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Title: The Histories of Polybius, Vol. I (of 2)
Author: Polybius
Language: English
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   VOL. I





   _All rights reserved_


   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 league
by Mr. Capes, and the sumptuous Oxford edition of extracts by Mr.

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 was 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 Hague, _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
Wolfgan 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_ of 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 _The 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
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; 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
the 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.

[Sidenote: Birth of Polybius.]

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, 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. 133[9], and that
he was eighty-two at the time of his death[10], 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. 190 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 country[13]. 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 wishes, 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 hands[14]. 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 Achaia[15]. 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
adopted 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 his 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, as 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 167.]

Careful, however, as he had ever been to avoid giving just offence to
Rome, he and his party had long 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 they 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 Italy[27] (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 the tour of Amelius 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 gives[31] 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

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 reside[32];
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-field[33]: 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 of 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 151. Release of the detenus.]

At last the time came when he was once more free to visit his own
country, or to extend his knowledge by 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]

[Sidenote: Coss. L. Marcius Censornius, Manius Manilius, B.C. 149.
Polybius sent for to Lilybaeum.]

Polybius seems to have returned to the Peloponnese at once, and to have
remained there until B.C. 149, 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 Rome. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 148.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 147.]

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 (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. 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, 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
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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 147-146.]

The new Strategus, elected in the autumn of B.C. 147, was Critolaus.
He was a bitter anti-Romanist like Diaeus: 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 have 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 146. Arrival of Mummius.]

It was now late in the spring of B.C. 146, and the new Consul, Lucius
Mummius, arrived at the Roman camp. 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.

[Sidenote: Polybius saves some statues of national interest.]

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 time to witness it.[49] The destruction or deportation
of works of art, of pictures, statues, and costly furniture, he could
not prevent; 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]

[Sidenote: The new settlement of the Peloponnese, B.C. 146-145.]

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;
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: 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
Mantinea[55] 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 which 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

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 country, he had a fall from his horse, 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.

[Sidenote: Personal knowledge.]

Of the sources of his own history, then, the first and best 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 have 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.

[Sidenote: Use of previous writers by Polybius.]

It remains to inquire how far Polybius availed himself of 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 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]

[Sidenote: The Punic wars.]

Of his preliminary sketch contained in books 1 and 2, 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.

[Sidenote: Illyrians and Gauls.]

[Sidenote: Achaia.]

The second book contains an account of the origin of the 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 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.

[Sidenote: Sicilian history.]

For his account of Sicilian affairs he had studied the works of Timaeus
of Tauromeniun. 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
him[90] 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

[Sidenote: Greek history.]

As far as we possess his writings, we find little trace in 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

[Sidenote: Macedonia.]

For the early history of Macedonia, he seems to have relied 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: and of Demetrius of Phalerum, whose writings he
seems to have greatly admired.

[Sidenote: Egypt and Syria.]

For the contemporary history of Egypt and Syria he seems 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

[Sidenote: Geography.]

On no subject does Polybius seem to have read so widely 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.

[Sidenote: General Literature.]

He appears to have been fairly well acquainted with the 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 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


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 they 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
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 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

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 which I have been speaking. These were the Aetolians
and Achaeans.

[Sidenote: Aetolian league.]

With regard to the former our information is exceedingly 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, 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, 32);
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 λαφύρου[111]—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.

[Sidenote: Achaean league.]

The Achaeans have a different and more interesting 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 place 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.

[Sidenote: Revival of the league, B.C. 284-280.]

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.
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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 284. First union of Dyme, Patrae, Tritaea, Pharae.]

[Sidenote: Adherence of Aegium, B.C. 279.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 279-255.]

[Sidenote: Margos of Caryneia first sole Strategus, B.C. 255.]

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: 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 towns, Dyme, Patrae, Tritaea, and Pharae, formed a league
for mutual help. 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. 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. 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 father 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 Megara[118] (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]

[Sidenote: Cleomenic war, B.C. 227-221.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 226-221.]

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 imagined 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. 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 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.
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 galling 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 Aratus’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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 213. Death of Aratus.]

Aratus died in B.C. 213. 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

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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 208-183, Philopoemen.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 193.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 195-194.]

The next phase of vigorous action on the part of the league is that
which corresponds with the career of 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 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. 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.
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.[130][Sidenote: 193-192.] 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.

[Sidenote: 189-187.]

But the comparative peace in the Peloponnese was again broken in
B.C. 189 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 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]

[Sidenote: B.C. 188.]

[Sidenote: 188-183.]

Sparta was now part of the Achaean league, which at this time reached
its highest point of power; and its alliance was solicited by the most
powerful princes of the east. 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.[132][Sidenote: Lycortas Strategus, B.C.
184-182.] And it 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 179.]

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, 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 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

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 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, 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 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.



                    REAR (ἡ ὄπισθεν ἐπιφάνεια).
  +----------------------------    -----------------------------+
  |            200         Porta Praetoria.       200           |
  |            ft.                                ft.           |
  |       +----+--------------+    +---------------+----+       |
  |       |    |      EP      |    |       EP'     |    |       |
  |       | V  +--------------+ 50 +---------------+ V' |       |
  |       |    |      EE      | ft.|       EE'     |    |       |
  |       +----+--------------+    +---------------+----+       |
  |                                                       50    |
  |       +---+--+           +------+           +---+---+ ft.   |
  |       |PE |PP|           |      |           |PP'|PE'|       |
  |       +---+--+     F     |  P*  |     Q     +---+---+       |
  |700    |PE |PP|           |      |           |PP'|PE'|       |
  |ft.    +---+--+           +------+           +---+---+       |
  |                 ......              ......                  |
  |      T-----------------------------------------------T'     |
   Porta                                                   Porta
   Principalis                          100 ft.      Principalis
   Dextra.             Principia.                      Sinistra.
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |        |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|       |
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |        |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|       |
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |200 ft. |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|200 ft.|
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |        |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|       |
  |        +PS +ES+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |        |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|       |
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |                        Via Quintana.    50 ft.              |
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |        |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|       |
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |        |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|       |
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |        |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|       |
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |        |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|       |
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       | 2017
  |        |PS |ES| |H|P| |T|E| |E'|T'| |P'|H'| |ES'|PS'|       | ft.
  |        +---+--+ +-+-+ +-+-+ +--+--+ +--+--+ +---+---+       |
  |              50ft. 50ft. 50ft.   50ft.   50ft.              |
  |       200                                                   |
  |       ft.             Porto Decumana.                       |
  +----------------------------    -----------------------------+
       2017 ft.        FRONT (τὸ πρόσωπον).

       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.



[Sidenote: Introduction. The importance and magnitude of the subject.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 219-167.]

+1.+ Had the praise of History been passed over by former Chroniclers
it 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? 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.

[Sidenote: Immensity of the Roman Empire shown by comparison with
Persia, Sparta, Macedonia. 1. Persia.]

[Sidenote: 2. Sparta. B.C. 405-394.]

[Sidenote: 3. Macedonia.]

+2.+ We shall best show how marvellous and vast our subject 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.
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. 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 220-217. The History starts from the 140th Olympiad,
when the tendency towards unity first shows itself.]

+3.+ My History begins in the 140th Olympiad. The events from which it
starts are these. In 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
of 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.

[Sidenote: A sketch of their previous history necessary to explain the
success of the Romans.]

Now, had the states that were rivals for universal empire been
familiarly known to us, 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.

[Sidenote: The need of a comprehensive view of history as well as a
close study of an epoch.]

+4.+ There is this analogy between the plan of my History and the
marvellous spirit of the age with which I have to deal. 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 then 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 264-261. I begin my preliminary account in the 129th
Olympiad, and with the circumstances which took the Romans to Sicily.]

+5.+ I shall adopt as the starting-point of this book the first
occasion on which the Romans crossed the sea from Italy. 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

[Sidenote: 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.]

[Sidenote: The Latini.]

[Sidenote: The Etruscans, Gauls, and Samnites.]

[Sidenote: Pyrrhus, B.C. 280.]

[Sidenote: Southern Italy.]

[Sidenote: Pyrrhus finally quits Italy, B.C. 274.]

+6.+ It was in the nineteenth year after the sea-fight at Aegospotami,
and the sixteenth before the battle at Leuctra; 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. 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; 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. 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. 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. 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 everywhere 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.

[Sidenote: The story of the Mamertines at Messene, and the Roman
garrison at Rhegium, Dio. Cassius _fr._]

+7.+ For misfortunes befell Messene and Rhegium, the cities built on
either side of the Strait, peculiar in their nature and alike in their

[Sidenote: 1. Messene.]

[Sidenote: Agathocles died, B.C. 289]

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. 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.
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.

[Sidenote: 2. Rhegium, Livy Ep. 12.]

[Sidenote: Pyrrhus in Sicily, B.C. 278-275.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 271. C. Quintus Claudius, L. Genucius Clepsina, Coss.]

The speed with which they became masters of a fair territory and
city found ready imitators of their conduct. 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. 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,
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. 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.

[Sidenote: Effect of the fall of the rebellious garrison of Rhegium on
the Mamertines.]

+8.+ But the Mamertines (for this was the name which the Campanians
gave themselves after they became masters of Messene), 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.

[Sidenote: The rise of Hiero. He is elected General by the army, B.C.

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. 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 occasion 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.

[Sidenote: Secures support of Leptines by marrying his daughter.]

[Sidenote: His device for getting rid of mutinous mercenaries.]

[Sidenote: Fiume Salso.]

[Sidenote: Hiero next attacks the Mamertines and defeats them near
Mylae, B.C. 268.]

+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. 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. 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.
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 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: 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.

[Sidenote: Some of the conquered Mamertines appeal to Rome for help.]

[Sidenote: The motives of the Romans in acceding to this
prayer,—jealousy of the growing power of Carthage.]

+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. 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, 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.

[Sidenote: The Senate shirk the responsibility of decision. The people
vote for helping the Mamertines.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 264. Appius Claudius Caudex. M. Fulvius Flaccus, Coss.]

[Sidenote: Hiero joins Carthage in laying siege to the Mamertines in
Messene. Appius comes to the relief of the besieged, B.C. 264.]

[Sidenote: After vain attempts at negotiation, Appius determines to
attack Hiero.]

[Sidenote: Hiero is defeated, and returns to Syracuse.]

+11.+ In spite of protracted deliberations, the conflict of motives
proved too strong, 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. 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.
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 endeavoured
to relieve the Mamertines from the contest altogether by sending
embassies to both of the attacking forces. 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Encouraged by this success, he attacks and drives off the

+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. 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.

[Sidenote: 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.]

Such was the nature and motive of the first warlike expedition of
the Romans beyond the shores of Italy; 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 of 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.

[Sidenote: 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.]

+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. 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.

[Sidenote: The first Punic war deserves more detailed treatment,
as furnishing a better basis for comparing Rome and Carthage than
subsequent wars.]

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 this 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. 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.

[Sidenote: This is rendered more necessary by the partisan
misrepresentations of Philinus and Fabius Pictor.]

+14.+ But it was not these considerations only which induced me to
undertake the history of this war. 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 man 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.

[Sidenote: Philinus’s misrepresentations.]

+15.+ The writers whom I have named exemplify the truth of these
remarks. 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
demoralised 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 264.]

[Sidenote: (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.]

+16.+ When news came to Rome of the successes of Appius and his
legions, the people elected Manius Otacilius and Manius Valerius
Consuls, and despatched their whole army to Sicily, and both Consuls
in command. 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 most 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

[Sidenote: The Carthaginians alarmed at Hiero’s defection make great
efforts to increase their army in Sicily.]

[Sidenote: They select Agrigentum as their headquarters.]

+17.+ When the text of this treaty reached Rome, and the people had
approved and confirmed the terms made with Hiero, 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
the 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.
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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 262.]

[Sidenote: The new Consuls, Lucius Postumius Megellus and Quintus
Mamilius Vitulus, determined to lay siege to Agrigentum.]

[Sidenote: The Carthaginians make an unsuccessful sally.]

On the Roman side a change of commanders had now taken place. 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. 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. 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 of 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

[Sidenote: The Romans form two strongly-entrenched camps.]

[Sidenote: A relief comes from Carthage to Agrigentum.]

[Sidenote: Hanno seizes Herbesus.]

[Sidenote: The Romans faithfully supported by Hiero.]

Finding that the Carthaginians would not come out to meet them at close
quarters any more, 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. Thereupon the Carthaginian government put on
board ship the fresh troops and elephants which they had collected,
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
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. 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.

[Sidenote: Hanno tempts the Roman cavalry out and defeats them.]

[Sidenote: After two months, Hanno is forced to try to relieve

[Sidenote: but is defeated in a pitched battle, and his army cut to

[Sidenote: Hannibal escapes by night; and the Romans enter and plunder

+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, 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. For two months they
remained in position without any decisive action, though skirmishes
took place daily. But as 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, 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; 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

[Sidenote: This success inspires the Senate with the idea of expelling
the Carthaginians from Sicily.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 261.]

+20.+ Great was the joy of the Roman Senate when the news of what had
taken place at Agrigentum arrived. 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 the 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. 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.

[Sidenote: The Romans boldly determine to build ships and meet the
Carthaginians at sea.]

[Sidenote: A Carthaginian ship used as a model.]

It was, then, because they saw that the war they had undertaken
lingered to a weary length, 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 it 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. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 260. Cn. Cornelius Scipio Asina, C. Duilius, Coss.]

[Sidenote: Cornelius captured with the loss of his ships.]

[Sidenote: The rest of the Roman fleet arrive and nearly capture

+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. For Gnaeus Cornelius
Scipio, who had been appointed by the 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. 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. 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.

[Sidenote: The “corvi” or “crows” for boarding.]

+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 as likely to
serve their turn in a fight the construction of what were afterwards
called “crows.” 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.

[Sidenote: Victory of Duilius at Mylae, B.C. 260.]

+23.+ As for Gaius Duilius, he no sooner heard of the disaster which
had befallen the commander of 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 the 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.

[Sidenote: Further operations in Sicily.]

[Sidenote: Hamilcar.]

[Sidenote: Segesta and Macella.]

[Sidenote: Hannibal in Sardinia.]

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

[Sidenote: B.C. 259.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 258. Coss. A. Atilius Calatinus, C. Sulpicius,

[Sidenote: Hippana and Myttistratum.]

[Sidenote: Camarina.]

During the next year the Roman legions in Sicily did nothing worthy
of mention. 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. 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 owing to the strength of its situation. It 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 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.

[Sidenote: Fighting off Tyndaris.]

[Sidenote: Coss. C. Atilius Regulus, Cn. Cornelius, Blasio II. B.C.

+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. 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

[Sidenote: Winter of B.C. 257-256.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 256. Coss. L. Manlius, Vulso Longus, M. Atilius Regulus
II. (Suff.).]

