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politically, the loose and refractory coalition could not stand a
comparison with the firmly-established Roman symmachy. The sudden and
vehement style of the Greek warfare and the genius of the general
might perhaps achieve another such victory as those of Heraclea and
Ausculum, but every new victory was wearing out his resources for
further enterprise, and it was clear that the Romans already felt
themselves the stronger, and awaited with a courageous patience final
victory. Such a war as this was not the delicate game of art that
was practised and understood by the Greek princes. All strategical
combinations were shattered against the full and mighty energy of the
national levy. Pyrrhus felt how matters stood: weary of his victories
and despising his allies, he only persevered because military honour
required him not to leave Italy till he should have secured his
clients from barbarian assault. With his impatient temperament it
might be presumed that he would embrace the first pretext to get rid
of the burdensome duty; and an opportunity of withdrawing from Italy
was soon presented to him by the affairs of Sicily.

Relations of Sicily, Syracuse, and Carthage -
Pyrrhus Invited to Syracuse

After the death of Agathocles (465) the Greeks of Sicily were without
any leading power. While in the several Hellenic cities incapable
demagogues and incapable tyrants were replacing each other, the
Carthaginians, the old rulers of the western point, were extending
their dominion unmolested. After Agrigentum had surrendered to them,
they believed that the time had come for taking final steps towards
the end which they had kept in view for centuries, and for reducing
the whole island under their authority; they set themselves to attack
Syracuse. That city, which formerly by its armies and fleets had
disputed the possession of the island with Carthage, had through
internal dissension and the weakness of its government fallen so low
that it was obliged to seek for safety in the protection of its walls
and in foreign aid; and none could afford that aid but king Pyrrhus.
Pyrrhus was the husband of Agathocles's daughter, and his son
Alexander, then sixteen years of age, was Agathocles's grandson.
Both were in every respect natural heirs of the ambitious schemes
of the ruler of Syracuse; and if her freedom was at an end, Syracuse
might find compensation in becoming the capital of a Hellenic empire
of the West. So the Syracusans, like the Tarentines, and under
similar conditions, voluntarily offered their sovereignty to king
Pyrrhus (about 475); and by a singular conjuncture of affairs
everything seemed to concur towards the success of the magnificent
plans of the Epirot king, based as they primarily were on the
possession of Tarentum and Syracuse.

League between Rome and Carthage -
Third Year of the War

The immediate effect, indeed, of this union of the Italian and
Sicilian Greeks under one control was a closer concert also on the
part of their antagonists. Carthage and Rome now converted their old
commercial treaties into an offensive and defensive league against
Pyrrhus (475), the tenor of which was that, if Pyrrhus invaded Roman
or Carthaginian territory, the party which was not attacked should
furnish that which was assailed with a contingent on its own territory
and should itself defray the expense of the auxiliary troops; that in
such an event Carthage should be bound to furnish transports and to
assist the Romans also with a war fleet, but the crews of that fleet
should not be obliged to fight for the Romans by land; that lastly,
both states should pledge themselves not to conclude a separate peace
with Pyrrhus. The object of the Romans in entering into the treaty
was to render possible an attack on Tarentum and to cut off Pyrrhus
from his own country, neither of which ends could be attained without
the co-operation of the Punic fleet; the object of the Carthaginians
was to detain the king in Italy, so that they might be able without
molestation to carry into effect their designs on Syracuse.(5) It was
accordingly the interest of both powers in the first instance to
secure the sea between Italy and Sicily. A powerful Carthaginian
fleet of 120 sail under the admiral Mago proceeded from Ostia, whither
Mago seems to have gone to conclude the treaty, to the Sicilian
straits. The Mamertines, who anticipated righteous punishment for
their outrage upon the Greek population of Messana in the event of
Pyrrhus becoming ruler of Sicily and Italy, attached themselves
closely to the Romans and Carthaginians, and secured for them the
Sicilian side of the straits. The allies would willingly have brought
Rhegium also on the opposite coast under their power; but Rome could
not possibly pardon the Campanian garrison, and an attempt of the
combined Romans and Carthaginians to gain the city by force of arms
miscarried. The Carthaginian fleet sailed thence for Syracuse and
blockaded the city by sea, while at the same time a strong Phoenician
army began the siege by land (476). It was high time that Pyrrhus
should appear at Syracuse: but, in fact, matters in Italy were by no
means in such a condition that he and his troops could be dispensed
with there. The two consuls of 476, Gaius Fabricius Luscinus, and
Quintus Aemilius Papus, both experienced generals, had begun the new
campaign with vigour, and although the Romans had hitherto sustained
nothing but defeat in this war, it was not they but the victors that
were weary of it and longed for peace. Pyrrhus made another attempt
to obtain accommodation on tolerable terms. The consul Fabricius had
handed over to the king a wretch, who had proposed to poison him on
condition of being well paid for it. Not only did the king in token
of gratitude release all his Roman prisoners without ransom, but he
felt himself so moved by the generosity of his brave opponents that
he offered, by way of personal recompense, a singularly fair and
favourable peace. Cineas appears to have gone once more to Rome, and
Carthage seems to have been seriously apprehensive that Rome might
come to terms. But the senate remained firm, and repeated its former
answer. Unless the king was willing to allow Syracuse to fall into
the hands of the Carthaginians and to have his grand scheme thereby
disconcerted, no other course remained than to abandon his Italian
allies and to confine himself for the time being to the occupation of
the most important seaports, particularly Tarentum and Locri. In vain
the Lucanians and Samnites conjured him not to desert them; in vain
the Tarentines summoned him either to comply with his duty as their
general or to give them back their city. The king met their
complaints and reproaches with the consolatory assurance that better
times were coming, or with abrupt dismissal. Milo remained behind in
Tarentum; Alexander, the king's son, in Locri; and Pyrrhus, with his
main force, embarked in the spring of 476 at Tarentum for Syracuse.

