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Book X

This webpage reproduces a Book of
The Histories


published in Vol. IV
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,
1922 thru 1927

The text is in the public domain.

This text has not yet been proofread.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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Book XII

(Vol. IV) Polybius
The Histories

 p227  Fragments of Book XI

I. From the Preface

1a Some will perhaps inquire why in this work I do not, like former authors, write prologues but give a summary of the events in each Olympiad. 2 I indeed regard a prologue as a useful kind of thing, since it fixes the attention of those who wish to read the work and stimulates and encourages readers in their task, besides which by this means any matter that we are in search of can be easily found. 3 But as I saw that for various fortuitous reasons prologues were now neglected and had degenerated in style, I was led to adopt the other alternative. 4 For an introductory summary is not only of equal value to a prologue but even of somewhat greater, while at the same time it occupies a surer position, as it forms an integral part of the work. 5 I, therefore, decided to employ this method throughout except in the first six books to which I wrote prologues, because in their case previous summaries are not very suitable.

 p229  II. Affairs of Italy

Hasdrubal's Expedition

1 1 Hasdrubal's arrival in Italy was much easier and more rapid than Hannibal's had been.

Rome had never been in such a state of excitement and dismay, awaiting the result. . . .

2 None of these things were agreeable to Hasdrubal, but as circumstances did not admit of delay, for he saw the Romans already in battle order and advantage, he was obliged to draw up his Iberians and the Gauls who were with him. 3 Stationing his elephants, ten in number, in front, he increased the depth of his line, making the front of his whole army very narrow, and then taking up his position in the centre behind the elephants fell upon the enemy's left, having determined either to conquer or die in this battle. 4 Livius advanced to meet the enemy's attack in an imposing fashion, and on encountering them with his army fought gallantly. 5 Marcellus, who was stationed on the right wing, could not advance and outflank the enemy owing to the difficult character of the ground in front of him, relying on which Hasdrubal had attacked the Roman left, 6 but when he found himself thus at a loss owing to his forced inaction, circumstances suggested to him what ought to be done. 7 Having therefore collected his men from the right wing in  p231 the rear of the field he passed round the left of the Roman camp and attacked the Carthaginians in flank where the elephants were. 8 Up to now the victory had been disputed, for the men fought on both sides with equal bravery, as there was no hope of safety either for the Romans if defeated or for the Spaniards and Carthaginians. The elephants too had been of equal service to both sides in the battle; 9 for as they were shut in between the two armies and tormented by missiles, they threw both the Roman and the Spanish ranks into confusion. 10 But as soon as Marcellus fell on the enemy from behind, the battle became unequal, as the Spaniards were now attacked both in front and rear. 11 In consequence they were most of them cut to pieces on the battle-field. 12 Of the elephants six were killed with their drivers and the other four having forced two way through the ranks were captured afterwards alone and abandoned by their Indians.

2 1 Hasdrubal, who was always a brave man both in former times and at this last hour, fell in the thick of the fight, and it would not be just to take leave of this commander without a word of praise. 2 I have already stated that he was Hannibal's own brother, and that Hannibal on quitting Spain entrusted him with the management of affairs there, and I also told in a previous Book how in his many encounters with the Romans and in his frequent struggles with adverse circumstances, owing to the character of the commanders who were sent to co-operate with him in Spain from Carthage, he  p233 constantly bore disaster and defeat with spirit and courage and in a man worthy of his father Barcas. I will now say for what reason in this his final struggle he seems to me to have been worthy of our respect and emulation. 4 For we see that most generals and kings, when they undertake a critical struggle, constantly keep before their eyes the glory and profit that will accrue from success, and while they devote their attention and consideration to the manner in which they will manage everything if all goes in their favour, 6 do not envisage the consequences of mischance or consider at all how they should behave and what they should do in the event of disaster, although the one thing is simple enough and the other requires great foresight. 7 Consequently most of them, owing to their lack of spirit and their helplessness in such a case, make defeat shameful, and although their soldiers have often fought bravely, cast disgrace on their former exploits and make the rest of their life a reproach to them. 8 Anyone who wishes can easily see that many commanders err in this respect and that there is here the greatest difference between one man and another, as past history affords so many examples of the fact. 9 But Hasdrubal, as long as there was a reasonable hope of his being able to accomplish something worthy of his past, was more careful of nothing in action than of his own safety, 10 but when fortune  p235 had robbed him of the last shred of hope and forced him to face the last extremity, though he neglected nothing in his preparations for the struggle or in the battle itself that might contribute to victory, nevertheless he took thought how if he met with total defeat he might confront that contingency and suffer nothing unworthy of his past. 11 What I have said here may serve to warn all who direct public affairs neither by rashly exposing themselves to cheat the hopes of those who trust in them nor by clinging to life when duty forbids it to add to their own disasters disgrace and reproach.

3 1 The Romans now, having won the battle, at once pillaged the enemy's camp, and butchered many of the Gauls whom they found drunk and asleep on their litter beds. 2 They then collected the rest of the prisoners and from this part of the booty more than three hundred talents were realized for the treasury. 3 Not fewer than ten thousand Carthaginians and Gauls fell in the battle, while the Roman loss amounted to two thousand. Some of the Carthaginians of distinction were captured and the rest were slain. 4 When the news arrived in Rome they at first refused to believe it, just because they had been so very eager to see this happen, but when more messengers arrived not only announcing the fact, but adding details, then indeed the city was full of exceeding great joy, every holy place was decorated, and every temple was filled with offerings and victims. 6 In a word they became so sanguine and confident that it seemed to everyone that Hannibal whom they had formerly so much dreaded was not now even in Italy.

 p237  III. Affairs of Greece

He said that the speech was full of imagination, but that the truth was not this but rather the reverse. . . .

