy. Whilst his enemies were making these preparations for the next day, Hannibal, guessing the truth, took care to give them no time or leisure for executing their design; but summoning Hasdrubal, the captain of his pioneers, ordered him, with all speed, to make as many fagots of dry wood of all sorts as possible, and selecting two thousand of the strongest of the working oxen from the booty, to collect them outside the camp. When this was done, he summoned the pioneers, and pointed out to them a certain ridge lying between the camp and the gorge by which he meant to march. To this ridge they were to drive the oxen, when the order was given, as actively and energetically as they could, until they came to the top. Having given these instructions, he bade them take their supper and go to rest betimes. Towards the end of the third watch of the night he led the pioneers out of the camp, and ordered them to tie the fagots to the horns of the oxen. The men being numerous, this did not take long to do; and he then ordered them to set the fagots all alight, and to drive the oxen off and force them to mount the ridge; and placing his light-armed troops behind them he ordered them to assist the drivers up to a certain distance: but, as soon as the beasts had got well started, to take open order and pass them at the double, and, with as much noise as possible, make for the top of the ridge; that, if they found any of the enemy there, they might close with and attack them at once. At the same time he himself led the main army towards the narrow gorge of the pass,—his heavy-armed men in front, next to them the cavalry, then the booty, and the Iberians and Celts bringing up the rear.

94. The Romans who were guarding the gorge, no sooner saw these fiery fagots advancing to the heights, than, quitting the narrow part of the pass, they made for the ridge to meet the252 enemy. But when they got near the oxen, they were puzzled by the lights, imagining them to be something more dangerous than they really were; and when the Carthaginian light-armed troops came on to the ground, after some slight skirmishing between the two parties, upon the oxen rushing in among them, they separated and took up their positions on different heights and waited for daybreak, not being able to comprehend what was taking place.

Partly because he was at a loss to understand what was happening, and, in the words of the poet, Hannibal gets through the pass. Autumn, B.C. 217.“some deep design suspecting;”197 and partly that, in accordance with his original plan, he was determined not to risk a general engagement, Fabius remained quietly within his camp: while Hannibal, finding everything going as he designed, led his army and booty in safety through the gorge, the men who had been set to guard the narrow road having abandoned their post. At daybreak, seeing the two troops fronting each other on the heights, he sent some Iberian companies to the light-armed troops, who engaged the Romans, and, killing a thousand of them, easily relieved his own light-armed troops and brought them down to the main body.

Having thus effected his departure from the Falernian plain, Hannibal thenceforth busied himself in looking out for a place in which to winter, and in making the necessary preparations, after having inspired the utmost alarm and uncertainty in the cities and inhabitants of Italy. Fabius goes to Rome, leaving the command to M. Minucius.Though Fabius meanwhile was in great disrepute among the common people, for having let his enemy escape from such a trap, he nevertheless refused to abandon his policy; and being shortly afterwards obliged to go to Rome to perform certain sacrifices, he handed over the command of his legions to his master of the horse, with many parting injunctions, not to be so anxious to inflict a blow upon the enemy, as to avoid receiving one himself. Marcus, however, paid no heed to the advice, and, even while Fabius was speaking, had wholly resolved to risk a general engagement.

95. While these things were going on in Italy, Hasdrubal,253 who was in command in Iberia, having during the winter repaired the thirty ships left him by his brother, Spain, B.C. 217. and manned ten additional ones, got a fleet of forty decked vessels to sea, at the beginning of the summer, from New Carthage, under the command of Hamilcar; and at the same time collected his land forces, and led them out of their winter quarters. The fleet coasted up the country, and the troops marched along the shore towards the Iber. Suspecting their design, Gnaeus Scipio was for issuing from his winter quarters and meeting them both by land and sea. But hearing of the number of their troops, and the great scale on which their preparations had been made, he gave up the idea of meeting them by land; and manning thirty-five ships, and taking on board the best men he could get from his land forces to serve as marines, he put to sea, and arrived on the second day near the mouth of the Iber. Here he came to anchor, at a distance of about ten miles from the enemy, and sent two swift-sailing Massilian vessels to reconnoitre. For the sailors of Marseilles were the first in every service of difficulty and danger, and ready at the shortest notice to do whatever was required of them; and, in fact, Marseilles has distinguished itself above all other places, before and since, in fidelity to Rome, and never more so than in the Hannibalian war. The ships sent to reconnoitre having reported that the enemy’s fleet was lying off the mouth of the Iber, Scipio put to sea with all speed, wishing to surprise them.

96. But being informed in good time by his look-out men that the enemy were bearing down upon him, Roman success at sea.Hasdrubal drew up his troops on the beach, and ordered his crews to go on board; and, when the Romans hove in sight, gave the signal for the attack, determined to fight the enemy at sea. But, after engaging, the Carthaginians made but a short struggle for victory, and very soon gave way. For the support of the troops on the beach did less service in encouraging them to attack, than harm in offering them a safe place of retreat. Accordingly, after losing two ships with their crews, and the oars and marines of four others, they gave way and made for the land; and when the Romans pressed on with spirit in pursuit,254 they ran their ships ashore, and leaping from the vessels fled for refuge to the troops. The Romans came boldly close to land, towed off such of the vessels as could be got afloat, and sailed away in great exultation at having beaten the enemy at the first blow, secured the mastery of the sea, and taken twenty-five of the enemy’s ships.

In Iberia therefore, after this victory, the Roman prospects had begun to brighten. But when news of this reverse arrived at Carthage, the Carthaginians at once despatched a fleet of seventy ships, judging it to be essential to their whole design that they should command the sea. These ships touched first at Sardinia and then at Pisae in Italy, the commanders believing that they should find Hannibal there. But the Romans at once put to sea to attack them from Rome itself, with a fleet of a hundred and twenty quinqueremes; and hearing of this expedition against them, the Carthaginians sailed back to Sardinia, and thence returned to Carthage. Gnaeus Servilius, who was in command of this Roman fleet, followed the Carthaginians for a certain distance, believing that he should fall in with them; but, finding that he was far behind, he gave up the attempt. He first put in at Lilybaeum, and afterwards sailed to the Libyan island of Cercina; and after receiving a sum of money from the inhabitants on condition of not laying waste the country, he departed. On his return voyage he took the island of Cossyrus, and having put a garrison into its small capital, returned to Lilybaeum. There he placed the fleet, and shortly afterwards went off himself to join the land army.

97. When the Senate heard of Gnaeus Scipio’s naval success, believing it to be advantageous or rather essential not to relax their hold on Iberia, Publius Scipio, whose imperium is prolonged after his Consulship of the previous year, with Spain assigned as his province, is sent to join his brother there with 20 ships: early in B.C. 217. but to press on the war there against Carthage with redoubled vigour, they prepared a fleet of twenty ships, and put them under the command of Publius Scipio; and in accordance with arrangements already made, despatched him with all speed to join his brother Gnaeus, and carry on the Iberian campaign in conjunction with him. Their great anxiety was lest the Carthaginians should get the upper hand in Iberia, and thus possessing255 themselves of abundant supplies and recruits, should get a more complete mastery of the sea, and assist the invasion of Italy, by sending troops and money to Hannibal. Regarding therefore the Iberian war as of the utmost importance, they sent these ships and Publius Scipio to that country; who, when he arrived in Iberia, effected a junction with his brother and did most substantial service to the State. For up to that time the Romans had not ventured to cross the Iber; but had thought themselves fortunate if they could secure the friendship and allies of the tribes up to that river. They now however did cross it, and for the first time had the courage to attempt a movement on the other side: their designs being greatly favoured also by an accidental circumstance.

When the two brothers, after overawing the Iberian tribes that lived near the passage of the Iber, had arrived before the city of Saguntum, they pitched their camp about forty stades from it, near the temple of Aphrodite, selecting the position as offering at once security from the attacks of the enemy, and a means of getting supplies by sea: for their fleet was coasting down parallel with them.

98. Here an event occurred which produced a decisive change in their favour. When Hannibal was about to start for Italy, Treason of Abilyx. from the Iberian towns whose loyalty he suspected he took the sons of their leading men as hostages, and placed them all in Saguntum, because of the strength of that town and his confidence in the fidelity of those who were left in charge of it. Now there was a certain Iberian there named Abilyx, who enjoyed the highest character and reputation with his countrymen, and was believed to be especially well disposed and loyal to the Carthaginians. Seeing how affairs were going, and believing that the fortune of the Romans was in the ascendant, he formed in his own mind a scheme, worthy of an Iberian and barbarian, for giving up the hostages. Convinced that he might obtain a high place in the favour of Rome, if he gave a proof of his fidelity at a critical moment, he made up his mind to turn traitor to Carthage and put the hostages in the hands of the Romans. He began his machinations by addressing himself to Bostar, the Carthaginian general who had256 been despatched by Hasdrubal to prevent the Romans from crossing the river, but, not venturing to do this, had retreated, and was now encamped in the region of Saguntum next the sea. To this man, who was of a guileless and gentle character, and quite disposed to trust him, Abilyx now introduced the subject of the hostages. He argued that “the Romans having now crossed the Iber, the Carthaginians could no longer hold Iberia by terror, but stood now in need of the good feeling of their subjects: seeing then that the Romans had actually approached Saguntum and were besieging it, and that the city was in danger,—if he were to take the hostages and restore them to their parents and cities, he would not only frustrate the ambitious scheme of the Romans, who wished above all things by getting possession of the hostages to have the credit of doing this; but would also rouse a feeling of goodwill towards Carthage in all the cities, for having taken thought for the future and provided for the safety of the hostages. He would, too, much enhance the favour by personally managing this business: for if he restored these boys to their homes, he would provoke the gratitude, not only of their parents, but of the people at large also, by giving a striking instance of the magnanimous policy of Carthage towards her allies. He might even expect large rewards for himself from the families that recovered their children; for all those, who thus unexpectedly got into their hands the dearest objects of their affection, would vie with each other in heaping favours on the author of such a service.” By these and similar arguments he persuaded Bostar to fall in with his proposals.

99. Abilyx then went away, after arranging a fixed day on which he would appear with everything necessary for conveying the boys. At night he made his way to the Roman lines, and, having fallen in with some Iberians serving in the Roman army, was by them conducted to the generals; to whom he discoursed at great length on the revulsion of feeling of the Iberians in their favour, which would be caused if they got possession of the hostages: and finally offered to put the boys in their hands. Publius Scipio received the proposal with extreme eagerness: and, promising him large rewards, he agreed with him on a day, hour, and place at which a party257 were to be waiting to receive him. After returning home, Abilyx next went with a band of chosen friends to Bostar; and, after receiving the boys, left the camp at night, as though he wished not to be seen by the Roman camp as he passed it, and came at the appointed time to the place arranged, and there handed over all the boys to the Roman officers. Publius treated Abilyx with special honour, and employed him in restoring the boys to their native cities, along with certain of his own friends. He accordingly went from city to city, giving them a visible proof by the restoration of the boys of the Roman mildness and magnanimity, in contrast to the Carthaginian suspiciousness and harshness; and bidding them also observe that he had found it necessary to change sides, he induced many Iberians to join the Roman alliance. Bostar was thought, in thus surrendering the hostages to the enemy, to have behaved more like a child than became a man of his age, and was in serious danger of his life. For the present, however, as it was getting late in the season, both sides began dispersing into winter quarters; the Romans having made an important step towards success in the matter of the boys.

100. Such was the position of affairs in Iberia. To return to Hannibal, whom we left having just effected the passage from the Falernian plain. Hannibal takes Geronium. Hearing from his scouts that there was abundance of corn in the district round Luceria and Geronium, and that Geronium was an excellent place to store it in, he determined to make his winter quarters there; and accordingly marched thither by way of Mount Liburnum. And having come to Geronium, which is about two hundred stades from Luceria, he first endeavoured to win over the inhabitants by promises, offering them pledges of his good faith; but when no one would listen to him, he determined to lay siege to the town. Having taken it without much delay, he put the inhabitants to the sword; but preserved most of the houses and walls, because he wished to use them as granaries for his winter camp: and having encamped his army in front of it, he fortified his position with trench and palisade. Having finished these labours, he sent out two-thirds of the army to collect corn, with orders to bring home every day, each division for the use of its258 own men, as much as the regular heads of this department would usually supply: while with the remaining third of his army he kept watch over his camp, and occupied certain places with a view of protecting the foraging parties in case they were attacked. The district being mostly very accessible and flat, and the harvesting party being almost innumerable, and the season moreover being at the very best stage for such operations, the amount of corn collected every day was very great.

101. When Minucius took over the command from Fabius, he at first kept along the line of hills, Minucius obtains a slight success. Autumn B.C. 217.feeling certain that he would sooner or later fall in with the Carthaginians; but when he heard that Hannibal had already taken Geronium, and was collecting the corn of the country, and had pitched his camp in front of the town, he changed the direction of his march, and descended from the top of the hills by way of a ridge leading down into the plains. Arriving at the height which lies in the territory of Larinum, and is called Calena, he encamped round its foot, being eager on any terms whatever to engage the enemy. When Hannibal saw the enemy approaching, he sent a third of his army foraging for corn, but took the other two-thirds with him, and, advancing sixteen stades from Geronium towards the enemy, pitched a camp upon a piece of rising ground, with a view at once of overawing his opponents, and affording safety to his foraging parties: and there being another elevation between him and the two armies, which was near, and conveniently placed for an attack upon the enemy’s lines, he sent out about two thousand light-armed troops in the night and seized it. At daybreak when Minucius saw these men, he took his own light-armed troops and assaulted the hill. After a gallant skirmish the Romans prevailed; and subsequently their whole camp was transferred to this place. For a certain time Hannibal kept his men for the most part within their lines, because the camps were so close to each other; but, after the lapse of some days, he was obliged to divide them into two parties, one for pasturing the animals, and one for gathering corn: being very anxious to carry out his design of avoiding the destruction of his booty, and of collecting as much corn as possible, that his men might have abundant259 food during the winter, and his horses and beasts of burden as much so; for the chief hope of his army rested on his cavalry.

102. It was then that Minucius, seeing the great part of the enemy scattered about the country on these services, Carthaginian foragers cut off. selected the exact hour of the day when they would be away to lead out his army. Having come close to the Carthaginian lines he drew out his heavy-armed troops there; and then, dividing his cavalry and light-armed into detachments, sent them in search of the foragers, ordering them to give no quarter. This put Hannibal into a great difficulty: for he was not strong enough to accept battle with the enemy drawn up outside his lines, or to relieve those of his men who were scattered about the country. The Romans meanwhile who had been sent to take the foragers found a great number of them scattered about, and killed them; while the troops drawn up in front of the camp grew so contemptuous of the enemy, that they even began to pull down their palisade, and all but assaulted the Carthaginians. Hannibal was in a very dangerous position: but in spite of the storm that had suddenly fallen on him, he held his ground, repulsing the enemy when they approached and defending, though with difficulty, the rampart; until Hasdrubal came to his relief with about four thousand of the foraging parties, who had fled for refuge from the country and collected within the lines near Geronium. This encouraged Hannibal to make a sally: and having got into order of battle a short distance from the camp, he just managed with difficulty to avert the threatened danger. After killing large numbers of the enemy in the struggle at the camp, and still more in the open country, Minucius for the present retired, but with great hopes for the future; and on the morrow, the Carthaginians having abandoned their lines on the hill, he went up and occupied their position. For Hannibal being alarmed lest the Romans should go by night and find the camp at Geronium undefended, and become masters of his baggage and stores, determined to retire thither himself and again fix his quarters there. After this the Carthaginians were more timid and cautious in their manner of foraging; while the260 Romans on the other hand acted with greater boldness and recklessness.

103. An exaggerated account of this success reached Rome, and caused excessive exultation: first, Minucius invested with co-equal powers with Fabius.because in their gloomy prospects some sort of change for the better had at last shown itself; and, secondly, because the people could now believe that the ill success and want of nerve, which had hitherto attended the legions, had not arisen from the cowardice of the men, but the timidity of their leader. Wherefore everybody began finding fault with and depreciating Fabius, as failing to seize his opportunities with spirit; while they extolled Minucius to such a degree for what had happened, that a thing was done for which there was no precedent. They gave him absolute power as well as Fabius, believing that he would quickly put an end to the campaign; and so there were two Dictators made for carrying on the same war, which had never happened at Rome before. When Minucius was informed of his popularity with the people, and of the office bestowed upon him by the citizens, he felt doubly incited to run all risks and act with daring boldness against the enemy. Fabius rejoined the army with sentiments not in the least changed by what had happened, but rather fixed still more immovably on his original policy. Seeing, however, that Minucius was puffed up with pride, and inclined to offer him a jealous opposition at every turn, and was wholly bent on risking an engagement, he offered him the choice of two alternatives: either to command the whole army on alternate days with him; or that they should separate their two armies, and each command their respective part in their own way. Minucius joyfully accepting the second alternative, they divided the men and encamped separately about twelve stades apart.

104. Partly from observing what was taking place, and partly from the information of prisoners, Hannibal draws on Minucius.Hannibal knew of the mutual jealousy of the two generals, and the impetuosity and ambition of Minucius. Looking upon what was happening in the enemy’s camp as rather in his favour than otherwise, he set himself to deal with Minucius; being anxious to put an end to his bold methods and check in time his adventurous261 spirit. There being then an elevation between his camp and that of Minucius, which might prove dangerous to either, he resolved to occupy it; and, knowing full well that, elated by his previous success, Minucius would be certain to move out at once to oppose his design, he concerted the following plan. The country round the hill being bare of trees, but having much broken ground and hollows of every description, he despatched some men during the night, in bodies of two and three hundred, to occupy the most favourable positions, numbering in all five hundred horse and five thousand light-armed and other infantry: and in order that they might not be observed in the morning by the enemy’s foraging parties, he seized the hill at daybreak with his light-armed troops. When Marcus saw what was taking place, he looked upon it as an excellent opportunity; and immediately despatched his light-armed troops, with orders to engage the enemy and contest the possession of the position; after these he sent his cavalry, and close behind them he led his heavy-armed troops in person, as on the former occasion, intending to repeat exactly the same manœuvres.

105. As the day broke, and the thoughts and eyes of all were engrossed in observing the combatants on the hill, the Romans had no suspicion of the troops lying in ambush. But as Hannibal kept pouring in reinforcements for his men on the hill, and followed close behind them himself with his cavalry and main body, it was not long before the cavalry also of both sides were engaged. The result was that the Roman light-armed troops, finding themselves hard pressed by the numbers of the cavalry, caused great confusion among the heavy-armed troops by retreating into their lines; and the signal being given at the same time to those who were in ambush, these latter suddenly showed themselves and charged: whereby not only the Roman light-armed troops, but their whole army, were in the greatest danger. At that moment Fabius, seeing what was taking place, Fabius comes to the rescue.and being alarmed lest they should sustain a complete defeat, led out his forces with all speed and came to the relief of his imperilled comrades. At his approach the Romans quickly recovered their courage; and though their lines were entirely broken up, they rallied again round their262 standards, and retired under cover of the army of Fabius, with a severe loss in the light-armed division, and a still heavier one in the ranks of the legions, and that too of the bravest men. Alarmed at the freshness and perfect order of the relieving army, Hannibal retired from the pursuit and ceased fighting. To those who were actually engaged it was quite clear that an utter defeat had been brought about by the rashness of Minucius, and that their safety on this and previous occasions had been secured by the caution of Fabius; while those at home had a clear and indisputable demonstration of the difference between the rashness and bravado of a soldier, and the far-seeing prudence and cool calculation of a general. Taught by experience the Romans joined camps once more, and for the future listened to Fabius and obeyed his orders: while the Carthaginians dug a trench across the space between the knoll and their own lines, and threw up a palisade round the crest of the captured hill; and, having placed a guard upon it, proceeded thenceforth with their preparations for the winter unmolested.

106. The Consular elections being now come, the Romans elected Lucius Aemilius and Gaius Terentius. B.C. 216. Coss. G. Terentius Varro and L. Aemilius Paulus. On their appointment the Dictators laid down their offices, and the Consuls of the previous year, Gnaeus Servilius and Marcus Regulus—who had been appointed after the death of Flaminius,—were invested with proconsular authority by Aemilius; and, taking the command at the seat of war, administered the affairs of the army independently. Meanwhile Aemilius, in consultation with the Senate, set at once to work to levy new soldiers, to fill up the numbers of the legions required for the campaign, and despatched them to headquarters; enjoining at the same time upon Servilius that he should by no means hazard a general engagement, but contrive detailed skirmishes, as sharp and as frequent as he could, for the sake of practising the raw recruits, and giving them courage for a pitched battle: for they held the opinion that their former defeats were owing, as much as anything else, to the fact that they were employing troops newly levied and entirely untrained. The Senate also sent the Praetor Lucius263 Postumius into Gaul, to affect a diversion there, and induce the Celts who were with Hannibal to return home. They also took measures for recalling the fleet that had wintered at Lilybaeum, and for sending to the commanders in Iberia such supplies as were necessary for the service. Thus the Consul and Senate were busied with these and other preparations for the campaign; and Servilius, having received his instructions from the Consuls, carried them out in every particular. The details of this part of the campaign, therefore, I shall omit to record; for nothing of importance or worth remembering occurred, partly in consequence of these instructions, and partly from circumstances; but there were a considerable number of skirmishes and petty engagements, in which the Roman commanders gained a high reputation for courage and prudence.

107. Thus through all that winter and spring the two armies remained encamped facing each other. Autumn, B.C. 216. But when the season for the new harvest was come, Hannibal began to move from the camp at Geronium; and making up his mind that it would be to his advantage to force the enemy by any possible means to give him battle, he occupied the citadel of a town called Cannae, into which the corn and other supplies from the district round Canusium were collected by the Romans, and conveyed thence to the camp as occasion required. The town itself, indeed, had been reduced to ruins the year before: but the capture of its citadel and the material of war contained in it, caused great commotion in the Roman army; for it was not only the loss of the place and the stores in it that distressed them, but the fact also that it commanded the surrounding district. They therefore sent frequent messages to Rome asking for instructions: for if they approached the enemy they would not be able to avoid an engagement, in view of the fact that the country was being plundered, and the allies all in a state of excitement. The Senate order a battle.The Senate passed a resolution that they should give the enemy battle: they, however, bade Gnaeus Servilius wait, and despatched the Consuls to the seat of war. It was to Aemilius that all eyes turned, and on him the most confident hopes were fixed; for his life had been a noble one, and264 he was thought to have managed the recent Illyrian war with advantage to the State. The Senate determined to bring eight legions into the field, which had never been done at Rome before, each legion consisting of five thousand men besides allies. For the Romans, as I have stated before,198 habitually enrol four legions each year, each consisting of about four thousand foot and two hundred horse; and when any unusual necessity arises, they raise the number of foot to five thousand and of the horse to three hundred. Of allies, the number in each legion is the same as that of the citizens, but of the horse three times as great. Of the four legions thus composed, they assign two to each of the Consuls for whatever service is going on. Most of their wars are decided by one Consul and two legions, with their quota of allies; and they rarely employ all four at one time and on one service. But on this occasion, so great was the alarm and terror of what would happen, they resolved to bring not only four but eight legions into the field.

108. With earnest words of exhortation, therefore, to Aemilius, putting before him the gravity in every point of view of the result of the battle, The Consuls Aemilius Paulus, and Terentius Varro go to the seat of war. they despatched him with instructions to seek a favourable opportunity to fight a decisive battle with a courage worthy of Rome. Having arrived at the camp and united their forces, they made known the will of the Senate to the soldiers, and Aemilius exhorted them to do their duty in terms which evidently came from his heart. He addressed himself especially to explain and excuse the reverses which they had lately experienced; for it was on this point particularly that the soldiers were depressed and stood in need of encouragement. Speech of Aemilius. “The causes,” he argued, “of their defeats in former battles were many, and could not be reduced to one or two. But those causes were at an end; and no excuse existed now, if they only showed themselves to be men of courage, for not conquering their enemies. Up to that time both Consuls had never been engaged together, or employed thoroughly trained soldiers: the combatants on the contrary had been raw levies, entirely unexperienced in danger; and what was most important 265of all, they had been so entirely ignorant of their opponents, that they had been brought into the field, and engaged in a pitched battle with an enemy that they had never once set eyes on. Those who had been defeated on the Trebia were drawn up on the field at daybreak, on the very next morning after their arrival from Sicily; while those who had fought in Etruria, not only had never seen the enemy before, but did not do so even during the very battle itself, owing to the unfortunate state of the atmosphere.

109. But now the conditions were quite different. For in the first place both Consuls were with the army: and were not only prepared to share the danger themselves, but had also induced the Consuls of the previous year to remain and take part in the struggle. While the men had not only seen the arms, order, and numbers of the enemy, but had been engaged in almost daily fights with them for the last two years. The conditions therefore under which the two former battles were fought being quite different, it was but natural that the result of the coming struggle should be different too. For it would be strange or rather impossible that those who in various skirmishes, where the numbers of either side were equal, had for the most part come off victorious, should, when drawn up all together, and nearly double of the enemy in number, be defeated.”

“Wherefore, men of the army,” he continued, “seeing that we have every advantage on our side for securing a victory, there is only one thing necessary—your determination, your zeal! And I do not think I need say more to you on that point. To men serving others for pay, or to those who fight as allies on behalf of others, who have no greater danger to expect than meets them on the field, and for whom the issues at stake are of little importance,—such men may need words of exhortation. But men who, like you, are fighting not for others, but themselves,—for country, wives, and children; and for whom the issue is of far more momentous consequence than the mere danger of the hour, need only to be reminded: require no exhortation. For who is there among you who would not wish if possible to be victorious; and next, if that may not be, to die with arms in his hands, rather than to live and see the outrage and death of those dear objects which I have named?266 Wherefore, men of the army, apart from any words of mine, place before your eyes the momentous difference to you between victory and defeat, and all their consequences. Enter upon this battle with the full conviction, that in it your country is not risking a certain number of legions, but her bare existence. For she has nothing to add to such an army as this, to give her victory, if the day now goes against us. All she has of confidence and strength rests on you; all her hopes of safety are in your hands. Do not frustrate those hopes: but pay back to your country the gratitude you owe her; and make it clear to all the world that the former reverses occurred, not because the Romans are worse men than the Carthaginians, but from the lack of experience on the part of those who were then fighting, and through a combination of adverse circumstances.” With such words Aemilius dismissed the troops.

110. Next morning the two Consuls broke up their camp, and advanced to where they heard that the enemy were entrenched. The Roman army approaches Cannae.On the second day they arrived within sight of them, and pitched their camp at about fifty stades’ distance. But when Aemilius observed that the ground was flat and bare for some distance round, he said that they must not engage there with an enemy superior to them in cavalry; but that they must rather try to draw him off, and lead him to ground on which the battle would be more in the hands of the infantry. But Gaius Terentius being, from inexperience, of a contrary opinion, there was a dispute and misunderstanding between the leaders, which of all things is the most dangerous. It is the custom, when the two Consuls are present, that they should take the chief command on alternate days; Terentius Varro orders an advance. and the next day happening to be the turn of Terentius, he ordered an advance with a view of approaching the enemy, in spite of the protests and active opposition of his colleague. Hannibal set his light-armed troops and cavalry in motion to meet him, and charging the Romans while they were still marching, The Romans are successful.took them by surprise and caused a great confusion in their ranks. The Romans repulsed the first charge by putting some of their heavy-armed in front; and then sending forward their light-armed and267 cavalry, began to get the best of the fight all along the line: the Carthaginians having no reserves of any importance, while certain companies of the legionaries were mixed with the Roman light-armed, and helped to sustain the battle. Nightfall for the present put an end to a struggle which had not at all answered to the hopes of the Carthaginians. But next day Aemilius, not thinking it right to engage, and yet being unable any longer to lead off his army, encamped with two-thirds of it on the banks of the Aufidus, the only river which flows right through the Apennines,—that chain of mountains which forms the watershed of all the Italian rivers, which flow either west to the Tuscan sea, or east to the Hadriatic. This chain is, I say, pierced by the Aufidus, which rises on the side of Italy nearest the Tuscan Sea, and is discharged into the Hadriatic. For the other third of his army he caused a camp to be made across the river, to the east of the ford, about ten stades from his own lines, and a little more from those of the enemy; that these men, being on the other side of the river, might protect his own foraging parties, and threaten those of the enemy.

111. Then Hannibal, seeing that his circumstances called for a battle with the enemy, Hannibal harangues his troops.being anxious lest his troops should be depressed by their previous reverse, and believing that it was an occasion which required some encouraging words, summoned a general meeting of his soldiers. When they were assembled, he bid them all look round upon the country, and asked them, “What better fortune they could have asked from the gods, if they had had the choice, than to fight in such ground as they saw there, with the vast superiority of cavalry on their side?” And when all signified their acquiescence in such an evident truth, he added: “First, then, give thanks to the gods: for they have brought the enemy into this country, because they designed the victory for us. And, next to me, for having compelled the enemy to fight,—for they cannot avoid it any longer,—and to fight in a place so full of advantages for us. But I do not think it becoming in me now to use many words in exhorting you to be brave and forward in this battle. When you had had no experience of268 fighting the Romans this was necessary, and I did then suggest many arguments and examples to you. But now seeing that you have undeniably beaten the Romans in three successive battles of such magnitude, what arguments could have greater influence with you in confirming your courage than the actual facts? Now, by your previous battles you have got possession of the country and all its wealth; in accordance with my promises: for I have been absolutely true in everything I have ever said to you. But the present contest is for the cities and the wealth in them: and if you win it, all Italy will at once be in your power; and freed from your present hard toils, and masters of the wealth of Rome, you will by this battle become the leaders and lords of the world. This, then, is a time for deeds, not words: for by God’s blessing I am persuaded that I shall carry out my promises to you forthwith.” His words were received with approving shouts, which he acknowledged with gratitude for their zeal; and having dismissed the assembly, he at once formed a camp on the same bank of the river as that on which was the larger camp of the Romans.

