« ElőzőTovább »
which you have obtained by an age of conquest. At present, Scipio, fortune is in your power; a moment of time may give it to your enemy. But let me not call myself such : it is Annibal who now addresses you, Annibal who esteems your virtues, and desires your friendship. Peace will be useful to us both. As for me, I shall be proud of the alliance of Rome: and you have it in your power to convert an active enemy into a steadfast friend.”- to this Scipio replied, “ That as the wars which he complained of were begun by the Carthaginians, they ought not to complain of the consequences; that as to himself he could never condemn his own perseverance on the side of justice: that some outrages had been committed during the late truce, which required reparation ; and which, if consented to, he was willing to conclude a treaty.”
Both sides parted dissatisfied; they returned to their camps to prepare for deciding the controversy by the sword. Never was a more memorable battle fought, whether we regard the generals, the armies, the two siates, that contended, or the empire that was in dispute. The disposition Annibal made of his men is said to have been superior to any even of his for. mer arrangements. He encouraged the various nations of his army, by the different motives which led them to the field; to the mercenaries, he promised a discharge of their arrears, and double pay, with plunder in case of a victory ; the Gauls he inspired, by aggravating their natural antipathy to the Romans; the Numidians, by representing the cruelty of their new king; and the Carthaginians by reminding them of their coun. try, their glory, the danger of servitude, and their desire of freedom. Scipio, on the other hand, with a cheerful countenance, desired his legions to rejoice, for that their labours and their dangers were now near at an end ; that the gods had given Carthage into their hands; and that they should soon return triumphant to their friends, their wives, and their children. The battle began with the elephants, on the side of the Carthaginians; these animals being terrified at the cries of the Romans, and wounded by the slingers and archers, turned upon their drivers, and caused much confusion in both wings of their army, in which the cavalry was placed. Being thus deprived of the assistance of the horse, in which their greatest strength consisted, the heavy infantry joined on both sides. The Romans were more vigorous and powerful in the shock; the Carthaginians more active and ready. However, they were unable to withstand the continued pressure of the Roman shields ; but at first gave way a little, and this soon brought on a general flight. The rear guard, which had orders from Annibal to oppose those who fled, now began to attack their own
forces; so that the body of the infantry sustained a double encounter, of those who caused their flight, and those who endeavoured to prevent it. At length, the general, finding it impossible to reduce them to order, directed that they should fall behind, while he brought up his fresh forces to oppese the pursuers. Scipio, upon this, immediately sounded a retreat, in order to bring up his men a second time in good order. And now the combat began afresh, between the power of both armies. The Carthaginians, however, having been deprived of the succour of their elephants and their horse, and their enemies being stronger of body, were obliged to give ground. In the mean time, Massinissa, who had been in pursuit of their cavalry, returning, and attacking them in the rear, completed their defeat. A total rout ensued ; twenty thousand men were killed in the battle or the pursuit, and as many more were taken prisoners. Annibal, who had done all that a great general and an undaunted soldier could perform, fled with a small body of horse to Adrumetum ; where he paused on the instability of fortune, and the ruin of his country.
DESTRUCTION OF CARTHAGE. The Carthaginians perceived the wisdom of Annibal, who had foreseen the consequences of their conduct ; but it was now too late either to profit by his sagacity or his assistance. Affrighted at the Roman armaments, against which they were totally unprepared, they immediately condemned those who had broken the league, and most humbly offered adequate satisfaction. To these submissions, the senate only returned an evasive answer, demanding three hundred hostages within thirty days, as a security for their future conduct, and an implicit obedience to their further commands. With these rigid conditions it was supposed the Carthaginians would not comply; but it turned out otherwise, for this infatuated people, sacrificing every thing to their love of peace, sent their children within the limited time; and the consuls, landing at Utica soon after, were waited upon by deputies from Carthage, to know the senate's further demands, as certain of a ready acceptance, The Roman generals were not a little perplexed in what manner to drive them to resistance; wherefore Censorinus, the consul, commending their diligence, demanded all their arms; but these alse, contrary to expectation, they delivered up. At last, it was found that the conquerors would not desist from making demands, while the suppliants had any thing left to supply. They therefore received orders to leave their city, which was to be levelled with the ground; at the same time, being allowed to build another in any part of VOL. II.
their territories, not less than ten miles from the sea. This severe and despotic injunction they received with all įhe concern and distress of a despairing people; they implored for a respite from such a 'hard sentence; they used tears and lamentations : but finding the consuls inexorable, they departed with a gloomy resolution, prepared to suffer the utmost extremities, and to fight to the last for their seat of empire, and the habitations of their ancestry.