Speech of an Ambassador

4 1 "I consider, men of Aetolia, that the facts themselves demonstrate that neither King Ptolemy nor Rhodes nor Byzantium nor Chios nor Mytilene make light of coming to terms with you. 2 For this is not the first or the second time that we make proposals to you for peace, but from the date at which you opened hostilities we have never ceased to mention the matter to you, entreating you to entertain it and availing ourselves gladly of every occasion, having before our eyes the ruin brought by the war on yourselves and the Macedonians, and taking thought for the future safety of our own countries and the rest of Greece. 4 For, as with fire, once we have set the fuel alight the consequences are not at our discretion, but it spreads wherever chance directs it, guided chiefly by the wind and by the rapidity with which the fuel it feeds on is consumed, often strangely enough turning on the very man who lit it, so it is with war. 3 Once it has been kindled by anyone, at times it destroys in the first place its authors and at times advances blindly, bringing unmerited destruction on everything it meets with, ever revived and ever blown anew into a blaze, as if by winds, by the folly of those who  p239 come near it. 6 Therefore, men of Aetolia, we beg you, as if the whole of the islanders and all the Greeks who inhabit Asia Minor were present here and were entreating you to put a stop to the war and decide for peace — for the matter concerns them as much as ourselves — to come to your senses and relent and agree to our request. 7 Now if it so chanced that you were engaged in a war, unprofitable indeed, as every war for the most part is, but glorious in the motive of its inception and in the splendour of its results, you might perhaps be pardoned for acting for ambitious motives. 8 But if it is a war most shameful and full of dishonour and reproach, does not the situation call for much hesitation? 9 We will state our opinion frankly, and you, if you are wise, will listen to it calmly. 10 For it is far better to be reproached and saved in time, than to listen to pleasant words and a little after be ruined yourselves and to ruin the rest of the Greeks.

5 1 "Consider, then, the errors you have committed. You say that you are fighting with Philip for the sake of the Greeks, that they may be delivered and may refuse to obey his commands; but as a fact you are fighting for the enslavement and ruin of Greece. 2 This is the story your treaty with the Romans tells, a treaty formerly existing merely in writing, but now seen to be carried out in actual fact. 3 Previously the words of the treaty alone involved you in disgrace, but now when it is put to action this becomes evident to the eyes of all. 4 Philip, then, is but the nominal pretext of the war;  p241 he is in no kind of danger; but as he has for allies most of the Peloponnesians, the Boeotians, the Euboeans, the Phocians, the Locrians, the Thessalians, and Epirots, you made the treaty against them all, the terms being 5 that their persons and personal property should belong to the Romans and their cities and lands to the Aetolians. 6 Did you capture a city yourselves you would not allow yourselves to outrage freemen or to burn their towns, which you regard as a cruel proceeding and barbarous; 7 but have made a treaty by which you have given up to the barbarians the rest of the Greeks to be exposed to atrocious outrage and violence. 8 This was not formerly understood, but now the case of the people of Oreum and that of the unhappy Aeginetans have exposed you to all, Fortune having of set purpose as it were mounted your infatuation on the stage. 9 Such was the beginning of this war, such are already its consequences, and what must we expect its end to be, if all falls out entirely as you wish? Surely the beginning of terrible disaster to all the Greeks. 6 1 For it is only too evident, I think, that the Romans if they get the war in Italy off their hands — and this will be very shortly, as Hannibal is now confined in quite a small district of Bruttium — 2 will next throw themselves with their whole strength on Grecian lands on the pretext that they are helping the Aetolians against Philip, but really with the intention of conquering the whole country. 3 Should the Romans, when they have subjected us, determine to treat us kindly, the credit and thanks will be theirs; but if they treat us ill it is they who will acquire  p243 the spoil of those they destroy and sovereignty over the survivors, and you will then call the gods to witness when neither any god will be still willing, nor any man still able to help you

5 "Possibly you should have foreseen all the consequences from the beginning, but as much of the future escapes human foresight, it should be your duty now at last, when these occurrences have opened your eyes to facts, to take better counsel for the future. 7 As for ourselves we protest that on the present occasion we have neglected nothing which it is proper for true friends to say or do, and we have frankly stated our opinion about the future. 8 To conclude we beg and entreat you not to grudge to yourselves and to the rest of the Greeks the blessings of liberty and security."

9 This speech appears to have made a considerable impression on the people, and after the speaker the ambassadors from Philip entered. Leaving the discussion of details over for the present they said they had come with two imperative messages. 10 If the Aetolians elected for peace the king readily consented, but if not, the ambassadors were bidden to take their leave after calling to witness the gods and the embassies from the rest of Greece that the Aetolians and not Philip must be considered responsible for what might happen afterwards to the Greeks. . . .

7 1 He bewailed his ill-luck in having narrowly missed taking Attalus prisoner. . . .

Philip at Thermus

2 Philip, after marching on Lake Trichonis, reached Thermus where there was a temple of Apollo and  p245 now mutilated all the statues which he had spared on the former occasion, acting wrongly both then and now in giving way to his passion. 3 For it is the height unreasonableness to be guilty of impiety to the gods because one is angry with men. . . .

The Achaean Strategi and Philopoemen

8 1 There are three ways in which those who aim at acquiring the art of generalship may reasonably hope to do so, first by studying military memoirs and availing themselves of the lessons contained in them, 2 secondly by feeling the systematic instruction of experienced men, and thirdly by the habit and experience acquired in actual practice, 3 and in all three the present Achaean strategi were absolutely unversed. . . .

4 Most of them displayed an unhappy emulation of the inopportune pretentiousness of others. 5 They were particularly careful about their retinues and their dress, generally exhibiting a dandyism much in excess of what their fortunes permitted, 6 while as to their arms they paid not the least attention to them. . . .

7 Most men do not even attempt to imitate the essential characteristics of those who are favoured by fortune, but by striving to copy them in unessentials make a display of their own want of judgement. . . .

