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Book XVI

This webpage reproduces a Book of
Roman History

Cassius Dio

published in Vol. II
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1914

The text is in the public domain.

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Cassius Dio
Roman History

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Fragments of Book XVII


Text, 57 1 

50 Masinissa, in addition to being among the most distinguished men in other respects, was a master in conducting warlike operations, but as regarded planning and execution; and in point of loyalty he excelled not only the men of his own race — who are most faithless as a rule — but even those who greatly prided themselves upon this virtue.

51 Masinissa became deeply enamoured of Sophonisba,​1 who not only possessed conspicuous beauty —  p225 that symmetry of body and bloom of youth — but had also received an excellent literary and musical education. She was clever, ingratiating, and altogether so charming that the mere sight of her or even the sound of her voice sufficed to vanquish every one, even the most indifferent.

53 However, Masinissa also wished to take revenge on him [Hasdrubal]. For, having already incurred suspicion, he had taken to flight, and on arriving in Africa had inflicted many injuries by himself and many with Roman aid upon Syphax and the Carthaginians. Scipio, after winning over the whole territory south of the Pyrenees, partly by force and partly by capitulation, was preparing for the expedition to Africa, which had ever been his goal;  p227 for this campaign had now been entrusted to him, in spite of much opposition, with instructions to join Syphax. 54 And he would certainly have accompanied something worthy of his aspirations — either bringing the war home to the gates of Carthage and capturing the place or drawing Hannibal away from Italy, as he later did — had not the Romans at home, through jealousy and through fear of him, stood in his way. They reflected that youth without exception is ever reaching out after greater conquests and that good fortune is often insatiate of success, and thought that it would be very difficult for a youthful spirit through self-confidence . . . 55 to treat him in such wise as would conduce, not to his power and fame, but to their own liberty and safety, they dismissed him; thus, the man whom they themselves had put in charge of affairs when they stood in need of him they now of their own accord removed because he had become too great for the public safety. They were no longer considering how they might utterly vanquish the Carthaginians with his aid, but only how they might escape training up for themselves a self-chosen tyrant. 56 So they sent two of the praetors to relieve him and called him home. Moreover they did not  p229 vote him a triumph, because he had conducted the campaign as a private individual, not having been appointed to any legal command; but they allowed him to sacrifice a hundred white oxen upon the Capitol, to celebrate a festival, and to canvass for the consul­ship for the second year following (since the elections for the next year had recently been held).

57 At this same period also Sulpicius together with Attalus gained Oreus through betrayal and Opus by main force. For Philip, although in Demetrias, was unable to come speedily to the rescue since the Aetolians had already seized the passes. 58 At last, however, he arrived, and finding Attalus disposing of the spoil from Opus, — for this had fallen to his lot, and that from Oreus to the Romans, — he hurled him back to his ships. Accordingly Attalus, both for this reason and also because Prusias, king of Bithynia, had invaded his country and was devastating it, hastily sailed back home. Philip, however, far from being elated at this success, actually wished  p231 to conclude a truce with the Romans, especially since Ptolemy, too, was sending ambassadors from Egypt and trying to reconcile them. 59 After some preliminary discussion between them . . . he no longer requested peace, but . . . . and drew the Aetolians away from the Roman alliance by some device? and made them his friends. Nothing worthy of remembrance, however, was achieved either by them or by any others, either then or in the following year, when Lucius Veturius and Caecilius Metellus became consuls; and this notwithstanding many portents of ill omen which were reported to the Romans. 60 For example, a hermaphrodite lamb was born, and a swarm of . . . was seen, two serpents glided under the doors of the temple of Capitoline Jupiter, the doors as well as the altar in the temple of Neptun ran with copious sweat, in Antium bloody ears were seen by some reapers, elsewhere a  p233 woman with horns appeared and many thunderbolts . . . into temples . . .

