Carthage History Part Four

Ancient Carthage

Author: Rollin, Charles

Part Four

Among the conditions of the peace granted to the Carthaginians, there was one which imported, that they should restore to Masinissa all the territories and cities he possessed before the war; and Scipio, to reward the zeal and fidelity which that monarch had shown with regard to the Romans, had also added to his dominions those of Syphax. This presently afterwards gave rise to disputes and quarrels between the Carthaginians and Numidians.

These two princes, Syphax and Masinissa, were both kings in Numidia, but

reigned in different parts of it. The subjects of Syphax were called

Masaesuli, and their capital was Cirtha. Those of Masinissa were the Massyli;

but both these nations are better known by the name of Numidians, which was

common to them. Their principal strength consisted in their cavalry. They

always rode without saddles, and some even without bridles, whence Virgil

called them Numidoe infroeni. ^924

[Footnote 924: Aen. l. iv. ver. 41.]

In the beginning of the second Punic war, Syphax adhering to the Romans,

Gala, the father of Masinissa, to check the career of so powerful a neighbor,

thought it his interest to join the Carthaginians, and accordingly sent out

against Syphax a powerful army, under the conduct of his son, at that time but

seventeen years of age. ^925 Syphax being overcome in a battle, in which it is

said he lost thirty thousand men, escaped into Mauritania. The face of

things, however, was afterwards greatly changed.

[Footnote 925: Liv. l. xxiv. n. 48, 49.]

Masinissa, after his father's death, was often reduced to the brink of

ruin; being driven from his kingdom by an usurper; closely pursued by Syphax;

in danger every instant of falling into the hands of his enemies; and

destitute of forces, money, and almost every thing. ^926 He was at that time

in alliance with the Romans, and the friend of Scipio, with whom he had an

interview in Spain. His misfortunes would not permit him to bring great

succors to that general. When Laelius arrived in Africa, Masinissa joined him

with a few horse, and from that time was inviolably attached to the Roman

interest. ^927 Syphax, on the contrary, having married the famous Sophonisba,

daughter of Asdrubal, went over to the Carthaginians.

[Footnote 926: Liv. l. xxix. n. 29-34.]

[Footnote 927: Liv. l. xxix. n. 23.]

The fortune of these two princes now underwent a final change. ^928

Syphax lost a great battle, and was taken alive by the enemy. Masinissa, the

victor, besieged Cirtha, his capital, and took it. But he met with a greater

danger in that city than he had faced in the field, in the charms and

endearments of Sophonisba, which he was unable to resist. To secure this

princess to himself he married her; but a few days after, he was obliged to

send her a dose of poison, as her nuptial present; this being the only way

left him to keep his promise with his queen, and preserve her from the power

of the Romans.

[Footnote 928: Liv. l. xxx. n. 11, 12.]

This was a great fault in itself, and must necessarily have disobliged a

nation that was so jealous of its authority: but this young prince repaired it

gloriously by the signal services he afterwards rendered Scipio. We observed,

that after the defeat and capture of Syphax, the dominions of this prince were

bestowed upon him; and that the Carthaginians were forced to restore all he

possessed before. ^929 This gave rise to the divisions we are now about to


[Footnote 929: Liv. l. xxx. n. 44.]

A territory situated towards the sea-side, near the Lesser Syrtis, was

the subject of those contests. ^930 The country was very rich, and the soil

extremely fruitful, a proof of which is, that the city of Leptis only, which

belonged to that territory, paid daily a talent to the Carthaginians, by way

of tribute. Masinissa had seized part of this territory. Each side

despatched deputies to Rome, to plead the cause of their superiors before the

senate. This assembly thought proper to send Scipio Africanus, with two other

commissioners, to examine the controversy upon the spot. However, they

returned without coming to any resolution, and left the business in the same

uncertain state in which they had found it. Possibly they acted in this

manner by order of the senate, and had received private instructions to favor

Masinissa, who was then possessed of the district in question.

[Footnote 930: Liv. l. xxxiv. n. 62]

Ten years after, new commissioners having been appointed to examine the

same affair, they acted as the former had done, and left the whole

undetermined. ^931

[Footnote 931: A. M. 3823. A. Rome, 567. Liv. l. xi. n. 17.]

After the like distance of time, the Carthaginians again brought their

complaint to the senate, but with greater importunity than before. ^932 They

represented, that besides the territories at first in dispute, Masinissa had

during the two preceding years, dispossesed them of upwards of seventy towns

and castles: that their hands were bound up by the article of the last treaty,

which forbade their making war upon any of the allies of the Romans; that they

could no longer bear the insolence, the avarice, and cruelty of that prince;

that they were deputed to Rome with three requests, which they desired might

be immediately complied with, viz.: either to get orders to have the affair

examined and decided by the senate; or, secondly, that they might be permitted

to repel force by force, and defend themselves by arms; or, lastly, that if

favor was to prevail over justice, they then entreated the Romans to specify,

once for all, which of the Carthaginian lands they were desirous should be

vested in Masinissa, that they, by this means, might hereafter know what they

had to depend on; and that the Roman people would have some regard to them, at

a time when this prince set no other bounds to his pretensions, than his

insatiable avarice. The deputies concluded with beseeching the Romans, that

if the Carthaginians had been guilty of any crimes with regard to them, since

the conclusion of the last peace, that they themselves would punish them for

it; and not give them up to the wild caprice of a prince, by whom their

liberties were made precarious, and their lives insupportable. After ending

their speech, being pierced with grief, they fell prostrate upon the earth,

and burst into tears; a scene that moved all who were present to compassion,

and raised a violent hatred against Masinissa. Gulussa, his son, who was then

present, being asked what he had to reply, answered, that his father had not

given him any instructions, not knowing that any thing would be laid to his

charge. He only desired the senate to reflect, that the circumstance which

drew all this hatred upon him from the Carthaginians, was the inviolable

fidelity with which he had always been attached to them. The senate, after

hearing both sides, answered, that they were inclined to do justice to that

party to whom it was due; that Gulussa should set out immediately with their

orders to his father, who thereby was commanded to send deputies with those of

Carthage; that they would do all that lay in their power to serve him, but not

to the prejudice of the Carthaginians; that it was but just the ancient limits

should be preserved; and that it was far from being the intention of the

Romans, to have the Carthaginians dispossessed, during the peace, of those

territories and cities which had been left them by the treaty. The deputies

of both powers were then dismissed with the usual presents.

[Footnote 932: A. M. 3833. A. Rome, 577. Liv. l. xlii. n. 23, 24.]

All the assurances, however, were but mere words. It is plain that the

Romans did not once endeavor to satisfy the Carthaginians, or do them the

least justice; and that they protracted the business, on purpose to give

Masinissa an opportunity to establish himself in his usurpation, and weaken

his enemies. ^933

[Footnote 933: Polyb. p. 951.]

A new deputation was sent to examine the affair upon the spot, and Cato

was one of the commissioners. ^934 On their arrival, they asked the parties if

they were willing to abide by their determination. Masinissa readily

complied. The Carthaginians answered, that they had a fixed rule to which

they adhered, and that this was the treaty which had been concluded with

Scipio, and desired that their cause might be examined with all possible

rigor. They therefore could not come to any decision. The deputies visited

all the country, and found it in a very good condition, especially the city of

Carthage; and they were surprised to see it, after being involved in such a

calamity, again raised to so exalted a pitch of power and grandeur. The

senate was told of this, immediately on the return of the deputies; and

declared that Rome could never be in safety, so long as Carthage should

subsist. From this time, whatever affair was debated in the senate, Cato

always added the following words to his opinion, I conclude that Carthage

ought to be destroyed. This grave senator did not give himself the trouble to

prove, that bare jealousy of the growing power of a neighboring state is a

sufficient cause for destroying a city, contrary to the faith of treaties.

But Scipio Nasica was of opinion, that the ruin of this city would draw after

it that of their commonwealth; because the Romans, having then no rival to

fear, would quit the ancient severity of their manners, and abandon themselves

to luxury and pleasures, the never-failing subverters of the most flourishing


[Footnote 934: A. M. 3848. A. Rome, 582. App. de. Bell. Pun. p. 37.]

In the mean time divisions broke out in Carthage. ^935 The popular

faction, having now become superior to that of the grandees and senators, sent

forty citizens into banishment; and bound the people by an oath, never to

suffer the least mention to be made of recalling those exiles. They withdrew

to the court of Masinissa, who despatched Gulussa and Micipsa, his two sons,

to Carthage, to solicit their return. But the gates of the city were shut

against them, and one of them was closely pursued by Hamilcar, one of the

generals of the republic. This gave rise to a new war, and accordingly armies

were levied on both sides. A battle was fought; and the younger Scipio, who

afterwards ruined Carthage, was spectator of it. He had been sent from

Lucullus in Spain, under whom Scipio then fought, to Masinissa, to desire some

elephants from that monarch. During the whole engagement, he stood upon a

neighboring hill, and was surprised to see Masinissa, then eighty-eight years

of age, mounted, agreeably to the custom of his country, on a horse without a

saddle; flying from rank to rank, like a young officer, and sustaining the

most arduous toils. The fight was very obstinate, and continued all day, but

at last the Carthaginians gave way. Scipio used to say afterwards, that he

had been present at many battles, but at none with so much pleasure as this;

having never before beheld so formidable an army engage, without any danger or

trouble to himself. And being very conversant in the writings of Homer, he

added, that till his time, there were but two more who had been spectators of

such an action, viz.: Jupiter from mount Ida, and Neptune from Samothrace,

when the Greeks and Trojans fought before Troy. I know not whether the sight

of a hundred thousand men (the number engaged), butchering one another, can

administer a real pleasure, or whether such a pleasure is consistent with the

sentiments of humanity, so natural to mankind.

[Footnote 935: App. p. 38.]

The Carthaginians, after the battle was over, entreated Scipio to

terminate their contests with Masinissa. ^936 Accordingly, he heard both

parties, and the Carthaginians consented to relinquish the territory of

Emporium, ^937 which had been the first cause of their division; to pay

Masinissa two hundred talents of silver down, and eight hundred more at such

times as should be agreed on. But Masinissa insisting on the return of the

exiles, they did not come to any decision. Scipio, after having paid his

compliments, and returned thanks to Masinissa, set out with the elephants for

which he had been sent.

[Footnote 936: App. de Bell. Pun. p. 40.]

[Footnote 937: Emporium, or Emporia, was a country of africa, on the Lesser

Syrtis, in which Leptis stood. No part of the Carthaginian dominions was more

fruitful than this. Polybius, l. 1, says, that the revenue that arose from

this place was so considerable, that all their hopes were almost founded on

it, viz.: their revenues from Emporia. To this was owing their care and

state-jealousy above mentioned, lest the Romans should sail beyond the Fair

Promontory, that lay before Carthage, and become acquainted with a country

which might induce them to attempt the conquest of it.]

The king, immediately after the battle was over, had blocked up the

enemy's camp, which was pitched upon a hill, where neither troops nor

provisions could come to them. ^938 During this interval, there arrived

deputies from Rome, with orders from the senate to decide the quarrel, in case

the king should be defeated, otherwise to leave it undetermined, and to give

the king the strongest assurance of the continuation of their friendship,

which they did. In the mean time, the famine daily increased in the enemy's

camp, which, being heightened by the plague, occasioned a new calamity, and

made dreadful havoc. Being now reduced to the last extremity, they

surrendered to Masinissa, promising to deliver up the deserters, to pay him

five thousand talents of silver in fifty years, and restore the exiles,

notwithstanding their oaths to the contrary. They all submitted to the

ignominious ceremony of passing under the yoke, ^939 and were dismissed with

only one suit of clothes for each. Gulussa, to satiate his vengeance for the

ill treatment which we before observed he had met with, sent out against them

a body of cavalry, whom, from their great weakness, they could neither escape

nor resist; so that, of fifty- eight thousand men, very few returned to


[Footnote 938: App. de Bell. Pun. p. 40.]