112. Next day he gave orders that all should employ themselves in making preparations and getting themselves into a fit state of body. Hannibal irritates the enemy.On the day after that he drew out his men along the bank of the river, and showed that he was eager to give the enemy battle. But Aemilius, dissatisfied with his position, and seeing that the Carthaginians would soon be obliged to shift their quarters for the sake of supplies, kept quiet in his camps, strengthening both with extra guards. After waiting a considerable time, when no one came out to attack him, Hannibal put the rest of the army into camp again, but sent out his Numidian horse to attack the enemy’s water parties from the lesser camp. These horsemen riding right up to the lines and preventing the watering, Gaius Terentius became more than ever inflamed with the desire of fighting, and the soldiers were eager for a battle, and chafed at the delay. For there is nothing more intolerable to mankind than suspense; when a thing is once decided, men can but endure whatever out of the catalogue of evils it is their misfortune to undergo.


But when the news arrived at Rome that the two armies were face to face, and that skirmishes Anxiety at Rome. between advanced parties of both sides were daily taking place, the city was in a state of high excitement and uneasiness; the people dreading the result owing to the disasters which had now befallen them on more than one occasion; and foreseeing and anticipating in their imaginations what would happen if they were utterly defeated. All the oracles preserved at Rome were in everybody’s mouth; and every temple and house was full of prodigies and miracles: in consequence of which the city was one scene of vows, sacrifices, supplicatory processions, and prayers. For the Romans in times of danger take extraordinary pains to appease gods and men, and look upon no ceremony of that kind in such times as unbecoming or beneath their dignity.

113. When he took over the command on the following day, as soon as the sun was above the horizon, Dispositions for the battle of Cannae. Gaius Terentius got the army in motion from both the camps. Those from the larger camp he drew up in order of battle, as soon as he had got them across the river, and bringing up those of the smaller camp he placed them all in the same line, selecting the south as the aspect of the whole. The Roman horse he stationed on the right wing along the river, and their foot next them in the same line, placing the maniples, however, closer together than usual, and making the depth of each maniple several times greater than its front. The cavalry of the allies he stationed on the left wing, and the light-armed troops he placed slightly in advance of the whole army, which amounted with its allies to eighty thousand infantry and a little more than six thousand horse. At the same time Hannibal brought his Balearic slingers and spearmen across the river, and stationed them in advance of his main body; which he led out of their camp, and, getting them across the river at two spots, drew them up opposite the enemy. On his left wing, close to the river, he stationed the Iberian and Celtic horse opposite the Roman cavalry; and next to them half the Libyan heavy-armed foot; and next to them the Iberian and Celtic270 foot; next, the other half of the Libyans, and, on the right wing, the Numidian horse. Having now got them all into line he advanced with the central companies of the Iberians and Celts; and so arranged the other companies next these in regular gradations, that the whole line became crescent-shaped, diminishing in depth towards its extremities: his object being to have his Libyans as a reserve in the battle, and to commence the action with his Iberians and Celts.

114. The armour of the Libyans was Roman, for Hannibal had armed them with a selection of the spoils taken in previous battles. The shield of the Iberians and Celts was about the same size, but their swords were quite different. For that of the Roman can thrust with as deadly effects as it can cut, while the Gallic sword can only cut, and that requires some room. And the companies coming alternately,—the naked Celts, and the Iberians with their short linen tunics bordered with purple stripes, the whole appearance of the line was strange and terrifying. The whole strength of the Carthaginian cavalry was ten thousand, but that of their foot was not more than forty thousand, including the Celts. Aemilius commanded on the Roman right, Gaius Terentius on the left, Marcus Atilius and Gnaeus Servilius, the Consuls of the previous year, on the centre. The left of the Carthaginians was commanded by Hasdrubal, the right by Hanno, the centre by Hannibal in person, attended by his brother Mago. And as the Roman line faced the south, as I said before, and the Carthaginian the north, the rays of the rising sun did not inconvenience either of them.

115. The battle was begun by an engagement between the advanced guard of the two armies; The Battle, 2d August, B.C. 216. and at first the affair between these light-armed troops was indecisive. But as soon as the Iberian and Celtic cavalry got at the Romans, the battle began in earnest, and in the true barbaric fashion: for there was none of the usual formal advance and retreat; but when they once got to close quarters, they grappled man to man, and, dismounting from their horses, fought on foot. But when the Carthaginians had got the upper hand in this encounter and killed most of their opponents on the ground,271— because the Romans all maintained the fight with spirit and determination,—and began chasing the remainder along the river, The Romans outflanked by the cavalry.slaying as they went and giving no quarter; then the legionaries took the place of the light-armed and closed with the enemy. For a short time the Iberian and Celtic lines stood their ground and fought gallantly; but, presently overpowered by the weight of the heavy-armed lines, they gave way and retired to the rear, thus breaking up the crescent. The Roman maniples followed with spirit, and easily cut their way through the enemy’s line; since the Celts had been drawn up in a thin line, while the Romans had closed up from the wings towards the centre and the point of danger. For the two wings did not come into action at the same time as the centre: but the centre was first engaged, because the Gauls, having been stationed on the arc of the crescent, had come into contact with the enemy long before the wings, the convex of the crescent being towards the enemy. The Romans, however, going in pursuit of these troops, and hastily closing in towards the centre and the part of the enemy which was giving ground, advanced so far, that the Libyan heavy-armed troops on either wing got on their flanks. Those on the right, facing to the left, charged from the right upon the Roman flank; while those who were on the left wing faced to the right, and, dressing by the left, charged their right flank,199 the exigency of the moment suggesting to them what they ought to do. Thus it came about, as Hannibal had planned, that the Romans were caught between two hostile lines of Libyans—thanks to their impetuous pursuit of the Celts. Still they fought, though no longer in line, yet singly, or in maniples, which faced about to meet those who charged them on the flanks.

116. Though he had been from the first on the right wing, and had taken part in the cavalry engagement, Lucius Aemilius272 still survived. Determined to act up to his own exhortatory speech, and seeing that the decision of the battle rested mainly on the legionaries, riding up to the centre of the line he led the charge himself, and personally grappled with the enemy, at the same time cheering on and exhorting his soldiers to the charge. Hannibal, on the other side, did the same, for he too had taken his place on the centre from the commencement. The Numidian horse on the Carthaginian right were meanwhile charging the cavalry on the Roman left; and though, from the peculiar nature of their mode of fighting, they neither inflicted nor received much harm, they yet rendered the enemy’s horse useless by keeping them occupied, and charging them first on one side and then on another. But when Hasdrubal, after all but annihilating the cavalry by the river, came from the left to the support of the Numidians, the Roman allied cavalry, seeing his charge approaching, broke and fled. At that point Hasdrubal appears to have acted with great skill and discretion. Seeing the Numidians to be strong in numbers, and more effective and formidable to troops that had once been forced from their ground, he left the pursuit to them; while he himself hastened to the part of the field where the infantry were engaged, and brought his men up to support the Libyans. Then, by charging the Roman legions on the rear, and harassing them by hurling squadron after squadron upon them at many points at once, he raised the spirits of the Libyans, and dismayed and depressed those of the Romans. Fall of Aemilius Paulus. It was at this point that Lucius Aemilius fell, in the thick of the fight, covered with wounds: a man who did his duty to his country at that last hour of his life, as he had throughout its previous years, if any man ever did.200 As long as the Romans could keep an unbroken front, to turn first in one direction and then in another to meet the assaults of the enemy, they held out; but the outer files of the circle continually falling, and the circle becoming more and more contracted, they at last were all killed on the field, and among them Marcus Atilius and 273Gnaeus Servilius, the Consuls of the previous year, who had shown themselves brave men and worthy of Rome in the battle. While this struggle and carnage were going on, the Numidian horse were pursuing the fugitives, most of whom they cut down or hurled from their horses; but some few escaped into Venusia, among whom was Gaius Terentius, the Consul, who thus sought a flight, as disgraceful to himself, as his conduct in office had been disastrous to his country.

117. Such was the end of the battle of Cannae, in which both sides fought with the most conspicuous gallantry, the conquered no less than the conquerors. This is proved by the fact that, out of six thousand horse, only seventy escaped with Gaius Terentius to Venusia, and about three hundred of the allied cavalry to various towns in the neighbourhood. Of the infantry ten thousand were taken prisoners in fair fight, but were not actually engaged in the battle: of those who were actually engaged only about three thousand perhaps escaped to the towns of the surrounding district, all the rest died nobly, to the number of seventy thousand, the Carthaginians being on this occasion, as on previous ones, mainly indebted for their victory to their superiority in cavalry: a lesson to posterity that in actual war it is better to have half the number of infantry, and the superiority in cavalry, than to engage your enemy with an equality in both. On the side of Hannibal there fell four thousand Celts, fifteen hundred Iberians and Libyans, and about two hundred horse.

The ten thousand Romans who were captured had not, as I said, been engaged in the actual battle; Losses of the Romans. and the reason was this. Lucius Aemilius left ten thousand infantry in his camp that, in case Hannibal should disregard the safety of his own camp, and take his whole army on to the field, they might seize the opportunity, while the battle was going on, of forcing their way in and capturing the enemy’s baggage; or if, on the other hand, Hannibal should, in view of this contingency, leave a guard in his camp, the number of the enemy in the field might thereby be diminished. These men were captured in the following circumstances. Hannibal, as a matter of fact, did leave a sufficient guard in his camp; and274 as soon as the battle began, the Romans, according to their instructions, assaulted and tried to take those thus left by Hannibal. At first they held their own: but just as they were beginning to waver, Hannibal, who was by this time gaining a victory all along the line, came to their relief, and routing the Romans, shut them up in their own camp; killed two thousand of them; and took all the rest prisoners. In like manner the Numidian horse brought in all those who had taken refuge in the various strongholds about the district, amounting to two thousand of the routed cavalry.

118. The result of this battle, such as I have described it, had the consequences which both sides expected. The results of the battle. Defection of the allies. For the Carthaginians by their victory were thenceforth masters of nearly the whole of the Italian coast which is called Magna Graecia. Thus the Tarentines immediately submitted; and the Arpani and some of the Campanian states invited Hannibal to come to them; and the rest were with one consent turning their eyes to the Carthaginians: who, accordingly, began now to have high hopes of being able to carry even Rome itself by assault.

On their side the Romans, after this disaster, despaired of retaining their supremacy over the Italians, and were in the greatest alarm, believing their own lives and the existence of their city to be in danger, and every moment expecting that Hannibal would be upon them. Fall of Lucius Postumius in Gaul. See supra, ch. 106. For, as though Fortune were in league with the disasters that had already befallen them to fill up the measure of their ruin, it happened that only a few days afterwards, while the city was still in this panic, the Praetor who had been sent to Gaul fell unexpectedly into an ambush and perished, and his army was utterly annihilated by the Celts. In spite of all, however, the Senate left no means untried to save the State. It exhorted the people to fresh exertions, strengthened the city with guards, and deliberated on the crisis in a brave and manly spirit. And subsequent events made this manifest. For though the Romans were on that occasion indisputably beaten in the field, and had lost reputation for military prowess; by the peculiar excellence of their political constitution, and the prudence of their counsels, they275 not only recovered their supremacy over Italy, by eventually conquering the Carthaginians, but before very long became masters of the whole world.

I shall, therefore, end this book at this point, having now recounted the events in Iberia and Italy, B.C. 216. embraced by the 140th Olympiad. When I have arrived at the same period in my history of Greece during this Olympiad, I shall then fulfil my promise of devoting a book to a formal account of the Roman constitution itself; for I think that a description of it will not only be germane to the matter of my history, but will also be of great help to practical statesmen, as well as students, either in reforming or establishing other constitutions.



1. In my former book I explained the causes of the second war between Rome and Carthage; and described Hannibal’s invasion of Italy, B.C. 220-216.and the engagements which took place between them up to the battle of Cannae, on the banks of the Aufidus. I shall now take up the history of Greece during the same period, ending at the same date, and commencing from the 140th Olympiad. But I shall first recall to the recollection of my readers what I stated in my second book on the subject of the Greeks, and especially of the Achaeans; for the league of the latter has made extraordinary progress up to our own age and the generation immediately preceding.

I started, then, from Tisamenus, one of the sons of Orestes, and stated that the dynasty existed from his time to that of Ogygus: Recapitulation of Achaean history, before B.C. 220, contained in Book II., cc. 41-71.that then there was an excellent form of democratical federal government established: and that then the league was broken up by the kings of Sparta into separate towns and villages. Then I tried to describe how these towns began to form a league once more: which were the first to join; and the policy subsequently pursued, which led to their inducing all the Peloponnesians to adopt the general title of Achaeans, and to be united under one federal government. Ending with the deaths of Antigonus Doson, Seleucus Ceraunus, and Ptolemy Euergetes, before the 140th Olympiad, B.C. 220-216.Descending to particulars, I brought my story up to the flight of Cleomenes, King of Sparta: then briefly summarising the events included in my prefatory sketch up to the deaths of Antigonus Doson, Seleucus Ceraunus, and Ptolemy Euergetes, who all three died at about the same time, I announced that my main history was to begin from that point.


2. I thought this was the best point; first, because it is there that Aratus leaves off, and I meant my work, Reasons for starting from this point. (1.) The fact that the history of Aratus ends at that point. (2.) The possibility of getting good evidence. (3.) The changes in the various governments in the 139th Olympiad. B.C. 224-220. as far as it was Greek history, to be a continuation of his; and, secondly, because the period thus embraced in my history would fall partly in the life of my father, and partly in my own; and thus I should be able to speak as eye-witness of some of the events, and from the information of eye-witnesses of others. To go further back and write the report of a report, traditions at second or third hand, seemed to me unsatisfactory either with a view to giving clear impressions or making sound statements. But, above all, I began at this period because it was then that the history of the whole world entered on a new phase. Philip, son of Demetrius, had just become the boy king of Macedonia; Achaeus, prince of Asia on this side of Taurus, had converted his show of power into a reality; Antiochus the Great had, a short time before, by the death of his brother Seleucus, succeeded while quite a young man to the throne of Syria; Ariarathes to that of Cappadocia; and Ptolemy Philopator to that of Egypt. Not long afterwards Lycurgus became King of Sparta, and the Carthaginians had recently elected Hannibal general to carry on the war lately described. Every government therefore being changed about this time, there seemed every likelihood of a new departure in policy: which is but natural and usual, and in fact did at this time occur. For the Romans and Carthaginians entered upon the war I have described; Antiochus and Ptolemy on one for the possession of Coele-Syria; and the Achaeans and Philip one against the Aetolians and Lacedaemonians. The causes of this last war must now be stated.

3. The Aetolians had long been discontented with a state of peace and tired at living at their own charges; The Aetolians. for they were accustomed to live on their neighbours, and their natural ostentation required abundant means to support it. Enslaved by this passion they live a life as predatory as that of wild beasts, respecting no tie of friendship and regarding every one as an enemy to be plundered.


Hitherto, however, as long as Antigonus Doson was alive, their fear of the Macedonians had kept them quiet. B.C. 222.But when he was succeeded at his death by the boy Philip, they conceived a contempt for the royal power, and at once began to look out for a pretext and opportunity for interfering in the Peloponnese: induced partly by an old habit of getting plunder from that country, and partly by the belief that, now the Achaeans were unsupported by Macedonia, they would be a match for them. While their thoughts were fixed on this, chance to a certain extent contributed to give them the opportunity which they desired.

There was a certain man of Trichonium201 named Dorimachus, son of that Nicostratus who made the treacherous attack The raids of Dorimachus in Messenia.on the Pan-Boeotian congress.202 This Dorimachus, being young and inspired with the true spirit of Aetolian violence and aggressiveness, was sent by the state to Phigalea in the Peloponnese, which, being on the borders of Arcadia and Messenia, happened at that time to be in political union with the Aetolian league. His mission was nominally to guard the city and territory of Phigalea, but in fact to act as a spy on the politics of the Peloponnese. A crowd of pirates flocked to him at Phigalea; and being unable to get them any booty by fair means, because the peace between all Greeks which Antigonus had concluded was still in force, he was finally reduced to allowing the pirates to drive off the cattle of the Messenians, though they were friends and allies of the Aetolians. These injurious acts were at first confined to the sheep on the border lands; but becoming more and more reckless and audacious, they even ventured to break into the farm-houses by sudden attacks at night. The Messenians were naturally indignant, and sent embassies to Dorimachus; which he at first disregarded, because he wanted not only to benefit the men under him, but himself also, by getting a share in their spoils. But when the arrival of such embassies became more and more frequent, owing to the perpetual 279recurrence of these acts of depredation, he said at last that he would come in person to Messene, and decide on the claims they had to make against the Aetolians. When he came, however, and the sufferers appeared, he laughed at some, threatened to strike others, and drove others away with abusive language.

4. Even while he was actually in Messene, the pirates came close to the city walls in the night, and by means of scaling-ladders broke into a country-house called Chiron’s villa; killed all the slaves who resisted them; and having bound the others, Dorimachus leaves Messene. took them and the cattle away with them. The Messenian Ephors had long been much annoyed by what was going on, and by the presence of Dorimachus in their town; but this they thought was too insolent: and they accordingly summoned him to appear before the assembled magistrates. There Sciron, who happened to be an Ephor at the time, and enjoyed a high reputation for integrity among his fellow-citizens, advised that they should not allow Dorimachus to leave the city, until he had made good all the losses sustained by the Messenians, and had given up the guilty persons to be punished for the murders committed. This suggestion being received with unanimous approval, as but just, Dorimachus passionately exclaimed that “they were fools if they imagined that they were now insulting only Dorimachus, and not the Aetolian league.” In fact he expressed the greatest indignation at the whole affair, and said that “they would meet with a public punishment, which would serve them well right.” Now there was at that time in Messene a man of disgraceful and effeminate character named Babyrtas, who was so exactly like Dorimachus in voice and person, that, when he was dressed in Dorimachus’s sun-hat and cloak, it was impossible to tell them apart; and of this Dorimachus was perfectly aware. When therefore he was speaking in these threatening and insolent tones to the Messenian magistrates, Sciron lost his temper and said “Do you think we care for you or your threats, Babyrtas?” After this Dorimachus was compelled for the present to yield to circumstances, and to give satisfaction for the injuries inflicted upon the Messenians: but when he280 returned to Aetolia, he nursed such a bitter and furious feeling of anger at this taunt, that, without any other reasonable pretext, but for this cause and this alone, he got up a war against the Messenians.

5. The Strategus of the Aetolians at that time was Ariston; but being from physical infirmities unable to serve in the field, Dorimachus becomes practically Strategus of Aetolia, B.C. 221.and being a kinsman of Dorimachus and Scopas, he had somehow or another surrendered his whole authority to the former. In his public capacity Dorimachus could not venture to urge the Aetolians to undertake the Messenian war, because he had no reasonable pretext for so doing: the origin of his wish being, as everybody well knew, the wrongs committed by himself and the bitter gibe which they had brought upon him. He therefore gave up the idea of publicly advocating the war, He induces Scopas to go to war with Messenia, Epirus, Achaia, Acarnania, and Macedonia. but tried privately to induce Scopas to join in the intrigue against the Messenians: He pointed out that there was now no danger from the side of Macedonia owing to the youth of the king (Philip being then only seventeen years old); that the Lacedaemonians were alienated from the Messenians; and that they possessed the affection and alliance of the Eleans; and these circumstances taken together would make an invasion of Messenia perfectly safe. But the argument most truly Aetolian which he used was to put before him that a great booty was to be got from Messenia, because it was entirely unguarded, and had alone, of all the Peloponnesian districts, remained unravaged throughout the Cleomenic war. And, to sum up all, he argued that such a move would secure them great popularity with the Aetolians generally. And if the Achaeans were to try to hinder their march through the country, they would not be able to complain if they retaliated: and if, on the other hand, they did not stir, would be no hindrance to their enterprise. Besides, he affirmed that they would have plenty of pretext against the Messenians; for they had long been in the position of aggressors by promising the Achaeans and Macedonians to join their alliance.

By these, and similar arguments to the same effect, he roused such a strong feeling in the minds of Scopas and his281 friends, that, without waiting for a meeting of the Aetolian federal assembly, and without communicating with the Apocleti or taking any of the proper constitutional steps, of their own mere impulse and opinion they committed acts of hostility simultaneously against Messenia, Epirus, Achaia, Acarnania, and Macedonia.

6. By sea they immediately sent out privateers, who, falling in with a royal vessel of Macedonia near Cythera, Acts of hostility against Macedonia, brought it with all its crew to Aetolia, and sold ship-owners, sailors, and marines, and finally the ship itself. Then they began sacking the seaboard of Epirus, employing the aid of some Cephallenian ships for carrying out this act of violence. Epirus, and Acarnania. They tried also to capture Thyrium in Acarnania. At the same time they secretly sent some men to seize a strong place called Clarium, in the centre of the territory of Megalopolis; which they used thenceforth as a place of sale for their spoils, and a starting place for their marauding expeditions. However Timoxenus, the Achaean Strategus, with the assistance of Taurion, who had been left by Antigonus in charge of the Macedonian interests in the Peloponnese, took the place after a siege of a very few days. For Antigonus retained Corinth, in accordance with his convention with the Achaeans, made at the time of the Cleomenic war;203 and had never restored Orchomenus to the Achaeans after he had taken it by force, but claimed and retained it in his own hands; with the view, as I suppose, not only of commanding the entrance of the Peloponnese, but of guarding also its interior by means of his garrison and warlike apparatus in Orchomenus.

Dorimachus and Scopas waited until Timoxenus had a very short time of office left, and when Aratus, though elected by the Achaeans for the coming year, would not yet be in office;204 and then collecting a general levy of Aetolians at282 Rhium, and preparing means of transport, with some Cephallenian ships ready to convoy them, Before midsummer B.C. 220. Invasion of Messenia by Dorimachus and Scopas. they got their men across to the Peloponnese, and led them against Messenia. While marching through the territories of Patrae, Pharae, and Tritaea they pretended that they did not wish to do any injury to the Achaeans; but their forces, from their inveterate passion for plunder, could not be restrained from robbing the country; and consequently they committed outrages and acts of violence all along their line of march, till they arrived at Phigalea. Thence, by a bold and sudden movement, they entered Messenia; and without any regard for their ancient friendship and alliance with the Messenians, or for the principles of international justice common to all mankind, subordinating every consideration to their selfish greed, they set about plundering the country without resistance, the Messenians being absolutely afraid to come out to attack them.

7. This being the time, according to their laws, for the meeting of the Achaean federal assembly, The Achaean league decide to assist the Messenians.the members arrived at Aegium. When the assembly met, the deputies from Patrae and Pharae made a formal statement of the injuries inflicted upon their territories during the passage of the Aetolians: an embassy from Messenia also appeared, begging for their assistance on the ground that the treatment from which they were suffering was unjust and in defiance of treaty. When these statements were heard, great indignation was felt at the wrongs of Patrae and Pharae, and great sympathy for the misfortunes of the Messenians. But it was regarded as especially outrageous that the Aetolians should have ventured to enter Achaia with an army, contrary to treaty, without obtaining or even asking for permission from any one to pass through the country. Roused to indignation by all these considerations, the assembly voted to give assistance to the Messenians: that the Strategus should summon a general levy of the Achaean arms: and that whatever was decided by this levy, when it met, should be done. Now Timoxenus, the existing Strategus, was just on the point of quitting office, and felt besides small confidence in the Achaeans, because martial exercise had been283 allowed to fall into neglect among them; he therefore shrank from undertaking the expedition, or from even summoning the popular levy. The fact was that, after the expulsion of Cleomenes, King of Sparta, the Peloponnesians, B.C. 222-221. weary of the wars that had taken place, and trusting to the peaceful arrangement that had been come to, neglected all warlike preparations. Aratus, however, indignant and incensed at the audacity of the Aetolians, was not inclined to take things so calmly, for he had in fact a grudge of long standing against these people. Wherefore he was for instantly summoning the Achaeans to an armed levy, and was all eagerness to attack the Aetolians. Aratus becomes Strategus of the Achaean league, B.C. 220 (May-June). Eventually he took over from Timoxenus the seal of the league, five days before the proper time, and wrote to the various cities summoning a meeting in arms of all those who were of the military age, at Megalopolis. But the peculiar character of this man, I think, makes it proper for me to give a brief preliminary sketch of him.

8. Aratus had many of the qualities of a great ruler. He could speak, and contrive, and conceal his purpose: Character of Aratus. no one surpassed him in the moderation which he showed in political contests, or in his power of attaching friends and gaining allies: in intrigue, stratagem, and laying plots against a foe, and in bringing them to a successful termination by personal endurance and courage, he was pre-eminent. Many clear instances of these qualities may be found; but none more convincing than the episodes of the capture of Sicyon and Mantinea, of the expulsion of the Aetolians from Pellene, and especially of the surprise of the Acrocorinthus.205 On the other hand whenever he attempted a campaign in the field, he was slow in conception and timid in execution, and without personal gallantry in the presence of danger. The result was that the Peloponnese was full of 284trophies which marked reverses sustained by him; and that in this particular department he was always easily defeated. So true is it that men’s minds, no less than their bodies, have many aspects. Not only is it the case that the same man has an aptitude for one class of activities and not for another; it often happens that in things closely analogous, the same man will be exceedingly acute and exceedingly dull, exceedingly courageous and exceedingly timid. Nor is this a paradox: it is a very ordinary fact, well known to all attentive observers. For instance you may find men who in hunting show the greatest daring in grappling with wild beasts, and yet are utter cowards in the presence of an armed enemy. Or again, in actual war some are active and skilful in single combats, who are yet quite ineffective in the ranks. For example, the Thessalian cavalry in squadron and column are irresistible, but when their order is once broken up, they have not the skill in skirmishing by which each man does whatever the time and place suggests: while, on the other hand, exactly the reverse of this is the case with the Aetolians. The Cretans, again, either by land or sea, in ambushes and piratical excursions, in deceiving the enemy, in making night attacks, and in fact in every service which involves craft and separate action, are irresistible; but for a regular front to front charge in line they have neither the courage nor firmness; and the reverse again is the case with the Achaeans and Macedonians.

I have said thus much, that my readers may not refuse me credit if I have at times to make contradictory statements about the same men and in regard to analogous employments. To return to my narrative.

9. The men of military age having assembled in arms at Megalopolis, in accordance with the decree of the federal assembly, The armed levy of Achaeans summoned. the Messenian envoys once more came forward, and entreated the people not to disregard the flagrant breach of treaty from which they were suffering; and expressed their willingness to become allies of the league, and their anxiety to be enrolled among its members. The Achaean magistrates declined the offered alliance, on the ground that it was impossible to admit a new member without the concurrence of Philip and the other allies,—for the sworn alliance285 negotiated by Antigonus during the Cleomenic war was still in force, and included Achaia, Epirus, Phocis, Macedonia, Boeotia, Acarnania, and Thessaly;—but they said that they would march out to their relief, if the envoys there present would place their sons in Sparta, as hostages for their promise not to make terms with the Aetolians without the consent of the Achaeans. The Spartans among the rest were encamped on the frontier of Megalopolis, having marched out in accordance with the terms of their alliance; but they were acting rather as reserves and spectators than as active allies. Dorimachus ordered to quit Messenia without passing through Achaia. Having thus settled the terms of the arrangement with the Messenians, Aratus sent a messenger to the Aetolians to inform them of the decree of the Achaean federation, and to order them to quit the territory of Messenia without entering that of Achaia, on pain of being treated as enemies if they set foot in it. When they heard the message and knew that the Achaeans were mustered in force, Scopas and Dorimachus thought it best for the present to obey. Scopas and Dorimachus prepare to obey. They therefore at once sent despatches to Cyllene and to the Aetolian Strategus, Ariston, begging that the transports should be sent to a place on the coast of Elis called the island of Pheia;206 and they themselves two days later struck camp, and laden with booty marched towards Elis. For the Aetolians always maintained a friendship with the Eleans that they might have through them an entrance for their plundering and piratical expeditions into the Peloponnese.

10. Aratus waited two days: and then, foolishly believing that the Aetolians would return by the route they had indicated, Aratus dismisses the Achaean levy, with the exception of 3000 foot and 300 horse. he dismissed all the Achaeans and Lacedaemonians to their homes, except three thousand foot and three hundred horse and the division under Taurion, which he led to Patrae, with the view of keeping on the flank of the Aetolians. But when Dorimachus learnt that Aratus was thus watching his march, and was still under Dorimachus turns upon Aratus. 286arms; partly from fear of being attacked when his forces were engaged on the embarkation, and partly with a view to confuse the enemy, he sent his booty on to the transports with a sufficient number of men to secure their passage, under orders to meet him at Rhium where he intended to embark; while he himself, after remaining for a time to superintend and protect the shipment of the booty, changed the direction of his march and advanced towards Olympia. But hearing that Taurion, with the rest of the army, was near Cleitoria; and feeling sure that in these circumstances he would not be able to effect the crossing from Rhium without danger and a struggle with the enemy; he made up his mind that it would be best for his interests to bring on an engagement with the army of Aratus as soon as possible, since it was weak in numbers and wholly unprepared for the attack. He calculated that if he could defeat this force, he could then plunder the country, and effect his crossing from Rhium in safety, while Aratus was waiting and deliberating about again convoking the Achaean levy; but if on the other hand Aratus were terrified and declined the engagement, he would then effect his departure unmolested, whenever he thought it advisable. With these views, therefore, he advanced, and pitched his camp at Methydrium in the territory of Megalopolis.

11. But the leaders of the Achaeans, on learning the arrival of the Aetolians, adopted a course of proceeding quite unsurpassable for folly. The Battle of Caphyae, B.C. 220.They left the territory of Cleitor and encamped at Caphyae; but the Aetolians marching from Methydrium past the city of Orchomenus, they led the Achaean troops into the plain of Caphyae, and there drew them up for battle, with the river which flows through that plain protecting their front. The difficulty of the ground between them and their enemy, for there were besides the river a number of ditches not easily crossed,207 and the show of readiness on the part of the Achaeans 287for the engagement, caused the Aetolians to shrink from attacking according to their original purpose; but they retreated in good order to the high ground of Oligyrtus, content if only they were not attacked and forced to give battle. But Aratus, when the van of the Aetolians was already making the ascent, while the cavalry were bringing up the rear along the plain, and were approaching a place called Propus at the foot of the hills, sent out his cavalry and light-armed troops, under the command of Epistratus of Acarnania, with orders to attack and harass the enemy’s rear. Now if an engagement was necessary at all, they ought not to have attempted it with the enemy’s rear, when they had already accomplished the march through the plain, but with his van directly it had debouched upon the plain: for in this way the battle would have been wholly confined to the plain and level ground, where the peculiar nature of the Aetolian arms and general tactics would have been least effective; while the Achaeans, from precisely opposite reasons, would have been most effective and able to act. As it was, they surrendered the advantages of time and place which were in their favour, and deliberately accepted the conditions which were in favour of the enemy.

