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Ruins of ancient cities : with general and particular accounts of their rise, fall, and present condition (Volume 1) online

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* Elmanim ; Sonnini ; Browne ; firewater ; Clarke ; Encyclop.
Londinensis : Rees ; Wilkinson.


nibal, who had the art of taking all advantntres. had
posted himself so as the south wind should lilow
directly in the faces of the Romans during the fight*,
and eovrr them with dust. Then keeping the rivtr
Aufidus on his left, and posting his cavalry on the
winirs he formed his main body of the Spanish
and Gallic infantry, which he posted in the centre,
with half the African heavy armed foot on the right,
and half on their left, on the same line with the
cavalry. His army being thus drawn up, he put
himself at the head of the Spanish and Gallic infantry,
and having drawn themselves out in a line, advanced
to begin the battle, rounding his front as he advanced
near the enemy. The fight soon began, and the
Roman legions that were in the wings, seeing their
centre firmly attacked, advanced to charge the enemy
in flank. Hannibal's main body, after a brave resist-
ance, finding themselves furiously attacked on all
sides, gave way, being overpowered in numbers. The
Romans having pursued them with eager confusion,
the two wings of the African infantry, which was
fresh, well armed, and in good order, wheeled about
on a sudden towards that void space in which the
Romans had thrown themselves in disorder, and
attacked them vigorously on both sides without
allowing them time to recover themselves, or leaving
them ground to draw up. In the mean time, the
two wings of the cavalry having defeated those of the
Romans, which were much inferior to them, advanced
and charged the rest of the Roman infantry, which
being surrounded at once on every side by the ene-
my's horse and foot, was all cut to pieces, after having
fought with great bravery, ^milius being covered
with wounds, he received in the fight, was afterwards
killed by a body of the enemy to whom he was not
known. Above seventy thousand men fell in this
~~ Rofl!n.~


battle ; and the Carthaginians, so great was tlu'ir
fury, did not give over the slaughter till Hannibal,
in the very heat of it, cried out to them several
times, " Stop, soldiers, spare the vanquished." Ten
thousand men, who had been left to guard the
camps, surrendered themselves prisoners of war
after the battle. Varro, the consul, retired to Venusia
with only seventy horse ; and about four thousand
men escaped into the neighbouring cities. Hannibal
remained master of the field, he being chiefly indebted
for this, as well as for his former victories, to the
superiority of his cavalry over the Romans. Maherbal,
one of the Carthaginian generals, advised Hannibal to
inarch directly to Rome, promising him that within
five days they should sup in the capital. Hannibal,
answering, that it was an affair that required mature
examination " I see," replies Maherbal, " that the
gods have not endowed the same men with all talents.
You, Hannibal, know how to conquer, but not to
make the best use of a victory." It is pretended
that this delay saved Rome and the empire. Many
authors, and among the rest Livy, charge Hannibal
on this occasion as if guilty of a capital error. But
others, more reserved, are not for condemning without
evident proofs, so renowned a general, who, in the
rest of his conduct, was never wanting either in pru-
dence to make choice of the best expedient, or in
readiness to put his designs in execution. They,
besides, are inclined to judge favourably of him from
the authority, or, at least, the silence of Polybius,
who, speaking of the memorable consequences of this
celebrated battle, says, " That the Carthaginians were
firmly persuaded, that they should possess themselves
of Rome at the first assault :" but then he does not
mention how this could possibly have been effected ;
as that city was very populous, warlike, strongly
fortified, and defended with a garrison of two legions;

208 r IN- nr \\. ii vr CITIES.

nor does he anywli'-iv -ivc tin- hint that such
a project was feasible, or that Hannibal did wrong,
in not attempting to put it in execution.

Soon after the battle of Cannae, Hannibal de-
spatched his brother to Carthage with the news of his
victory; and at the fame time to demand succours, in
order that he might be enabled to put an end to the
war. Mago being arrived, made, in full senate, a
lofty speech, in which he extolled his brother'- \
ploits, and displayed the great advantages he had
gained over the Romans. And to give a more lively
idea of the greatness of the victory, by speaking in
some measure to the eye, he poured out in the middle
of the senate a bushel of gold rings which had l>een
taken from such of the Roman nobility as had fallen
in the battle.

