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in the North with reinforcements from Spain, fell into the hands of the Romans. Claudius did not hesitate a moment as to the course which lay before him; the misgivings which had been apparent at his election, 136 concerning the new invader and the lack of able generals to defend the Commonwealth,137 were remembered, and the time of confirming or dispelling them was come. He therefore sent Hasdrubal's letters to the Senate, announcing, as he did so, his own determination to proceed with the flower of his whole army to join his colleague, stationed in the North, and strike down the Carthaginian before he could take a step farther into Italy. He also addressed his orders to the people through whose territories he would march to prepare provisions and means of transport by the road's side, so that there might be no delay to the work upon which his heart was set and the safety of his country was again at stake. The exertions that had been previously made for the campaign were crowned by the spirit of Claudius and of the entire people who still bore the name of Rome as subjects or as children. Even in the city, where nothing could be done to hinder or to help the sudden enterprise of the Consul, there was a hopeful rather than an anxious confidence, on the receipt of the intelligence he sent; while through the country in his line of march, the zeal of the inhabitants to supply the necessities of the army as it pressed forward was like the promise of victory before the foe
136 Liv., XXVII. 34.
both dead; Fabius was too infirm 137 Gracchus and Marcellus were to serve ; and Scipio was in Spain. VOL. II.
was found.138 The tide flowed back upon the invaders, who had crossed or hoped to cross upon dry ground; and Hasdrubal, dismayed by the united Roman armies, first sought to retreat beyond the river Metaurus, but was overtaken and with his whole army overwhelmed.139 Claudius returned with the head of his fallen foe, which he ordered to be flung before the Carthaginian outposts; whence it was carried to Hannibal, who had looked for a sight of his brother alive and victorious. “I recognize,” he said, “the fate of Carthage.” 140 At Rome, the thanksgivings to the gods and the congratulations of the citizens proclaimed that the perils of the war were overcome at last.141
The year after the victory by the Metaurus, Scipio came back to Rome from five years' service as Proconsul, having left, as he told the Senate, not a single Carthaginian in Spain.142 Being chosen Consul by the unanimous acclamations of the people, rejoiced to match a hero against their enemy, who still lingered in the South, Scipio declared he was elected in order to conclude the war, and that the only means
138 See the glowing narrative of 141 Liv., XXVII. 51. the march in Liv., XXVII. 43 - 45. 142 Liv., XXVIII. 38. He had
139 A. C. 207. Liv., XXVII. not only cleared Spain of the Car48, 49.
thaginians, but had crossed to Afri140 “ Hannibal, tanto simul pub- ca, and achieved an alliance with lico familiarique ictus luctu, agnos- the king of a part of Numidia. He cere se fortunam Carthaginis fertur had also overcome an insurrection dixisse." Liv., XXVII. 51. amongst several Spanish tribes, and “ Occidit, occidit
a mutiny in the Roman army after Spes omnis, et fortuna nostri
his return to Spain. Liv., XXVIII. Nominis, Asdrubale interemto."
Hor., Carin., IV. 4. 70 - 72. 17 - 19 et seq., 24 et seq.
of fulfilling this universal expectation was to take the field in Africa and there stab Carthage to the heart. After great opposition, chiefly on the part of the Senate, the province of Sicily was assigned to the still youthful Consul, with formal permission, of which it was not intended that he should avail himself, to cross to Africa, if he thought it good for the Commonwealth.143 He set sail forthwith for Sicily; but was obliged to tarry there until the following year, the third from the battle of Metaurus; when, followed by volunteers whose enthusiasm seconded alike his intrigues and his powers, he pressed the Carthaginians so hard that they were obliged to call back Hannibal. He, meanwhile, as if transformed from the springing to the crouching lion, had lain in wait, hoping, at first, that his younger brother, Mago, might reach him, though Hasdrubal had failed; and when this prospect proved illusory, he still remained close in his southern haunts, liking better to threaten the nation whom he could not conquer than rid them of the fears he could still arouse. When sent for, at last, from Carthage, to defend the home, if such it could be called, from which he had so long been absent, he is said to have scarcely refrained from tears. “I have been overcome,” he exclaimed, “ not by the people of Rome, but by my own countrymen”; 144 intending, with truth, to say, that the war had been carried on, in defiance of faction and indifference at Carthage, by the whelps, as Hamilcar Barca called his children,145 whom he was rearing against his hated foes. Three hundred thousand Romans had perished 146 when Hannibal abandoned Italy, after having held a large portion of it for fifteen years. 147
143 Liv., XXVIII. 46.
144 Liv., XXX. 20.
The last blows against the doomed and tottering Carthage were dealt within the next two years. All that could be wrought through buoyant faith or ardent energy was done at Rome, where the poet Nævius chanted the glories of the earlier Punic war, 143 and the image of the mother of the gods,149 transported from Phrygia, in obedience to an ancient oracle, was enshrined with great rejoicing. Scipio achieved his part beyond the sea; and the return of Hannibal, earnest as he was to defend the cause with which he and all his race had been identified, did not prevent the defeat of the Carthaginian forces at Zama,150 sixteen years from the beginning of the war. It was then, at Hannibal's own persuasion, that peace was made.
The overthrow of Carthage was decisive, if not literally complete. Her walls yet stood; the palaces of her rich men were still strown with luxuries, and the temples of her gods were still blood-stained with sacrifices; but the little energy that had previously
145 Val. Max., IX. 3. 2, Ext. old age. Cic., De Senect., 14. existed amongst her people was taken away. The Roman captives and deserters were delivered up; a large tribute in money and corn was promised; elephants and ships of war were surrendered; and it was furthermore agreed, that the Carthaginians should never resume their arms but with the consent of their conquerors.151 So was the weaker tree lopped, that the stronger might have growth and space above the earth.
146 Appian., De Reb. Pun., See the following chapter. 134.
149 Cybele, the Idæan mother, as 147 From A. C. 218 to 203. Fa- she was also called. Liv., XXIX. bius died in the latter year. Plut., 10 et seq. Fab., 27.
150 A. C. 202. Liv., XXX, 32 148 The poem was written in his et seq.
Fabius Maximus is said to have compared Hannibal to a flame that suddenly blazes and is as suddenly extinguished.152 It was a truer, though not, perhaps, intended for a more generous, saying than those other reports which appear to have been current amongst the Romans 153 concerning the barbarity of their long-dreaded invader. If he had great vices, of which, however, there is little or nothing authentically related, they were such as he could not escape, being a Carthaginian; and that he was a Carthaginian is likewise the cause of his having been neglected, instead of being supplied from home with all his needs.154 The best point in his character is the magnanimity which recognized the virtues of his foes and bore with the jealousies and slanders of his countrymen ; but the qualities for which he was and has been most distinguished are those of the great warrior,
151 Polyb., XV. 18. Liv., XXX. Cassius (Fragm. XLVII.) are both 43. Dion Cass., Fragm. CLV. his defenders. These terms were concluded A. C. 154 See Napoleon's judgment up201.
on Hannibal in the Mémorial de Ste. 152 Plut., Fab., 2.
Hélène, Tom. II. p. 438, éd. illustr. 153 Polybius (1X. 22) and Dion