12. Naturally the result of the engagement was in harmony with such a beginning. For when the light-armed troops approached, The Achaeans defeated. the Aetolian cavalry retired in good order up the hill, being anxious to effect a junction with their own infantry. But Aratus, having an imperfect view of what was going on, and making a bad conjecture of what would happen next, no sooner saw the cavalry retiring, than, hoping that they were in absolute flight, he sent forward the heavy-armed troops of his two wings, with orders to join and support the advanced guard of their light-armed troops; while he himself, with his remaining forces, executed a flank movement, and led his men on at the double. But the Aetolian cavalry had now cleared the plain, and, having effected the junction with their infantry, drew up under cover of the hill; massed the infantry on their flanks; and called to them to stand by them: the infantry themselves showing great promptness in answering to their shouts, and in coming to their relief, as the several companies arrived. Thinking themselves288 now sufficiently strong in numbers, they closed their ranks, and charged the advanced guard of Achaean cavalry and light armed troops; and being superior in number, and having the advantage of charging from higher ground, after a long struggle, they finally turned their opponents to flight: whose flight involved that of the heavy-armed troops also which were coming to their relief. For the latter were advancing in separate detachments in loose order, and, either in dismay at what was happening, or upon meeting their flying comrades on their retreat, were compelled to follow their example: the result being that, whereas the number of those actually defeated on the field was less than five hundred, the number that fled was more than two thousand. Taught by experience what to do, the Aetolians followed behind them with round after round of loud and boisterous shouts. The Achaeans at first retreated in good order and without danger, because they were retiring upon their heavy-armed troops, whom they imagined to be in a place of safety on their original ground; but when they saw that these too had abandoned their position of safety, and were marching in a long straggling line, some of them immediately broke off from the main body and sought refuge in various towns in the neighbourhood; while others, meeting the phalanx as it was coming up to their relief, proved to be quite sufficient, without the presence of an enemy, to strike fear into it and force it into headlong flight. They directed their flight, as I said, to the towns of the neighbourhood. Orchomenus and Caphyae, which were close by, saved large numbers of them: and if this had not been the case, they would in all probability have been annihilated by this unlooked-for catastrophe. Such was the result of the engagement at Caphyae.

13. When the people of Megalopolis learnt that the Aetolians were at Methydrium, they came to the rescue en masse, The Aetolians retire at their leisure.at the summons of a trumpet, on the very day after the battle of Caphyae; and were compelled to bury the very men with whose assistance they had expected to fight the Aetolians. Having therefore dug a trench in the territory of Caphyae, and collected the corpses, they performed the funeral rites of these unhappy men with all imaginable honour. But the Aetolians,289 after this unlooked-for success gained by the cavalry and light-armed troops, traversed the Peloponnese from that time in complete security. In the course of their march they made an attack upon the town of Pellene, and, after ravaging the territory of Sicyon, finally quitted the Peloponnese by way of the Isthmus.

This then, was the cause and occasion of the Social war: its formal beginning was the decree passed by all the allies after these events, which was confirmed by a general meeting held at Corinth, on the proposal of King Philip, who presided at the assembly.

14. A few days after the events just narrated the ordinary meeting of the Achaean federal assembly took place, Midsummer, B.C. 220. and Aratus was bitterly denounced, publicly as well as privately, as indisputably responsible for this disaster; and the anger of the general public was still further roused and embittered by the invectives of his political opponents. It was shown to every one’s satisfaction that Aratus had been guilty of four flagrant errors. His first was that, having taken office before his predecessor’s time was legally at an end, he had availed himself of a time properly belonging to another to engage in the sort of enterprise in which he was conscious of having often failed. Attacked at the Achaean Congress, Aratus successfully defends himself. His second and graver error was the disbanding the Achaeans, while the Aetolians were still in the middle of the Peloponnese; especially as he had been well aware beforehand that Scopas and Dorimachus were anxious to disturb the existing settlement, and to stir up war. His third error was to engage the enemy, as he did, with such a small force, without any strong necessity; when he might have retired to the neighbouring towns and have summoned a levy of the Achaeans, and then have engaged, if he had thought that measure absolutely necessary. But his last and gravest error was that, having determined to fight, he did so in such an ill-considered manner, and managed the business with so little circumspection, as to deprive himself of the advantages of the plain and the support of his heavy-armed troops, and allow the battle to be settled by light-armed troops, and to take290 place on the slopes, than which nothing could have been more advantageous or convenient to the Aetolians. Such were the allegations against Aratus. He, however, came forward and reminded the assembly of his former political services and achievements; and urged in his defence that, in the matters alleged, his was not the blame for what had occurred. He begged their indulgence if he had been guilty of any oversight in the battle, and claimed that they should at any rate look at the facts without prejudice or passion. These words created such a rapid and generous change in the popular feeling, that great indignation was roused against the political opponents who attacked him; and the resolutions as to the measures to be taken in the future were passed wholly in accordance with the views of Aratus.

15. These events occurred in the previous Olympiad,208 what I am now going to relate belong to the 140th. 139th Olympiad, B.C. 224-220; 140th Olympiad, B.C. 220-216. The resolutions passed by the Achaean federal assembly were these. That embassies should be sent to Epirus, Boeotia, Phocis, Acarnania, and Philip, to declare how the Aetolians, in defiance of treaty, had twice entered Achaia with arms, The Achaean league determine upon war with the Aetolians, and send round to their allies for assistance. and to call upon them for assistance in virtue of their agreement, and for their consent to the admission of the Messenians into the alliance. Next, that the Strategus of the Achaeans should enrol five thousand foot and five hundred horse, and support the Messenians in case the Aetolians were to invade their territory; and to arrange with the Lacedaemonians and Messenians how many horse and foot were to be supplied by them severally for the service of the league. These decrees showed a noble spirit on the part of the Achaeans in the presence of defeat, which prevented them from abandoning either the cause of the Messenians or their own purpose. Those who were appointed to serve on these embassies to the allies proceeded to carry them out; while the Strategus at once, in accordance with the decree, set about enrolling the troops 291from Achaia, and arranged with the Lacedaemonians and Messenians to supply each two thousand five hundred infantry and two hundred and fifty cavalry, so that the whole army for the coming campaign should amount to ten thousand foot and a thousand horse.

On the day of their regular assembly the Aetolians also met and decided to maintain peace with the Spartans and Messenians; hoping by that crafty measure to tamper with the loyalty of the Achaean allies and sow disunion among them. With the Achaeans themselves they voted to maintain peace, on condition that they withdrew from alliance with Messenia, and to proclaim war if they refused,—than which nothing could have been more unreasonable. For being themselves in alliance, both with Achaeans and Messenians, they proclaimed war against the former, unless the two ceased to be in alliance and friendly relationship with each other; while if the Achaeans chose to be at enmity with the Messenians, they offered them a separate peace. Their proposition was too iniquitous and unreasonable to admit of being even considered.

16. The Epirotes and King Philip on hearing the ambassadors consented to admit the Messenians to alliance; but though the conduct of the Aetolians caused them momentary indignation, they were not excessively moved by it, because it was no more than what the Aetolians habitually did. Their anger, therefore, was short-lived, and they presently voted against going to war with them. So true is it that an habitual course of wrong-doing finds readier pardon than when it is spasmodic or isolated. The former, at any rate, was the case with the Aetolians: they perpetually plundered Greece, and levied unprovoked war upon many of its people: they did not deign either to make any defence to those who complained, but answered only by additional insults if any one challenged them to arbitration for injuries which they had inflicted, or indeed which they meditated inflicting. Treachery of the Spartans.And yet the Lacedaemonians, who had but recently been liberated by means of Antigonus and the generous zeal of the Achaeans, and though they were bound not to commit any act of hostility towards the Macedonians and Philip, sent292 clandestine messages to the Aetolians, and arranged a secret treaty of alliance and friendship with them.

The army had already been enrolled from the Achaeans of military age, and had been assigned to the duty of assisting the Lacedaemonians and Messenians, Invasion of Achaia by the Aetolians and Illyrians. when Scerdilaidas and Demetrius of Pharos sailed with ninety galleys beyond Lissus, contrary to the terms of their treaty with Rome. These men first touched at Pylos, and failing in an attack upon it, they separated: Demetrius making for the Cyclades, from some of which he exacted money and plundered others; while Scerdilaidas, directing his course homewards, put in at Naupactus with forty galleys at the instigation of Amynas, king of the Athamanes, who happened to be his brother-in-law; and after making an agreement with the Aetolians, by the agency of Agelaus, for a division of spoils, he promised to join them in their invasion of Achaia. With this agreement made with Scerdilaidas, and with the co-operation of the city of Cynaetha, Agelaus, Dorimachus, and Scopas, collected a general levy of the Aetolians, and invaded Achaia in conjunction with the Illyrians.

17. But the Aetolian Strategus Ariston, ignoring everything that was going on, remained quietly at home, asserting that he was not at war with the Achaeans, but was maintaining peace: a foolish and childish mode of acting,—for what better epithets could be applied to a man who supposed that he could cloak notorious facts by mere words? Meanwhile Dorimachus and his colleague had marched through the Achaean territory and suddenly appeared at Cynaetha.

Cynaetha was an Arcadian city209 which, for many years past, had been afflicted with implacable and violent political factions. The previous history of Cynaetha. The two parties had frequently retaliated on each other with massacres, banishments, confiscations, and redivisions of lands; but finally the party which affected the Achaean connexion prevailed and got possession of the city, securing themselves by a city-guard and commandant from Achaia. This was the state of affairs when, shortly before the Aetolian invasion, the exiled 293party sent to the party in possession intreating that they would be reconciled and allow them to return to their own city; whereupon the latter were persuaded, and sent an embassy to the Achaeans with the view of obtaining their consent to the pacification. The Achaeans readily consented, in the belief that both parties would regard them with goodwill: since the party in possession had all their hopes centred in the Achaeans, while those who were about to be restored would owe that restoration to the consent of the same people. Accordingly the Cynaethans dismissed the city guard and commandant, and restored the exiles, to the number of nearly three hundred, after taking such pledges from them as are reckoned the most inviolable among all mankind. But no sooner had they secured their return, than, without any cause or pretext arising which might give a colour to the renewal of the quarrel, but on the contrary, at the very first moment of their restoration, they began plotting against their country, and against those who had been their preservers. I even believe that at the very sacrifices, which consecrated the oaths and pledges which they gave each other, they were already, even at such a solemn moment, revolving in their minds this offence against religion and those who had trusted them. For, as soon as they were restored to their civil rights they called in the Aetolians, and betrayed the city into their hands, eager to effect the utter ruin both of the people who had preserved, and the city which had nourished, them.

18. The bold stroke by which they actually consummated this treason was as follows. Of the restored exiles certain officers had been appointed called Polemarchs, whose duty it was to lock the city-gates, and keep the keys while they remained closed, and also to be on guard during the day at the gate-houses. The Aetolians accordingly waited for this period of closing the gates, ready to make the attempt, and provided with ladders; while the Polemarchs of the exiles, having assassinated their colleagues on guard at the gate-house, opened the gate. Some of the Aetolians, therefore, got into the town by it, while others applied their ladders to the walls, and mounting by their means, took forcible possession of them. The inhabitants of the town, panic-stricken at the occurrence,294 could not tell which way to turn. They could not give their undivided energies to opposing the party which was forcing its way through the gate, because of those who were attacking them at the walls; nor could they defend the walls owing to the enemies that were pouring through the gate. The Aetolians having thus become rapidly masters of the town, in spite of the injustice of the whole proceeding, did one act of supreme justice. For the very men who had invited them, and betrayed the town to them, they massacred before any one else, and plundered their property. They then treated all the others of the party in the same way; and, finally, taking up their quarters in the houses, they systematically robbed them of all valuables, and in many cases put Cynaethans to the rack, if they suspected them of having anything concealed, whether money, or furniture, or anything else of unusual value.

After inflicting this ruin on the Cynaethans they departed, leaving a garrison to guard the walls, and marched towards Lusi. Arrived at the temple of Artemis, which lies between Cleitor and Cynaetha, and is regarded as inviolable by the Greeks, they threatened to plunder the cattle of the goddess and the other property round the temple. But the people of Lusi acted with great prudence: they gave the Aetolians some of the sacred furniture, and appealed to them not to commit the impiety of inflicting any outrage. The gift was accepted, and the Aetolians at once removed to Cleitor and pitched their camp under its walls.

19. Meanwhile Aratus, the Achaean Strategus, had despatched an appeal for help to Philip; Measures taken by Aratus. was collecting the men selected for service; and was sending for the troops, arranged for by virtue of the treaty, from Sparta and Messenia.

The Aetolians at first urged the people of Cleitor to abandon their alliance with the Achaeans and adopt one with themselves; The Aetolians at the temple of Artemis. They fail at Cleitor. and upon the Cleitorians absolutely refusing, they began an assault upon the town, and endeavoured to take it by an escalade. But meeting with a bold and determined resistance from the inhabitants, they desisted from the attempt; and breaking up their camp marched back to Cynaetha, driving off295 with them on their route the cattle of the goddess. They at first offered the city to the Eleans, but upon their refusing to accept it, they determined to keep the town in their own hands, They burn Cynaetha and return home. and appointed Euripides to command it: but subsequently, on the alarm of an army of relief coming from Macedonia, they set fire to the town and abandoned it, directing their march to Rhium with the purpose of there taking ship and crossing home. But when Taurion heard of the Aetolian invasion, Demetrius of Pharos. and what had taken place at Cynaetha, and saw that Demetrius of Pharos had sailed into Cenchreae from his island expedition, he urged the latter to assist the Achaeans, and dragging his galleys across the Isthmus to attack the Aetolians as they crossed the gulf. Now though Demetrius had enriched himself by his island expedition, he had had to beat an ignominious retreat, owing to the Rhodians putting out to sea to attack him: he was therefore glad to accede to the request of Taurion, as the latter undertook the expense of having his galleys dragged across the Isthmus.210 He accordingly got them across, and arriving two days after the passage of the Aetolians, plundered some places on the seaboard of Aetolia and then returned to Corinth.

The Lacedaemonians had dishonourably failed to send the full complement of men to which they were Treason of the Spartans. bound by their engagement, but had despatched a small contingent only of horse and foot, to save appearances.

Aratus however, having his Achaean troops, behaved in this instance also with the caution of a statesman, Inactivity of Aratus. rather than the promptness of a general: for remembering his previous failure he remained inactively watching events, until Scopas and Dorimachus had accomplished all they wanted and were safe home again; although they had marched through a line of country which was quite open to attack, full of defiles, and wanting only a trumpeter211 to sound a call to arms. But the great disaster 296and misfortunes endured by the Cynaethans at the hands of the Aetolians were looked upon as most richly deserved by them.

20. Now, seeing that the Arcadians as a whole have a reputation for virtue throughout Greece, The reasons of the barbarity of the Cynaethans. Their neglect of the refining influences of music, which is carefully encouraged in the rest of Arcadia. not only in respect of their hospitality and humanity, but especially for their scrupulous piety, it seems worth while to investigate briefly the barbarous character of the Cynaethans: and inquire how it came about that, though indisputably Arcadians in race, they at that time so far surpassed the rest of Greece in cruelty and contempt of law.

They seem then to me to be the first, and indeed the only, Arcadians who have abandoned institutions nobly conceived by their ancestors and admirably adapted to the character of all the inhabitants of Arcadia. For music, and I mean by that true music, which it is advantageous to every one to practise, is obligatory with the Arcadians. For we must not think, as Ephorus in a hasty sentence of his preface, wholly unworthy of him, says, that music was introduced among mankind for the purpose of deception and jugglery; nor must the ancients Cretans and Spartans be supposed to have introduced the pipe and rhythmic movement in war, instead of the trumpet, without some reason; nor the early Arcadians to have given music such a high place in their constitution, that not only boys, but young men up to the age of thirty, are compelled to practise it, though in other respects most simple and primitive in their manner of life. Every one is familiarly acquainted with the fact that the Arcadians are the only people among whom boys are by the laws trained from infancy to sing hymns and paeans, in which they celebrate in the traditional fashion the heroes and gods of their particular towns. They next learn the airs of Philoxenus and Timotheus, and dance with great spirit to the pipers at the yearly Dionysia in the theatres, the boys at the boys’ festival, and the young men at what is called the men’s festival. Similarly it is their universal custom, at all festal gatherings and banquets, not to have strangers to make the music, but to produce it themselves, calling297 on each other in turn for a song. They do not look upon it as a disgrace to disclaim the possession of any other accomplishment: but no one can disclaim the knowledge of how to sing, because all are forced to learn, nor can they confess the knowledge, and yet excuse themselves from practising it, because that too among them is looked upon as disgraceful. Their young men again practise a military step to the music of the pipe and in regular order of battle, producing elaborate dances, which they display to their fellow-citizens every year in the theatres, at the public charge and expense.

21. Now the object of the ancient Arcadians in introducing these customs was not, as I think, the gratification of luxury and extravagance. The object of the musical training of the Arcadians. They saw that Arcadia was a nation of workers; that the life of the people was laborious and hard; and that, as a natural consequence of the coldness and gloom which were the prevailing features of a great part of the country, the general character of the people was austere. For we mortals have an irresistible tendency to yield to climatic influences: and to this cause, and no other, may be traced the great distinctions which prevail amongst us in character, physical formation, and complexion, as well as in most of our habits, varying with nationality or wide local separation. And it was with a view of softening and tempering this natural ruggedness and rusticity, that they not only introduced the things which I have mentioned, but also the custom of holding assemblies and frequently offering sacrifices, in both of which women took part equally with men; and having mixed dances of girls and boys and in fact did everything they could to humanise their souls by the civilising and softening influence of such culture. The people of Cynaetha entirely neglected these things, although they needed them more than any one else, because their climate and country is by far the most unfavourable in all Arcadia; and on the contrary gave their whole minds to mutual animosities and contentions. They in consequence became finally so brutalised, that no Greek city has ever witnessed a longer series of the most atrocious crimes. I will give one instance of the ill fortune of Cynaetha in this respect, and of the disapproval of such proceedings on the298 part of the Arcadians at large. When the Cynaethans, after their great massacre, sent an embassy to Sparta, every city which the ambassadors entered on their road at once ordered them by a herald to depart; while the Mantineans not only did that, but after their departure regularly purified their city and territory from the taint of blood, by carrying victims round them both.

I have had three objects in saying thus much on this subject. First, that the character of the Arcadians should not suffer from the crimes of one city: secondly, that other nations should not neglect music, from an idea that certain Arcadians give an excessive and extravagant attention to it: and, lastly, I speak for the sake of the Cynaethans themselves, that, if ever God gives them better fortune, they may humanise themselves by turning their attention to education, and especially to music.

22. To return from this digression. When the Aetolians had reached their homes in safety after this raid Philip V. comes to Corinth. B.C. 220. upon the Peloponnese, Philip, coming to the aid of the Achaeans with an army, arrived at Corinth. Finding that he was too late, he sent despatches to all the allies urging them to send deputies at once to Corinth, to consult on the measures required for the common safety. Meanwhile he himself marched towards Tegea, being informed that the Lacedaemonians were in a state of revolution, Advances toward Sparta. and were fallen to mutual slaughter. For being accustomed to have a king over them, and to be entirely submissive to their rulers, their sudden enfranchisement by means of Antigonus, and the absence of a king, produced a state of civil war; because they all imagined themselves to be on a footing of complete political equality. At first two of the five Ephors kept their views to themselves; while the other three threw in their lot with the Aetolians, because they were convinced that the youth of Philip would prevent him as yet from having a decisive influence in the Peloponnese. But when, contrary to their expectations, the Aetolians retired quickly from the Peloponnese, and Philip arrived still more quickly from Macedonia, the three Ephors became distrustful of Adeimantus,299 one of the other two, because he was privy to and disapproved of their plans; and were in a great state of anxiety lest he should tell Philip everything as soon as that monarch approached. After some consultation therefore with certain young men, Adeimantus assassinated. they published a proclamation ordering all citizens of military age to assemble in arms in the sacred enclosure of Athene of the Brazen-house, on the pretext that the Macedonians were advancing against the town. This startling announcement caused a rapid muster: when Adeimantus, who disapproved of the measure, came forward and endeavoured to show that “the proclamation and summons to assemble in arms should have been made some time before, when they were told that their enemies the Aetolians were approaching the frontier: not then, when they learnt that their benefactors and preservers the Macedonians were coming with their king.” In the middle of this dissuasive speech the young men whose co-operation had been secured struck him dead, and with him Sthenelaus, Alcamenes, Thyestes, Bionidas, and several other citizens; whereupon Polyphontes and certain of his party, seeing clearly what was going to happen, went off to join Philip.

23. Immediately after the commission of this crime, the Ephors who were then in power sent men to Philip, Philip summons Spartan deputies to Tegea. to accuse the victims of this massacre; and to beg him to delay his approach, until the affairs of the city had returned to their normal state after this commotion; and to be assured meanwhile that it was their purpose to be loyal and friendly to the Macedonians in every respect. These ambassadors found Philip near Mount Parthenius,212 and communicated to him their commission. Having listened, he bade the ambassadors make all haste home, and inform the Ephors that he was going to continue his march to Tegea, and expected that they would as quickly as possible send him men of credit to consult with him on the present position of affairs. After hearing this message from the king, the Lacedaemonian officers despatched 300ten commissioners headed by Omias to meet Philip; who, on arriving at Tegea, and entering the king’s council chamber, accused Adeimantus of being the cause of the late commotion; and promised that they would perform all their obligations as allies to Philip, and show that they were second to none of those whom he looked upon as his most loyal friends, in their affection for his person. With these and similar asseverations the Lacedaemonian commissioners left the council chamber. The members of the council were divided in opinion: one party knowing the secret treachery of the Spartan magistrates, and feeling certain that Adeimantus had lost his life from his loyalty to Macedonia, while the Lacedaemonians had really determined upon an alliance with the Aetolians, advised Philip to make an example of the Lacedaemonians, by treating them precisely as Alexander had treated the Thebans, immediately after his assumption of his sovereignty. But another party, consisting of the older counsellors, sought to show that such severity was too great for the occasion, and that all that ought to be done was to rebuke the offenders, depose them, and put the management of the state and the chief offices in the hands of his own friends.

24. The king gave the final decision, if that decision may be called the king’s: for it is not reasonable The king decides not to chastise Sparta. to suppose that a mere boy should be able to come to a decision on matters of such moment. Historians, however, must attribute to the highest official present the final decisions arrived at: it being thoroughly understood among their readers that propositions and opinions, such as these, in all probability proceed from the members of the council, and particularly from those highest in his confidence. In this case the decision of the king ought most probably to be attributed to Aratus. It was to this effect: the king said that “in the case of injuries inflicted by the allies upon each other separately, his intervention ought to be confined to a remonstrance by word of mouth or letter; but that it was only injuries affecting the whole body of the allies which demanded joint intervention and redress: and seeing that the Lacedaemonians had plainly committed no such injury against the whole body of allies,301 but professed their readiness to satisfy every claim that could with justice be made upon them, he held that he ought not to decree any measure of excessive severity against them. For it would be very inconsistent for him to take severe measures against them for so insignificant a cause; while his father inflicted no punishment at all upon them, though when he conquered them they were not allies but professed enemies.” It having, therefore, been formally decided to overlook the incident, the king immediately sent Petraeus, one of his most trusted friends, with Omias, to exhort the people to remain faithful to their friendship with him and Macedonia, and to interchange oaths of alliance; while he himself started once more with his army and returned towards Corinth, having in his conduct to the Lacedaemonians given an excellent specimen of his policy towards the allies.

25. When he arrived at Corinth he found the envoys from the allied cities already there; and in consultation The congress of allies at Corinth declare war against the Aetolians. with them he discussed the measures to be taken in regard to the Aetolians. The complaints against them were stated by the various envoys. The Boeotians accused them of plundering the temple of Athene at Itone213 in time of peace: the Phocians of having attacked and attempted to seize the cities of Ambrysus and Daulium: the Epirotes of having committed depredations in their territory. The Acarnanians showed how they had contrived a plot for the betrayal of Thyrium into their hands, and had gone so far as to actually assault it under cover of night. The Achaeans made a statement showing that they had seized Clarium in the territory of Megalopolis; traversed the territories of Patrae and Pharae, pillaging the country as they went; completely sacked Cynaetha; plundered the temple of Artemis in Lusi; laid siege to Cleitor; attempted Pylus by sea, and Megalopolis by land, doing all they could by aid of the Illyrians to lay waste the latter after its recent restoration. After listening to these depositions, the congress of allies unanimously decided to go to war with the Aetolians. A decree was, therefore, formulated in which the aforesaid causes for war were stated as a preamble, 302and a declaration sub-joined of their intention of restoring to the several allies any portion of their territory seized by the Aetolians since the death of Demetrius, father of Philip; and similarly of restoring to their ancestral forms of government all states that had been compelled against their will to join the Aetolian league; with full possession of their own territory and cities; subject to no foreign garrison or tribute; in complete independence; and in enjoyment of their own constitutions and laws. Finally a clause in the decree declared their intention of assisting the Amphictyonic council to restore the laws, and to recover its control of the Delphic temple, wrested from it by the Aetolians, who were determined to keep in their own hands all that belonged to that temple.

26. This decree was made in the first year of the 140th Olympiad, and with it began the so-called Social war, B.C. 220. the commencement of which was thoroughly justifiable and a natural consequence of the injurious acts of the Aetolians. The first step of the congress was to send commissioners at once to the several allies, that the decree having been confirmed by as many as possible, all might join in this national war. Philip also sent a declaratory letter to the Aetolians, in order that, if they had any justification to put forward on the points alleged against them, they might even at that late hour meet and settle the controversy by conference: “but if they supposed that they were, with no public declaration of war, to sack and plunder, without the injured parties retaliating, on pain of being considered, if they did so, to have commenced hostilities, they were the most simple people in the world.” On the receipt of this letter the Aetolian magistrates, thinking that Philip would never come, named a day on which they would meet him at Rhium. When they were informed, however, that he had actually arrived there, they sent a despatch informing him that they were not competent, before the meeting of the Aetolian assembly, to settle any public matter on their own authority. But when the Achaeans met at the usual federal assembly, they ratified the decree, and published a proclamation authorising reprisals upon the Aetolians. And when King Philip appeared before the council at Aegium, and informed303 them at length of all that had taken place, they received his speech with warmth, and formally renewed Autumn, B.C. 220. with him personally the friendship which had existed between his ancestors and themselves.

27. Meanwhile, the time of the annual election having come round, the Aetolians elected Scopas as their Strategus, Scopas elected Aetolian Strategus. the man who had been the moving spirit in all these acts of violence. I am at a loss for fitting terms to describe such a public policy. To pass a decree against going to war,214 and yet to go on an actual expedition in force and pillage their neighbours’ territories: not to punish one of those responsible for this: but on the contrary to elect as Strategi and bestow honours on the leaders in these transactions,—this seems to me to involve the grossest disingenuousness. I can find no word which better describes such a treacherous policy; and I will quote two instances to show what I mean by it. When Phoebidas treacherously seized the Cadmeia, B.C. 382.the Lacedaemonians fined the guilty general but declined to withdraw the garrison, on the ground that the wrong was fully atoned for by the punishment of the perpetrator of it: though their plain duty was to have done the reverse, for it was the latter which was of importance to the Thebans. Again this same people published a proclamation giving the various cities freedom and autonomy in accordance B.C. 387. with the terms of the peace of Antalcidas, and yet did not withdraw their Harmosts from the cities. B.C. 385. Again, having driven the Mantineans from their home, who were at the time their friends and allies, they denied that they were doing any wrong, inasmuch as they removed them from one city and settled them in several. But indeed a man is a fool, as much as a knave, if he imagines that, because he shuts his own eyes, his neighbours cannot see. Their fondness for such tortuous policy proved however, both to the Lacedaemonians and Aetolians, the source of the greatest disasters; and it is not one which should commend itself to the imitation either of individuals or states, if they are well advised.


King Philip, then, after his interview with the Achaean assembly, started with his army on the way to Macedonia, in all haste to make preparations for war; leaving a pleasant impression in the minds of all the Greeks: for the nature of the decree, which I have mentioned as having been passed by him,215 gave them good hopes of finding him a man of moderate temper and royal magnanimity.

28. These transactions were contemporaneous with Hannibal’s expedition against Saguntum, after his conquest of all Iberia south of the Iber. Now, had the first attempts of Hannibal been from the beginning involved with the transactions in Greece, it would have been plainly my proper course to have narrated the latter side by side with those in Iberia in my previous book, with an eye solely to dates. But seeing that the wars in Italy, Greece, and Asia were at their commencements entirely distinct, and yet became finally involved with each other, I decided that my history of them must also be distinct, until I came to the point at which they became inseparably interlaced, and began to tend towards a common conclusion. Thus both will be made clear,—the account of their several commencements: and the time, manner, and causes which led to the complication and amalgamation, of which I spoke in my introduction. This point having been reached, I must thenceforth embrace them all in one uninterrupted narrative. This amalgamation began towards the end of the war, in the third year of the 140th Olympiad. B.C. 118. From that year, therefore, my history will, with a due regard to dates, become a general one. Before that year it must be divided into distinct narratives, with a mere recapitulation in each case of the events detailed in the preceding book, introduced for the sake of facilitating the comprehension, and rousing the admiration, of my readers.

