The Great Events by Famous Historians/Volume 2/Scipio Africanus Crushes Hannibal at Zama and Subjugates Carthage
SCIPIO AFRICANUS CRUSHES HANNIBAL AT ZAMA AND SUBJUGATES CARTHAGE
(Sprung from a colony of Tyre, Carthage, founded about B.C. 800, rapidly developed, through a wonderful system of colonization, into a dominating power, her rule extending through Northwestern Africa and Western Europe. In B.C. 509 Carthage made her first treaty with Rome. But the rivalry which grew up between the two Powers developed into a stubborn contest for the empire of the world, culminating in the three Punic wars. The first of these lasted from B.C. 264 to 241; the second, from B.C. 218 to 201. In the interval between these two wars Rome acquired the northern part of Italy, whence she sent victorious armies against the barbarians in Gaul. Meanwhile, under Hamilcar Barcar, the Carthaginians had effected the conquest of Southern Spain, which they reduced to the condition of a dependency.
Hamilcar's greater son, Hannibal, was compelled by his father to swear eternal enmity to Rome. Having established the Carthaginian empire in Spain, at the age of twenty-six he took the Spanish city of Saguntum, an ally of Rome, and this was the immediate cause of the Second Punic War, which the Romans declared. The passage of the Alps by Hannibal is regarded as one of the greatest military performances in history. He was welcomed by the Gauls as a deliverer, and was soon operating in Northern Italy, his appearance there being a complete surprise to the Romans. He won victories over them at the rivers Ticinus and Trebia, B.C. 218; another in 217 at Lake Trasimenus; a great triumph at Cannae in 216; took Capua in the same year, and wintered there; in 212 captured Tarentum; marched against Rome in 211; and in 203 was recalled to Africa.
In the mean time the Romans had decided to carry the war into Africa, although in 215 they had beaten Hannibal, and in 211 had retaken Capua. Publius Cornelius Scipio [Scipio Africanus Major] in B.C. 210-206 drove the Carthaginians out of Spain. In 205 he was made consul, and the next year invaded Africa. Landing on the coast, he was met by the forces of the Numidian King, who became his allies against Carthage. In 203 he defeated Syphax and Hasdrubal. Hannibal now having returned to Carthage, he took command of the forces which she opposed to the Roman invaders, but in B.C. 202 suffered final overthrow at Zama, in the battle that ended the Second Punic War. Livy's account of the closing scenes of that war, which here follows, gives the reader a clear understanding of the sequence and conclusion of the events related.)
Marcus Servilius and Tiberius Claudius, having assembled the senate, consulted them respecting the provinces. As both were desirous of having Africa, they wished Italy and Africa to be disposed of by lots; but, principally in consequence of the exertions of Quintus Metellus, Africa was neither assigned to anyone nor withheld. The consuls were ordered to make application to the tribunes of the people, to the effect that, if they thought proper, they should put it to the people to decide whom they wished to conduct the war in Africa. All the tribes nominated Publius Scipio. Nevertheless, the consuls put the province of Africa to the lot, for so the senate had decreed. Africa fell to the lot of Tiberius Claudius, who was to cross over into Africa with a fleet of fifty ships, all quinqueremes, and have an equal command with Scipio. Marcus Servilius obtained Etruria. Caius Servilius was continued in command in the same province, in case the senate resolved that the consul should remain at the city. Of the praetors, Marcus Sextus obtained Gaul, which province, together with two legions, Publius Quinctilius Varus was to deliver to him; Caius Livius obtained Bruttium, with the two legions which Publius Sempronius, the proconsul, had commanded the former year; Cneius Tremellius had Sicily, and was to receive the province and two legions from Publius Villius Tappulus, a praetor of the former year; Villius, as propraetor, was to protect the coast of Sicily with twenty men-of-war and a thousand soldiers; and Marcus Pomponius was to convey thence to Rome one thousand five hundred soldiers, with the remaining twenty ships. The city jurisdiction fell to Caius Aurelius Cotta; and the rest of the praetors were continued in command of the respective provinces and armies which they then had. Not more than sixteen legions were employed this year in the defence of the empire. And, that they might have the gods favorably disposed toward them in all their undertakings and proceedings, it was ordered that the consuls, before they set out to the war, should celebrate those games and sacrifice those victims of the larger sort which, in the consulate of Marcus Claudius Marcellus and Titus Quinctius, Titus Manlius the dictator had vowed, provided the commonwealth should continue in the same state for the next five years. The games were exhibited in the circus during four days, and the victims sacrificed to those deities to whom they had been vowed.