9 1 Philopoemen told them that the brightness of their arms and armour would contribute much to intimidate the enemy, and that it was also of great importance that arms above so constructed as to be adapted to the purpose they were to serve.  p247 2 What was required could be best done by bestowing on their arms the care they now devote to their dress, and transferring to the latter the lack of attention they formerly exhibited to their arms. 3 For by this means they would both benefit their private fortunes, and as all would acknowledge, enable themselves to save the state. 4 Therefore he said that a man on starting for a review or a campaign should in putting on his greaves take more care to see that they fit well and look shiny than he does about his shoes and boots, and again, when he handles his shield, breastplate, and helmet, see to it that they are cleaner and smarter than his chlamys and chiton. 6 For when a man gives the preference over serviceable things to superficial things it is on the face of it evident what will happen to him in a battle. 7 He begged them to regard general daintiness in dress as being fit for a woman and not for a very modest woman, while the richness and distinction of armour is suited to brave men who are determined to save gloriously both themselves and their country. 8 All present applauded his speech so much and so admired the spirit of his advice, that at once on issuing from the senate-house they pointed to such as were dressed like dandies, and compelled some of them to retire from the market-place, and henceforth in their military exercises and campaigns they paid much more attention to these matters.

10 1 So true is it that a single word spoken in season by a man of authority not only deters his  p249 hearers from what is worst, but urges them on to what is best. 2 And when the speaker can reinforce his advice by the example of a life which follows it, it is impossible not to give the fullest credit to his words. And this, we see, was especially true of Philopoemen. 3 For in his dress and living he was plain and simple, and alike in the care he bestowed on his person and in his conversation he was marked by fine restraint and quite unassuming. 4 Through his whole life he was most scrupulous in always speaking the truth, and therefore a few ordinary words from his lips inspired complete trust in the hearers; for since in everything the example of his own life supported his advice, they did not require many words from him. 6 Consequently on many occasions by his credit and his insight into affairs he completely overthrew in a few sentences long speeches of his adversaries which had appeared to be very plausible.

7 To resume — after the close of the council all returned to their cities completely approving of the speech and the speaker, and convinced that with him as a leader no calamity could overtake them. 8 Philopoemen now at once went the round of the cities, visiting and inspecting each with the greatest diligence and care. 9 Afterwards collecting their forces he trained and drilled them, and finally after spending less than eight months on these preparations he collected his army at Mantinea, to enter on the struggle against the tyrant for the liberty of the whole Peloponnese.

The Defeat and Death of Machanidas

11 1 Machanidas, filled with confidence and regarding the attack of the Achaeans almost as a godsend,  p251 as soon as he heard that they were concentrated at Mantinea, 2 addressed the Lacedaemonians at Tegea in terms suitable to the occasion, and at once on the next day shortly after daybreak began to advance on Mantinea. He himself led the right wing of the phalanx, 3 and placed the mercenaries in parallel columns on each side of the van with wagons behind them charged with a quantity of engines and missiles for catapults. 4 At the same time Philopoemen, dividing his army into three parts, led it out of Mantinea, taking by the road that starts from the temple of Poseidon the Illyrians and heavy-armed cavalry, together with all his mercenaries and light-armed troops, by the next road to the west the phalanx, and by the next the Achaean cavalry. 5 He first of all occupied with his light-armed troops the hill in front of the city which rises at a considerable height above the road called Xenis and the above temple, and next to them on the south he placed the heavy-armed cavalry, with the Illyrians adjacent to them. 6 Next to these on the same straight line he stationed the phalanx in several divisions at a certain distance from each other along the ditch that runs from the temple of Poseidon through the plain of Mantinea and terminates at a range of hills forming the boundary of the territory of Elisphasia. 7 Then next the phalanx on his right wing he posted the Achaean cavalry under the command of Aristaenetus of Dyme. On the left wing under his own command was the mercenary cavalry in close order.

 p253  12 1 As soon as the enemy were well in view he rode along the divisions of the phalanx and addressed them in a few brief words, pointing out the importance of the coming battle. 2 Most of what he said was not distinctly heard, because, owing to the soldiers' affection for him and reliance on him, such was their ardour and zeal that they responded to his address by what was almost a transport of enthusiasm, exhorting him to lead them on and be of good heart. 3 The general tenor, however, of what he attempted to point out to them whenever he got the chance, was that in the present battle the enemy were fighting for shameful and ignominious slavery and they themselves for imperishable and glorious liberty.

4 Machanidas at first looked as if he were about to charge the enemy's right with his phalanx in column, but on approaching, when he found himself at the proper distance he wheeled to the right, and deploying into line made his own right wing equal in extent to the Achaean left, placing his catapults at certain intervals in front of his whole army. 5 Philopoemen, seeing that Machanidas' plan was by shooting at the divisions of the phalanx to wound the men and throw the whole force into disorder, 6 gave him not a moment's leisure, but vigorously opened the attack with his Tarentines in the neighbourhood of the temple of Poseidon 7 where the ground was flat and suitable for cavalry. Machanidas, when he saw this, was obliged to likewise and order his own Tarentines to charge at the same time.

 p255  13 1 At first the Tarentines alone were engaged, fighting gallantly, but as the light-armed infantry gradually came up to the support of those who were hard pressed, in quite a short time the mercenaries on both sides were mixed up. 2 They were fighting all over the field, in a confused crowd and man to man. For long the struggle was so equally balanced that the rest of the army, who were waiting to see to which side the cloud of dust was carried, could not make this out, since both long remained occupying their original positions. 3 But after some time the tyrant's mercenaries prevailed by their superior numbers and skill, 4 for they were well trained. 5 This is generally what is liable to happen, since by as much as the civic force of a democracy is more courageous in action than the subjects of a tyrant, by so much will a despot's mercenaries in all probability excel those who serve for hire in a democracy. 6 For as in the former case one side is fighting for freedom and the other for slavery, so in the case of the mercenaries the one force is fighting for manifest improvement in their situation and the other for evident damage to their own; 7 since a democracy when it has destroyed those who conspire against it no longer requires mercenaries to protect its freedom, but a tyranny, the more ambitious its aims, requires all the more mercenaries. 8 For since it injures more people it has the more conspiring against it, and in general it may be said that the safety of despots depends on the affection and strength of their foreign soldiers.