29. Philip then passed the winter in Macedonia, in an energetic enlistment of troops for the coming campaign, Philip secures the support of Scerdilaidas. and in securing his frontier on the side of the Barbarians. And having accomplished these objects, he met Scerdilaidas and put himself fearlessly in his power, and discussed with him the terms 305of friendship and alliance; and partly by promising to help him in securing his power in Illyria, and partly by bringing against the Aetolians the charges to which they were only too open, persuaded him without difficulty to assent to his proposals. The fact is that public crimes do not differ from private, except in quantity and extent; and just as in the case of petty thieves, what brings them to ruin more than anything else is that they cheat and are unfaithful to each other, so was it in the case of the Aetolians. They had agreed with Scerdilaidas to give him half the booty, if he would join them in their attack upon Achaea; but when, on his consenting to do so, and actually carrying out his engagement, they had sacked Cynaetha and carried off a large booty in slaves and cattle, they gave him no share in the spoil at all. He was therefore already enraged with them; and required very little persuasion on Philip’s part to induce him to accept the proposal, and agree to join the alliance, on condition of receiving a yearly subsidy of twenty talents; and, in return, putting to sea with thirty galleys and carrying on a naval war with the Aetolians.

30. While Philip was thus engaged, the commissioners sent out to the allies were performing their mission. The Acarnanians, B.C. 220. The first place they came to was Acarnania; and the Acarnanians, with a noble promptitude, confirmed the decree and undertook to join the war against the Aetolians with their full forces. And yet they, if any one, might have been excused if they had put the matter off, and hesitated, and shown fear of entering upon a war with their neighbours; both because they lived upon the frontiers of Aetolia, and still more because they were peculiarly open to attack, and, most of all, because they had a short time before experienced the most dreadful disasters from the enmity of the Aetolians. But I imagine that men of noble nature, whether in private or public affairs, look upon duty as the highest consideration; and in adherence to this principle no people in Greece have been more frequently conspicuous than the Acarnanians, although the forces at their command were but slender. With them, above all others in Greece, an alliance should be sought at a crisis, without any misgiving;306 for they have, individually and collectively, an element of stability and a spirit of liberality. The conduct of the Epirotes was in strong contrast. Duplicity of the Epirotes.When they heard what the commissioners had to say, indeed, they, like the Acarnanians, joined in confirming the decree, and voted to go to war with the Aetolians at such time as Philip also did the same; but with ignoble duplicity they told the Aetolian envoys that they had determined to maintain peace with them.

Ambassadors were despatched also to King Ptolemy, to urge him not to send money to the Aetolians, Ptolemy Philopator. nor to supply them with any aid against Philip and the allies.

31. The Messenians again, on whose account the war began, answered the commissioners sent to them that, Timidity of the Messenians. seeing Phigalia was on their frontier and was in the power of the Aetolians, they would not undertake the war until that city was wrested from them. This decision was forcibly carried, much against the will of the people at large, by the Ephors Oenis and Nicippus, and some others of the oligarchical party: wherein they showed, to my thinking, great ignorance of their true interests. I admit, indeed, that war is a terrible thing; but it is less terrible than to submit to anything whatever in order to avoid it. For what is the meaning of our fine talk about equality of rights, freedom of speech, and liberty, if the one important thing is peace? We have no good word for the Thebans, B.C. 480-479. Pindar fr. because they shrunk from fighting for Greece and chose from fear to side with the Persians,—nor indeed for Pindar who supported their inaction in the verses—216

A quiet haven for the ship of state
Should be the patriot’s aim,
And smiling peace, to small and great
That brings no shame.

For though his advice was for the moment acceptable, it was not long before it became manifest that his opinion was as 307mischievous as it was dishonourable. For peace, with justice and honour, is the noblest and most advantageous thing in the world; when joined with disgrace and contemptible cowardice, it is the basest and most disastrous.217

32. The Messenian leaders, then, being of oligarchical tendencies, and aiming at their own immediate advantage, were always too much inclined to peace. On many critical occasions indeed they managed to elude fear and danger: but all the while this policy of theirs was accumulating a heavy retribution for themselves; and they finally involved their country in the gravest misfortunes. And the reason in my opinion was this, that being neighbours to two of the most powerful nations in the Peloponnese, or I might almost say in Greece, I mean the Arcadians and Lacedaemonians,—one of which had been irreconcilably hostile to them from the moment they occupied the country, and the other disposed to be friendly and protect them,—they never frankly accepted hostility to the Spartans, or friendship with the Arcadians. Accordingly when the attention of the former was distracted by domestic or foreign war, the Messenians were secure; for they always enjoyed peace and tranquillity from the fact of their country lying out of the road: but when the Lacedaemonians, having nothing else on hand to distract their attention, took to inflicting injuries on them, they were unable to withstand the superior strength of the Lacedaemonians by their own power; and, having failed to secure the support of their true friends, who were ready to do anything for their protection, they were reduced to the alternatives of becoming the slaves of Sparta and enduring her heavy exactions; or of leaving their homes to escape from this servitude, abandoning their country with wives and children. And this has repeatedly happened to them within comparatively recent times.

That the present settlement of the Peloponnese may prove a lasting one, so that no measure such as I am about to describe may be ever necessary, is indeed my earnest wish: but if anything does happen to disturb it, and threaten revolutionary changes, the only hope for the Messenians and Megalopolitans of continuing to occupy their present territory, that I can see, 308is a recurrence to the policy of Epaminondas. They must resolve, that is to say, upon a cordial and sincere partnership with each other in every danger and labour.

33. And perhaps my observation may receive some support from ancient history. For, among many other indications, it is a fact that the Messenians did set up a pillar close to the altar of Zeus Lycaeus in the time of Aristomenes,218 according to the evidence of Callisthenes, in which they inscribed the following verses:

A faithless king will perish soon or late!
Messene tracked him down right easily,
The traitor:—perjury must meet its fate;
Glory to Zeus, and life to Arcady!

The point of this is, that, having lost their own country, they pray the gods to save Arcadia as their second country.219 And it was very natural that they should do so; for not only did the Arcadians receive them when driven from their own land, at the time of the Aristomenic war, and make them welcome to their homes and free of their civic rights; but they also passed a vote bestowing their daughters in marriage upon those of the Messenians who were of proper age; and besides all this, investigated the treason of their king Aristocrates in the battle of the Trench; and, finding him guilty, put him to death and utterly destroyed his whole family. But setting aside these ancient events, what has happened recently after the restoration of Megalopolis and Messene will be sufficient to support what I have said. B.C. 362.For when, upon the death of Epaminondas leaving the result of the battle of Mantinea doubtful, the Lacedaemonians endeavoured to prevent the Messenians from being included 309in the truce, hoping even then to get Messenia into their own hands, the Megalopolitans, and all the other Arcadians who were allied with the Messenians, made such a point of their being admitted to the benefits of the new confederacy, that they were accepted by the allies and allowed to take the oaths and share in the provisions of the peace; while the Lacedaemonians were the only Greeks excluded from the treaty. With such facts before him, could any one doubt the soundness of the suggestion I lately made?

I have said thus much for the sake of the Arcadians and Messenians themselves; that, remembering all the misfortunes which have befallen their countries at the hands of the Lacedaemonians, they may cling close to the policy of mutual affection and fidelity; and let no fear of war, or desire of peace, induce them to abandon each other in what affects the highest interests of both.

34. In the matter of the commissioners from the allies, to go back to my story, the behaviour of the Lacedaemonians was very characteristic. Division of opinion in Sparta, B.C. 220. For their own ill-considered and tortuous policy had placed them in such a difficulty, that they finally dismissed them without an answer: thus illustrating, as it seems to me, the truth of the saying, that, “boldness pushed to extremes amounts to want of sense, and comes to nothing.” Subsequently, however, on the appointment of new Ephors, the party who had originally promoted the outbreak, and had been the causes of the massacre, sent to the Aetolians to induce them to despatch an ambassador to Sparta. The Aetolians gladly consented, and in a short time Machatas arrived there in that capacity. Pressure was at once put upon the Ephors to allow Machatas to address the people,220 and to re-establish royalty in accordance with the ancient constitution, and not to allow the Heraclid dynasty to be any longer suppressed, contrary to the laws. The Ephors were annoyed at the proposal, but were unable to withstand the pressure, and afraid of a rising of the younger men: they therefore answered that the question of restoring the kings must be reserved for future consideration; but they consented to grant Machatas an opportunity of addressing310 a public assembly. When the people accordingly were met, Machatas came forward, and in a long speech urged them to embrace the alliance with Aetolia; inveighing in reckless and audacious terms against the Macedonians, while he went beyond all reason and truth in his commendations of the Aetolians. Upon his retirement, there was a long and animated debate between those who supported the Aetolians and advised the adoption of their alliance, and those who took the opposite side. When, however, some of the elders reminded the people of the good services rendered them by Antigonus and the Macedonians, and the injuries inflicted on them by Charixenus and Timaeus,—when the Aetolians invaded them with their full force and ravaged their territory, enslaved the neighbouring villages, and laid a plot for attacking Sparta itself by a fraudulent and forcible restoration of exiles,—these words produced a great revulsion of feeling, and the people finally decided to maintain the alliance with Philip and the Macedonians. Machatas accordingly had to go home without attaining the object of his mission.

35. The party, however, at Sparta who were the original of the instigators of the outbreak could not make up their minds to give way. Murder of the Ephors, B.C. 220. They once more therefore determined to commit a crime of the most impious description, having first corrupted some of the younger men. It was an ancestral custom that, at a certain sacrifice, all citizens of military age should join fully armed in a procession to the temple of Athene of the Brazen-house, while the Ephors remained in the sacred precinct and completed the sacrifice. As the young men therefore were conducting the procession, some of them suddenly fell upon the Ephors, while they were engaged with the sacrifice, and slew them. The enormity of this crime will be made apparent by remembering that the sanctity of this temple was such, that it gave a safe asylum even to criminals condemned to death; whereas its privileges were now by the cruelty of these audacious men treated with such contempt, that the whole of the Ephors were butchered round the altar and the table of the goddess. In pursuance of their purpose they next killed one of the elders, Gyridas, and drove into exile those who had311 spoken against the Aetolians. They then chose some of their own body as Ephors, and made an alliance with the Aetolians. Their motives for doing all this, for incurring the enmity of the Achaeans, for their ingratitude to the Macedonians, and generally for their unjustifiable conduct towards all, was before everything else their devotion to Cleomenes, and the hopes and expectations they continued to cherish that he would return to Sparta in safety. So true it is that men who have the tact to ingratiate themselves with those who surround them can, even when far removed, leave in their hearts very effective materials for kindling the flame of a renewed popularity. This people for instance, to say nothing of other examples, after nearly three years of constitutional government, following the banishment of Cleomenes, without once thinking of appointing kings at Sparta, no sooner heard of the death of Cleomenes than they were eager—populace and Ephors alike—to restore kingly rule. Agesipolis appointed king, Accordingly the Ephors who were in sympathy with the conspirators, and who had made the alliance with Aetolia which I just now mentioned, did so. One of these kings so restored they appointed in accordance with the regular and legal succession, namely Agesipolis. He was a child at the time, a son of Agesipolis, and grandson of that Cleombrotus who had become king, B.C. 242.as the next of kin to this family, when Leonidas was driven from office. As guardian of the young king they elected Cleomenes, son of Cleombrotus and brother of Agesipolis.

Of the other royal house there were surviving two sons of Archidamus, son of Eudamidas, by the daughter of Hippodemon; and Lycurgas. as well as Hippodemon himself, the son of Agesilaus, and several other members of the same branch, though somewhat less closely connected than those I have mentioned. But these were all passed over, and Lycurgus was appointed king, none of whose ancestors had ever enjoyed that title. A present of a talent to each of the Ephors made him “descendant of Hercules” and king of Sparta. So true is it all the world over that such nobility221 is a mere question of a little money.


The result was that the penalty for their folly had to be paid, not by the third generation, but by the very authors of this royalist restoration.

36. When Machatas heard what had happened at Sparta, he returned thither and urged the Ephors and kings to go to war with the Achaeans; Spartans attack Argos, and proclaim war with the Achaeans. arguing that that was the only way of stopping the ambition of the party in Sparta who were doing all they could to break up the alliance with the Aetolians, or of the party in Aetolia who were co-operating with them. Having obtained the consent of the Ephors and kings, Machatas returned home with a success secured him by the blindness of his partisans in Sparta; while Lycurgus with the army and certain others of the citizens invaded the Argive territory, the inhabitants being quite unprepared for an attack, owing to the existing settlement. By a sudden assault he seized Polichna, Prasiae, Leucae, and Cyphanta, but was repulsed at Glympes and Zarax. After these achievements of their king, the Lacedaemonians proclaimed a licence of reprisal against the Achaeans. With the Eleans also Machatas was successful in persuading them, by the same arguments as he had used at Sparta, to go to war with the Achaeans.

The unexpected success of these intrigues caused the Aetolians to enter upon the war with high spirits. But it was quite the contrary with the Achaeans: for Philip, on whom their hopes rested, was still busy with his preparations; the Epirotes were hesitating about going to war, and the Messenians were entirely passive; and meantime the Aetolians, aided by the blind policy of the Eleans and Lacedaemonians, were threatening them with actual war on every side.

37. The year of Aratus’s office was just expiring, and his son Aratus the younger had been elected to succeed him as Strategus, Aratus succeeded by his son as Strategus of the Achaeans, May B.C. 219. and was on the point of taking over the office. Scopas was still Strategus of the Aetolians, and in fact it was just about the middle of his year. For the Aetolians hold their elections immediately after the autumn equinox, while the Achaeans hold theirs about the time of the rising of the Pleiads. As soon therefore as summer had313 well set in, and Aratus the younger had taken over his office, all these wars at once began simultaneously. Hannibal began besieging Saguntum; June-September. B.C. 219. the Romans sent Lucius Aemilius with an army to Illyria against Demetrius of Pharos,—of both which I spoke in the last book; Antiochus, having had Ptolemais and Tyre betrayed to him by Theodotus, meditated attacking Coele-Syria; and Ptolemy was engaged in preparing for the war with Antiochus. While Lycurgus, wishing to make a beginning after the pattern of Cleomenes, pitched his camp near the Athenaeum of Megalopolis and was laying siege to it: the Achaeans were collecting mercenary horse and foot for the war which was upon them: and Philip, finally, was starting from Macedonia with an army consisting of ten thousand heavy-armed soldiers of the phalanx, five thousand light-armed, and eight hundred cavalry. Such was the universal state of war or preparation for war.

38. At the same time the Rhodians went to war with the Byzantines, for reasons which I Rhodian and Byzantium war, 220-219 B.C. must now describe.

As far as the sea is concerned, Byzantium occupies a position the most secure and in every way the most Advantages of the situation of Byzantium. advantageous of any town in our quarter of the world: while in regard to the land, its situation is in both respects the most unfavourable. By sea it so completely commands the entrance to the Pontus, that no merchant can sail in or out against its will. The Pontus therefore being rich in what the rest of the world requires for the support of life, the Byzantines are absolute masters of all such things. For those commodities which are the first necessaries of existence, cattle and slaves, are confessedly supplied by the districts round the Pontus in greater profusion, and of better quality, than by any others: and for luxuries, they supply us with honey, wax, and salt-fish in great abundance; while they take our superfluous stock of olive oil and every kind of wine. In the matter of corn there is a mutual interchange, they supplying or taking it as it happens to be convenient. Now the Greeks would necessarily have been excluded entirely from traffic in these articles, or at least would have had to carry it on at a loss, if the Byzantines had adopted a hostile attitude, and made314 common cause formerly with the Gauls, or still more at this time with the Thracians, or had abandoned the place altogether: for owing to the narrowness of the strait, and the number of the barbarians along its shores, it would have become entirely impassable to our ships. The Byzantines themselves probably feel the advantages of the situation, in the supplies of the necessaries of life, more than any one else; for their superfluity finds a ready means of export, and what they lack is readily imported, with profit to themselves, and without difficulty or danger: but other people too, as I have said, get a great many commodities by their means. As common benefactors therefore of all Greece they might justly expect, not only gratitude, but the united assistance of Greeks, when threatened by the barbarians.

But since the peculiar natural advantages of this site are generally unknown, because it lies somewhat outside the parts of the world ordinarily visited; and since it is an universal wish to be acquainted with things of this sort, by ocular inspection, if possible, of such places as have any unusual or remarkable features; or, if that is impossible, by having in our minds some ideas or images of them as like the truth as may be, I must now state the facts of the case, and what it is that makes this city so eminently rich and prosperous.

39. The sea called “The Pontus” has a circumference of twenty-two thousand stades, and two mouths The Pontus. diametrically opposite to each other, the one opening into the Propontis and the other into the Maeotic Lake; which latter also has itself a circumference of eight thousand stades. Into these two basins many great rivers discharge themselves on the Asiatic side, and still larger and more numerous on the European; and so the Maeotic lake, as it gets filled up, flows into the Pontus, and the Pontus into the Propontis. The mouth of the Maeotic lake is called the Cimmerian Bosporus, about thirty stades broad and sixty long, and shallow all over; that of the Pontus is called the Thracian Bosporus, and is a hundred and twenty stades long, and of a varying breadth. Between Calchedon and Byzantium the channel is fourteen stades broad, and this is the entrance at the end nearest the315 Propontis. Coming from the Pontus, it begins at a place called Hieron, at which they say that Jason on his return voyage from Colchis first sacrificed to the twelve gods. This place is on the Asiatic side, and its distance from the European coast is twelve stades, measuring to Sarapieium, which lies exactly opposite in Thrace. There are two causes which account for the fact that the waters, both of the Maeotic lake and the Pontus, continually flow outwards. One is patent at once to every observer, namely, that by the continual discharge of many streams into basins which are of definite circumference and content, the water necessarily is continually increasing in bulk, and, had there been no outlet, would inevitably have encroached more and more, and occupied an ever enlarging area in the depression: but as outlets do exist, the surplus water is carried off by a natural process, and runs perpetually through the channels that are there to receive it. The second cause is the alluvial soil brought down, in immense quantities of every description, by the rivers swollen from heavy rains, which forms shelving banks and continually forces the water to take a higher level, which is thus also carried through these outlets. Now as this process of alluvial deposit and influx of water is unceasing and continuous, so also the discharge through the channels is necessarily unceasing and continuous.

These are the true causes of the outflow of the Pontus, which do not depend for their credit on the stories of merchants, but upon the actual observation of nature, which is the most accurate method discoverable.

40. As I have started this topic I must not, as most historians do, leave any point undiscussed, or only barely stated. My object is rather to give information, and to clear up doubtful points for my readers. This is the peculiarity of the present day, in which every sea and land has been thrown open to travellers; and in which, therefore, one can no longer employ the evidence of poets and fabulists, as my predecessors have done on very many points, “offering,” as Heraclitus says, “tainted witnesses to disputed facts,”—but I must try to make my narrative in itself carry conviction to my readers.

I say then the Pontus has long been in process of being filled up with mud, and that this process is actually going on316 now: and further, that in process of time both it and the Propontis, assuming the same local conditions to be maintained, and the causes of the alluvial deposit to continue active, will be entirely filled up. For time being infinite, and the depressions most undoubtedly finite, it is plain that, even though the amount of deposit be small, they must in course of time be filled. For a finite process, whether of accretion or decrease, must, if we presuppose infinite time, be eventually completed, however infinitesimal its progressive stages may be. In the present instance the amount of soil deposited being not small, but exceedingly large, it is plain that the result I mentioned will not be remote but rapid. And, in fact, it is evident that it is already taking place. The Maeotic lake is already so much choked up, that the greater part of it is only from seven to five fathoms deep, and accordingly cannot any longer be passed by large ships without a pilot. And having moreover been originally a sea precisely on a level with the Pontus, it is now a freshwater lake: the sea-water has been expelled by the silting up of the bottom, and the discharge of the rivers has entirely overpowered it. The same will happen to the Pontus, and indeed is taking place at this moment; and though it is not evident to ordinary observers, owing to the vastness of its basin, yet a moderately attentive study will discover even now what is going on.

41. For the Danube discharging itself into the Pontus by several mouths, we find opposite it a bank formed by the mud discharged from these mouths extending for nearly a thousand stades, at a distance of a day’s sail from the shore as it now exists; upon which ships sailing to the Pontus run, while apparently still in deep water, and find themselves unexpectedly stranded on the sandbanks which the sailors call the Breasts. That this deposit is not close to the shore, but projected to some distance, must be accounted for thus: exactly as far as the currents of the rivers retain their force from the strength of the descending stream, and overpower that of the sea, it must of course follow that to that distance the earth, and whatever else is carried down by the rivers, would be projected, and neither settle nor become fixed until it is reached. But when the force of the currents has become quite spent by the depth and bulk of the317 sea, it is but natural that the soil held in solution should settle down and assume a fixed position. This is the explanation of the fact, that, in the case of large and rapid rivers, such embankments are at considerable distances, and the sea close in shore deep; while in the case of smaller and more sluggish streams, these sandbanks are at their mouths. The strongest proof of this is furnished by the case of heavy rains; for when they occur, rivers of inferior size, overpowering the waves at their mouths, project the alluvial deposit out to sea, to a distance exactly in proportion to the force of the streams thus discharging themselves. It would be mere foolish scepticism to disbelieve in the enormous size of this sandbank, and in the mass of stones, timber, and earth carried down by the rivers; when we often see with our own eyes an insignificant stream suddenly swell into a torrent, and force its way over lofty rocks, sweeping along with it every kind of timber, soil, and stones, and making such huge moraines, that at times the appearance of a locality becomes in a brief period difficult to recognise.222

42. This should prevent any surprise that rivers of such magnitude and rapidity, flowing perpetually instead of intermittently, should produce these effects and end by filling up the Pontus. For it is not a mere probability, but a logical certainty, that this must happen. And a proof of what is going to take place is this, that in the same proportion as the Maeotic lake is less salt than the Pontus, the Pontus is less so than the Mediterranean. From which it is manifest that, when the time which it has taken for the Maeotic lake to fill up shall have been extended in proportion to the excess of the Pontic over the Maeotic basin, then the Pontus will also become like a marsh and lake, and filled with fresh water like the Maeotic lake: nay, we must suppose that the process will be somewhat more rapid, insomuch as the rivers falling into it are more numerous and more rapid. I have said thus much in answer to the incredulity of those who cannot believe that 318the Pontus is actually being silted up, and will some day be filled; and that so vast a sea will ever become a lake or marsh. But I have another and higher object also in thus speaking: which is to prevent our ignorance from forcing us to give a childish credence to every traveller’s tale and marvel related by voyagers; and that, by possessing certain indications of the truth, we may be enabled by them to test the truth or falsehood of anything alleged by this or that person.

43. I must now return to the discussion of the excellence of the site of Byzantium. Site of Byzantium. The length of the channel connecting the Pontus and Propontis being, as I have said, a hundred and twenty stades, and Hieron marking its termination towards the Pontus, and the Strait of Byzantium that towards the Propontis,—half-way between these, on the European side, stands Hermaeum, on a headland jutting out into the channel, about five stades from the Asiatic coast, just at the narrowest point of the whole channel; B.C. 512. where Darius is said to have made his bridge of ships across the strait, when he crossed to invade Scythia. In the rest of the channel the running of the current from the Pontus is much the same, owing to the similarity of the coast formation on either side of it; but when it reaches Hermaeum on the European side, which I said was the narrowest point, the stream flowing from the Pontus, and being thus confined, strikes the European coast with great violence, and then, as though by a rebound from a blow, dashes against the opposite Asiatic coast, and thence again sweeps back and strikes the European shore near some headlands called the Hearths: thence it runs rapidly once more to the spot on the Asiatic side called the Cow, the place on which the myth declares Io to have first stood after swimming the channel. Finally the current runs from the Cow right up to Byzantium, and dividing into two streams on either side of the city, the lesser part of it forms the gulf called the Horn, while the greater part swerves once more across. But it has no longer sufficient way on it to reach the opposite shore on which Calchedon stands: for after its several counter-blows the current, finding at this point a wider channel, slackens; and no longer makes short rebounds at right angles from one shore to the other, but319 more and more at an obtuse angle, and accordingly, falling short of Calchedon, runs down the middle of the channel.

44. What then makes Byzantium a most excellent site, and Calchedon the reverse, is just this: and although at first sight both positions seem equally convenient, the practical fact is that it is difficult to sail up to the latter, even if you wish to do so; while the current carries you to the former, whether you will or no, as I have just now shown. And a proof of my assertion is this: those who want to cross from Calchedon to Byzantium cannot sail straight across the channel, but coast up to the Cow and Chrysopolis,—which the Athenians formerly seized, by the advice of Alcibiades, B.C. 410. when they for the first time levied customs on ships sailing into the Pontus,223—and then drift down the current, which carries them as a matter of course to Byzantium. And the same is the case with a voyage on either side of Byzantium. For if a man is running before a south wind from the Hellespont, or to the Hellespont from the Pontus before the Etesian winds, if he keeps to the European shore, he has a direct and easy course to the narrow part of the Hellespont between Abydos and Sestos, and thence also back again to Byzantium: but if he goes from Calchedon along the Asiatic coast, the case is exactly the reverse, from the fact that the coast is broken up by deep bays, and that the territory of Cyzicus projects to a considerable distance. Nor can a man coming from the Hellespont to Calchedon obviate this by keeping to the European coast as far as Byzantium, and then striking across to Calchedon; for the current and other circumstances which I have mentioned make it difficult. Similarly, for one sailing out from Calchedon it is absolutely impossible to make straight for Thrace, owing to the intervening current, and to the fact that both winds are unfavourable to both voyages; for as the south wind blows into the Pontus, and the north wind from it, the one or the other of these must be encountered in both these voyages. These, then, are the advantages enjoyed by Byzantium in regard to the sea: I must now describe its disadvantages on shore.

45. They consist in the fact that its territory is so completely320 hemmed in by Thrace from shore to shore, that the Byzantines have a perpetual and dangerous war continually on hand with the Thracians. Disadvantages of Byzantium. For they are unable once for all to arm and repel them by a single decisive battle, owing to the number of their people and chiefs. For if they conquer one chief, three others still more formidable invade their territory. Nor again do they gain anything by consenting to pay tribute and make terms; for a concession of any sort to one brings at once five times as many enemies upon them. Therefore, as I say, they are burdened by a perpetual and dangerous war: for what can be more hazardous or more formidable than a war with barbarians living on your borders? Nay, it is not only this perpetual struggle with danger on land, but, apart from the evils that always accompany war, they have to endure a misery like that ascribed by the poets to Tantalus: for being in possession of an extremely fertile district, no sooner have they expended their labour upon it and been rewarded by crops of the finest quality, than the barbarians sweep down, and either destroy them, or collect and carry them off; and then, to say nothing of the loss of their labour and expense, the very excellence of the crops enhances the misery and distress of seeing them destroyed before their eyes. Still, habit making them able to endure the war with the Thracians, they maintained their original connexions with the other Greeks; but when to their other misfortunes was added the attack of the Gauls under Comontorius, they were reduced to a sad state of distress indeed.

46. These Gauls had left their country with Brennus, and having survived the battle at Delphi and made their way to the Hellespont, The Gauls, B.C. 279. instead of crossing to Asia, were captivated by the beauty of the district round Byzantium, and settled there. Then, having conquered the Thracians and erected Tyle224 into a capital, they placed the Byzantines in extreme danger. In their earlier attacks, made under the command of Comontorius their first king, the Byzantines always bought them off by 321presents amounting to three, or five, or sometimes even ten thousand gold pieces, on condition of their not devastating their territory: and at last were compelled to agree to pay them a yearly tribute of eighty talents, until the time of Cavarus, in whose reign their kingdom came to an end; and their whole tribe, being in their turn conquered by the Thracians, were entirely annihilated. It was in these times, then, that being hard pressed by the payment of these exactions, the Byzantines first sent embassies to the Greek states with a prayer for aid and support in their dangerous situation: but being disregarded by the greater number, they, under pressure of necessity, attempted to levy dues upon ships sailing into the Pontus.

47. Now this exaction by the Byzantines of a duty upon goods brought from the Pontus, The Byzantines levy a toll. being a heavy loss and burden to everybody, was universally regarded as a grievance; and accordingly an appeal from all those engaged in the trade was made to the Rhodians, as acknowledged masters of the sea: and it was from this circumstance that the war originated of which I am about to speak.

For the Rhodians, roused to action by the loss incurred by themselves, as well as that of their neighbours, The Rhodians declare war, B.C. 220. at first joined their allies in an embassy to Byzantium, and demanded the abolition of the impost. The Byzantines refused compliance, being persuaded that they were in the right by the arguments advanced by their chief magistrates, Hecatorus and Olympidorus, in their interview with the ambassadors. The Rhodian envoys accordingly departed without effecting their object. But upon their return home, war was at once voted against Byzantium on these grounds; and messengers were immediately despatched to Prusias inviting his co-operation in the war: for they knew that Prusias was from various causes incensed with the Byzantines.

48. The Byzantines took steps of a similar nature, by sending to Attalus and Achaeus begging for their assistance. For his part Attalus was ready enough to give it: but his importance was small, because he had been reduced within the322 limits of his ancestral dominions by Achaeus. But Achaeus who exercised dominion throughout Asia on this side Taurus, and had recently established his regal power, promised assistance; and his attitude roused high hopes in the minds of the Byzantines, and corresponding depression in those of the Rhodians and Prusias. Achaeus. Achaeus was a relation of the Antiochus who had just succeeded to the kingdom of Syria; and he became possessed of the dominion I have mentioned through the following circumstances. After the death of Seleucus, father of the above-named Antiochus, and the succession of his eldest son Seleucus to the throne, B.C. 226. Achaeus accompanied the latter in an expedition over Mount Taurus, about two years before the period of which we are speaking.225 For as soon as Seleucus the younger had succeeded to the kingdom he learnt that Attalus had already reduced all Asia on this side of Taurus under his power; and being accordingly eager to support his own rights, he crossed Taurus with a large army. There he was treacherously assassinated by Apaturius the Gaul, and Nicanor. Achaeus, in right of his relationship, promptly revenged his murder by killing Nicanor and Apaturius; and taking supreme command of the army and administration, conducted it with wisdom and integrity. For the opportunity was a convenient one, and the feeling of the common soldiers was all in favour of his assuming the crown; yet he refused to do so, and preserving the royal title for Antiochus the younger, son of Seleucus, went on energetically with the expedition, and the recovery of the whole of the territory this side Taurus. Meeting however with unexpected success,—for he shut up Attalus within the walls of Pergamus and became master of all the rest of the country,—he was puffed up by his good fortune, and at once swerved from his straightforward course of policy. He assumed the diadem, adopted the title of king, and was at this time the most powerful and formidable of all the kings and princes this side Taurus. This was the man on whose help the Byzantines relied when they undertook the war against the Rhodians and Prusias.