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, 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 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 Pachynus 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.

[Sidenote: Preparations for the Battle of Ecnomus.]

[Sidenote: Roman forces. 330 ships, with average of 420 men (300 rowers
+ 120 marines) = 138,600 men.]

[Sidenote: Carthaginian numbers, 150,000 men.]

+26.+ Now it was the purpose of the Romans to sail across to Libya and
transfer the war there, 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; 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. 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.

[Sidenote: The Roman order at Ecnomus.]

Now the Romans had two facts to consider: 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.

[Sidenote: The disposition of the Carthaginian fleet.]

[Sidenote: ch. 19.]

[Sidenote: ch. 25.]

[Sidenote: The battle.]

+27.+ Meanwhile the Carthaginian commanders had briefly addressed their
men. 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 have 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. 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. 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 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 reasons 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.

[Sidenote: Three separate battles.]

[Sidenote: First with Hamilcar’s squadron.]

[Sidenote: Second squadron under Regulus.]

So that the engagement was in three separate divisions, or rather there
were three sea-fights going on at wide intervals from each other. 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:
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. 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.

[Sidenote: Third squadron relieved by Regulus and Manlius.]

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. 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.

[Sidenote: General result.]

Such was the result of the separate engagements. But the general upshot
of the whole battle was in favour of the Romans. 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.

[Sidenote: Siege of Aspis. (Clupea.)]

+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. 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 their 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

[Sidenote: Aspis taken.]

[Sidenote: M. Atilius Regulus remains in Africa, winter of B.C.

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 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 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. They decided
to defend the country and not to allow it to be devastated without

[Sidenote: B.C. 256-255. The operations of Regulus in Libya.]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the Carthaginians near Adys.]

A few days afterwards Marcus sallied forth on one of his marauding
expeditions. Such towns as were unwalled he carried by assault and
plundered, 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Tunes.]

Among others they seized the town called Tunes. This place had many
natural advantages for expeditions such as those in which they were
engaged, 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.

[Sidenote: Distress at Carthage, which is heightened by an inroad of

[Sidenote: Spring of B.C. 255. Regulus proposes harsh terms.]

[Sidenote: The terms rejected.]

+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, 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. 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 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 Senate 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

[Sidenote: Arrival of the Spartan Xanthippus in Carthage.]

+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. 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, at 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

[Sidenote: The new strategy of the Carthaginians.]

[Sidenote: The dispositions for the battle.]

+33.+ The Romans at once noticed a change. They saw that the
Carthaginians chose level country for their line of march, 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. 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 Romans 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

[Sidenote: The battle.]

[Sidenote: The Romans are beaten and annihilated.]

[Sidenote: Regulus made prisoner.]

+34.+ No sooner had Xanthippus given the order to the men on the
elephants to advance and disperse 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. 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,
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; 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.

[Sidenote: Eurip. fr.]

+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. 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 accomplish 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.

[Sidenote: Xanthippus quits Carthage.]

+36.+ To return to our narrative. Having obtained this complete success
the Carthaginians indulged in every sign of exultation. 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.

[Sidenote: The Romans prepare a fleet to relieve their beaten army.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 255. Coss. Ser. Fulvius Paetinus Nobilior, M. Aemilius

Upon this unlooked-for catastrophe in the Libyan campaign, the Roman
government at once set to work to fit out a fleet to take off the men
who were still surviving there; while the Carthaginians followed up
their success by sitting 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. 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.

[Sidenote: The fleet is lost in a storm.]

[Sidenote: Between June 28 and July 26.]

+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 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, 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 they 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.

[Sidenote: The Carthaginians renew operations in Sicily.]

+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. 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 other 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 254. Coss. Gn. Cornelius Scipio Asina II., Aulus
Atilius, Calatinus II.]

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.
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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 253. Coss. Gn. Servilius Caepio, G. Sempronius Blaesus.]

+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. 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, 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 252.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 251. Coss. Lucius Caecilius Metellus, G. Furius

[Sidenote: B.C. 252-251.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 250.]

The Romans after this misfortune, though they are eminently persistent
in carrying out their undertakings, 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, 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. 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 displayed
by their land forces induced the Roman government to change their minds
and once more to attempt success at sea. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 251.]

[Sidenote: Skirmishing at Panormus.]

+40.+ Meanwhile Hasdrubal noticed the terror displayed by the Romans
whenever they had lately found themselves in the presence of the
enemy. 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, 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. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 250. C. Caecilius Regulus II., L. Manlius Vulso II.]

+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, in 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.
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 the sea it was
protected by lagoons, to steer through which into the harbour was a
task requiring much skill and practice.

[Sidenote: Siege of Lilybaeum, B.C. 250.]

The Romans made two camps, one on each side of the town, and connected
them with a ditch, 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.

[Sidenote: Attempted treason in Lilybaeum.]

+43.+ But about this time some of the officers of highest rank in the
mercenary army discussed among 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 occasion 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal relieves Lilybaeum.]

+44.+ Meanwhile the Carthaginians at home knew nothing of what was
going on. But they could calculate the requirements of a besieged
garrison; 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 called 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.

[Sidenote: A sally from Lilybaeum.]

[Sidenote: It fails.]

+45.+ Himilco, the general in command at Lilybaeum, now saw that both
divisions of his troops were in 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 of 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 the attack of the enemy. But the general
of the Carthaginians, seeing that he was losing large numbers in the
engagement, 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal the Rhodian offers to run the blockade.]

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. 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
oars 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.

[Sidenote: His example is followed by others.]

[Sidenote: The Rhodian is at length captured.]

+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 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 labour 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, 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

[Sidenote: A storm having damaged the siege-works, the Lilybaeans
succeed in burning them.]

+48.+ Meanwhile, the besieged were energetically carrying on
counterworks, having abandoned the hope of damaging or destroying the
constructions of the enemy. 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, 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.

[Sidenote: The Roman army is reinforced.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 249. Coss. P. Claudius Pulcher, L. Junius Pullus.]

[Sidenote: Claudius sails to attack Drepana.]

+49.+ When the announcement of these events at Rome was followed by
reiterated tidings that the larger 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, the Consul, assembled his tribunes,
and said that it was just the time to sail to the attack of Drepana
with 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 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 first, and guided his fleet close under the rocks, on the
opposite side of the harbour to that by which the enemy were entering.

[Sidenote: Unexpected resistance of Adherbal. The Roman fleet checked.]

+50.+ When the Consul Publius saw, to his surprise, that the enemy, so
far from giving in or being dismayed at his approach, 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.

[Sidenote: The battle.]

[Sidenote: The Romans beaten.]

+51.+ And now the fleets were within a short distance of each other:
the signals were raised from the ships 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
their 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 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 the 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.

[Sidenote: 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.]

+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. 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.

[Sidenote: Carthalo tries to intercept the transports.]

+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, 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 headlands 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, 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: [Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: The Romans abandon the sea.]

+55.+ This occurrence caused the Carthaginian interests to look up
again and their hopes to revive. 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.

[Sidenote: Lucius Junius perseveres in the siege. B.C. 248.]

[Sidenote: Eryx.]

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. 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; 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 temple 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 247.]

[Sidenote: Occupation of Hercte by Hamilcar.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 247-244.]

+56.+ Next year, the eighteenth of the war, the Carthaginians
appointed Hamilcar Barcas general, and put the management of the
fleet in his hands. 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, 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; and
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, 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 between 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.

[Sidenote: Siege of Eryx, B.C. 244.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 243-242.]

+58.+ Presently however Fortune, acting like a good umpire in the
games, transferred them by a bold stroke from the locality just
described, 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, the war happened to be decided in quite a different manner.

[Sidenote: The obstinate persistence of the Romans and Carthaginians.]

Such was the state of affairs at Eryx and with the forces employed
there. 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.

[Sidenote: The Romans once more fit out a fleet.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 242. Coss. C. Lutatius Catulus, A. Postumius Albinus.]

+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 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. 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 works 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

[Sidenote: The Carthaginians send Hanno with a fleet.]

[Sidenote: 10th March B.C. 241. A strong breeze is blowing.]

[Sidenote: Lutatius however decides to fight.]

+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. 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. 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 had
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; 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.

[Sidenote: The battle of Aegusa.]

[Sidenote: Victory of the Romans.]

+61.+ When the Carthaginians saw that the Romans were intercepting
their passage across, they lowered their masts, 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
dangerous 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. 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

[Sidenote: Barcas makes terms.]

[Sidenote: The treaty, B.C. 242.]

+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. 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 the 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. “_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.

[Sidenote: Greatness of the war.]

Such were the conditions on which the war was ended, after lasting
twenty-four years continuously. 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, we 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

+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

[Sidenote: War between Rome and Falerii.]

[Sidenote: The mercenary war, B.C. 241.]

+65.+ The confirmation of this peace was followed by events which
involved both nations in a struggle of an identical or 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.
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. 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.

[Sidenote: Evacuation of Sicily.]

[Sidenote: The mercenaries sent to Sicca.]

+66.+ The course of events at Carthage subsequent to the peace was
as follows: 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 into 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 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 discipline 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.

[Sidenote: The beginning of the outbreak, B.C. 241.]

+67.+ When the whole army had mustered at Sicca, and Hanno, now
appointed general in Libya, 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 Islands, 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.

[Sidenote: The mercenaries at Tunes.]

[Sidenote: Attempts to pacify them.]

[Sidenote: The demands of the mercenaries.]

[Sidenote: The dispute referred to the arbitration of Gesco.]

+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 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 action 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, 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; 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Spendius.]

[Sidenote: Mathōs.]

[Sidenote: Spendius and Mathōs cause an outbreak.]

+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, 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, 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. 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.

[Sidenote: βάλλε.]

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 “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 their commanders.

[Sidenote: Gesco and his staff seized and thrown into chains.]

+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. 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 committed 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 240.]

This was the origin and beginning of the mercenary, or, as it is
also called, the Libyan war. 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.

[Sidenote: Despair at Carthage.]

+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. 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 from 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.

[Sidenote: Revolt of the country people.]

These people therefore needed no urging to revolt: a single messenger
sufficed. 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.

[Sidenote: Hanno’s management of the war.]

+73.+ No such considerations, however, prevented the Carthaginians
in their hour of distress from appointing Hanno general; 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; 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.

[Sidenote: Fails to relieve Utica.]

+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 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
elephants’ 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.

[Sidenote: Hanno’s continued ill success.]

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 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.

[Sidenote: Hamilcar Barcas takes the command.]

+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, 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, 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.

[Sidenote: He gets his men across the Macaras.]

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 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

[Sidenote: And defeats Spendius.]

+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 before 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 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.

[Sidenote: Mathōs harasses Hamilcar’s march.]

+77.+ Meanwhile Mathōs himself was continuing the siege 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, 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

[Sidenote: Hamilcar is joined by the Numidian Narávas.]

[Sidenote: Again defeats Spendius.]

+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, 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. 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 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.

[Sidenote: Mutiny in Sardinia.]

+79.+ This conspiracy of Mathōs and Spendius caused an outbreak about
this same time in another quarter. For the mercenaries who were
in garrison in Sardinia, inspired by their example, attacked the
Carthaginians in the island; beleaguered Bostarus, 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 239. Plan of Spendius for doing away with the good
impression made by the leniency of Barcas.]

To return to Libya. The indulgence shown by Hamilcar to the captives
alarmed Mathōs and Spendius and Autaritus the Gaul. 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 to 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.

[Sidenote: Murder of Gesco.]

+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 buried their bodies, which
were crushed into shapeless masses as though by the feet of elephants.
Still they at 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 a 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.

[Sidenote: Quarrels of Hanno and Hamilcar.]

[Sidenote: Revolt of Hippo Zarytus and Utica.]

+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 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 the 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 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.

[Sidenote: Friendly disposition of Rome.]

[Sidenote: Hiero of Syracuse.]

+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 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, 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,
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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 238. Hamilcar, with assistance from Sicily, surrounds
Mathōs and Spendius.]

+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 they were at last compelled to raise the siege.
However, after a short interval, they managed to muster the most
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 their officers assured them, and
accordingly shrank from no suffering however terrible.

[Sidenote: Spendius and Autaritus fall into the hands of Hamilcar.]

+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, 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.

[Sidenote: Siege of Mathōs in Tunes.]

[Sidenote: Defeat and death of Hannibal.]

+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, 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, and 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, 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.

[Sidenote: By a final effort the Carthaginians raise a reinforcement
for Hamilcar.]

[Sidenote: Mathōs beaten and captured.]

+87.+ This unexpected reverse reduced the Carthaginians once more to
a melancholy state of despair. 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 to 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Reduction of Hippo and Utica, B.C. 238.]

+88.+ Most places in Libya submitted to Carthage after this battle.
But the towns of Hippo and Utica still held out, 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 241-238.]

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, and
finally inflicting every kind of torture upon Mathōs. For three years
and about four months did the mercenaries maintain a war against the
Carthaginians which far surpassed any that I ever heard of for cruelty
and inhumanity.

[Sidenote: The Romans interfere in Sardinia.]

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; 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.


[Sidenote: Recapitulation of the subjects treated in Book I.]

+1.+ In the previous book I have described how the Romans, having
subdued all Italy, began to aim at foreign dominion; 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 238, Hamilcar and his son Hannibal sent to Spain.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 238-229.]

As soon as they had brought the Libyan war to a conclusion the
Carthaginian government collected an army 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, 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 conspicuous 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.

[Sidenote: Illyricum.]

+2.+ It was at this same period that the Romans for the first time
crossed to Illyricum and that part of 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 233-232.]

[Sidenote: Siege of Medion in Acarnania.]

Agron, king of the Illyrians, was the son of Pleuratus, and possessed
the most powerful force, both by land and sea, 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, 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.

[Sidenote: The Illyrians relieve Medion.]

+3.+ The decision was come to on the day before the election of a
new Strategus, and the transference of the command had, according
to the Aetolian custom, to take place. But on that very night a
hundred galleys with five thousand Illyrians on board, 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 their 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.

[Sidenote: Death of Agron, who is succeeded by his wife Teuta, B.C.

When his galleys returned, and he heard from his officers the events
of the expedition, 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

[Sidenote: Teuta’s piratical fleet, B.C. 230.]

[Sidenote: Takes Phoenice in Epirus.]

+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. 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.
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
this 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.

[Sidenote: The Aetolian and Achaean leagues send a force to the relief
of the Epirotes. A truce is made. The Illyrians depart.]

+6.+ Having met with this reverse, and having lost all the hopes which
they had cherished, 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
Dardani. 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.

[Sidenote: The career of a body of Gallic mercenaries,]

[Sidenote: at Agrigentum,]

[Sidenote: at Eryx.]

[Sidenote: Disarmed by the Romans.]