52 Licinius Crassus, by reason of his amiability and beauty and wealth (which gained for him the name of Wealthy), and because he was a high priest, was to remain in Italy without taking part in the allotment of provinces.

 p235  The Pythian god had commanded the Romans to entrust to the best one of the citizens the conveyance to the city of the goddess from Pessinus, and they accordingly singled out and honoured above all others Publius Scipio,​3 son of the Gnaeus who had died in Spain. The reason was that he was in general . . .  p237 and was esteemed both pious and just. He, therefore, at this time, accompanied by the most prominent women, conducted the goddess into the city and to the Palatine.

62 The Romans, learning of the treatment of the Locrians, and thinking it had been due to Scipio's negligence, were indignant, and in their anger immediately planned to remove him from his command and to recall him for trial. They were further exasperated because he adopted Greek manners, wore his toga thrown back over his shoulder, and frequented the palaestra. Furthermore, he was said to be turning over the property of the allies to the soldiers for plunder, and he was suspected of delaying his voyage to Carthage purposely in order that he might hold office for a longer time; but it was principally at the instigation of men who had all along been jealous of him that they wished to summon him. This plan, however, in view of their hopes, was not carried out, because the populace, in view of their hopes, held him in great favour, . . .

 p239  63 . . . they landed and pitched their camp in a suitable place, fencing it round about with palisades, since they had brought along stakes for this very purpose. It had just been finished when a great serpent came gliding along beside it on the road leading to Carthage. Scipio, owing to the tradition about his father, felt encouraged by this portent, and with renewed zeal devastated the  p241 country and made assaults upon the cities, 64 some of which he succeeded in capturing. As for the Carthaginians, not being as yet . . . prepared, they remained quiet. Syphax was nominally their friend, but, as a matter of fact, was remaining neutral; for he was desirous of securing peace for the Carthaginians with Scipio, anticipating, as he did, that the victory of either side would make it the master not only of the other power but of himself as well, and hopeful that he could reconcile them in spite of their intense rivalry. 65 Now since Scipio was harrying the country, Hanno, the cavalry commander, the son of Hasdrubal, the son of Gisgo, . . . was persuaded by Masinissa . . . to the Carthaginians . . . warlike . . . was believed; and, therefore, Scipio, sending forward some horsemen on the advice of Masinissa, laid an ambush in a region suitable for securing booty, in order that they might make a raid, and then, by simulating flight, draw on those who were willing to pursue them. 66 This was exactly what happened:  p243 the Carthaginians attacked them, and when the others in a little while turned to flight, according to agreement, they pursued at full speed; then Masinissa, lagging behind with his attendant cavalry, got in the rear of the pursuers, and Scipio rose up from ambush and advanced to meet them. Thus they were surrounded and attacked from both sides, with the result that many were killed and many captured, including Hanno. 67 On learning of this, Hasdrubal arrested the mother of Masinissa; and these two captives were exchanged. Syphax now, being well aware that Masinissa would war against him no less than against the Carthaginians, and fearing that he might find himself bereft of allies if they suffered any harm through his desertion of their cause, renounced his pretended friendship for the Romans and openly assisted the Carthaginians. 68 He failed, however, to render them whole-hearted assistance, to  p245 the point of actually resisting the Romans, and the latter overran the country with impunity, carrying off much plunder and recovering many prisoners from Italy who had previously been sent to Africa by Hannibal; consequently they scorned their foes and began a campaign against Utica. 69 When Syphax and Hasdrubal saw this, they so feared for the safety of the place that they no longer remained passive, but took the aggressive in their turn and raised the siege; for the Romans did not dare to contend against both leaders at the same time. Thereupon the invaders went into winter quarters where they were, getting some of their provisions from the immediate neighbourhood and sending for some from Sicily and Sardinia; for the ships that carried the spoils to Sicily would also bring them food supplies.

