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Hannibal by  Jacob Abbott

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SCIPIO

[205]

T
HE true reason why Hannibal could not be arrested in his triumphant career seems not to have been because the Romans did not pursue the right kind of policy toward him, but because, thus far, they had no general who was his equal. Whoever was sent against him soon proved to be his inferior. Hannibal could out-maneuver them all in stratagem, and could conquer them on the field. There was, however, now destined to appear a man capable of coping with Hannibal. It was young Scipio, the one who saved the life of his father at the battle of Ticinus. This Scipio, though the son of Hannibal's first great antagonist of that name, is commonly called, in history, the elder Scipio; for there was another of his name after him, who was greatly celebrated for his wars against the Carthaginians in Africa. These last two received from the Roman people the surname of Africanus, in honor of their African victories, and the one who now comes upon the stage was [206] called Scipio Africanus the elder, or sometimes simply the elder Scipio. The deeds of the Scipio who attempted to stop Hannibal at the Rhone and upon the Po were so wholly eclipsed by his son, and by the other Scipio who followed him, that the former is left out of view and forgotten in designating and distinguishing the others.

Our present Scipio first appears upon the stage, in the exercise of military command, after the battle of Cannæ. He was a subordinate officer and on the day following the battle he found himself at a place called Canusium, which was at a short distance from Cannæ, on the way toward Rome, with a number of other officers of his own rank, and with broken masses and detachments of the army coming in from time to time, faint, exhausted, and in despair. The rumor was that both consuls were killed. These fragments of the army had, therefore, no one to command them. The officers met together, and unanimously agreed to make Scipio their commander in the emergency, until some superior officer should arrive, or they should get orders from Rome.

An incident here occurred which showed, in a striking point of view, the boldness and energy [207] of the young Scipio's character. At the very meeting in which he was placed in command, and when they were overwhelmed with perplexity and care, an officer came in, and reported that in another part of the camp there was an assembly of officers and young men of rank, headed by a certain Metellus, who had decided to give up the cause of their country in despair, and that they were making arrangements to proceed immediately to the sea-coast, obtain ships, and sail away to seek a new home in some foreign lands, considering their cause in Italy as utterly lost and ruined. The officer proposed that they should call a council and deliberate what was best to do.

"Deliberate!" said Scipio; "this is not a case for deliberation, but for action. Draw your swords and follow me." So saying, he pressed forward at the head of the party to the quarters of Metellus. They marched boldly into the apartment where he and his friends were in consultation. Scipio held up his sword, and in a very solemn manner pronounced an oath, binding himself not to abandon his country in this the hour of her distress, nor to allow any other Roman citizen to abandon her. If he should be guilty of such treason, he called upon Jupiter, by [208] the most dreadful imprecations, to destroy him utterly, house, family, fortune, soul, and body.

"And now, Metellus, I call upon you," said he, "and all who are with you, to take the same oath. You must do it, otherwise you have got to defend yourselves against these swords of ours, as well as those of the Carthaginians." Metellus and his party yielded. Nor was it wholly to fear that they yielded. It was to the influence of hope quite as much as to that of fear. The courage, the energy, and the martial ardor which Scipio's conduct evinced, awakened a similar spirit in them, and made them hope again that possibly their country might yet be saved.

The news of the awful defeat and destruction of the Roman army flew swiftly to Rome, and produced universal consternation. The whole city was in an uproar. There were soldiers in the army from almost every family, so that every woman and child throughout the city was distracted by the double agitation of inconsolable grief at the death of their husband or their father, slain in the battle, and of terrible fear that Hannibal and his raging followers were about to burst in through the gates of the city to murder them. The streets of the city, and [209] especially the Forum, were thronged with vast crowds of men, women, and children, who filled the air with loud lamentations, and with cries of terror and despair.

The magistrates were not able to restore order. The senate actually adjourned, that the members of it might go about the city, and use their influence and their power to produce silence at least, if they could not restore composure. The streets were finally cleared. The women and children were ordered to remain at home. Armed patrols were put on guard to prevent tumultuous assemblies forming. Men were sent off on horseback on the road to Canusium and Cannæ, to get more accurate intelligence, and then the senate assembled again, and began to consider, with as much of calmness as they could command, what was to be done.