14 1 So it was at present also. The mercenaries of  p257 Machanidas fought with such desperate courage and force that the Illyrians and cuirassed troops who supported the mercenaries could not resist the attack, but all gave way and fled in disorder towards Mantinea, which was seven stades distant. 2 This occasion afforded evidence sufficient to convince all of what some have doubted, the fact that most results in war are due to the skill or the reverse of the commanders. 3 It is perhaps a great feat to follow up initial success, but it is a much greater one upon meeting with reverse at the outset to keep cool-headed, to be able to detect any lack of judgement on the part of the victors and take advantage of their errors. 4 Indeed we often see those who already seem to have gained the day totally worsted shortly afterwards, and those who at first seemed to have lost it unexpectedly turn the tables and restore the situation by their dexterity. 5 This was very clearly illustrated by the conduct of both the two commanders on the present occasion. 6 For when the whole Achaean mercenary force gave way and their left wing was broken, Machanidas, instead of remaining on the field to outflank the enemy on one side and by a direct attack on the other to strike a decisive blow, did neither, 7 but with childish lack of self-control rushed forward to join his own mercenaries and fall upon the fugitives, as if terror alone were not sufficient to drive them as far as the gate once they had given way.

15 1 The Achaean commander did his best to rally  p259 the mercenaries, calling on their leaders by name and encouraging them, 2 but when he saw that they were forced back he neither fled in dismay, nor lost heart and gave up hope, but posting himself on the wing of his phalanx, and waiting till the pursuers had passed by and left the ground on which the action had taken place clear, he at once wheeled the first section of the phalanx to the left and advanced at the double but without breaking his ranks, and rapidly occupying the ground which the enemy had abandoned, both cut off the pursuers and at the same time outflanked the Spartan wing. 4 He exhorted the men of his phalanx to be of good heart and wait until he gave the order for a general charge. 5 He commanded Polyaenus of Megalopolis to collect rapidly all those of the Illyrians, cuirassed infantry, and mercenaries who were left behind or had evaded the pursuit, and to support the wing of the phalanx and wait for the return of the pursuers. 6 The Lacedaemonian phalanx now, without orders but elated by the success of the light-armed troops, levelled their spears and charged the enemy. 7 When in charging they reached the edge of the ditch, partly because they had no longer time to change their minds and retrace their steps as they were at close quarters with the enemy, and partly since they made light of the ditch as its descent was gentle and it had neither water nor bushes at the bottom, they dashed through it without hesitating.

16 1 When he saw that the chance of smiting the  p261 enemy that had so long been present to his mind had at length arrived, Philopoemen ordered the whole phalanx to level their spears and charge. 2 When the Achaeans, like one man and with a loud cheer that cast terror into their foes, rushed on them, those of the Lacedaemonians who had broken their ranks and descended into the ditch, lost courage as they mounted the bank to meet the enemy above their heads and took to flight. 3 The greater number of them perished in the ditch itself, killed either by the Achaeans or by each other. 4 And this result was not due to chance or to momentary luck, but to the sagacity of the commander in at once protecting his men by the ditch. 5 This he did not with the desire to avoid an encounter as was supposed by some, but calculating everything accurately like the expert general he was and foreseeing that if Machanidas, when he came up, led his force forward without reckoning on the ditch, the phalanx would suffer what I have just described as actually happening to it, whereas if the tyrant took into consideration the difficulty presented by the ditch, and changing his mind, seemed to shirk an encounter, breaking up his formation and exposing himself in long marching order, he would then without a general engagement himself secure victory while Machanidas would suffer defeat. 7 This has already happened to many, who after drawing up in order of battle, being under the impression that they were not equal to engaging the enemy, either owing to their position 8 or owing to their inferiority in numbers or for any other reason, have exposed themselves in a long marching column, hoping as they retired to succeed, by the sole aid of their rearguard, either in getting the better of  p263 the enemy or in making further their escape. 9 This is a most frequent cause of error on the part of commanders.

17 1 But Philopoemen was by no means deceived in his anticipation of what the result would be; for the Lacedaemonians were completely routed. 2 When he saw his phalanx victorious and everything going on splendidly for himself he turned his mind to the remainder of his project, which was to prevent the escape of Machanidas. 3 Knowing that in his unwise pursuit he had been cut off together with his mercenaries on the side of the ditch lying nearest the town, he was waiting for his reappearance. 4 Machanidas on observing when he had desisted from the pursuit that his troops were in flight, and on realizing that he had blundered and thereby lost the day, at once attempted to make the mercenaries he had round him close up and force their way in a compact body through the scattered ranks of the pursuers. 5 Some of them with this end in view remained with him at first, hoping thus to get off safe, but when they got up to the ditch and saw that the Achaeans were holding the bridge over it, they all lost heart and dropped off from him, each attempting to save himself as best he could. 7 Meanwhile the tyrant, despairing of making his way across the bridge, rode along the ditch trying with all his might to find a crossing.

18 1 Recognizing Machanidas by his purple cloak and the trappings of his horse, Philopoemen left Alexidamusa with orders to guard the passage carefully  p265 and spare none of the mercenaries, as they were the men who had always maintained the power of the Spartan tyrants. 2 Taking with him Polyaenus of Cyparissa and Simias, who acted at the time as his aides-de‑camp, he followed the tyrant and those with him — there were two who had joined him, Arexidamus and one of the mercenaries — along the opposite side of the ditch. 4 When Machanidas, on reaching a place where the ditch was easily passable, set spurs to his horse and forced it across, Philopoemen turned to meet him. Giving him a mortal wound with his spear and adding yet another thrust with the lower end of it, he slew the tyrant hand to hand. 5 Arexidamus suffered the same fate at the hands of the two officers who rode with Philopoemen, and after the death of the two the third man, despairing of crossing, sought safety in flight. 6 When both had fallen Simias and his companion stripped the bodies and taking the armour and the head of the tyrant hastened back to the pursuers, 7 eager to show to their men those proofs of the death of the enemy's commander, so that believing the evidence of their eyes they might with increased confidence and fearlessness continue the pursuit of the enemy as far as Tegea. 8 And the sight did as a fact much contribute to the spirit of the soldiers; for it was chiefly owing to this that they captured Tegea by storm, and a few days after were encamped on the banks of the Eurotas, already in undisputed command of the country. 9 For many years they had been unable to repulse the enemy from their own land,  p267 and now they themselves fearlessly pillaged Laconia, 10 having suffered little loss in the battle, but having not only slain as many as four thousand Lacedaemonians but captured a still greater number and made themselves masters of all the baggage and arms.

