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edly early age,106 Scipio was chosen Proconsul 107 and despatched to Spain. Neither his own confidence nor that of others in him was deceived; and the conquest of New Carthage, followed by the defeat of all the Carthaginian generals,103 loosened for ever the dominion which had been founded by enormous efforts and relied upon for enormous returns.
It will not do to pass over in utter silence the necessities and the calamities which were felt amongst the Romans, while they were thus rapidly recovering from the shocks by which they had been more rapidly assailed when Hannibal broke into Italy. The skies were clearing ; but the shadows cast by the clouds, and the chasms opened by the hail and the lightning, which were now passing away, were to be lamented until the generation that had witnessed them was no more. In the histories written at a later period, we are permitted to see only the public losses and the repairs which these received; yet in following the histories, in order to prove the energies and the resources of the citizens, the trials and the endurance of the men are not to be forgotten, though they cannot be described.
The appointment of three commissioners, on account, as the historian remarks, of the want of money,109 in the year of the defeat at Cannæ, and the embassy soon after sent to Egypt for the purpose of
106 See the account of his election in Liv., XXV. 2.
107 Liv., XXVI. 18. Appian., De Reb. Hisp., XVIII.
108 Polyb., X. 15. Liv., XXVI. 46, XXVIII. 14, 15.
109 Liv., XXIII. 21.
procuring corn,110 reveal the private as well as the public distresses that were experienced, and the efforts made in their alleviation. Yet, whatever were the necessities of individuals, those of the Commonwealth were always the first to be supplied. After the full brunt of the invasion had been borne, the Senate determined that the tax upon houses and lands should be doubled ; 111 and at nearly the same time, a consular proclamation was issued, with the Senate's consent, that all the corn of the year, whether ripe or unripe, should be conveyed from the fields before a certain day, 12 to prevent it from going to feed the enemy, though the proprietors might be impoverished by its early gathering. On one occasion, commissioners were appointed to proceed through the various cities and towns of Italy, in order to bring out all the recruits that could be had, both under and over age.113 At another time, when seamen were needed, and the treasury was too much exhausted to provide for their support, an act of the Senate directed the Consuls to call upon all the richer citizens to find the sailors and their wages;114 and the fleet was soon at sea. A few years later, the demands upon private fortunes for the like purpose were renewed; but in the interval so much had been suffered, that there was no longer the same readiness to furnish the men or the supplies required; and if the charge was made a general one, as it almost appears,
110 Polyb., IX. 44. 111 Liv., XXIII. 31. 112 Ibid., XXIII. 32.
113 Ibid., XXV. 5. 114 Ibid., XXIV. 11.
the murmurs of the people that they had only the bare and untilled ground to give were nothing strange. Yet all men knew, as well as Senators or Consuls, that, without a fleet, there could be no defence against Carthage or Macedonia, no protection of Sardinia and Sicily; and when, at the suggestion of Valerius Lævinus, one of the Consuls, the Senators brought in their coin and plate to set an example, instead of resorting to further edicts or requisitions, there were few or none who did not imitate them and make their offerings likewise. 115 These were the resources of Rome; and they were fully sufficient to parry and return the blows of any invader, were he ten times Hannibal.
Nor were such measures as relieved the Commonwealth of its pecuniary or its military wants the only ones that contributed to its success. Among the most memorable incidents of the present period was the dictatorship of Marcus Fabius Buteo, elected in the year of Cannæ to that office, as the oldest of those who had been Censors, in order to fill the vacancies occasioned in the Senate by the recent disasters. A proposal to admit some of the eminent men among the Latin people to the empty places had been made ; 116 but the surviving Senators united in opposing it, and probably in obtaining the nomination of Fabius Buteo. Appointed without any Master of the Knights, and at the same time that an
116 Liv., XXIII. 22.
115 Liv., XXVI. 35, 36. The account in Val. Max., V. 6. 8, is full of animation. VOL. II.
other Dictator, formerly mentioned, Junius Pera, was in the field, Fabius came into the Forum to fulfil his duty. First addressing the people, in order to remove any doubts they might have had about his views in a matter of such importance as was intrusted to him, he ordered the list of the present Senate to be recited aloud, and then proceeded to elect, in the place of the deceased members, one hundred and seventy-seven from those who had held any high offices or signalized themselves by any especial merit since the last formal election by the Censors. This being done with great approbation on all sides, says the historian, Fabius resigned the office which had been given him for the usual term of six months; and descending from the rostra as a private citizen, he would have slipped away amongst the crowd, had they not watched him and attended him home with every mark of honor and of gratitude." There is no scene more characteristic of all the history in which we are engaged than that of this election, in which the laws of Rome were as humbly observed, on the one hand, as, on the other, the claims of her subjects, like those of the Latins to be Senators, were proudly rejected.
Another name of distinguished associations is that of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, who, after serving as Master of the Knights with Junius Pera, was elected Consul. In that capacity he received under his command, besides a goodly number of allied
117 Liv.., XXIII. 23.
troops, a force of some eight thousand slaves, who had offered themselves as volunteers ; 118 and on joining his army, his first care was necessarily to unite its various ranks, as though their length of service and their condition of life had been the same.119 In this noble purpose he so completely succeeded, that he was able to carry on his operations in Campania with great success; and at the end of the year, the command of the slaves, formed into two legions by themselves, was continued to him as Proconsul.120 He soon marched to Beneventum, and on the approach of the Carthaginian general, Hanno, Gracchus sallied forth with some soldiers of higher standing, besides the slaves, to whom he, with the previously obtained consent of the Senate, 12 promised their freedom, if they did their duty in the impending action. The forces of Hanno were so superior, that the issue of the engagement was for some time doubtful; but when the Proconsul ordered it to be proclaimed, that not a man should be set free, unless the enemy were routed, the slaves, “changed into other beings,” 122 drove all before them. Some who had behaved less valiantly withdrew apart by themselves, when the victory was won by their worthier comrades; but Gracchus called them all before him, and announced that every man who heard him was set at liberty, while those who had failed to do their whole duty were condemned in penance to eat
118 “ Volones." Festus. Liv., XXIV. 11. Cf. Val. Max., VII. 6.1.
119 Liv., XXIII, 35.
120 Ibid., XXIV. 11. 12 Ibid., XXIV. 14. 122 Ibid., XXIV. 16.