Meanwhile, hope and anxiety daily and simultaneously increased; nor could the minds of men be brought to any fixed conclusion, whether it was a fit subject for rejoicing that Hannibal had now at length, after the sixteenth year, departed from Italy and left the Romans in the unmolested possession of it or whether they had not greater cause to fear from his having transported his army in safety into Africa. They said that the scene of action certainly was changed, but not the danger. That Quintus Fabius, lately deceased, who had foretold how arduous the contest would be, was used to predict, not without good reason, that Hannibal would prove a more formidable enemy in his own country than he had been in a foreign one; and that Scipio would have to encounter, not Syphax, a king of undisciplined barbarians whose armies Statorius, a man little better than a soldier's drudge, was used to lead, nor his father-in-law Hasdrubal, that most fugacious general, nor tumultuary armies hastily collected out of a crowd of half-armed rustics, but Hannibal, born in a manner in the pavilion of his father, that bravest of generals, nurtured and educated in the midst of arms, who served as a soldier formerly, when a boy, and became a general when he had scarcely attained the age of manhood; who, having grown old in victory, had filled Spain, Gaul, and Italy, from the Alps to the strait, with monuments of his vast achievements; who commanded troops who had served as long as he had himself; troops hardened by the endurance of every species of suffering, such as it is scarcely credible that men could have supported; stained a thousand times with Roman blood, and bearing with them the spoils not only of soldiers, but of generals. That many would meet the eyes of Scipio in battle who had with their own hands slain Roman praetors, generals, and consuls; many decorated with crowns in reward for having scaled walls and crossed ramparts; many who had traversed the captured camps and cities of the Romans. That the magistrates of the Roman people had not then so many fasces as Hannibal could have carried before him, having taken them from generals whom he had slain. While their minds were harassed by these apprehensions, their anxiety and fears were further increased from the circumstance that, whereas they had been accustomed to carry on war for several years in different parts of Italy, and within their view, with languid hopes and without the prospect of bringing it to a speedy termination, Scipio and Hannibal had stimulated the minds of all, as generals prepared for a final contest. Even those persons whose confidence in Scipio and hopes of victory were great, were affected with anxiety, increasing in proportion as they saw their completion approaching. The state of feeling among the Carthaginians was much the same; for when they turned their eyes on Hannibal, and the greatness of his achievements, they repented having solicited peace; but when again they reflected that they had been twice defeated in a pitched battle, that Syphax had been made prisoner, that they had been driven out of Spain and Italy, and that all this had been effected by the valor and conduct of Scipio alone, they regarded him with horror, as a general marked out by destiny, and born for their destruction.
Hannibal had by this time arrived at Adrumetum, from which place, after employing a few days there in refreshing his soldiers, who had suffered from the motion by sea, he proceeded by forced marches to Zama, roused by the alarming statements of messengers who brought word that all the country around Carthage was filled with armed troops. Zama is distant from Carthage a five days' journey. Some spies whom he sent out from this place, being intercepted by the Roman guard and brought before Scipio, he directed that they should be handed over to the military tribunes, and after having been desired fearlessly to survey everything, to be conducted through the camp wherever they chose; then, asking them whether they had examined everything to their satisfaction, he assigned them an escort and sent them back to Hannibal.
Hannibal received none of the circumstances which were reported to him with feelings of joy, for they brought word that, as it happened, Masinissa had joined the enemy that very day with six thousand infantry and four thousand horse; but he was principally dispirited by the confidence of his enemy, which, doubtless, was not conceived without some ground. Accordingly, though he himself was the originator of the war, and by his coming had upset the truce which had been entered into, and cut off all hopes of a treaty, yet concluding that more favorable terms might be obtained if he solicited peace while his strength was unimpaired than when vanquished, he sent a message to Scipio requesting permission to confer with him.
Scipio took up his position not far from the city of Naragara, in a situation convenient not only for other purposes, but also because there was a watering-place within a dart's throw. Hannibal took possession of an eminence four miles thence, safe and convenient in every respect, except that he had a long way to go for water. Here in the intermediate space a place was chosen open to view from all sides, that there might be no opportunity for treachery.