IV. Affairs of Italy

19a What is the use of recounting to our readers wars and battles and the sieges and captures of cities, if they are not likewise informed of the causes to which in each case success or failure was due? 2 For the results of actions merely interest readers, but anticipation of what is to follow, when the inquiry is properly conducted, is of benefit to students. 3 Most salutary of all to those who give due attention to it is an exposition of the detailed management of each particular question.


19 1 No one can withhold admiration for Hannibal's generalship, courage, and power in the field, 2 who considers the length of this period, and carefully reflects on the major and minor battles, on the sieges he undertook, on his movements from city to city, on the difficulties that at times faced him, and in a word on the whole scope of his design and its execution, 3 a design in the pursuit of which, having constantly fought the Romans for sixteen years, he never broke up his forces and dismissed them from the field, but holding them together under his personal command, like a good ship's captain, kept such  p269 a large army free from sedition towards him or among themselves, and this although his regiments were not only of different nationalities but of different races. 4 For he had with him Africans, Spaniards, Ligurians, Celts, Phoenicians, Italians, and Greeks, peoples who neither in their laws, customs, or language, nor in any other respect had anything naturally in common. 5 But, nevertheless, the ability of their commander forced men so radically different to give ear to a single word of command and yield obedience to a single will. And this he did not under simple conditions but under very complicated ones, the gale of fortune blowing often strongly in their favour and at other times against them. 6 Therefore we cannot but justly admire Hannibal in these respects and pronounce with confidence that had he begun with the other parts of the world and finished with the Romans none of his plans would have failed to succeed. 7 But as it was, commencing with those whom he should have left to the last, his career began and finished in this field.

V. Affairs of Spain

The Defeat of Hasdrubal, son of Gesco,º by Publius Scipio

20 1 Hasdrubal, collecting his forces from the towns in which they had passed the winter, advanced and encamped not far from the town called Ilipa, entrenching himself just under the hills with a level space in front favourably situated for giving battle. 2 He had about seventy thousand infantry, four thousand  p271 horse, and thirty-two elephants. 3 Scipio sent off Marcus Junius to Colichas to take over the forces that the latter had got ready for him, which consisted of three thousand foot and five hundred horse. 4 The rest of the allies he took with himself and advanced marching to encounter the enemy. 5 When he drew near Castalon and the neighbourhood of Baecula and there joined Marcus and the troops sent by Colichas, he found the situation a very embarrassing one. 6 For without the allies the Roman troops at his disposal were not sufficient for him to risk a battle, while it seemed to him dangerous, and far too risky, to rely on the support of the allies in what promised to be a decisive engagement. 7 However, though he hesitated, he found himself forced by circumstances and was reduced to employing the Spaniards, using them for the purpose of impressing the enemy by an imposing show but leaving the actual fighting to his own legions. 8 With this purpose he left with his whole army, consisting of about forty-five thousand foot and three thousand horse. 9 When he got near the Carthaginians and was in full sight of them he encamped on certain low hills opposite to the enemy.

21 1 Mago, thinking it a favourable occasion to attack the Romans as they were forming their camp, took most of his own cavalry and Massanissa with his Numidians and charged the camp, being convinced that he would find Scipio off his guard. 2 Scipio, however, had long foreseen what would happen,  p273 and had stationed his cavalry, who were equal in number to those of the Carthaginians, under a hill. 3 Surprised by this unexpected attack many of the Carthaginians as they wheeled sharply round at the unexpected sight, lost their seats, but the rest met the enemy and fought bravely. 4 Thrown, however, into difficulties by the dexterity with which the Roman horsemen dismounted, and losing many of their numbers, the Carthaginians gave way after a short resistance. 5 At first they retired in good order, but when the Romans pressed them hard, the squadrons broke up and they took refuge under their own camp. 6 After this the Romans displayed greater eagerness to engage and the Carthaginians less. 7 However, for several days following they drew up their forces on the level ground between them, and after trying their strength by skirmishing with their cavalry and left infantry, finally resolved on a decisive action.