[Footnote 939: Ils furent tous passes le joug; - sub jugum missi. A kind of

gallows, made by two forked sticks standing upright, was erected, and a spear

laid across, under which vanquished enemies were obliged to pass. - Festus.]

Section VI.

Article III: - The Third Punic War

The third Punic war, which was less considerable than either of the

former, with regard to the number and greatness of the battles, and its

continuance, which was only four years, was still more remarkable with respect

to the success and event of it, as it ended in the total ruin and destruction

of Carthage. ^940

[Footnote 940: A. M. 3855. A. Carth. 697. A. Rome. 599. Ant. J. C. 149.]

The inhabitants, from their last defeat, knew what they might naturally

fear from the Romans, from whom, they had always met with the most rigorous

treatment, after they had addressed them upon their disputes with Masinissa.

^941 To prevent the consequences of it, the Carthaginians, by a decree of the

senate, impeached Asdrubal, general of the army, and Carthalo, commander of

the auxiliary forces, as guilty of high treason, for being the authors of the

war against the king of Numidia. ^942 They then sent a deputation to Rome, to

inquire what opinion that republic entertained of their late proceedings, and

what was desired of them. The deputies were coldly answered, that it was the

business of the senate and people of Carthage to know what satisfaction was

due to the Romans. A second deputation bringing them no clearer answer, they

fell into the greatest dejection, and being seized with the strongest terrors,

upon recollecting their past sufferings, they fancied the enemy was already at

their gates, and imagined to themselves all the dismal consequences of a long

siege, and a city taken by the sword. ^943

[Footnote 941: Appian, pp. 41, 42.]

[Footnote 942: The foreign forces were commanded by leaders of their

respective nations, who were all under the command of a Carthaginian officer,

called by Appian.]

[Footnote 943: Plut. in vita Cat. p. 252.]

In the mean time the senate debated at Rome, on the measures it would be

proper for them to take, and the disputes between Cato and Scipio Nasica, who

were of quite different opinions on this subject, were renewed. ^944 The

former, on his return from Africa, had declared, in the strongest terms, that

he had not found Carthage exhausted of men or money, nor in so weak and humble

a state as the Romans supposed it to be; but on the contrary, that it was

crowded with vigorous young men, abounded with immense quantities of gold and

silver, and prodigious magazines of arms and all warlike stores; and was so

haughty and confident on account of this force, that their hopes and ambition

had no bounds. It is farther said, that after he had ended his speech, he

threw out of the fold of his robe into the midst of the senate, some African

figs, and as the senators admired their beauty and size, Know, says he, that

it is but three days since these figs were gathered. Such is the distance

between the enemy and us. ^945

[Footnote 944: Ibid. p. 352.]

[Footnote 945: Plin. l. xv. c. 18.]

Cato and Nasica had each of them their reasons for voting as they did.

^946 Nasica, observing that the people rose to such a height of insolence, as

threw them into excesses of every kind; that their prosperity had swelled them

with a pride which their senate itself was not able to check; and that their

power had become so enormous, that they were able to draw the city, by force,

into every mad design they might undertake, was desirous that they should

continue in fear of Carthage, as a curb to restrain their audacious conduct.

For it was his opinion, that the Carthaginians were too weak to subdue the

Romans, and at the same time so powerful, that it was not for the interest of

the Romans to consider them in a contemptible light. With regard to Cato, he

thought, that as his countrymen were become haughty and insolent by success,

and plunged headlong into dissipation of every kind; nothing could be more

dangerous than for it to have a rival city, to whom the Romans were odious; a

city that, till now, had been powerful, but was become, even by its

misfortunes, more wise and provident than ever; and therefore, that it would

not be safe to remove the fears of the inhabitants entirely with regard to a

foreign power, since they had, within their own walls, all the opportunities

of indulging themselves in excesses of every kind.

[Footnote 946: Plut. ibid. in vita Cat.]

To lay aside, for one instant, the laws of equity, I leave the reader to

determine which of these two great men reasoned most justly, according to the

maxims of sound policy, and the true interests of a state. One undoubted

circumstance is, that all historians have observed that there was a sensible

change in the conduct and government of the Romans, immediately after the ruin

of Carthage; ^947 that vice no longer made its way into Rome with a timorous

pace, and as it were by stealth, but appeared openly, and seized, with

astonishing rapidity, all orders of the republic; that senators, plebeians, in

a word, all conditions, abandoned themselves to luxury and voluptuousness,

without having the least regard to, or sense of decency, which occasioned, as

it must necessarily, the ruin of the state. "The first Scipio," ^948

Paterculus, speaking of the Romans, "had laid the foundations of their future

grandeur; and the last, by his conquests, had opened a door to all manner of

luxury and dissoluteness. For after Carthage, which obliged Rome to stand for

ever on its guard, by disputing empire with that city, had been totally

destroyed, the depravity of manners was no longer slow in its progress, but

swelled at once beyond all conception."

[Footnote 947: Ubi Carthago, et aemula imperii Romani ab stirpe interiit,

Fortuna saevire ac miscere omnia coepit. - Sallust in Bell. Catilin.

Ante Carthaginem deletam, populus et senatus Romanus placide modesteque

inter se Remp. tractabant. - Metus hostilis in bonis artibus civitatem

retinebat. Sed ubi formido illa mentibus decessit, illicet ea, quae secundae

res amant, lascivia atque superbia incessere. - Sallust in Bello Jugurthino.]

[Footnote 948: Potentiae Romanorum prior Scipio viam aperuerat, luxuriae

posterior aperuit Quippe remoto Carthaginis metu, sublataque imperii aemula,

non gradu sed praecipiti cursu a virtute descitum, ad vita transcurrunt. -

Vel. Paterc. l. ii. c. 1.]

Be this as it may, the senate resolved to declare war against the

Carthaginians; and the reasons, or pretences, urged for it, were their keeping

up ships, contrary to the tenor of treaties; their sending an army out of

their territories, against a prince who was in alliance with Rome, and whose

son they treated ill, at the time he was accompanied by a Roman ambassador.


[Footnote 949: App. p. 42.]

An event that by chance occurred very fortunately while the senate of

Rome was debating on the affair of Carthage, contributed, doubtless, very much

to make them take that resolution. ^950 This was the arrival of deputies from

Utica, who came to surrender themselves, their effects, their territories, and

their city, into the hands of the Romans. Nothing could have happened more

seasonably. Utica was the second city of Africa, vastly rich, and had an

equally spacious and commodious port; it stood within sixty furlongs of

Carthage, so that it might serve as a depot of arms in the attack of that

city. The Romans now hesitated no longer, but proclaimed war. M. Manilius,

and L. Marcius Censorinus, the two consuls, were desired to set out as soon as

possible. They had secret orders from the senate, not to end the war but by

the destruction of Carthage. The consuls immediately left Rome, and stopped

at Lilybaeum in Sicily. They had a considerable fleet, on board of which were

fourscore thousand foot, and about four thousand horse.

[Footnote 950: A. M. 3856. A. Rome, 600. App. bell. Pun. 42]

The Carthaginians were not yet acquainted with the resolutions which had

been taken at Rome. ^951 The answer brought back by their deputies had only

increased their fears, viz.: It was the business of the Carthaginians to

consider what satisfaction was due to the Romans. This made them not know

what course to take. At last they sent new deputies, whom they invested with

full powers to act as they should see proper; and even, what the former wars

could never make them stoop to, to declare that the Carthaginians gave up

themselves, and all they possessed, to the will and pleasure of the Romans.

This, according to the import of the clause, se suaque eorum arbitrio

permittere, was submitting themselves, without reserve, to the power of the

Romans, and becoming their vassals. Nevertheless, they did not expect any

great success from this condescension, though so very mortifying; as the

Uticans had been beforehand with them on that occasion, and had thus deprived

them of the merit of a ready and voluntary submission.

[Footnote 951: Polyb. excerpt. legat. p. 972.]

The deputies, on their arrival at Rome, were informed that war had been

proclaimed, and that the army was set out. The Romans had despatched a

courier to Carthage, with the decree of the senate, and to inform that city

that the Roman fleet had sailed. The deputies had therefore no time for

deliberation, but delivered up themselves, and all they possessed, to the

Romans. In consequence of this behavior, they were answered, that since they

had at last taken a right step, the senate granted them their liberty, the

enjoyment of their laws, all their territories and other possessions, whether

public or private, provided that, within the space of thirty days, they should

send as hostages, to Lilybaeum, three hundred young Carthaginians of the first

distinction, and comply with the orders of the consuls. The last condition

filled them with inexpressible anxiety: but the concern they were under would

not allow them to make the least reply, or to demand an explanation; nor

indeed would it have been to any purpose. They therefore set out for

Carthage, and there gave an account of their embassy.

All the articles of the treaty were extremely severe with regard to the

Carthaginians; but the silence of the Romans with respect to the cities, of

which no notice was taken in the concessions which that people were willing to

make, perplexed them exceedingly. All they had to do was to obey. After the

many former and recent losses the Carthaginians had sustained, they were by no

means in a condition to resist such an enemy, since they had not been able to

oppose Masinissa. Troops, provisions, ships, allies, in a word, every thing

was wanting, and hope and vigor more than all the rest. ^952

[Footnote 952: Polyb. excerpt. legat. p. 972.]

They did not think proper to wait till the thirty days which had been

allowed them were expired, but immediately sent their hostages, in order to

soften the enemy by the readiness of their obedience, though they could by no

means flatter themselves with the hopes of meeting with favor on this

occasion. These hostages were in a manner the flower, and the only hopes, of

the noblest families of Carthage. Never was there a more moving scene;

nothing was now heard but cries, nothing seen but tears, and all places echoed

with groans and lamentations! But, above all, the unhappy mothers, bathed in

tears, tore their dishevelled hair, beat their breasts, and, as grief and

despair had distracted them, cried out in such a manner, as might have moved

the most savage breasts to compassion. But the scene was much more mournful,

when the fatal moment of their separation arrived; when, after having

accompanied their dear children to the ship, they bid them a long, last

farewell, persuaded that they should never see them more; they wept a flood of

tears over them; embraced them with the utmost fondness; clasped them eagerly

in their arms; could not be prevailed upon to part with them till they were

forced away, which was more grievous and afflicting than if their hearts had

been torn out of then breasts. The hostages being arrived in Sicily, were

carried from thence to Rome; and the consuls told the deputies, that when they

should arrive at Utica, they would acquaint them with the orders of the


In such a situation of affairs, nothing can be more grievous than a state

of uncertainty, which, without descending to particulars, presents to the mind

the blackest scenes of misery. As soon as it was known that the fleet was

arrived at Utica, the deputies repaired to the Roman camp, signifying that

they were come, in the name of their republic, to receive the commands which

they were ready to obey. The consul, after praising their good disposition

and compliance, commanded them to deliver up to him, without fraud or delay,

all their arms. This they consented to, but besought him to reflect on the

sad condition to which he was reducing them, at a time when Asdrubal, whose

quarrel against them was owing to no other cause than their perfect submission

to the orders of the Romans, was advanced almost to their gates, with an army

of twenty thousand men. The answer returned them was, That the Romans would

set that matter right. ^953

[Footnote 953: Polyb. p. 975. Appian, pp. 44-46.]