Their armed attendants having retired to an equal distance, they met, each attended by one interpreter, being the greatest generals not only of their own times, but of any to be found in the records of the times preceding them, and equal to any of the kings or generals of any nation whatever. When they came within sight of each other they remained silent for a short time, thunderstruck, as it were, with mutual admiration. At length Hannibal thus began: "Since fate hath so ordained it that I, who was the first to wage war upon the Romans, and who have so often had victory almost within my reach, should voluntarily come to sue for peace, I rejoice that it is you, above all others, from whom it is my lot to solicit it. To you, also, amid the many distinguished events of your life, it will not be esteemed one of the least glorious that Hannibal, to whom the gods had so often granted victory over the Roman generals, should have yielded to you; and that you should have put an end to this war, which has been rendered remarkable by your calamities before it was by ours.
"Peace is proposed at a time when you have the advantage. We who negotiate it are the persons whom it most concerns to obtain it, and we are persons whose arrangements, be they what they will, our states will ratify. You have recovered Spain, which had been lost, after driving thence four Carthaginian armies. When elected consul, though all others wanted courage to defend Italy, you crossed over into Africa, where having cut to pieces two armies, having at once captured and burnt two camps in the same hour, having made prisoner Syphax, a most powerful king, and seized so many towns of his dominions and so many of ours, you have dragged me from Italy, the possession of which I had firmly held for now sixteen years. While your affairs are in a favorable and ours in a dubious state, you would derive honor and splendor from granting peace; while to us, who solicit it, it would be considered as necessary rather than honorable.
"It is indeed the right of him who grants, and not of him who solicits it, to dictate the terms of peace, but perhaps we may not be unworthy to impose upon ourselves the fine. We do not refuse that all those possessions on account of which the war was begun should be yours; Sicily, Sardinia, Spain, with all the islands lying in any part of the sea, between Africa and Italy. Let us Carthaginians, confined within the shores of Africa, behold you, since such is the pleasure of the gods, extending your empire over foreign nations both by sea and land. I cannot deny that you have reason to suspect the Carthaginian faith, in consequence of their insincerity lately in soliciting a peace and while awaiting the decision. The sincerity with which a peace will be observed depends much, Scipio, on the person by whom it is sought. Your senate, as I hear, refused to grant a peace in some measure because the deputies were deficient in respectability. It is I, Hannibal, who now solicit peace; who would neither ask for it unless I believed it expedient, nor will I fail to observe it for the same reason of expedience on account of which I have solicited it. And in the same manner as I, because the war was commenced by me, brought it to pass that no one regretted it till the gods began to regard me with displeasure; so will I also exert myself that no one may regret the peace procured by my means."
In answer to these things the Roman general spoke nearly to the following effect: "I was aware that it was in consequence of the expectation of your arrival that the Carthaginians violated the existing faith of the truce and broke off all hope of a peace. Nor, indeed, do you conceal the fact, inasmuch as you artfully withdraw from the former conditions of peace every concession except what relates to those things which have for a long time been in our own power. But as it is your object that your countrymen should be sensible how great a burden they are relieved from by your means, so it is incumbent upon me to endeavor that they may not receive, as the reward of their perfidy, the concessions which they formerly stipulated, by expunging them now from the conditions of the peace. Though you do not deserve to be allowed the same conditions as before, you now request even to be benefited by your treachery.
"Neither did our fathers first make war respecting Sicily, nor did we respecting Spain. In the former case the danger which threatened our allies the Mamertines, and in the present the destruction of Saguntum, girded us with just and pious arms. That you were the aggressors, both you yourselves confess and the gods are witnesses, who determined the issue of the former war, and who are now determining and will determine the issue of the present according to right and justice. As to myself, I am not forgetful of the instability of human affairs, but consider the influence of fortune, and am well aware that all our measures are liable to a thousand casualties. But as I should acknowledge that my conduct would savor of insolence and oppression if I rejected you on your coming in person to solicit peace before I crossed over into Africa, you voluntarily retiring from Italy, and after you had embarked your troops, so now, when I have dragged you into Africa almost by manual force, notwithstanding your resistance and evasions, I am not bound to treat you with any respect. Wherefore, if in addition to those stipulations on which it was considered that a peace would at that time have been agreed upon, and what they are you are informed, a compensation is proposed for having seized our ships together with their stores during a truce, and for the violence offered to our ambassadors, I shall then have matter to lay before my council. But if these things also appear oppressive, prepare for war, since you could not brook the conditions of peace."
Thus, without effecting an accommodation, when they had returned from the conference to their armies, they informed them that words had been bandied to no purpose, that the question must be decided by arms, and that they must accept that fortune which the gods assigned them.