49. As to the provocations given before this to Prusias by the Byzantines they were various. Prusias. In the first place he complained that, having voted to put up certain statues of him, they had not done so, but had delayed or forgotten it. In the second place he was annoyed with them for taking great pains to compose the hostility, and put an end to the war, between Achaeus and Attalus; because he looked upon a friendship between these two as in many ways detrimental to his own interests. He was provoked also because it appeared that when Attalus was keeping the festival of Athene, the Byzantines had sent a mission to join in the celebration; but had sent no one to him when he was celebrating the Soteria. Nursing therefore a secret resentment for these various offences, he gladly snatched at the pretext offered him by the Rhodians; and arranged with their ambassadors that they were to carry on the war by sea, while he would undertake to inflict no less damage on the enemy by land.

Such were the causes and origin of the war between Rhodes and Byzantium.

50. At first the Byzantines entered upon the war with energy, in full confidence of receiving the assistance of Achaeus; Hostilities commence, B.C. 220. and of being able to cause Prusias as much alarm and danger by fetching Tiboetes from Macedonia as he had done to them. For Prusias, entering upon the war with all the animosity which I have described, had seized the place called Hieron at the entrance of the channel, which the Byzantines not long before had purchased for a considerable sum of money, because of its convenient situation; and because they did not wish to leave in any one else’s hands a point of vantage to be used against merchants sailing into the Pontus, or one which commanded the slave trade, or the fishing. Besides this, Prusias had seized in Asia a district of Mysia, which had been in the possession of Byzantium for many years past.

Meanwhile the Rhodians manned six ships and received four from their allies; and, having elected Xenophantus to command them, they sailed with this squadron of ten ships to the Hellespont. Nine of them dropped anchor near Sestos,324 and stopped ships sailing into the Pontus; with the tenth the admiral sailed to Byzantium, to test the spirit of the people, and see whether they were already sufficiently alarmed to change their minds about the war. Finding them resolved not to listen he sailed away, and, taking up his other nine ships, returned to Rhodes with the whole squadron.

Meanwhile the Byzantines sent a message to Achaeus asking for aid, and an escort to conduct Tiboetes from Macedonia. For it was believed that Tiboetes had as good a claim to the kingdom of Bithynia as Prusias, who was his nephew.

51. But seeing the confident spirit of the Byzantines, the Rhodians adopted an exceedingly able plan to obtain their object. The Rhodians secure the friendship of Achaeus. They perceived that the resolution of the Byzantines in venturing on the war rested mainly on their hopes of the support of Achaeus. Now they knew that the father of Achaeus was detained at Alexandria, and that Achaeus was exceedingly anxious for his father’s safety: they therefore hit upon the idea of sending an embassy to Ptolemy, and asking him to deliver this Andromachus to them. This request, indeed, they had before made, but without laying any great stress upon it: now, however, they were genuinely anxious for it; that, by doing this favour to Achaeus, they might lay him under such an obligation to them, that he would be unable to refuse any request they might make to him. When the ambassadors arrived, Ptolemy at first deliberated as to detaining Andromachus; because there still remained some points of dispute between himself and Antiochus unsettled; and Achaeus, who had recently declared himself king, could exercise a decisive influence in several important particulars. For Andromachus was not only father of Achaeus, but brother also of Laodice, the wife of Seleucus.226 However, on a review of the whole situation, Ptolemy inclined to the Rhodians; and being anxious to show them every favour, he yielded to their request, and handed over Andromachus to them to conduct to his son. Having accordingly done this, and having conferred some additional marks of honour on Achaeus, they deprived the 325Byzantines of their most important hope. And this was not the only disappointment which the Byzantines had to encounter; for as Tiboetes was being escorted from Macedonia, he entirely defeated their plans by dying. This misfortune damped the ardour of the Byzantines, while it encouraged Prusias to push on the war. On the Asiatic side he carried it on in person, and with great energy; while on the European side he hired Thracians who prevented the Byzantines from leaving their gates. For their party being thus baulked of their hopes, and surrounded on every side by enemies, the Byzantines began to look about then for some decent pretext for withdrawing from the war.

52. So when the Gallic king, Cavarus, came to Byzantium, and showed himself eager to put an end to the war, The Gallic king, Cavarus, negotiates a peace, B.C. 220. and earnestly offered his friendly intervention, both Prusias and the Byzantines consented to his proposals. And when the Rhodians were informed of the interference of Cavarus and the consent of Prusias, being very anxious to secure their own object also, they elected Aridices as ambassador to Byzantium, and sent Polemocles with him in command of three triremes, wishing, as the saying is, to send the Byzantines “spear and herald’s staff at once.” Upon their appearance a pacification was arranged, in the year of Cothon, son of Callisthenes, Hieromnemon in Byzantium.227 The treaty with the Rhodians was simple: “The Byzantines will not collect toll from any ship sailing into the Pontus; and in that case the Rhodians and their allies are at peace with the Byzantines.” But that with Prusias contained the following provisions: “There shall be peace and amity for ever between Prusias and the Byzantines; the Byzantines shall in no way attack Prusias, nor Prusias the Byzantines. Prusias shall restore to 326Byzantines all lands, forts, populations, and prisoners of war, without ransom; and besides these things, the ships taken at the beginning of the war, and the arms seized in the fortresses; and also the timbers, stone-work, and roofing belonging to the fort called Hieron” (for Prusias, in his terror of the approach of Tiboetes, had pulled down every fort which seemed to lie conveniently for him): “finally, Prusias shall compel such of the Bithynians as have any property taken from the Byzantine district of Mysia to restore it to the farmers.”

Such were the beginning and end of the war of Rhodes and Prusias with Byzantium.

53. At the same time the Cnossians sent an embassy to the Rhodians, and persuaded them to send them War between Rhodes and Crete. the ships that were under the command of Polemocles, and to launch three undecked vessels besides and send them also to Crete. The Rhodians having complied, and the vessels having arrived at Crete, the people of Eleutherna suspecting that one of their citizens named Timarchus had been put to death by Polemocles to please the Cnossians, first proclaimed a right of reprisal against the Rhodians, and then went to open war with them.

54. The people of Lyttos,228 too, a short time before this, met with an irretrievable disaster. The destruction of Lyttos. At that time the political state of Crete as a whole was this. The Cnossians, in league with the people of Gortyn, had a short time previously reduced the whole island under their power, with the exception of the city of Lyttos; and this being the only city which refused obedience, they resolved to go to war with it, being bent upon removing its inhabitants from their homes, as an example and terror to the rest of Crete. Accordingly at first the whole of the other Cretan cities were united in war against Lyttos: but presently when some jealousy arose from certain trifling causes, as is the way with the Cretans, they separated into hostile parties, the peoples of Polyrrhen, Cere, and Lappa, along with the Horii and Arcades,229 forming one party and separating themselves from connexion with the Cnossians, resolved to make common 327cause with the Lyttians. Among the people of Gortyn, again, the elder men espoused the side of Cnossus, the younger that of Lyttos, and so were in opposition to each other. Taken by surprise by this disintegration of their allies, the Cnossians fetched over a thousand men from Aetolia in virtue of their alliance: upon which the party of the elders in Gortyn immediately seized the citadel; introduced the Cnossians and Aetolians; and either expelled or put to death the young men, and delivered the city into the hands of the Cnossians. And at the same time, the Lyttians having gone out with their full forces on an expedition into the enemy’s territory, the Cnossians got information of the fact, and seized Lyttos while thus denuded of its defenders. The children and women they sent to Cnossus; and having set fire to the town, thrown down its buildings, and damaged it in every possible way, returned. When the Lyttians reached home from their expedition, and saw what had happened, they were struck with such violent grief that not a man of the whole host had the heart to enter his native city; but one and all having marched round its walls, with frequent cries and lamentations over their misfortune and that of their country, turned back again towards the city of Lappa. The people of Lappa gave them a kind and entirely cordial reception; and having thus in one day become cityless and aliens, they joined these allies in their war against the Cnossians. Thus at one fell swoop was Lyttos, a colony of Sparta and allied with the Lacedaemonians in blood, the most ancient of the cities in Crete, and by common consent the mother of the bravest men in the island, utterly cut off.

55. But the peoples of Polyrrhen and Lappa and all their allies, seeing that the Cnossians clung to the alliance of the Aetolians, Appeal to the Achaeans and Philip. and that the Aetolians were at war with King Philip and the Achaeans, sent ambassadors to the two latter asking for their help and to be admitted to alliance with them. Both requests were granted: they were admitted into the roll of allies, and assistance was sent to them, consisting of four hundred Illyrians under Plator, two hundred Achaeans, and a hundred Phocians; whose arrival was of the utmost advantage to the interest of Polyrrhenia and her allies: for in a brief space328 of time they shut the Eleuthernaeans and Cydonians within their walls, and compelled the people of Aptera to forsake the alliance of the Cnossians and share their fortunes. When these results had been obtained, the Polyrrhenians and their allies joined in sending to the aid of Philip and the Achaeans five hundred Cretans, the Cnossians having sent a thousand to the Aetolians a short time before; both of which contingents took part in the existing war on their respective sides. Nay more, the exiled party of Gortyn seized the harbour of Phaestus,230 and also by a sudden and bold attack occupied the port of Gortyn itself; and from these two places as bases of operation they carried on the war with the party in the town. Such was the state of Crete.

56. About the same time Mithridates also declared war against the people of Sinope; Mithridates IV., king of Pontus, declares war against Sinope. which proved to be the beginning and occasion of the disaster which ultimately befell the Sinopeans. Upon their sending an embassy with a view to this war to beg for assistance from the Rhodians, the latter decided to elect three men, and to grant them a hundred and forty thousand drachmae with which to procure supplies needed by the Sinopeans. The men so appointed got ready ten thousand jars of wine, three hundred talents231 of prepared hair, a hundred talents of made-up bowstring, a thousand suits of armour, three thousand gold pieces, and four catapults with engineers to work them. The Sinopean envoys took these presents and departed; for the people of Sinope, being in great anxiety lest Mithridates should attempt to besiege them both by land and sea, were making all manner of preparations with this view. Sinope lies on the right-hand shore of the Pontus as one sails to Phasis, and is built upon a peninsula jutting out into the sea: it is on the neck of this peninsula, connecting it with Asia, which is not more than two stades wide, that the city is so placed as to entirely close 329it up from sea to sea; the rest of the peninsula stretches out into the open sea,—a piece of flat land from which the town is easily accessible, but surrounded by a steep coast offering very bad harbourage, and having exceedingly few spots admitting of disembarkation. The Sinopeans then were dreadfully alarmed lest Mithridates should blockade them, by throwing up works against their town on the side towards Asia, and by making a descent on the opposite side upon the low ground in front of the town: and they accordingly determined to strengthen the line of the peninsula, where it was washed by the sea, by putting up wooden defences and erecting palisades round the places accessible from the sea; and at the same time by storing weapons and stationing guards at all points open to attack: for the whole area is not large, but is capable of being easily defended and by a moderate force.

Such was the situation at Sinope at the time of the commencement of the Social war,—to which I must now return.

57. King Philip started from Macedonia with his army for Thessaly and Epirus, being bent on taking that route in his invasion of Aetolia. The History of the Social war resumed from ch. 37. Philip starts for Aetolia, B.C. 219. Night surprise of Aegira. And at the same time Alexander and Dorimachus, having succeeded in establishing an intrigue for the betrayal of Aegira, had collected about twelve hundred Aetolians into Oeanthe, which is in Aetolia, exactly opposite the above-named town; and, having prepared vessels to convey them across the gulf, were waiting for favourable weather for making the voyage in fulfilment of their design. For a deserter from Aetolia, who had spent a long time at Aegira, and had had full opportunity of observing that the guards of the gate towards Aegium were in the habit of getting drunk, and keeping their watch with great slackness, had again and again crossed over to Dorimachus; and, laying this fact before him, had invited him to make the attempt, well knowing that he was thoroughly accustomed to such practices. The city of Aegira lies on the Peloponnesian coast of the Corinthian gulf, between the cities of Aegium and Sicyon, upon some strong and inaccessible heights, facing towards Parnassus and that district of the opposite coast, and standing about seven stades330 back from the sea. At the mouth of the river which flows past this town Dorimachus dropped anchor under cover of night, having at length obtained favourable weather for crossing. He and Alexander, accompanied by Archidamus the son of Pantaleon and the main body of the Aetolians, then advanced towards the city along the road leading from Aegium. But the deserter, with twenty of the most active men, having made his way by a shorter cut than the others over the cliffs where there was no road, owing to his knowledge of the locality, got into the city through a certain water-course and found the guards of the gate still asleep. Having killed them while actually in their beds, and cut the bolts of the gates with their axes, they opened them to the Aetolians. Having thus surprised the town, they behaved with a conspicuous want of caution, which eventually saved the people of Aegira, and proved the destruction of the Aetolians themselves. They seemed to imagine that to get within the gates was all there was to do in occupying an enemy’s town; and accordingly acted as I shall now describe.

58. They kept together for a very brief space of time near the market-place, and then scattering in every direction, Alexander killed. in their passion for plunder, rushed into the houses and began carrying off the wealth they contained. But it was now broad daylight: and the attack being wholly unexpected and sudden, those of the Aegiratans whose houses were actually entered by the enemy, in the utmost terror and alarm, all took to flight and made their way out of the town, believing it to be completely in the power of the enemy; but those of them whose houses were untouched, and who, hearing the shouting, sallied out to the rescue, all rushed with one accord to the citadel. These last continually increased in number and confidence; while the Aetolians on the contrary kept continually becoming less closely united, and less subject to discipline, from the causes above mentioned. But Dorimachus, becoming conscious of his danger, rallied his men and charged the citizens who were occupying the citadel: imagining that, by acting with decision and boldness, he would terrify and turn to flight those who had rallied to defend the town. But the Aegiratans, cheering331 each other on, offered a strenuous resistance, and grappled gallantly with the Aetolians. The citadel being unwalled, and the struggle being at close quarters and man to man, the battle was at first as desperate as might be expected between two sides, of which one was fighting for country and children, the other for bare life. Finally the invading Aetolians were repulsed: and the Aegiratans, taking advantage of their higher position, made a fierce and vigorous charge down the slope upon the enemy; which struck such terror in them, that in the confusion that followed the fugitives trampled each other to death at the gates. Alexander himself fell fighting in the actual battle; but Archidamus was killed in the struggle and crush at the gates. Of the main body of Aetolians, some were trampled to death; others flying over the pathless hills fell over precipices and broke their necks; while such as escaped in safety to the ships managed, after shamefully throwing away their arms, to sail away and escape from what seemed a desperate danger. Thus it came about that the Aegiratans having lost their city by their carelessness, unexpectedly regained it by their valour and gallantry.

59. About the same time Euripidas, who had been sent out to act as general to the Eleans, Euripidas. after overrunning the districts of Dyme, Pharae, and Tritaea, and collecting a considerable amount of booty, was marching back to Elis. But Miccus of Dyme, who happened at the time to be Sub-strategus of the Achaean league, went out to the rescue with a body of Dymaeans, Pharaeans, and Tritaeans, and attacked him as he was returning. But proceeding too precipitately, he fell into an ambush and lost a large number of his men: for forty of his infantry were killed and about two hundred taken prisoners. Elated by this success, Euripidas a few days afterwards made another expedition, and seized a fort belonging to the Dymaeans on the river Araxus, standing in an excellent situation, and called the Wall, which the myths affirm to have been anciently built by Hercules, when at war with the Eleans, as a base of operations against them.

60. The peoples of Dyme, Pharae, and Tritaea having been worsted in their attempt to relieve the country, and332 afraid of what would happen from this capture of the fort, first sent messengers to the Strategus, Aratus, Inactivity of Aratus. Dyme, Pharae, and Tritaea separate from the league. to inform him of what had happened and to ask for aid, and afterwards a formal embassy with the same request. But Aratus was unable to get the mercenaries together, because in the Cleomenic war the Achaeans had failed to pay some of the wages of the hired troops: and his entire policy and management of the whole war was in a word without spirit or nerve. Accordingly Lycurgus seized the Athenaeum of Megalopolis, and Euripidas followed up his former successes by taking Gortyna232 in the territory of Telphusa. But the people of Dyme, Pharae, and Tritaea, despairing of assistance from the Strategus, came to a mutual agreement to cease paying the common contribution to the Achaean league, and to collect a mercenary army on their own account, three hundred infantry and fifty horse; and to secure the country by their means. In this action they were considered to have shown a prudent regard for their own interests, but not for those of the community at large; for they were thought to have set an evil example, and supplied a precedent to those whose wish it was to break up the league. But in fact the chief blame for their proceeding must rightfully be assigned to the Strategus, who pursued such a dilatory policy, and slighted or wholly rejected the prayers for help which reached him from time to time. For as long as he has any hope, from relations and allies, any man who is in danger will cling to them; but when in his distress he has to give up that hope, he is forced to help himself the best way he can. Wherefore we must not find fault with the people of Tritaea, Pharae, and Dyme for having mercenaries on their own account, when the chief magistrate of the league hesitated to act: but some blame does attach to them for renouncing the joint contribution. They certainly were not bound to neglect to secure their own safety by every opportunity and means in their power; but they were bound at the same time to keep up their just dues to the league: especially as the recovery of such payment was 333perfectly secured to them by the common laws; and most of all because they had been the originators of the Achaean confederacy.233

61. Such was the state of things in the Peloponnese when King Philip, after crossing Thessaly, Philip V. at Ambracia, B.C. 219. arrived in Epirus. Reinforcing his Macedonians by a full levy of Epirotes, and being joined by three hundred slingers from Achaia, and the five hundred Cretans sent him by the Polyrrhenians, he continued his march through Epirus and arrived in the territory of the Ambracians. Now, if he had continued his march without interruption, and thrown himself into the interior of Aetolia, by the sudden and unlooked-for attack of so formidable an army he would have put an end to the whole campaign: but as it was, he was over-persuaded by the Epirotes to take Ambracus first; and so gave the Aetolians an interval in which to make a stand, to take precautionary measures, and to prepare for the future. For the Epirotes, thinking more of their own advantage than of that of the confederacy, and being very anxious to get Ambracus234 into their power, begged Philip to invest the town and take it before doing anything else: the fact being that they regarded it as a matter of the utmost importance to recover Ambracia from the Aetolians; and thought that the only way of doing this was to become masters of this place, Ambracus, and besiege the town of Ambracia from it. For Ambracus is a place strongly fortified by walls and out-works, standing in the midst of marshes, and approached from the land by only one narrow raised causeway; and commanding by its situation both the district and town of Ambracia.

62. While Philip, then, by the persuasion of the Epirotes, pitching his camp near Ambracus, was engaged in making his preparations for the siege, Scopas raised a general levy of Aetolians, and marching through Thessaly crossed the frontiers 334 of Macedonia; traversed the plain of Plena, and laid it waste; and after securing considerable booty, Scopas tries to effect a diversion by invading Macedonia. On his return he destroys Dium. returned by the road leading to Dium. The inhabitants of that town abandoning the place, he entered it and threw down its walls, houses, and gymnasium; set fire to the covered walks round the sacred enclosure, and destroyed all the other offerings which had been placed in it, either for ornament, or for the use of visitors to the public assemblies, and threw down all the statues of the kings. And this man, who, at the very beginning and first action of the war, had thus turned his arms against the gods as well as men, was not treated on his return to Aetolia as guilty of impiety, but was honoured and looked up to. For he had indeed filled the Aetolians with empty hopes and irrational conceit. From this time they indulged the idea that no one would venture to set foot in Aetolia, while they would be able without resistance not only to plunder the Peloponnese, which they were quite accustomed to do, but Thessaly and Macedonia also.

63. When he heard what had happened in Macedonia, and had thus paid on the spot for the selfishness and folly of the Epirotes, Ambracus taken. Philip proceeded to besiege Ambracus. By an energetic use of earthworks, and other siege operations, he quickly terrified the people into submission, and the place surrendered after a delay of forty days in all. He let the garrison, consisting of five hundred Aetolians, depart on fixed conditions, and gratified the cupidity of the Epirotes by handing over Ambracus to them, while he himself set his army in motion, and marched by way of Charadra, being anxious to cross the Ambracian gulf where it is narrowest, that is to say, near the Acarnanian temple called Actium. For this gulf is a branch of the Sicilian sea between Epirus and Acarnania, with a very narrow opening of less than five stades, but expanding as it extends inland to a breadth of a hundred stades; while the length of the whole arm from the open sea is about three hundred stades. It forms the boundary between Epirus on the north and Acarnania on the south. Philip, therefore, having got his army across this entrance of the gulf, and advanced through335 Acarnania, came to the city of Phoeteiae, which belonged to the Aetolians;235 having, during his march, Philip enters Aetolia; takes Phoeteiae. been joined by an Acarnanian force of two thousand foot and two hundred horse. Encamping under the walls of this town, and making energetic and formidable assaults upon it during two days, it was surrendered to him on terms, and the Aetolian garrison were dismissed on parole. Next night, however, five hundred other Aetolians, believing the town still untaken, came to its relief; whose arrival being ascertained beforehand by the king, he stationed some men in ambush at certain convenient spots, and slew most of the new-comers and captured all but a very few of the rest. After these events, he distributed a month’s rations of corn among his men from what had been captured, for a large store was found collected at Phoeteiae, and then continued his advance into the territory of Stratus. At about ten stades from that town he pitched his camp on the banks of the river Achelous; and from that began laying waste the country without resistance, none of the enemy venturing out to attack him.

64. Meanwhile the Achaeans, being hard pressed by the war, and ascertaining that the king was not far off, Metropolis and Conope. sent ambassadors to him begging for help. They found Philip still in his camp near Stratus, and there delivered their commission: and besides the message with which they were charged, they pointed out to him the richness of the booty which his army would get from the enemy’s country, and tried to persuade him to cross to Rhium and invade Elis. The king listened to what they had to say, and kept the ambassadors with him, alleging that he must consider of their request; and meanwhile broke up his camp, and marched in the direction of Metropolis and Conope. The Aetolians kept possession of the citadel of Metropolis but abandoned the town: whereupon Philip set fire to Metropolis, and continued his advance against Conope. But when the Aetolian horse rallied and ventured to meet him at the ford of the Achelous, which is about twenty stades before you reach the town, believing that they would336 either stop his advance altogether, or inflict much damage on the Macedonians while crossing the river; Skirmish on the Achelous. the king, fully understanding their tactics, ordered his light-armed troops to enter the river first and to cross it in close order, keeping to their regular companies, and with shields interlocked. His orders were obeyed: and as soon as the first company had effected the crossing, the Aetolian cavalry attacked it; but they could make no impression upon it, standing as it did in close order, and being joined in similar close order, shield to shield, by a second and a third company as they crossed. Therefore they wheeled off discomfited and retired to the city. Ithoria.From this time forth the proud gallantry of the Aetolians was fain to confine itself to the protection of the towns, and keep quiet; while Philip crossed with his army, and after wasting this district also without resistance, arrived at Ithoria. This is a position completely commanding the road, and of extraordinary strength, natural as well as artificial. On his approach, however, the garrison occupying the place abandoned it in a panic; and the king, taking possession, levelled it to the ground: and gave orders to his skirmishing parties to treat all forts in the district in the same way.

65. Having thus passed the narrow part of the road, he proceeded at a slow and deliberate pace, giving his army time to collect booty from the country; and by the time he reached Oeniadae his army was richly provided with every kind of goods. But he resolved first to take Paeanium: Paeanium. and having pitched his camp under its walls, by a series of assaults carried the place by force,—a town not large in circumference, for that was less than seven stades, but second to none in the construction of its houses, walls, and towers. The wall of this town he levelled with its foundation, and, breaking down its houses, he packed their timbers and tiles with great care upon rafts, and sent them down the river to Oeniadae. At first the Aetolians resolved to hold the citadel in Oeniadae, which they had strengthened with walls and other fortifications; but upon Philip’s approach they evacuated it in a panic. The king337 therefore having taken this city also, advanced from it and encamped on a certain secure position in Calydonia, called Elaeus, which had been rendered extraordinarily strong with walls and other fortifications by Attalus, who undertook the work for the Aetolians. Having carried this also by assault, and plundered the whole of Calydonia, the Macedonians returned to Oeniadae. Fortifies Oeniadae.And observing the convenient position of this place for all purposes, and especially as providing a place of embarkation for the Peloponnese, Philip resolved to build a wall round the town. For Oeniadae lies on the sea-coast, at the juncture of the Acarnanian and Aetolian frontiers, just at the entrance of the Corinthian gulf; and the town faces the sea-coast of Dyme in the Peloponnesus, and is the nearest point to the promontory of Araxus in it; for the intervening sea is not more than a hundred stades across. Looking to these facts he fortified the citadel by itself; and, building a wall round the harbour and dockyards, was intending to connect them with the citadel, employing for the construction the materials brought from Paeanium.

66. But whilst he was still engaged on this work, news was brought to the king that the Dardani, Philip recalled to Macedonia by a threatened invasion of Dardani. suspecting his intention of invading the Peloponnese, were collecting forces and making great preparations with the determination of invading Macedonia. When he heard this, Philip made up his mind that he was bound to go with all speed to the protection of Macedonia: and accordingly he dismissed the Achaean envoys with the answer, which he now gave them, that when he had taken effectual measures with regard to the circumstances that had just been announced to him, he would look upon it as his first business to bring them aid to the best of his ability. Thereupon he broke up his camp, and began his return march with all speed, by the same route as that by which he had come. When he was on the point of recrossing the Ambracian gulf from Acarnania into Epirus, Demetrius of Pharos presented himself, sailing with a single galley, having just been banished from Illyria by the Romans,—as I have stated in the previous book.236 Philip received him with kindness and bade him sail338 to Corinth, and go thence through Thessaly to Macedonia; while he himself crossed into Epirus and pushed on without a halt. When he had reached Pella in Macedonia, the Dardani learnt from some Thracian deserters that he was in the country, and they at once in a panic broke up their army, though they were close to the Macedonian frontier. And Philip, being informed of their change of purpose, dismissed his Macedonian soldiers to gather in their harvest: Late summer of B.C. 219. while he himself went to Thessaly, and spent the rest of the summer at Larisa.

It was at this season that Aemilius celebrated a splendid triumph at Rome for his Illyrian victories; Contemporary events in Spain and Italy. and Hannibal after the capture of Saguntum dismissed his troops into winter quarters; while the Romans, on hearing of the capture of Saguntum, were sending ambassadors to Carthage to demand the surrender of Hannibal, and at the same time were making preparations for the war after electing Publius Cornelius Scipio and Tiberius Sempronius Longus Consuls for the following year, as I have stated in detail in the previous book. My object in recalling the facts here is to carry out my original plan of showing what events in various parts of the world were contemporaneous.

67. And so the first year of this Olympiad was drawing to a close. In Aetolia, the time of the elections having come round, Midsummer B.C. 217. Dorimachus Aetolian Strategus, Sept. B.C. 119. Dorimachus was elected Strategus. He was no sooner invested with his office, than, summoning the Aetolian forces, he made an armed foray upon the highlands of Epirus, and began wasting the country with an even stronger passion for destruction than usual; for his object in everything he did was not so much to secure booty for himself, as to damage the Epirotes. Destroys Dodona. And having come to Dodona237 he burnt the colonnades, destroyed the sacred offerings, and even demolished the sacred building; so that we may say that the Aetolians 339had no regard for the laws of peace or war, but in the one as well as in the other, acted in defiance of the customs and principles of mankind. After those, and other similar achievements, Dorimachus returned home.

But the winter being now considerably advanced, and all idea of the king coming being given up owing to the time of the year, Philip starts again. Philip suddenly started from Larisa with an army of three thousand hoplites armed with brass shields, two thousand light-armed, three hundred Cretans, and four hundred horse of the royal guard; and having transported them into Euboea and thence to Cynos he came through Boeotia and the Megarid to Corinth, Dec. B.C. 219. about the time of the winter solstice; having conducted his arrival with such promptitude and secrecy, that not a single Peloponnesian suspected it. He at once closed the gates of Corinth and secured the roads by guards; and on the very next day sent for Aratus the elder to come to him from Sicyon, and issued despatches to the Strategus of the Achaean league and the cities, in which he named a time and place for them all to meet him in arms. Having made these arrangements, he again started, and pitched his camp near the temple of the Dioscuri in Phliasia.

68. Meanwhile Euripidas, with two companies of Eleans,—who combined with the pirates and mercenaries B.C. 218, Jan.-Feb. Destruction of a marauding army of Eleans under Euripidas. made up an army of two thousand two hundred men, besides a hundred horse,—started from Psophis and began marching by way of Pheneus and Stymphalus, knowing nothing about Philip’s arrival, with the purpose of wasting the territory of Sicyon. The very night in which it chanced that Philip had pitched his camp near the temple of the Dioscuri, he passed the royal quarters, and succeeded in entering the territory of Sicyon, about the time of the morning watch. But some Cretans of Philip’s army who had left their ranks, and were prowling about on the track of prey, fell into the hands of Euripidas, and being questioned by him informed him of the arrival of the Macedonians. Without saying a word of his discovery to any one, he at once caused his army to face about, and marched back by the same road as that by which340 he had come; with the intention and hope of getting through Stymphalia, and reaching the difficult ground beyond it, before the Macedonians could catch him. But the king knowing nothing at all about the proceedings of the enemy, at daybreak broke up his camp and began his advance in pursuance of his original plan, determining to march by way of Stymphalus itself to Caphyae: for it was at that town that he had written to the Achaeans to meet him.