This order was immediately put in execution. ^954 There arrived in the

camp a long train of wagons, loaded with all the preparations of war, taken

out of Carthage; two hundred thousand complete sets of armor, a numberless

multitude of darts and javelins, with two thousand engines for shooting darts

and stones. ^955 Then followed the deputies of Carthage, accompanied by the

most venerable senators and priests, who came purposely to try to move the

Romans to compassion in this critical moment, when their sentence was about to

be pronounced, and their fate would be irrevocable. Censorinus, the consul,

for it was he who spoke all this time, rose up for a moment at their coming,

and expressed some kindness and affection for them, but suddenly assuming a

grave and severe countenance, "I cannot," says he, "but commend the readiness

with which you execute the orders of the senate. They have commanded me to

tell you, that it is their absolute will and pleasure that you depart out of

Carthage, which they have resolved to destroy; and that you remove into any

other part of your dominions, as you shall think proper, provided it be at the

distance of eight stadia ^956 from the sea." [Footnote 954: Appian, p. 46.]

[Footnote 954: Appian, p. 46.]

[Footnote 955: Balistae,or Catapultae.]

[Footnote 956: Four leagues, or twelve miles]

The instant the consul had pronounced this fulminating decree, nothing

was heard among the Carthaginians but lamentable shrieks and howlings. Being

now in a manner thunderstruck, they neither knew where they were, nor what

they did; but rolled themselves in the dust, tearing their clothes, and unable

to vent their grief any otherwise, than in broken sighs and deep groans.

Being afterwards a little recovered, they lifted up their hands with the air

of suppliants, one moment towards the gods, and the next towards the Romans,

imploring their mercy and justice with regard to a people who would soon be

reduced to the extremity of despair. But, as both the gods and men were deaf

to their fervent prayers, they soon changed them into reproaches and

imprecations, bidding the Romans call to mind, that there were such beings as

avenging deities, whose severe eyes were for ever open on guilt and treachery.

The Romans themselves could not refrain from tears at so moving a spectacle,

but their resolution was fixed. The deputies could not even prevail so far as

to get the execution of this order suspended, till they should have an

opportunity of presenting themselves again before the senate to get it revoked

if possible. They were forced to set out immediately, and carry the answer to

Carthage. ^957

[Footnote 957: Appian, pp. 46-53.]

The people waited for their return with such an impatience and terror, as

words could never express. It was scarcely possible for them to break through

the crowd, that flocked round them, to hear the answer, which was but too

strongly painted in their faces. When they were come into the senate, and had

declared the barbarous orders of the Romans, a general shriek informed the

people of their too lamentable fate; and, from that instant, nothing was seen

nor heard, in every part of the city, but howling and despair, madness and

fury. ^958

[Footnote 958: Idem. pp. 53, 54.]

The reader will here give me leave to interrupt the course of the history

for a moment, to reflect on the conduct of the Romans. It is to be regretted

that the fragment of Polybius, where an account is given of this deputation,

should end exactly in the most affecting part of this event. I should set a

much higher value on one short reflection of so judicious an author, than on

the long harangues which Appian ascribes to the deputies and the consul. I

can never believe that so rational, judicious, and just a man as Polybius,

could have approved the proceeding of the Romans on the present occasion. We

do not here discover, in my opinion, any of the characteristics which

distinguished them anciently; that greatness of soul, that rectitude, that

utter abhorrence of all mean artifices, frauds, and impostures, which, as is

somewhere said, formed no part of the Roman character; Minime Romanis artibus.

Why did not the Romans attack the Carthaginians by open force? Why should

they declare expressly in a treaty, a most solemn and sacred thing, that they

allowed them the full enjoyment of their liberties and laws; and understand,

at the same time, certain private conditions, which proved the entire ruin of

both? Why should they conceal, under the scandalous omission of the word city

in this treaty, the black design of destroying Carthage; as if, beneath the

cover of such an equivocation, they might destroy it with justice? In fine,

why did the Romans not make their last declaration, till after they had

extorted from the Carthaginians, at different times, their hostages and arms;

that is, till they had absolutely rendered them incapable of disobeying their

most arbitrary commands? Is it not manifest that Carthage, notwithstanding

all its defeats and losses, though it was weakened and almost exhausted, was

still a terror to the Romans, and that they were persuaded they were not able

to conquer it by force of arms? It is very dangerous to be possessed of so

much power as may enable one to commit injustice with impunity, and with the

prospect of being a gainer by it. The experience of all ages shows, that

states seldom scruple to commit injustice, when they think it will conduce to

their advantage.

The noble character which Polybius gives of the Achaeans, differs widely

from what was practised here. These people, says he, far from using artifice

and deceit with regard to their allies, in order to enlarge their power, did

not think themselves allowed to employ them even against their enemies;

considering only those victories solid and glorious, which were obtained sword

in hand, by dint of courage and bravery. He owns, in the same place, that

there then remained among the Romans but very faint traces of the former

generosity of their ancestors; and he thinks it incumbent on him, as he

declares, to make this remark, in opposition to a maxim which had grown very

common in his time, among persons in the administration of governments, who

imagined that honesty is inconsistent with good policy, and that it is

impossible to succeed in the administration of state affairs, either in war or

peace, without using fraud and deceit on some occasions. ^959

[Footnote 959: Polyb. l. xvii. pp. 671, 672.]

I now return to my subject. The consuls made no great haste to march

against Carthage, not suspecting they had reason to be under any apprehensions

from that city, as it was now disarmed. However, the inhabitants took the

opportunity of this delay, to put themselves in a posture of defence, being

unanimously resolved not to quit the city. They appointed as general without

the walls, Asdrubal, who was at the head of twenty thousand men, and to whom

deputies were sent accordingly, to entreat him to forget, for his country's

sake, the injustice which had been done him from the dread they were under of

the Romans. The command of the troops within the walls was given to another

Asdrubal, grandson of Masinissa. They then applied themselves to making arms

with incredible expedition. The temples, the palaces, the open markets and

squares were all changed into so many arsenals, where men and women worked day

and night. A hundred and forty shields, three hundred swords, five hundred

pikes or javelins, a thousand arrows, and a great number of engines to

discharge them, were made daily; and, there being a deficiency of materials to

make ropes, the women cut off their hair, and abundantly supplied their wants

on this occasion. ^960

[Footnote 960: Appian, p. 55. Strabo, l. xvii. p. 382.]

Masinissa was very much disgusted at the Romans because, after he had

extremely weakened the Carthaginians, they came and reaped the fruits of his

victory, without acquainting him in any manner with their design, which

circumstance caused some coldness between them. ^961

[Footnote 961: Appian. p. 5.]

During this interval, the consuls were advancing towards the city, in

order to besiege it. As they expected nothing less than a vigorous

resistance, the incredible resolution and courage of the besieged filled them

with the utmost astonishment. The Carthaginians were continually making the

boldest sallies, in order to repulse the besiegers, to burn their engines, and

harass their foragers. Censorinus attacked the city on one side, and Manilius

on the other. Scipio, afterwards surnamed Africanus, was then a tribune in

the army, and distinguished himself above the rest of the officers, no less by

his prudence than by his bravery. The consul, under whom he fought, committed

many oversights, by refusing to follow his advice. This young officer

extricated the troops from several dangers into which their imprudent leaders

had plunged them. Phamaeas, a celebrated general of the enemy's cavalry, who

continually harassed the foragers, did not dare even to keep the field when it

was Scipio's turn to support them; so capable was he of directing his troops,

and posting himself to advantage. So great and universal a reputation excited

some envy against him in the beginning; but, as he behaved in all respects

with the utmost modesty and reserve, that envy was soon changed into

admiration; so that, when the senate sent deputies to the camp to inquire into

the state of the siege, the whole army gave him unanimously the highest

commendations; the soldiers, as well as officers, nay, the very generals,

extolled the merit of young Scipio; so necessary is it for a man to soften, if

I may be allowed the expression, the splendor of his rising glory, by a mild

and modest deportment, and not excite the jealousy of people by haughty and

self-sufficient behavior, as it naturally awakens pride in others, and makes

even virtue itself odious! ^962

[Footnote 962: Appian, pp. 53-58.]

About the same time Masinissa, finding his end approach, sent to desire a

visit from Scipio, that he might invest him with full powers to dispose, as he

should see proper, of his kingdom and estate, in behalf of his children. But,

on Scipio's arrival, he found that monarch dead. Masinissa had commanded them,

with his dying breath, to follow implicitly the directions of Scipio, whom he

appointed to be a kind of father and guardian to them. I shall give no

further account here of the family and posterity of Masinissa, because that

would interrupt too much the history of Carthage. ^963

[Footnote 963: A. M. 3857. A. Rome, 601. Strabo, l. xvii. p. 62]

The high esteem which Phamaeas entertained for Scipio, induced him to

forsake the Carthaginians, and go over to the Romans. Accordingly, he joined

him with above two thousand horse, and did great service at the siege. ^964

[Footnote 964: Strabo, l. xvii. p. 65.]

Calpurnius Piso, the consul, and L. Mancinus his lieutenant, arrived in

Africa in the beginning of the spring. Nothing remarkable was transacted

during this campaign. The Romans were even defeated on several occasions, and

carried on the siege of Carthage but slowly. The besieged, on the contrary,

had recovered their spirits. Their troops were considerably increased, they

daily got new allies, and even sent an express as far as Macedonia, to the

pretender Philip, ^965 who passed for the son of Perseus, and was then engaged

in a war with the Romans, to exhort him to carry it on with vigor, and

promising to furnish him with money and ships. ^966

[Footnote 965: Andriscus.]

[Footnote 966: Andriscus, p. 66.]

This news occasioned some uneasiness at Rome. People began to doubt the

success of a war which grew daily more uncertain, and was more important than

had at first been imagined. They were dissatisfied with the dilatoriness of

the generals, and exclaimed at their conduct, but unanimously agreed in

applauding young Scipio, and extolling his rare and uncommon virtues. He had

come to Rome, in order to stand candidate for the edileship. ^967 The instant

he appeared in the assembly, his name, his countenance, his reputation, a

general persuasion that he was designed by the gods to end the third Punic

war, as the first Scipio, his grandfather by adoption, had terminated the

second; these several circumstances made a very strong impression on the

people, and though it was contrary to law, and therefore opposed by the

ancient men, instead of the edileship which he sued for, disregarding for once

the laws, conferred the consulship upon him, ^968 and assigned him Africa for

his province, without casting lots for the provinces as usual, and as Drusus

his colleague demanded.

[Footnote 967: Ibid. p. 68.]

[Footnote 968: A. M. 3858. A. Rome. 602.]

As soon as Scipio had completed his recruits, he set out for Sicily, and

arrived soon after in Utica. He came very seasonably for Mancinus, Piso's

lieutenant, who had rashly fixed himself in a post where he was surrounded by

the enemy, and would have been cut to pieces that very morning, had not the

new consul, who at his arrival heard of the danger he was in, re-embarked his

troops in the night, and sailed with the utmost speed to his assistance. ^969

[Footnote 969: Appian, p. 69.]

Scipio's first care, after his arrival, was to restore discipline among

the troops, which he found had been entirely neglected. There was not the

least regularity, subordination, or obedience. Nothing was attended to but

rapine, feasting, and diversions. He drove from the camp all useless persons,

settled the quality of the provisions he would have brought in by the sutlers;

and allowed of none but what were plain and fit for soldiers, studiously

banishing all dainties and luxuries. ^970

[Footnote 970: Idem. p. 70.]