A ridge of low hills *, bare of wood, and laid out
in grass or corn land, confines the river for four mile-,
at the end of which, bounded by knolls, stood the
city of Cannae. The traces of the town, howc\,r.
are very faint, consisting of fragments of altars, cor-
nices, gates, walls, vaults, and under-ground granaries.
" My eyes ranged at large over the vast expanse
of unvariegated plains," says Mr. Swinburne : " all
was silent; not a man, not an, appeared to
enliven the scene. We stood on ruins and over
vaults ; the banks of the river were desert and wild.
My thoughts naturally assumed the tint of the dreary
prospect, as I reflected on the fate of Carthage and of
Rome. Rome recovered from the blow she received
in these fields ; but her liberty, her fame, and tro-
phies, have long been levelled in the dust. Carthage
lies in ruins less discernible than those of the paltry
walls of Canno? ; the very traces of them have almn-t
vanished from the face of the earth. The daring
projects, marches, and exploits of her hero, even the
* Swinburne.


victory, obtained upon this spot, would, like thou-
sands of other human achievements, have been lono-
buried in oblivion, had not his very enemies consigned
him to immortality ; for the annals of Carthage exist
no more."

The peasants showed Mr. Swinburne some spurs
and heads of lances, which had been turned up by the
plough a short time before he visited the spot, and
told him, that horse-loads of armour and weapons had
been found and carried away at different times *.


CAPUA, once the chief city of Campania, was founded
by Capys, who is described as having been the father,
or rather the companion, of Anchises. It was at
one time so opulent, that it was called " the other

Perhaps our readers will have no objection to have
their memories refreshed byan allusion to the mistake,
committed at this place by Hannibal. The details
of it will give some variety to our page. It is thus
related by Rollin, from the luminous page of Livy :
" The battle of Cannae subjected the most powerful
nations of Italy to Hannibal, drew over to his interest
Graecia Magna ; also wrested from the Romans their
most ancient allies, amongst whom the Capuans held
the first rank. This city, by the fertility of its soil,
its advantageous situation^ and the blessings of a long
peace, had risen to great wealth and power. Luxury,
and a flow of pleasures, the usual attendants on wealth,
had corrupted the minds of all the citizens, who, from
their natural inclination, were but too much addicted
to voluptuousness and all excesses. Hannibal made
choice of this city for his winter-quarters. There it
was that his soldiers, who had sustained the most
grievous toils, and braved the most formidable dan-

* Rollin ; Swinburne.


gere, were overthrown by delights and a profusion of
all things, into which they plunged with the gi
eagerness as they, till then, liad been entire strangers
to them. Their courage was so enervated in this
bewitching retirement, that all their aftrr-etlorts
were owing rather to the fame and splendour of their
former victories than to their present strength. When
Hannibal marched his forces out of the city, one
would have taken them for other mm, ami the
reverse of those who had so lately marched into it.
Accustomed, during the winter season, to commo-
dious lodgings, to ease and plenty, they were no
longer able to bear hunger, thirst, long man-lies,
watchings, and the other toils of war ; not to mention
that all obedience, all discipline, were laid aside."

Livy thinks that Hannibal's stay at Capita is a
reproach to his conduct ; and pretends that he there
was guilty of an infinitely greater error than when he
neglected to march directly to Rome after the battle
of Cannae : " For this delay," says Livy, " might
seem only to have retarded his victory ; whereas this
last misconduct rendered him absolutely incapable of
ever defeating the enemy. In a word, as Man dins
observed judiciously afterwards, Capua was to the
Carthaginians and their general, what Canute had
been to the Romans. There their martial genius,
their love of discipline, were lost; there their former
fame, and their almost certain hopes of future glory,
vanished at once, and, indeed, from thenceforth, the
affairs of Hannibal advanced to their decline by swift
steps ; fortune declared in favour of prudence, and
victory seemed now reconciled to the Romans." It is
doubted, however, whether Livy has reason to impute
all these fatal consequences to the agreeable abode at
Capna. It might, indeed, have been one cause, but this
would be a very inconsiderable one ; and the bravery
with which the forces of Hannibal afterwards defeated


the armies of consuls and prietors ; the towns they
took even in sight of the Romans ; their main-
taining their conquests so vigorously, and staying
fourteen years after this in Italy in spite of the
Romans ; all these circumstances may induce us to
believe that Livy lays too much stress on the delights
of Capua. In fact, the chief cause of the decay of
Hannibal's affairs was his want of necessary supplies
and succours from Carthage.