A general spirit of resistance seemed to inspire the whole people against their imperious foes; and they, now too late, began to see the danger of riches in a state, when it had no longer power to defend them. Those vessels, therefore, of gold and silver, which their luxury had taken such pride in, were converted into arms, as they had formerly given up their iron, which in their present circumstances, was the most precious metal. The women also parted with their ornaments, and even cut off their hair, to be converted into strings for the bowmen. Asdrubal, who had been lately condemned for opposing the Romans, was now taken from prison to head their army; and such preparations were made, that when the consuls came before the city, which they expected to find an easy conquest, they met with such repulses, as quite dispirited their forces, and shook their resolution. Several engagements were fought before the walls, generally to the disadvantage of the assailants; so that the siege would have been discontinued had not Scipio Æmilianus, the adopted son of Africanus, who was appointed to command it, used as much skill to save his forces after a defeat, as to inspire them with hopes of ultimate victory. But all his arts would have failed, had he not ound means to seduce Pharneas, the master of the Carthaginian horse, who came over to his side. From that time, he went on successfully; and, at length, the inhabitants were driven into the citadel. He then cut off all supplies of provisions from the country; and next blocked up the haven; but the besieged, with incredible industry, cut out a new passage into the sea, by which they could receive necessaries from the army without. Scipio perceiving this, set upon them in the beginning of the ensuing winter, killed seventy thousand of their men, and took ten thousand prisoners of war.
The unhappy townsmen, though now berest of all external succour, still resolved upon every extremity, rather than submit; but they soon saw the enemy make nearer approaches; the wall which led i o the haven was quickly demolished; soon after the Forum was taken, which offered the conquerors a deplorable spectacle of houses, nodding to their fall, heaps of men lying dead, or the wounded struggling to emerge from the carnage around them, and deploring their own and their country's ruin. The citadel next surrendered at discretion; and all now, except the temple, was carried, which was defended by deserters from the Roman army, and those who had been most active in undertaking the war. These, however, expecting no mercy, and finding their condition desperate, set fire to the building, and voluntarily perished in the flames. Asdrubal, the Carthaginian general, surrendered himself to the Romans when the citadel was taken; but his wife and two children rushed into the temple while on fire, and expired with their country.
The conflagration was now extended by the merciless conquerors over the whole of this noble city, which being twentyfour miles in compass, the burning continued for seventeen successive days. The senate of Rome, indeed, ordered that it should be levelled with the ground, and interdicted its being rebuilt. The first part of their cruel command was strictly executed; the latter remained in force only for a time. All the cities which assisted Carthage in this war were likewise devoted to the same fate, and the lands belonging to them were given to the friends of the Romans.
BATTLE OF PHARSALIA AND DEATH OF POMPEY. Pompey's officers, being much elated with their late victory, were continually soliciting their general to bring them to a battle; every delay became insupportable; they presumed to tax the purity of their leader's motives for procrastination. Confident of victory, they divided all the places in the government among each other, and portioned out the lands of those whom, in imagination, they had already vanquished. Nor did revenge less employ their thoughts, than ambition and avarice. The proscription was actually drawn up, not for the condemnation of individuals, but of whole ranks of the enemy: it was even proposed, that all the senators in Pompey's army should be appointed judges over such as had either actually opposed, or, by their neutrality, had failed to assist their party. Pompey, thus assailed by men of weak heads and eager expectations, and incessantly teased with importunities to engage, found himself too irresolute to oppose their solicitations; and, therefore, renouncing his own judginent, in compliance with those about him, he gave up all schemes of prudence for those dictated by avarice and passion. Advancing into Thessaly, he encamped upon the plains of Pharsalia, where he was joined by Scipio, his lieutenant, with the troops under his command. There he awaited the coming up of his rival, resolved upon deciding the fate of the empire without further delay.
Cæsar had for some time been sounding the inclinations of his legions, and providing for their safety in case of miscarriage; but, at length, finding them resolute and unanimous, he led them towards the plains of Pharsalia, where Pompey was encamped. The approach of these two great armies, composed of the best and bravest troops in the world, together with the greatness of the prize for which they contended, filled all minds with anxiety, though with different expectations. Pompey's army turned all their thoughts to the enjoyment of the victory; Cæsar's, with sounder judgment, considered only the means of obtaining it: Pompey's army depended upon i heir numbers, and their different generals; Cæsar's, upon their own discipline, and the conduct of their single commander; Pompey's partisans hoped much from the justice of their cause ; Cæsar's, alleged the frequent and unavailing proposals which they had made for peace*.
Thus the views, hopes, and motives of both seemed different, but their animosity and ambition were the same. Cæsar, who was generally foremost in offering battle, led out his army in array to meet the enemy; but Pompey, either suspecting his troops, or dreading the event, still kept his advantageous situation. Cæsar, being unwilling to make an attack at a disadvantage, resolved to decamp the next day, in expectation, that as the enemy would not fail of following him, he might find some happier opportunity of coming to an engagement. Accordingly, the order for marching was given, and the tents struck, when intelligence was brought him that Pompey's army had quitted their intrenchments, and had advanced further into the plain than usual. This was the juncture that Cæsar had long wished for in vain, and tried to hasten : whereupon causing his troops, that were upon their march, to halt, with a countenance of joy he informed them, that the happy time was at last come, which was to crown their glory, and terminate their fatigues. He then drew up his troops in order, and advanced towards the place of battle. His forces, however, were much inferior to those of Pompey, whose army amounted to above forty-five thousand foot, and seven thousand horse; wbile Cæsar's did not exceed twenty-two thousand foot, and about a thousand horse. This disproportion, particularly in cavalry, had filled the latter with some degree of apprehension; where fore, he had some time before picked out the strongest and nimblest of his foot soldiers, and accustomed them to fight between
* From the history of this formidable war, as narrated by the ancients, it appears that Cæsar made repeated overtures for accomniadation, which Pompey, by a blind fatality, as constantly spurneds