The panic at Rome was, however, in some measure, a false alarm, for Hannibal, contrary to the expectation of all Italy, did not go to Rome. His generals urged him very strongly to do so. Nothing could prevent, they said, his gaining immediate possession of the city. But Hannibal refused to do this. Rome was strongly fortified, and had an immense population. His army, too, was much weakened by the battle of [210] Cannæ, and he seems to have thought it most prudent not to attempt the reduction of Rome until he should have received re-enforcements from home. It was now so late in the season that he could not expect such re-enforcements immediately, and he accordingly determined to select some place more accessible than Rome, and make it his head-quarters for the winter. He decided in favor of Capua, which was a large and powerful city one or two hundred miles southeast of Rome.

Hannibal, in fact, conceived the design of retaining possession of Italy and of making Capua the capital of the country, leaving Rome to itself, to decline, as under such circumstances it inevitably must, to the rank of a second city. Perhaps he was tired of the fatigues and hazards of war, and having narrowly escaped ruin before the battle of Cannæ, he now resolved that he would not rashly incur any new dangers. It was a great question with him whether he should go forward to Rome, or attempt to build up a new capital of his own at Capua. The question which of these two he ought to have done was a matter of great debate then, and it has been discussed a great deal by military men in every age since his day. Right or wrong, [211] Hannibal decided to establish his own capital at Capua, and to leave Rome, for the present, undisturbed.

He, however, sent immediately to Carthage for re-enforcements. The messenger whom he sent was one of his generals named Mago. Mago made the best of his way to Carthage with his tidings of victory and his bushel of rings, collected, as has been already said, from the field of Cannæ. The city of Carthage was greatly excited by the news which he brought. The friends and patrons of Hannibal were elated with enthusiasm and pride, and they taunted and reproached his enemies with the opposition to him they had manifested when he was originally appointed to the command of the army of Spain.

Mago met the Carthaginian senate, and in a very spirited and eloquent speech he told them how many glorious battles Hannibal had fought, and how many victories he had won. He had contended with the greatest generals that the Romans could bring against him, and had conquered them all. He had slain, he said, in all, over two hundred thousand men. All Italy was now subject to his power; Capua was his capital, and Rome had fallen. He concluded by [212] saying that Hannibal was in need of considerable additional supplies of men, and money, and provisions, which he did not doubt the Carthaginians would send without any unnecessary delay. He then produced before the senate the great bag of rings which he had brought, and poured them upon the pavement of the senate-house as a trophy of the victories which he had been announcing.

This would, perhaps, have all been very well for Hannibal if his friends had been contented to have left the case where Mago left it; but some of them could not resist the temptation of taunting his enemies, and especially Hanno, who, as will be recollected, originally opposed his being sent to Spain. They turned to him, and asked him triumphantly what he thought now of his factious opposition to so brave a warrior. Hanno rose. The senate looked toward him and were profoundly silent, wondering what he would have to reply. Hanno, with an air of perfect ease and composure, spoke somewhat as follows:

"I should have said nothing, but should have allowed the senate to take what action they pleased on Mago's proposition if I had not been particularly addressed. As it is, I will say that [212] I think now just as I always have thought. We are plunged into a most costly and most useless war, and are, as I conceive, no nearer the end of it now than ever, notwithstanding all these boasted successes. The emptiness of them is clearly shown by the inconsistency of Hannibal's pretensions as to what he has done, with the demands that he makes in respect to what he wishes us to do. He says he has conquered all his enemies, and yet he wants us to send him more soldiers. He has reduced all Italy—the most fertile country in the world—to subjection, and reigns over it at Capua, and yet he calls upon us for corn. And then, to crown all, he sends us bushels of gold rings as a specimen of the riches he has obtained by plunder, and accompanies the offering with a demand for new supplies of money. In my opinion, his success is all illusive and hollow. There seems to be nothing substantial in his situation except his necessities, and the heavy burdens upon the state which these necessities impose."

Notwithstanding Hanno's sarcasms, the Carthaginians resolved to sustain Hannibal, and to send him the supplies that he needed. They were, however, long in reaching him. Various [214] difficulties and delays occurred. The Romans, though they could not dispossess Hannibal from his position in Italy, raised armies in different countries, and waged extended wars with the Carthaginians and their allies, in various parts of the world, both by sea and land.