The revolt of Capua to the Carthaginians proved
its ruin ; for when taken by the consuls Fulvius and
Claudius, it was punished for its perfidy. Genseric,
the Vandal, however, was more cruel than the Romans
had been ; for he massacred the inhabitants and burned
the town to the ground. Narses rebuilt it ; but in
84 1 it was totally destroyed by an army of Saracens,
and the inhabitants driven to the mountains *. Some
time after the retreat of these savage invaders, the
Lombards ventured down again into the plain ; but
not deeming their force adequate to the defence of so
great a circuit as the large city, they built themselves
a smaller one on the river, and called it Capua.

In 1501 this new city was taken by storm by the
French, who, according to Guicciardini and Giannone,
committed the most flagitious acts of rapine, lust,
and enormity.

" The amphitheatre of Old Capua," says Mr.
Forsyth, " recals to us the sublime image of Spar-
tacus. It resembles the Coliseum in its form and in
its fate. Both were raised on magnificent designs
negligently executed. Both have suffered from bar-
barians and from modern builders ; but the solitude
of the Campanian ruin has exposed it to greater
dilapidation than the Roman has yet undergone.
Part of its materials has emigrated to modern
Capua ; a part is buried in its own arena. The first

* Swinburne.



order of columns is half interred ; the second has none

Though much defaced by the loss of its marble *,
this structure offers many ornaments peculiar to itself.
It is considerably smaller than the Flavian amphi-
theatre at Rome ; but worthy of the first amon<,' the
second cities of the empire : the monuments still to
be seen on the spot are certainly of a date longposterior
to Capua's independence, and even to that of Roman
liln-rty. The lower order of the amphitheatre is
Tuscan ; the second Doric. What the upper ones
were cannot be ascertaim-tl : on the keystone of each
arcade was the bust of a deity of a colossal size ami
coarse execution, much too massive for the rest of
the work. It had four entrances, and was built of
brick, faced with stone or marble. The little value
set upon brick has preserved it ; while the other
materials have been torn down to mend roads and
build cottages.

" From Caserta," says Mr. Forsyth, " it is but
half an hour's ride to the remains of ancient Capuat.
Some tombs on the road, though ruined and encum-
bered with bushes, display a variety of sepulchral
forms, unknown during the Roman republic. Most
of the Campanian tombs, anterior to Caesar, had been
demolished by his soldiers, while searching for painted
vases; for Capua, though late in learning the ceramic
art, was more productive than the rest of Campania."
Vases have lately been discovered here in great
variety, and antiquaries find out purposes for them
all ; either in the form, or the size, or the painting, or
their own imagination i.


Swinburne. t Fonyth

I Livy ; Rollin ; Swinburne ; Fonyth.



CARTIIAGE was founded by the Tyrians about the
year of the world 3158, and 846 before Christ; that
is, at the period in which Joash was king of Judah.
Its empire lasted about seven hundred years.

The Carthaginians were indebted to the Tyrians
not only for their origin, but their manners, customs,
laws, religion, and their general application to com -
merce. They spoke the same language with the
Tyrians, and these the game with the Canannites and
Israelites ; that is, the Hebrew ; or at least a language
entirely derived from it.

The strict union, which always subsisted between
the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, is remarkable.
When Cambyses had resolved to make war upon the
latter, the Phoenicians, who formed the chief strength
of his fleet, told him plainly, that they could not
serve him against their countrymen : and this decla-
ration obliged that prince to lay aside his design.
The Carthaginians, on their side, were never forgetful
of the country from whence they came, and to which
they owed their origin. They sent regularly every
year to Tyre a ship freighted with presents, as a
quit-rent or acknowledgment, paid to their ancient
country ; and its tutelar gods had an annual sacrifice
offered to them by the Carthaginians, who considered
them as their protectors. They never failed to send
thither the first fruits of their revenues, nor the
tithe of the spoils taken from their enemies, or
offerings to Hercules, one of the principal gods of
Tyre and Carthage.