After he had made these regulations, which cost him but little time and

trouble, because he himself first set the example, he was convinced that those

under him were soldiers, and thereupon prepared to carry on the siege with

vigor. Having ordered his troops to provide themselves with axes, levers and

scaling-ladders, he led them, in the dead of the night, and without the least

noise, to a district of the city called Megara; when, ordering them to give a

sudden and general shout, he attacked it with great vigor. The enemy, who did

not expect to be attacked in the night, were, at first, in the utmost terror;

they however, defended themselves so courageously, that Scipio could not scale

the walls. But perceiving a tower that was forsaken, and which stood without

the city, very near the walls, he detached thither a party of intrepid

soldiers, who, by the help of pontons, ^971 got from the tower on the walls,

and from thence into Megara, whose gates they broke down. Scipio entered it

immediately after, and drove the enemy out of that post: who, terrified at

this unexpected assault, and imagining that the whole city was taken, fled

into the citadel, where they were followed even by those forces that were

encamped without the city, who abandoned their camp to the Romans, and thought

it necessary for them to fly to a place of security.

[Footnote 971: A sort of movable bridge.]

Section VII.

Before I proceed further, ^972 it will be proper to give some account of

the situation and dimensions of Carthage, which in the beginning of the war

against the Romans, contained seven hundred thousand inhabitants. It stood at

the bottom of a gulf surrounded with the sea, and in the form of a peninsula,

whose neck, that is, the isthmus which joined it to the continent, was

twenty-five stadia, or a league and a quarter in breadth. The peninsula was

three hundred and sixty stadia, or eighteen leagues in circumference. On the

west side there projected from it a long neck of land, half a stadium, or

twelve fathoms broad; which advancing into the sea, divided it from a morass,

and was defended on all sides with rocks and a single wall. On the south

side, towards the continent, where stood the citadel called Byrsa, the city

was surrounded with a triple wall, thirty cubits high, exclusive of the

parapets and towers, with which it was flanked all round at equal distances,

each interval being fourscore fathoms. Every tower was four stories high, and

the walls but two; they were arched, and in the lower part were stalls large

enough to hold three hundred elephants with their fodder, etc. Over these

were stables for four thousand horses, and lofts for their food. There was

likewise room enough to lodge twenty thousand foot, and four thousand horse.

In fine, all these were contained within the walls. The walls were weak and

low in one place only; and that was a neglected angle, which began at the neck

of land above mentioned, and extended as far as the harbors, which were on the

west side. Two of these communicated with each other, and had but one

entrance, seventy feet broad, shut up with chains. The first was appropriated

to the merchants, and had several distinct habitations for the seamen. The

second, or inner harbor, was for the ships of war, in the midst of which stood

an island, called Cothon, lined, as the harbor was, with large keys, in which

were distinct receptacles for sheltering from the weather two hundred and

twenty ships; over these were magazines or store-houses, containing whatever

was necessary for arming and equipping fleets. The entrance into each of

these receptacles was adorned with two marble pillars of the Ionic order: so

that both the harbor and the island represented on each side two magnificent

galleries. In this island was the admiral's palace; and as it stood opposite

to the mouth of the harbor, he could from thence discover whatever was doing

at sea, though no one from thence could see what was transacting in the inner

part of the harbor. The merchants, in like manner, had no prospect of the men

of war, the two ports being separated by a double wall, each having its

particular gate that led to the city, without passing through the other

harbor. So that Carthage may be divided into three parts: the harbor, which

was double, and called sometimes Cothon, from the little island of that name:

the citadel, named Byrsa: the city properly so called, where the inhabitants

dwelt, which lay round the citadel, and was called Megara. ^974

[Footnote 972: Appian. pp. 56, 77. Strabo, l. xvii. p. 832.]

[Footnote 974: Boch. in Phal. p. 512.]

At daybreak, ^975, Asdrubal, ^976 perceiving the ignominious defeat of

his troops, in order to be revenged on the Romans, and, at the same time,

deprive the inhabitants of all hopes of accommodation and pardon, brought all

the Roman prisoners he had taken upon the walls, in sight of the whole army.

There he put them to the most exquisite torture; putting out their eyes,

cutting off their noses, ears, and fingers; tearing their skin to pieces with

iron rakes or harrows, and then throwing them headlong from the top of the

battlements. So inhuman a treatment filled the Carthaginians with horror: he

did not however spare even them, but murdered many senators who had been so

brave as to oppose his tyranny.

[Footnote 975: Appian, p. 72.]

[Footnote 976: It was he who at first commanded without the city, but having

caused the other Asdrubal, Masinissa's grandson, to be put to death, he got

the command of the troops within the walls.]

Scipio, finding himself absolute master of the Isthmus, burned the camp

which the enemy had deserted, and built a new one for his troops. ^977 It was

of a square form, surrounded with large and deep entrenchments, and fenced

with strong palisades. On the side which faced the Carthaginians, he built a

wall twelve feet high, flanked at proper distances with towers and redoubts;

and, on the middle tower, he erected a very high wooden fort, from whence

could be seen whatever was doing in the city. This wall was equal to the

whole breadth of the Isthmus, that is, twenty-five stadia. ^978 The enemy, who

were within arrow-shot of it, employed their utmost efforts to put a stop to

his work; but, as the whole army worked at it day and night without

intermission, it was finished in twenty-four days. Scipio reaped a double

advantage from this work; first, his forces were lodged more safely and

commodiously than before: secondly, he cut off all provisions from the

besieged, to whom none could be brought but by land; which distressed them

exceedingly, both because the sea is frequently very tempestuous in that

place, and because the Roman fleet kept a strict guard. This proved one of

the chief causes of the famine which soon after raged in the city. Besides,

Asdrubal distributed the corn that was brought only among the thirty thousand

men who served under him, without regard to what became of the inhabitants.

[Footnote 977: Appian, p. 73.]

[Footnote 978: Four miles and three quarters.]

To distress them still more by the want of provisions, Scipio attempted

to stop up the mouth of the haven by a mole, beginning at the above-mentioned

neck of land, which was near the harbor. ^979 The besieged at first looked

upon this attempt as ridiculous, and insulted the workmen accordingly; but at

last seeing them make an astonishing progress every day, they began to be

afraid, and to take such measures as might, if possible, render the attempt

unsuccessful. Every one, even to the women and children, fell to work, but so

secretly that all Scipio could learn from the prisoners was, that they had

heard a great noise in the harbor, but did not know the cause or occasion of

it. At last, all things being ready, the Carthaginians opened, on a sudden, a

new outlet on the other side of the haven, and appeared at sea with a numerous

fleet, which they had then built with the old materials found in their

magazines. It is generally allowed, that had they attacked the Roman fleet

directly, they must inevitably have taken it; because, as no such attempt was

expected, and every man was otherwise employed, the Carthaginians would have

found it without rowers, soldiers, or officers. But the ruin of Carthage,

says the historian, was decreed. Having therefore only offered a kind of

insult or bravado to the Romans, they returned into the harbor.

[Footnote 979: Appian, p. 74.]

Two days after they brought forward their ships, with a resolution to

fight in good earnest, and found the enemy ready for them. ^980 This battle

was to determine the fate of both parties. It lasted a long time, each

exerting themselves to the utmost; the one to save their country, reduced to

the last extremity, and the other to complete their victory. During the

fight, he Carthaginian brigantines, running along under the large Roman ships,

broke to pieces sometimes their sterns, and at other times their rudders and

oars; and when briskly attacked, retreated with surprising swiftness, and

returned immediately to the charge. At last, after the two armies had fought

with equal success till sunset, the Carthaginians thought proper to retire;

not that they believed themselves overcome, but in order to recommence the

fight on the morrow. Part of their ships not being able to run swiftly enough

into the harbor because the mouth of it was too narrow, took shelter under a

very spacious terrace, which had been thrown up against the wall to unload

goods, on the side of which a small rampart had been raised during this war,

to prevent the enemy from possessing themselves of it. Here the fight was

again renewed with more vigor than ever, and lasted till late at night. The

Carthaginians suffered greatly, and the few ships of theirs which got off

sailed for refuge to the city. When the morning arrived, Scipio attacked the

terrace, and carried it, though with great difficulty; after which he posted

and fortified himself on it, and built a brick wall close to those of the

city, and of the same height. When it was finished, he commanded four

thousand men to get on the top of it, and to discharge from it a constant

shower of darts and arrows upon the enemy, which did great execution; because,

as the two walls were of equal height, there was scarce one dart without

effect. Thus ended this campaign.

[Footnote 980: Appian. p. 75.]

During the winter-quarters, Scipio endeavored to overpower the enemy's

troops without the city, who very much harassed the troops that brought his

provisions, and protected such as were sent to the besieged. ^981 For this

purpose he attacked a neighboring fort, called Nepheris, where they used to

shelter themselves. In the last action, about seventy thousand of the enemy,

as well soldiers as peasants who had been enlisted, were cut to pieces, and

the fort was carried with great difficulty, after sustaining a siege of

two-and-twenty days. The seizure of this fort was followed by the surrender

of almost all the strongholds in Africa; and contributed very much to the

taking of Carthage itself, into which, from that time, it was almost

impossible to bring any provisions.

[Footnote 981: Appian, p. 78.]

Early in the spring, Scipio attacked, at one and the same time, the

harbor called Cothon and the citadel. Having possessed himself of the wall

which surrounded this port, he threw himself into the great square of his city

that was near it, from whence was an ascent to the citadel, up three streets,

with houses on both sides, from the tops of which a shower of darts was

discharged upon the Romans, who were obliged, before they could advance

farther, to force the houses they first reached, and post themselves in them,

in order to dislodge the enemy who fought from the neighboring houses. The

combat which was carried on from the tops, and in every part of the houses,

continued six days, during which a dreadful slaughter was made. To clear the

streets, and make way for the troops, the Romans dragged aside, with hooks,

the bodies of such of the inhabitants as had been slain, or precipitated

headlong from the houses, and threw them into pits, the greatest part of them

being still alive and panting. In this labor, which lasted six days and

nights, the soldiers were relieved from time to time by others, without which

they would have been quite spent. Scipio slept none during this time, but was

occupied in giving orders in all places, and scarcely allowed himself leisure

to take the least refreshment. ^982

[Footnote 982: A. M. 3859. A. Rome, 603. Appian, p. 79.]

There was still reason to believe, that the siege would last much longer,

and occasion a great effusion of blood. But on the seventh day, there

appeared a company of men in a suppliant posture and habit, who desired no

other conditions, than that the Romans would please to spare the lives of all

those who should be willing to leave the citadel; which request was granted

them, excepting only the deserters. Accordingly, there came out fifty

thousand men and women, who were sent into the fields under a strong guard.

The deserters, who were about nine hundred, finding they would not be allowed

quarter, fortified themselves in the temple of Aesculapius, with Asdrubal, his

wife, and two children; where, though their number was but small, they might

have held out a long time, because the temple stood on a very high hill, upon

rocks, to which the ascent was by sixty steps. But at last, exhausted by

hunger and watchings, oppressed with fear, and seeing their destruction at

hand, they lost all patience; when, abandoning the lower part of the temple,

they retired to the uppermost story, and resolved not to quit it but with

their lives. ^983

[Footnote 983: Appian, p. 81.]

In the mean time Asdrubal, being desirous of saving his own life, came

down privately to Scipio, carrying an olive-branch in his hand, and threw

himself at his feet. Scipio showed him immediately to the deserters, who,

transported with rage and fury at the sight, vented millions of imprecations

against him, and set fire to the temple. While it was kindling, we are told

that Asdrubal's wife, dressing herself as splendidly as possible, and placing

herself with her two children in sight of Scipio, addressed him with a loud

voice: "I call not down," said she, "curses upon thy head, O Roman, for thou

only takest the privilege allowed by the laws of war: but may the gods of

Carthage, and thou in concert with them, punish, according to his deserts, the

false wretch who has betrayed his country, his gods, his wife, his children!"

