Titus Livius.

The History of Rome, Books 09 to 26 online

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transacted any business, public or private, without first going to the
Capitol, entering the temple, and taking his seat there; where he
generally passed a considerable time in secret and alone. This
practice, which was adhered to through the whole of his life,
occasioned in some persons a belief in a notion which generally
prevailed, whether designedly or undesignedly propagated, that he was
a man of divine extraction; and revived a report equally absurd and
fabulous with that formerly spread respecting Alexander the Great,
that he was begotten by a huge serpent, whose monstrous form was
frequently observed in the bedchamber of his mother, but which, on any
one's coming in, suddenly unfolding his coils, glided out of sight.
The belief in these miraculous accounts was never ridiculed by him,
but rather increased by his address; neither positively denying any
such thing nor openly affirming it. There were also many other things,
some real and others counterfeit, which exceeded in the case of this
young man the usual measure of human admiration, in reliance on which
the state intrusted him with an affair of so much difficulty, and with
so important a command, at an age by no means ripe for it. To the
forces in Spain, consisting of the remains of the old army, and those
which had been conveyed over from Puteoli by Claudius Nero, ten
thousand infantry and a thousand horse were added; and Marcus Junius
Silanus, the propraetor, was sent to assist in the management of
affairs. Thus with a fleet of thirty ships, all of which were
quinqueremes, he set sail from the mouth of the Tiber, and coasting
along the shore of the Tuscan Sea, the Alps, and the Gallic Gulf, and
then doubling the promontory of the Pyrenees, landed his troops at
Emporiae, a Greek city, which also derived its origin from Phocaea.
Ordering his ships to attend him, he marched by land to Tarraco; where
he held a congress of deputies from all the allies; for embassies had
poured forth from every province on the news of his arrival. Here he
ordered his ships to be hauled on shore, having sent back the four
triremes of the Massilians which had, in compliment to him, attended
him from their home. After that, he began to give answers to the
embassies of the several states, which had been in suspense on account
of the many vicissitudes of the war; and this with so great dignity,
arising from the great confidence he had in his own talents, that no
presumptuous expression ever escaped him; and in every thing he said
there appeared at once the greatest majesty and sincerity.

20. Setting out from Tarraco, he visited the states of his allies and
the winter quarters of his army; and bestowed the highest
commendations upon the soldiers, because, though they had received two
such disastrous blows in succession, they had retained possession of
the province, and not allowing the enemy to reap any advantage from
their successes, had excluded them entirely from the territory on this
side of the Iberus, and honourably protected their allies. Marcius he
kept with him, and treated him with such respect, that it was
perfectly evident there was nothing he feared less than lest any one
should stand in the way of his own glory. Silanus then took the place
of Nero, and the fresh troops were led into winter quarters. Scipio
having in good time visited every place where his presence was
necessary, and completed every thing which was to be done, returned to
Tarraco. The reputation of Scipio among his enemies was not inferior
to that which he enjoyed among his allies and countrymen. They felt
also a kind of presentiment of what was to come, which occasioned the
greater apprehension, the less they could account for their fears,
which had arisen without any cause. They had retired to their winter
quarters in different directions. Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, had gone
quite to the ocean and Gades; Mago into the midland parts chiefly
above the forest of Castulo; Hasdrubal, son of Hamilcar, wintered in
the neighbourhood of Saguntum, close upon the Iberus. At the close of
the summer in which Capua was recovered and Scipio entered Spain, a
Carthaginian fleet, which had been fetched from Sicily to Tarentum, to
cut off the supplies of the Roman garrison in the citadel of that
place, had blocked up all the approaches to the citadel from the sea;
but by lying there too long, they caused a greater scarcity of
provisions to their friends than to their enemies. For so much corn
could not be brought in for the townsmen, along the coasts which were
friendly to them, and through the ports which were kept open through
the protection afforded by the Carthaginian fleet, as the fleet itself
consumed, which had on board a crowd made up of every description of
persons. So that the garrison of the citadel, which was small in
number, could be supported from the stock they had previously laid in
without importing any, while that which they imported was not
sufficient for the supply of the Tarentines and the fleet. At length
the fleet was sent away with greater satisfaction than it was
received. The scarcity of provisions, however, was not much relieved
by it; because when the protection by sea was removed corn could not
be brought in.