When they had arrived at their camps, they both issued orders that their soldiers should get their arms in readiness and prepare their minds for the final contest; in which, if fortune should favor them, they would continue victorious, not for a single day, but forever. "Before to-morrow night," they said, "they would know whether Rome or Carthage should give laws to the world, and that neither Africa nor Italy, but the whole world, would be the prize of victory. That the dangers which threatened those who had the misfortune to be defeated were proportioned to the rewards of the victors." For the Romans had not any place of refuge in an unknown and foreign land, and immediate destruction seemed to await Carthage if the troops which formed her last reliance were defeated. To this important contest, the day following, two generals, by far the most renowned of any, and belonging to two of the most powerful nations in the world, advanced either to crown or overthrow on that day the many honors they had previously acquired.
Scipio drew up his troops, posting the hastati in front, the principes behind them, and closing his rear line with the triarii. He did not draw up his cohorts in close order, but each before their respective standards; placing the companies at some distance from each other, so as to leave a space through which the elephants of the enemy passing might not at all break their ranks. Laelius, whom he had employed before as lieutenant-general, but this year as quaestor, by special appointment, according to a decree of the senate, he posted with the Italian cavalry in the left wing, Masinissa and the Numidians in the right. The open spaces between the companies of those in the van he filled with velites, which then formed the Roman light-armed troops, with an injunction that on the charge of the elephants they should either retire behind the files, which extended in a right line, or, running to the right and left and placing themselves by the side of those in the van, afford a passage by which the elephants might rush in between weapons on both sides.
Hannibal, in order to terrify the enemy, drew up his elephants in front, and he had eighty of them, being more than he had ever had in any battle; behind these his Ligurian and Gallic auxiliaries, with Balearians and Moors intermixed. In the second line he placed the Carthaginians, Africans, and a legion of Macedonians; then, leaving a moderate interval, he formed a reserve of Italian troops, consisting principally of Bruttians, more of whom had followed him on his departure from Italy by compulsion and necessity than by choice. His cavalry also he placed in the wings, the Carthaginian occupying the right, the Numidian the left. Various were the means of exhortation employed in an army consisting of a mixture of so many different kinds of men; men differing in language, customs, laws, arms, dress, and appearance, and in the motives for serving. To the auxiliaries, the prospect both of their present pay and many times more from the spoils was held out. The Gauls were stimulated by their peculiar and inherent animosity against the Romans. To the Ligurians the hope was held out of enjoying the fertile plains of Italy, and quitting their rugged mountains, if victorious. The Moors and Numidians were terrified with subjection to the government of Masinissa, which he would exercise with despotic severity.
Different grounds of hope and fear were represented to different persons. The view of the Carthaginians was directed to the walls of their city, their household gods, the sepulchres of their ancestors, their children and parents, and their trembling wives; they were told that either the destruction of their city and slavery or the empire of the world awaited them; that there was nothing intermediate which they could hope for or fear.
While the general was thus busily employed among the Carthaginians, and the captains of the respective nations among their countrymen, most of them employing interpreters among troops intermixed with those of different nations, the trumpets and cornets of the Romans sounded; and such a clamor arose that the elephants, especially those in the left wing, turned round upon their own party, the Moors and Numidians. Masinissa had no difficulty in increasing the alarm of the terrified enemy, and deprived them of the aid of their cavalry in that wing. A few, however, of the beasts which were driven against the enemy, and were not turned back through fear, made great havoc among the ranks of the velites, though not without receiving many wounds themselves; for when the velites, retiring to the companies, had made way for the elephants, that they might not be trampled down, they discharged their darts at them; exposed as they were to wounds on both sides, those in the van also keeping up a continual discharge of javelins, until driven out of the Roman line by the weapons which fell upon them from all quarters, these elephants also put to flight even the cavalry of the Carthaginians posted in their right wing. Laelius, when he saw the enemy in disorder, struck additional terror into them in their confusion.
The Carthaginian line was deprived of the cavalry on both sides, when the infantry, who were now not a match for the Romans in confidence or strength, engaged. In addition to this there was one circumstance, trifling in itself, but at the same time producing important consequences in the action. On the part of the Romans the shout was uniform, and on that account louder and more terrific, while the voices of the enemy, consisting as they did of many nations of different languages, were dissonant. The Romans used the stationary kind of fight, pressing upon the enemy with their own weight and that of their arms; but on the other side there was more of skirmishing and rapid movement than force. Accordingly, on the first charge, the Romans immediately drove back the line of their opponents; then pushing them with their elbows and the bosses of their shields, and pressing forward into the places from which they had pushed them, they advanced a considerable space, as though there had been no one to resist them, those who formed the rear urging forward those in front when they perceived the line of the enemy giving way, which circumstance itself gave great additional force in repelling them.