The foundation of Carthage is ascribed to Elisa, a
Tyrian princess, better known by the name of Dido.
She married her relation, whose name was Sichaeus.
Her brother was Pigmalion, king of Tyre. Sichaeus
being extremely rich, Pigmalion put him to death in


order to sci/.c UJKIM his wealth ; but the plan did not
succeed ; for Dido managed to elude his avarice, 1\
withdrawing from the city with all her husband's
possessions. Taking all these out to sea, she wan-
dered about for some time ; till, coming to the gulf,
on the borders of which Utica stood, about fifteen
miles from Tunis, then but too well known for its
corsairs, she landed for the purpose of considering what
plan it would be proper to pnrsue. Invited by the
liope of profit, the people of the neighbouring country
soon began to frequent the new settlement ; and those
brought others from more distant parts, and the town
soon began to wear an air of importance.

Utica having also been raised by a colony from
Tyre, its inhabitants entered into friendship with the
new comers. They deputed envoys with considerable
presents, and exhorted them to build a city. This
exhortation was seconded by the natives of the coun-
try. All things conspiring to so great an object,
Dido immediately entered into a treaty with the
natives for a certain portion of land, and having
agreed to pay an annual tribute to the Africans for
the ground on which the town was to stand, she
built that celebrated city, so universally known, and
gave it the name of Carthada, or Carthage, a word
signifying the " New City*."

Dido was soon sought in marriage by the king of
Getulia, named larbus. Having determined on never
marrying again, out of compliment to her lost hus-
band, Sichaeus, she desired time for consideration.
We must now follow the true history, and neglect
the false one ; that is, we must follow Justin, and
altogether disregard Virgil ; since, to answer the
purposes of his poem, as well as those of a political
nature, he has fixed the building of Carthage no less

The tale about pnrrhnsing o much land at an ox't hide would
rover, being a lucre poetical Action, i* of course omitted.


than three hundred years before the period in which
it actually occurred.

Justin's account is this* : " larbus, king of the
Mauritanians, sending for ten of the principal Cartha-
ginians, demanded Dido in marriage, threatening to
declare war against her in case of refusal. The
ambassadors, being afraid to deliver the message of
larbus, told her, with punic honesty, that he wanted
to have some person sent him, who was capable of
civilizing and polishing himself and his Africans ;
but there was no possibility of finding any Carthagi-
nian, who would be willing to quit his native place
and kindred, for the conversation of barbarians, who
were as savage as the wildest beasts. Here the
queen, with indignation, interrupted them, asking
if they were not ashamed to refuse living in any
manner which might be beneficial to their country,
to which they owed their lives. They then delivered
the king's message, and bade her set them a pattern,
and sacrifice herself to her country's welfare. Dido,
being thus ensnared, called on Sichaeus, with tears
and lamentations, and answered that she would go
where the fate of her city called her. At the expi-
ration of three months she ascended the fatal pile,
and with her last breath told the spectators, that she
was going to her husband, as they had ordered her."
The first war made by the Carthaginians was
against the Africans, in order to free themselves from
the tribute they had engaged to pay. In this, how-
ever, they were foiled. They afterwards carried
their arms against the Moors and Numidians, and
won conquest from both. They had then a dispute
with Cyrene, on account of their respective limits.
This quarrel was settled without much trouble. They
foon after conquered Sardinia, Majorca, and Minorca.
Then they added many cities in Spain to their

* Lib. xxiii. cli. 6.


conquests; though it is not known at what ]
they entered that omntry, nor ho w far they extended
their conquests. Their conquests were slow at the
first ; but in the process of time, they subjugated
nearly the whole country. They became soon after
masters of nearly all Sicily. This excited the jealousy
of the Romans ; and Sicily became an arena for the
trial of their respective strength. " "What a fine field
of battle," said Pyrrhiis, as he left that island, " do
we leave the Carthaginians and Romans !"

The wars between Rome and Carthage were three,
and they are called, in the history of the former city,
" Punic" wars. The first lasted twenty-four years ;
then there was an interval of peace, but that expired
at the end of twenty- four years more. The second
Punic war took up seventeen years ; and then ensued
another interval of forty-nine years ; followed by the
third Punic war, which terminated, after a contest of
four years and some months, in the total destruction
of Carthage.