21. At the close of the same summer, Marcus Marcellus arriving at the
city from his province of Sicily, an audience of the senate was given
him by Caius Calpurnius, the praetor, in the temple of Bellona. Here,
after discoursing on the services he had performed, and complaining in
gentle terms, not on his own account more than that of his soldiers,
that after having completely reduced the province, he had not been
allowed to bring home his army, he requested that he might be allowed
to enter the city in triumph; this he did not obtain. A long debate
took place on the question, whether it was less consistent to deny a
triumph on his return to him, in whose name, when absent, a
supplication had been decreed and honours paid to the immortal gods,
for successes obtained under his conduct; or, when they had ordered
him to deliver over his army to a successor, which would not have been
decreed unless there were still war in the province, to allow him to
triumph, as if the war had been terminated, when the army, the
evidence of the triumph being deserved or undeserved, were absent. As
a middle course between the two opinions, it was resolved that he
should enter the city in ovation. The plebeian tribunes, by direction
of the senate, proposed to the people, that Marcus Marcellus should be
invested with command during the day on which he should enter the city
in ovation. The day before he entered the city he triumphed on the
Alban mount; after which he entered the city in ovation, having a
great quantity of spoils carried before him, together with a model of
the capture of Syracuse. The catapultas and ballistas, and every other
instrument of war were carried; likewise the rich ornaments laid up by
its kings during a long continuance of peace; a quantity of wrought
silver and brass, and other articles, with precious garments, and a
number of celebrated statues, with which Syracuse had been adorned in
such a manner as to rank among the chief Grecian cities in that
respect. Eight elephants were also led as an emblem of victory over
the Carthaginians. Sosis, the Syracusan, and Mericus, the Spaniard,
who preceded him with golden crowns, formed not the least interesting
part of the spectacle; under the guidance of one of whom the Romans
had entered Syracuse by night, while the other had betrayed to them
the island and the garrison in it. To both of them the freedom of the
city was given, and five hundred acres of land each. Sosis was to have
his portion in the Syracusan territory, out of the lands which had
belonged either to the kings or the enemies of the Roman people,
together with a house at Syracuse, which had belonged to any one of
those persons who had been punished according to the laws of war.
Mericus and the Spaniards who had come over with him were ordered to
have a city and lands assigned to them in Sicily, which had belonged
to some of those who had revolted from the Romans. It was given in
charge to Marcus Cornelius to assign them the city and lands wherever
he thought proper. In the same country, four hundred acres of land
were decreed to Belligenes, by whose means Mericus had been persuaded
to come over. After the departure of Marcellus from Sicily, a
Carthaginian fleet landed eight thousand infantry and three thousand
Numidian cavalry. To these the Murgantian territories revolted; Hybla,
Macella, and certain other towns of less note followed their
defection. The Numidians also, headed by Mutines, ranging without
restraint through the whole of Sicily, ravaged with fire the lands of
the allies of the Romans. In addition to these unfortunate
circumstances, the Roman soldiers, incensed partly because they had
not been taken from the province with their general, and partly
because they had been forbidden to winter in towns, discharged their
duties negligently, and wanted a a leader more than inclination for a
mutiny. Amid these difficulties Marcus Cornelius, the praetor,
sometimes by soothing, at other times by reproving them, pacified the
minds of the soldiers; and reduced to obedience all the states which
had revolted; out of which he gave Murgantia to those Spaniards who
were entitled to a city and land, in conformity with the decree of the
senate.