Embarkation of Pyrrhus for Sicily -
The War in Italy Flags

By the departure of Pyrrhus the hands of the Romans were set free
in Italy; none ventured to oppose them in the open field, and their
antagonists everywhere confined themselves to their fastnesses or
their forests. The struggle however was not terminated so rapidly as
might have been expected; partly in consequence of its nature as a
warfare of mountain skirmishes and sieges, partly also, doubtless,
from the exhaustion of the Romans, whose fearful losses are indicated
by a decrease of 17,000 in the burgess-roll from 473 to 479. In 476
the consul Gaius Fabricius succeeded in inducing the considerable
Tarentine settlement of Heraclea to enter into a separate peace, which
was granted to it on the most favourable terms. In the campaign of
477 a desultory warfare was carried on in Samnium, where an attack
thoughtlessly made on some entrenched heights cost the Romans many
lives, and thereafter in southern Italy, where the Lucanians and
Bruttians were defeated. On the other hand Milo, issuing from
Tarentum, anticipated the Romans in their attempt to surprise Croton:
whereupon the Epirot garrison made even a successful sortie against
the besieging army. At length, however, the consul succeeded by a
stratagem in inducing it to march forth, and in possessing himself
of the undefended town (477). An incident of more moment was the
slaughter of the Epirot garrison by the Locrians, who had formerly
surrendered the Roman garrison to the king, and now atoned for one act
of treachery by another. By that step the whole south coast came into
the hands of the Romans, with the exception of Rhegium and Tarentum.
These successes, however, advanced the main object but little. Lower
Italy itself had long been defenceless; but Pyrrhus was not subdued so
long as Tarentum remained in his hands and thus rendered it possible
for him to renew the war at his pleasure, and the Romans could not
think of undertaking the siege of that city. Even apart from the fact
that in siege-warfare, which had been revolutionized by Philip of
Macedonia and Demetrius Poliorcetes, the Romans were at a very decided
disadvantage when matched against an experienced and resolute Greek
commandant, a strong fleet was needed for such an enterprise, and,
although the Carthaginian treaty promised to the Romans support by
sea, the affairs of Carthage herself in Sicily were by no means in
such a condition as to enable her to grant that support.