The result was, that Hannibal remained fifteen or sixteen years in Italy, engaged, during all this time, in a lingering struggle with the Roman power, without ever being able to accomplish any decisive measures. During this period he was sometimes successful and victorious, and sometimes he was very hard pressed by his enemies. It is said that his army was very much enervated and enfeebled by the comforts and luxuries they enjoyed at Capua. Capua was a very rich and beautiful city, and the inhabitants of it had opened their gates to Hannibal of their own accord, preferring, as they said, his alliance to that of the Romans. The officers—as the officers of an army almost always do, when they find themselves established in a rich and powerful city, after the fatigues of a long and honorable campaign—gave themselves up to festivities and rejoicing, to games, shows, and entertainments of every kind, which they soon learned infinitely to prefer to the toil and danger of marches and battles.

[215] Whatever may have been the cause, there is no question about the fact that, from the time Hannibal and his army got possession of their comfortable quarters in Capua, the Carthaginian power began gradually to decline. As Hannibal determined to make that city the Italian capital instead of Rome, he, of course, when established there, felt in some degree settled and at home, and was less interested than he had been in plans for attacking the ancient capital. Still, the war went on; many battles were fought, many cities were besieged, the Roman power gaining ground all the time, though not, however, by any very decisive victories.

In these contests there appeared, at length, a new Roman general named Marcellus, and, either on account of his possessing a bolder and more active temperament, or else in consequence of the change in the relative strength of the two contending powers, he pursued a more aggressive policy than Fabius had thought it prudent to attempt. Marcellus was, however, cautious and wary in his enterprises, and he laid his plans with so much sagacity and skill that he was almost always successful. The Romans applauded very highly his activity and ardor, without, however, forgetting their obligations [216] to Fabius for his caution and defensive reserve. They said that Marcellus was the sword  of their commonwealth, as Fabius had been its shield.

The Romans continued to prosecute this sort of warfare, being more and more successful the longer they continued it, until, at last, they advanced to the very walls of Capua, and threatened it with a siege. Hannibal's intrenchments and fortifications were too strong for them to attempt to carry the city by a sudden assault, nor were the Romans even powerful enough to invest the place entirely, so as completely to shut their enemies in. They, however, encamped with a large army in the neighborhood, and assumed so threatening an attitude as to keep Hannibal's forces within in a state of continual alarm. And, besides the alarm, it was very humiliating and mortifying to Carthaginian pride to find the very seat of their power, as it were, shut up and overawed by an enemy over whom they had been triumphing themselves so short a time before, by a continued series of victories.

Hannibal was not himself in Capua at the time that the Romans came to attack it. He marched, however, immediately to its relief, and, [217] attacking the Romans in his turn, endeavored to compel them to raise the siege, as it is technically termed, and retire. They had, however, so intrenched themselves in the positions that they had taken, and the assaults with which he encountered them had lost so much of their former force, that he could accomplish nothing decisive. He then left the ground with his army, and marched himself toward Rome. He encamped in the vicinity of the city, and threatened to attack it; but the walls, and castles, and towers with which Rome, as well as Capua, was defended, were too formidable, and the preparations for defense too complete, to make it prudent for him really to assail the city. His object was to alarm the Romans, and compel them to withdraw their forces from his capital that they might defend their own.

There was, in fact, some degree of alarm awakened, and in the discussions which took place among the Roman authorities, the withdrawal of their troops from Capua was proposed; but this proposal was overruled; even Fabius was against it. Hannibal was no longer to be feared. They ordered back a small detachment from Capua, and added to it such forces as they could raise within the city, and [218] then advanced to give Hannibal battle. The preparations were all made, it is said, for an engagement, but a violent storm came on, so violent as to drive the combatants back to their respective camps. This happened, the great Roman historian gravely says, two or three times in succession; the weather immediately becoming serene again, each time, as soon as the respective generals had withdrawn their troops from the intended fight. Something like this may perhaps have occurred, though the fact doubtless was that both parties were afraid, each of the other, and were disposed to avail themselves of any excuse to postpone a decisive conflict. There was a time when Hannibal had not been deterred from attacking the Romans even by the most tempestuous storms.

