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Polybius, Histories 22 0 Browse Search
Q. Horatius Flaccus (Horace), The Works of Horace (ed. C. Smart, Theodore Alois Buckley) 2 0 Browse Search
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Polybius, Histories, book 2, Rivers and Mountains in Northern Italy (search)
ts under the name of Eridanus, rises in the Alps near the apex of the triangle, and flows down to the plains with a southerly course; but after reaching the plains, it turns to the east, and flowing through them discharges itself by two mouths into the Adriatic. The larger part of the plain is thus cut off by it, and lies between this river and the Alps to the head of the Adriatic. 15th July In body of water it is second to no river in Italy, because the mountain streams, descending from the Alps and Apennines to the plain, one and all flow into it on both sides; and its stream is at its height and beauty about the time 15th July. of the rising of the Dog Star, because it is then swollen by the melting snows on those mountains. It is navigable for nearly two thousand stades up stream, the ships entering by the mouth called Olana; for though it is a single main stream to begin with, it branches off into two at the place called Trigoboli, of which streams the northern is called the Pad
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Previous Histories of this March either False or Inconsistent (search)
the head of the Adriatic, separate it from the valley of the Padus, of which I have already had occasion to speak at length. It was these mountains that Hannibal now crossed from the Rhone valley into Italy. Some historians of this passage of the Alps, in their desire to produce a striking effect by their descriptions of the wonders of this country, have fallen into two errors which are more alien than anything else to the spirit of history,—perversion of fact and inconsistency. Introducing Ha the most conspicuous indiscretion; and then, finding themselves involved in an inextricable maze of falsehood, they try to cut the knot by the introduction of gods and heroes into what is meant to be genuine history. They begin by saying that the Alps are so precipitous and inaccessible that, so far from horses and troops, accompanied too by elephants, being able to cross them, it would be very difficult for even active men on foot to do so: and similarly they tell us that the desolation of thi
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Absurd Premises of Other Historians (search)
naccessible character, only serves to bring their untrustworthiness into clearer light. For first, they pass over the fact that the Celts of the Rhone valley had on several occasions before Hannibal came, and that in very recent times, crossed the Alps with large forces, and fought battles with the Romans in alliance with the Celts of the valley of the Padus, as I have already stated. And secondly, they are unaware of the fact that a very numerous tribe of people inhabit the Alps. Accordingly inAlps. Accordingly in their ignorance of these facts they take refuge in the assertion that a hero showed Hannibal the way. They are, in fact, in the same case as tragedians, who, beginning with an improbable and impossible plot, are obliged to bring in a deus ex machina to solve the difficulty and end the play. The absurd premises of these historians naturally require some such supernatural agency to help them out of the difficulty: an absurd beginning could only have an absurd ending. For of course Hannibal did n
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Hannibal Harassed By the Natives (search)
Hannibal Harassed By the Natives Having in ten days' march accomplished a distance The ascent. of eight hundred stades along the river bank, Hannibal began the ascent of the Alps,I have no intention of rediscussing the famous question of the pass by which Hannibal crossed the Alps. The reader will find an admirably clear statement of the various views entertained, and the latest arguments advanced in favour of each, in the notes to Mr. W. T. Arnold's edition of Dr. Arnold's History of the SeconAlps. The reader will find an admirably clear statement of the various views entertained, and the latest arguments advanced in favour of each, in the notes to Mr. W. T. Arnold's edition of Dr. Arnold's History of the Second Punic War, pp. 362-373. and immediately found himself involved in the most serious dangers. For as long as the Carthaginians were on the plains, the various chiefs of the Allobroges refrained from attacking them from fear of their cavalry, as well as of the Gauls who were escorting them. But when these last departed back again to their own lands, and Hannibal began to enter the mountainous region, the chiefs of the Allobroges collected large numbers of their tribe and occupied the points of va
Polybius, Histories, book 3, The White Rock (search)
s, however, a large number of beasts of burden and horses perished; for the advantage of the higher ground being with the enemy, the Gauls moved along the slopes parallel with the army below, and by rolling down boulders, or throwing stones, reduced the troops to a state of the utmost confusion and danger; so that Hannibal with half his force was obliged to pass the night near a certain white rock,peri/ ti leuko/petron, which, however, perhaps only means "bare rock," cf. 10, 30. But see Law's Alps of Hannibal, vol. i. p. 201 sq. which afforded them protection, separated from his horses and baggage which he was covering; until after a whole night's struggle they slowly and with difficulty emerged from the gorge. Next morning the enemy had disappeared: and Hannibal, having effected a junction with his cavalry and baggage, led his men towards the head of the pass, without falling in again with any important muster of the natives, though he was harassed by some of them from time to time;
Polybius, Histories, book 3, The Descent Into Italy (search)
Into Italy But by this time, it being nearly the period of the setting of the Pleiads,9th November. the snow was beginning to be thick on the heights; and seeing his men in low spirits, owing both to the fatigue they had gone through, and that which still lay before them, Hannibal called them together and tried to cheer them by dwelling on the one possible topic of consolation in his power, namely the view of Italy: which lay stretched out in both directions below those mountains, giving the Alps the appearance of a citadel to the whole of Italy. By pointing therefore to the plains of the Padus, and reminding them of the friendly welcome which awaited them from the Gauls who lived there, and at the same time indicating the direction of Rome itself, he did somewhat to raise the drooping spirits of his men. Next day he began the descent, in which he no longerThe descent. met with any enemies, except some few secret pillagers; but from the dangerous ground and the snow he lost almost as
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Hannibal Reaches the Plains (search)
annibal mustered his forces and continued the descent; and on the third day after passing the precipitous path just described he reached the plains. From the beginning of his march he had lost many men by the hands of the enemy, and in crossing rivers, and many more on the precipices and dangerous passes of the Alps; and not only men in this last way, but horses and beasts of burden in still greater numbers. The whole march from New Carthage had occupied five months, the actual passage of the Alps fifteen days; and he now boldly entered the valley of the Padus, and the territory of the Insubres, with such of his army as survived, consisting of twelve thousand Libyans and eight thousand Iberians, and not more than six thousand cavalry in all, as he himself distinctly states on the column erected on the promontory of Lacinium to record the numbers. At the same time, as I have before stated, Publius having left his legions under the command of his brother Gnaeus, with orders to prosecute
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Hannibal Attacks the Taurini (search)
the Rhone, he had thirty-eight thousand infantry, and more than eight thousand cavalry, he lost nearly half in the pass, as I have shown above; while the survivors had by these long continued sufferings become almost savage in look and general appearance. Hannibal therefore bent his whole energies to the restoration of the spirits and bodies of his men, and of their horses also.Taking of Turin. When his army had thus sufficiently recovered, finding the Taurini, who live immediately under the Alps, at war with the Insubres and inclined to be suspicious of the Carthaginians, Hannibal first invited them to terms of friendship and alliance; and, on their refusal, invested their chief city and carried it after a three days' siege. Having put to the sword all who had opposed him, he struck such terror into the minds of the neighbouring tribes, that they all gave in their submission out of hand. The other Celts inhabiting these plains were also eager to join the Carthaginians, according to t