22 1 On this occasion we see Scipio employing two different stratagems. 2 Observing that Hasdrubal always brought his troops out of camp at a late hour and drew them up with the Libyans in the centre and the elephants in front of the two wings, and having himself been in the habit of delaying until a later hour 3 and of opposing the Romans to the Libyans in the centre and stationing the Spaniards on his wings, he acted on the day on which he had decided to deliver the decisive battle in a precisely opposite manner, and thus much contributed to the victory of his own army and the discomfiture of the enemy. 4 For as soon as it was light he sent a message by his aides-de‑camp to all the tribunes  p275 and soldiers to take their morning meal and arm themselves and march out of the camp. 5 When this was done, all showing great zeal in carrying out the order, as they suspected what was in the wind, he sent on the cavalry and light infantry with orders to get close up to the enemy's camp and shoot at him boldly, while he himself with his infantry advanced just as the sun was rising, and when he reached the middle of the plain, formed in order of battle, disposing his troops in an order contrary to that which he had previously used, as he placed the Spaniards in the centre and the Romans on the wings. 7 The Carthaginians, upon the enemy's cavalry coming suddenly up to their camp and the rest of his army forming up in full view, scarcely had time to arm themselves. 8 So that Hasdrubal, with his men still fasting, was obliged on the spur of the moment and without any preparation to send off his own cavalry and light infantry to engage those of the enemy on the plain and to draw up his heavy infantry on the level ground at no great distance from the foot of the hill, as was his usual practice. 9 For a certain time the Romans remained inactive, but when, as the day advanced, there was no decisive advantage on either side in the engagement of the light-armed troops, those who were hard pressed always retreating to the shelter of their respective phalanxes and then issuing forth again to resume the combat, 10 Scipio receiving the skirmishers through the intervals between his cohorts distributed them on his wings behind his infantry, placing the velites in front with the horse behind them. At first  p277 he made a direct frontal advance, 11 but when at a distance of four stades from the enemy he ordered the Spaniards to continue advancing in the same order but the infantry and cavalry on the right wing to wheel to the right and those of the left wing to wheel to the left. 23 1 Then taking, himself from the right wing and Lucius Marcius and Marcus Junius from the left, the leading three troops of horse and placing in front of them the usual number of velites and three maniples (this body of infantry the Romans call a cohort), 2 he advanced straight on the enemy at a rapid pace, wheeling in the one case to the left and in the other to the right, the rear ranks always following the direction of the front ones. 3 When they were not far away from the enemy, while the Spaniards, who continued their direct advance, were still at some distance, as they were marching slowly, he fell, as he had originally intended, directly on both wings of the enemy with the Roman forces. 4 The subsequent movements, which enabled the rear ranks to get into the same line as the leading ones and place themselves in a position to attack the enemy, were in contrary directions both as regards the right and left wings and as regards the infantry and cavalry. 5 For the cavalry and light infantry on the right wing wheeling to the right attempted to outflank the enemy, while the heavy infantry wheeled to the left. 6 On the left  p279 wing the maniples wheeled to the right and the cavalry and velites to the left. 7 The consequence of this was that the right of the cavalry and light-armed troops on both wings had become their left. 8 But the general, regarding this as of small importance, devoted his intention to the really important object — outflanking the enemy — and he estimated rightly, 9 for a general should, of course, know the actual course of events, but employ those movements which are suited to an emergency.

24 1 In consequence of this attack the elephants, assailed by the missiles of the cavalry and velites and harassed on every side, were suffering much, and doing as much damage to their own side as to the enemy. 2 For in their wild rush they destroyed all, friend or foe, who came in their way. As for the infantry the wings of the Carthaginians were broken, and the centre, where stood the Libyans, the flower of the army, was of no service, 3 as they could neither leave their original position to help those on the wings, for fear of attack by the Spaniards, nor, remaining where they were, could they operate effectively, as the enemy in front of them would not come to blows. 4 The wings, however, kept up a gallant struggle for some time, as each side was aware that all depended on the result of this battle. 5 But when the heat of the day was at its height, the Carthaginians grew faint, as they had not left their camp on their own initiative and had been prevented from preparing themselves properly, 6 while the Romans began to exhibit superior strength and spirit, chiefly because, owing to the foresight of their  p281 commander, their choicest troops encountered here the least efficient of the enemy. 7 At first Hasdrubal's men, yielding to the pressure, retired step by step, but later they gave way in a body and retreated to the foot of the hill, and when the Romans pushed their attack home with more violence they fled in rout to their camp. 8 Had not some deity interposed to save them they would have been at once driven out of their entrenchments, 9 but now arose an unprecedented disturbance in the heavens, and such heavy and continuous torrents of rain fell, that the Romans with difficulty made their way back to their own camp. . . .

11 Many of the Romans perished by fire in their search for the molten masses of silver and gold. . . .

24a When everyone congratulated Scipio on having driven the Carthaginians out of Spain and entreated him to rest and take his ease, as he had put an end to the war, he said he considered them happy in having such hopes, 2 but that for his own part now especially the time had come when he had to consider how he should begin the war against Carthage; 3 for up to now the Carthaginians had been making war on the Romans, but now chance had given the Romans the opportunity of making war on the Carthaginians. . . .

4 Scipio, who was highly gifted in this respect, spoke to Syphax with such urbanity and adroitness that Hasdrubal afterwards said to Syphax that Scipio had seemed to him to be more formidable in his conversation than on the field of battle. . . .

Mutiny in the Roman Army

25 1 When a sedition broke out among some of the soldiers in the Roman camp, Scipio, though he had by this time gained considerable practical experience, never found himself in such difficulty and perplexity. 2 And this was only to be expected. For just as in the case of our bodies external causes of injury, such as cold, extreme heat, fatigue, and wounds, can be guarded against before they happen and easily remedied when they do happen, but growths and abscesses which originate in the body itself can with difficulty be foreseen and with difficulty be cured when they happen, 3 we should assume the same to be true of a state or an army. 4 As for plots and wars from outside, it is easy, if we are on the watch, to prepare to meet them and to find a remedy, 5 but in the case of intestine opposition, sedition, and disturbance it is a difficult task to hit on a remedy, a task requiring great adroitness and exceptional sagacity. 6 There is one rule, however, which in my opinion is equally applicable to armies, cities, and to the body, and that is never to allow any of them to remain long indolent and inactive and especially when they enjoy prosperity and plenty. 8 Scipio, as I have said, was exceptionally painstaking and at the same time very sagacious and practical, and he now summoned the tribunes and laid before them the following plan for relieving the present situation. 9 He said they should undertake to pay the men their arrears, and in order to secure credence for this promise, collect at once publicly and energetically  p285 the contributions formerly imposed on the cities for the maintenance of the whole army, making it evident that the measure was taken to adjust the irregularity of payment. 10 He begged the same officers to return to their troops and urge them to retrieve their error and present themselves before him to receive their pay either singly or in a body. 11 When this had been done he said it would be time to consult what further action the circumstances demanded.

26 1 The officers with this object in view applied themselves to collecting the money.1 . . . 2 When the tribunes communicated the decision to Scipio he, on hearing of it, laid before the council his views as to what should be done. 3 It was decided to fix a day for the soldiers to present themselves and then come to terms with the rank and file, but to punish severely the authors of the mutiny, who numbered about five and thirty. 4 When the day arrived and the mutineers came to make terms and receive their pay, Scipio gave secret instructions to the tribunes who had been deputed to him to meet the mutineers and each attaching to himself five of the ringleaders, at once upon meeting them make professions of friendship and invite them to their quarters, if possible to lodge there, but if that were impossible to take supper and carouse afterwards. 6 Three days previously he had ordered the legion he had with him to furnish themselves with provisions for a considerable time on the pretext that they were marching under Marcus against Andobales. 7 This, when it reached their ears, gave the mutineers increased confidence, as they thought that they  p287 themselves would be masters of the situation when they met their general after the other legions had taken their departure.