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, and offering so many
opportunities for treason? And again, who would not have been on his
guard against the bad character of this 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, 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, 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Illyrian pirates.]

[Sidenote: The Romans interfere, B.C. 230.]

[Sidenote: Queen Teuta’s reception of the Roman legates.]

[Sidenote: A Roman legate assassinated.]

+8.+ To return to the Illyrians. From time immemorial they had
oppressed and pillaged vessels sailing from Italy: 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, 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 been 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. 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,
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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 229. Another piratical fleet sent out by Teuta.]

[Sidenote: Their treacherous attack on Epidamnus, which is repulsed.]

[Sidenote: Attack on Corcyra.]

[Sidenote: The Corcyreans appeal to the Aetolian and Achaean leagues.]

+9.+ When the season for sailing was come Teuta sent out a larger fleet
of galleys than ever against the Greek shores, 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. 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, 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Defeat of the Achaean ships.]

[Sidenote: Corcyra submits.]

+10.+ But the Illyrians obtained a reinforcement of seven decked ships
from the Acarnanians, in virtue of their treaty with 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, 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; 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 229. The Roman Consuls, with fleet and army, start to
punish the Illyrians.]

[Sidenote: Demetrius of Pharos.]

[Sidenote: Corcyra becomes a “friend of Rome.”]

[Sidenote: Aulus Postumius.]

[Sidenote: The Roman settlement of Illyricum.]

+11.+ In this same season one of the Consuls, Gnaeus Fulvius, started
from Rome with two hundred ships, and the other Consul, Aulus
Postumius, 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 had happened there, and to
test the sincerity of the overtures that had been made by Demetrius.
For Demetrius, 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,
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, 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. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 228. Teuta submits.]

+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, 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.

[Sidenote: Hasdrubal in Spain. The founding of New Carthage, B.C. 228.]

[Sidenote: Dread of the Gauls.]

[Sidenote: Treaty with Hasdrubal.]

+13.+ We must now return to Hasdrubal in Iberia. He had during this
period been conducting his command with ability 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
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. 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. 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 its 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.

[Sidenote: The Geography of Italy.]

[Sidenote: Col di Tenda.]

Italy, taken as a whole, is a triangle, of which the eastern side is
bounded by the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Gulf, 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Gallia Cis-Alpina.]

+15.+ The yield of corn in this district is so abundant that wheat
is often sold at four obols a Sicilian medimnus, 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 pigs 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.

[Sidenote: The Alps.]

[Sidenote: The Apennines.]

[Sidenote: The Po.]

[Sidenote: 15th July.]

+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, 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, 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, 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 discharges 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Their character.]

[Sidenote: Gauls expel Etruscans from the valley of the Po.]

+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, 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 from 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.
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

[Sidenote: Battle of the Allia, 18th July, B.C. 390.]

[Sidenote: Latin war, B.C. 349-340.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 360.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 348.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 334.]

+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 flying legions, in three days after the battle occupied
Rome itself with the exception of the Capitol. But a circumstance
intervened which recalled them home, 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. This gave
the Romans time to recover their strength, and to come to terms with
the people of Latium. When, thirty years after the capture of the city,
the Celts came again as far as Alba, the Romans were taken by surprise;
and 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. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 299.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 297.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 283.]

[Sidenote: Sena Gallica.]

+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, 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 got 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. 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. 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 Lucius[150] 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, 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 282.]

+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. 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 defeated 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 236.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 232.]

+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; 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 Romans divided among their citizens the territory of
Picenum, from which they had ejected the Senones when they conquered
them: 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 231.]

+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, 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 in 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.

[Sidenote: B. C. 225. Coss. L. Aemilius Papus. C. Atilius Regulus.]

+23.+ The Gaesatae, then, having collected their forces, crossed the
Alps and descended into the valley of the Padus with a formidable army,

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 equipments 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.

[Sidenote: The Roman resources.]

+24.+ But in order that we may learn from actual facts how great the
power was which Hannibal subsequently ventured to attack, 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 foot 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.

[Sidenote: The Gauls enter Etruria.]

[Sidenote: The Praetor’s army defeated at Clusium.]

+25.+ There will be another opportunity of treating the subject
in greater detail; for the present I must return to the Celts.
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 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 both
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.

[Sidenote: On the arrival of Aemilius the Gauls retire.]

+26.+ But meanwhile Lucius Aemilius, who had been stationed on the
coast of the Adriatic at Ariminum, 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 means 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.

[Sidenote: Atilius landing at Pisa intercepts the march of the Gauls.]

+27.+ Just at that time the Consul Gaius Atilius had crossed from
Sardinia, and having landed at Pisae was on his way to Rome; 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.

[Sidenote: The battle of the horse. Atilius falls.]

+28.+ Aemilius had heard of the landing of the legions at 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. 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, as 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.

[Sidenote: The infantry engage.]

+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,
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 Roman 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.

[Sidenote: Aemilius returns home.]

+31.+ Forty thousand of them were slain, and quite ten thousand taken
prisoners, among whom was one of their kings, 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 224.]

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, 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 the
rest of it, there was a season of excessive rains, and an outbreak of
pestilence in the army.

[Sidenote: B.C. 223.]

+32.+ The Consuls of the next year, however, Publius Furius Philus and
Caius Flaminius, once more invaded the Celtic lands, 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 except in victory; the impassable river
being thus in their rear. These dispositions made, they were ready to

[Sidenote: Battle with the Insubres.]

+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. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 222. Attack on the Insubres.]

+34.+ Next year, upon embassies coming from the Celts, desiring peace
and making unlimited offers of submission, 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 urged
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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 480.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 279.]

+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, 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 baffled 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.

[Sidenote: Death of Hasdrubal in Spain, B.C. 221. See chap. 13.]

[Sidenote: Succession of Hannibal to the command in Spain. His
hostility to Rome.]

+36.+ Our narrative now returns to Hasdrubal, whom we left in command
of the Carthaginian forces in Iberia. 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Social war, B.C. 220-217.]

+37.+ At the same period the Achaean league and King Philip, with their
allies, were entering upon the war with the Aetolian league, 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 events 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.

[Sidenote: The progress of the Achaean league.]

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. 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 individual cities, there
is a nearly absolute assimilation of institutions.

[Sidenote: The origin of the name as embracing all the Peloponnese.]

+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. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 371.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 405-367.]

[Sidenote: Ζεὺς ὁμάριος or ἀμάριος]

+39.+ And first: When the burning of the Pythagorean 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. 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, 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, 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 Achaeans 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

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.

[Sidenote: 124th Olympiad, B.C. 284-280.]

[Sidenote: First Achaean league.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 371.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 323-284.]

+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. In 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, 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.
The other ten were Patrae, Dyme, Pharae, Tritaea, Leontium, Aegium,
Aegeira, Pellene, Bura, Caryneia. In the period immediately succeeding
Alexander, and 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 284-280, Second Achaean league.]

But about the 124th Olympiad, as I have said, a change of sentiment
prevailed among the Achaean cities, 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, 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

[Sidenote: Victory of Lutatius off the insulae Aegates, B.C. 241.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 243-242.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 255-254. Margos.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 251-250. Aratus.]

+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 entire management of
the affairs of the union in his hands. The first to obtain this honour
was Margos of Caryneia. 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 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. 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

[Sidenote: Antigonus Gonatas, B.C. 283-239.]

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, 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.

[Sidenote: Demetrius, B.C. 239-229.]

+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 the death of Demetrius, after a reign of
only ten years, just about the time of the first invasion of Illyricum
by the Romans, 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.

[Sidenote: The Aetolians and Antigonus Doson, B.C. 229-220.]

+45.+ But the increased power and national advancement which these
events brought to the Achaeans excited the envy of the Aetolians; who,
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
Lacedaemonians 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.

[Sidenote: The Aetolians intrigue with Cleomenes, King of Sparta, B.C.

+46.+ There could be no doubt of the policy of the Aetolians. They
were ashamed indeed to attack the Achaeans openly, 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 undisguised and bitter hostility. Aratus
and his colleagues accordingly summoned a meeting of the league, and it
was decided to proclaim war openly against Sparta.

[Sidenote: Cleomenes, B.C. 227-221.]

[Sidenote: Aratus applies to Antigonus Doson.]

+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. 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: 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.

[Sidenote: Philip II. in the Peloponnese, B.C. 338.]

+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, 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

[Sidenote: The message to Antigonus Doson.]

+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, 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 and 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.”

[Sidenote: Aratus wishes to do without the king if possible.]

+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,
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 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 they 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.

[Sidenote: Euergetes jealous of the Macedonian policy of Aratus, helps

+51.+ But when Ptolemy, despairing of retaining the league’s
friendship, began to furnish Cleomenes with 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.

[Sidenote: The Achaeans offer to surrender the Acrocorinthus to

+52.+ Meanwhile, on the strength of the dismay caused by his successes,
Cleomenes was making an unopposed progress through the cities,
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
ordering 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.

[Sidenote: Cleomenes prepares to resist.]

[Sidenote: Antigonus comes to the Isthmus, B.C. 224.]

Upon learning of this compact between the league and Antigonus,
Cleomenes raised the siege of 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. 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 treaty[162] 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 to face: the
former desirous of effecting an entrance into the Peloponnese,
Cleomenes determined to prevent him.

[Sidenote: The Achaeans seize Argos.]

Meanwhile the Achaeans, in spite of their severe disasters, did
not abandon their purpose or give up all hopes of retrieving their
fortunes. 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.

[Sidenote: Antigonus receives the Acrocorinthus.]

+54.+ On his part, Antigonus advanced without any casualty into the
Peloponnese, and took over 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 the future. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the allied
army, and went into winter quarters at Sicyon and Corinth.

[Sidenote: B.C. 223. Recovery of Tegea.]

[Sidenote: Skirmish with Cleomenes.]

[Sidenote: Capture of Orchomenus]

[Sidenote: and Mantinea]

[Sidenote: and Heraea and Telphusa.]

At the approach of spring he broke up his camp and got on the march.
On the third day he arrived at 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. 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 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. 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 Lycaeum 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.

[Sidenote: Digression (to ch. 63) on the misstatements of Phylarchus.]

[Sidenote: Mantinea.]

+56.+ For the history of the same period, with which we are now
engaged, there are two authorities, 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
historical 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, 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 object 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 227.]

+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. 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 whom 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 correspond 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.

[Sidenote: Aristomachus.]

+59.+ Again Phylarchus says that Aristomachus the Argive, a man of
a most distinguished family, 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 and 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 abdicted 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 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.

[Sidenote: Megalopolis.]

+61.+ There is another illustration of this writer’s manner to be
found in his treatment of the cases of Mantinea and 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 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.

[Sidenote: and its wealth.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 378.]

+62.+ He does, however, state in the course of his narrative that,
from the spoils of Megalopolis, six thousand talents fell to the
Lacedaemonians, 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 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Ptolemy Euergetes and Cleomenes.]

+63.+ But a more astonishing misstatement remains to be remarked. In
the course of his history of this war, 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 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 222. Cleomenes invades Argos.]

+64.+ Megalopolis having fallen, then, Antigonus spent the winter at
Argos. But at the approach of spring Cleomenes collected his army,
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.

[Sidenote: The summer campaign. The army of Antigonus.]

+65.+ Summer having now come, and the Macedonian and Achaean soldiers
having assembled from their winter quarters, Antigonus moved his army,
along with his allies, into Laconia. 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.

[Sidenote: The position of Cleomenes at Sellasia.]

Cleomenes had expected the attack, and had secured the passes into the
country by posting garrisons, 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

+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.

[Sidenote: Battle of Sellasia.]

[Sidenote: Philopoemen’s presence of mind.]

+67.+ The moment for beginning the battle had come: the signal was
given to the Illyrians, and the word passed by the officers to their
men to do their duty, and in a moment they started into view of the
enemy and began assaulting the hill. 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, 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.”

[Sidenote: Defeat of Eucleidas.]

What Eucleidas ought to have done, when he saw the enemy’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. 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.

[Sidenote: Defeat of Cleomenes.]

+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. 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 individuals. 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

+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.

[Sidenote: Death of Antigonus Doson, B.C. 220.]

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. 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 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 284-280. B.C. 224-220.]

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, 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.

[Sidenote: A summary of the work from B.C. 220 to B.C. 168.]

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. 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 220-216.]

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
embraced events of such magnitude and importance. In describing them I
shall start from the 140th Olympiad and shall arrange my exposition in
the following order:

[Sidenote: 1. The cause and course of the Hannibalian war.]

+2.+ First I shall indicate the causes of the Punic or Hannibalian war:
and shall have to describe how the Carthaginians entered Italy; 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.

[Sidenote: 2. Macedonian treaty with Carthage, B.C. 216.]

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

[Sidenote: 3. Syrian war, B.C. 218.]

Then I shall tell how Antiochus and Ptolemy Philopator first quarrelled
and finally went to war with each other for the possession of

[Sidenote: 4. Byzantine war, B.C. 220.]

Next how the Rhodians and Prusias went to war with the Byzantines, and
compelled them to desist from exacting dues from ships sailing into the

[Sidenote: First digression on the Roman Constitution.]

At this point I shall pause in my narrative to introduce a disquisition
upon 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.

[Sidenote: Second on Hiero of Syracuse.]

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

[Sidenote: 5. The attempted partition of the dominions of Ptolemy
Epiphanes, B.C. 204.]

After these digressions will come the disturbances in Egypt; how, after
the death of King Ptolemy, 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.

[Sidenote: 6. War with Philip, B.C. 201-197.]

+3.+ Next, after a summary recapitulation of the proceedings of the
Carthaginians and Romans in Iberia, Libya, 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.

[Sidenote: 7. Asiatic war, B.C. 192-191.]

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 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.

[Sidenote: 8. Gallic wars of Eumenes and Prusias.]

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

[Sidenote: 9. Union of the Peloponnese. Antiochus Epiphanes in Egypt.
Fall of the Macedonian monarchy, B.C. 188-168.]

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 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.

[Sidenote: The plan extended to embrace the period from B.C. 168-146.]

+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 necessarily 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. 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 to 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.

[Sidenote: 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).]

+5.+ The events I refer to are the wars of Rome against the
Celtiberians and Vaccaei; those of Carthage 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 several parts, I must now,
remembering my original plan, go back to the point at which my history

[Sidenote: The origin of the 2d Punic war;]

[Sidenote: B.C. 334,]

[Sidenote: B.C. 192,]

[Sidenote: B.C. 401-400,]

[Sidenote: B.C. 396-394,]

+6.+ Some historians of the Hannibalian war, when they wish to point
out to us the causes of this contest 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, I cannot admit them to be its causes. One might just as well say
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, 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:
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
his 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.

[Sidenote: and of the war with Antiochus.]

+7.+ So too of the war of Antiochus with Rome. The _cause_ was
evidently the exasperation of the Aetolians, 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.

