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were already deserted by those who had undertaken to defend them; and when the Romans entered the gates without resistance, the inhabitants they found within seemed fit, it appears, only to be murdered or sold into captivity. All the treasures of wealth and art which Corinth had been amassing for centuries were seized ; and when nothing remained to be taken away, the Consul ordered his trumpeters to blow a blast, at which his men, as previously instructed, set fire to every part of the city. The flames flared up, says a later historian, as though the walls had formed the circumference of one vast chimney,19 and all that was soon left of the brilliant Corinth was the broken skeleton, as it were, of its form, in the midst of ashes.
Savage as may seem the conduct of Mummius, he had ordered no more than any of his countrymen would have done; and if it appear unnecessary to repeat the description of a scene so full of horror, it must be remembered that there is some illustration required of the passions which the Romans showed and of the impressions to which they were exposed as conquerors. The surname of Achaicus,20 than which Mummius could have received no greater reward, though this was given him on account of his settlement of Achaia 21 rather than of the conflagration of Corinth, is, nevertheless, a fully sufficient tes
18 Florus, II, 16.
was the first Plebeian to obtain a 19 Oros., V. 3. Cf. Diodorus's name from his victories. lamentations. Reliq., XXXII. 27. 21 Polyb., XLI. 11.
20 Vell. Pat., I. 13. Mummius
timony to the fact that he was not regarded as having done any thing of which there was need to be ashamed, or with which he could on any grounds be charged; and not long afterwards, indeed, he was blamed by his colleague in the censorship for being, not too severe, but much too mild in disposition.” The only respect in which he appears to have been below the standard of other eminent men was his exceeding ignorance of art, than which there could be no greater, if he allowed, as is said, his soldiers to use a famous painting for a dice-board,23 while he bade the shippers he employed in transporting his spoils to Rome to observe that he held them bound to replace any statue or picture they might lose. 24 But even in imagining that the ideal forms he beheld, yet did not understand, were to be replaced by gold, Mummius was, again, of the same mind that far the greater number of his countrymen would have been; and it is, once more, their want of cultivation that we see in his, just as his want of humanity was theirs likewise. It may now be simpler to conceive the devastation which was spread amongst the civilized but enervated victims of the Roman arms.
The same year 25 that was marked by the fall of Corinth witnessed the final overthrow of Carthage. A third Punic war, so called, was begun, apparently
Mummius's selling a picture for a 23 Polyb., XL. 7., Fragm. from large sum and then taking it back:Strabo.
22 Val. Max., VI. 4. 2.
“ Suspicatus aliquid in ea virtutis 24 Vell. Pat., I. 13. So Pliny quod ipse nesciret." (XXXV. 8) tells another story of . 25 A. C. 146.
because the Romans were weary of hearing the name of their ancient enemies; and for three years the Carthaginians strove to defend the little that was left to them for an inheritance. But they, too, fell; their homes were for ever ruined; and a few deserted vestiges of Hannibal's birthplace alone remained upon the northern coast of the province formed of the surrounding territory and entitled Africa. 26 Another Scipio was the destroyer; and the name of Africanus, a second time bestowed, bore witness to his renown and to the extinction of Carthage from among the habitations of men.
While Carthage and Greece were falling easy victims to the covetousness and the force of Rome, the wars with the barbarians of the North and West were still arduous. The Gauls on the southern side of the Po, first defeated, were wellnigh exterminated at the commencement of the present period ; 27 their kinsmen or neighbours farther northwards being shortly after compelled to yield, some even to be transported to the South, as hostages or exiles.28 In the succeeding years, the Roman arms were pushed amongst the Alps 29 and along the shores of the Adriatic through Istria and Dalmatia 30 on the east, while on the west they followed the Mediterranean coast towards Massilia, their ancient ally. Meanwhile, the
2 Flor., II. 15. Appian., De 180. Liv., XL. 38. The bulk of Reb. Pun., 132 et seq.
the tribe did not submit until some 27 A. C. 196. Liv., XXXIII. years afterwards. 36 et seq.
29 A. C. 166. Liv., Epit. XLVII. 28 Some of the Ligurians were 30 A. C. 178 - 156. Liv., XLI. transported into Samnium, A. C. 1. Epit. LXVII. VOL. II.
revolts of Sardinia and Corsica 31 were quelled, and the whole extent of Italy, from its southern islands to its northern mountains, kept clear as possible of any commotions that might disturb the expeditions year by year departing, but not so often returning, across the seas.
The roughest fields of all were to the west, in Spain, where Scipio's conquests, though they left the names of the Nearer and the Farther provinces, into which the country had been divided, were nevertheless again and again endangered, sometimes impaired, by the eager and vexatious enemies whom no victories seemed able to crush. Porcius Cato, of whom we shall presently hear more, and Sempronius Gracchus, son of the victor at Beneventum, confirmed the Roman dominion over the districts on the northern side of the Ebro,32 and in the Celtiberian portions of the peninsula ; 33 yet their successors in command were but the more sorely tried by the independent spirit of many, especially among the western tribes, against whose wild and flighty forces the steady legions seemed driven, like spent balls, in vain. Nor did the devastations and butcheries with which the baffled conquerors consoled themselves make their own advances easier, or leave the country quieter, to the armies of another year.
In the midst of this long uproar, and when it was loudest in Lusitania, the command of the forces employed against the inhabitants of that western territory was intrusted to the Prætor Sulpicius Galba, a man of talent, experience, and utter corruptness. Defeated, like his predecessors, by the speed and the spirit of the mountaineers, he waited his opportunity, and in the spring of the second year 34 broke in again amongst them, in conjunction with another Roman general, whom he had perhaps persuaded to support his intended operations. The plan succeeded; and the Lusitanians, terrified at the approach of both the Roman armies, sent to Galba to sue for peace. He was quite prepared to receive and to abuse their submission; and summoning the whole tribe, through their envoys, to meet in different places, where his proposals should be communicated to them, he was enabled to accomplish his work of treachery and bloodshed without a struggle. A large number of the mountaineers were massacred ; 35 some were spared for slavery; only a few escaped to wreak revenge.
31 A. C. 176, 173. Liv., XLI. 17, XLII. 7.
32 A. C. 195. Liv., XXXIV. 9 et seq.
33 A. C. 179. Liv., XL. 47 et seq.
But before proceeding in search of the events which were sure, under the circumstances, to follow upon this horrid slaughter, we must turn our faces to obtain a striking glimpse of the opinions and principles that were now in action at Rome. The first idea suggested, on returning thither from the scene of perfidy in Lusitania, is, that the Romans
34 A. C. 150. Appian., De Reb. says 7,000 ; Suetonius (Galb., 3) Hisp., 59.
raises the number to 30,000. 35 Valerius Maximus (IX. 6. 2)