27 1 When they were approaching the town he ordered the other soldiers to march out at day-break next day with all their baggage. 2 The tribunes and prefects upon their issuing from the city were to make the soldiers deposit their baggage and halt them under arms at the gate, afterwards distributing them to guard all the gates and to see that none of the mutineers got out. 3 Those tribunes who had been told off to meet the mutineers, when they encountered them as they advanced towards them, cordially received the most culpable of them, as had been arranged, and led them off. 4 Orders had been given to them to arrest at once after supper the thirty-five and secure them bound, not allowing any of those inside to go out except the messenger sent by each to inform the general that the thing had been done. 5 The tribunes acted on these orders, and next morning Scipio, seeing that the newly arrived soldiers were collected in the market-place, summoned an assembly. 6 When they all, as they were in the habit of doing, ran to obey the summons with their curiosity fully aroused as to how the general would look, and what they would be told about the present situation, 7 Scipio sent to the tribunes at the gates ordering them to bring their men under arms and surround the assembly. When he advanced and presented himself his appearance at once struck  p289 them all with amazement. 8 For most of them still supposed him to be in feeble health, and now when contrary to their expectation they suddenly saw him looking very well they were dumbfounded by the apparition.

28 1 He began to speak somewhat as follows. He said he wondered what grievance or what expectations had induced them to make this revolt. 2 For there were three reasons which make men venture to revolt against their country and their officers. Either they find fault and are displeased with those in command, or they are dissatisfied with their actual situation, or indeed they entertain hopes of some improvement in their fortunes. 3 "Which of these, I ask you," he said, "existed in your case? Evidently you were displeased with me because I did not pay what was due to you. 4 But that was no fault of mine, for since I myself have been in command, you have been always paid in full. 5 But if you have a grievance against Rome because your old arrears were not made good, was it the proper method of complaint to revolt against your country and take up arms against her who nourished you? Should you not rather have come and spoken to me about the matter, and begged your friends to take up your cause and help you? Yes, that, I think, would have been far better. 7 Mercenary troops may indeed sometimes be pardoned for revolting against their employers, but no pardon can be extended to those who are fighting for themselves and their wives and children. 8 For that is just as if a man who said he had been wronged by his own father in money matters 9 were to take up arms to kill him who was the author of his life. Great Heavens! can you say that I imposed  p291 more hardship and danger on you than on others but bestowed on others a larger share of profit and booty? 10 Neither will you dare to say so, nor could you prove it if you did. 11 What is it then with which you are so dissatisfied at present as to revolt against me? I should very much like to know; for my opinion is that there is not one of you who will be able to tell me any grievance or think of any. 29 1 Nor is it that you are discontented with your present situation. When was everything so abundant, when had Rome enjoyed more success, when had her soldiers brighter hopes than now? 2 But perhaps one of the more despondent among you will tell me that with the enemy there would be more profit for you and greater and more certain expectations! 3 Who are these enemies? Are they Andobales and Mandonius? Who among you is not aware that, to begin with, they revolted to us after betraying Carthage and now again, breaking their oaths and pledges to us, have proclaimed themselves our enemies? 4 A fine thing truly to rely on these men and become enemies of your own country! 5 Again you could not hope to conquer Spain by your own arms, for you were not a match for me even if you joined Andobales' army, much less by yourselves. 6 What then was in your minds I should very much like to learn that from you. Unless indeed the fact was that you relied on the skill and valour of the leaders you have just appointed or on the fasces and axes that are carried before them, about which it is disgraceful even to speak further. 7 No, my men, it was nothing of the sort, and you could not give the  p293 slightest reason to justify yourselves in my eyes or in those of your country. 8 I, therefore, will plead for you to Rome and to myself, using a plea universally acknowledged among men: 9 and that is that all multitudes are easily misled and easily impelled to every excess, so that a multitude is ever liable to the same vicissitudes as the sea. 10 For as the sea is by its own nature harmless to those who voyage on it and quiet, but when winds fall violently upon it seems to those who have dealings with it to be of the same character as the winds that happen to stir it, so a multitude ever appears to be and actually is to those who deal with it of the same character as the leaders and counsellors it happens to have. 11 Therefore I, too, on the present occasion and all the superior officers of the army consent to be reconciled with you and engage to grant you amnesty. 13 But with the guilty parties we refuse to be reconciled and have decided to punish them for their offences against their country and ourselves."

30 1 Hardly had he finished speaking when the men who stood round him in arms upon a signal given clashed their swords against their bucklers, and at the same time the authors of the mutiny were brought in bound and naked. 2 The multitude of mutineers were so thoroughly cowed by fear of the surrounding force and the terror that looked them in the face, that while some of their leaders were being scourged and others beheaded none of them either changed his countenance or uttered a word, but all remained dumbfounded, smitten with astonishment and dread. 3 After the authors of the  p295 evil had thus been put to death with contumely, their bodies were dragged through the troops, and the rest of the mutineers received from the general and other officers a common assurance that no one would remember their past faults. 4 Advancing singly, they took their oath to the tribunes that they would obey the orders of their officers and be guilty of no disloyalty to Rome.

5 Scipio then by successfully nipping in the bud what might have proved a great danger restored his forces to their original discipline.