[Sidenote: The credibility of Fabius Pictor.]

+8.+ Now the Roman annalist Fabius asserts that the cause of the
Hannibalian war, besides the injury inflicted upon Saguntum, 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 to 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.

[Sidenote: The Hannibalian or 2nd Punic war. First cause.]

This is a digression from my immediate subject, which is the war
between Carthage and Rome. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 238. Bk. i. ch. 88. Second cause.]

[Sidenote: Third cause.]

+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, 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 consented 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal’s oath.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 195.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 238.]

+11.+ When, after his final defeat by the Romans, Hannibal had at last
quitted his country and was staying at the court of Antiochus, 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; 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: “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. Upon 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.

[Sidenote: Death of Hamilcar, B.C. 229.]

[Sidenote: Death of Hasdrubal, B.C. 221.]

+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 whom they had committed the command in Iberia after the death of
Hamilcar, they waited at first to ascertain 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 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 220. Hannibal attacks the Vaccaei.]

+14.+ Next summer he set out on another expedition against the Vaccaei,
in which he took Salmantica by 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 by 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.

[Sidenote: Saguntum appeals to Rome. Winter of B.C. 220-219.]

[Sidenote: Hannibal’s defiance.]

+15.+ But the people of Saguntum kept sending ambassadors to Rome,
partly because they foresaw what was coming, 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, 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 be 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

[Sidenote: Illyrian war, B.C. 219.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 219. Coss. M. Livius Salinator L. Aemilius Paullus.]

+16.+ Wherefore the Senate, by way of preparing to undertake this
business, and foreseeing that the war 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 Macedonia 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 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal besieges Saguntum.]

+17.+ But Hannibal had started from New Carthage and was leading
his army straight against 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.

[Sidenote: Fall of Saguntum.]

After a siege extending to the eighth month, in the course of which
he endured every kind of suffering and 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.

[Sidenote: Illyrian war, B.C. 219.]

+18.+ While this was taking place, Demetrius, discovering the
intentions of Rome, threw a sufficient garrison into Dimale and
victualled it in proportion. 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 following strategem. 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.

[Sidenote: Capture of Pharos.]

+19.+ A violent struggle at once began: and, as it went on, division
after division of the troops in the city 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 during the battle with a careless rashness which cost
him his life; of which I shall speak in detail when I come to that

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.

[Sidenote: Indignation at Rome at the fall of Saguntum.]

+20.+ But when news came to Rome of the fall of Saguntum, there was
indeed no debate on the question of war, 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.

[Sidenote: Envoys sent to Carthage to demand surrender of Hannibal.]

The truth is that, when the Romans heard of the disaster at Saguntum,
they at once elected envoys, whom 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 beginning 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

+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 the 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.

[Sidenote: Treaties between Rome and Carthage.]

[Sidenote: The first treaty, B.C. 509-508.]

+22.+ The first treaty between Rome and Carthage was made in the
year of Lucius Junius Brutus and Marcus Horatius, 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, 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

“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 Rome[166] they
shall hold their hands; and if they take one shall deliver it unharmed
to the Romans. They shall build no fort in 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.

[Sidenote: Second treaty, B.C. 306 (?).]

+24.+ After this treaty there was a second, in which we find that the
Carthaginians have included the 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 the 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

“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

“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.

[Sidenote: Third treaty, B.C. 279.]

+25.+ A third treaty again was made by Rome at the time of the invasion
of Pyrrhus into Sicily, before the 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 not 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.

[Sidenote: Misstatement of Philinus.]

+26.+ Seeing that such treaties exist and are preserved to this day,
engraved on brass in the treasury of 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. Yet 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.

[Sidenote: Fourth treaty, B.C. 241.]

+27.+ At the end of the first Punic war another treaty was made,
of which the chief provisions were these: “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.”

[Sidenote: Fifth treaty, B.C. 238.]

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

[Sidenote: Sixth treaty, B.C. 228.]

Finally, in addition to these treaties, came that negotiated with
Hasdrubal in Iberia, in which it was 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.

[Sidenote: No excuse for the Roman claim on Sardinia.]

+28.+ As we find then that the Roman invasion of Sicily was not in
contravention of their oaths, so we must acknowledge in the case of
the second proclamation of war, 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

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.

[Sidenote: The Roman Case.]

+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. 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 treaty, 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.

[Sidenote: Mutual provocation.]

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 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
be 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 that 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 episodical 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 [Sidenote: 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 Suffete[171] 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.

[Sidenote: Winter of 219-218 B.C. Hannibal’s arrangements for the
coming campaign.]

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.
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 of 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.

[Sidenote: The inscription recording these facts.]

The accuracy of this enumeration of Hannibal’s Iberian establishment
need excite no surprise, though 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 Lacinium[172] 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 himself
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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 218. Hannibal breaks up his winter quarters and starts
for Italy.]

+35.+ These measures satisfactorily accomplished while he was in winter
quarters, and the security of Libya 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 own 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.

[Sidenote: Geography of Hannibal’s march.]

+36.+ But as a knowledge of topography is necessary for the right
understanding of my narrative, 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.

[Sidenote: General view of the geography of the world.]

+37.+ This principle established as universally applicable to the
world, the next point will be to make the 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.

[Sidenote: The extreme north and south unknown.]

+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 approach each other in
the neighbourhood of Ethiopia, whether the continent is continuous to
the south, 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.

[Sidenote: The length of the march from Carthagena to the Po, 1125
Roman miles.]

+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 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
eighth 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.

[Sidenote: Coss. P. Cornelius Scipio and Tib. Sempronius Longus. B.C.
218. The Consuls are sent, one to Spain, and the other to Africa.]

[Sidenote: Placentia and Cremona.]

[Sidenote: Outrage by Boii and Insubres.]

+40.+ While Hannibal was thus engaged in effecting a passage over the
Pyrenees, where he was greatly alarmed 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;
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 Insubres 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Tiberius Sempronius prepares to attack Carthage.]

Meanwhile the Consuls, having completed the necessary preparations for
their respective missions, set sail at the beginning 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, collecting fresh troops wherever he could get them, as
though with the view of at once blockading Carthage itself.

[Sidenote: Publius Scipio lands near Marseilles.]

Publius Cornelius coasted along Liguria, and crossing in five days
from Pisae to Marseilles, dropped 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

[Sidenote: Hannibal reaches the Rhone.]

+42.+ Meanwhile Hannibal had reached the river and was trying to get
across it where the stream was single, 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
conclusion 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 Suffete[178]
Bomilcar. [Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: The crossing begun.]

+43.+ When the fifth night came, however, the division which had
crossed first started before daybreak 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, feeling 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.

[Sidenote: Completed.]

[Sidenote: Message from friendly Gauls.]

+44.+ Being thus master of the passage of the river, and victorious
over those who opposed him, the 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 introduced 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Skirmish between reconnoitring parties.]

+45.+ When the assembly had been dismissed, the reconnoitring party
of Numidians returned in headlong flight, 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 and 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.

[Sidenote: The passage of the elephants.]

+46.+ The mode of getting the elephants across was as follows. They
made a number of rafts strongly compacted, 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 others 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 to
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 refuge
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.

[Sidenote: Scipio finds that Hannibal has escaped him.]

+49.+ Three days after Hannibal had resumed his march, the Consul
Publius arrived at the passage of the river. 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal’s march to the foot of the Alps.]

Meanwhile, after four days’ march from the passage of the Rhone,
Hannibal arrived at the place called the Island, 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 the 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

[Sidenote: The ascent.]

+50.+ Having in ten days’ march accomplished a distance of eight
hundred stades along the river bank, 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
destroyed: 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.

[Sidenote: The Gauls harass the army.]

+51.+ When day broke the natives saw what had taken place, and at
first desisted from their attempts; 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 everything 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.

[Sidenote: Treachery of the Gauls.]

+52.+ Here he pitched a camp and remained a day, and started again. For
the next three days 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 destruction 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.

[Sidenote: Severe losses.]

+53.+ Hannibal’s army would now have certainly been utterly destroyed,
had it not been for the fact that his 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.

[Sidenote: Arrives at the summit.]

Next morning the enemy had disappeared: and Hannibal, having effected
a junction with his cavalry and baggage, led his men towards the head
of the pass, without falling in again with any important muster of the
natives, 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.

[Sidenote: 9th November.]

+54.+ But by this time, it being nearly the period of the setting of
the Pleiads, the snow was beginning 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.

[Sidenote: The descent.]

Next day he began the descent, in which he no longer met with any
enemies, except some few secret pillagers; 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
now 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 détour, but
this route too being made impossible by a snow-storm, he abandoned the

[Sidenote: A break in the road.]

+55.+ The effect of the storm was peculiar and extraordinary. For
the present fall of snow coming 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 détour, 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 from 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.

[Sidenote: He reaches the plains.]

+56.+ So Hannibal mustered his forces and continued the descent; and
on the third day after passing 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.

[Sidenote: Digression on the limits of history.]

+57.+ Having thus brought the generals of the two nations and the war
itself into Italy, before beginning 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 of 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 way
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.

[Sidenote: Rest and recovery.]

[Sidenote: Taking of Turin.]

+60.+ After arriving in Italy with the number of troops which I have
already stated, 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 the 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Approach of Scipio.]

[Sidenote: Tiberius Sempronius recalled.]

+61.+ When he heard, while engaged on this design, that Publius had
already crossed the Padus with his army, 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 the 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Gallic prisoners.]

+62.+ The two armies being now within a short distance of each other,
Hannibal and Publius both thought 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal’s speech.]

+63.+ Having by this example made the impression he desired upon the
minds of his troops, 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 into 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.

[Sidenote: Scipio crosses the Ticinus.]

+64.+ About the same day Publius Scipio, having now crossed the Padus,
and being resolved to make 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 the additional injunction
that they should hold themselves in readiness to obey any order sent
round to them.

[Sidenote: Skirmish of cavalry near the Ticinus, Nov. B.C. 219.]

+65.+ Next day both generals led their troops along the river Padus,
on the bank nearest the Alps, 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.

[Sidenote: Scipio retires to Placentia on the right bank of the Po.]

[Sidenote: Hannibal crosses the Po higher up and follows Scipio to

+66.+ Publius then broke up his camp, and marched through the plains to
the bridge over the Padus, in haste to get 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 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
from 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.

[Sidenote: Treachery of the Gauls serving in the army of Scipio.]

+67.+ But the Celtic contingent of the Roman army, seeing that
Hannibal’s prospects looked the brighter of the two, 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.

[Sidenote: Scipio changes his position at Placentia to one on the

Publius regarded this treachery as of most serious importance; and
feeling sure that the Celts in the 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, 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

[Sidenote: Hannibal follows him.]

+68.+ When Hannibal was informed of Scipio’s change of quarters,
he sent the Numidian horse in pursuit at once, 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.

[Sidenote: Scipio’s position on the slopes of Apennines, near the
source of the Trebia.]

Scipio, however, having crossed the Trebia occupied the first high
ground; and having strengthened 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, and marched through the city, they
believed that his mere appearance at the seat of war would settle the

[Sidenote: Tiberius Sempronius joins Scipio.]

His men met Tiberius at Ariminum, according to their oath, and he
at once led them forward in all 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.

[Sidenote: Fall of Clastidium. Hannibal’s policy towards the Italians.]

[Sidenote: A skirmish favourable to the Romans.]

+69.+ Meanwhile Hannibal got possession of Clastidium, by the treachery
of a certain Brundisian, 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:
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 up 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.

[Sidenote: Sempronius resolves to give battle.]

+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, 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 present 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

[Sidenote: Hannibal prepares an ambuscade.]

+71.+ Now he had some time before remarked a certain piece of ground
which was flat and treeless, 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 conspicuous 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

[Sidenote: Battle of the Trebia, December B.C. 218.]

[Sidenote: Hannibal’s forces.]

[Sidenote: The Roman forces.]

+72.+ As soon as Tiberius saw the Numidian horse approaching, he
immediately sent out his cavalry by itself 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;
and 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 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 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.

[Sidenote: The Roman cavalry retreat.]

+73.+ When the two forces came within distance, the light-armed troops
in front of the two armies 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 service 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.

[Sidenote: Both Roman wings defeated.]

[Sidenote: The Roman centre fights its way to Placentia.]

+74.+ Just then the Numidians, who had been lying in ambush, left their
hiding-place, 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 the pelting storm
of rain which was pouring down upon their heads. They therefore closed
their ranks, 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.

[Sidenote: Winter of B.C. 118-117. Great exertions at Rome to meet the

+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. 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 the 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.

[Sidenote: Gnaeus Scipio in Spain.]

+76.+ While these events were happening in Italy, Gnaeus Cornelius
Scipio, who had been left by his 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 eight 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 217.]

+77.+ At the beginning of the following spring, Gaius Flaminius marched
his army through Etruria, 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal conciliates the Italians.]

Passing the winter in the Celtic territory, Hannibal kept his Roman
prisoners in close confinement, 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 in 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal starts for Etruria. Spring of B.C. 217.]

+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. 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 difficulty 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 marshes[186] 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 sleep[187] 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal in the valley of the Arno.]

+80.+ Having crossed the marshes in this unexpected manner, Hannibal
found Flaminius in Etruria encamped under the walls of Arretium. 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 was 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal correctly judges the character of Flaminius.]

+81.+ And in making these calculations Hannibal showed his consummate
prudence and strategical ability. 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 the 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.

[Sidenote: Flaminius is drawn out of camp.]

+82.+ Nor was Hannibal mistaken in his calculations in regard to
Flaminius. For no sooner had he 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 of 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

[Sidenote: The ambuscade at Lake Thrasymene.]

+83.+ The route which he was following led through a low valley
enclosed on both sides by long lines of lofty hills. 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.

[Sidenote: The battle, 22d June.]

+84.+ The day was exceedingly misty: and as soon as the greater part
of the Roman line was in the valley, and the leading maniples were
getting close to him, Hannibal gave the signal for attack; and at the
same time sent 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
accordingly 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal’s treatment of prisoners.]

+85.+ When the prisoners who had surrendered on terms were with the
other prisoners brought to Hannibal, 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.

[Sidenote: Dismay at Rome.]

When the news of this disaster reached Rome, the chief men of the state
could not, 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Servilius’s advanced guard cut to pieces.]

+86.+ About the same time as the battle of Thrasymene, the Consul
Gnaeus Servilius, 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

[Sidenote: Hannibal’s advance after the battle.]

Feeling now entirely confident of success, Hannibal rejected the
idea of approaching Rome for the present; but traversed the country
plundering it without resistance, 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.

[Sidenote: Q. Fabius Maximus Dictator.]

Meanwhile the Romans had appointed Quintus Fabius Dictator,[190] a
man distinguished no less for his wisdom than his high birth; as is
still commemorated by the fact that the members of his family are even
now called _Maximi_, 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

[Sidenote: Fabius takes the command.]