Thus, though Hannibal did, in fact, in the end, get to the walls of Rome, he did nothing but threaten when he was there, and his encampment near the city can only be considered as a bravado. His presence seems to have excited very little apprehension within the city. The Romans had, in fact, before this time, lost their terror of the Carthaginian arms. To show their contempt of Hannibal, they sold, at public auction, the land on which he was encamped, [219] while he was upon it besieging the city, and it brought the usual price. The bidders were, perhaps, influenced somewhat by a patriotic spirit, and by a desire to taunt Hannibal with an expression of their opinion that his occupation of the land would be a very temporary encumbrance. Hannibal, to revenge himself for this taunt, put up for sale at auction, in his own camp, the shops of one of the principal streets of Rome, and they were bought by his officers with great spirit. It showed that a great change had taken place in the nature of the contest between Carthage and Rome, to find these vast powers, which were a few years before grappling each other with such destructive and terrible fury on the Po and at Cannæ, now satisfying their declining animosity with such squibbing as this.

When the other modes by which Hannibal attempted to obtain re-enforcements failed, he made an attempt to have a second army brought over the Alps under the command of his brother Hasdrubal. It was a large army, and in their march they experienced the same difficulties, though in a much lighter degree, that Hannibal had himself encountered. And yet, of the whole mighty mass which set out from Spain, noth- [220] ing reached Hannibal except his brother's head. The circumstances of the unfortunate termination of Hasdrubal's attempt were as follows:

When Hasdrubal descended from the Alps, rejoicing in the successful manner in which he had surmounted those formidable barriers, he imagined that all his difficulties were over. He dispatched couriers to his brother Hannibal, informing him that he had scaled the mountains, and that he was coming on as rapidly as possible to his aid.

The two consuls in office at this time were named, the one Nero, and the other Livius. To each of these, as was usual with the Roman consuls, was assigned a particular province, and a certain portion of the army to defend it, and the laws enjoined it upon them very strictly not to leave their respective provinces, on any pretext whatever, without authority from the Roman Legislature. In this instance Livius had been assigned to the northern part of Italy, and Nero to the southern. It devolved upon Livius, therefore, to meet and give battle to Hasdrubal on his descent from the Alps, and to Nero to remain in the vicinity of Hannibal, to thwart his plans, oppose his progress, and, if possible, conquer and destroy him, while his colleague [221] prevented his receiving the expected re-enforcements from Spain.

Things being in this state, the couriers whom Hasdrubal sent with his letters had the vigilance of both consuls to elude before they could deliver them into Hannibal's hands. They did succeed in passing Livius, but they were intercepted by Nero. The patrols who seized these messengers brought them to Nero's tent. Nero opened and read the letters. All Hasdrubal's plans and arrangements were detailed in them very fully, so that Nero perceived that, if he were at once to proceed to the northward with a strong force, he could render his colleague such aid as, with the knowledge of Hasdrubal's plans, which he had obtained from the letters, would probably enable them to defeat him; whereas, if he were to leave Livius in ignorance and alone, he feared that Hasdrubal would be successful in breaking his way through, and in ultimately effecting his junction with Hannibal. Under these circumstances, he was, of course, very earnestly desirous of going northward to render the necessary aid, but he was strictly forbidden by law to leave his own province to enter that of his colleague without an authority from Rome, which there was not now time to obtain.

[222] The laws of military discipline are very strict and imperious, and in theory they are never to be disobeyed. Officers and soldiers, of all ranks and gradations, must obey the orders which they receive from the authority above them, without looking at the consequences, or deviating from the line marked out on any pretext whatever. It is, in fact, the very essence of military subordination and efficiency, that a command, once given, suspends all exercise of judgment or discretion on the part of the one to whom it is addressed; and a good general or a good government would prefer generally that harm should be done by a strict obedience to commands, rather than a benefit secured by an unauthorized deviation from them. It is a good principle, not only in war, but in all those cases in social life where men have to act in concert, and yet wish to secure efficiency in action.

And yet there are cases of exception—cases where the necessity is so urgent, or the advantages to be derived are so great; where the interests involved are so momentous, and the success so sure, that a commander concludes to disobey and take the responsibility. The responsibility is, however, very great, and the danger in assuming it extreme. He who [223] incurs it makes himself liable to the severest penalties, from which nothing but clear proof of the most imperious necessity, and, in addition to it, the most triumphant success, can save him. There is somewhere in English history a story of a naval commander, in the service of an English queen, who disobeyed the orders of his superiors at one time, in a case of great emergency at sea, and gained by so doing a very important victory. Immediately afterward he placed himself under arrest, and went into port as a prisoner accused of crime instead of a commander triumphing in his victory. He surrendered himself to the queen's officers of justice, and sent word to the queen herself that he knew very well that death was the penalty for his offense, but that he was willing to sacrifice his life in any way  in the service of her majesty. He was pardoned!