The Revolt of Andobales and its Suppression

31 1 Scipio, calling a meeting of his troops in New Carthage itself, addressed them on the subject of the daring design of Andobales and his perfidy towards them. 2 Dealing at length with this topic he thoroughly aroused the passions of the soldiers against that prince. 3 Enumerating in the next place all the battles in which they had previously encountered the Spaniards and Carthaginians together under the command of the Carthaginians he told them that as they had in all cases won the day, they should not now have a shadow of apprehension lest they should be beaten by the Spaniards alone under Andobales. 5 He had therefore not consented to call in the aid of a single Spaniard, but was going to give battle with his Romans alone, that it might be evident to all that it was not due to the help of the Spaniards that they had crushed the Carthaginians and driven them out of Spain, but that they had conquered both the Carthaginians and Celtiberians by Roman valour and their own brave effort. 7 Having said this he exhorted them to be of one mind, and  p297 if ever they marched to a battle in a spirit of confidence, to do so now. As for victory he himself with the aid of the gods would take the proper steps to secure it. 8 His words produced such zeal and confidence in the troops, that in appearance they grew all of them like men who had the enemy before their eyes and were about to do battle with them at that instant.

32 1 After making this speech he dismissed the meeting. Next day he set out on the march. He reached the Ebro on the tenth day and crossing it took up on the fourth day after this a position in front of the enemy, leaving a valley between his own camp and theirs. 2 On the following day he drove into this valley some of the cattle that followed the army, ordering Laelius to hold his cavalry in readiness and some of the tribunes to prepare the velites for action. 3 Very soon, upon the Spaniards throwing themselves on the cattle, he sent some of the velites against them, and the engagement which ensued developed, as reinforcements came up from each side, into a sharp infantry skirmish round the valley. 4 The opportunity was now an excellent one for attacking, and Laelius, who, as he had been ordered, was holding his cavalry in readiness, charged the enemy's skirmishers, cutting them off from the hillside, so that most of them scattered about the valley and were cut down by the horsemen. 6 Upon this the barbarians were irritated and being in extreme anxiety lest it should be thought that this reverse at the outset had created general terror among them, they marched out in full force as soon as day dawned and drew up in order of battle.  p299 6 Scipio was ready for the emergency, but noticing that the Spaniards had the imprudence to descend en masse into the valley and to draw up not only their cavalry but their infantry on the level ground, he bided his time wishing that as many as possible of them should take up this position. 7 He had great confidence in his own horse and still greater in his infantry, because in a pitched battle hand-to‑hand they were much superior to the Spaniards both as regards their armament and as regards the quality of their men.

33 1 When he thought that conditions were as he desired he opposed his velites to the enemy who were drawn up at the foot of the hill, and himself advancing from his camp with four cohorts in close order against those who had come down into the valley fell upon the enemy's infantry. 2 Simultaneously Gaius Laelius with the cavalry advanced along the ridges which descended from the camp to the valley and took the Spanish cavalry in the rear, keeping them confined to defending themselves from him. In the long run the enemy's infantry, 3 thus deprived of the services of the cavalry, relying on whose support they had come down into the valley, found themselves hard pressed and in difficulties. 4 The cavalry suffered no less; for confined as they were in a narrow space and incapacitated from action, more of them destroyed each other than were destroyed by the enemy, their own infantry pressing on their flank, the enemy's infantry on their front and his cavalry hovering round their rear. 5 Such being the conditions of the battle nearly all those who had come down into the valley were cut to  p301 pieces, those on the hill escaping. 6 The latter were light-armed infantry forming the third part of the whole army, and Andobales in their company succeeded in saving his life and escaping to a strong place.

7 Having thus completely executed his task in Spain Scipio reached Tarraco full of joy, taking home as a gift to his country a splendid triumph and a glorious victory. 8 He was anxious not to arrive in Rome too late for the consular elections, and after regulating everything in Spain and handing over his army to Junius Silanus and Marcius he sailed to Rome with Laelius and his other friends.

VI. Affairs of Asia

The Situation in Bactria

34º For Euthydemus himself was a native of Magnesia, and he now, in defending himself to Teleas, said that Antiochus was not justified in attempting to deprive him of his kingdom, as he himself had never revolted against the king, but after others had revolted he had possessed himself of the throne of Bactria by destroying their descendants. 3 After speaking at some length in the same sense he begged Teleas to mediate between them in a friendly manner and bring about a reconciliation, entreating Antiochus not to grudge him the name and state of king, 4 as if he did not yield to this request, neither of them would be safe; 5 for considerable hordes of Nomads were approaching, and this was not only a grave danger to both of them, but if they consented to admit them, the country would certainly relapse into  p303 barbarism. 6 After speaking thus he dispatched Teleas to Antiochus. 7 The king, who had long been on the look-out for a solution of the question when he received Teleas' report, gladly consented to an accommodation owing to the reasons above stated. 8 Teleas went backwards and forwards more than once to both kings, and finally Euthydemus sent off his son Demetrius to ratify the agreement. 9 Antiochus, on receiving the young man and judging him from his appearance, conversation, and dignity of bearing to be worthy of royal rank, in the first place promised to give him one of his daughters in marriage and next gave permission to his father to style himself king. 10 After making a written treaty concerning other points and entering into a sworn alliance, Antiochus took his departure, serving out generous rations of corn to his troops and adding to his own the elephants belonging to Euthydemus. 11 Crossing the Caucasus he descended into India and renewed his alliance with Sophagasenus the Indian king. 12 Here he procured more elephants, so that his total force of them amounted now to a hundred and fifty, and after a further distribution of corn to his troops, set out himself with his army, leaving Androsthenes of Cyzicus to collect the treasure which the king had agreed to pay. 13 Having traversed Arachosia and crossed the river Erymanthus he reached Carmania through Drangene, where, as winter was now at hand, he took up his quarters. 14 Such was the final result of Antiochus's expedition into the interior, an  p305 expedition by which he not only brought the upper satraps under his rule, but also the maritime cities and the princes this side of Taurus. 15 In a word he put his kingdom in a position of safety, overawing all subject to him by his courage and industry. 16 It was this expedition, in fact, which made him appear worthy of his throne not only to the inhabitants of Asia, but those of Europe likewise.

The Loeb Editor's Note:

1 It is evident from Livy XXVIII.25.15 that a good deal is missing.

Thayer's Note:

a Perhaps by confusion with the Arexidamus mentioned a few lines lower? At any rate the facing Greek text as printed by Loeb has neither Alexidamus nor Arexidamus, but Anaxidamus.

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