70 In Italy nothing important was accompanied in the war against Hannibal; for though Publius Sempronius was defeated by Hannibal in a trivial battle, he later won a victory over him. Livius and Nero, however, as censors, directed those Latins who had abandoned their military service and had now been commanded to furnish a double quota of soldiers, to  p247 deliver up their registers, so that still others might contribute money; and they put a tax on salt, which up to that time had been free of tax. 71 I have mentioned this measure with a special purpose, since Livius designed it to avenge himself upon the citizens for their vote of condemnation; and he received a nickname from it, for he was now called Salinator.​4 This was one act that caused these censors to become famous; another was that they deprived each other of their horses and made each other aerarii5 . . . according to the . . .

72 Scipio captured a Carthaginian vessel, but released it without inflicting any injury, since those on board pretended to be coming to him on an embassy. He knew, to be sure, that this was a pretext invented to secure the safety of the captives, but preferred  p249 avoiding any possibility of reproach to retaining them. Also, when Syphax still endeavoured at that time to reconcile them, on the condition that Scipio should depart from Africa and Hannibal from Italy, he listened to his proposal, not because he really trusted him, but with the purpose of outwitting him.

11 Masinissa ranked among the most distinguished men; for he was a master of warfare both as regarded execution and planning. He had left the Carthaginians for the Romans as a result of circumstances now to be related. Hasdrubal, the son of Gisgo, was a friend of his and had betrothed to him his daughter Sophonisba. Hasdrubal, however, became acquainted with Syphax, and perceiving that he favoured the Roman cause, no longer kept his agreement with Masinissa. He was so anxious to add to the Carthaginian alliance Syphax, who was ruler of a very considerable realm, that he not only helped him to get possession of the domain which belonged to Masinissa, upon the death of the latter's father at this time, but furthermore gave him Sophonisba in marriage. She was conspicuous for beauty, had received an excellent literary and musical education, and was clever, ingratiating, and so charming that the mere sight of her or even the sound of her voice sufficed to vanquish anyone, even the most indifferent.

Syphax for these reasons attached himself to the Carthaginians, and Masinissa, on the contrary, espoused the Roman cause and from first to last proved very useful to them. Scipio after winning over the whole territory south of the Pyrenees, partly by force and partly by capitulation, was making ready to set out for Africa. The people of Rome, however, through jealousy of his successes and through fear that he might become arrogant and play the tyrant, sent two of the praetors to relieve him and called him home.

Thus he was deposed from his command. At this same time Sulpicius together with Attalus secured Oreus through betrayal and Opus by main force. For Philip was unable to come speedily to the rescue, as the Aetolians had already seized the passes. But at last he arrived and forced Attalus to flee to his ships. Philip, however, wished to conclude a truce with the Romans, but after some preliminary discussion the peace negotiations were dropped; then Philip detached the Aetolians from their alliance with the Romans and made them his own friends instead.

Hannibal for a time was keeping quiet, satisfied if he might only retain such advantages as were already his. And the consuls, believing that his power would waste away even without a battle, also waited.

The next year Publius Scipio and Licinius Crassus became consuls. The latter remained in Italy, while Scipio had orders to leave for Sicily and Africa in order that, even if he should not capture Carthage, he might at least in the meantime draw Hannibal away from Italy. But he received neither an army of any account nor any allowance for triremes, owing to the jealousy aroused by his prowess; indeed, they scarcely supplied him with even the absolute necessities. He, then, set sail with the fleet of the allies and a few volunteers drawn from the populace; and Mago left the island,​2 and after sailing along the coast, disembarked in Liguria. Crassus was in Bruttium keeping watch upon Hannibal. Philip, however, had become reconciled with the Romans; for on ascertaining that Publius Sempronius had reached Apollonia with a large force he was glad to make peace.

