Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/180

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166
BATTLE OF THE METAURUS.

chise or political rights; and, accordingly, we find no instance specified in history of a Libyan holding political office or military command. The half-castes, the Liby-Phœnicians, seem to have been sometimes sent out as colonists;[1] but it may be inferred, from what Diodorus says of their residence, that they had not the right of the citizenship of Carthage: and only a single solitary case occurs of one of this race being entrusted with authority, and that, too, not emanating from the home-government. This is the instance of the officer sent by Hannibal to Sicily, after the fall of Syracuse; whom Polybius[2] calls Myttinus the Libyan, but whom, from the fuller account in Livy, we find to have been a Liby-Phœnician:[3] and it is expressly mentioned what indignation was felt by the Carthaginian commanders in the island that this half-caste should control their operations.

With respect to the composition of their armies, it is observable that, though thirsting for extended empire, and though some of her leading men became generals of the highest order, the Carthaginians, as a people, were anything but personally warlike. As long as they could hire mercenaries to fight for them, they had little appetite for the

  1. See the "Periplus" of Hanno.
  2. Lib. ix. 22.
  3. Lib. xxv. 40.