On the side of the enemy, the second line, consisting of the Africans and Carthaginians, were so far from supporting the first line when giving ground, that on the contrary they even retired, lest their enemy, by slaying those who made a firm resistance, should penetrate to themselves also. Accordingly the auxiliaries suddenly turned their backs, and facing about upon their own party, fled, some of them into the second line, while others slew those who did not receive them into their ranks, since before they did not support them, and now refused to receive them. And now there were, in a manner, two contests going on together, the Carthaginians being compelled to fight at once with the enemy and with their own party. Not even then, however, did they receive into their line the terrified and exasperated troops, but, closing their ranks, drove them out of the scene of action to the wings and the surrounding plain, lest they should mingle these soldiers, terrified with defeat and wounds, with that part of their line which was firm and fresh.
But such a heap of men and arms had filled the space in which the auxiliaries a little while ago had stood that it was almost more difficult to pass through it than through a close line of troops. The spearmen, therefore, who formed the front line, pursuing the enemy as each could find a way through the heap of arms and men and streams of blood, threw into complete disorder the battalions and companies. The standards also of the principes had begun to waver when they saw the line before them driven from their ground. Scipio, perceiving this, promptly ordered the signal to be given for the spearmen to retreat, and having taken his wounded into the rear, brought the principes and triarii to the wings in order that the line of spearmen in the centre might be more strong and secure. Thus a fresh and renewed battle commenced, inasmuch as they had penetrated to their real antagonists, men equal to them in the nature of their arms, in their experience in war, in the fame of their achievements, and the greatness of their hopes and fears. But the Romans were superior both in numbers and courage, for they had now routed both the cavalry and the elephants, and, having already defeated the front line, were fighting against the second.
Lælius and Masinissa, who had pursued the routed cavalry through a considerable space, returning very opportunely, charged the rear of the enemy's line. This attack of the cavalry at length routed them. Many of them, being surrounded, were slain in the field; and many, dispersed in flight through the open plain around, were slain on all hands, as the cavalry were in possession of every part. Of the Carthaginians and their allies, above twenty thousand were slain on that day; about an equal number were captured, with a hundred and thirty-three military standards and eleven elephants. Of the victors as many as two thousand fell.
Hannibal, slipping off during the confusion, with a few horsemen, came to Adrumetum, not quitting the field till he had tried every expedient both in the battle and before the engagement; having, according to the admission of Scipio and everyone skilled in military science, acquired the fame of having marshalled his troops on that day with singular judgment. He placed his elephants in the front, in order that their desultory attack and insupportable violence might prevent the Romans from following their standards and preserving their ranks, on which they placed their principal dependence. Then he posted his auxiliaries before the line of Carthaginians, in order that men who were made up of the refuse of all nations, and who were not bound by honor but by gain, might not have any retreat open to them in case they fled; at the same time that the first ardor and impetuosity might be exhausted upon them, and, if they could render no other service, that the weapons of the enemy might be blunted in wounding them. Next he placed the Carthaginian and African soldiers, on whom he placed all his hopes, in order that, being equal to the enemy in every other respect, they might have the advantage of them inasmuch as, being fresh and unimpaired in strength themselves, they would fight with those who were fatigued and wounded. The Italians he removed into the rear, separating them also by an intervening space, as he knew not with certainty whether they were friends or enemies. Hannibal, after performing this as it were his last work of valor, fled to Adrumetum, whence, having been summoned to Carthage, he returned thither in the sixth and thirtieth year after he had left it when a boy, and confessed in the senate house that he was defeated, not only in the battle, but in the war, and that there was no hope of safety in anything but in obtaining peace.
Immediately after the battle, Scipio, having taken and plundered the enemy's camp, returned to the sea and his ships with an immense booty, news having reached him that Publius Lentulus had arrived at Utica with fifty men-of-war, and a hundred transports laden with every kind of stores. Concluding that he ought to bring before Carthage everything which could increase the consternation already existing there, after sending Laelius to Rome to report his victory, he ordered Cneius Octavius to conduct the legions thither by land, and setting out himself from Utica with the fresh fleet of Lentulus added to his former one, made for the harbor of Carthage. When he had arrived within a short distance he was met by a Carthaginian ship decked with fillets and branches of olive. There were ten deputies, the leading men in the State, sent at the instance of Hannibal to solicit peace, to whom, when they had come up to the stern of the general's ship, holding out the badges of suppliants, entreating and imploring the protection and compassion of Scipio, the only answer given was that they must come to Tunis, to which place he would move his camp. After taking a view of the site of Carthage, not so much for the sake of acquainting himself with it for any present object as to dispirit the enemy, he returned to Utica, having recalled Octavius to the same place.