Pyrrhus Master of Sicily

The landing of Pyrrhus on the island, which, in spite of the
Carthaginian fleet, had taken place without interruption, had changed
at once the aspect of matters there. He had immediately relieved
Syracuse, had in a short time united under his sway all the free Greek
cities, and at the head of the Sicilian confederation had wrested
from the Carthaginians nearly their whole possessions. It was with
difficulty that the Carthaginians could, by the help of their fleet
which at that time ruled the Mediterranean without a rival, maintain
themselves in Lilybaeum; it was with difficulty, and amidst constant
assaults, that the Mamertines held their ground in Messana. Under
such circumstances, agreeably to the treaty of 475, it would have been
the duty of Rome to lend her aid to the Carthaginians in Sicily, far
rather than that of Carthage to help the Romans with her fleet to
conquer Tarentum; but on the side of neither ally was there much
inclination to secure or to extend the power of the other. Carthage
had only offered help to the Romans when the real danger was past;
they in their turn had done nothing to prevent the departure of the
king from Italy and the fall of the Carthaginian power in Sicily.
Indeed, in open violation of the treaties Carthage had even proposed
to the king a separate peace, offering, in return for the undisturbed
possession of Lilybaeum, to give up all claim to her other Sicilian
possessions and even to place at the disposal of the king money and
ships of war, of course with a view to his crossing to Italy and
renewing the war against Rome. It was evident, however, that with
the possession of Lilybaeum and the departure of the king the position
of the Carthaginians in the island would be nearly the same as it had
been before the landing of Pyrrhus; the Greek cities if left to
themselves were powerless, and the lost territory would be easily
regained. So Pyrrhus rejected the doubly perfidious proposal, and
proceeded to build for himself a war fleet. Mere ignorance and
shortsightedness in after times censured this step; but it was really
as necessary as it was, with the resources of the island, easy of
accomplishment. Apart from the consideration that the master of
Ambracia, Tarentum, and Syracuse could not dispense with a naval
force, he needed a fleet to conquer Lilybaeum, to protect Tarentum,
and to attack Carthage at home as Agathocles, Regulus, and Scipio
did before or afterwards so successfully. Pyrrhus never was so near
to the attainment of his aim as in the summer of 478, when he saw
Carthage humbled before him, commanded Sicily, and retained a
firm footing in Italy by the possession of Tarentum, and when the
newly-created fleet, which was to connect, to secure, and to augment
these successes, lay ready for sea in the harbour of Syracuse.

The Sicilian Government of Pyrrhus

The real weakness of the position of Pyrrhus lay in his faulty
internal policy. He governed Sicily as he had seen Ptolemy rule in
Egypt: he showed no respect to the local constitutions; he placed
his confidants as magistrates over the cities whenever, and for as
long as, he pleased; he made his courtiers judges instead of the
native jurymen; he pronounced arbitrary sentences of confiscation,
banishment, or death, even against those who had been most active
in promoting his coming thither; he placed garrisons in the towns,
and ruled over Sicily not as the leader of a national league, but
as a king. In so doing he probably reckoned himself according to
oriental-Hellenistic ideas a good and wise ruler, and perhaps he
really was so; but the Greeks bore this transplantation of the system
of the Diadochi to Syracuse with all the impatience of a nation that
in its long struggle for freedom had lost all habits of discipline;
the Carthaginian yoke very soon appeared to the foolish people more
tolerable than their new military government. The most important
cities entered into communications with the Carthaginians, and even
with the Mamertines; a strong Carthaginian army ventured again to
appear on the island; and everywhere supported by the Greeks, it made
rapid progress. In the battle which Pyrrhus fought with it fortune
was, as always, with the "Eagle"; but the circumstances served to show
what the state of feeling was in the island, and what might and must
ensue, if the king should depart.

Departure of Pyrrhus to Italy

To this first and most essential error Pyrrhus added a second; he
proceeded with his fleet, not to Lilybaeum, but to Tarentum. It was
evident, looking to the very ferment in the minds of the Sicilians,
that he ought first of all to have dislodged the Carthaginians wholly
from the island, and thereby to have cut off the discontented from
their last support, before he turned his attention to Italy; in that
quarter there was nothing to be lost, for Tarentum was safe enough for
him, and the other allies were of little moment now that they had been
abandoned. It is conceivable that his soldierly spirit impelled him
to wipe off the stain of his not very honourable departure in the year
476 by a brilliant return, and that his heart bled when he heard the
complaints of the Lucanians and Samnites. But problems, such as
Pyrrhus had proposed to himself, can only be solved by men of iron
nature, who are able to control their feelings of compassion and even
their sense of honour; and Pyrrhus was not one of these.