Scipio, the consul, landed in Sicily and made ready to sail for Africa, but he could not do so because he had not a complete force at his disposal, and what he had was undisciplined. Therefore he spent the entire winter there, drilling his followers and enrolling additional recruits. As he was on the point of making the passage, a message came to him from Rhegium that some men were going to betray the city of Locri. For after denouncing the commander of the garrison and obtaining no satisfaction from Hannibal, they now favoured the Romans. Scipio accordingly sent a force there, and with the aid of the conspirators seized many parts of the city during the night. The Carthaginians were cooped up in the citadel and sent for Hannibal, whereupon Scipio also set sail in haste, and by a sudden sally repulsed Hannibal when the latter had come close to the city. Then he captured the citadel, and after entrusting the entire city to the care of two tribunes, sailed back again. He was unable, however, to sail to Africa. The Carthaginians so dreaded his approach that they sent money to Philip to induce him to make a campaign against Italy, and sent grain and soldiers to Hannibal, and ships and money to Mago so that he might prevent Scipio from crossing. And the Romans, led by certain portents to expect a brilliant victory, entrusted to Scipio the army that was in Sicily, and gave him permission to enroll as large an additional force as he pleased. As for the consuls, they opposed Marcus Cethegus to Mago, and Publius Sempronius to Hannibal.

12 1 The Carthaginians, fearing that Masinissa would join Scipio, persuaded Syphax to restore to him his domain; for they gave him to understand that he should get it back again. Masinissa was suspicious of the transaction, yet pretended to be reconciled, in order to win the confidence of the Carthaginians and so be able to bring some great disaster upon them. For he was more enraged over Sophonisba than over the kingdom, and consequently was devoting himself to the Roman interests while affecting to be for the Carthaginians. Syphax, on the other hand, though working for the African cause, professed to be in alliance with the Romans, and sent to Scipio, warning him against crossing over. Scipio learned this as a piece of secret information, and to prevent the knowledge of it from reaching the soldiers, he sent the herald back at once before he had time to talk with anybody else. Then he called together the army and hastened forward the preparations for crossing; he declared that the Carthaginians were still unprepared, and that first Masinissa, and now Syphax, was calling for them and upbraiding them for lingering. After this speech he set sail without further delay; and bringing his ships to anchor near the cape called the Cape of Apollo, he encamped and proceeded to devastate the country and make assaults upon the cities, some of which he captured. But while the Romans were harrying the country, Hanno, the cavalry commander, the son of Hasdrubal, the son of Gisgo, was persuaded by Masinissa to attack them. Scipio, accordingly, sent some horsemen and was plundering some districts that were easy to raid, in order that his men by simulating flight might draw the enemy in pursuit. So when they turned to flee, according to arrangement, and the Carthaginians followed them up, Masinissa with his companions got in the rear of the pursuers and attacked them, while Scipio rushed out from his ambush and joined battle with them. Thus many perished, and many also were captured, among them Hanno himself. Therefore Hasdrubal arrested the mother of Masinissa, and the two captives were exchanged. Syphax now renounced even the appearance of friendship for the Romans and openly assisted the Carthaginians. And the Romans both plundered the country and recovered many prisoners from Italy who had been sent to Africa by Hannibal; and they went into winter quarters where they were.

After this, when Gnaeus Scipio and Gaius Servilius had become consuls, the Carthaginians, having got the worst of it in the war, desired to arrange terms of peace; and Hannibal and Mago were driven out of Italy. For the consuls had made a stand against Hannibal and Mago, and Scipio was ravaging Africa and assailing the cities. Meanwhile he captured a Carthaginian vessel, but released it when those on board pretended to be coming to him on an embassy. He recognised the deception, to be sure, but preferred to avoid the reproach of having detained envoys. And when Syphax still endeavoured to effect a reconciliation, on the condition that Scipio should depart from Africa and Hannibal from Italy, he listened to his proposal, not because he trusted him, but with the purpose of outwitting him.

For on the excuse afforded by the truce he sent various soldiers at various times into the Carthaginian camp and into that of Syphax; and when they had carefully inspected everything on the other side, he rejected the treaty, on a plausible pretext, of course, which was the more readily found because Syphax had been detected in a plot against Masinissa. And at night he proceeded to their camps, which were not very far apart, and secretly set fire to that of Hasdrubal at many points simultaneously. It rapidly blazed up, since they had constructed their shelters of straw and branches; and the Carthaginians fared badly. The followers of Syphax, too, in attempting to aid them encountered the Romans who hemmed in the place, and so perished, while their camp was set on fire, and many men and horses perished. The Romans, after accomplishing this, escaped injury during the rest of the night, but when day had  p251 dawned, some Spaniards who had just arrived as Carthaginian allies fell upon them unexpectedly and killed a large number.