22. As both the consuls had Apulia for their province, and as there
was now less to be apprehended from Hannibal and the Carthaginians,
they were directed to draw lots for the provinces of Apulia and
Macedonia. Macedonia fell to the lot of Sulpicius, who succeeded
Laevinus. Fulvius having been called to Rome on account of the
election, held an assembly to elect new consuls; when the junior
Veturian century, which had the right of voting first, named Titus
Manlius Torquatus and Titus Otacilius. A crowd collecting round
Manlius, who was present, to congratulate him, and it being certain
that the people would concur in his election, he went, surrounded as
he was with a multitude of persons, to the tribunal of the consul, and
requested that he would listen to a few words from him; and that he
would order the century which had voted to be recalled. While all
present were waiting impatiently to hear what it was he was going to
ask, he alleged as an excuse the weakness of his eyes; observing, that
"a pilot or a general might fairly be charged with presumption who
should request that the lives and fortunes of others might be
intrusted to him, when in every thing which was to be done he must
make use of other people's eyes. Therefore he requested, that, if it
seemed good to him, he would order the junior Veturian century to come
and vote again; and to recollect, while electing consuls, the war
which they had in Italy, and the present exigencies of the state. That
their ears had scarcely yet ceased to ring with the noise and tumult
raised by the enemy, when but a few months ago they nearly scaled the
walls of Rome." This speech was followed by the century's shouting
out, one and all, that "they would not in the least alter their vote,
but would name the same persons for consuls;" when Torquatus replied,
"neither shall I as consul be able to put up with your conduct, nor
will you be satisfied with my government. Go back and vote again, and
consider that you have a Punic war in Italy, and that the leader of
your enemies is Hannibal." Upon this the century, moved by the
authority of the man and the shouts of admirers around, besought the
consul to summon the elder Veturian century; for they were desirous of
conferring with persons older than themselves, and to name the consuls
in accordance with their advice. The elder Veturian century having
been summoned, time was allowed them to confer with the others by
themselves in the _ovile_. The elders said that there were three
persons whom they ought to deliberate about electing, two of them
having already served all the offices of honour, namely, Quintus
Fabius and Marcus Marcellus; and if they wished so particularly to
elect some fresh person as consul to act against the Carthaginians,
that Marcus Valerius Laevinus had carried on operations against king
Philip by sea and land with signal success. Thus, three persons having
been proposed to them to deliberate about, the seniors were dismissed,
and the juniors proceeded to vote. They named as consuls, Marcus
Claudius Marcellus, then glorious with the conquest of Sicily, and
Marcus Valerius, both in their absence. All the centuries followed the
recommendation of that which voted first. Let men now ridicule the
admirers of antiquity. Even if there existed a republic of wise men,
which the learned rather imagine than know of; for my own part I
cannot persuade myself that there could possibly be a nobility of
sounder judgment, and more moderate in their desire of power, or a
people better moralled. Indeed that a century of juniors should have
been willing to consult their elders, as to the persons to whom they
should intrust a command by their vote, is rendered scarcely probable
by the contempt and levity with which the parental authority is
treated by children in the present age.

23. The assembly for the election of praetors was then held, at which
Publius Manlius Vulso, Lucius Manlius Acidinus, Caius Laetorius, and
Lucius Cincius Alimentus were elected. It happened that just as the
elections were concluded, news was brought that Titus Otacilius, whom
it seemed the people would have made consul in his absence, with Titus
Manlius, had not the course of the elections been interrupted, had
died in Sicily. The games in honour of Apollo had been performed the
preceding year, and on the motion of Calpurnius, the praetor, that
they should be performed this year also, the senate decreed that they
should be vowed every year for the time to come. The same year several
prodigies were seen and reported. At the temple of Concord, a statue
of Victory, which stood on the roof, having been struck by lightning
and thrown down, stuck among the figures of Victory, which were among
the ornaments under the eaves, and did not fall to the ground from
thence. Both from Anagnia and Fregellae it was reported that a wall
and some gates had been struck by lightning. That in the forum of
Sudertum streams of blood had continued flowing through a whole day;
at Eretum, that there had been a shower of stones; and at Reate, that
a mule had brought forth. These prodigies were expiated with victims
of the larger sort, the people were commanded to offer up prayers for
one day, and perform the nine days' sacred rite. Several of the public
priests died off this year, and fresh ones were appointed. In the room
of Manius Aemilius Numida, decemvir for sacred rites, Marcus Aemilius
Lepidus was appointed; in the room of Manius Pomponius Matho, the
pontiff, Caius Livius; in the room of Spurius Carvilius Maximus, the
augur, Marcus Servilius. As Titus Otacilius Crassus, a pontiff, died
after the year was concluded, no person was nominated to succeed him.
Caius Claudius, flamen of Jupiter, retired from his office, because he
had distributed the entrails improperly.