As they were proceeding thence to Tunis, they received intelligence that Vermina, the son of Syphax, with a greater number of horse than foot, was coming to the assistance of the Carthaginians. A part of his infantry with all the cavalry having attacked them on their march on the first day of the Saturnalia, routed the Numidians with little opposition, and as every way by which they could escape in flight was blocked up, for the cavalry surrounded them on all sides, fifteen thousand men were slain, twelve hundred were taken alive, with fifteen hundred Numidian horses and seventy-two military standards. The prince himself fled from the field with a few attendants during the confusion. The camp was then pitched near Tunis in the same place as before, and thirty ambassadors came to Scipio from Carthage. These behaved in a manner even more calculated to excite compassion than the former, in proportion as their situation was more pressing; but from the recollection of their recent perfidy, they were heard with considerably less pity. In the council, though all were impelled by just resentment to demolish Carthage, yet, when they reflected upon the magnitude of the undertaking and the length of time which would be consumed in the siege of so well fortified and strong a city, while Scipio himself was uneasy in consequence of the expectation of a successor, who would come in for the glory of having terminated the war, though it was accomplished already by the exertions and danger of another, the minds of all were inclined to peace.
The next day the ambassadors being called in again, and with many rebukes of their perfidy, warned that instructed by so many disasters they would at length believe in the existence of the gods and the obligation of an oath, these conditions of the peace were stated to them: "That they should enjoy their liberty and live under their own laws; that they should possess such cities and territories as they had enjoyed before the war, and with the same boundaries, and that the Romans should on that day desist from devastation. That they should restore to the Romans all deserters and fugitives, giving up all their ships-of-war except ten triremes, with such tamed elephants as they had, and that they should not tame any more. That they should not carry on war in or out of Africa without the permission of the Roman people. That they should make restitution to Masinissa, and form a league with him. That they should furnish corn, and pay for the auxiliaries until the ambassadors had returned from Rome. That they should pay ten thousand talents of silver in equal annual installments distributed over fifty years. That they should give a hundred hostages, according to the pleasure of Scipio, not younger than fourteen nor older than thirty. That he would grant them a truce on condition that the transports, together with their cargoes, which had been seized during the former truce, were restored. Otherwise they would have no truce, nor any hope of a peace." When the ambassadors who were ordered to bear these conditions home reported them in an assembly, and Gisgo had stood forth to dissuade them from the terms, and was being listened to by the multitude, who were at once indisposed for peace and unfit for war, Hannibal, indignant that such language should be held and listened to at such a juncture, laid hold of Gisgo with his own hand and dragged him from his elevated position.
This unusual sight in a free State having raised a murmur among the people, the soldier, disconcerted at the liberties which the citizens took, thus addressed them: "Having left you when nine years old, I have returned after a lapse of thirty-six years. I flatter myself I am well acquainted with the qualifications of a soldier, having been instructed in them from my childhood, sometimes by my own situation and sometimes by that of my country. The privileges, the laws, and customs of the city and the forum you ought to teach me." Having thus apologized for his indiscretion, he discoursed largely concerning the peace, showing how inoppressive the terms were, and how necessary it was. The greatest difficulty was that of the ships which had been seized during the truce nothing was to be found except the ships themselves, nor was it easy to collect the property, because those who were charged with having it were opposed to the peace. It was resolved that the ships should be restored and that the men at least should be looked up; and as to whatever else was missing, that it should be left to Scipio to put a value upon it, and that the Carthaginians should make compensation accordingly in money. There are those who say that Hannibal went from the field of battle to the sea-coast; whence he immediately sailed in a ship, which he had ready for the purpose, to king Antiochus; and that when Scipio demanded above everything that Hannibal should be given up to him, answer was made that Hannibal was not in Africa.
After the ambassadors returned to Scipio, the quaestors were ordered to give in an account, made out from the public registers, of the public property which had been in the ships; and the owners to make a return of the private property. For the amount of the value twenty-five thousand pounds of silver were required to be paid down; and a truce for three months was granted to the Carthaginians. It was added that during the time of the truce they should not send ambassadors anywhere else than to Rome; and that whatever ambassadors came to Carthage, they should not dismiss them before informing the Roman general who they were and what they sought. With the Carthaginian ambassadors, Lucius Veturius Philo, Marcus Marcius Ralla, and Lucius Scipio, brother of the general, were sent to Rome.