Hasdrubal accordingly retired at once to Carthage and Syphax to his own country. Scipio set Masinissa and Gaius Laelius to oppose Syphax, while he himself marched against the Carthaginians. The latter in turn sent ships against the stronghold of the Romans, which they were using as winter quarters and as a storehouse for all their goods. They hoped either to capture it, or to draw Scipio away from themselves. And such was the result: as soon as he heard of their move, he withdrew and hurried to the harbour, which he placed under guard. Now on the first day the Romans easily repulsed their assailants, but on the next day they had decidedly the worst of the encounter; for the Carthaginians dragged off Roman ships by seizing them with grappling irons. They did not venture, however, to disembark, but sailed homewards, after which they superseded Hasdrubal, choosing a certain Hanno in his place. From this time Hanno was the general, but his predecessor privately got hold of some slaves and deserters whom he welded together into a fairly strong force; he then quietly persuaded some of the Spaniards who were serving in Scipio's army to help him, and attempted one night to carry out a plot against the Roman camp. And he would indeed have accomplished something, had not the soothsayers, dismayed by the actions of birds, and the mother of Masinissa, through her prophetic utterances, caused the Spaniards to be examined. So the conspirators were apprehended in season and punished. Scipio again made a campaign against Carthage, and was engaged in devastating the country; 13 1 Syphax, meanwhile, was waging war upon the followers of Laelius and held out for some time, but eventually the Romans prevailed, slaughtered many, took many alive, and captured Syphax. They also acquired possession of Cirta, his palace, without a contest, by displaying to its defenders their king, now a prisoner.

Now Sophonisba also was at this place. Masinissa at once rushed towards her, and embracing her, said: "I have Syphax, who stole you away. I have you also. But fear not: you have not become a captive, since you have in me an ally." With these words he married her on the spot, thus anticipating any action on the part of the Romans, out of fear that he might somehow lose her, if she were reckoned among the spoils. Then they gained control of the rest of the cities of Syphax also.


 p253  73 The Romans came to Scipio bringing Syphax himself along with many spoils. Scipio could not endure to see him remain bound, but calling to mind his own entertainment at the other's court, and reflecting on the instability of human affairs, — on the fact that the captive whom he now beheld in so pitiable a plight  p255 had been king of a very considerable realm and one whose friendship he himself had found worth while cultivating, — he leaped up from his chair, loosed him, embraced him, and treated him with great respect.

 p257  77 Ever so many took part in the campaign; for somehow it happens that a great many men do voluntarily many things which they would not for a moment do under compulsion. They look askance at their instructions as at something forced upon them, but are delighted with the projects of their own minds because they feel themselves their own masters.6

74 The Carthaginians made overtures to Scipio, and agreed to every one of the demands he made upon them, inasmuch as they had no intention of performing any of them. They did, to be sure, give him money at once and restored all the prisoners, but in  p259 regard to the other matters they sent envoys to Rome. The Romans would not receive them at that time, declaring that it was a tradition with them not to discuss peace with any people while their armies were in Italy. But later, when Hannibal and Mago had departed, they granted the envoys an audience and fell into a dispute among themselves, being of two minds. At last, however, they voted for peace on the terms that Scipio had arranged.

75 The Carthaginians attacked Scipio both by land and by sea. And when Scipio, vexed at this, made  p261 a complaint, they returned no respect­ful answer to his envoys and moreover actually plotted against them when they sailed back; and had not a wind by chance sprung up and aided them, they would have been captured or would have perished. Consequently Scipio, although the commissioners arrived with peace for the Carthaginians at this juncture, refused any longer to make it.