69. Now it happened that, just as the Macedonian advanced guard came to the top of the hill, The Eleans come across the Macedonians at the junction of the two roads above Stymphalus. near a place called Apelaurus, about ten stades before you come to Stymphalus, the advanced guard of the Eleans converged upon it also. Understanding from his previous information what had happened, Euripidas took some horsemen with him and avoided the danger by flight, making his way across country to Psophis. The rest of the Eleans being thus deserted by their leader, and panic-struck at what had happened, remained stationary on the road, not knowing what to do, or which way to turn. For at first their officers imagined that the troops they saw were some Achaeans come out to resist them. What favoured this mistake more than anything else were the brass shields of the hoplites: for they imagined that they were Megalopolitans, because the soldiers of that town had borne shields of that sort at the battle of Sellasia against Cleomenes, King Antigonus having furnished them for the occasion. Under this idea, they retired in good order to some rising ground, by no means despairing of getting off safely: but as soon as the Macedonians had advanced close up to them, grasping the true state of the case, they threw down their shields and fled. About twelve hundred of them were taken prisoners; but the rest perished utterly, some at the hands of the Macedonians, and others by falling down precipices: and finally not more than a hundred altogether escaped. Having despatched the spoils and the prisoners to Corinth, Philip continued his expedition. But a great impression was made upon the Peloponnesians: for they had not heard of the king’s arrival until they heard of his victory.

70. Continuing his march through Arcadia, and encountering341 heavy snow storms and much fatigue in the pass over Mount Oligyrtus, he arrived on the third day at Caphyae. Philip advances to Psophis. There he rested his army for two days, and was joined by Aratus the younger, and the Achaean soldiers whom he had collected; so that, with an army now amounting to ten thousand men, he advanced by way of Clitoria towards Psophis, collecting missiles and scaling ladders from the towns through which he passed. Psophis is a place of acknowledged antiquity, A description of Psophis. and a colony of the Arcadian town of Azanis. Taking the Peloponnesus as a whole, it occupies a central position in the country; but in regard to Arcadia it is on its western frontier, and is close also to the western borderland of Achaia: its position also commands the territory of the Eleans, with whom at that time it was politically united. Philip reached this town on the third day after leaving Caphyae, and pitched his camp on some rising ground overhanging the city, from which he could in perfect security command a view both of the whole town and the country round it. But when the king saw the great strength of the place, he was at a loss what to do. Along the left side of it rushes a violent winter torrent, which for the greater part of the winter is impassable, and in any case renders the city secure and difficult of approach, owing to the size of the bed which its waters have worn out for themselves by slow degrees, in the course of ages, as it comes rushing down from the higher ground. On the east again there is a broad and rapid river, the Erymanthus, about which so many tales are told. This river is joined by the winter torrent at a point south of the town, which is thus defended on three sides by these streams; while the fourth, or northern, side is commanded by a hill, which has been fortified, and serves as a convenient and efficient citadel. The town has walls also of unusual size and construction; and besides all this, a reinforcement of Eleans happened to have just come in, and Euripidas himself was in the town after his escape from Stymphalus.

71. The sight of these things caused Philip much anxious thought. Sometimes he was for giving up his plan of attacking and besieging the place: at others the excellence of its situation made him eager to accomplish this. For just as342 it was then a source of danger to the Achaeans and Arcadians, and a safe place of arms for the Eleans; Capture of Psophis. so would it on the other hand, if captured, become a source of safety to the Arcadians, and a most convenient base of operations for the allies against the Eleans. These considerations finally decided him to make the attempt: and he therefore issued orders to the Macedonians to get their breakfasts at daybreak, and be ready for service with all preparations completed. Everything being done as he ordered, the king led his army over the bridge across the Erymanthus; and no one having offered him resistance, owing to the unexpectedness of the movement, he arrived under the walls of the town in gallant style and with formidable show. Euripidas and the garrison were overpowered with astonishment; because they had felt certain that the enemy would not venture on an assault, or try to carry a town of such strength; and that a siege could not last long either, owing to the severity of the season. This calculation of chances made them begin to entertain suspicions of each other, from a misgiving that Philip must have established a secret intrigue with some persons in the town against it. But finding that nothing of the sort existed among themselves, the greater number hurried to the walls to defend them, while the mercenary Elean soldiers sallied out of a gate in the upper part of the town to attack the enemy. The king stationed his men who had ladders at three different spots, and divided the other Macedonians among these three parties; this being arranged, he gave the signal by the sound of trumpet, and began the assault on the walls at once. At first the garrison offered a spirited resistance and hurled many of the enemy from their ladders; but when the supply of weapons inside the town, as well as other necessary materials, began to run short,—as was to be expected from the hasty nature of the preparations for defence,—and the Macedonians showed no sign of terror, the next man filling up the place of each who was hurled from the scaling-ladder, the garrison at length turned to flight, and made their escape one and all into the citadel. In the king’s army the Macedonians then made good their footing on the wall, while the Cretans went against the party of mercenaries who343 had sallied from the upper gate, and forced them to throw away their shields and fly in disorder. Following the fugitives with slaughter, they forced their way along with them through the gate: so that the town was captured at all points at once. The Psophidians with their wives and children retreated into the citadel, and Euripidas with them, as well as all the soldiers who had escaped destruction.

72. Having thus carried the place, the Macedonians at once plundered all the furniture of the houses; and then, setting up their quarters in the houses, took regular possession of the town. But the people who had taken refuge in a body in the citadel, having no provisions with them, Surrender of the citadel of Psophis.and well foreseeing what must happen, made up their minds to give themselves up to Philip. They accordingly sent a herald to the king; and having received a safe-conduct for an embassy, they despatched their magistrates and Euripidas with them on this mission, who made terms with the king by which the lives and liberties of all who were on the citadel, whether citizens or foreigners, were secured. The ambassadors then returned whence they came, carrying an order to the people to remain where they were until the army had marched out, for fear any of the soldiers should disobey orders and plunder them. A fall of snow however compelled the king to remain where he was for some days; in the course of which he summoned a meeting of such Achaeans as were in the army, and after pointing out to them the strength and excellent position of the town for the purposes of the present war, he spoke also of his own friendly disposition towards their nation: and ended by saying, “We hereby yield up and present this town to the Achaeans; for it is our purpose to show them all the favour in our power, and to omit nothing that may testify to our zeal.” After receiving the thanks of Aratus and the meeting, Philip dismissed the assembly, and getting his army in motion, marched towards Lasion. The Psophidians descending from the citadel received back the possession of the town, each man recovering his own house; while Euripidas departed to Corinth, and thence to Aetolia. Those of the Achaean magistrates who were present put Prolaus of Sicyon in command of the citadel, with an adequate344 garrison; and Pythias of Pallene in command of the town. Such was the end of the incident of Psophis.

73. But when the Elean garrison of Lasion heard of the coming of the Macedonians, Lasion and Stratus. and were informed of what had taken place at Psophis, they at once abandoned the town; so that upon his arrival the king took it immediately, and by way of enhancing his favours to the Achaeans handed Lasion also over to them; and in a similar spirit restored Stratus to the Telphusians, which was also evacuated by the Eleans. On the fifth day after settling these matters he arrived at Olympia. Philip at Olympia. There he offered a sacrifice to Zeus and entertained his officers at a banquet; and, having given his army three days’ rest, commenced his return march. After advancing some way into Elis, he allowed foraging parties to scour the country while he himself lay encamped near Artemisium, as it is called; and after receiving the booty there, he removed to the Dioscurium.238 In the course of this devastation of the country the number of the captives was indeed great, but a still greater number made their escape to the neighbouring villages and strongholds. Prosperity of Elis. For Elis is more populous, as well as more richly furnished with slaves and other property, than the rest of the Peloponnese: and some of the Eleans are so enamoured of a country life, that there are cases of families who, being in enjoyment of considerable wealth, have for two or three generations never entered a public law-court at all.239 And this result is brought about by the great care and attention bestowed upon the agricultural class by the government, to see that their law-suits should be settled on the spot, and every necessary of life abundantly supplied them. To me it seems that they owed these laws and customs originally to the wide extent of their arable land, and still more to the fact that their lives were under the protection of religion; for, owing to the Olympic assembly, their territory was especially exempted by the Greeks from pillage; and they had accordingly been free from all injury and hostile invasion.


74. But in the course of time, when the Arcadians advanced a claim for Lasion and the whole district of Pisa, The ancient privileges of Elis lost. being forced to defend their territory and change their habits of life, they no longer troubled themselves in the least about recovering from the Greeks their ancient and ancestral immunity from pillage, but were content to remain exactly as they were. This in my opinion was a short-sighted policy. For peace is a thing we all desire, and are willing to submit to anything to obtain: it is the only one of our so-called blessings that no one questions. If then there are people who, having the opportunity of obtaining it, with justice and honour, from the Greeks, without question and for perpetuity, neglect to do so, or regard other objects as of superior importance to it, must we not look upon them as undoubtedly blind to their true interests? But if it be objected that, by adopting such a mode of life, they would become easily open to attack and exposed to treachery: I answer that such an event would be rare, and if it did happen, would be a claim on the aid of united Greece; but that for minor injuries, having all the wealth which unbroken peace would be sure to bring them, they would never have been at a loss for foreign soldiers or mercenaries to protect them at certain places and times. As it is, from dread of what is occasional and unlikely, they involve their country and property in perpetual wars and losses.

My object in thus speaking is to admonish the Eleans: for they have never had a more favourable time than the present to get back their ancient privilege of exemption from pillage, which is universally acknowledged to belong to them. Even now, some sparks, so to speak, of their old habit remaining, Elis is more thickly populated than other districts.

75. And therefore during Philip’s occupation of the country the number of prisoners taken was immense; Capture of Thalamae. and the number of those who escaped by flight still greater. An enormous amount of movable property, and an enormous crowd of slaves and cattle, were collected at a place called Thalamae; which was selected for the purpose, because the approach to it was narrow and difficult, and the place itself was retired and not easy to enter. But when the king was informed of the number346 of those who had taken refuge in this place, resolved to leave nothing unattempted or incomplete, he occupied certain spots which commanded the approach to it, with his mercenaries: while leaving his baggage and main army in his entrenched camp, he himself led his peltasts and light-armed troops through the gorge, and, without meeting with any resistance, came directly under the fortress. The fugitives were panic-stricken at his approach: for they were utterly inexperienced in war and unprovided with means of defence,—a mere rabble hurriedly collected together; they therefore at once surrendered, and among them two hundred mercenary soldiers, of various nationalities, who had been brought there by Amphidamus the Elean Strategus. Having thus become master of an immense booty in goods, and of more than five thousand slaves, and having in addition to these driven off an incalculable number of cattle, Philip now returned to his camp; but finding his army overburdened with spoils of every description, and rendered by that means cumbrous and useless for service, he retraced his steps, and once more marched to Olympia.

76. But now a difficulty arose which was created by Apelles. Apelles was one of those who had Oppressive conduct of Apelles to the Achaeans. been left by Antigonus as guardians of his son, and had, as it happened, more influence than any one else with the king. He conceived the wish to bring the Achaeans into the same position as the Thessalians; and adopted for that purpose a very offensive line of conduct. The Thessalians were supposed to enjoy their own constitution, and to have quite a different status to the Macedonians; but in fact they had exactly the same, and obeyed every order of the royal ministers. It was with the purpose of bringing about the same state of things, that this officer now set himself to test the subservience of the Achaean contingent. At first he confined himself to giving the Macedonian soldiers leave to eject Achaeans from their quarters, who on any occasion had taken possession of them first, as well as to wrest from them any booty they might have taken; but he afterwards treated them with actual violence, through the agency of his subordinates, on any trifling pretext; while such as complained of this treatment,347 or took the part of those who were being beaten, he personally arrested and put into confinement: being convinced that by this method he would gradually and imperceptibly bring them into the habit of submitting, without remonstrance, to any thing which the king might choose to inflict. And this opinion he deduced from his previous experience in the army of Antigonus, when he had seen the Achaeans willing to endure any hardship, on the one condition of escaping from the yoke of Cleomenes. However, certain young Achaeans held a meeting, and going to Aratus explained to him the policy which was being pursued by Apelles: whereupon Aratus at once went to Philip, feeling that a stand must be made on this point at once and without delay. He made his statement to the king; who, being informed of the facts, first of all encouraged the young men by a promise that nothing of the sort should happen to them again; and then commanded Apelles not to impose any orders upon the Achaeans without consulting their own Strategus.

77. Philip, then, was acquiring a great reputation, not only among those actually in his army, Character of Philip V. but among the other Peloponnesians also, for his behaviour to the allies serving with him, as well as for his ability and courage in the field. Indeed it would not be easy to find a king endowed with more natural qualities requisite for the acquisition of power. He had in an eminent degree a quick understanding, a retentive memory, and a winning grace of manner, joined to a look of royal dignity and authority; and most important of all, ability and courage as a general. What neutralised all these excellent qualities, and made a cruel tyrant of a naturally well-disposed king, it is not easy to say in a few words: and therefore that inquiry must be reserved for a more suitable time than the present.

Starting from Olympia by the road leading to Pharae, Philip came first to Telphusa, Philip continues his campaign. and thence to Heraea. There he had the booty sold by auction, and repaired the bridge over the Alpheus, with the view of passing over it to the invasion of Triphylia.

Just at that time the Aetolian Strategus, Dorimachus, in answer348 to a request of the Eleans for protection against the devastation they were enduring, despatched six hundred Aetolians, Arrival of Aetolian troops under Phillidas, B.C. 218. under the command of Phillidas, to their aid. Having arrived in Elis, and taken over the Elean mercenaries, who were five hundred in number, as well as a thousand citizen soldiers and the Tarentine cavalry,240 he marched to the relief of Triphylia. Triphylia. This district is so called from Triphylus, one of the sons of Arcas, and lies on the coast of the Peloponnese between Elis and Messenia, facing the Libyan Sea, and touching the south-west frontier of Arcadia. It contains the following towns, Samicum, Lepreum, Hypana, Typaneae, Pyrgos, Aepium, Bolax, Stylangium, Phrixa; all of which, shortly before this, the Eleans had conquered and annexed, as well as the city of Alipheira, which had originally been subject to Arcadia and Megalopolis, but had been exchanged with the Eleans, for some private object of his own, by Lydiadas when tyrant of Megalopolis.

78. Phillidas, then, sent his Elean troops to Lepreum, and his mercenaries to Aliphera; while he himself went with the Aetolian troops to Typaneae, and waited to see what would happen. Meanwhile the king, having got rid of his heavy baggage, and crossed the bridge over the river Alpheus, which flows right under Heraea, came to Alipheira, which lies on a hill precipitous on every side, and the ascent of which is more than ten stades. The citadel is on the very summit of this hill, adorned with a colossal statue of Athene, of extraordinary size and beauty. The origin and purpose of this statue, and at whose expense it was set up, are doubtful questions even among the natives; for it has never been clearly discovered why or by whom it was dedicated: yet it is universally allowed that its skilful workmanship classes it among the most splendid and artistic productions of Hecatodorus241 and Sostratus.


The next morning being fine and bright, the king made his dispositions at daybreak. Capture of Alipheira. He placed parties of men with scaling ladders at several points, and supported each of them with bodies of mercenaries, and detachments of Macedonian hoplites, on the rear of these several parties. His orders being fulfilled with enthusiasm and a formidable display of power, the garrison of Alipheira were kept continually rushing and rallying to the particular spots to which they saw the Macedonians approaching: and while this was going on, the king himself took some picked men, and mounted unobserved over some steep hills up to the suburb of the citadel; and then, at a given signal, all at once put the scaling ladders to the walls and began attempting the town. The king was the first to take the suburb of the acropolis, which had been abandoned by the garrison; and when this was set on fire, those who were defending the town walls, foreseeing what must happen, and afraid that by the fall of the citadel they would be deprived of their last hope, abandoned the town walls, and fled into it: whereupon the Macedonians at once took the walls and the town. Subsequently the garrison on the citadel sent an embassy to Philip, who granted them their lives, and received possession of it also by formal surrender.

79. These achievements of the king alarmed the whole people of Triphylia, and made them take Typanae and Phigalia surrender to Philip. counsel severally for the safety of themselves and their respective cities: while Phillidas left Typaneae, after plundering some of the houses there, and retired to Lepreum. This was the reward which the allies of the Aetolians at that time usually got: not only to be deserted at the hour of utmost need in the most barefaced way, but, by being plundered as well as betrayed, to suffer at the hands of their allies exactly what they had a right to expect from a victorious enemy. But the people of Typaneae surrendered their city to Philip; as also did the inhabitants of Hypana. And the people of Phigalia, hearing of what had taken place in Triphylia, and disliking the alliance with the350 Aetolians, rose in arms and seized the space round the Polemarchium.242 The Aetolian pirates who were residing in this city, for the purpose of plundering Messene, were able at first to keep down and overawe the people; but when they saw that the whole town was mustering to the rescue, they desisted from the attempt. Having made terms with them, they took their baggage and evacuated the town; whereupon the inhabitants sent an embassy to Philip, and delivered themselves and their town into his hands.

80. While these things were going on, the people of Lepreum, having seized a certain quarter of their town, Lepreum. demanded that the Elean, Aetolian, and Lacedaemonian garrisons (for a reinforcement had come from Sparta also) should all alike evacuate the citadel and city. At first Phillidas refused, and stayed on, hoping to overawe the citizens; but when the king, despatching Taurion with a guard of soldiers to Phigalia, advanced in person towards Lepreum, and was now close to the town, Phillidas lowered his tone, and the Lepreates were encouraged in their determination. It was indeed a glorious act of gallantry on their part. Though there was a garrison within their walls of a thousand Eleans, a thousand Aetolians with the pirates, five hundred mercenaries, and two hundred Lacedaemonians, and though too their citadel was in the occupation of these troops, yet they ventured to make a stand for the freedom of their native city, and would not give up hope of deliverance. Phillidas therefore, seeing that the Lepreates were prepared to offer a stout resistance, and that the Macedonians were approaching, evacuated the town with the Eleans and Lacedaemonians. The Cretans, who had been sent by the Spartans, made their way home through Messenia; but Phillidas departed for Samicum. The people of Lepreum, having thus got control of their own town, sent ambassadors to place it in the power of Philip. Hearing the news, Philip sent all his army, except the peltasts and light-armed troops, to Lepreum; and taking the latter with him, he made all the haste he could to catch Phillidas. He succeeded so far as to capture all his351 baggage; but Phillidas himself managed to outstrip him and throw himself into Samicum. Samicum, The king therefore sat down before this place: and having sent for the rest of his army from Lepreum, made the garrison believe that he meant to besiege the town. But the Aetolians and Eleans within it, having nothing ready for sustaining a siege beyond their bare hands, alarmed at their situation, held a parley with Philip to secure their lives; and having obtained leave from him to march out with their arms, they departed into Elis. Thus the king became master of Samicum on the spot: and this was followed by deputations from other towns to him, with entreaties for protection; in virtue of which he took over Phrixa, Stylangium, and other towns. Aepium, Bolax, Pyrgos, and Epitalium. Having settled these things, and reduced all Triphylia into his power in six days, he returned to Lepreum; and having addressed the necessary warnings to the Lepreates, and put a garrison into the citadel, he departed with his army towards Heraea, leaving Ladicus of Acarnania in command of Triphylia. When he arrived at Heraea, he made a distribution of all the booty; and taking up again his baggage from Heraea, arrived about the middle of the winter at Megalopolis.

81. While Philip was thus engaged in Triphylia, Chilon the Lacedaemonian, holding that the kingship belonged to him in virtue of birth, Chilon tries to seize the crown of Sparta, B.C. 218. and annoyed at the neglect of his claims by the Ephors in selecting Lycurgus, determined to stir up a revolution: and believing that if he took the same course as Cleomenes had done, and gave the common people hopes of land allotments and redivision of property, the masses would quickly follow him, he addressed himself to carrying out this policy. Having therefore agreed with his friends on this subject, and got as many as two hundred people to join his conspiracy, he entered upon the execution of his project. But perceiving that the chief obstacles in the way of the accomplishment of his design were Lycurgus, and those Ephors who had invested him with the crown, he directed his first efforts against them. The Ephors he seized while at dinner, and put them all to death on the spot,—chance thus inflicting upon them the352 punishment they deserved: for whether we regard the person at whose hands, or the person for whose sake they were thus destroyed, we cannot but say that they richly merited their fate.

After the successful accomplishment of this deed, Chilon went to the house of Lycurgus, whom he found at home, but failed to seize. Assisted by slaves and neighbours Lycurgus was smuggled out of the house, and effected a secret escape; and thence got away by a cross-country route to the town of Pellene in Tripolis. Thus baffled in the most important point of his enterprise, Chilon was greatly discouraged; but was forced all the same to go on with what he had begun. Accordingly he made a descent upon the market-place, and laid violent hands upon those opposed to him; tried to rouse his relations and friends; and declared to the rest of the people there what hopes of success he had. But when nobody seemed inclined to join him, but on the contrary a mob began to collect with threatening looks, he saw how it was, and found a secret way of leaving the town; and, making his way across Laconia, arrived in Achaia alone and an exile. But the Lacedaemonians who were in the territory of Megalopolis, terrified by the arrival of Philip, stowed away all the goods they had got from the country, and first demolished and then abandoned the Athenaeum.

The fact is that the Lacedaemonians enjoyed a most excellent constitution, and had a most extensive Decline of Sparta. power, from the time of the legislation of Lycurgus to that of the battle of Leuctra. But after that event their fortune took an unfavourable turn; and their political state continued ever growing worse and worse, B.C. 800(?)-B.C. 371. until they finally suffered from a long succession of internal struggles and partisan warfare; were repeatedly agitated by schemes for the redivision of lands and the banishment of one party or another; and were subjected to the severest possible slavery, culminating in the tyrannical government of Nabis: though the word “tyrant” was one which they had in old times scarcely endured to hear mentioned. However, the ancient history of Sparta as well as the great353 part of it since, has been recorded by many in terms of eulogy or the reverse; but the part of that history B.C. 236-222. which admits of the least controversy is that which followed the entire destruction of the ancient constitution by Cleomenes;243 and that shall be narrated by me in the order of events as they occur.

82. Meanwhile Philip left Megalopolis, and marching by way of Tegea arrived at Argos, and there spent the rest of the winter, Apelles opposes Aratus, Jan.-May, B.C. 218. having gained in this campaign an admiration beyond his years for his general conduct and his brilliant achievements. But, in spite of all that had happened, Apelles was by no means inclined to desist from the policy on which he had entered; but was resolved little by little to bring the Achaeans under the yoke. He saw that the most determined opponents of his scheme were the elder and younger Aratus; and that Philip was inclined to listen to them, and especially to the elder, both on account of his former intimacy with Antigonus, and his pre-eminent influence in Achaia, and, most of all, because of his readiness of resource and practical ability: he therefore determined to devote his attention to them, and enter upon the intrigue against them which I shall proceed to describe. He sought out in the several cities all such as were opposed to Aratus, and invited them to visit him: and having got them into his hands he tried all he could to win their affections, encouraged them to look upon him as a friend, and introduced them to Philip. To the king he was always pointing out that, if he listened to Aratus, he would have to treat the Achaeans according to the letter of the treaty of alliance; but that, if he would listen to him, and take men like those which he had introduced to him into favour, he would have the whole of the Peloponnese at his own unfettered disposal. But what he was most anxious about was the election; being desirous to secure the office of Strategus for one of this party, and to oust Aratus in accordance with his settled plan. May, B.C. 218.With this purpose, he persuaded Philip to be at Aegium at the time of the Achaean election, on354 the pretext of being on his way to Elis. The king’s consent to this enabled Apelles himself to be there at the right time; Election of Eperatus as Achaean Strategus. and though he found great difficulty, in spite of entreaties and threats, in carrying his point; yet he did eventually succeed in getting Eperatus of Pharae elected Strategus, and Timoxenus, the candidate proposed by Aratus, rejected.

83. This over, the king departed by way of Patrae and Dyme, and arrived with his army before the fortress called the Wall, Capture of the Wall, and expedition into Elis. which is situated on the frontier of the territory of Dyme, and had a short time before, as I mentioned above,244 been occupied by Euripidas. The king, being anxious at all hazards to recover this place for the Dymaeans, encamped under its walls with his full force: and thereupon the Elean garrison in alarm surrendered the place to Philip, which, though not large, had been fortified with extraordinary care. For though the circumference of its walls was not more than a stade and a half, its height was nowhere less than thirty cubits. Having handed the place over to the Dymaeans, Philip continued his advance, plundering the territory of Elis: and when he had thoroughly devastated it, and acquired a large booty, he returned with his army to Dyme.

84. Meanwhile Apelles, thinking that, by the election of the Achaean Strategus through his influence, The intrigue of Apelles. he had partly succeeded in his policy, began once more attacking Aratus, with the view of entirely detaching Philip from his friendship: and he accordingly determined to make up an accusation against him grounded on the following circumstance: When Amphidamus, the Elean Strategus, had been, with the other refugees, made prisoner at Thalamae, and had been brought among other captives to Olympia, he made earnest efforts by the agency of certain individuals to be allowed an interview with the king. This favour having been accorded him, he made a statement to the effect that it was in his power to bring over the Eleans to the king’s side, and induce them to enter into alliance with him. Philip believed him; and accordingly dismissed355 Amphidamus without ransom, with instructions to promise the Eleans, that, if they would join the king, he would restore their captive citizens without ransom, and would himself secure their territory safely from all outside attacks: and besides this would maintain them in freedom, without impost or foreign garrison, and in enjoyment of their several constitutions.

But the Eleans refused to listen to the proposal, although the offer was thought attractive and substantial. Apelles therefore used this circumstance to found the false accusation which he now brought before Philip, alleging that Aratus was not a loyal friend to the Macedonians, nor sincere in his feelings towards them: “He was responsible for this alienation of the Eleans; for when the king despatched Amphidamus from Olympia into Elis, Aratus took him aside and talked to him, asserting that it was by no means to the interest of the Peloponnesians that Philip should become supreme in Elis: and this was the reason of the Eleans despising the king’s offers, and clinging to the friendship of the Aetolians, and persisting in war against the Macedonians.”

85. Regarding the matter as important, the first step the king took was to summon the elder and younger Aratus, The king investigates the charge against Aratus. and order Apelles to repeat these assertions in their presence: which he thereupon did in a bold and threatening tone. And upon the king still not saying a word, he added: “Since his Majesty finds you, Aratus, so ungrateful and so exceedingly adverse to his interests, he is determined to summon a meeting of the Achaeans, and, after making a statement of his reasons, forthwith to return to Macedonia.” Aratus the elder answered him with a general exhortation to Philip, never to give a hasty or inconsiderate credit to any thing which might be alleged before him against his friends and allies: but when any such allegation were made, to test its truth before accepting it; for that was the conduct which became a king, and was in every way to his interest. Wherefore he said, “I claim that you should, in the present instance of these accusations of Apelles, summon those who heard my words; and openly produce the man that informed Apelles of them, and omit no means of ascertaining356 the real truth, before making any statement in regard to these matters to the Achaeans.”

86. The king approved of this speech, and said that he would not neglect the matter, but would thoroughly investigate it. And so for the present the audience was dissolved. But during the following days, while Apelles failed to bring any proof of his allegations, Aratus is cleared. Aratus was favoured by the following combination of circumstances. While Philip was laying waste their territory, the Eleans, suspecting Amphidamus of treachery, determined to arrest him and send him in chains to Aetolia. But getting intelligence of their purpose, he escaped first to Olympia; and there, hearing that Philip was at Dyme engaged in the division of his spoils, he followed him to that town in great haste. When Aratus heard that Amphidamus had been driven from Elis and was come to Dyme, he was delighted, because his conscience was quite clear in the matter; and going to the king demanded that he should summon Amphidamus to his presence; on the ground that the man to whom the words were alleged to have been spoken would best know about the accusations, and would declare the truth; for he had become an exile from his home from Philip’s sake, and had now no hope of safety except in him. These arguments satisfied the king, who thereupon sent for Amphidamus and ascertained that the accusation was false. The result was that from that day forward his liking and respect for Aratus continually increased, while he began to regard Apelles with suspicion; though being still under the influence of his old ascendency, he was compelled to connive at many of his actions.

87. Apelles however by no means abandoned his policy. He began undermining the position of Taurion also, who had been placed in command of the Peloponnese by Antigonus, not indeed openly attacking him, but rather praising his character, and asserting that he was a proper person to be with the king on a campaign; his object being to get some one else appointed to conduct the government of the Peloponnese. This was indeed a novel method of defamation,—to damage one’s neighbours, not by attacking, but by praising their characters; and this method of wreaking one’s malice, envy, and treachery may357 be regarded as primarily and specially the invention of the jealousy and selfish ambition of courtiers. In the same spirit he began making covert attacks upon Alexander, the captain of the bodyguard, whenever he got an opportunity; being bent on reconstituting by his own authority even the personal attendants of the king, and on making a clean sweep of all arrangements left existing by Antigonus. For as in his life Antigonus had managed his kingdom and his son with wisdom, so at his death he made wise provisions for every department of the State. For in his will he explained to the Macedonians the nature of these arrangements; and also gave definite instructions for the future, how and by whom each of these arrangements was to be carried out: being desirous of leaving no vantage-ground to the courtiers for mutual rivalry and strife. Among these arrangements was one selecting Apelles from among his companions in arms to be one of the guardians of his son; Leontius to command the peltasts; Megaleas to be chief secretary; Taurion to be governor of the Peloponnese; and Alexander to be captain of the bodyguard. Apelles had already got Leontius and Megaleas completely under his influence: and he was now desirous to remove Alexander and Taurion from their offices, and so to control these, as well as all other departments of the government, by the agency of his own friends. And he would have easily succeeded in doing so, had he not raised up an opponent in the person of Aratus. As it was, he quickly reaped the fruits of his own blind selfishness and ambition; for that which he purposed inflicting on his neighbours he had to endure himself, and that within a very brief space. How and by what means this was brought about, I must forbear to tell for the present, and must bring this book to an end: but in subsequent parts of my work I will endeavour to make every detail of these transactions clear.