Fall of the Sicilian Kingdom -
Recommencement of the Italian War

The fatal embarkation took place towards the end of 478. On the
voyage the new Syracusan fleet had to sustain a sharp engagement with
that of Carthage, in which it lost a considerable number of vessels.
The departure of the king and the accounts of this first misfortune
sufficed for the fall of the Sicilian kingdom. On the arrival of the
news all the cities refused to the absent king money and troops; and
the brilliant state collapsed even more rapidly than it had arisen,
partly because the king had himself undermined in the hearts of
his subjects the loyalty and affection on which every commonwealth
depends, partly because the people lacked the devotedness to
renounce freedom for perhaps but a short term in order to save
their nationality. Thus the enterprise of Pyrrhus was wrecked, and
the plan of his life was ruined irretrievably; he was thenceforth an
adventurer, who felt that he had been great and was so no longer, and
who now waged war no longer as a means to an end, but in order to
drown thought amidst the reckless excitement of the game and to find,
if possible, in the tumult of battle a soldier's death. Arrived on
the Italian coast, the king began by an attempt to get possession of
Rhegium; but the Campanians repulsed the attack with the aid of the
Mamertines, and in the heat of the conflict before the town the king
himself was wounded in the act of striking down an officer of the
enemy. On the other hand he surprised Locri, whose inhabitants
suffered severely for their slaughter of the Epirot garrison, and he
plundered the rich treasury of the temple of Persephone there, to
replenish his empty exchequer. Thus he arrived at Tarentum, it is
said with 20,000 infantry and 3000 cavalry. But these were no longer
the experienced veterans of former days, and the Italians no longer
hailed them as deliverers; the confidence and hope with which they
had received the king five years before were gone; the allies were
destitute of money and of men.

Battle near Beneventum -
Pyrrhus Leaves Italy -
Death of Pyrrhus

The king took the field in the spring of 479 with the view of aiding
the hard-pressed Samnites, in whose territory the Romans had passed
the previous winter; and he forced the consul Manius Curius to give
battle near Beneventum on the -campus Arusinus-, before he could
form a junction with his colleague advancing from Lucania. But the
division of the army, which was intended to take the Romans in flank,
lost its way during its night march in the woods, and failed to appear
at the decisive moment; and after a hot conflict the elephants again
decided the battle, but decided it this time in favour of the Romans,
for, thrown into confusion by the archers who were stationed to
protect the camp, they attacked their own people. The victors
occupied the camp; there fell into their hands 1300 prisoners and four
elephants - the first that were seen in Rome - besides an immense spoil,
from the proceeds of which the aqueduct, which conveyed the water of
the Anio from Tibur to Rome, was subsequently built. Without troops
to keep the field and without money, Pyrrhus applied to his allies who
had contributed to his equipment for Italy, the kings of Macedonia
and Asia; but even in his native land he was no longer feared, and
his request was refused. Despairing of success against Rome and
exasperated by these refusals, Pyrrhus left a garrison in Tarentum,
and went home himself in the same year (479) to Greece, where some
prospect of gain might open up to the desperate player sooner than
amidst the steady and measured course of Italian affairs. In fact,
he not only rapidly recovered the portion of his kingdom that had
been taken away, but once more grasped, and not without success, at
the Macedonian throne. But his last plans also were thwarted by the
calm and cautious policy of Antigonus Gonatas, and still more by his
own vehemence and inability to tame his proud spirit; he still gained
battles, but he no longer gained any lasting success, and met his
death in a miserable street combat in Peloponnesian Argos (482).