And they brought to Scipio along with the various spoils Syphax himself. Scipio could not endure to see him remain bound, but calling to mind his own entertainment at the other's court, and reflecting on the uncertainty of human affairs, he leaped up from his chair, loosed him, embraced him, and treated him with consideration. And he asked him once: "What was our reason for going to war with us?" Syphax excused himself skilfully and at the same time got his revenge upon Masinissa by declaring that Sophonisba had been responsible for his conduct: to please her father, Hasdrubal, she had compelled him by her wiles to take the side of the Carthaginians against his will. "At any rate," he continued, "I have paid a proper penalty for being hoodwinked by a woman, and in the midst of my evils have at least one consolation — that Masinissa has married her. For she will certainly bring about his utter ruin likewise."

Scipio, feeling suspicious about this action of Masinissa, called him and censured him for having so speedily married without his consent a woman taken captive from the enemy, and he bade him give her up to the Romans. Masinissa was greatly grieved, and rushing into the tent where Sophonisba was, cried out to her: "If I might by my own death have ensured you liberty and freedom from outrage, I would cheerfully have died for you; but since this is impossible, I send you before me whither I and all shall go." With these words he offered her poison. And she uttered neither lament nor moan, but very nobly replied: "Husband, if this is our will, I am content. My soul shall after you know no other lord; as for my body, if Scipio requires that, let him take it with life extinct." Thus she died, and Scipio marvelled at the deed.

Laelius conducted to Rome Syphax and his son Vermina and some others of the foremost men; and the citizens gave Syphax an estate at Alba, and at his death honoured him with a public funeral; and they confirmed Vermina in the possession of his father's kingdom besides bestowing upon him the Numidian captives.

The Carthaginians made overtures to Scipio concerning a truce, and they gave him money at once and restored all the prisoners, and in regard to the remaining matters they sent an embassy to Rome. However, the Romans would not receive the envoys at that time, declaring that I was a tradition with them not to admit an embassy from any people or to discuss peace while their armies were in Italy. Later, when Hannibal and Mago had departed, they accorded the envoys and audience and voted for peace. Yet Hannibal and Mago left Italy, not in the interest of the treaty, but through haste to reach the scene of war at home.

The Carthaginians in Africa even before this time had not been thinking seriously of peace, and had sued for a truce only for the purpose of using up time, with a view to securing Hannibal's presence. So when they heard that he was drawing near, they took courage and attacked Scipio both by land and by sea. When he complained to them about this, they returned no proper answer to the envoys, and even actually plotted against them when they sailed back; and had not a wind fortunately arisen to help them, they would have perished. Hence Scipio, though at this time the decree regarding peace was brought to him, refused any longer to make it.

So the Carthaginians sent Mago back to Italy, but appointed Hannibal general with full powers, after first deposing Hanno from his command. Hasdrubal they even voted to put to death, and finding that he had voluntarily made away with himself by poison, they abused his dead body. Hannibal, accordingly, taking over entire command, invaded the country of Masinissa, which he proceeded to devastate, and was preparing to fight against the Romans. Counter-preparations were being made by the followers of Scipio.

14 [link to original Greek text] 1 The people of Rome were regretting that they had not prevented Hannibal from sailing home, and when they learned that he was consolidating the opposition in Africa, they were again greatly terrified. Accordingly, they sent Claudius Nero, one of the  p263 consuls, against him, and allotted to Marcus Servilius the protection of Italy. Nero, however, was unable to reach Africa, being detained by stormy weather in Italy and again in Sardinia. After that he progressed no farther than Sicily, for he learned that Scipio had proved the victor. Scipio, in fact, had been afraid that Nero might be so prompt as to appropriate the glory of his own toils, and so at the first glimmer of spring, he had advanced against Hannibal, having learned that the latter had conquered Masinissa. And Hannibal, when he found out that Scipio was approaching, went to meet him. They encamped opposite each other, though they did not at once come to blows, but delayed several days; and each commander addressed his army, inciting it to battle.