For the present, after concluding the business which I have described, Philip returned to Argos, and there spent the rest of the winter season with his friends, while he sent back his forces to Macedonia.



1. The year of office as Strategus of the younger Aratus had now come to an end with the rising of the Pleiades; May, B.C. 218. for that was the arrangement of time then observed by the Achaeans.245 Accordingly he laid down his office and was succeeded in the command of the Achaeans by Eperatus; Dorimachus being still Strategus of the Aetolians.

It was at the beginning of this summer that Hannibal entered upon open war with Rome; started from New Carthage; and crossing the Iber, definitely began his expedition and march into Italy; while the Romans despatched Tiberius Sempronius to Libya with an army, and Publius Cornelius to Iberia.

This year, too, Antiochus and Ptolemy, abandoning diplomacy, and the support of their mutual claims upon Coele-Syria by negotiation, began actual war with each other.

As for Philip, being in need of corn and money for his army, he summoned the Achaeans to a general assembly by means of their magistrates. Recognition of Philip’s services by the assembly of the Achaean league. When the assembly had met, according to the federal law, at Aegium,246 the king saw that Aratus and his son were indisposed to act for him, because of the intrigues against them in the matter of the election, which had been carried on by Apelles; and that Eperatus was naturally inefficient, and an object of general contempt. These 359facts convinced the king of the folly of Apelles and Leontius, and he once more decided to stand by Aratus. He therefore persuaded the magistrates to transfer the assembly to Sicyon; and there inviting both the elder and younger Aratus to an interview, he laid the blame of all that had happened upon Apelles, and urged them to maintain their original policy. Receiving a ready consent from them, he then entered the Achaean assembly, and being energetically supported by these two statesmen, earned all the measures that he desired. For the Achaeans passed a vote decreeing “that five hundred talents should be paid to the king at once for his last campaign, that three months’ pay should be given to his army, and ten thousand medimni of corn; and that, for the future, so long as the king should remain in the Peloponnese as their ally in the war, he should receive seventeen talents a month from the Achaeans.

2. Having passed this decree, the Achaeans dispersed to their various cities. And now the king’s forces mustered again from their winter quarters; The king prepares to carry on the war by sea. and after deliberations with his friends, Philip decided to transfer the war to the sea. For he had become convinced that it was only by so doing that he would himself be able to surprise the enemy at all points at once, and would best deprive them of the opportunity of coming to each others’ relief; as they were widely scattered, and each would be in alarm for their own safety, because the approach of an enemy by sea is so silent and rapid. For he was at war with three separate nations,—Aetolians, Lacedaemonians, and Eleans.

Having arrived at this decision, he ordered the ships of the Achaeans as well as his own to muster at Lechaeum; and there he made continual experiments in practising the soldiers of the phalanx to the use of the oar. The Macedonians answered to his instructions with ready enthusiasm: for they are in fact the most gallant soldiers on the field of battle, the promptest to undertake service at sea if need be, and the most laborious workers at digging trenches, making palisades, and all such engineering work, in the world: just such as Hesiod describes the Aeacidae to be

“Joying in war as in a feast.”


The king, then, and the main body of the Macedonian army, remained in Corinth, busied with these practisings and preparations for taking the sea. Fresh intrigue of Apelles. But Apelles, being neither able to retain an ascendency over Philip, nor to submit to the loss of influence which resulted from this disregard, entered into a conspiracy with Leontius and Megaleas, by which it was agreed that these two men should stay on the spot and damage the king’s service by deliberate neglect; while he went to Chalcis, and contrived that no supplies should be brought the king from thence for the promotion of his designs. Having made this arrangement and mischievous stipulation with these two men, Apelles set out for Chalcis, having found some false pretexts to satisfy the king as to his departure. And while protracting his stay there, he carried out his sworn agreement with such determination, that, as all men obeyed him because of this former credit, the king was at last reduced by want of money to pawn some of the silver-plate used at his own table, to carry on his affairs. Philip starts on his naval expedition, B.C. 218. However, when the ships were all collected, and the Macedonian soldiers already well trained to the oar; the king, giving out rations of corn and pay to the army, put to sea, and arrived at Patrae on the second day, with six thousand Macedonians and twelve hundred mercenaries.

3. Just at that time the Aetolian Strategus Dorimachus sent Agelaus and Scopas with five hundred Neo-Cretans247 into Elis; while the Eleans, in fear of Philip’s attempting the siege of Cyllene, were collecting mercenaries, preparing their own citizens, and carefully strengthening the defences of Cyllene. When Philip saw what was going on, he stationed a force at Dyme, consisting of the Achaean mercenaries, some of the Cretans serving with him, and some of the Gallic horse, together with two thousand picked Achaean infantry. These he left there as a reserve, as well as an advance guard to prevent the danger of an attack from Elis; while he himself, having first written to the Acarnanians and Scerdilaidas, that each of361 their towns should man such vessels as they had and meet him at Cephallenia, put to sea from Patrae at the time arranged, and arrived off Pronni in Cephallenia. But when he saw that this fortress was difficult to besiege, and its position a contracted one, he coasted past it with his fleet and came to anchor at Palus. The siege of Palus. Finding that the country there was full of corn and capable of supporting an army, he disembarked his troops and encamped close to the city: and having beached his ships close together, secured them with a trench and palisade, and sent out his Macedonian soldiers to forage. He himself made a personal inspection of the town, to see how he could bring his siege-works and artillery to bear upon the wall. He wished to be able to use the place as a rendezvous for his allies; but he was also desirous of taking it: first, because he would thereby deprive the Aetolians of their most useful support,—for it was by means of Cephallenian ships that they made their descents upon the Peloponnese, and ravaged the sea-boards of Epirus and Acarnania,—and, secondly, that he might secure for himself and his allies a convenient base of operations against the enemy’s territory. For Cephallenia lies exactly opposite the Corinthian Gulf, in the direction of the Sicilian Sea, and commands the north-western district of the Peloponnese, and especially Elis; as well as the south-western parts of Epirus, Aetolia, and Acarnania.

4. The excellent position, therefore, of the island, both as a rendezvous for the allies and as a base of attack against the hostile, or of defence for the friendly, territory, made the king very anxious to get it into his power. His survey of the town showed him that it was entirely defended by the sea and steep hills, except for a short distance in the direction of Zacynthus, where the ground was flat; and he accordingly resolved to erect his works and concentrate his attack at that spot.

While the king was engaged in these operations fifty galleys arrived from Scerdilaidas, who had been prevented Arrival of the allies at Palus. from sending more by the plots and civil broils throughout Illyria, caused by the despots of the various cities. There arrived also the appointed contingents of allies from Epirus, Acarnania, and even Messenia; for the Messenians had ceased to excuse themselves362 from taking part in the war ever since the capture of Phigalia. Having now made his arrangements for the siege, and having got his catapults and ballistae in position to annoy the defenders on the walls, The walls are undermined and a breach made. Leontius plays the traitor. the king harangued his Macedonian troops, and, bringing his siege-machines up to the walls, began under their protection to sink mines. The Macedonians worked with such enthusiastic eagerness that in a short time two hundred feet of the wall were undermined and underpinned: and the king then approached the walls and invited the citizens to come to terms. Upon their refusal, he set fire to the props, and thus brought down the whole part of the wall that rested upon them simultaneously. Into this breach he first sent his peltasts under the command of Leontius, divided into cohorts, and with orders to force their way over the ruin. But Leontius, in fulfilment of his compact with Apelles, three times running prevented the soldiers, even after they had carried the breach, from effecting the capture of the town. He had corrupted beforehand the most important officers of the several cohorts; and he himself deliberately affected fear, and shrunk from every service of danger; and finally they were ejected from the town with considerable loss, although they could have mastered the enemy with ease. When the king saw that the officers were behaving with cowardice, and that a considerable number of the Macedonian soldiers were wounded, he abandoned the siege, and deliberated with his friends on the next step to be taken.

5. Meanwhile Lycurgus had invaded Messenia; and Dorimachus had started for Thessaly with half the Ambassadors from Acarnania urge Philip to invade Aetolia; others from Messenia beg him to come there. Aetolian army,—both with the idea that they would thus draw off Philip from the siege of Palus. Presently ambassadors arrived at the court to make representations on these subjects from Acarnania and Messenia: the former urging Philip to prevent Dorimachus’s invasion of Macedonia by himself invading Aetolia, and traversing and plundering the whole country while there was no one to resist him; the latter begged him to come to their assistance, representing that in the363 existing state of the Etesian winds the passage from Cephallenia to Messenia could be effected in a single day, whereby, so Gorgus of Messenia and his colleagues argued, a sudden and effective attack would be made upon Lycurgus. In pursuance of his policy Leontius eagerly supported Gorgus, seeing that by this means Philip would absolutely waste the summer. For it was easy enough to sail to Messenia; but to sail back again, while the Etesian winds prevailed, was impossible. It was plain therefore that Philip would get shut up in Messenia with his army, and remain inactive for what remained of the summer; while the Aetolians would traverse Thessaly and Epirus and plunder them at their pleasure. Such was the insidious nature of the advice given by Gorgus and Leontius. But Aratus, who was present, advocated an exactly opposite policy, urging the king to sail to Aetolia and devote himself to that part of the campaign: for as the Aetolians had gone on an expedition across the frontier under Dorimachus, it was a most excellent opportunity for invading and plundering Aetolia. Philip decides on the invasion of Aetolia. The king had begun to entertain distrust of Leontius since his exhibition of cowardice in the siege; and had detected his dishonesty in the course of the discussions held about Palus: he therefore decided to act in the present instance in accordance with the opinion of Aratus. Accordingly he wrote to the Achaean Strategus Eperatus, bidding him take the Achaean levies, and go to the aid of the Messenians; while he himself put to sea from Cephallenia, and arrived at night after a two days’ voyage at Leucas: and having managed by proper contrivances to get his ships through the channel of Dioryctus,248 he sailed up the Ambracian Gulf, which, as I have already stated,249 stretches from the Sicilian Sea a long distance into the interior of Aetolia. Having made the whole length of this gulf, and anchored a short time before daybreak at Limnaea, he ordered his men to get their breakfast, and leaving the greater part of their baggage behind them, to make themselves ready in light equipment for a march; while he 364himself collected the guides, and made careful inquiries of them about the country and neighbouring towns.

6. Before they started, Aristophanes the Acarnanian Strategus arrived with the full levy of his people. Philip is joined by the Acarnanians, and marches to the Achelous. For having in former times suffered many severe injuries at the hands of the Aetolians, they were now inspired with a fierce determination to be revenged upon them and damage them in every possible way: they gladly therefore seized this opportunity of getting the help of the Macedonians; and the men who now appeared in arms were not confined to those forced by law to serve, but were in some cases past the military age. The Epirotes were quite as eager to join, and for the same motives; but owing to the wide extent of their country, and the suddenness of the Macedonian arrival, they had not been able to muster their forces in time. As to the Aetolians, Dorimachus had taken half their army with him, as I have said, while the the other half he had left at home, thinking that it would be an adequate reserve to defend the towns and district against unforeseen contingencies. The king, leaving a sufficient guard for his baggage, started from Limnaea in the evening, and after a march of sixty stades pitched his camp: but, having dined and given his men a short rest, he started again; and marching right through the night, arrived just as the day was breaking at the river Achelous, between the towns of Stratus and Conope, being anxious that his entrance into the district of Thermus should be sudden and unexpected.

7. Leontius saw that it was likely that the king would attain his object, and the Aetolians be unable to resist him, Leontius tries to hinder the march. for the double reason of the speed and unexpectedness of the Macedonian attack, and of his having gone to Thermus; for the Aetolians would never suppose him likely to venture to expose himself so rashly, seeing the strongly fortified nature of the country, and would therefore be sure to be caught off their guard and wholly unprepared for the danger. Clinging still to his purpose, therefore, he advised the king to encamp on the Achelous, and rest his army after their night’s march; being anxious to give the Aetolians a short respite to make preparations365 for their defence. But Aratus, seeing clearly that the opportunity for action was fleeting, and that Leontius was plainly trying to hinder their success, conjured Philip not to let slip the opportunity by delaying.

The king was now thoroughly annoyed with Leontius: and accepting the advice of Aratus, continued his march without interruption; The king crosses the Achelous and advances against Thermus.and, after crossing the Achelous, advanced rapidly upon Thermus, plundering and devastating the country as he went, and marching so as to keep Stratus, Agrinium, and Thestia on his left, Conope, Lysimachia, Trichonium, and Phytaeum on his right. Arrived at the town of Metapa, which is on the borders of the Trichonian Lake, and close to the narrow pass along it, about sixty stades from Thermus, he found it abandoned by the Aetolians, and occupied it with a detachment of five hundred men, with a view of its serving as a fortress to secure both ends of the pass: for the whole shore of the lake is mountainous and rugged, closely fringed with forest, and therefore affording but a narrow and difficult path. He now arranged his order of march, putting the mercenaries in the van, next them the Illyrians, and then the peltasts and the men of the phalanx, and thus advanced through the pass; his rear protected by the Cretans: while the Thracians and light-armed troops took a different line of country, parallel to his own, and kept up with him on his right: his left being secured by the lake for nearly thirty stades.

8. At the end of this distance he arrived at the village of Pamphia; and having, as in the case of Panapa, secured it by a guard, he continued his advance towards Thermus: the road now being not only steep and exceedingly rough, but with deep precipices also on either side, so as to make the path in places very dangerous and narrow; and the whole ascent being nearly thirty stades. But having accomplished this also in a short time, thanks to the energy with which the Macedonians conducted the march, he arrived late in the day at Thermus. There he pitched a camp, The plundering of Thermus. and allowed his men to go off plundering the neighbouring villages and scouring the plain of Thermus, as well as to sack the dwelling-houses in Thermus itself,366 which were full, not only of corn and such like provisions, but of all the most valuable property which the Aetolians possessed. For as the annual fair and most famous games, as well as the elections, were held there, everybody kept their most costly possessions in store at Thermus, to enable them to entertain their friends, and to celebrate the festivals with proper magnificence. But besides this occasion for the employment of their property, they expected to find the most complete security for it there, because no enemy had ever yet ventured to penetrate to that place; while its natural strength was so great as to serve as an acropolis to the whole of Aetolia. The place therefore having been in the enjoyment of peace from time immemorial, not only were the buildings immediately round the temple filled with a great variety of property, but the homesteads on the outskirts also. For that night the army bivouacked on the spot laden with booty of every description; but the next morning they selected the most valuable and portable part of it, and making the rest into a heap in front of their tents, set fire to it. So also in regard to the dedicated arms which were hanging up in the porticoes,—those of them which were valuable they took down and carried off, some they exchanged for their own, while the rest they collected together and burnt. The number of these was more than fifteen thousand.

9. Up to this point everything was right and fair by the laws of war; but I do not know how to characterise their next proceedings. Sacrilege committed at Thermus. Was it justifiable? For remembering what the Aetolians had done at Dium250 and Dodona,251 they burnt the colonnades, and destroyed what were left of the dedicated offerings, some of which were of costly material, and had been elaborated with great skill and expense. And they were not content with destroying the roofs of these buildings with fire, they levelled them to their foundations; and threw down all the statues, which numbered no less than two thousand; and many of them they broke to pieces, sparing only those that were inscribed with the names or figures of gods. Such they did abstain from injuring. On the walls also they wrote the celebrated line composed367 by Samus, the son of Chrysogonus, a foster-brother of the king, whose genius was then beginning to manifest itself. The line was this—

“Seest thou the path the bolt divine has sped?“

And in fact the king and his staff were fully convinced that, in thus acting, they were obeying the dictates of right and justice, by retaliating upon the Aetolians with the same impious outrages as they had themselves committed at Dium.252 But I am clearly of an opposite opinion. And the readiest argument, to prove the correctness of my view, may be drawn from the history of this same royal family of Macedonia.

For when Antigonus, by his victory in a pitched battle over Cleomenes the King of the Lacedaemonians, had become master of Sparta, and had it absolutely in his own power to treat the town and its citizens as he chose, he was so far from doing any injury to those who had thus fallen into his hands, that he did not return to his own country until he had bestowed upon the Lacedaemonians, collectively and individually, some benefits of the utmost importance. The consequence was that he was honoured at the time with the title of “Benefactor,” and after his death with that of “Preserver”; and not only among the Lacedaemonians, but among the Greeks generally, has obtained undying honour and glory.253

10. Take again the case of Philip, the founder of the family splendour, and the first of the race to establish the greatness of the kingdom. The success which he obtained, after his victory over the Athenians at Chaeronea, B.C. 338. was not due so much to his superiority in arms, as to his justice and humanity. His victory in the field gave him the mastery only over those immediately engaged against him; while his equity and moderation secured his hold upon the entire Athenian people and their city. For he did not allow his measures to be dictated by vindictive passion; but laid aside his arms and warlike 368measures, as soon as he found himself in a position to display the mildness of his temper and the uprightness of his motives. With this view he dismissed his Athenian prisoners without ransom, and took measures for the burial of those who had fallen, and, by the agency of Antipater, caused their bones to be conveyed home; and presented most of those whom he released with suits of clothes. And thus, at small expense, his prudence gained him a most important advantage. The pride of the Athenians was not proof against such magnanimity; and they became his zealous supporters, instead of antagonists, in all his schemes.

Again in the case of Alexander the Great. He was so enraged with the Thebans that he sold all the B.C. 335. inhabitants of the town into slavery, and levelled the city itself with the ground; yet in making its capture he was careful not to outrage religion, and took the utmost precautions against even involuntary damage being done to the temples, or any part of their sacred enclosures. Once more, when he crossed into Asia, to avenge on the Persians the impious outrages which they had inflicted on the Greeks, he did his best to exact the full penalty from men, but refrained from injuring places dedicated to the gods; though it was in precisely such that the injuries of the Persians in Greece had been most conspicuous. These were the precedents which Philip should have called to mind on this occasion; and so have shown himself the successor and heir of these men,—not so much of their power, as of their principles and magnanimity. But throughout his life he was exceedingly anxious to establish his relationship to Alexander and Philip, The subsequent decline in Philip’s character.and yet took not the least pains to imitate them. The result was that, as he advanced in years, as his conduct differed from theirs, so his general reputation came to be different also.

11. The present affair was an instance of this. He imagined that he was doing nothing wrong in giving the rein to his anger, and retaliating upon the impious acts of the Aetolians by similar impieties, and “curing ill by ill”; and while he was always reproaching Scopas and Dorimachus with369 depravity and abandoned wickedness, on the grounds of their acts of impiety at Dodona and Dium, he imagined that, while emulating their crimes, he would leave quite a different impression of his character in the minds of those to whom he spoke. But the fact is, that whereas the taking and demolishing an enemy’s forts, harbours, cities, men, ships and crops, and other such things, by which our enemy is weakened, and our own interests and tactics supported, are necessary acts according to the laws and rights of war; to deface temples, statues, and such like erections in pure wantonness, and without any prospect of strengthening oneself or weakening the enemy, must be regarded as an act of blind passion and insanity. For the purpose with which good men wage war is not the destruction and annihilation of the wrongdoers, but the reformation and alteration of the wrongful acts. Nor is it their object to involve the innocent in the destruction of the guilty, but rather to see that those who are held to be guilty should share in the preservation and elevation of the guiltless. It is the act of a tyrant to inflict injury, and so to maintain his power over unwilling subjects by terror,—hated, and hating those under him: but it is the glory of a king to secure, by doing good to all, that he should rule over willing subjects, whose love he has earned by humanity and beneficence.

But the best way of appreciating the gravity of Philip’s mistake is to put before our eyes the idea which The error of such sacrilege as a matter of policy. the Aetolians would probably have conceived of him, had he acted in an opposite way, and destroyed neither colonnades nor statutes, nor done injury to any of the sacred offerings. For my part I think it would have been one of the greatest goodness and humanity. For they would have had on their consciences their own acts at Dium and Dodona; and would have seen unmistakably that, whereas Philip was absolutely master of the situation, and could do what he chose, and would have been held fully justified as far as their deserts went in taking the severest measures, yet deliberately, from mere gentleness and magnanimity, he refused to copy their conduct in any respect.

12. Clearly these considerations would most probably have led them to condemn themselves, and to view Philip370 with respect and admiration for his kingly and high minded qualities, shown by his respect for religion and by the moderation of his anger against themselves. For in truth to conquer one’s enemies in integrity and equity is not of less, but of greater, practical advantage than victories in the field. In the one case the defeated party yields under compulsion; in the other with cheerful assent. In the one case the victor effects his reformation at the cost of great losses; in the other he recalls the erring to better courses without any damage to himself. But above all, in the one case the chief credit of the victory belongs to the soldiers, in the other it falls wholly and solely to the part of the leaders.

Perhaps, however, one ought not to lay all the blame for what was done on that occasion on Philip, The blame chiefly belongs to Demetrius of Pharos. taking his age into consideration; but chiefly on his friends, who were in attendance upon him and co-operating with him, among whom were Aratus and Demetrius of Pharos. In regard to them it would not be difficult to assert, even without being there, from which of the two a counsel of this sort proceeded. For apart from the general principles animating the whole course of his life, in which nothing savouring of rashness and want of judgment can be alleged of Aratus, while the exact contrary may be said of Demetrius, we have an undisputed instance of the principles actuating both the one and the other in analogous circumstances, on which I shall speak in its proper place.

13. To return then to Philip. Taking with him as much booty living and dead as he could, he started from Thermus, The return of Philip from Thermus. returning by the same road as that by which he had come; putting the booty and heavy-armed infantry in the van, and reserving the Acarnanians and mercenaries to bring up the rear. He was in great haste to get through the difficult passes, because he expected that the Aetolians, relying on the security of their strongholds, would harass his rear. And this in fact promptly took place: for a body of Aetolians, that had collected to the number of nearly three thousand for the defence of the country, under the command of Alexander of Trichonium,371 hovered about, concealing themselves in certain secret hiding-places, and not venturing to approach as long as Philip was on the high ground; but as soon as he got his rear-guard in motion they promptly threw themselves into Thermus and began harassing the hindermost of the enemy’s column. The rear being thus thrown into confusion, the attacks and charges of the Aetolians became more and more furious, encouraged by the nature of the ground. But Philip had foreseen this danger, and had provided for it, by stationing his Illyrians and his best peltasts under cover of a certain hill on the descent. These men suddenly fell upon the advanced bodies of the enemy as they were charging; whereupon the rest of the Aetolian army fled in headlong haste over a wild and trackless country, with a loss of a hundred and thirty killed, and about the same number taken prisoners. This success relieved his rear; which, after burning Pamphium, accomplished the passage of the narrow gorge with rapidity and safety, and effected a junction with the Macedonians near Matape, Matape. at which place Philip had pitched a camp and was waiting for his rear-guard to come up. Next day, after levelling Metape to the ground, Acrae. he advanced to the city called Acrae; next day to Conope, ravaging the country as he passed, and there encamped for the night. Stratus.On the next he marched along the Achelous as far as Stratus; there he crossed the river, and, having halted his men out of range, endeavoured to tempt the garrison outside the walls; for he had been informed that two thousand Aetolian infantry and about four hundred horse, with five hundred Cretans, had collected into Stratus. But when no one ventured out, he renewed his march, and ordered his van to advance towards Limnaea and the ships.

14. But no sooner had his rear passed the town than, first, a small body of Aetolian cavalry sallied out and began harassing the hindmost men; Philip victorious in a skirmish with the garrison of Stratus. and then, the whole of the Cretans and some Aetolian troops having joined their cavalry, the conflict became more severe, and the rear of Philip’s army were forced to face about and engage the enemy. At first the conflict was undecided; but on Philip’s mercenaries being372 supported by the arrival of the Illyrians, the Aetolian cavalry and mercenaries gave way and fled in disorder. The royal troops pursued most of them to the entrance of the gates, or up to the walls, Arrival at Limnaea. and killed about a hundred of them. After this skirmish the garrison remained inactive, and the rear of the royal army reached the camp and the ships in safety.

Philip pitched his camp early in the day, and proceeded to make a thank offering to the gods for the successful issue of his undertaking; and to invite the officers to a banquet, at which it was his intention to entertain them all. His view was that he had ventured upon a dangerous country, and such as no one had ever ventured to enter with an army before; while he had not only entered it with an army, but had returned in safety, after accomplishing all that he had intended. But while he was thus intent on entertaining his officers in great elation of mind, Megaleas and Leontius were nursing feelings of great annoyance at the success of the king. They had arranged with Apelles to hamper all his plans, but had been unable to do so; and now saw everything turning out exactly contrary to their views.

15. Still they came to the banquet, where they from the first excited the suspicions of the king and the rest of the company, Megaleas and Leontius betray their chagrin at the king’s success. by showing less joy at the events than the others present. But as the drinking went on, and grew less and less moderate, being forced to do just as the others did, they soon showed themselves in their true colours. For as soon as the company broke up, losing control over themselves under the influence of wine, They assault Aratus. they roamed about looking for Aratus; and having fallen in with him on his way home, they first attacked him with abusive language, and then threw stones at him; and a number of people coming to the assistance of both parties, there was a noise and disturbance in the camp. But the king hearing the noise sent some officers to ascertain the cause, and to put an end to the disturbance. On their coming upon the scene, Aratus stated what had occurred, called those present to witness the truth of his words, and retired to his373 own tent; but Leontius by some unexplained means slipped away in the crowd. When informed of what had taken place, Megaleas and Crinon held to bail. the king sent for Megaleas and Crinon and rebuked them sharply: and when they not only expressed no submission, but actually retorted with a declaration that they would never desist until they had paid Aratus out, the king, enraged at their words, at once required them to give security for the payment of a fine of twenty talents, and ordered them to be placed under arrest.

16. Next morning, too, he sent for Aratus and bade him have no fears, for that he would see that the business was properly settled. When Leontius learned what had happened to Megaleas, he came to the king’s tent with some peltasts, believing that, owing to his youth, he should overawe the king, and quickly induce him to repent of his purpose. Coming into the royal presence he demanded who had ventured to lay hands on Megaleas, and lead him to confinement? But when the king answered with firmness that he had given the order, Leontius was dismayed; and, with an exclamation of indignant sorrow, departed in high wrath. Arrival at Leucas. Megaleas fined twenty talents. Immediately after getting the fleet across the gulf, and anchoring at Leucas, the king first gave orders to the officers appointed to distribute the spoils to carry out that business with all despatch; and then summoned his friends to council, and tried the case of Megaleas. In his speech as accuser Aratus went over the crimes of Leontius and his party from beginning to end; detailed the massacre in Argos perpetrated by them after the departure of Antigonus; their arrangement made with Apelles; and finally their contrivance to prevent success at Palus. Of all these accusations he gave distinct proof, and brought forward witnesses: and Megaleas and Crinon being entirely unable to refute any of them, were unanimously condemned by the king’s friends. Crinon remained under arrest, but Leontius went bail for the payment of the Megaleas’s fine. Thus the intrigue of Apelles and Leontius turned out quite contrary to their original hopes: for they had expected, by terrifying Aratus and isolating Philip, to do whatever seemed to suit their interests; whereas the result had been exactly the reverse.


17. About the same time Lycurgus returned from Messenia without having accomplished anything of importance. Lycurgus of Sparta attacks Tegea. Afterwards he started again and seized Tegea. The inhabitants having retreated into the citadel, he determined to besiege it; but finding himself unable to make any impression upon it he returned once more to Sparta.

The Eleans after overrunning Dymaea, gained an easy victory over some cavalry that had come out to resist them, Elis. by decoying them into an ambush. They killed a considerable number of the Gallic mercenaries, and among the natives whom they took prisoners were Polymedes of Aegium, and Agesipolis, and Diocles of Dyme.

Dorimachus had made his expedition originally, as I have already mentioned, under the conviction that Dorimachus recalled from Thessaly by Philip’s invasion of Aetolia. he would be able to devastate Thessaly without danger to himself, and would force Philip to raise the siege of Palus. But when he found Chrysogonus and Petraeus ready in Thessaly to engage him, he did not venture to descend into the plain, but kept close upon the skirts of the mountains; and when news reached him of the Macedonian invasion of Aetolia, he abandoned his attempt upon Thessaly, and hurried home to resist the invaders, whom he found however already departed from Aetolia: and so was too late for the campaign at all points.

Meanwhile the king set sail from Leucas; and after ravaging the territory of Oeanthe as he coasted along, Philip arrives at Corinth. arrived with his whole fleet at Corinth, and dropping anchor in the harbour of Lechaeum, disembarked his troops, and sent his letter-bearers to the allied cities in the Peloponnese, naming a day on which he wished all to be at Tegea by bedtime.

18. Then, without making any stay in Corinth, he gave the Tegea.Macedonians marching orders; and came at the end of a two days’ march by way of Argos to Tegea. There he took on the Achaean troops that had assembled, and advanced by the mountain road, being very desirous to effect an entrance into the territory of the375 Lacedaemonians before they became aware of it. Thus after a circuitous route through an uninhabited Amyclae and Sparta. district he came out upon the hills facing the town, and continued his advance right upon Amyclae, keeping the Menelaïum on his right. The Lacedaemonians were dismayed and terrified at seeing from the town the army passing along the hills, and wondered what was happening. For they were still in a state of excitement at the news of Philip which had arrived,—his destruction of Thermus, Dismay at Sparta. and his whole campaign in Aetolia; and there was even some talk among them of sending Lycurgus to the assistance of the Aetolians. But no one had so much as thought of danger coming so quickly to their own gates from such a distance, especially as the youth of the king still gave room for a certain feeling of contempt. The event therefore being totally contrary to their expectations, they were naturally in a state of great dismay. For the courage and energy beyond his years, with which Philip acted, reduced all his enemies to a state of the utmost difficulty and terror. For setting out, as I have shown, from the centre of Aetolia, and crossing the Ambracian gulf by night, he passed over to Leucas; and after a two days’ halt there, on the third he renewed his voyage before daybreak, and after a two days’ sail, during which he ravaged the seaboard of the Aetolians, he dropped anchor in Lechaeum; thence, after seven days’ continuous march, he arrived on the heights above Sparta in the neighbourhood of the Menelaïum,—a feat which most of those even who saw it done could scarcely believe.