24. During the same time Marcus Valerius Laevinus, having first
sounded the intentions of the leading men by means of secret
conferences, came with some light ships to a council of the Aetolians,
which had been previously appointed to meet for this very purpose.
Here having proudly pointed to the capture of Syracuse and Capua, as
proofs of the success of the Roman arms in Sicily and Italy, he added,
that "it was a custom with the Romans, handed down to them from their
ancestors, to respect their allies; some of whom they had received
into their state, and had admitted to the same privileges they enjoyed
themselves, while others they treated so favourably that they chose
rather to be allies than citizens. That the Aetolians would be
honoured by them so much the more, because they were the first of the
nations across the sea which had entered into friendship with them.
That Philip and the Macedonians were troublesome neighbours to them,
but that he had broken their strength and spirits already, and would
still further reduce them to that degree, that they should not only
evacuate the cities which they had violently taken from the Aetolians,
but have Macedonia itself disturbed with war. And that as to the
Acarnanians, whose separation from their body was a source of grief to
the Aetolians, he would place them again under their ancient system of
jurisdiction and dominion." These assertions and promises of the Roman
general, Scopas, who was at that time praetor of the nation, and
Dorymachus, a leading man among the Aetolians, confirmed on their own
authority, extolling the power and greatness of the Roman people with
less reserve, and with greater force of conviction. However, the hope
of recovering Acarnania principally moved them. The terms, therefore,
were reduced to writing, on which they should enter into alliance and
friendship with the Roman people, and it was added, that "if it were
agreeable to them and they wished it, the Eleans and Lacedaemonians,
with Attalus, Pleuratus, and Scerdilaedas, should be included on the
same conditions." Attalus was king of Asia; the latter, kings of the
Thracians and Illyrians. The conditions were, that "the Aetolians
should immediately make war on Philip by land, in which the Romans
should assist, with not less than twenty quinqueremes. That the site
and buildings, together with the walls and lands, of all the cities as
far as Corcyra, should become the property of the Aetolians, every
other kind of booty, of the Romans. That the Romans should endeavour
to put the Aetolians in possession of Acarnania. If the Aetolians
should make peace with Philip, they should insert a stipulation that
the peace should stand good only on condition that they abstained from
hostilities against the Romans, their allies, and the states subject
to them. In like manner, if the Romans should form an alliance with
the king, that they should provide that he should not have liberty to
make war upon the Aetolians and their allies." Such were the terms
agreed upon; and copies of them having been made, they were laid up
two years afterwards by the Aetolians at Olympia, and by the Romans in
the Capitol, that they might be attested by these consecrated records.
The delay had been occasioned by the Aetolian ambassadors' having been
detained at Rome. This, however, did not form an impediment to the
war's proceeding. Both the Aetolians immediately commenced war against
Philip, and Laevinus taking, all but the citadel, Zacynthus, a small
island near to Aetolia, and having one city of the same name with the
island; and also taking Aeniadae and Nasus from the Acarnanians,
annexed them to the Aetolians; and also considering that Philip was
sufficiently engaged in war with his neighbours to prevent his
thinking of Italy, the Carthaginians, and his compact with Hannibal,
he retired to Corcyra.