Then directing herself to Asdrubal, "Perfidious wretch," says she, "thou

basest of creatures! this fire will presently consume both me and my

children; but as to thee, too shameful general of Carthage, go, adorn the gay

triumph of thy conqueror; suffer, in the sight of all Rome, the tortures thou

so justly deservest!" She had no sooner pronounced these words, than seizing

her children, she cut their throats, threw them into the flames, and

afterwards rushed into them herself; in which she was imitated by all the


With regard to Scipio, when he saw the entire ruin of this famous city,

which had flourished seven hundred years, and might have been compared to the

greatest empires, on account of the extent of its dominions, both by sea and

land; its mighty armies; its fleets, elephants, and riches; and that the

Carthaginians were even superior to other nations, by their courage and

magnanimity, as, notwithstanding their being deprived of arms and ships, they

had sustained for three whole years, all the hardships and calamities of a

long siege; historians relate that he could not refuse his tears to the

unhappy fate of Carthage. ^984 He reflected, that cities, nations, and

empires, are liable to revolutions, no less than individual men; that the like

sad fate had befallen Troy, anciently so powerful; and, in later times, the

Assyrians, Medes, and Persians, whose dominions were once of so great an

extent; and lastly, the Macedonians, whose empire had been so glorious

throughout the world. Full of these mournful ideas, he repeated the following

verses of Homer:

"The day shall come, that great avenging day,

Which Troy's proud glories in the dust shall lay;

When Priam's pow'rs and Priam's self shall fall,

And one prodigious ruin follow all." - Pope.

Thereby denouncing the future destiny of Rome, as he himself confessed to

Polybius, who desired Scipio to explain himself on that occasion.

[Footnote 984: Appian, p. 82.]

Had the truth enlightened his soul, he would have discovered what we are

taught in the Scriptures, that because of unrighteous dealings, injuries, and

riches got by deceit, a kingdom is translated from one people to another. ^985

Carthage is destroyed, because its avarice, perfidiousness, and cruelty, have

attained their utmost height. The like fate will attend Rome, when its

luxury, ambition, pride, and unjust usurpations, concealed beneath a specious

and delusive show of justice and virtue, shall have compelled the sovereign

Lord, the disposer of empires, to give the universe an important lesson in its


[Footnote 985: Eccles. x. 8.]

Carthage being taken in this manner, Scipio gave it up to plunder (the

gold, silver, statues, and other offerings which should be found in the

temples, excepted) to his soldiers for some days. He afterwards bestowed

several military rewards on them, as well as on the officers, two of whom had

particularly distinguished themselves, viz.: Tib. Gracchus, and Caius Fannius,

who first sealed the walls. After this, adorning a very small ship (an

excellent sailor) with the enemy's spoils, he sent it to Rome with the news of

the victory. ^986

[Footnote 986: A. M. 3859. A. Carth. 701. A. Rome, 693. Ant. J. C. 145.

Appian, p. 83.]

At the same time, he ordered the inhabitants of Sicily to come and take

possession of the pictures and statues which the Carthaginians had plundered

them of in the former wars. When he restored to the citizens of Agrigentum

Phalaris' famous bull, ^987 he said that this bull, which was at one and the

same time a monument of the cruelty of their ancient kings, and of the lenity

of their present sovereigns, ought to make them sensible which would be most

advantageous for them, to live under the yoke of Sicilians, or the government

of the Romans. ^988

[Footnote 987: Quem taurum Scipio cum redderet Agrigentimis, dixisse dicitur,

aequum esse illos cogitare utrum esse Saecullis utillius, suisne servire, an

populo R. obtemperare, cum idem monumentum et dometicae crudelitatis, et

nostrae mansuetudinis haberent. - Cicero Verr. vi. n. 73.]

[Footnote 988: Appian, p. 33.]

Having exposed to sale part of the spoils of Carthage, he commanded his

family, under the most severe penalties, not to take, or even buy any of them;

so careful was he to remove from himself, and all belonging to him, the least

suspicion of avarice.

When the news of the taking of Carthage was brought to Rome, the people

abandoned themselves to the most immoderate transports of joy, as if the

public tranquillity had not been secured till that instant. They revolved in

their minds all the calamities which the Carthaginians had brought upon them,

in Sicily, in Spain, and even in Italy, for sixteen years together; during

which Hannibal had plundered four hundred towns, destroyed three hundred

thousand men, and reduced Rome itself to the utmost extremity. Amidst the

remembrance of these past evils, the people in Rome would ask one another,

whether it were really true that Carthage was in ashes. All ranks and degrees

of men eminently strove who should show the greatest gratitude towards the

gods, and the citizens were, for many days, employed wholly in solemn

sacrifices, in public prayers, games, and spectacles. ^989

[Footnote 989: Ibid.]

After these religious duties were ended, the senate sent ten

commissioners into Africa, to regulate, in conjunction with Scipio, the fate

and condition of that country for the future. Their first care was to

demolish whatever was still remaining of Carthage. ^990 Rome, ^991 though

mistress of almost the whole world, could not believe herself safe as long as

even the name of Carthage was in being: so true it is, that inveterate hatred,

fomented by long and bloody wars, lasts even beyond the time when all cause of

fear is removed; and does not cease, till the object that occasions it is no

more. Orders were given, in the name of the Romans, that it should never be

inhabited again; and dreadful imprecations were denounced against those who,

contrary to this prohibition, should attempt to rebuild any parts of it,

especially those called Byrsa and Megara. In the mean time, every one who

desired it, was permitted to see Carthage; Scipio being well pleased to have

people view the sad ruins of a city which had dared to contend with Rome for

empire. ^992 The commissioners decreed further that those cities, which,

during this war, had joined with the enemy, should all be razed, and their

territories be given to the Roman allies: they particularly made a grant to

the citizens of Utica, of the whole country lying between Carthage and Hippo.

All the rest they made tributary, and reduced it into a Roman province, to

which a praetor was sent annually. ^993

[Footnote 990: We may guess at the dimensions of this famous city by what

Florius says, viz., that it was seventeen days on fire before it could be all

consumed - Quanta urbs deleta sit, ut de caeteris taceam, vel ignium mora

probari potest; quippe per continuos decem et septem dies vix potuit incendium

extingui. - Lib. ii. c. 5.]

[Footnote 991: Neque se Roma, jam terrarum orbe superator, securam speravit

fore, si nomen usquam maneret Carthaginis. Adeo odium certaminibus ortam,

ultra metum durat, et ne in victis quidem deponitur, neque ante invisum esse

desinit, quam esse desiit. - Vel. Paterc. l. i, c. 12.]

[Footnote 992: Ut ipse locus eorum, qui cum hac urbe de imperio certarunt,

vestigis calamitatis ostenderet. - Cic. Agrar. ii. n. 50.]

[Footnote 993: Appian, p. 84.]

All matters being thus settled, Scipio returned to Rome, where he made

his entry in triumph. So magnificent a one had never been seen before; the

whole exhibiting nothing but statues, rare invaluable pictures, and other

curiosities, which the Carthaginians had for many years been collecting in

other countries; not to mention the money carried into the public treasury,

that amounted to immense sums. ^994

[Footnote 994: Vel. Paterc. l. i. c. 12.]

Notwithstanding the great precautions which were taken to hinder Carthage

from being ever rebuilt, in less than thirty years after, and even in Scipio's

lifetime, one of the Gracchi, to ingratiate himself with the people, undertook

to found it anew, and conducted thither a colony, consisting of six thousand

citizens, for that purpose. The senate, hearing that the workmen had been

terrified by many unlucky omens, at the time they were tracing the limits, and

laying the foundations of the new city, would have suspended the attempt; but

the tribune, not being over scrupulous in religious matters, carried on the

work, notwithstanding all these bad presages, and finished it in a few days.

This was the first Roman colony that was ever sent out of Italy. ^995

[Footnote 995: Appian, p. 85. Plut. in Vit. Gracch, p. 389.]

It is probable, that only huts were built there, since we are told, that

when Marius ^996 retired hither, in his flight to Africa, he lived in a mean

and poor condition amid the ruins of Carthage, consoling himself by the sight

of so astonishing a spectacle; himself serving, in some measure, as a

consolation to that ill-fated city.

[Footnote 996: Marius cursum in Africam direxit, inopemque vitam in fugurio

ruinarum Carthaginiensium toleravit: cum Marius aspiciens Carhaginem, illa

intuen Marium, alter alteri possent esse solatio. - Vel. Paterc. l. ii. c.


Appian relates, that Julius Caesar, after the death of Pompey, having

crossed into Africa, saw, in a dream, an army composed of a prodigious number

of soldiers, who, with tears in their eyes, called him; and that, struck with

the vision, he wrote down, in his pocket-book, the design which he formed on

this occasion, of rebuilding Carthage and Corinth; but that having been

murdered soon after by the conspirators, Augustus Caesar, his adopted son, who

found this memorandum among his papers, rebuilt Carthage near the spot where

it formerly stood, in order that the imprecations which had been vented at the

time of its destruction, against those who should presume to rebuild it, might

not fall upon them. ^997

[Footnote 997: Appian, p. 89.]

I know not what foundation Appian has for this story; ^998 but we read in

Strabo, that Carthage and Corinth were rebuilt at the same time by Caesar, to

whom he gives the name of God, by which title, a little before, he had plainly

intended Julius Caesar; ^999 and Plutarch, ^1000 in the lifetime of that

emperor, ascribes expressly to him the establishment of these two colonies;

and observes, that one remarkable circumstance in these two cities is, that as

both had been taken and destroyed together, they likewise were rebuilt and

repeopled at the same time. However this be, Strabo affirms, that in his

time, Carthage was as populous as any city in Africa: and it rose to be the

capital of Africa, under the succeeding emperors. It existed for about seven

hundred years after in splendor, but at last was so completely destroyed by

the Saracens, in the beginning of the seventh century, that neither its name,

nor the least vestige of it, is known at this time in the country.

[Footnote 998: Appian, l. xvii. p. 833.]

[Footnote 999: Ibid. p. 83.]

[Footnote 1000: Ibid. p. 733.]

Section VIII.

A Digression On The Manners And Character Of The Second Scipio Africanus

Scipio, the destroyer of Carthage, was son to the famous Paulus Aemilius,

who conquered Perseus, the last king of Macedon; and consequently grandson to

that Paulus, who lost his life in the battle of Cannae. He was adopted by the

son of the great Scipio Africanus, and called Scipio Aemilianus; the names of

the two families being so united, pursuant to the law of adoption. Our Scipio

supported, with equal lustre, the honor and dignity of both houses, being

possessed of all the exalted qualities of the sword and gown. ^1001 The whole

tenor of his life, says a historian, whether with regard to his actions, his

thoughts, or his words, was conspicuous for its great beauty and regularity.

He distinguished himself particularly, a circumstance seldom found at that

time in persons of the military profession, by his exquisite taste for polite

literature and all sciences, as well as by the uncommon regard he showed to

learned men. It is universally known, that he was reported to be the author

of Terence's comedies, the most polite and elegant writings of which the

Romans could boast. We are told of Scipio, ^1002 that no man could blend more

happily repose and action, nor employ-his leisure hours with greater delicacy

and taste; thus was he divided between arms and books, between the military

labors of the camp, and the peaceful employment of the cabinet; in which he

either exercised his body in toils of war, or his mind in the study of the

sciences. By this he showed, that nothing does greater honor to a person of

distinction, of whatever quality or profession, than the adorning his soul

with knowledge. Cicero, speaking of Scipio, says, ^1003 that he always had

Xenophon's works in his hands, which are so famous for the solid and excellent

instructions they contain, both in regard to war and policy.