19. While the Lacedaemonians were thus thoroughly terrified at the unexpected danger, and at a loss what to do to meet it, Philip encamped on the first day at Amyclae: a place in Laconia about twenty stades from Lacedaemon, exceedingly rich in forest and corn, and containing a temple of Apollo, which is about the most splendid of all the temples in Laconia, situated in that quarter of the city which slopes down towards the sea. Next day the king descended to a place called the Camp of Pyrrhus,254 wasting the country as376 he went. After devastating the neighbouring districts for the two following days, he encamped near Carnium; Carnium. thence he started for Asine, and after some fruitless assaults upon it, he started again, and thenceforth devoted himself to plundering all the country bordering on the Cretan Sea as far as Taenarum. Gythium.Then, once more changing the direction of his march, he advanced to Gythium, the naval arsenal of Sparta, which possesses a safe harbour, and is about thirty stades from the city. Helos. Then leaving this on the right, he pitched his camp in the territory of Helos, which of all the districts of Laconia is the most extensive and most beautiful. Thence he sent out foraging parties and wasted the country with fire and sword, and destroyed the crops in it: pushing his devastation as far as Acriae and Leucae, and even to the district of Boeae.

20. On the receipt of the despatch from Philip commanding the levy, the Messenians were no less forward Abortive attempt of the Messenians to join Philip. than the other allies to undertake it. They showed indeed great zeal in making the expedition, sending out the flower of their troops, two thousand infantry and two hundred cavalry. Owing, however, to their distance from the seat of war, they arrived at Tegea after Philip had left, and at first were at a loss what to do; but being very anxious not to appear lukewarm in the campaign, because of the suspicions which had attached to them before, they pressed forward through Argolis into Laconia, with a view of effecting a junction with Philip; and having reached a fort called Glympes, which is situated on the frontiers of Argolis and Laconia, they encamped there in an unskilful and careless manner: for they neither entrenched themselves with ditch nor rampart, nor selected an advantageous spot; but trusting to the friendly disposition of the natives, bivouacked there unsuspiciously outside the walls of the fortress. But on news being brought to Lycurgus of the arrival of the Messenians, he took his mercenaries and some Lacedaemonians with him, and reaching the place before daybreak, boldly attacked the camp. Ill advised as the proceedings of the Messenians had been, and especially in advancing377 from Tegea with inadequate numbers and without the direction of experts, in the actual hour of danger, when the enemy was upon them, they did all that circumstances admitted of to secure their safety. For as soon as they saw the enemy appearing they abandoned everything and took refuge within the fort. Accordingly, though Lycurgus captured most of the horses and the baggage, he did not take a single prisoner, and only succeeded in killing eight of the cavalry. After this reverse, the Messenians returned home through Argolis: but elated with success Lycurgus went to Sparta, Lycurgus resolves to intercept Philip on his return at the pass opposite Sparta. and set about preparations for war; and took secret counsel with his friends to prevent Philip from getting safe out of the country without an engagement. Meanwhile the king had started from the district of Helos, and was on his return march, wasting the country as he came; and on the fourth day, about noon, arrived once more with his whole army at Amyclae.

21. Leaving directions with his officers and friends as to the coming engagement, Lycurgus himself left Sparta and occupied the ground near the Menelaïum, with as many as two thousand men. He agreed with the officers in the town that they should watch carefully, in order that, whenever he raised the signal, they might lead out their troops from the town at several points at once, and draw them up facing the Eurotas, at the spot where it is nearest the town. Such were the measures and designs of Lycurgus and the Lacedaemonians.

But lest ignorance of the locality should render my story unintelligible and vague, I must describe its natural features and general position: Value of local knowledge. following my practice throughout this work of drawing out the analogies and likenesses between places which are unknown and those already known and described. For seeing that in war, whether by sea or land, it is the difference of position which generally is the cause of failure; and since I wish all to know, not so much what happened, as how it happened, I must not pass over local description in detailing events of any sort, least of all in such as relate to war: and I must not shrink from using as landmarks, at one time harbours378 and seas and islands, at another temples, mountains, or local names; or, finally, variations in the aspect of the heaven, these being of the most universal application throughout the world. For it is thus, and thus only, that it is possible, as I have said, to bring my readers to a conception of an unknown scene.

22. These then are the features of the country in question. Sparta, as a whole, is in the shape of a circle; The position of Sparta and the neighbouring heights. and is situated on level ground, broken at certain points by irregularities and hills. The river Eurotas flows past it on the east, and for the greater part of the year is too large to be forded; and the hills on which the Menelaïum stands are on the other side of the river, to the south-east of the town, rugged and difficult of access and exceedingly lofty; they exactly command the space between the town and the Eurotas, which flows at the very foot of the hill, the whole valley being at this point no more than a stade and a half wide. The dispositions of Lycurgus. Through this Philip was obliged to pass on his return march, with the city, and the Lacedaemonians ready and drawn up for battle, on his left hand, and on his right the river, and the division of Lycurgus posted upon the hills. In addition to these arrangements the Lacedaemonians had had recourse to the following device: They had dammed up the river above the town, and turned the stream upon the space between the town and the hills; with the result that the ground became so wet that men could not keep their feet, to say nothing of horses. The only course, therefore, left to the king was to lead his men close under the skirts of the hills, thus presenting to the attack of the enemy a long line of march, in which it was difficult for one part to relieve another.

Philip perceived these difficulties, and after consultation with his friends decided that the matter of most Philip succeeds in baffling Lycurgus. urgent necessity was to dislodge the division of Lycurgus, first of all, from the position near the Menelaïum. He took therefore his mercenaries, peltasts, and Illyrians, and advanced across the river in the direction of the hills. Perceiving Philip’s design, Lycurgus began getting his men ready, and exhorted them to face the battle, and379 at the same time displayed the signal to the forces in the town: whereupon those whose duty it was immediately led out the troops from the town, as had been arranged, and drew them up outside the wall, with the cavalry on their right wing.

23. When he had got within distance of Lycurgus, Philip at first ordered the mercenaries to charge alone: and, accordingly, their superiority in arms and position contributed not a little to give the Lacedaemonians the upper hand at the beginning of the engagement. But when Philip supported his men by sending his reserve of peltasts on to the field, and caused the Illyrians to charge the enemy on the flanks, the king’s mercenaries were encouraged by the appearance of these reserves to renew the battle with much more vigour than ever; while Lycurgus’s men, terrified at the approach of the heavy-armed soldiers, gave way and fled, leaving a hundred killed and rather more prisoners, while the rest escaped into the town. Lycurgus himself, with a few followers going by a deserted and pathless route, made his way into the town under cover of night. Philip secured the hills by means of the Illyrians; and, accompanied by his light-armed troops and peltasts, rejoined his main forces. Just at the same time Aratus, leading the phalanx from Amyclae, had come close to the town. So the king, after recrossing the Eurotas, halted with his light-armed peltasts and cavalry until the heavy-armed got safely through the narrow part of the road at the foot of the hills. Then the troops in the city ventured to attack the covering force of cavalry. There was a serious engagement, in which the peltasts fought with conspicuous valour; and the success of Philip being now beyond dispute, he chased the Lacedaemonians to their very gates, and then, having got his army safely across the Eurotas he brought up the rear of his phalanx.

24. But it was now getting late: and being obliged to encamp, he availed himself for that purpose of a place at the very mouth of the pass, Philip’s strong position. his officers having chanced already to have selected that very place; than which it would be impossible to find one more advantageous for making an invasion of380 Laconia by way of Sparta itself. For it is at the very commencement of this pass, just where a man coming from Tegea, or, indeed, from any point in the interior, approaches Sparta; being about two stades from the town and right upon the river. The side of it which looks towards the town and river is entirely covered by a steep, lofty, and entirely inaccessible rock; while the top of this rock is a table-land of good soil and well supplied with water, and very conveniently situated for the exit and entrance of troops. A general, therefore, who was encamped there, and who had command of the height overhanging it, would evidently be in a place of safety as regards the neighbouring town, and in a most advantageous situation as commanding the entrance and exit of the narrow pass. Having accordingly encamped himself on this spot in safety, next day Philip sent forward his baggage; but drew out his army on the table-land in full view of the citizens, and remained thus for a short time. Sellasia, B.C. 222. Then he wheeled to the left and marched in the direction of Tegea; and when he reached the site of the battle of Antigonus and Cleomenes, he encamped there. Next day, having made an inspection of the ground and sacrificed to the gods on both the eminences, Olympus and Evas, he advanced with his rear-guard strengthened. On arriving at Tegea he caused all the Philip proceeds to Tegea, where he is visited by ambassadors from Rhodes and Chios seeking to end the Aetolian war. booty to be sold; and then, marching through Argos, arrived with his whole force at Corinth. There ambassadors appeared from Rhodes and Chios to negotiate a suspension of hostilities; to whom the king gave audience, and feigning that he was, and always had been, quite ready to come to terms with the Aetolians, sent them away to negotiate with the latter also; while he himself went down to Lechaeum, and made preparations for an embarkation, as he had an important undertaking to complete in Phocis.

25. Leontius, Megaleas, and Ptolemy, being still persuaded that they could frighten Philip, and thus neutralise their former failures, took this opportunity of tampering with the peltasts, and what the Macedonians call the381 Agema,255 by suggesting to them that they were risking their all, and getting none of their just rights, nor receiving the booty which, Treason of Megaleas and Ptolemy.according to custom, properly fell to their share. By these words they incited the young men to collect together, and attempt to plunder the tents of the most prominent of the king’s friends, and to pull down the doors, and break through the roof of the royal headquarters.

The whole city being thereby in a state of confusion and uproar, the king heard of it and immediately came hastily running to the town from Lechaeum; and having summoned the Macedonians to the theatre he addressed them in terms of mingled exhortation and rebuke for what had happened. A scene of great uproar and confusion followed: and while some advised him to arrest and call to account the guilty, others to come to terms and declare an indemnity, for the moment the king dissembled his feelings, and pretended to be satisfied; and so with some words of exhortation addressed to all, retired: and though he knew quite well who were the ringleaders in the disturbance, he made a politic pretence of not doing so.

26. After this outbreak the king’s schemes in Phocis met with certain impediments which prevented their present execution. Apelles sent for by Leontius. Meanwhile Leontius, despairing of success by his own efforts, had recourse to Apelles, urging him by frequent messages to come from Chalcis, and setting forth his own difficulties and the awkwardness of his position owing to his quarrel with the king. Now Apelles had been acting in Chalcis with an unwarrantable assumption of authority. He gave out that the king was still a mere boy, and for the most part under his control, and without independent power over anything; the management of affairs and the supreme authority in the kingdom he asserted to belong to himself. Accordingly, the magistrates and commissioners of Macedonia and Thessaly reported to him; and the cities in Greece in their decrees and382 votes of honours and rewards made brief reference to the king, while Apelles was all in all to them. Philip had been kept informed of this, and had for some time past been feeling annoyed and offended at it,—Aratus being at his side, and using skilful means to further his own views; still he kept his own counsel, and did not let any one see what he intended to do, or what he had in his mind. In ignorance, therefore, of his own position, and persuaded that, if he could only come into Philip’s presence, he would manage everything as he chose, Apelles set out from Chalcis to the assistance of Leontius. Apelles rebuffed by the king. On his arrival at Corinth, Leontius, Ptolemy and Megaleas, being commanders of the peltasts and the other chief divisions of the army, took great pains to incite the young men to go to meet him. He entered the town, therefore, with great pomp, owing to the number of officers and soldiers who went to meet him, and proceeded straight to the royal quarters. But when he would have entered, according to his former custom, one of the ushers prevented him, saying that the king was engaged. Troubled at this unusual repulse, and hesitating for a long while what to do, Apelles at last turned round and retired. Thereupon all those who were escorting him began at once openly to fall off from him and disperse, so that at last he entered his own lodging, with his children, absolutely alone. So true it is all the world over that a moment exalts and abases us; Courtiers. but most especially is this true of courtiers. They indeed are exactly like counters on a board, which, according to the pleasure of the calculator, are one moment worth a farthing, the next a talent. Even so courtiers at the king’s nod are one moment at the summit of prosperity, at another the objects of pity. When Megaleas saw that the help he had looked for from Apelles was failing him, he was exceedingly frightened, and made preparations for flight. Apelles meanwhile was admitted to the king’s banquets and honours of that sort, but had no share in his council or daily social employments; and when, some days afterwards, the king resumed his voyage from Lechaeum, to complete his designs in Phocis, he took Apelles with him.

27. The expedition to Phocis proving a failure, the king383 was retiring from Elatea; and while this was going on, Megaleas removed to Athens, leaving Leontius behind him as his security for his twenty talents fine. Flight of Megaleas. The Athenian Strategi however refused to admit him, and he therefore resumed his journey and went to Thebes. Meanwhile the king put to sea from the coast of Cirrha and sailed with his guards256 to the harbour of Sicyon, whence he went up to the city and, excusing himself to the magistrates, took up his quarters with Aratus, and spent the whole of his time with him, ordering Apelles to sail back to Corinth. But upon news being brought him of the proceedings of Megaleas, Leontius put to death. he despatched the peltasts, whose regular commander was Leontius, in the charge of Taurion to Triphylia, on the pretext of some service of pressing need; and, when they had departed, he gave orders to arrest Leontius to answer his bail. When the peltasts heard what had happened from a messenger sent to them by Leontius, they despatched ambassadors to the king, begging him that, “if he had arrested Leontius on any other score, not to have him tried on the charges alleged against him without their presence: for otherwise they should consider themselves treated with signal contempt, and to be one and all involved in the condemnation.” Such was the freedom of speech towards their king which the Macedonians always enjoyed. They added, that “if the arrest was on account of his bail for Megaleas, they would themselves pay the money by a common subscription.” The king however was so enraged, that he put Leontius to death sooner than he had intended, owing to the zeal displayed by the peltasts.

28. Presently the ambassadors of Rhodes and Chios returned from Aetolia. They had agreed to a truce of thirty days, A thirty days’ truce offered by the Aetolians through the Rhodian and Chian ambassadors. and asserted that the Aetolians were ready to make peace: they had also arranged for a stated day on which they claimed that Philip should meet them at Rhium; undertaking that the Aetolians would be ready to do anything on condition of making peace. Philip accepted384 the truce and wrote letters to the allies, bidding them send assessors and commissioners to discuss the terms with the Aetolians; Treason of Megaleas detected. His arrest and suicide. while he himself sailed from Lechaeum and arrived on the second day at Patrae. Just then certain letters were sent to him from Phocis, which Megaleas had written to the Aetolians, exhorting them not to be frightened, but to persist in the war, because Philip was in extremities through a lack of provisions. Besides this the letters contained some offensive and bitter abuse of the king. As soon as he had read these, the king feeling no doubt that Apelles was the ringleader of the mischief, placed him under a guard and despatched him in all haste to Corinth, with his son and favourite boy; while he sent Alexander to Thebes to arrest Megaleas, with orders to bring him before the magistrates to answer to his bail. When Alexander had fulfilled his commission, Megaleas, not daring to await the issue, committed suicide: Death of Appelles. and about the same time Apelles, his son and favourite boy, ended their lives also. Such was the end of these men, thoroughly deserved in every way, and especially for their outrageous conduct to Aratus.

29. Now the Aetolians were at first very anxious for the ratification of a peace, because they found the war burdensome, Failure of the negotiations with the Aetolians. and because things had not gone as they expected. For, looking to his tender years and lack of experience, they had expected to have a mere child to deal with in Philip; but had found him a full-grown man both in his designs and his manner of executing them: while they had themselves made a display of imbecility and childishness alike in the general conduct, and the particular actions, of the campaign. But as soon as they heard of the outbreak of the disturbance among the peltasts, and of the deaths of Apelles and Leontius, hoping that there was a serious and formidable disaffection at the court, they procrastinated until they had outstayed the day appointed for the meeting at Rhium. But Philip was delighted to seize the pretext: for he felt confident of success in the war, and had already resolved to avoid coming to terms. He therefore at once exhorted such of the allies as had come to meet him385 to make preparations, not for the peace, but for war; and putting to sea again sailed back to Corinth. He then dismissed his Macedonian soldiers to go home through Thessaly for the winter: while he himself putting to sea from Cenchreae, and coasting along Attica, sailed through the Euripus to Demetrias, and there before a jury of Macedonians had Ptolemy tried and put to death, who was the last survivor of the conspiracy of Leontius.

It was in this season that Hannibal, having succeeded in entering Italy, was lying encamped in presence of the Roman army in the valley of the Padus. B.C. 218. Review of the events of the year in Italy, Asia, Sparta. Antiochus, after subduing the greater part of Coele-Syria, had once more dismissed his army into winter quarters. The Spartan king Lycurgus fled to Aetolia in fear of the Ephors: for acting on a false charge that he was meditating a coup d’état, they had collected the young men and come to his house at night. But getting previous intimation of what was impending, he had quitted the town accompanied by the members of his household.

30. When the next winter came, Philip having departed to Macedonia, and the Achaean Strategus Winter of B.C. 218-217. Eperatus having incurred the contempt of the Achaean soldiers and the complete disregard of the mercenaries, no one would obey his orders, and no preparation was made for the defence of the country. This was observed by Pyrrhias, who had been Disorder in Achaia owing to the incompetence of the Strategus Eperatus. sent by the Aetolians to command the Eleans. He had under him a force of thirteen hundred Aetolians, and the mercenaries hired by the Eleans, as well as a thousand Elean infantry and two hundred Elean cavalry, amounting in all to three thousand: and he now began committing frequent raids, not only upon the territories of Dyme and Pharae, but upon that of Patrae also. Finally he pitched his camp on what is called the Panachaean Mountain, which commands the town of Patrae, and began wasting the whole district towards Rhium and Aegium. The result was that the cities, being exposed to much suffering, and unable to obtain any assistance, began to make difficulties386 about paying their contribution to the league; and the soldiers finding their pay always in arrear and never paid at the right time acted in the same way about going to the relief of the towns. Both parties thus mutually retaliating on each other, affairs went from bad to worse, and at last the foreign contingent broke up altogether. And all this was the result of the incompetence of the chief magistrate. May, B.C. 217. Aratus the elder elected Strategus. The time for the next election finding Achaean affairs in this state, Eperatus laid down his office, and just at the beginning of summer Aratus the elder was elected Strategus.257

Such was the position of affairs in Europe. We have now arrived at a proper juncture, both of events and of time, 140th Olympiad, Asia. to transfer our narrative to the history of Asia. I will therefore resume my story of the transactions which occurred there during the same Olympiad.

31. I will first endeavour, in accordance with my original plan, to give an account of the war between Antiochus and Ptolemy for the possession of Coele-Syria. Though I am fully aware that at the period, at which I have stopped in my Greek history, this war was all but decided and concluded, I have yet deliberately chosen this particular break and division in my narrative; believing that I shall effectually provide against the possibility of mistakes on the part of my readers in regard to dates, if I indicate in the course of my narrative the years in this Olympiad in which the events in the several parts of the world, as well as in Greece, began and ended. For I think nothing more essential to the clearness of my history of this Olympiad than to avoid confusing the several narratives. Our object should be to distinguish and keep them separate as much as possible, until we come to the next Olympiad, and begin setting down the contemporary events in the several countries under each year. For since I have undertaken to write, not a particular, but a universal history, and have 387ventured upon a plan on a greater scale, as I have already shown, than any of my predecessors, it will be necessary also for me to take greater care than they, as to my method of treatment and arrangement; so as to secure clearness, both in the details, and in the general view adopted in my history. I will accordingly go back a short way in the history of the kingdoms of Antiochus and Ptolemy, and try to fix upon a starting-point for my narrative which shall be accepted and recognised by all: for this is a matter of the first importance.

32. For the old saying, “Well begun is half done,” was meant by its inventors to urge the importance of taking the greater pains to make a good beginning than anything else. And though some may consider this an exaggeration, in my opinion it comes short of the truth; for one might say with confidence, not that “the beginning was half the business,” but rather that it was near being the whole. For how can one make a good beginning without having first grasped in thought the complete plan, or without knowing where, with what object, and with what purpose he is undertaking the business? Or how can a man sum up a series of events satisfactorily without a reference to their origin, and without showing his point of departure, or why and how he has arrived at the particular crisis at which he finds himself? Therefore both historian and reader alike should be exceedingly careful to mark the beginnings of events, with a conviction that their influence does not stop half-way, but is paramount to the end. And this is what I shall endeavour to do.

33. I am aware, however, that a similar profession has been made by many other historians of an intention to write a universal history, and of undertaking a work on a larger scale than their predecessors. About these writers, putting out of the question Ephorus, the first and only man who has really attempted a universal history, I will not mention any name or say more about them than this,—that several of my contemporaries, while professing to write a universal history have imagined that they could tell the story of the war of Rome and Carthage in three or four pages. Yet every one knows that events more numerous or important were never accomplished in Iberia,388 Libya, Sicily, and Italy than in that war; and that the Hannibalian war was the most famous and lasting of any that has taken place except the Sicilian. So momentous was it, that all the rest of the world were compelled to watch it in terrified expectation of what would follow from its final catastrophe. Yet some of these writers, without even giving as many details of it as those who, after the manner of the vulgar, inscribe rude records of events on house walls, pretend to have embraced the whole of Greek and foreign history. The truth of the matter is, that it is a very easy matter to profess to undertake works of the greatest importance; but by no means so simple a matter in practice to attain to any excellence. The former is open to every one with the requisite audacity: the latter is rare, and is given to few. So much for those who use pompous language about themselves and their historical works. I will now return to my narrative.

34. Immediately after his father’s death, Ptolemy Philopator put his brother Magas and his partisans to death, Death of Ptolemy Euergetes, B.C. 222. and took possession of the throne of Egypt. He thought that he had now freed himself by this act from domestic danger; and that by the deaths of Antigonus and Seleucus, and their being respectively succeeded by mere children like Antiochus and Philip, fortune had released him from danger abroad. He therefore felt secure of his position and began conducting his reign as though it were a perpetual festival. He would attend to no business, and would hardly grant an interview to the officials about the court, or at the head of the administrative departments in Egypt. Even his agents abroad found him entirely careless and indifferent; though his predecessors, far from taking less interest in foreign affairs, had generally given them precedence over those of Egypt itself. For being masters of Coele-Syria and Cyprus, they maintained a threatening attitude towards the kings of Syria, both by land and sea; and were also in a commanding position in regard to the princes of Asia, as well as the islands, through their possession of the most splendid cities, strongholds, and harbours all along the sea-coast from Pamphylia to the Hellespont and the district round Lysimachia. Moreover they were favourably placed for an389 attack upon Thrace and Macedonia from their possession of Aenus, Maroneia, and more distant cities still. And having thus stretched forth their hands to remote regions, and long ago strengthened their position by a ring of princedoms, these kings had never been anxious about their rule in Egypt; and had naturally, therefore, given great attention to foreign politics. But when Philopator, absorbed in unworthy intrigues, and senseless and continuous drunkenness, treated these several branches of government with equal indifference, it was naturally not long before more than one was found to lay plots against his life as well as his power: of whom the first was Cleomenes, the Spartan.258

35. As long as Euergetes was alive, with whom he had agreed to make an alliance and confederacy, Cleomenes took no steps. Cleomenes endeavours to get assistance from the Egyptian court.But upon that monarch’s death, seeing that the time was slipping away, and that the peculiar position of affairs in Greece seemed almost to cry aloud for Cleomenes,—for Antigonus was dead, the Achaeans involved in war, and the Lacedaemonians were at one with the Aetolians in hostility to the Achaeans and Macedonians, which was the policy originally adopted by Cleomenes,—then, indeed, he was actually compelled to use some expedition, and to bestir himself to secure his departure from Alexandria. First therefore, in interviews with the king, he urged him to send him out with the needful amount of supplies and troops; but not being listened to in this request, he next begged him earnestly to let him go alone with his own servants; for he affirmed that the state of affairs was such as to show him sufficient opportunities for recovering his ancestral throne. The king, however, for the reasons I have mentioned, taking absolutely no interest in such matters, nor exercising any foresight whatever, continued with extraordinary folly and blindness to neglect the petitions of Cleomenes. But the party of Sosibius, the leading statesman at the time, took counsel together, and agreed on the following course of action in regard to him. They decided not to send him out with a fleet and supplies; for, owing to the death of Antigonus, they took little account 390of foreign affairs, and thought money spent on such things would be thrown away. Besides, they were afraid that since Antigonus was dead, and no one was left who could balance him, Cleomenes might, if he got Greece into his power quickly and without trouble, prove a serious and formidable rival to themselves; especially as he had had a clear view of Egyptian affairs, had learnt to despise the king; and had discovered that the kingdom had many parts loosely attached, and widely removed from the centre, and presenting many facilities for revolutionary movements: for not a few of their ships were at Samos, and a considerable force of soldiers at Ephesus. These considerations induced them to reject the idea of sending Cleomenes out with supplies; for they thought it by no means conducive to their interests to carelessly let a man go, who was certain to be their opponent and enemy. The other proposal was to keep him there against his will; but this they all rejected at once without discussion, on the principle that the lion and the flock could not safely share the same stall. Sosibius himself took the lead in regarding this idea with aversion, and his reason was this.

36. While engaged in effecting the destruction of Magas and Berenice, his anxiety at the possible failure of his attempt, The reason of the opposition of Sosibius. especially through the courageous character of Berenice, had forced him to flatter the courtiers, and give them all hopes of advantage in case his intrigue succeeded. It was at this juncture that, observing Cleomenes to stand in need of the king’s help, and to be possessed of a clear understanding and a genuine grasp of the situation, he admitted him to a knowledge of his design, holding out to him hopes of great advantage. And when Cleomenes saw that Sosibius was in a state of great anxiety, and above all afraid of the foreign soldiers and mercenaries, he bade him not be alarmed; and undertook that the foreign soldiers should do him no harm, but should rather be of assistance to him. And on Sosibius expressing surprise rather than conviction at this promise, he said, “Don’t you see that there are three thousand foreign soldiers here from the Peloponnese, and a thousand from Crete? I have only to nod to these men, and every391 man of them will at once do what I want. With these all ready to hand, whom do you fear? Surely not mere Syrians and Carians.” Sosibius was much pleased at the remark at the time, and doubly encouraged in his intrigue against Berenice; but ever afterwards, when observing the indifference of the king, he repeated it to himself, and put before his eyes the boldness of Cleomenes, and the goodwill of the foreign contingent towards him.

37. These feelings now moved him to advise the king and his friends above all things to arrest and incarcerate Cleomenes: The intrigue of Sosibius against Cleomenes.and to carry out this policy he availed himself of the following circumstance, which happened conveniently for him. There was a certain Messenian called Nicagoras, an ancestral guest-friend of the Lacedaemonian king Archidamus. They had not previously had much intercourse; but when Archidamus fled from Sparta, for fear of Cleomenes, and came to Messenia, not only did Nicagoras show great kindness in receiving him under his roof and furnishing him with other necessaries, but from the close association that followed a very warm friendship and intimacy sprang up between them: and accordingly when Cleomenes subsequently gave Archidamus some expectation of being restored to his city, and composing their quarrels, Nicagoras devoted himself to conducting the negotiation and settling the terms of their compact. These being ratified, Archidamus returned to Sparta relying on the treaty made by the agency of Nicagoras. But as soon as he met him, Cleomenes assassinated Archidamus,259 sparing however Nicagoras and his companions. To the outside world Nicagoras pretended to be under an obligation to Cleomenes for saving his life; but in heart he was exceedingly incensed at what had happened, because he had the discredit of having been the cause of the king’s death. Now it happened that this same Nicagoras had, a short time before the events of which we are speaking, come to Alexandria with a cargo of horses. Just as 392he was disembarking he came upon Cleomenes, Panterus, and Hippitas walking together along the quay. When Cleomenes saw him, he came up and welcomed him warmly, and asked him on what business he was come. Upon his replying that he had brought a cargo of horses, “You had better,” said he, “have brought a cargo of catamites and sakbut girls; for that is what the present king is fond of.” Nicagoras laughed, and said nothing at the time: but some days afterwards, when he had, in the course of his horse-sales, become more intimate with Sosibius, he did Cleomenes the ill turn of repeating his recent sarcasm; and seeing that Sosibius heard it with satisfaction, he related to him the whole story of his grievance against Cleomenes.

38. Finding then that he was hostile in feeling to Cleomenes, Sosibius persuaded Nicagoras, partly by presents given on the spot and partly by promises for the future, to write a letter accusing Cleomenes, and leave it sealed; that as soon as he had sailed, as he would do in a few days, his servant might bring it to him as though sent by Nicagoras. Nicagoras performed his part in the plot; and after he had sailed, the letter was brought by the servant to Sosibius, who at once took the servant and the letter to the king. The servant stated that Nicagoras had left the letter with orders to deliver it to Sosibius; and the letter declared that it was the intention of Cleomenes, if he failed to secure his despatch from the country with suitable escort and provisions, to stir up a rebellion against the king. Sosibius at once seized the opportunity of urging on the king and his friends to take prompt precautions against Cleomenes and to put him in ward. Cleomenes put under arrest. This was at once done, and a very large house was assigned to him in which he lived under guard, differing from other prisoners only in the superior size of his prison. Finding himself in this distressing plight, and with fear of worse for the future, Cleomenes determined to make the most desperate attempts for freedom: not so much because he felt confident of success,—for he had none of the elements of success in such an enterprise on his side,—but rather because he was eager to die nobly, and endure nothing unworthy of the gallantry which he393 had previously displayed. He must, I think, as is usually the case with men of high courage, have recalled and reflected upon as his model those words of the hero:260

“Yea, let me die,—but not a coward’s death,
Nor all inglorious: let me do one deed,
That children yet unborn may hear and mark!”

39. He therefore waited for the time at which the king left Alexandria for Canopus, and then spread a report among his guards that he was going to be released by the king; Bold attempt of Cleomenes to recover his liberty. His failure and death, B.C. 220. and on this pretext entertained his own attendants