Meanwhile Fabius, after offering the usual sacrifice to the gods
upon his appointment, started with his 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 had 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.

[Sidenote: Cunctator.]

+89.+ When Hannibal learnt that Fabius had arrived, he determined to
terrify the enemy by promptly attacking. 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.

[Sidenote: Minucius discontented.]

+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. 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal in Samnium and Apulia.]

Meanwhile the Carthaginians, after wasting these districts, crossed
the Apennines; and descending upon Samnium, 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, or
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 [Caudium[194]] 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 Latium[195]] 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal descends into the Falernian plain.]

+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, 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.

[Sidenote: Fabius lies in wait.]

After trying to provoke his enemies, and collecting an unlimited
amount of booty by laying waste the whole plain, 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal eludes him.]

+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 their plunder without any risk to himself; and, most of
all, might even put an end to the whole war by means of 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 the 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal gets through the pass. Autumn, B.C. 217.]

Partly because he was at a loss to understand what was happening, and,
in the words of the poet, “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.

[Sidenote: Fabius goes to Rome, leaving the command to M. Minucius.]

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.

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.

[Sidenote: Spain, B.C. 217.]

+95.+ While these things were going on in Italy, Hasdrubal, who was in
command in Iberia, having during the winter repaired the thirty ships
left him by his brother, 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.

[Sidenote: Roman success at sea.]

+96.+ But being informed in good time by his look-out men that the
enemy were bearing down upon him, 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, 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.

[Sidenote: 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.]

+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, 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 possessing 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.

[Sidenote: Treason of Abilyx.]

+98.+ Here an event occurred which produced a decisive change in their
favour. When Hannibal was about to start for Italy, 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 had 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 party 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal takes Geronium.]

+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. 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 its 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.

[Sidenote: Minucius obtains a slight success. Autumn B.C. 217.]

+101.+ When Minucius took over the command from Fabius, he at first
kept along the line of hills, 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 abundant food during the winter, and his horses and beasts
of burden as much so; for the chief hope of his army rested on his

[Sidenote: Carthaginian foragers cut off.]

+102.+ It was then that Minucius, seeing the great part of the enemy
scattered about the country on these services, 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 the Romans on the other hand acted with greater boldness and

[Sidenote: Minucius invested with co-equal powers with Fabius.]

+103.+ An exaggerated account of this success reached Rome, and caused
excessive exultation: first, 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal draws on Minucius.]

+104.+ Partly from observing what was taking place, and partly from the
information of prisoners, 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 adventurous
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.

[Sidenote: Fabius comes to the rescue.]

+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, 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 their 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 216. Coss. G. Terentius Varro and L. Aemilius Paulus.]

+106.+ The Consular elections being now come, the Romans elected Lucius
Aemilius and Gaius Terentius. 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
Lucius 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.

[Sidenote: Autumn, B.C. 216.]

[Sidenote: The Senate order a battle.]

+107.+ Thus through all that winter and spring the two armies remained
encamped facing each other. 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
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, and
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.

[Sidenote: The Consuls Aemilius Paulus, and Terentius Varro go to the
seat of war.]

[Sidenote: Speech of Aemilius.]

+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, 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.
“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 of 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? 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.

[Sidenote: The Roman army approaches Cannae.]

[Sidenote: Terentius Varro orders an advance.]

[Sidenote: The Romans are successful.]

+110.+ Next morning the two Consuls broke up their camp, and advanced
to where they heard that the enemy were entrenched. 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; 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, 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
and 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal harangues his troops.]

+111.+ Then Hannibal, seeing that his circumstances called for a battle
with the enemy, 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 of 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.

[Sidenote: Hannibal irritates the enemy.]

+112.+ Next day he gave orders that all should employ themselves in
making preparations and getting themselves into a fit state of body.
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.

[Sidenote: Anxiety at Rome.]

But when the news arrived at Rome that the two armies were face to
face, and that skirmishes 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

[Sidenote: Dispositions for the battle of Cannae.]

+113.+ When he took over the command on the following day, as soon as
the sun was above the horizon, 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 Celtic
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.

[Sidenote: The Battle, 2d August, B.C. 216.]

[Sidenote: The Romans outflanked by the cavalry.]

+115.+ The battle was begun by an engagement between the advanced guard
of the two armies; 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,— because the Romans all maintained
the fight with spirit and determination,—and began chasing the
remainder along the river, 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.

[Sidenote: Fall of Aemilius Paulus.]

+116.+ Though he had been from the first on the right wing, and had
taken part in the cavalry engagement, Lucius Aemilius 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. 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 Gnaeus 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.

[Sidenote: Losses of the Romans.]

The ten thousand Romans who were captured had not, as I said, been
engaged in the actual battle; 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; and 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.

[Sidenote: The results of the battle. Defection of the allies.]

+118.+ The result of this battle, such as I have described it, had the
consequences which both sides expected. 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.

[Sidenote: Fall of Lucius Postumius in Gaul. See _supra_, ch. 106.]

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.
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, they not
only recovered their supremacy over Italy, by eventually conquering the
Carthaginians, but before very long became masters of the whole world.

[Sidenote: B.C. 216.]

I shall, therefore, end this book at this point, having now recounted
the events in Iberia and Italy, 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.


[Sidenote: B.C. 220-216.]

+1.+ In my former book I explained the causes of the second war between
Rome and Carthage; and described Hannibal’s invasion of Italy, 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

[Sidenote: Recapitulation of Achaean history, before B.C. 220,
contained in Book II., cc. 41-71.]

[Sidenote: Ending with the deaths of Antigonus Doson, Seleucus
Ceraunus, and Ptolemy Euergetes, before the 140th Olympiad, B.C.

I started, then, from Tisamenus, one of the sons of Orestes, and
stated that the dynasty existed from his time to that of Ogygus: 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. 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.

[Sidenote: 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.]

+2.+ I thought this was the best point; first, because it is there that
Aratus leaves off, and I meant my work, 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.

[Sidenote: The Aetolians.]

+3.+ The Aetolians had long been discontented with a state of peace and
tired at living at their own charges; 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 222.]

Hitherto, however, as long as Antigonus Doson was alive, their fear
of the Macedonians had kept them quiet. 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.

[Sidenote: The raids of Dorimachus in Messenia.]

There was a certain man of Trichonium[201] named Dorimachus, son of
that Nicostratus who made the treacherous attack 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 recurrence 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

[Sidenote: Dorimachus leaves Messene.]

+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, 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 he 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.

[Sidenote: Dorimachus becomes practically Strategus of Aetolia, B.C.

[Sidenote: He induces Scopas to go to war with Messenia, Epirus,
Achaia, Acarnania, and Macedonia.]

+5.+ The Strategus of the Aetolians at that time was Ariston; but
being from physical infirmities unable to serve in the field, 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, 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 his 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.

[Sidenote: Acts of hostility against Macedonia,]

[Sidenote: Epirus, and Acarnania.]

+6.+ By sea they immediately sent out privateers, who, falling in
with a royal vessel of Macedonia near Cythera, 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Before midsummer B.C. 220. Invasion of Messenia by
Dorimachus and Scopas.]

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 at Rhium, and preparing means of transport,
with some Cephallenian ships ready to convoy them, 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.

[Sidenote: The Achaean league decide to assist the Messenians.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 222-221.]

[Sidenote: Aratus becomes Strategus of the Achaean league, B.C. 220

+7.+ This being the time, according to their laws, for the meeting
of the Achaean federal assembly, 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 been 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,
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. 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.

[Sidenote: Character of Aratus.]

+8.+ Aratus had many of the qualities of a great ruler. He could
speak, and contrive, and conceal his purpose: 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 trophies 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.

[Sidenote: The armed levy of Achaeans summoned.]

[Sidenote: Dorimachus ordered to quit Messenia without passing through

[Sidenote: Scopas and Dorimachus prepare to obey.]

+9.+ The men of military age having assembled in arms at Megalopolis,
in accordance with the decree of the federal assembly, 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 alliance 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. 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Aratus dismisses the Achaean levy, with the exception of
3000 foot and 300 horse.]

[Sidenote: Dorimachus turns upon Aratus.]

+10.+ Aratus waited two days: and then, foolishly believing that the
Aetolians would return by the route they had indicated, 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 arms; 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

[Sidenote: The Battle of Caphyae, B.C. 220.]

+11.+ But the leaders of the Achaeans, on learning the arrival of the
Aetolians, adopted a course of proceeding quite unsurpassable for
folly. 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 for 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.

[Sidenote: The Achaeans defeated.]

+12.+ Naturally the result of the engagement was in harmony with such
a beginning. For when the light-armed troops approached, 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 themselves 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.

[Sidenote: The Aetolians retire at their leisure.]

+13.+ When the people of Megalopolis learnt that the Aetolians were
at Methydrium, they came to the rescue _en masse_, 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,
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.

[Sidenote: Midsummer, B.C. 220.]

[Sidenote: Attacked at the Achaean Congress, Aratus successfully
defends himself.]

+14.+ A few days after the events just narrated the ordinary meeting
of the Achaean federal assembly took place, 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. 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 take 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.

[Sidenote: The Achaean league determine upon war with the Aetolians,
and send round to their allies for assistance.]

[Sidenote: 139th Olympiad, B.C. 224-220; 140th Olympiad, B.C. 220-216.]

+15.+ These events occurred in the previous Olympiad,[208] what I am
now going to relate belong to the 140th. 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,
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 from 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.

[Sidenote: Treachery of the Spartans.]

+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. 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, sent
clandestine messages to the Aetolians, and arranged a secret treaty of
alliance and friendship with them.

[Sidenote: Invasion of Achaia by the Aetolians and Illyrians.]

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, 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.

[Sidenote: The previous history of Cynaetha.]

Cynaetha was an Arcadian city[209] which, for many years past, had
been afflicted with implacable and violent political factions. 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 party 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Measures taken by Aratus.]

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

[Sidenote: The Aetolians at the temple of Artemis. They fail at

[Sidenote: They burn Cynaetha and return home.]

[Sidenote: Demetrius of Pharos.]

The Aetolians at first urged the people of Cleitor to abandon their
alliance with the Achaeans and adopt one with themselves; 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 off 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, 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, 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

[Sidenote: Treason of the Spartans.]

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

[Sidenote: Inactivity of Aratus.]

Aratus however, having his Achaean troops, behaved in this instance
also with the caution of a statesman, 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 trumpeter[211] to sound a call to arms. But the great
disaster and misfortunes endured by the Cynaethans at the hands of the
Aetolians were looked upon as most richly deserved by them.

[Sidenote: 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.]

+20.+ Now, seeing that the Arcadians as a whole have a reputation for
virtue throughout Greece, 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, calling 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.

[Sidenote: The object of the musical training of the Arcadians.]

+21.+ Now the object of the ancient Arcadians in introducing these
customs was not, as I think, the gratification of luxury and
extravagance. 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 the 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.

[Sidenote: Philip V. comes to Corinth. B.C. 220.]

[Sidenote: Advances toward Sparta.]

[Sidenote: Adeimantus assassinated.]

+22.+ To return from this digression. When the Aetolians had reached
their homes in safety after this raid 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, 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, 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,
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.

[Sidenote: Philip summons Spartan deputies to Tegea.]

+23.+ Immediately after the commission of this crime, the Ephors who
were then in power sent men to Philip, 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 ten 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

[Sidenote: The king decides not to chastise Sparta.]

+24.+ The king gave the final decision, if that decision may be
called the king’s: for it is not reasonable 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,
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.

[Sidenote: The congress of allies at Corinth declare war against the

+25.+ When he arrived at Corinth he found the envoys from the allied
cities already there; and in consultation 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 Itone[213] 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, and 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 220.]

[Sidenote: Autumn, B.C. 220.]

+26.+ This decree was made in the first year of the 140th Olympiad,
and with it began the so-called Social war, 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 informed
them at length of all that had taken place, they received his speech
with warmth, and formally renewed with him personally the friendship
which had existed between his ancestors and themselves.

[Sidenote: Scopas elected Aetolian Strategus.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 385.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 387.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 382.]

+27.+ Meanwhile, the time of the annual election having come round, the
Aetolians elected Scopas as their 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, 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 with the terms of the
peace of Antalcidas, and yet did not withdraw their Harmosts from the
cities. 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 118.]

+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. 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.

[Sidenote: Philip secures the support of Scerdilaidas.]

+29.+ Philip then passed the winter in Macedonia, in an energetic
enlistment of troops for the coming campaign, 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 of 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.

[Sidenote: The Acarnanians, B.C. 220.]

[Sidenote: Duplicity of the Epirotes.]

+30.+ While Philip was thus engaged, the commissioners sent out to the
allies were performing their mission. 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; for they have, individually
and collectively, an element of stability and a spirit of liberality.
The conduct of the Epirotes was in strong contrast. 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.

[Sidenote: Ptolemy Philopator.]

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

[Sidenote: Timidity of the Messenians.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 480-479. Pindar fr.]

+31.+ The Messenians again, on whose account the war began, answered
the commissioners sent to them that, 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, 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 mischievous 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, is 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!

[Sidenote: B.C. 362.]

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. 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 in 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.

[Sidenote: Division of opinion in Sparta, B.C. 220.]

+34.+ In the matter of the commissioners from the allies, to go back to
my story, the behaviour of the Lacedaemonians was very characteristic.
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 addressing 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.

[Sidenote: Murder of the Ephors, B.C. 220.]

[Sidenote: Agesipolis appointed king,]

[Sidenote: B.C. 242.]

+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.
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 had 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.
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, 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.

[Sidenote: and Lycurgas.]

Of the other royal house there were surviving two sons of Archidamus,
son of Eudamidas, by the daughter of Hippodemon; 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
nobility[221] 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

[Sidenote: Spartans attack Argos, and proclaim war with the Achaeans.]

+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;

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.

[Sidenote: Aratus succeeded by his son as Strategus of the Achaeans,
May B.C. 219.]

[Sidenote: June-September. B.C. 219.]

+37.+ The year of Aratus’s office was just expiring, and his son Aratus
the younger had been elected to succeed him as Strategus, 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 had well set in, and Aratus
the younger had taken over his office, all these wars at once began
simultaneously. Hannibal began besieging Saguntum; 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.

[Sidenote: Rhodian and Byzantium war, 220-219 B.C.]

+38.+ At the same time the Rhodians went to war with the Byzantines,
for reasons which I must now describe.

[Sidenote: Advantages of the situation of Byzantium.]

As far as the sea is concerned, Byzantium occupies a position the
most secure and in every way the most 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 made 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

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.

[Sidenote: The Pontus.]

+39.+ The sea called “The Pontus” has a circumference of twenty-two
thousand stades, and two mouths 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 the 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

+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 on 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 the 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 the 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

[Sidenote: Site of Byzantium.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 512.]