[Footnote 1001: Scipio Aemilianus. vir avitis P. Africani paternisque L. Pauli

virtutibus simillimus, omnibus belli ac togae dotibus, ingeniique ac studidrum

eminentissimus seculi sui, qui nihil in vita nisi landandum aut fecit aut

dixit, aut sensit. - Vel. Paterc. l. i. c. 12.]

[Footnote 1002: Neque enim quisquam hoc Scipione elegantius intervalla

negotiorum otio dispunxit; semperque aut belli aut pacis serviit artibus,

semper inter arma ac studia versatus, aut corpus periculis, aut animum

disciplinis exercuit. - Vel Paterc. c. 13.]

[Footnote 1003: Africanus semper Socraticum Xenophontem in manibus habebat. -

Tusc Quaest. 1. 2. n. 62.]

He owed this exquisite taste for polite learning and the sciences, to the

excellent education which Paulus Aemilius bestowed on his children. He had put

them under the ablest masters in every art, and did not spare any expense on

that occasion, though his circumstances were very narrow; Paulus Aemilius

himself was present at all their lessons, as often as the affairs of

government would permit, becoming, by this means, their chief preceptor. ^1004

[Footnote 1004: Plut. in Vita Aemil. Pual.]

The strict union between Polybius and Scipio finished the exalted

qualities, which, by the superiority of his genius and disposition, and the

excellency of his education, were already the subject of admiration. ^1005

Polybius, with a great number of Achaians, whose fidelity the Romans suspected

during the war with Perseus, was detained in Rome, where his merit soon

attracted notice, and made his conversation the desire of all persons of the

highest quality in that city. Scipio, when scarcely eighteen, devoted himself

entirely to Polybius, and considered as the greatest felicity of his life, the

opportunity he had of being instructed by so great a master, whose society he

preferred to all the vain and idle amusements which are generally so eagerly

pursued by young persons.

[Footnote 1005: Excerpt. e Polyb. pp. 147-163.]

The first care of Polybius was to inspire Scipio with an aversion for

those equally dangerous and ignominious pleasures, to which the Roman youth

were so strongly addicted; the greatest part of them being already depraved

and corrupted, by the luxury and licentiousness which riches and new conquests

had introduced into Rome. Scipio, during the first five years that he

continued in so excellent a school, made the greatest improvement in it; and,

despising the levity and wantonness, as well as the pernicious examples of

persons of the same age with himself, he was looked upon, even at that time,

as a shining model of discretion and wisdom.

From hence the transition was easy and natural, to generosity, to a noble

disregard of riches, and to a laudable use of them; all virtues so requisite

in persons of illustrious birth, and which Scipio carried to the most exalted

pitch, as appears from some instances of this kind related by Polybius, and

highly worthy our admiration.

Aemilia, ^1006 wife of the first Scipio Africanus, and mother of him who

had adopted the Scipio mentioned here by Polybius, had bequeathed, at her

death, a great estate to the latter. This lady besides the diamonds and

jewels which were worn by women of her high rank, possessed a great number of

gold and silver vessels used in sacrifices, together with several splendid

equipages, and a considerable number of slaves of both sexes; the whole suited

to the august house into which she had married. At her death, Scipio made over

all those rich possessions to Papiria, his mother, who, having been divorced a

considerable time before by Paulus Aemilius, and not being in circumstances to

support the dignity of her birth, lived in great obscurity, and never appeared

in the assemblies or public ceremonies. But when she again frequented them

with a magnificent train, this noble generosity of Scipio did him great honor,

especially in the minds of the ladies, who expatiated on it in all their

conversations, and in a city whose inhabitants, says Polybius, were not easily

prevailed upon to part with their money.

[Footnote 1006: She was the sister of Paulus Aemilius, father of the second

Scipio Africanus.]

Scipio was no less admired on another occasion. He was bound, by a

condition in the will, to pay at three different times, to the two daughters

of Scipio, his grandfather by adoption, half their portion, which amounted to

fifty thousand French crowns. ^1007 The time for the payment of the first sum

having expired, Scipio put all the money into the hands of a banker. Tiberius

Gracchus, and Scipio Nasica, who had married the two sisters, imagining that

Scipio had made a mistake, went to him and observed, that the laws allowed him

three years to pay the sum, and at three different times. Young Scipio

answered that he knew very well what the laws directed on this occasion; that

they might indeed be executed in their greatest rigor with strangers, but that

friends and relations ought to treat one another with a more generous

simplicity; and therefore desired them to receive the whole sum. They were

struck with such admiration at the generosity of their kinsman, that in their

return home they reproached themselves for their narrow way of thinking, at a

time when they made the greatest figure, and had a higher regard paid to them

than any family in Rome. This generous action, says Polybius, was the more

admired, because no person in Rome, so far from consenting to pay fifty

thousand crowns before they were due, would pay even a thousand before the

time for payment had elapsed.

[Footnote 1007: Or $55,000.]

It was from the same noble spirit that, two years after, Paulus Aemilius

his father being dead, he made over to his brother Fabius, who was not so

wealthy as himself, the part of their father's estate which was Scipio's due

(amounting to above threescore thousand crowns), ^1009 that there might not be

so great a disparity between his fortune and that of his brother.

[Footnote 1009: Or $66,000.]

This Fabius being desirous to exhibit a show of gladiators after his

father's decease, in honor of his memory, as was the custom in that age, and

not being able to defray the expenses on this occasion, which amounted to a

very heavy sum, Scipio made him a present of fifteen thousand crowns, ^1010 in

order to defray at least half the charges of it.

[Footnote 1010: Or $16,500.]

The splendid presents which Scipio had made his mother Papiria reverted

to him by law, as well as equity, after her demise; and his sisters, according

to the custom of those times, had not the least claim to them. Nevertheless,

Scipio thought it would have been dishonorable in him, had he taken them back

again. He therefore made over to his sisters whatever he had presented to

their mother, which amounted to a very considerable sum, and by this fresh

proof of his glorious disregard of wealth, and the tender friendship he had

for his family, acquired the applause of the whole city.

These different benefactions, which amounted altogether to a prodigious

sum, seem to have received a brighter lustre from the age at which he bestowed

them, he being then very young; and still more from the circumstances of the

time when they were presented, as well as the kind and obliging behavior he

assumed on those occasions.

The incidents I have here given are so repugnant to the maxims of this

age that there might be reason to fear the reader would consider them merely

as the rhetorical flourishes of a historian, who was prejudiced in favor of

his hero, if it was not well known that the predominant characteristic of

Polybius, by whom they are related, is a sincere love of truth, and an utter

aversion to adulation of every kind. In the very passage whence this relation

is extracted, he thought it would be necessary for him to be a little guarded,

where he expatiates on the virtuous actions and rare qualities of Scipio; and

he observes, that as his writings were to be perused by the Romans, who were

perfectly well acquainted with all the particulars of this great man's life,

he would certainly be animadverted upon by them, should he venture to advance

any falsehood; an affront to which it is not probable an author, who has the

least regard for his reputation, would expose himself, especially if no

advantage was to accrue to him from it.

We have already observed, that Scipio had never gone into the fashionable

debaucheries and excesses to which the young people at Rome so wantonly

abandoned themselves. But he was sufficiently compensated for this

self-denial of all destructive pleasures, by the vigorous health he enjoyed

all the rest of his life, which enabled him to taste pleasures of a much purer

and more exalted kind, and to perform the great actions that reflected so much

glory upon him.

Hunting, which was his favorite exercise, contributed also very much to

invigorate his constitution, and enable him to endure the hardest toils.

Macedonia, whither he followed his father, gave him an opportunity of

indulging to the utmost of his desire, his passion in this respect; for the

chase, which was the usual diversion of the Macedonian monarchs, having been

laid aside for some years on account of the wars, Scipio found there an

incredible quantity of game of every kind. Paulus Aemilius, studious of

procuring his son virtuous pleasures of every kind, in order to divert his

mind from those which reason prohibits, gave him full liberty to indulge

himself in his favorite sport, during all the time that the Roman forces

continued in that country, after the victory he had gained over Perseus. The

illustrious youth employed his leisure hours in an exercise which so well

suited his age and inclination; and was as successful in this innocent war

against the beasts of Macedonia, as his father had been in that which he had

carried on against the inhabitants of the country.

It was at Scipio's return from Macedon that he met with Polybius in Rome,

and contracted the strict friendship with him, which was afterwards so

beneficial to our young Roman, and did him almost as much honor in after ages

as all his conquests. We find by history, that Polybius lived with the two

brothers. One day, when he and Scipio were alone, the latter opened himself

freely to him, and complained, but in the mildest and most gentle terms, that

he, in their conversations at table, always directed himself to his brother

Fabius, and never to him. "I am sensible," says he, "that this indifference

arises from your supposing, with all our citizens, that I am a heedless young

man, and wholly averse to the taste which now prevails in Rome, because I do

not plead at the bar, nor study the graces of elocution. But how should I do

this? I am constantly told that the Romans expect a general, and not an

orator, from the house of the Scipios. I will confess to you, pardon the

sincerity with which I reveal my thoughts, that your coldness and indifference

grieve me exceedingly." Polybius, surprised at these unexpected words, made

Scipio the kindest answer, and assured the illustrious youth, that though he

always directed himself to his brother, yet this was not out of disrespect to

him, but only because Fabius was the eldest; not to mention, continued

Polybius, that, knowing you possessed but one soul, I conceived that I

addressed both, when I spoke to either of you. He then assured Scipio that he

was entirely at his command; that, with regard to the sciences, for which he

discovered the happiest genius, he would have opportunities sufficient to

improve himself in them, from the great number of learned Grecians who

resorted daily to Rome; but that, as to the art of war, which was properly his

profession and favorite study, he, Polybius, might be of some little service

to him. He had no sooner spoken these words, than Scipio, grasping his hand

in a kind of rapture; "Oh! when," says he, "shall I see the happy day, when,

disengaged from all other avocations, and living with me, you will be so much

my friend as to improve my understanding, and regulate my affections? It is

then I shall think myself worthy of my illustrious ancestors." From that time

Polybius, overjoyed to see so young a man breathe such noble sentiments,

devoted himself particularly to our Scipio, who for ever after paid him as

much reverence as if he had been his father.

Scipio, however, did not only esteem Polybius as an excellent historian,

but valued him much more, and reaped much greater advantages from him, by his

being so able a warrior, and so profound a politician. Accordingly, he

consulted him on every occasion, and always took his advice, even when he was

at the head of his army concerting in private with Polybius, all the

operations of the campaign, all the movements of the forces, all enterprises

against the enemy, and the several measures proper for rendering them


In a word, it was the common report, that our illustrious Roman did not

perform any great or good action, but when he was advised to it by Polybius;

nor ever commit any error, except when he acted without consulting him. ^1011

[Footnote 1011: Pausan. in Arcad. l. viii. p. 505.]

I flatter myself that the reader will excuse this long digression, which

may be thought foreign to my subject, as I am not writing the Roman history.

However, it appeared to me so well adapted to the general design, I propose to

myself in this work, viz.: the cultivating and improving the minds of youth,

that I could not forbear introducing it here, though I was sensible this is

not altogether its proper place. And indeed these examples show how important

it is that young people should receive a liberal and virtuous education, and

the great benefit they derive from associating and corresponding early with

persons of merit; for these were the foundations whereon were built the fame

and glory, which had rendered Scipio immortal. But above all, how noble an

example for our age, in which the most inconsiderable and even trifling

concerns often create feuds and animosities between brothers and sisters, and

disturb the peace of families, is the generous disinterestedness of Scipio,

who, whenever he had an opportunity of serving his relations, took a delight

in bestowing the largest sums upon them! This excellent passage of Polybius

had escaped me, by its not being inserted in the folio edition of his works.

