|The Story of Rome|
|by Mary Macgregor|
|A vivid account of the story of Rome from the earliest times to the death of Augustus, retold for children, chronicling the birth of a city and its growth through storm and struggle to become a great world empire. Gives short accounts of battles and campaigns, and of the men who expanded the borders of the Roman empire to include all lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Ages 10-14 |
SCIPIO RECEIVES A TRIUMPH
 AFTER the battle of Zama, in 202 B.C., the war was at an end,
for the Carthaginians had no longer any army.
They had, indeed, no choice now, save to accept the
terms Rome might offer, unless they were prepared to
see Carthage itself besieged.
Since submission was inevitable, the Carthaginians
resolved to yield with as good a grace as possible. So
they decked one of their ships with olive branches, and
sent ambassadors on board to sail toward Utica. They
hoped that the ambassadors would thus meet Scipio, who
was on his way to the town of Tunes.
But the Roman general haughtily refused to receive them
until he reached his destination. Then his interview
with the suppliants was brief, his answer to their
petition for merciful terms, proud.
"You deserve nothing at our hand but condign
punishment," he told them, "yet Rome has determined to
treat you with magnanimity, on condition that you
receive the terms offered to you."
The crestfallen ambassadors had no retort to such
imperious words, for they knew that they were helpless
to resist, however hard the terms might prove. But the
conditions, although severe, yet at least still left
Carthage a free nation.
To begin with, the Carthaginians were made to suffer
for their rashness in breaking the truce.
The ships and provisions which they had taken must be
restored. All captives and runaway slaves must be sent
back. The elephants, without which the Carthaginians
 would feel uneasy on a battlefield, were all to be
given up to the Romans, as well as the warships, save
only twenty. But this was not all. The conquered
people must promise to wage no war in foreign countries;
and, more bitter still, they must not even fight in
Africa itself without first asking Rome for permission
to do so. Masinissa was to have all this land and
property given back to him.
These, with a few other conditions, completed the
demands of Rome.
Among the Carthaginians there were some bold, reckless
spirits who would have refused to accept such terms.
For these would cripple their commerce, and also leave
them powerless to resent the encroachments which
Masinissa would certainly make upon their frontier.
But Hannibal was present at the conference that was
being held, and he told his rash countrymen that they
should be grateful that the terms were not even more
When one of the senators still urged that the Romans
should be defied, Hannibal caught his robe and pulled
him to his seat while he was speaking. His only
apology for such conduct was to say: "I have been so
long with my army that I have forgotten the habits of
Since no other way was possible, the terms were
accepted, and Scipio, having finished his work in
Africa, was now ready to return to Rome.
When he reached Italy his progress was as that of a
king. In towns and villages he was hailed as the
deliverer of Rome. Had he not forced Hannibal to leave
Italy, and had he not even defeated the bold conqueror
His progress was as that of a king.
His triumph was the most magnificent that had ever yet
been seen. For several days, too, games were held in
the city, and for these festivities Scipio himself
supplied the money.
That his great victory might not be forgotten, Scipio
was now given the name of the country which he had
conquered, and he was henceforth known as Scipio
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