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Hamilcar's Tactical Superiority The assistance thus obtained from these allies encouraged the Carthaginians to maintain their resistance: while Mathōs and Spendius found themselves quite as much in the position of besieged as in that of besiegers; for Hamilcar's force reduced them to such distress for provisions that they were at last compelled to raise the siege. B. C. 238. Hamilcar, with assistance from Sicily, surrounds Mathōs and Spendius. However, after a short interval, they managed to muster the most effective of the mercenaries and Libyans, to the number in all of fifty thousand, among whom, besides others, was Zarzas the Libyan, with his division, and commenced once more to watch and follow on the flank of Hamilcar's march. Their method was to keep away from the level country, for fear of the elephants and the cavalry of Narávas; but to seize in advance of him all points of vantage, whether it were rising ground or narrow pass. In these operations they showed themselves qui
Aftereffects in Hippo, Utica, and Sardinia Most places in Libya submitted to Carthage after this Reduction of Hippo and Utica, B. C. 238. battle. But the towns of Hippo and Utica still held out, feeling that they had no reasonable grounds for obtaining terms, because their original acts of hostility left them no place for mercy or pardon. So true is it that even in such outbreaks, however criminal in themselves, it is of inestimable advantage to be moderate, and to refrain from wanton acts whi
s. Nor did
their attitude of defiance help these cities. Hanno invested
one and Barcas the other, and quickly reduced them to accept
whatever terms the Carthaginians might determine.
The war with the Libyans had indeed reduced Carthage toB. C. 241-238.
dreadful danger; but its termination enabled her not only to
re-establish her authority over Libya, but also to inflict condign punishment upon the authors of the revolt. For the last
act in the drama was performed by the young men conducting
Second Cause of the War When the Romans, at the conclusion of this mercenary B.C. 238. Bk. i. ch. 88. Second cause. war, proclaimed war with Carthage, the latter at first was inclined to resist at all hazards, because the goodness of her cause gave her hopes of victory,—as I have shown in my former book, without which it would be impossible to understand adequately either this or what is to follow. The Romans, however, would not listen to anything: and the Carthaginians therefore yielded to the force of circumstances; and though feeling bitterly aggrieved, yet being quite unable to do anything, evacuated Sardinia, and consented to pay a sum of twelve hundred talents, in addition to the former indemnity paid them, on condition of avoiding the war at that time. This is the second and the most important cause of the subsequent war. For Hamilcar, having this public grievance in addition to his private feelings of anger, as soon as he had secured his country's safety by reducing the rebe