When it seemed best to Scipio not to delay any longer, but to draw Hannibal into a struggle whether he wished it or not, he set out for Utica, that by creating an impression of fear and flight he might gain a favourable opportunity for attack; and thus it turned out. Hannibal, thinking that he was in flight, and being correspondingly encouraged, pursued him with his cavalry only. Contrary to his expectations Scipio resisted, engaged in battle, and came out victorious. After routing this body he then directed his attention not to pursuing them, but to their equipment train, which was on the march, and he captured it entire. This caused Hannibal alarm, and his alarm was increased by the news that Scipio had done no injury to three Carthaginian spies whom he had found in his camp. Hannibal had learned this fact from one of them, after the other two had chosen to remain with the Romans. Disheartened, therefore, he no longer felt the courage to carry on a decisive engagement with the Romans, but determined to make efforts for a truce as quickly as possible, in order that even if this attempt should not be success­ful, it might at least cause a temporary delay and cessation of hostilities. So he sent to Masinissa, and through him, as a man of the same race, asked for a truce. And he secured a conference with Scipio, but accomplished nothing. For Scipio avoided a definite answer as well as a harsh one, but pursued a middle course throughout, although adopting a particularly mild tone, in order to lead Hannibal into careless behaviour by pretending a willingness to come to terms. And such was the result. For Hannibal now gave no thought to battle, but was desirous of shifting his camp to a more favourable place. Scipio, gaining this information from deserters, broke camp by night and occupied the spot which was the goal of Hannibal's efforts. And when the Carthaginians had reached a valley unsuited for a camping place, he suddenly confronted them. Hannibal refused to fight, but in his efforts to pitch camp there and to dig wells he had a hard time of it all night long. Thus Scipio forced the enemy, while at a disadvantage from weariness and thirst, to offer battle in spite of themselves.

Accordingly, the Romans entered the conflict well marshalled and eager, but Hannibal and the Carthaginians listless and dejected. This was owing in part to a total eclipse of the sun; for in view of the other circumstances, Hannibal suspected that this, too, augured nothing auspicious for them. In this frame of mind they stationed the elephants in front of them as a protection. Suddenly the Romans uttered a great and terrible shout, and smiting their spears against their shields, rushed furiously against the elephants. Thrown into a panic by their charge, most of the beasts did not await their coming, but turned to flight, and receiving frequent wounds caused still greater confusion among those stationed beside them. But some of the beasts charged the Romans, whereupon the latter would stand apart so that they ran through the spaces between the ranks, getting struck with missiles and wounded from close at hand as they passed along. For a time the Carthaginians resisted, but at length, when Masinissa and Laelius fell upon them from the rear with the horsemen, they all fled. The majority of them were destroyed, and Hannibal came very near losing his life. For as he fled, Masinissa pursued him at breakneck speed, giving his horse a free rein. But Hannibal turned, and seeing him thus pursuing, swerved aside slightly and checked his course; thus Masinissa rushed by, and Hannibal got in his rear and wounded him. Thus he made his escape with a few followers.

 p265  80b ἐνθυμιζόμενοι = calculating. So Dio, Roman History, XVII.7

 p267  78 Dio, Book XVII. "He suddenly checked his course."

 p269  79 Dio, Roman History, XVII. "Moreover, in general, the fortunate party is inclined to audacity and the unfortunate to moderation; and accordingly the timid party is wont to show restraint and the bold to show license. This was particularly noticeable in his case."​8a

80 Dio, Roman History, XVII. "And a report about them of the following nature became public."​8b


The Carthaginians made overture for peace to Scipio. The terms agreed upon were: that they should give hostages, should return the captives and deserters they were holding, whether Romans or their allies, should surrender all the elephants and the triremes, except ten, and for the future possess  p271 neither elephants nor ships, should withdraw from all the possessions of Masinissa that they were holding and give them up to him, and restore to him the country and the cities that were in his domain, that they should not hold levies, nor employ mercenaries, nor undertake war against anyone without the consent of the Romans.