+43.+ I must now return to the discussion of the excellence of the
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; 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, but more and more at an obtuse angle, and
accordingly, falling short of Calchedon, runs down the middle of the

[Sidenote: B.C. 410.]

+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, 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.

[Sidenote: Disadvantages of Byzantium.]

+45.+ They consist in the fact that its territory is so completely
hemmed in by Thrace from shore to shore, that the Byzantines have a
perpetual and dangerous war continually on hand with the Thracians. 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.

[Sidenote: The Gauls, B.C. 279.]

+46.+ These Gauls had left their country with Brennus, and having
survived the battle at Delphi and made their way to the Hellespont,
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 Tyle[224] 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 presents 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.

[Sidenote: The Byzantines levy a toll.]

+47.+ Now this exaction by the Byzantines of a duty upon goods brought
from the Pontus, 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.

[Sidenote: The Rhodians declare war, B.C. 220.]

For the Rhodians, roused to action by the loss incurred by themselves,
as well as that of their neighbours, 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.

[Sidenote: Achaeus.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 226.]

+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 the 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 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Prusias.]

+49.+ As to the provocations given before this to Prusias by the
Byzantines they were various. 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.

[Sidenote: Hostilities commence, B.C. 220.]

+50.+ At first the Byzantines entered upon the war with energy, in full
confidence of receiving the assistance of Achaeus; 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, 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.

[Sidenote: The Rhodians secure the friendship of Achaeus.]

+51.+ But seeing the confident spirit of the Byzantines, the Rhodians
adopted an exceedingly able plan to obtain their object. 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 Byzantines 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.

[Sidenote: The Gallic king, Cavarus, negotiates a peace, B.C. 220.]

+52.+ So when the Gallic king, Cavarus, came to Byzantium, and showed
himself eager to put an end to the war, 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 Byzantines 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

[Sidenote: War between Rhodes and Crete.]

+53.+ At the same time the Cnossians sent an embassy to the Rhodians,
and persuaded them to send them 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.

[Sidenote: The destruction of Lyttos.]

The people of Lyttos,[228] too, a short time before this, met with an
irretrievable disaster. 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 cause 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.

[Sidenote: Appeal to the Achaeans and Philip.]

+55.+ But the peoples of Polyrrhen and Lappa and all their allies,
seeing that the Cnossians clung to the alliance of the Aetolians, 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
space 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

[Sidenote: Mithridates IV., king of Pontus, declares war against

+56.+ About the same time Mithridates also declared war against the
people of 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 talents[231] 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 it 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.

[Sidenote: The History of the Social war resumed from ch. 37. Philip
starts for Aetolia, B.C. 219. Night surprise of Aegira.]

+57.+ King Philip started from Macedonia with his army for Thessaly and
Epirus, being bent on taking that route in his invasion of Aetolia.
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 stades 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.

[Sidenote: Alexander killed.]

+58.+ They kept together for a very brief space of time near the
market-place, and then scattering in every direction, 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, cheering 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.

[Sidenote: Euripidas.]

+59.+ About the same time Euripidas, who had been sent out to act
as general to the Eleans, 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.

[Sidenote: Inactivity of Aratus. Dyme, Pharae, and Tritaea separate
from the league.]

+60.+ The peoples of Dyme, Pharae, and Tritaea having been worsted in
their attempt to relieve the country, and afraid of what would happen
from this capture of the fort, first sent messengers to the Strategus,
Aratus, 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
Gortyna[232] 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 perfectly secured to them by the common
laws; and most of all because they had been the originators of the
Achaean confederacy.[233]

[Sidenote: Philip V. at Ambracia, B.C. 219.]

+61.+ Such was the state of things in the Peloponnese when King
Philip, after crossing Thessaly, 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 Ambracus[234] 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.

[Sidenote: Scopas tries to effect a diversion by invading Macedonia. On
his return he destroys Dium.]

+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 of Macedonia; traversed the
plain of Plena, and laid it waste; and after securing considerable
booty, 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.

[Sidenote: Ambracus taken.]

[Sidenote: Philip enters Aetolia; takes Phoeteiae.]

+63.+ When he heard what had happened in Macedonia, and had thus paid
on the spot for the selfishness and folly of the Epirotes, 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 through Acarnania, came
to the city of Phoeteiae, which belonged to the Aetolians;[235] having,
during his march, 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.

[Sidenote: Metropolis and Conope.]

[Sidenote: Skirmish on the Achelous.]

[Sidenote: Ithoria.]

+64.+ Meanwhile the Achaeans, being hard pressed by the war, and
ascertaining that the king was not far off, 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 would either stop his
advance altogether, or inflict much damage on the Macedonians while
crossing the river; 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Paeanium.]

[Sidenote: Fortifies Oeniadae.]

+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: 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 king 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Philip recalled to Macedonia by a threatened invasion of

[Sidenote: Late summer of B.C. 219.]

+66.+ But whilst he was still engaged on this work, news was brought
to the king that the 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 sail 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:
while he himself went to Thessaly, and spent the rest of the summer at

[Sidenote: Contemporary events in Spain and Italy.]

It was at this season that Aemilius celebrated a splendid triumph at
Rome for his Illyrian victories; 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.

[Sidenote: Midsummer B.C. 217. Dorimachus Aetolian Strategus, Sept.
B.C. 119.]

[Sidenote: Destroys Dodona.]

+67.+ And so the first year of this Olympiad was drawing to a close.
In Aetolia, the time of the elections having come round, 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. And having come to Dodona[237] he burnt the
colonnades, destroyed the sacred offerings, and even demolished the
sacred building; so that we may say that the Aetolians had 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.

[Sidenote: Philip starts again.]

[Sidenote: Dec. B.C. 219.]

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
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, 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 218, Jan.-Feb. Destruction of a marauding army of
Eleans under Euripidas.]

+68.+ Meanwhile Euripidas, with two companies of Eleans,—who combined
with the pirates and mercenaries 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 which 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.

[Sidenote: The Eleans come across the Macedonians at the junction of
the two roads above Stymphalus.]

+69.+ Now it happened that, just as the Macedonian advanced guard
came to the top of the hill, 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.

[Sidenote: Philip advances to Psophis.]

[Sidenote: A description of Psophis.]

+70.+ Continuing his march through Arcadia, and encountering heavy snow
storms and much fatigue in the pass over Mount Oligyrtus, he arrived on
the third day at Caphyae. 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Capture of Psophis.]

+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 as it was then a source of danger to the
Achaeans and Arcadians, and a safe place of arms for the Eleans; 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 who
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.

[Sidenote: Surrender of the citadel of Psophis.]

+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, 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
adequate garrison; and Pythias of Pallene in command of the town. Such
was the end of the incident of Psophis.

[Sidenote: Lasion and Stratus.]

[Sidenote: Philip at Olympia.]

[Sidenote: Prosperity of Elis.]

+73.+ But when the Elean garrison of Lasion heard of the coming of the
Macedonians, 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. 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. 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.

[Sidenote: The ancient privileges of Elis lost.]

+74.+ But in the course of time, when the Arcadians advanced a claim
for Lasion and the whole district of Pisa, 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

[Sidenote: Capture of Thalamae.]

+75.+ And therefore during Philip’s occupation of the country the
number of prisoners taken was immense; 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 number 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 Amphidamas
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.

[Sidenote: Oppressive conduct of Apelles to the Achaeans.]

+76.+ But now a difficulty arose which was created by Apelles. Apelles
was one of those who had 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Character of Philip V.]

+77.+ Philip, then, was acquiring a great reputation, not only among
those actually in his army, 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.

[Sidenote: Philip continues his campaign.]

Starting from Olympia by the road leading to Pharae, Philip came first
to Telphusa, 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.

[Sidenote: Arrival of Aetolian troops under Phillidas, B.C. 218.]

[Sidenote: Triphylia.]

Just at that time the Aetolian Strategus, Dorimachus, in answer to
a request of the Eleans for protection against the devastation they
were enduring, despatched six hundred Aetolians, 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. 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 Hecatodorus[241] and

[Sidenote: Capture of Alipheira.]

The next morning being fine and bright, the king made his dispositions
at daybreak. 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.

[Sidenote: Typanae and Phigalia surrender to Philip.]

+79.+ These achievements of the king alarmed the whole people of
Triphylia, and made them take 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 the 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.

[Sidenote: Lepreum.]

[Sidenote: Samicum,]

[Sidenote: and other towns.]

+80.+ While these things were going on, the people of Lepreum, having
seized a certain quarter of their town, 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 his baggage; but Phillidas himself managed to outstrip him and
throw himself into 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, 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

[Sidenote: Chilon tries to seize the crown of Sparta, B.C. 218.]

+81.+ While Philip was thus engaged in Triphylia, Chilon the
Lacedaemonian, holding that the kingship belonged to him in virtue
of birth, 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 the 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.

[Sidenote: Decline of Sparta.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 800(?)-B.C. 371.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 236-222.]

The fact is that the Lacedaemonians enjoyed a most excellent
constitution, and had a most extensive 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, 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 great part of it since, has been recorded by
many in terms of eulogy or the reverse; but the part of that history
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.

[Sidenote: Apelles opposes Aratus, Jan.-May, B.C. 218.]

[Sidenote: May, B.C. 218.]

[Sidenote: Election of Eperatus as Achaean Strategus.]

+82.+ Meanwhile Philip left Megalopolis, and marching by way of Tegea
arrived at Argos, and there spent the rest of the winter, 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. With this purpose, he persuaded Philip to be at
Aegium at the time of the Achaean election, on 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; 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.

[Sidenote: Capture of the Wall, and expedition into Elis.]

+83.+ This over, the king departed by way of Patrae and Dyme, and
arrived with his army before the fortress called the Wall, 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.

[Sidenote: The intrigue of Apelles.]

+84.+ Meanwhile Apelles, thinking that, by the election of the Achaean
Strategus through his influence, 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
dismissed 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.”

[Sidenote: The king investigates the charge against Aratus.]

+85.+ Regarding the matter as important, the first step the king took
was to summon the elder and younger 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 ascertaining the
real truth, before making any statement in regard to these matters to
the Achaeans.”

[Sidenote: Aratus is cleared.]

+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 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 may 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.


[Sidenote: May, B.C. 218.]

+1.+ The year of office as Strategus of the younger Aratus had now
come to an end with the rising of the Pleiades; 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.

[Sidenote: Recognition of Philip’s services by the assembly of the
Achaean league.]

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. 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
facts 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.

[Sidenote: The king prepares to carry on the war by sea.]

+2.+ Having passed this decree, the Achaeans dispersed to their various
cities. And now the king’s forces mustered again from their winter
quarters; 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.”

[Sidenote: Fresh intrigue of Apelles.]

[Sidenote: Philip starts on his naval expedition, B.C. 218.]

The king, then, and the main body of the Macedonian army, remained in
Corinth, busied with these practisings and preparations for taking
the sea. 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. 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.

[Sidenote: The siege of Palus.]

+3.+ Just at that time the Aetolian Strategus Dorimachus sent Agelaus
and Scopas with five hundred Neo-Cretans[247] 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 of 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. 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 seaboards 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.

[Sidenote: Arrival of the allies at Palus.]

[Sidenote: The walls are undermined and a breach made. Leontius plays
the traitor.]

While the king was engaged in these operations fifty galleys arrived
from Scerdilaidas, who had been prevented 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 themselves 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 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.

[Sidenote: Ambassadors from Acarnania urge Philip to invade Aetolia;
others from Messenia beg him to come there.]

[Sidenote: Philip decides on the invasion of Aetolia.]

+5.+ Meanwhile Lycurgus had invaded Messenia; and Dorimachus had
started for Thessaly with half the 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 the 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. 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 himself collected the guides, and made careful
inquiries of them about the country and neighbouring towns.

[Sidenote: Philip is joined by the Acarnanians, and marches to the

+6.+ Before they started, Aristophanes the Acarnanian Strategus arrived
with the full levy of his people. 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.

[Sidenote: Leontius tries to hinder the march.]

+7.+ Leontius saw that it was likely that the king would attain his
object, and the Aetolians be unable to resist him, 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 preparations 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.

[Sidenote: The king crosses the Achelous and advances against Thermus.]

The king was now thoroughly annoyed with Leontius: and accepting the
advice of Aratus, continued his march without interruption; 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.

[Sidenote: The plundering of Thermus.]

+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, 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, 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

[Sidenote: Sacrilege committed at Thermus. Was it justifiable?]

+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. For
remembering what the Aetolians had done at Dium[250] 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 composed 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

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

[Sidenote: B.C. 338.]

+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, 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 measures, 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.

[Sidenote: B.C. 335.]

[Sidenote: The subsequent decline in Philip’s character.]

Again in the case of Alexander the Great. He was so enraged with the
Thebans that he sold all the 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, 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 with 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.

[Sidenote: The error of such sacrilege as a matter of policy.]

But the best way of appreciating the gravity of Philip’s mistake is
to put before our eyes the idea which 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 Philip 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.

[Sidenote: The blame chiefly belongs to Demetrius of Pharos.]

Perhaps, however, one ought not to lay all the blame for what was
done on that occasion on Philip, 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.

[Sidenote: The return of Philip from Thermus.]

[Sidenote: Matape.]

[Sidenote: Acrae.]

[Sidenote: Stratus.]

+13.+ To return then to Philip. Taking with him as much booty living
and dead as he could, he started 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, 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, 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, he advanced to the city called Acrae; next day to Conope,
ravaging the country as he passed, and there encamped for the night.
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.

[Sidenote: Philip victorious in a skirmish with the garrison of

[Sidenote: Arrival at Limnaea.]

+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; 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 being 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Megaleas and Leontius betray their chagrin at the king’s

[Sidenote: They assault Aratus.]

[Sidenote: Megaleas and Crinon held to bail.]

+15.+ Still they came to the banquet, where they from the first excited
the suspicions of the king and the rest of the company, 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 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 his own
tent; but Leontius by some unexplained means slipped away in the crowd.
When informed of what had taken place, 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.

[Sidenote: Arrival at Leucas. Megaleas fined twenty talents.]

+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.

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.

[Sidenote: Lycurgus of Sparta attacks Tegea.]

+17.+ About the same time Lycurgus returned from Messenia without
having accomplished anything of importance. 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.

[Sidenote: Elis.]

The Eleans after overrunning Dymaea, gained an easy victory over some
cavalry that had come out to resist them, 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.

[Sidenote: Dorimachus recalled from Thessaly by Philip’s invasion of

Dorimachus had made his expedition originally, as I have already
mentioned, under the conviction that 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.

[Sidenote: Philip arrives at Corinth.]

Meanwhile the king set sail from Leucas; and after ravaging the
territory of Oeanthe as he coasted along, 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

[Sidenote: Tegea.]