The Roman, together with the Carthaginian, ambassadors having arrived at Rome from Africa, the senate was assembled at the temple of Bellona; when Lucius Veturius Philo stated, to the great joy of the senate, that a battle had been fought with Hannibal which was decisive of the fate of the Carthaginians, and that a period was at length put to that calamitous war. He added what formed a small accession to their successes, that Vermina, the son of Syphax, had been vanquished. He was then ordered to go forth to the public assembly and impart the joyful tidings to the people. Then, a thanksgiving having been appointed, all the temples in the city were thrown open and supplications for three days were decreed. Publius Scipio was continued in command in the province of Africa with the armies which he then had. The Carthaginian ambassadors were called before the senate. On observing their ages and dignified appearance, for they were by far the first men of the State, all promptly declared their conviction that now they were sincere in their desire to effect a peace. Hasdrubal, however, surnamed by his countrymen Haedus, who had invariably recommended peace and was opposed to the Barcine faction, was regarded with greater interest than the rest.
On these accounts the greater weight was attached to him when transferring the blame of the war from the State at large to the cupidity of a few. After a speech of varied character, in which he sometimes refuted the charges which had been brought, at other times admitted some, lest by imprudently denying what was manifestly true their forgiveness might be the more difficult; and then, even admonishing the conscript fathers to be guided by the rules of decorum and moderation in their prosperity, he said that if the Carthaginians had listened to himself and Hanno, and had been disposed to make a proper use of circumstances, they would themselves have dictated terms of peace, instead of begging it as they now did. That it rarely happened that good fortune and a sound judgment were bestowed upon men at the same time. That the Roman people were therefore invincible, because when successful they forgot not the maxims of wisdom and prudence; and indeed it would have been matter of astonishment did they act otherwise. That those persons to whom success was a new and uncommon thing proceeded to a pitch of madness in their ungoverned transports in consequence of their not being accustomed to it. That to the Roman people the joy arising from victory was a matter of common occurrence, and was now almost become old-fashioned. That they had extended their empire more by sparing the vanquished than by conquering.
The language employed by the others was of a nature more calculated to excite compassion; they represented from what a height of power the Carthaginian affairs had fallen. That nothing besides the walls of Carthage remained to those who a little time ago held almost the whole world in subjection by their arms; that shut up within these, they could see nothing anywhere on sea or land which owned their authority. That they would retain possession of their city itself and their household gods only in case the Roman people should refrain from venting their indignation upon these, which is all that remains for them to do. When it was manifest that the fathers were moved by compassion, it is said that one of the senators, violently incensed at the perfidy of the Carthaginians, immediately asked with a loud voice by what gods they would swear in striking the league, since they had broken their faith with those by whom they swore in striking the former one? By those same, replied Hasdrubal, who have shown such determined hostility to the violators of treaties.
The minds of all being disposed to peace, Cneius Lentulus, whose province the fleet was, protested against the decree of the senate. Upon this, Manius Acilius and Quintus Minucius, tribunes of the people, put the question to the people whether they willed and ordered that the senate should decree that peace should be made with the Carthaginians? whom they ordered to grant that peace, and whom to conduct the army out of Africa? All the tribes ordered respecting the peace according as the question had been put. That Publius Scipio should grant the peace, and that he also should conduct the army home. Agreeably to this order, the senate decreed that Publius Scipio, acting according to the opinion of the ten deputies, should make peace with the Carthaginian people on what terms he pleased. The Carthaginians then returned thanks to the senate, and requested that they might be allowed to enter the city and converse with their countrymen who had been made prisoners and were in custody of the State; observing that some of them were their relations and friends, and men of rank, and some, persons to whom they were charged with messages from their relations.
Having obtained these requests, they again asked permission to ransom such of them as they pleased; when they were desired to give in their names. Having given in a list of about two hundred, a decree of the senate was passed to the effect that the Carthaginian ambassadors should be allowed to take away into Africa to Publius Cornelius Scipio two hundred of the Carthaginian prisoners, selecting whom they pleased; and that they should convey to him a message that if the peace were concluded he should restore them to the Carthaginians without ransom. The heralds being ordered to go into Africa to strike the league, at their own desire the senate passed a decree that they should take with them flint stones of their own and vervain of their own; that the Roman praetor should command them to strike the league, and that they should demand of him herbs. The description of herb usually given to the heralds is taken from the Capitol. Thus the Carthaginians being allowed to depart from Rome, when they had gone into Africa to Scipio concluded the peace on the terms before mentioned. They delivered up their men-of-war, their elephants, deserters, fugitives, and four thousand prisoners, among whom was Quintus Terentius Culleo, a senator. The ships he ordered to be taken out into the main and burned. Some say there were five hundred of every description of those which are worked with oars, and that the sudden sight of these when burning occasioned as deep a sensation of grief to the Carthaginians as if Carthage had been in flames. The measures adopted respecting the deserters were more severe than those respecting the fugitives. Those who were of the Latin confederacy were decapitated; the Romans were crucified.