59 1 It seemed to Cornelius Lentulus, the consul, as well as to many other Romans, that Carthage ought to be destroyed, and he was wont to say that it was impossible, while that city existed, for them to be free from fear.

57 83 In the popular assembly, however, . . . all unanimously voted for peace. For after considering what they had gone through with . . . were going  p273 to . . . dangers and other . . . affairs . . . punished; . . . and those . . . from . . .

84 And of the elephants the larger number were carried off to Rome, and the rest were presented to Masinissa . . . of Carthaginians . . . and Africa . . . embas. . . engage with the . . . permitted; and . . . Scipio . . . after the treaty . . . and friendship . . . established; and . . . favoured . . .

86 . . . captives . . . Terentius one . . . . being of the senate, . . cap . . . and thus one . . . to follow. Scipio, accordingly, attained great prominence by these deeds, but Hannibal was even brought to  p275 trial by his own people; he was accused of having refused to capture Rome when he was able to do so, and of having appropriated the plunder from Italy. He was not, however, convicted, but was shortly afterward entrusted with the highest office in Carthage. . . .

76 . . . Marcus . . . sent . . . by the generals . . . from them . . . was success­ful (?); embassy . . . of Philip and . . . a certain one whom he himself . . . had sent to the Carthaginians . . . not at all piece . . . having vanquished . . wars in . . . no less in reputation . . . rendered them more.

Scipio after his victory advanced rapidly against Carthage, and proceeded to besiege it by land and sea at once. The Carthaginians at first set themselves in readiness as though to endure the siege, but later, brought to the end of their resources, they made overtures to Scipio for peace. Scipio accepted their proposals and discussed with them the article of the compact. The terms agreed upon were: that hostages and the captives and deserters should be given up by the Carthaginians, that all the elephants and the triremes, except ten, should be delivered over, and that in the future they should not keep elephants nor more ships of war than ten, nor make war upon anyone without the consent of the Romans, and a few other points.

When an agreement of this nature had been reached, the Carthaginians sent ambassadors to Rome. So these went their way, but the senate did not receive the embassy readily; indeed, the members disputed for a long time, being disagreed among themselves. The popular assembly, however, unanimously voted for peace and accepted the terms; and they sent ten men to settle all the details in conjunction with Scipio. So the treaty was made, the triremes were given up and burned, and of the elephants the larger number were carried off to Rome, while the rest were presented to Masinissa. The Romans now left Africa, and the Carthaginians Italy.

The second war, then, with the Carthaginians resulted in this way at the end of sixteen years. By it Scipio had been made illustrious, and he was given the title of Africanus (Africa was the name of that part of Libya surrounding Carthage), but many also called him Liberator because he had brought back many captive citizens. He, then, attained great prominence by these deeds; but Hannibal was accused by his own people of having refused to capture Rome when he was able to do so, and of having appropriated the plunder from Italy. He was not, however, convicted, but was shortly afterward entrusted with the highest office in Carthage.

15 1 The Romans now became involved in other wars, which were waged against Philip the Macedonian and against Antiochus.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 The MSS. of both the fragments and of Zonaras give the name as Sophonis.

2 Balearis Minor; see p221.

3 Publius Scipio Nasica.

4 Salinator = "salt-dealer."

5 Citizens of the lowest class, who paid only a poll-tax and had no vote.

6 Macchioro (Klio 10, p359), comparing Livy 30.3.1, believes this refers to the general eagerness shown at the beginning of the year 203 to aid Scipio in Africa. While there are some objections to this view, it seems more probable than that of Boissevain, who refers the fragment to the expedition of Sulpicius Galba against Macedonia in 200.

7 This may be from his account of the feelings of the contestants on the eve of the battle of Zama; so von Gutschmid.

8a 8b These fragments are of uncertain reference; the former may possibly relate to Masinissa's marrying Sophonisba without Scipio's permission.

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