Nero, after much anxious deliberation, concluded that the emergency in which he found himself placed was one requiring him to take the responsibility of disobedience. He did not, however, dare to go northward with all his forces, for that would be to leave southern Italy wholly at the mercy of Hannibal. He selected, therefore, from his whole force, which consisted [224] of forty thousand men, seven or eight thousand of the most efficient and trustworthy; the men on whom he could most securely rely, both in respect to their ability to bear the fatigues of a rapid march, and the courage and energy with which they would meet Hasdrubal's forces in battle at the end of it. He was, at the time when Hasdrubal's letters were intercepted, occupying a spacious and well-situated camp. This he enlarged and strengthened, so that Hannibal might not suspect that he intended any diminution of the forces within. All this was done very promptly, so that, in a few hours after he received the intelligence on which he was acting, he was drawing off secretly, at night, a column of six or eight thousand men, none of whom knew at all where they were going.

He proceeded as rapidly as possible to the northward, and, when he arrived in the northern province, he contrived to get into the camp of Livius as secretly as he had got out from his own. Thus, of the two armies, the one where an accession of force was required was greatly strengthened at the expense of the other, without either of the Carthaginian generals having suspected the change.

Livius was rejoiced to get so opportune a re- [225] enforcement. He recommended that the troops should all remain quietly in camp for a short time, until the newly-arrived troops could rest and recruit themselves a little after their rapid and fatiguing march; but Nero opposed this plan, and recommended an immediate battle. He knew the character of the men that he had brought, and he was, besides, unwilling to risk the dangers which might arise in his own camp, in southern Italy, by too long an absence from it. It was decided, accordingly, to attack Hasdrubal at once, and the signal for battle was given.

It is not improbable that Hasdrubal would have been beaten by Livius alone, but the additional force which Nero had brought made the Romans altogether too strong for him. Besides, from his position in the front of the battle, he perceived, from some indications that his watchful eye observed, that a part of the troops attacking him were from the southward; and he inferred from this that Hannibal had been defeated, and that, in consequence of this, the whole united force of the Roman army was arrayed against him. He was disheartened and discouraged, and soon ordered a retreat. He was pursued by the various divisions of the Ro- [226] man army, and the retreating columns of the Carthaginians were soon thrown into complete confusion. They became entangled among rivers and lakes; and the guides who had undertaken to conduct the army; finding that all was lost, abandoned them and fled, anxious only to save their own lives. The Carthaginians were soon pent up in a position where they could not defend themselves, and from which they could not escape. The Romans showed them no mercy, but went on killing their wretched and despairing victims until the whole army was almost totally destroyed. They cut off Hasdrubal's head, and Nero set out the very night after the battle to return with it in triumph to his own encampment. When he arrived, he sent a troop of horse to throw the head over into Hannibal's camp, a ghastly and horrid trophy of his victory.


[Illustration]

HASDRUBAL'S HEAD

Hannibal was overwhelmed with disappointment and sorrow at the loss of his army, bringing with it, as it did, the destruction of all his hopes. "My fate is sealed," said he: "all is lost. I shall send no more news of victory to Carthage. In losing Hasdrubal my last hope is gone."

While Hannibal was in this condition in Italy, the Roman armies, aided by their allies, were gaining gradually against the Carthaginians in [229] various parts of the world, under the different generals who had been placed in command by the Roman senate. The news of these victories came continually home to Italy, and encouraged and animated the Romans, while Hannibal and his army, as well as the people who were in alliance with him, were disheartened and depressed by them. Scipio was one of these generals commanding in foreign lands. His province was Spain. The news which came home from his army became more and more exciting, as he advanced from conquest to conquest, until it seemed that the whole country was going to be reduced to subjection. He overcame one Carthaginian general after another until he reached New Carthage, which he besieged and conquered, and the Roman authority was established fully over the whole land.

Scipio then returned in triumph to Rome. The people received him with acclamations. At the next election they chose him consul. On the allotment of provinces, Sicily fell to him, with power to cross into Africa if he pleased. It devolved on the other consul to carry on the war in Italy more directly against Hannibal. Scipio levied his army, equipped his fleet, and sailed for Sicily.

[230] The first thing that he did on his arrival in his province was to project an expedition into Africa itself. He could not, as he wished, face Hannibal directly, by marching his troops into the south of Italy, for this was the work allotted to his colleague. He could, however, make an incursion into Africa, and even threaten Carthage itself, and this, with the boldness and ardor which marked his character, he resolved to do.