[Sidenote: Amyclae and Sparta.]

[Sidenote: Dismay at Sparta.]

+18.+ Then, without making any stay in Corinth, he gave the 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 the Lacedaemonians before they became
aware of it. Thus after a circuitous route through an uninhabited
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, 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.

[Sidenote: Helos.]

[Sidenote: Gythium.]

[Sidenote: Carnium.]

+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 as he went. After devastating
the neighbouring districts for the two following days, he encamped
near 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. 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. 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

[Sidenote: Abortive attempt of the Messenians to join Philip.]

[Sidenote: Lycurgus resolves to intercept Philip on his return at the
pass opposite Sparta.]

+20.+ On the receipt of the despatch from Philip commanding the
levy, the Messenians were no less forward 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 advancing 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Value of local knowledge.]

But lest ignorance of the locality should render my story
unintelligible and vague, I must describe its natural features and
general position: 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 harbours 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.

[Sidenote: The position of Sparta and the neighbouring heights.]

[Sidenote: The dispositions of Lycurgus.]

+22.+ These then are the features of the country in question. Sparta,
as a whole, is in the shape of a circle; 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. 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.

[Sidenote: Philip succeeds in baffling Lycurgus.]

Philip perceived these difficulties, and after consultation with
his friends decided that the matter of most 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, and 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.

[Sidenote: Philip’s strong position.]

[Sidenote: Sellasia, B.C. 222.]

[Sidenote: Philip proceeds to Tegea, where he is visited by ambassadors
from Rhodes and Chios seeking to end the Aetolian war.]

+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, 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 of 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. 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 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

[Sidenote: Treason of Megaleas and Ptolemy.]

+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 the _Agema_,[255] by suggesting to them that they were
risking their all, and getting none of their just rights, nor receiving
the booty which, 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

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.

[Sidenote: Apelles sent for by Leontius.]

[Sidenote: Apelles rebuffed by the king.]

[Sidenote: Courtiers.]

+26.+ After this outbreak the king’s schemes in Phocis met with
certain impediments which prevented their present execution. 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 and 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.
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; 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.

[Sidenote: Flight of Megaleas.]

[Sidenote: Leontius put to death.]

+27.+ The expedition to Phocis proving a failure, the king 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. 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 guards[256]
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, 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.

[Sidenote: A thirty days' truce offered by the Aetolians through the
Rhodian and Chian ambassadors.]

[Sidenote: Treason of Megaleas detected. His arrest and suicide.]

[Sidenote: Death of Appelles.]

+28.+ Presently the ambassadors of Rhodes and Chios returned from
Aetolia. They had agreed to a truce of thirty days, 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 accepted the truce and wrote letters
to the allies, bidding them send assessors and commissioners to discuss
the terms with the Aetolians; 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: 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.

[Sidenote: Failure of the negotiations with the Aetolians.]

+29.+ Now the Aetolians were at first very anxious for the ratification
of a peace, because they found the war burdensome, 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 him 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

[Sidenote: B.C. 218. Review of the events of the year in Italy, Asia,

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. 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.

[Sidenote: Winter of B.C. 218-217.]

[Sidenote: Disorder in Achaia owing to the incompetence of the
Strategus Eperatus.]

[Sidenote: May, B.C. 217. Aratus the elder elected Strategus.]

+30.+ When the next winter came, Philip having departed to Macedonia,
and the Achaean Strategus 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 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 difficulties 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. 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

[Sidenote: 140th Olympiad, Asia.]

Such was the position of affairs in Europe. We have now arrived at a
proper juncture, both of events and of time, 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 ventured 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, 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.

[Sidenote: Death of Ptolemy Euergetes, B.C. 222.]

+34.+ Immediately after his father’s death, Ptolemy Philopator put his
brother Magas and his partisans to death, 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
an 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

[Sidenote: Cleomenes endeavours to get assistance from the Egyptian

+35.+ As long as Euergetes was alive, with whom he had agreed to make
an alliance and confederacy, Cleomenes took no steps. 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 of 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.

[Sidenote: The reason of the opposition of Sosibius.]

+36.+ While engaged in effecting the destruction of Magas and Berenice,
his anxiety at the possible failure of his attempt, 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 every 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.

[Sidenote: The intrigue of Sosibius against Cleomenes.]

+37.+ These feelings now moved him to advise the king and his friends
above all things to arrest and incarcerate 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
he 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.

[Sidenote: Cleomenes put under arrest.]

+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. 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 he 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!”

[Sidenote: Bold attempt of Cleomenes to recover his liberty. His
failure and death, B.C. 220.]

+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; and on this pretext
entertained his own attendants at a banquet, and sent out some flesh
of the sacrificial victims, some garlands, and some wine to his
guards. The latter indulged in these good things unsuspiciously, and
became completely drunk; whereupon Cleomenes walked out about noon,
accompanied by his friends and servants armed with daggers, without
being noticed by his guard. As the party advanced they met Ptolemy in
the street, who had been left by the king in charge of the city; and
overawing his attendants by the audacity of his proceeding, dragged
Ptolemy himself from his chariot and put him in a place of security,
while they loudly called upon the crowds of citizens to assert their
freedom. But every one was unprepared for the movement, and therefore
no one obeyed their summons or joined them; and they accordingly turned
their steps to the citadel, with the intention of bursting open the
doors and obtaining the help of the prisoners confined there. But the
commanders of the citadel were on the alert, and learning what was
going to take place had secured the entrance gate: having therefore
failed in this design they killed themselves like brave men and

Such was the end of Cleomenes: a man of brilliant social qualities,
with a natural aptitude for affairs, and, in a word, endued with all
the qualifications of a general and a king.

[Sidenote: B.C. 220-219. The origin of the war in Coele-Syria.]

+40.+ Shortly after the catastrophe of Cleomenes, the governor of
Coele-Syria, who was an Aetolian by birth, resolved to hold treasonable
parley with Antiochus and put the cities of that province into his
hands. He was induced to take this step partly by the contempt with
which Ptolemy’s shameful debauchery and general conduct had inspired
him; and partly by distrust of the king’s ministers, which he had
learned to entertain in the course of the recent attempt of Antiochus
upon Coele-Syria: for in that campaign he had rendered signal service
to Ptolemy, and yet, far from receiving any thanks for it, he had been
summoned to Alexandria and barely escaped losing his life. The advances
which he now made to Antiochus were gladly received, and the affair was
soon in the course of being rapidly completed.

But I must make my readers acquainted with the position of the royal
family of Syria as I have already done with that of Egypt; and in order
to do so, I will go back to the succession of Antiochus to the throne,
and give a summary of events from that point to the beginning of the
war of which I am to speak.

[Sidenote: B.C. 226.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 223. See 4, 48.]

Antiochus was the younger son of Seleucus Callinicus; and on the
death of his father, and the succession in right of seniority of his
brother Seleucus to the throne, he at first removed to upper Asia
and lived there. But Seleucus having been treacherously assassinated
after crossing Mount Taurus with his army, as I have already related,
he succeeded to the throne himself; and made Achaeus governor of Asia
on this side Taurus, Molon and his brother Alexander guardians of his
dominions in upper Asia,—Molon acting as Satrap of Media, his brother
of Persia.

[Sidenote: Revolt of Molon.]

+41.+ These two brothers despising the king for his youth, and hoping
that Achaeus would join in their treason, but most of all because
they dreaded the cruel character and malign influence of Hermeias,
who was at that time the chief minister of the entire kingdom, formed
the design of revolting themselves and causing the upper Satrapies to
revolt also.

[Sidenote: Intrigues of Hermeias.]

This Hermeias was a Carian and had obtained his power by the
appointment of the king’s brother Seleucus, who had entrusted it to him
when he was setting out on his expedition to the Taurus. Invested with
this authority he at once began to display jealousy of all those about
the court who were in any way prominent; and being cruel by nature he
inflicted punishment on some for acts of ignorance, on which he always
managed to place the worst interpretation; while against others he
brought trumped-up and lying charges, and then acted towards them the
part of an inflexible and harsh judge. But his chief end and object was
to secure the destruction of Epigenes who had brought home the forces
which had accompanied Seleucus; because he saw that he was a man of
eloquence and practical ability, and highly acceptable to the army.
With this design he was ever on the watch to lay hold of some handle
or pretext against him. Accordingly when a council was summoned on
the subject of Molon’s revolt, and when the king bade each councillor
deliver his opinion on the measures to be taken against the rebels,
Epigenes spoke first and urged that “there ought to be no delay,
but the matter should be taken in hand at once; and that, first and
foremost, the king should go in person to the district, and be ready
to seize the right moments for action. For the actual presence of the
king, and his appearance at the head of an army before the eyes of the
common people, would prevent the party of Molon from venturing upon
revolutionary measures at all; or if they had the audacity to do so,
and persisted in their design, they would be quickly arrested by the
populace and handed over into the king’s power.”

+42.+ While Epigenes was still speaking in this strain, Hermeias, in
a burst of rage, exclaimed, “That Epigenes had long been secretly
plotting treason against the king; but that now he had happily shown
his real sentiments by the advice which he had given, proving how eager
he was to expose the king’s person to the rebels with an insignificant
guard.” For the present he was content with making this insinuation as
fuel for a future outburst of slander, and without further reference
to Epigenes, after what was rather an ill-timed ebullition of temper
than serious hostility, he delivered his own opinion; which, from his
fear of the danger and his inexperience in war, was against undertaking
the expedition against Molon personally, but was warmly in favour of
an attack upon Ptolemy, because he was of opinion that this latter war
would involve no danger, owing to that monarch’s cowardly character.
For the present he overawed the rest of the council into agreement
with him and he thereupon sent Xenon and Theodotus Hemiolius with an
army against Molon; while he employed himself in continually inciting
Antiochus to undertake the expedition into Coele-Syria: thinking that
it was only by involving the young king in war on every side that he
could escape punishment for his past misdeeds, and avoid being deprived
of his position of authority, for the king would have need of his
services when he found himself surrounded by struggles and dangers.
With this object in view, he finally hit on the device of forging a
letter, which he presented to the king as having been sent by Achaeus.
In it Achaeus was made to state that “Ptolemy had urged him to assert
his right to the government and promised to supply him with ships and
money for all his attempts, if he would only take the crown, and come
forward in the sight of all the world as a claimant of the sovereign
power; which he already possessed, in fact, though he grudged himself
the title, and rejected the crown which fortune gave him.”

This letter successfully imposed on the king, who became ready and
eager to go on the expedition against Coele-Syria.

[Sidenote: Marriage of Antiochus III.]

+43.+ While this was going on, Antiochus happened to be at Seleucia,
on the Zeugma, when the Navarchus Diognetus arrived from Cappadocia,
on the Euxine, bringing Laodice, the daughter of king Mithridates,
an unmarried girl, destined to be the king’s wife. This Mithridates
boasted of being a descendant of one of the seven Persians who killed
the Magus,[261] and he had maintained the sovereignty handed down from
his ancestors, as it had been originally given to them by Darius along
the shore of the Euxine. Having gone to meet the princess with all
due pomp and splendour, Antiochus immediately celebrated his nuptials
with royal magnificence. The marriage having been completed, he went
to Antioch, and after proclaiming Laodice queen, devoted himself
thenceforth to making preparation for the war.

[Sidenote: Molon.]

Meanwhile Molon had prepared the people of his own Satrapy to go all
lengths, partly by holding out to them hopes of advantages to be
gained, and partly by working on the fears of their chief men, by
means of forged letters purporting to be from the king, and couched
in threatening terms. He had also a ready coadjutor in his brother
Alexander; and had secured the co-operation of the neighbouring
Satrapies, by winning the goodwill of their leading men with bribes.
It was, therefore, at the head of a large force that he took the
field against the royal generals. Terrified at his approach Xenon
and Theodotus retired into the cities; and Molon, having secured the
territory of Apollonia, had now a superabundance of supplies.

[Sidenote: Description of Media.]

+44.+ But, indeed, even before that he was a formidable enemy owing to
the importance of his province. For the whole of the royal horses out
at grass are entrusted to the Medes;[262] and they have an incalculable
quantity of corn and cattle. Of the natural strength and extent of
the district it would be impossible to speak highly enough. For Media
lies nearly in the centre of Asia and in its size, and in the height
of its steppes compares favourably with every other district of Asia.
And again it overlooks some of the most warlike and powerful tribes. On
the east lie the plains of the desert which intervenes between Persia
and Parthia; and, moreover, it borders on and commands the “Caspian
Gates,” and touches the mountains of the Tapyri, which are not far from
the Hyrcanian Sea. On the south it slopes down to Mesopotamia and the
territory of Apollonia. It is protected from Persia by the barrier of
Mount Zagrus, which has an ascent of a hundred stades, and containing
in its range many separate peaks and defiles is subdivided by deep
valleys, and at certain points by cañons, inhabited by Cosseans,
Corbrenians, Carchi, and several other barbarous tribes who have
the reputation of being excellent warriors. Again on the west it is
coterminous with the tribe called Satrapeii, who are not far from the
tribes which extend as far as the Euxine. Its northern frontier is
fringed by Elymaeans, Aniaracae, Cadusii, and Matiani, and overlooks
that part of the Pontus which adjoins the Maeotis. Media itself is
subdivided by several mountain chains running from east to west,
between which are plains thickly studded with cities and villages.

[Sidenote: Molon takes up arms.]

+45.+ Being masters, then, of a territory of proportions worthy of a
kingdom, his great power had made Molon from the first a formidable
enemy: but when the royal generals appeared to have abandoned the
country to him, and his own forces were elated at the successful issue
of their first hopes, the terror which he inspired became absolute, and
he was believed by the Asiatics to be irresistible. Taking advantage
of this, he first of all resolved to cross the Tigris and lay siege to
Seleucia; but when his passage across the river was stopped by Zeuxis
seizing the river boats, he retired to the camp at Ctesiphon, and set
about preparing winter quarters for his army.

[Sidenote: Xenoetas sent against Molon, B.C. 221.]

[Sidenote: King Antiochus in Coele-Syria.]

When King Antiochus heard of Molon’s advance and the retreat of his
own generals, he was once more for giving up the expedition against
Ptolemy, and going in person on the campaign against Molon, and not
letting slip the proper time for action. But Hermeias persisted in his
original plan, and despatched the Achaean Xenoetas against Molon, in
command of an army, with full powers; asserting that against rebels it
was fitting that generals should have the command; but that the king
ought to confine himself to directing plans and conducting national
wars against monarchs. Having therefore the young king entirely in
his power, owing to his age, he set out; and having mustered the army
at Apameia he started thence and arrived at Laodiceia. Advancing from
that time with his whole army, the king crossed the desert and entered
the cañon called Marsyas, which lies between the skirts of Libanus
and Anti-Libanus, and is contracted into a narrow gorge by those two
mountains. Just where the valley is narrowest it is divided by marshes
and lakes, from which the scented reed is cut.