It belongs indeed naturally to the book where, treating of the taste with

regard to solid glory. I mentioned the contempt in which the ancients held

riches, and the excellent use they made of them. I therefore thought myself

indispensably obliged to restore, on this occasion, to young students, what I

afterwards could not but blame myself for omitting.

Section IX.

The History Of The Family And Posterity Of Masinissa

I promised, after finishing what related to the republic of Carthage, to

return to the family and posterity of Masinissa. This piece of history forms

a considerable part of that of Africa, and therefore is not quite foreign to

my subject.

From Masinissa's having declared for the Romans in the time of the first

Scipio, he had always adhered to that honorable alliance, with an almost

unparalleled zeal and fidelity. Finding his end approaching, he wrote to the

proconsul of Africa, under whose standards the younger Scipio then fought, to

desire that Roman might be sent to him; adding, that he should die with

satisfaction, if he could but expire in his arms, after having made him

executor to his will. But, believing he should be dead before it could be

possible for him to receive this consolation, he sent for his wife and

children, and spoke to them as follows: "I know no nation but the Romans, and,

among this nation, no family, but that of Scipio. I now, in my expiring

moments, empower Scipio Aemilianus to dispose, in an absolute manner, of all

my possessions, and to divide my kingdom among my children. I require, that

whatever Scipio may decree, shall be executed as punctually as if I myself had

appointed it by my will." After saying these words, he breathed his last,

being upwards of ninety years of age. ^1012

[Footnote 1012: A. M. 3857. A. Rome, 601. App. p. 65. Val. Max. 1. x. c.


This prince, during his youth, had met with strange reverses of fortune,

having been dispossessed of his kingdom, obliged to fly from province to

province, and a thousand times in danger of his life. ^1013 Being supported,

says the historian, by the divine protection, he was afterwards favored, till

his death, with a perpetual series of prosperity, unruffled by any unfortunate

accident; for he not only recovered his own kingdom, but added to it that of

Syphax his enemy; and extending his kingdom from Mauritania as far as Cyrene,

he became the most powerful prince of all Africa. He was blessed, till he

left the world, with the greatest health and vigor, which was doubtless owing

to his extreme temperance, and the toils he perpetually sustained. Though

ninety years of age, he performed all the exercises used by young men, ^1014

and always rode without a saddle; and Polybius observes, a circumstance

preserved by Plutarch, ^1015 that a day after a great victory over the

Carthaginians, Masinissa was seen, sitting at the door of his tent, eating a

piece of brown bread. ^1016

[Footnote 1013: Appian, p.65.]

[Footnote 1014: Cicero introduces Cato, speaking as follows of Masinissa's

vigorous constitution: Arbitror te audire Scipio, hospes tuus Masinissa quae

faciat hodie nonaginta annos natus; cum ingressus iter pedibus sit, in equum

omnio non ascendere; cum equo, ex equo non defendere; nullo imbre, nullo

frigore adduci, ut capito operto sit; summam esse in eo corporis siccitatem.

Itaque exequi omnia regis officia et munera. - De Senecture.]

[Footnote 1015: An seni gerenda sit Resp. p. 791.]

[Footnote 1016: All this history of Jugurtha is extracted from Sallust]

He left fifty-four sons, of whom three only were legitimate, viz.:

Micipsa, Gulussa, and Mastanabal. Scipio divided the kingdom between these

three, and gave considerable possessions to the rest; but the two last, dying

soon after, Micipsa became the sole possessor of these extensive dominions.

He had two sons, Adherbal and Hiempsal, whom he educated in his palace with

Jugurtha his nephew, Mastanabal's son, of whom he took as much care as he did

of his own children. This last-mentioned prince possessed several eminent

qualities, which gained him universal esteem. Jugurtha, who was finely

shaped, and very handsome, of the most delicate wit and the most solid

judgment, did not devote himself, as young men commonly do, to a life of

luxury and pleasure. He used to exercise himself with persons of his age, in

running, riding, and throwing the javelin; and though he surpassed all his

companions, there was not one of them but loved him. The chase was his only

delight, but it was that of lions and other savage beasts. To finish his

character, he excelled in all things, and spoke very little of himself;

plurimum facere, et minimum ipse de se loqui ^1017.

[Footnote 1017: Appian, Val. Max. l. v. c. 2.]

So conspicuous an assemblage of fine talents and perfection, began to

excite the jealousy of Micipsa. He was himself in the decline of life, and

his children very young. He knew the prodigious lengths which ambition is

capable of going, when a crown is in view; and that a man, with talents much

inferior to those of Jugurtha, might be dazzled by so resplendent a

temptation, especially when united with such favorable circumstances. ^1018 In

order, therefore, to remove a competitor, so dangerous with regard to his

children, he gave Jugurtha the command of the forces which he sent to the

assistance of the Romans, who, at that time, were besieging Numantia, under

the conduct of Scipio. Knowing Jugurtha was actuated by the most heroic

bravery, he flattered himself that he probably would rush upon danger, and

lose his life. In this, he was mistaken. This young prince joined to an

undaunted courage, the utmost calmness of mind; preserving a just medium

between a timorous foresight and an impetuous rashness, a circumstance very

rarely found in persons of his age. ^1019 In this campaign, he won the esteem

and friendship of the whole army. Scipio sent him back to his uncle with

letters of recommendation, and the most advantageous testimonials of his

conduct, after having given him very prudent advice with regard to it; for

knowing mankind so well, he in all probability had discovered certain sparks

of ambition in that prince; which he feared one day would break out into a


[Footnote 1018: Terrebat cum natura mortalium avida imperii, et praeceps ad

explendam animi cupidinem praeterca opportunitas suae liberorumque aetatis,

quae etiam mediocres viros spe praedae transversos agit. - Sallust.]

[Footnote 1019: Ac sane, quod difficillimum imprimis est, et praelio strenuus

erat, et bonus consilio; quorum alterum ex providentia timorem, alterum ex

audacia temeritatem adferre plerumque solet.]

Micipsa, pleased with the great character that was sent him of his

nephew, changed his behavior towards him, and resolved, if possible, to win

his affection by kindness. Accordingly he adopted him; and, by his will, made

him joint-heir with his two sons. Finding afterwards his end approaching, he

sent for all three, and bid them draw near his bed, where, in presence of his

whole court, he put Jugurtha in mind how good he had been to him, conjuring

him, in the name of the gods, to defend and protect his children on all

occasions; who, being before related to him by the ties of blood, were now

become his brethren, by his (Micipsa's) bounty. He told him, that neither arms

nor treasure constitute the strength of a kingdom, but friends, who are not

won by arms nor gold, but by real services and inviolable fidelity. ^1020 Now

where, says he, can we find better friends than our brothers? And how can

that man, who becomes an enemy to his relations, repose any confidence in, or

depend on strangers? He exhorted his sons to pay the highest reverence to

Jugurtha; and to have no contention with him, but in their endeavors to equal,

and, if possible, surpass his exalted merit. He concluded with entreating

them to observe for ever an inviolable attachment to the Romans; and to

consider them as their benefactors, their patrons, and masters. A few days

after this Micipsa expired. ^1021

[Footnote 1020: Non exercitus, neque thesauri, praesidia regni sunt, verum

amici; quos neque armis cogere, neque auro parere queas; officio et fide

pariuntur. Quis autem amicior quam frater fratri? aut quem alienum autem

invenis, si tuis hostis fueris?]

[Footnote 1021: A. M. 3887. A. Rome, 631.]

But Jurgurtha soon threw off the mask, and began by ridding himself of

Hiempsal, who had expressed himself to him with great freedom, by instigating

his murder. ^1022 This bloody action proved but too evidently to Adherbal,

what he himself might naturally fear. Numidia was now divided, and sided

severally with the two brothers. Mighty armies were raised by each party.

Adherbal, after losing the greatest part of his fortresses, was vanquished in

battle, and forced to make Rome his asylum. This however gave Jugurtha no very

great uneasiness, as he knew that money was all-powerful in that city. He

therefore sent deputies thither, with orders for them to bribe the chief

senators. In the first audience to which they were introduced, Adherbal

represented the unhappy condition to which he was reduced, the injustice and

barbarity of Jugurtha, the murder of his brother, the loss of almost all his

fortresses; but the circumstance on which he laid the greatest stress was, the

commands of his dying father, viz.: to put his whole confidence in the Romans;

declaring, that the friendship of this people would be a stronger support both

to himself and his kingdom, than all the troops and treasures in the universe.

His speech was of great length, and extremely pathetic. Jugurtha's deputies

made only the following answer: that Hiempsal had been killed by the

Numidians, on account of his great cruelty; that Adherbal was the aggressor,

and yet, after having been vanquished, was come to make complaints, because he

had not committed all the excesses he desired; that their sovereign entreated

the senate to judge of his behavior and conduct in Africa, from what he had

shown at Numantia; and to lay a greater stress on his actions, than on the

accusations of his enemies. But these ambassadors had secretly employed an

eloquence, much more prevalent than that of words, which had not proved

ineffectual. The whole assembly was for Jugurtha, a few senators excepted,

who were not so void of honor as to be corrupted by money. The senate came to

this resolution, that commissioners should be sent from Rome, to divide the

provinces equally upon the spot between the two brothers. The reader will

naturally suppose, that Jugurtha was not sparing of his treasure on this

occasion; the division was made to his advantage, and yet a specious

appearance of equity was preserved.

[Footnote 1022: A. M. 3888. A. Rome, 632.]

This first success of Jugurtha augmented his courage and assurance. He

accordingly attacked his brother by open force; and while the latter lost his

time in sending deputations to the Romans, he stormed several fortresses,

carried on his conquests, and, after defeating Adherbal, besieged him in

Cirtha, the capital of his kingdom. During this interval, ambassadors arrived

from Rome with orders, in the name of the senate and people, to the two kings,

to lay down their arms, and cease all hostilities. Jugurtha, after protesting

that he would obey, with the most profound reverence and submission, the

commands of the Roman people, added, that he did not believe it was their

intention, to hinder him from defending his own life against the treacherous

snares which his brother had laid for it. He concluded with saying, that he

would send ambassadors forthwith to Rome, to inform the senate of his conduct.

By this evasive answer he eluded their orders, and would not even permit the

deputies to wait on Adherbal.

Though the latter was so closely blocked up in his capital, he yet found

means to send to Rome, to implore the assistance of the Romans against his

brother, who had besieged him five months, and intended to take away his life.

^1023 Some senators were of opinion, that war ought to be proclaimed

immediately against Jugurtha; but still his influence prevailed, and the

Romans only ordered an embassy to be sent, composed of senators of the highest

distinction, among whom was Aemilius Scaurus, a factious man, who had a great

influence over the nobility, and concealed the blackest vices under the

specious appearance of virtue. Jugurtha was terrified at first; but he again

found an opportunity to elude their demands, and accordingly sent them back

without coming to any conclusion. Upon this Adherbal, who had lost all hopes,

surrendered, upon condition of having his life spared; nevertheless, he was

immediately murdered, with a great number of Numidians.

[Footnote 1023: He chose two of the nimblest of those who had followed him

into Cirtha; who, induced by the great rewards he promised them, and pitying

his unhappy circumstances, undertook to pass through the enemy's camp, in the

night, to the neighboring shore, and from thence to Rome. - Ex iis qui una

Cirtham profugerant, duos maxime impigros delegit; eos multa pollicendo, ac

miserando casum suum, confirmat uti per hoceum munitiones noctu ad proximum

mare, deir Romam pergerent. - Sallust.]