25. To Philip intelligence of the defection of the Aetolians was
brought while in winter quarters at Pella. As he was about to march an
army into Greece at the beginning of the spring, he undertook a sudden
expedition into the territories of Oricum and Apollonia, in order that
Macedonia might not be molested by the Illyrians, and the cities
bordering upon them, in consequence of the terror he would thus strike
them with in turn. The Apollonians came out to oppose him, but he
drove them, terrified and dismayed, within their walls. After
devastating the adjacent parts of Illyricum he turned his course into
Pelagonia, with the same expedition. He then took Sintia, a town of
the Dardanians, which would have afforded them a passage into
Macedonia. Having with the greatest despatch performed these
achievements, not forgetting the war made upon him by the Aetolians
and Romans in conjunction, he marched down into Thessaly through
Pelagonia, Lyncus, and Bottiaea. He trusted that people might be
induced to take part with him in the war against the Aetolians, and,
therefore, leaving Perseus with four thousand armed men at the gorge,
which formed the entrance into Thessaly, to prevent the Aetolians from
passing it, before he should be occupied with more important business,
he marched his army into Macedonia, and thence into Thrace and
Maedica. This nation had been accustomed to make incursions into
Macedonia when they perceived the king engaged in a foreign war, and
the kingdom left unprotected. Accordingly, he began to devastate the
lands in the neighbourhood of Phragandae, and to lay siege to the city
Jamphorina, the capital and chief fortress of Maedica. Scopas, on
hearing that the king had gone into Thrace, and was engaged in a war
there, armed all the Aetolian youths, and prepared to invade
Acarnania. The Acarnanian nation, unequal to their enemy in point of
strength, and seeing that they had lost Aeniadae and Nasus, and
moreover that the Roman arms were threatening them, prepare the war
rather with rage than prudence. Having sent their wives, children, and
those who were above sixty years old into the neighbouring parts of
Epirus, all who were between the ages of fifteen and sixty, bound each
other by an oath not to return unless victorious. That no one might
receive into his city or house, or admit to his table or hearth, such
as should retire from the field vanquished, they drew up a form of
direful execration against their countrymen who should do so; and the
most solemn entreaty they could devise, to friendly states. At the
same time they entreated the Epirotes to bury in one tomb such of
their men as should fall in the encounter, adding this inscription
over their remains: HERE LIE THE ACARNANIANS, WHO DIED WHILE FIGHTING
IN DEFENCE OF THEIR COUNTRY, AGAINST THE VIOLENCE AND INJUSTICE OF THE
AETOLIANS. Having worked up their courage to the highest pitch by
these means, they fixed their camp at the extreme borders of their
country in the way of the enemy; and sending messengers to Philip to
inform him of the critical situation in which they stood, they obliged
him to suspend the war in which he was engaged, though he had gained
possession of Jamphorina by surrender, and had succeeded in other
respects. The ardour of the Aetolians was damped, in the first
instance, by the news of the combination formed by the Acarnanians;
but afterwards the intelligence of Philip's approach compelled them
even to retreat into the interior of the country. Nor did Philip
proceed farther than Dium, though he had marched with great expedition
to prevent the Acarnanians being overpowered; and when he had received
information that the Aetolians had returned out of Acarnania, he also
returned to Pella.

26. Laevinus set sail from Corcyra in the beginning of the spring, and
doubling the promontory Leucate, arrived at Naupactus; when he gave
notice that he should go thence to Anticyra, in order that Scopas and
the Aetolians might be ready there to join him. Anticyra is situated
in Locris, on the left hand as you enter the Corinthian Gulf. The
distance between Naupactus and this place is short both by sea and
land. In about three days after, the attack upon this place commenced
on both elements. The attack from the sea produced the greatest
effect, because there were on board the ships engines and machines of
every description, and because the Romans besieged from that quarter.
In a few days, therefore, the town surrendered, and was delivered over
to the Aetolians, the booty, according to compact, was given up to the
Romans. Laevinus then received a letter informing him, that he had
been elected consul in his absence, and that Publius Sulpicius was
coming as his successor. He arrived at Rome later than he was
generally expected, being detained by a lingering illness. Marcus
Marcellus, having entered upon the consulship on the ides of March,
assembled the senate on that day merely for form's sake He declared,
that "in the absence of his colleague he would not enter into any
question relative to the state or the provinces." He said, "he well
knew there were crowds of Sicilians in the neighbourhood of the city
at the country-houses of those who maligned him, whom he was so far
from wishing to prevent from openly publishing, at Rome, the charges
which had been circulated and got up against him by his enemies, that
did they not pretend that they entertained some fear of speaking of a
consul in the absence of his colleague, he would forthwith have given



Online LibraryTitus LiviusThe History of Rome, Books 09 to 26 → online text (page 48 of 52)