The firet was terminated in a treaty to the follow-
ing effect*, that " there shall be peace between the

* Polybius has transmitted to us a treaty of pence concluded
between Philip, *on of Demetrius, king of Macedon, and the Car-
thaginians, in which the great respect and veneration of the latter
for the drily, their inherent persuasion that the gods assist and
preside over human affairs, and particularly over the solemn treaties
made in their name and presence, arc strongly displayed. Mention
it therein made of five or six different order* of deities ; and this
enumeration appears very extraordinary in a public instrument, such
as a treaty of (K-OCC concluded between two nations. We will here
present our reader with the vciy words of the historian, as it will
give some idea of the Carthaginian theology. " This treaty was con-
cluded in the presence of Jupiter, Juno, and Apollo ; in the presence
of the (lirinon or genius ( Xai*io> ot ) of the Carthaginians, of Hercules
and lolaus ; in the presence of Mars, Triton, and Neptune ; in the
presence of all the confederate gods of the Carthaginians ; and of
the fun, the moon, and the earth ; in the presence of the rivers,
meads, and waters ; in the presence of all those gods who possess
Carthage." ROLLIN.


Carthaginians and Romans, on the following condi-
tions: The Carthaginians shall evacuate all Sicily;
shall no longer make war against the Syracusans or
their allies ; shall restore to the Romans, without
ransom, all the prisoners whom they shall have
taken from them ; pay one thousand talents of silver
immediately; and two thousand two hundred talents
of silver within the space of ten years ; and, also,
depart out of all the islands situated between Italy
and Sicily." Sardinia was not comprehended in this
treaty ; but they gave it up in a treaty some years
after. This was the longest war that had then been
known in any country ; it having lasted four-and-
twenty years. " The obstinacy in disputing for em-
pire," says the historian, " was equal on both sides ;
the same resolution, the same greatness of soul, in
forming as well as in executing of projects being
equal on both sides. The Carthaginians had the
superiority over the Romans, with regard to naval
affairs ; the strength and swiftness of their vessels ;
the working of them ; the skill and capacity of their
pilots ; the knowledge of coasts, shallows, roads and
winds ; and in the inexhaustible fund of wealth which
furnished all the expenses of so long and obstinate
a war.

The qualities and capabilities of the Romans were
of a different character. They had none of the advan-
tages above stated ; but their courage, and regard for
the public good, are said to have supplied all of
them ; and their soldiers were greatly superior to
those of Carthage, not only in skill but in courage.

The Carthaginians had scarcely closed the war
with the Romans, than they were engaged in another
against the mercenaries who had served under them
in Sicily. This was a short but a very sanguinary
war. These mercenaries being returned to the neigh-
bourhood of Carthage, were unjustly treated, in not

218 HI' IN- OP ANCIKNT (-ITU - .

being paid the wages they liad earned by the assist-
ance they had given. Complaints, seditious ;m<l
insolent murmurs, were heard on every side. These
troops being composed of different nations, who were
strangers to one another's language, \v. iv incapable of
hearing reason when they onee mutinied. They con-
sisted of Gauls, Ligurians, Spaniards, and natives of
the Balearic islands ; a great number of Greek slaves
and deserters ; and a large number of Africans.

These troops having been trifled with by the
Carthaginian government, the members of which
attempted to defraud them of no small share of what
they had earned, broke out into ungovernable fury,
and being twenty thousand strong, marched towards
Carthage, and encamped at Tunis, a city not far from
the metropolis.

The insurgents now began to act the part their
employers had set them the example of. They rose
in their demands fur above what was due to them ;
and the Carthaginians at length saw the error of
having given way to a dishonest policy. The points
at issue, however, were at last, in a great measure,
arranged, when two soldiers among the mercenaries
found means to raise the whole of their comrades into
mutiny, and engaged several cities to take up their
cause. Their army amounted, after a while, to seventy
thousand men. Carthage had never been in such
urgent danger before. The command of the army
was given to I lanno. Troops were levied by land and
sea ; horse as well as foot. All the citizens capable
of bearing arms were mustered ; all their ships were '
refitted ; and mercenaries were enlisted from all parts.
On the other hand, the insurgents harassed them

Online LibraryCharles BuckeRuins of ancient cities : with general and particular accounts of their rise, fall, and present condition (Volume 1) → online text (page 17 of 36)