Although the greatest part of the people at Rome were struck with horror

at this news, Jugurtha's money again obtained him defenders in the senate.

But C. Memmius, a tribune of the people, an active man who hated the nobility,

prevailed upon the former not to suffer so horrid a crime to go unpunished;

and accordingly war being proclaimed against Jugurtha, Calpurnius Bestia, the

consul, was appointed to carry it on. He was endued with excellent qualities,

but they were all destroyed, and rendered useless by his avarice. ^1024

Scaurus set out with him. They at first took several towns; but Jugurtha's

bribes checked the progress of these conquests; and Scaurus ^1025 himself,

who, till now, had expressed the strongest animosity against this prince,

could not resist so powerful an attack. A treaty was therefore concluded;

Jugurtha feigned to submit to the Romans, and thirty elephants, some horses,

with a very considerable sum of money, were delivered to the quaestor. ^1026.

[Footnote 1024: Multae bonaeque artes animi et corporis erant, quas omnes

avaritia prae pedicbat.]

[Footnote 1025: Magnitudine pecuniae a bono honestoque in pravum abstractus


[Footnote 1026: A. M. 3894. A. Rome, 683. Ant. J. C. 110.]

But now the indignation of the people in general at Rome displayed itself

in the strongest manner. Memmius the tribune, fired them by his speeches. He

caused Cassius, who was praetor, to be appointed to attend Jugurtha, and to

engage him to come to Rome, under the guarantee of the Romans, in order that

an inquiry might be made in his presence who those persons were that had taken

bribes. Accordingly, Jugurtha was forced to come to Rome. The sight of him

raised the anger of the people still higher, but a tribune having been bribed,

he prolonged the session, and at last dissolved it. A Numidian prince,

grandson of Masinissa, called Massiva, being at that time in the city, was

advised to solicit for Jugurtha's kingdom; which coming to to the ears of the

latter, he got him assassinated in the midst of Rome. However, the murderer

was seized, and delivered up to the civil magistrate, and Jugurtha was

commanded to depart from Italy. Upon leaving the city, he turned his eyes

several times toward it, and said, "Rome wants only a purchaser; and were one

to be found, it were inevitably ruined." ^1027

[Footnote 1027: Postquam Roma egressus est, fertur saepe tacitus eo

respiciens, postremo dixisse. Urbem venalem et nature perituram, si emptorem


The war now recommenced. At first the indolence, or perhaps connivance,

of Albinus the consul, caused it to progress very slowly; but afterwards, when

he returned to Rome to hold the public assemblies, ^1028 the Roman army, by

the unskillfulness of his brother Aulus, having marched into a defile from

whence there was no getting out, surrendered ignominiously to the enemy, who

forced the Romans to submit to the ceremony of passing under the yoke, and

made them engage to leave Numidia in ten days.

[Footnote 1028: For electing magistrates. - Sal.]

The reader will naturally suppose, that so shameful a peace, concluded

without the authority of the people, was considered in a most odious light at

Rome. They could not flatter themselves with the hopes of being successful in

this war, till the conduct of it was given to L. Metellus the consul. To all

the other virtues which constitute the great captain, he added a perfect

disregard of wealth; a quality most essentially requisite against such an

enemy as Jugurtha, who hitherto had always been victorious, rather by money,

than by the sword. ^1029. But the African monarch found Metellus as

inaccessible in this as in all other respects. He therefore was forced to

venture his life, and exert his utmost bravery, through the deficiency of an

expedient which now began to fail him. He accordingly signalized himself in a

surprising manner; and showed in this campaign, all that could be expected

from the courage, abilities, and attention of an illustrious general to whom

despair adds new vigor, and suggests new views: he was, however, unsuccessful,

because opposed by a consul who did not suffer the most inconsiderable error

to escape him, nor ever let slip an opportunity of taking advantage of the


[Footnote 1029: In Numidian proficiscitur, magna spe civium, cum propter artes

bonas, tum maxime quod adversum divitias invictum animum gerebat.]

Jugurtha's greatest concern was, how to secure himself from traitors.

From the time he had been told that Bomilcar, in whom he reposed the utmost

confidence, had a design upon his life, he enjoyed no peace. He did not

believe himself safe anywhere; but all things, by day as well as night, the

citizen as well as foreigner, were suspected by him; and the blackest terrors

sat for ever brooding over his mind. He never got any sleep, except by

stealth; and often changed his bed, in a manner unbecoming his rank. Starting

sometimes from his slumbers, he would snatch his sword, and break into loud

cries; so strongly was he haunted by fear, and so strangely did he act the


Marius was lieutenant of Metellus. His boundless ambition induced him to

endeavor secretly to lessen this general's character in the minds of his

soldiers; and becoming soon his professed enemy and slanderer, he at last, by

the most grovelling and perfidious arts, prevailed so far as to supplant

Metellus, and get himself nominated in his place, to carry on the war against

Jugurtha. With whatever strength of mind Metellus might be endued on other

occasions, he was totally dejected by this unforeseen blow, which even forced

tears from his eyes, and such expressions as were altogether unworthy so great

a man. ^1030 There was something very dark and vile in this procedure of

Marius; a circumstance that displays ambition in its native and genuine

colors, and shows that it extinguishes, in those who abandon themselves to it,

all sense of honor and integrity. Metellus avoided a man whose sight he could

not bear, arrived in Rome, and was received there with universal acclamations.

A triumph was decreed him, and the surname of Numidicus conferred upon him.


[Footnote 1030: Quibus rebus supra bonum atque honestum perculsus, neque

lacrymas tenere, neque moderari linguam vir egregius in aliis artibus, nimis

molliter aegritudinem pali.]

[Footnote 1031: A. M. 3898. A. Rome, 642.]

I thought it would be proper to suspend, till I came to the Roman

history, an account of the events that happened in Africa under Metellus and

Marius, all which are very circumstantially described by Sallust, in his

admirable history of Jugurtha. I therefore hasten to the conclusion of this


Jugurtha being greatly distressed in his affairs, had recourse to

Bocchus, king of Mauritania, whose daughter he had married. This country

extends from Numidia, as far as beyond the shores of the Mediterranean,

opposite to Spain. ^1032 The Roman name was scarcely known in it, and the

people as little known to the Romans. Jugurtha insinuated to his father-

in-law, that should he suffer Numidia to be conquered, his kingdom would

doubtless be involved in its ruin; especially as the Romans, who were sworn

enemies to monarchy, seemed to have vowed the destruction of all the thrones

in the universe. He therefore prevailed upon Bocchus to enter into a league

with him; and accordingly received, on different occasions, very considerable

succors from the king.

[Footnote 1032: Now comprehending Fez, Morroco, &c.]

This confederacy, which was strengthened on either side by no other tie

than that of interest, had never been close, and a late defeat which Jugurtha

met with, broke at once all the bands of it. Bocchus now meditated the dark

design of delivering up his son-in-law to the Romans. For this purpose he had

desired Marius to send him a trusty person. Sylla, who was an officer of

uncommon merit, and served under him as quaestor, was thought every way

qualified for this negotiation. He was not afraid to put himself into the

hands of the barbarian king; and accordingly set out for his court. Being

arrived, Bocchus, who, like the rest of his countrymen, did not pride himself

in sincerity, was for ever projecting new designs, debated within himself,

whether it would not be his interest to deliver up Sylla to Jugurtha. He was

a long time fluctuating with uncertainty, and between contrary opinions: and

the sudden changes which displayed themselves in his countenance, in his air,

and his whole person, showed evidently how strong his mind was affected. At

length, returning to his first design, he made his terms with Sylla, and

delivered up Jugurtha into his hands, who was sent immediately to Marius.

Sylla, says Plutarch, ^1033 acted on this occasion like a young man fired

with a strong thirst of glory, the sweets of which he had just begun to taste.

Instead of ascribing to the general under whom he fought all the honor of this

event, as his duty required, and which ought to be an inviolable maxim, he

reserved the greatest part of it to himself, and had a ring made, which he

always wore, wherein he was represented receiving Jugurtha from the hands of

Bocchus; and this ring he used ever after as his signet. But Marius was so

highly exasperated at this kind of insult, that he could never forgive him; a

circumstance that gave rise to the implacable hatred between these two Romans,

which afterwards broke out with so much fury, and cost the republic so much

blood. ^1034

[Footnote 1033: - Plut. Precep. Reip. Ger. p. 806.]

[Footnote 1034: Plut, in Vit. Marii.]

Marius entered Rome in triumph, exhibiting such a spectacle to the

Romans, as they could scarce believe they saw, when it passed before their

eyes; I mean, Jugurtha in chains; that so formidable an enemy, during whose

life they could not flatter themselves with the hopes of being able to put an

end to this war; so well was his courage sustained by stratagem and artifice,

and his genius so fruitful in finding new expedients, even when his affairs

were most desperate. ^1035 We are told, that Jugurtha ran distracted, as he

proceeded in the triumph; that after the ceremony was ended, he was thrown

into prison; and that the lictors were so eager to seize his robe, that they

rent it in several pieces, and tore away the tips of his ears, to get the rich

jewels with which they were adorned. In this condition he was cast, quite

naked, and in the utmost terrors, into a deep dungeon, where he spent six days

in struggling with hunger and fear of death, retaining a strong desire of life

to his last gasp: an end, continues Plutarch, worthy of his wicked deeds;

Jugurtha having been always of opinion, that the greatest crimes might be

committed to satiate his ambition, ingratitude, perfidy, black treachery, and

inhuman barbarity.

[Footnote 1035: A. M. 3901. A. Rome, 645. Ant. J. C. 103. - Plaut. Ibid]

Juba, king of Mauritania, reflected so much honor on polite literature

and the sciences, that I could not without impropriety omit him in the history

of Masinissa, to whom his father, who also was named Juba, was great-grandson

and grandson of Gulussa. The elder Juba signalized himself in the war between

Caesar and Pompey, by his inviolable attachment to the party of the latter

hero. He slew himself after the battle of Thapsus, in which his forces, and

those of Scipio, were entirely defeated. Juba, his son, then a child, was

delivered up to the conqueror, and was one of the most conspicuous ornaments

of his triumph. It appears from history, that a noble education was bestowed

upon Juba in Rome, where he imbibed such a variety of knowledge, as afterwards

enabled him to rival the most learned Grecians. He did not leave that city

till he went to take possession of his father's dominions. Augustus restored

them to him, when by the death of Mark Antony, the provinces of the empire

were absolutely at his disposal. ^1036 Juba, by the lenity of his government,

gained the hearts of all his subjects: who, out of a grateful sense of the

felicity they had enjoyed during his reign, ranked him in the number of their

gods. Pausanias speaks of a statue which the Athenians erected to his honor.

It was indeed just, that a city, which had been consecrated in all ages to the

muses, should give public testimonies of its esteem for a king who made so

bright a figure among the learned. Suidas ascribes several works to this

prince, of which only the fragments are now extant. He had written the

history of Arabia; the antiquities of Assyria, and those of the Romans; the

history of theatres, of painting, and painters; of the nature and properties

of different animals, and of grammar, etc., a catalogue of all which is given

in Abbe Sevin's short dissertations on the life and works of the younger Juba,

^1037 whence I have extracted these few particulars.

[Footnote 1036: A. M. 3974. A. Rome, 719. Ant. J. C. 30.]

[Footnote 1037: Vol. IV. of the Memoirs of the Academy of Belles Lettres, p. 47

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