+46.+ On one side of the entrance to this pass lies a place called
Brochi, on the other Gerrha, which leave but a narrow space between
them. After a march of several days through this cañon, and subduing
the towns that lay along it, Antiochus arrived at Gerrha. Finding that
Theodotus the Aetolian had already occupied Gerrha and Brochi, and had
secured the narrow road by the lakes with ditches and palisades and a
proper disposition of guards, the king at first tried to carry the pass
by force; but after sustaining more loss than he inflicted, and finding
that Theodotus remained still stanch, he gave up the attempt. In the
midst of these difficulties news was brought that Xenoetas had suffered
a total defeat and that Molon was in possession of all the upper
country: he therefore abandoned his foreign expedition and started to
relieve his own dominions.

[Sidenote: Xenoetas at first successful.]

The fact was that when the general Xenoetas had been despatched with
absolute powers, as I have before stated, his unexpected elevation
caused him to treat his friends with haughtiness and his enemies with
overweening temerity. His first move however was sufficiently prudent.
He marched to Seleucia, and after sending for Diogenes the governor of
Susiana, and Pythiades the commander in the Persian Gulf, he led out
his forces and encamped with the river Tigris protecting his front. But
there he was visited by many men from Molon’s camp, who swam across
the river and assured him that, if he would only cross the Tigris, the
whole of Molon’s army would declare for him; for the common soldiers
were jealous of Molon and warmly disposed towards the king. Xenoetas
was encouraged by these statements to attempt the passage of the
Tigris. He made a feint of bridging the river at a spot where it is
divided by an island; but as he was getting nothing ready for such an
operation, Molon took no notice of his pretended move; while he was
really occupied in collecting boats and getting them ready with every
possible care. Then having selected the most courageous men, horse and
foot, from his entire army, he left Zeuxis and Pythiades in charge of
his camp, and marched up stream at night about eighty stades above
Molon’s camp; and having got his force safely over in boats, encamped
them before daybreak in an excellent position, nearly surrounded by the
river, and covered where there was no river by marshes and swamps.

+47.+ When Molon learnt what had taken place, he sent his cavalry,
under the idea that they would easily stop those who were actually
crossing, and ride down those who had already crossed. But as soon as
they got near Xenoetas’s force, their ignorance of the ground proved
fatal to them without any enemy to attack them; for they got immersed
by their own weight, and sinking in the lakes were all rendered
useless, while many of them actually lost their lives. Xenoetas,
however, feeling sure that if he only approached, Molon’s forces would
all desert to him, advanced along the bank of the river and pitched
a camp close to the enemy. Thereupon Molon, either as a stratagem,
or because he really felt some doubt of the fidelity of his men, and
was afraid that some of Xenoetas’s expectations might be fulfilled,
left his baggage in his camp and started under cover of night in the
direction of Media. Xenoetas, imagining that Molon had fled in terror
at his approach, and because he distrusted the fidelity of his own
troops, first attacked and took the enemy’s camp, and then sent for
his own cavalry and their baggage from the camp of Zeuxis. He next
summoned the soldiers to a meeting, and told them that they should feel
encouraged and hopeful now that Molon had fled. With this preface,
he ordered them all to attend to their bodily wants and refresh
themselves; as he intended without delay to go in pursuit of the enemy
early next morning.

[Sidenote: Molon returns to his camp.]

+48.+ But the soldiers, filled with confidence, and enriched with
every kind of provisions, eagerly turned to feasting and wine and the
demoralisation which always accompanies such excesses. But Molon,
after marching a considerable distance, caused his army to get their
dinner, and then wheeling round reappeared at the camp. He found all
the enemy scattered about and drunk, and attacked their palisade just
before daybreak. Dismayed by this unexpected danger, and unable to
awake his men from their drunken slumber, Xenoetas and his staff rushed
furiously upon the enemy and were killed. Of the sleeping soldiers most
were killed in their beds, while the rest threw themselves into the
river and endeavoured to cross to the opposite camp. The greater part
however even of these perished; for in the blind hurry and confusion
which prevailed, and in the universal panic and dismay, seeing the camp
on the other side divided by so narrow a space, they all forgot the
violence of the stream, and the difficulty of crossing it, in their
eagerness to reach a place of safety. In wild excitement therefore,
and with a blind instinct of self-preservation, they not only hurled
themselves into the river, but threw their beasts of burden in also,
with their packs, as though they thought that the river by some
providential instinct would take their part and convey them safely to
the opposite camp. The result was that the stream presented a truly
pitiable and extraordinary spectacle,—horses, beasts of burden, arms,
corpses, and every kind of baggage being carried down the current along
with the swimmers.

[Sidenote: Molon’s successful campaign. B.C. 221.]

Having secured the camp of Xenoetas, Molon crossed the river in perfect
safety and without any resistance, as Zeuxis also now fled at his
approach; took possession of the latter’s camp, and then advanced with
his whole army to Seleucia; carried it at the first assault, Zeuxis and
Diomedon the governor of the place both abandoning it and flying; and
advancing from this place reduced the upper Satrapies to submission
without a blow. That of Babylon fell next, and then the Satrapy which
lay along the Persian Gulf. This brought him to Susa, which he also
carried without a blow; though his assaults upon the citadel proved
unavailing, because Diogenes the general had thrown himself into it
before he could get there. He therefore abandoned the idea of carrying
it by storm, and leaving a detachment to lay siege to it, hurried back
with his main army to Seleucia on the Tigris. There he took great pains
to refresh his army, and after addressing his men in encouraging terms
he started once more to complete his designs, and occupied Parapotamia
as far as the city Europus, and Mesopotamia as far as Dura.

[Sidenote: Epigenes put to death by the intrigues of Hermeias.]

+49.+ When news of these events was brought to Antiochus, as I have
said before, he gave up all idea of the Coele-Syrian campaign, and
turned all his attention to this war. Another meeting of his council
was thereupon summoned: and on the king ordering the members of it to
deliver their opinions as to the tactics to be employed against Molon,
the first to speak on the business was again Epigenes: who said that
“his advice should have been followed all along, and measures have been
promptly taken before the enemy had obtained such important successes:
still even at this late hour they ought to take it in hand resolutely.”
Thereupon Hermeias broke out again into an unreasonable and violent fit
of anger and began to heap abuse upon Epigenes; and while belauding
himself in a fulsome manner, brought accusations against Epigenes that
were absurd as well as false. He ended by adjuring the king not to be
diverted from his purpose without better reason, nor to abandon his
hopes in Coele-Syria. This advice was ill-received by the majority of
the council, and displeasing to Antiochus himself; and, accordingly,
as the king showed great anxiety to reconcile the two men, Hermeias
was at length induced to put an end to his invectives. The council
decided by a majority that the course recommended by Epigenes was the
most practical and advantageous, and a resolution was come to that the
king should go on the campaign against Molon, and devote his attention
to that. Thereupon Hermeias promptly made a hypocritical pretence of
having changed his mind and remarking that it was the duty of all to
acquiesce loyally in the decision, made a great show of readiness and
activity in pushing on the preparations.

+50.+ The forces, however, having been mustered at Apameia, upon a kind
of mutiny arising among the common soldiers, on account of some arrears
of pay, Hermeias, observing the king to be in a state of anxiety, and
to be alarmed at the disturbance at so critical a moment, offered to
discharge all arrears, if the king would only consent to Epigenes
not accompanying the expedition; on the ground that nothing could be
properly managed in the army when such angry feelings, and such party
spirit, had been excited. The proposal was very displeasing to the
king, who was exceedingly anxious that Epigenes should accompany him on
the campaign, owing to his experience in the field; but he was bound
so completely hand and foot, and entangled by the craft of Hermeias,
his skilful finance, constant watchfulness, and designing flattery,
that he was not his own master; and accordingly he yielded to the
necessity of the moment and consented to his demand. When Epigenes
thereupon retired, as he was bidden, the members of the council were
too much afraid of incurring displeasure to remonstrate; while the
army generally, by a revulsion of feeling, turned with gratitude to
the man to whom they owed the settlement of their claims for pay. The
Cyrrhestae were the only ones that stood out: and they broke out into
open mutiny, and for some time occasioned much trouble; but, being
at last conquered by one of the king’s generals, most of them were
killed, and the rest submitted to the king’s mercy. Hermeias having
thus secured the allegiance of his friends by fear, and of the troops
by being of service to them, started on the expedition in company with
the king; while in regard to Epigenes he elaborated the following plot,
with the assistance of Alexis, the commander of the citadel of Apameia.
He wrote a letter purporting to have been sent from Molon to Epigenes,
and persuaded one of the latter’s servants, by holding out the hope of
great rewards, to take it to the house of Epigenes, and mix it with his
other papers. Immediately after this had been done, Alexis came to the
house and asked Epigenes whether he had not received certain letters
from Molon; and, upon his denial, demanded in menacing terms to be
allowed to search. Having entered, he quickly discovered the letter,
which he availed himself of as a pretext for putting Epigenes to death
on the spot. By this means the king was persuaded to believe that
Epigenes had justly forfeited his life; and though the courtiers had
their suspicions, they were afraid to say anything.

[Sidenote: B.C. 221-220. Antiochus advances through Mesopotamia.]

+51.+ When Antiochus had reached the Euphrates, and had taken over the
force stationed there, he once more started on his march and got as far
as Antioch, in Mygdonia, about mid-winter, and there remained until the
worst of the winter should be over. Thence after a stay of forty days
he advanced to Libba. Molon was now in the neighbourhood of Babylon:
and Antiochus consulted his council as to the route to be pursued,
the tactics to be adopted, and the source from which provisions could
best be obtained for his army on the march in their expedition against
Molon. The proposal of Hermeias was to march along the Tigris, with
this river, and the Lycus and Caprus, on their flank. Zeuxis, having
the fate of Epigenes before his eyes, was in a state of painful doubt
whether to speak his real opinion or no; but as the mistake involved
in the advice of Hermeias was flagrant, he at last mustered courage
to advise that the Tigris should be crossed; alleging as a reason the
general difficulty of the road along the river: especially from the
fact that, after a considerable march, the last six days of which
would be through a desert, they would reach what was called the
“King’s Dyke,” which it would be impossible to cross if they found it
invested by the enemy; while a retirement by a second march through
the wilderness would be manifestly dangerous, especially as their
provisions would be sure to be running short. On the other hand he
showed that if they crossed the Tigris it was evident the Apolloniates
would repent of their treason and join the king; for even as it was
they had submitted to Molon, not from choice, but under compulsion
and terror; and the fertility of their soil promised abundance of
provisions for the troops. But his most weighty argument was that by
their thus acting Molon would be cut off from a return to Media, and
from drawing supplies from that country, and would thereby be compelled
to risk a general action: or, if he refused to do so, his troops would
promptly fix their hopes upon the king.

[Sidenote: Antiochus crosses the Tigris.]

+52.+ The suggestion of Zeuxis being approved, the army was immediately
arranged in three divisions, and got across with the baggage at three
points in the river. Thence they marched in the direction of Dura,
where they quickly caused the siege of the citadel to be raised, which
was being invested at the time by some of Molon’s officers; and thence,
after a march of eight successive days, they crossed the mountain
called Oreicum and arrived at Apollonia.

[Sidenote: Molon also crosses the Tigris.]

[Sidenote: Abortive attempt of Molon to make a night attack on the

Meanwhile Molon had heard of the king’s arrival, and not feeling
confidence in the inhabitants of Susiana and Babylonia, because he
had conquered them so recently and by surprise, fearing also to be
cut off from a retreat to Media, he determined to throw a bridge over
the Tigris and get his army across; being eager if it were possible
to secure the mountain district of Apollonia, because he had great
confidence in his corps of slingers called Cyrtii. He carried out his
resolution, and was pushing forward in an unbroken series of forced
marches. Thus it came about that, just as he was entering the district
of Apollonia, the king at the head of his whole army was marching out.
The advanced guard of skirmishers of the two armies fell in with each
other on some high ground, and at first engaged and made trial of each
other’s strength; but upon the main armies on either side coming on
to the ground, they separated. For the present both retired to their
respective entrenchments, and encamped at a distance of forty stades
from each other. When night had fallen, Molon reflected that there
was some risk and disadvantage in a battle by broad daylight and in
the open field between rebels and their sovereign, and he determined
therefore to attack Antiochus by night. Selecting the best and most
vigorous of his soldiers, he made a considerable détour, with the
object of making his attack from higher ground. But having learnt
during his march that ten young men had deserted in a body to the king,
he gave up his design, and facing right about returned in haste to his
own entrenchment where he arrived about daybreak. His arrival caused a
panic in the army; for the troops in the camp, startled out of their
sleep by the arrival of the returning men, were very near rushing out
of the lines.

[Sidenote: Disposition of the king’s army.]

+53.+ But while Molon was doing his best to calm the panic, the king,
fully prepared for the engagement, was marching his whole army out of
their lines at daybreak. On his right wing he stationed his lancers
under the command of Ardys, a man of proved ability in the field; next
to them the Cretan allies, and next the Gallic Rhigosages. Next these
he placed the foreign contingent and mercenary soldiers from Greece,
and next to them he stationed his phalanx: the left wing he assigned to
the cavalry called the “Companions.”[263] His elephants, which were ten
in number, he placed at intervals in front of the line. His reserves of
infantry and cavalry he divided between the two wings, with orders to
outflank the enemy as soon as the battle had begun. He then went along
the line and addressed a few words of exhortation to the men suitable
to the occasion; and put Hermeias and Zeuxis in command of the left
wing, taking that of the right himself.

[Sidenote: Molon’s disposition.]

On the other side, owing to the panic caused by his rash movement of
the previous night, Molon was unable to get his men out of camp, or
into position without difficulty and confusion. He did however divide
his cavalry between his two wings, guessing what the disposition of the
enemy would be; and stationed the scutati and Gauls, and in short all
his heavy-armed men in the space between the two bodies of cavalry. His
archers, slingers, and all such kind of troops he placed on the outer
flank of the cavalry on either wing; while his scythed chariots he
placed at intervals in front of his line. He gave his brother Neolaus
command of the left wing, taking that of the right himself.

[Sidenote: Death of Molon and his fellow-conspirators.]

+54.+ When the two armies advanced to the battle, Molon’s right wing
remained faithful to him, and vigorously engaged the division of
Zeuxis; but the left wing no sooner came within sight of the king than
it deserted to the enemy: the result of which was that Molon’s army was
thrown into consternation, while the king’s troops were inspired with
redoubled confidence. When Molon comprehended what had taken place,
and found himself surrounded on every side, reflecting on the tortures
which would be inflicted upon him if he were taken alive, h