The last peace with the Carthaginians was made forty years before this in the consulate of Quintus Lutatius and Aulus Manlius. The war commenced twenty-three years afterward in the consulate of Publius Cornelius and Tiberius Sempronius. It was concluded in the seventeenth year, in the consulate of Cneius Cornelius and Publius Aelius Paetus. It is related that Scipio frequently said afterward, that first the ambition of Tiberius Claudius, and afterward of Cneius Cornelius, were the causes which prevented his terminating the war by the destruction of Carthage.
The Carthaginians finding difficulty in raising the first sum of money to be paid, as their finances were exhausted by a protracted war, and in consequence great lamentation and grief arising in the senate house, it is said that Hannibal was observed laughing, and when Hasdrubal Haedus rebuked him for laughing amid the public grief, when he himself was the occasion of the tears which were shed, he said: "If, as the expression of the countenance is discerned by the sight, so the inward feelings of the mind could be distinguished, it would clearly appear to you that that laughter which you censure came from a heart not elated with joy, but frantic with misfortunes. And yet it is not so ill-timed as those absurd and inconsistent tears of yours. Then you ought to have wept when our arms were taken from us, our ships burned, and we were forbidden to engage in foreign wars, for that was the wound by which we fell. Nor is it just that you should suppose that the measures which the Romans have adopted toward you have been dictated by animosity. No great state can remain at rest long together. If it has no enemy abroad it finds one at home in the same manner as over-robust bodies seem secure from external causes, but are encumbered with their own strength. So far, forsooth, we are affected with the public calamities as they reach our private affairs; nor is there any circumstance attending them which is felt more acutely than the loss of money. Accordingly, when the spoils were torn down from vanquished Carthage, when you beheld her left unarmed and defenceless amid so many armed nations of Africa, none heaved a sigh. Now, because a tribute is to be levied from private property you lament with one accord, as though at the funeral of the State. How much do I dread lest you should soon be made sensible that you have shed tears this day for the lightest of your misfortunes!"
Such were the sentiments which Hannibal delivered to the Carthaginians. Scipio, having summoned an assembly, presented Masinissa, in addition to his paternal dominions, with the town of Cirta, and the other cities and territories which had passed from the kingdom of Syphax into the possession of the Romans. He ordered Cneius Octavius to conduct the fleet to Sicily and deliver it to Cneius Cornelius the consul, and directed the Carthaginian ambassadors to go to Rome, that the arrangements he had made with the advice of the ten deputies might be ratified by the sanction of the fathers and the order of the people.
Peace having been established by sea and land, he embarked his troops and crossed over to Lilybæum in Sicily, whence, having sent a great part of his soldiers by ships, he himself proceeded through Italy, which was rejoicing not less on account of the peace than the victory; while not only the inhabitants of the cities poured out to show him honor, but crowds of rustics thronged the roads. He arrived at Rome and entered the city in a triumph of unparalleled splendor. He brought into the treasury one hundred and twenty-three thousand pounds of silver. He distributed to each of his soldiers four hundred asses out of the spoils. By the death of Syphax, which took place but a short time before at Tibur, whither he had been removed from Alba, a diminution was occasioned in the interest of the pageant rather than in the glory of him who triumphed. His death, however, was attended with circumstances which produced a strong sensation, for he was buried at the public expense. Polybius, an author by no means to be despised, asserts that this King was led in the triumph. Quintus Terentius Culleo followed Scipio in his triumph with a cap of liberty on his head, and during the remainder of his life treated him with the respect due to him as the author of his freedom. I have not been able to ascertain whether the partiality of the soldiers or the favor of the people fixed upon him the surname of Africanus, or whether in the same manner as Felix was applied to Sulla, and Magnus to Pompey, in the memory of our fathers, it originated in the flattery of his friends. He was doubtless the first general who was distinguished by a name derived from the nation which he had conquered. Afterward, in imitation of his example, some, by no means his equals in his victories, affixed splendid inscriptions on their statues and gave honorable surnames to their families.