He was triumphantly successful in all his plans. His army, imbibing the spirit of enthusiasm which animated their commander, and confident of success, went on, as his forces in Spain had done, from victory to victory. They conquered cities, they overran provinces, they defeated and drove back all the armies which the Carthaginians could bring against them, and finally they awakened in the streets and dwellings of Carthage the same panic and consternation which Hannibal's victorious progress had produced in Rome.

The Carthaginians being now, in their turn, reduced to despair, sent embassadors to Scipio to beg for peace, and to ask on what terms he would grant it and withdraw from the country. Scipio replied that he  could not make peace. It rested with the Roman senate, whose servant [231] he was. He specified, however, certain terms which he was willing to have proposed to the senate, and, if the Carthaginians would agree to them, he would grant them a truce, that is, a temporary suspension of hostilities, until the answer of the Roman senate could be returned.

The Carthaginians agreed to the terms. They were very onerous. The Romans say that they did not really mean to abide by them, but acceded for the moment in order to gain time to send for Hannibal. They had great confidence in his resources and military power, and thought that, if he were in Africa, he could save them. At the same time, therefore, that they sent their embassadors to Rome with their propositions for peace, they dispatched expresses to Hannibal, ordering him to embark his troops as soon as possible, and, abandoning Italy, to hasten home, to save, if it was not already too late, his native city from destruction.

When Hannibal received these messages, he was overwhelmed with disappointment and sorrow. He spent hours in extreme agitation, sometimes in a moody silence, interrupted now and then by groans of despair, and sometimes uttering loud and angry curses, prompted by the exasperation of his feelings. He, however, [232] could not resist. He made the best of his way to Carthage. The Roman senate, at the same time, instead of deciding on the question of peace or war, which Scipio had submitted to them, referred the question back to him. They sent commissioners to Scipio, authorizing him to act for them, and to decide himself alone whether the war should be continued or closed, and if to be closed, on what conditions.

Hannibal raised a large force at Carthage, joining with it such remains of former armies as had been left after Scipio's battles, and he went forth at the head of these troops to meet his enemy. He marched five days, going, perhaps, seventy-five or one hundred miles from Carthage, when he found himself approaching Scipio's camp. He sent out spies to reconnoiter. The patrols of Scipio's army seized these spies, and brought them to the general's tent, as they supposed, for execution. Instead of punishing them, Scipio ordered them to be led around his camp, and to be allowed to see every thing they desired. He then dismissed them that they might return to Hannibal with the information they had obtained.

Of course, the report which they brought in respect to the strength and resources of Scipio's [233] army was very formidable to Hannibal. He thought it best to make an attempt to negotiate a peace rather than to risk a battle, and he accordingly sent word to Scipio requesting a personal interview. Scipio acceded to this request, and a place was appointed for the meeting between the two encampments. To this spot the two generals repaired at the proper time, with great pomp and parade, and with many attendants. They were the two greatest generals of the age in which they lived, having been engaged for fifteen or twenty years in performing, at the head of vast armies, exploits which had filled the world with their fame. Their fields of action had, however, been widely distant, and they met personally now for the first time. When introduced into each other's presence, they stood for some time in silence, gazing upon and examining one another with intense interest and curiosity, but not speaking a word.

At length, however, the negotiation was opened. Hannibal made Scipio proposals for peace. They were very favorable to the Romans, but Scipio was not satisfied with them, He demanded still greater sacrifices than Hannibal was willing to make. The result, after a long [234] and fruitless negotiation, was, that each general returned to his camp and prepared for battle.

In military campaigns, it is generally easy for those who have been conquering to go on to conquer: so much depends upon the expectations with which the contending armies go into battle. Scipio and his troops expected to conquer. The Carthaginians expected to be beaten. The result corresponded. At the close of the day on which the battle was fought, forty thousand Carthaginians were dead and dying upon the ground, as many more were prisoners in the Roman camp, and the rest, in broken masses, were flying from the field in confusion and terror, on all the roads which led to Carthage. Hannibal arrived at the city with the rest, went to the senate, announced his defeat, and said that he could do no more. "The fortune which once attended me," said he, "is lost forever, and nothing is left to us but to make peace with our enemies on any terms that they may think fit to impose."


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