Last Struggles in Italy -
Capture of Tarentum

In Italy the war came to an end with the battle of Beneventum; the
last convulsive struggles of the national party died slowly away.
So long indeed as the warrior prince, whose mighty arm had ventured
to seize the reins of destiny in Italy, was still among the living,
he held, even when absent, the stronghold of Tarentum against Rome.
Although after the departure of the king the peace party recovered
ascendency in the city, Milo, who commanded there on behalf of
Pyrrhus, rejected their suggestions and allowed the citizens
favourable to Rome, who had erected a separate fort for themselves
in the territory of Tarentum, to conclude peace with Rome as they
pleased, without on that account opening his gates. But when after
the death of Pyrrhus a Carthaginian fleet entered the harbour, and
Milo saw that the citizens were on the point of delivering up the city
to the Carthaginians, he preferred to hand over the citadel to the
Roman consul Lucius Papirius (482), and by that means to secure a free
departure for himself and his troops. For the Romans this was an
immense piece of good fortune. After the experiences of Philip before
Perinthus and Byzantium, of Demetrius before Rhodes, and of Pyrrhus
before Lilybaeum, it may be doubted whether the strategy of that
period was at all able to compel the surrender of a town well
fortified, well defended, and freely accessible by sea; and how
different a turn matters might have taken, had Tarentum become to the
Phoenicians in Italy what Lilybaeum was to them in Sicily! What was
done, however, could not be undone. The Carthaginian admiral, when he
saw the citadel in the hands of the Romans, declared that he had only
appeared before Tarentum conformably to the treaty to lend assistance
to his allies in the siege of the town, and set sail for Africa; and
the Roman embassy, which was sent to Carthage to demand explanations
and make complaints regarding the attempted occupation of Tarentum,
brought back nothing but a solemn confirmation on oath of that
allegation as to its ally's friendly design, with which accordingly
the Romans had for the time to rest content. The Tarentines obtained
from Rome, presumably on the intercession of their emigrants, the
restoration of autonomy; but their arms and ships had to be given up
and their walls had to be pulled down.

Submission of Lower Italy

In the same year, in which Tarentum became Roman, the Samnites,
Lucanians, and Bruttians finally submitted. The latter were obliged
to cede the half of the lucrative, and for ship-building important,
forest of Sila.

At length also the band that for ten years had sheltered themselves in
Rhegium were duly chastised for the breach of their military oath, as
well as for the murder of the citizens of Rhegium and of the garrison
of Croton. In this instance Rome, while vindicating her own rights
vindicated the general cause of the Hellenes against the barbarians.
Hiero, the new ruler of Syracuse, accordingly supported the Romans
before Rhegium by sending supplies and a contingent, and in
combination with the Roman expedition against the garrison of Rhegium
he made an attack upon their fellow-countrymen and fellow-criminals,
the Mamertines of Messana. The siege of the latter town was long
protracted. On the other hand Rhegium, although the mutineers
resisted long and obstinately, was stormed by the Romans in 484; the
survivors of the garrison were scourged and beheaded in the public
market at Rome, while the old inhabitants were recalled and, as far as
possible, reinstated in their possessions. Thus all Italy was, in
484, reduced to subjection. The Samnites alone, the most obstinate
antagonists of Rome, still in spite of the official conclusion of
peace continued the struggle as "robbers," so that in 485 both
consuls had to be once more despatched against them. But even the
most high-spirited national courage - the bravery of despair - comes
to an end; the sword and the gibbet at length carried quiet even
into the mountains of Samnium.

Construction of New Fortresses and Roads

For the securing of these immense acquisitions a new series of
colonies was instituted: Paestum and Cosa in Lucania (481); Beneventum
(486), and Aesernia (about 491) to hold Samnium in check; and, as
outposts against the Gauls, Ariminum (486), Firmum in Picenum (about
490), and the burgess colony of Castrum Novum. Preparations were made
for the continuation of the great southern highway - which acquired in
the fortress of Beneventum a new station intermediate between Capua
and Venusia - as far as the seaports of Tarentum and Brundisium, and
for the colonization of the latter seaport, which Roman policy had
selected as the rival and successor of the Tarentine emporium. The
construction of the new fortresses and roads gave rise to some further
wars with the small tribes, whose territory was thereby curtailed:
with the Picentes (485, 486), a number of whom were transplanted to
the district of Salernum; with the Sallentines about Brundisium (487,
488); and with the Umbrian Sassinates (487, 488), who seem to have
occupied the territory of Ariminum after the expulsion of the Senones.
By these establishments the dominion of Rome was extended over the
interior of Lower Italy, and over the whole Italian east coast from
the Ionian sea to the Celtic frontier.

Maritime Relations

Before we describe the political organization under which the Italy
which was thus united was governed on the part of Rome, it remains

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