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Polybius, Histories, book 3, Causes of the Second Punic War (search)
Causes of the Second Punic War Some historians of the Hannibalian war, when they wish The origin of the 2d Punic war; to point out to us the causes of this contest between Rome and Carthage, allege first the siege of Saguntum by the Carthaginians, and, secondly, their breach of treaty by crossing the river called by the natives the Iber. B. C. 334. But though I should call these the first actions in the war, I cannot admit them to be its causes. One might just as well say that the crossing of Alexander the Great into Asia was the cause of the Persian war, and the descent of Antiochus upon Demetrias the cause of his war with Rome. B. C. 192, In neither would it be a probable or ture statement. In the first case, this action of Alexander's could not be called the cause of a war, for which both he and his father Philip in his lifetime had made elaborate preparations: and in the second case, we know that the Aetolian league had done the same, with a view to a war with Rome, before Antioch
Polybius, Histories, book 3, The Credibility of Fabius Pictor (search)
The Credibility of Fabius Pictor Now the Roman annalist Fabius asserts that the cause of the Hannibalian war, besides the injury inflicted upon Saguntum, was the encroaching and ambitious spirit of Hasdrubal. "Having secured great power in Iberia, he returned to Libya with the design of destroying the constitution and reducing Carthage to a despotism. But the leading statesmen, getting timely warning of his intention, banded themselves together and successfully opposed him. Suspecting this Hasdto the command in Iberia he continued it: and accordingly, even in the case of this war with Rome, was acting on his own authority and contrary to the wish of the Carthaginians; for none of the men of note in Carthage approved of his attack upon Saguntum." This is the statement of Fabius, who goes on to say, that "after the capture of that city an embassy arrived in Carthage from Rome demanding that Hannibal should be given up on pain of a declaration of war." Now what answer could Fabius have g
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Hannibal Attacks the Vaccaei (search)
ssing at several points of the river at once, the greater number of them were killed as they left the water by the elephants, who marched up and down along the brink of the river and caught them as they were coming out. Many of them also were killed in the river itself by the cavalry, because the horses were better able than the men to stand against the stream, and also because the cavalry were fighting on higher ground than the infantry which they were attacking. At length Hannibal turned the tables on the enemy, and, recrossing the river, attacked and put to flight their whole army, to the number of more than a hundred thousand men. After the defeat of this host, no one south of the Iber rashly ventured to face him except the people of Saguntum. From that town Hannibal tried his best to keep aloof; because, acting on the suggestions and advice of his father Hamilcar, he did not wish to give the Romans an avowed pretext for war until he had thoroughly secured the rest of the country.
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Hannibal Defies the Romans (search)
Hannibal Defies the Romans But the people of Saguntum kept sending ambassadors Saguntum appeals to Rome. Winter of B. C. 220-219. to Rome, partly because they foresaw what was coming, and trembled foSaguntum appeals to Rome. Winter of B. C. 220-219. to Rome, partly because they foresaw what was coming, and trembled for their own existence, and partly that the Romans might be kept fully aware of the growing power of the Carthaginians in Iberia. For a long time the Romans disregarded their words: but now they sent oistened to the message with which they were charged. It was a strong injunction to him to leave Saguntum alone, as being under the protection of Rome; and not to cross the Iber, in accordance with thes it was, he said not a word of the real cause, but alleged the fictitious one of the matter of Saguntum; and so got the credit of beginning the war, not only in defiance of reason, but still more in arthage to enter the same protest before the people there. They expected, however, that they would have to fight not in Italy, but in Iberia, and that they would have Saguntum as a base of operations.
Polybius, Histories, book 3, War in Illyria (search)
sted all his hopes on the royal family of Macedonia, because he had fought on the side of Antigonus, and shared with him the dangers of the war against Cleomenes. These transactions attracted the observation of the Romans; who, seeing that the royal house of Macedonia was in a flourishing condition, were very anxious to secure the country east of Italy; feeling convinced that they would have ample time to correct the rash folly of the Illyrians, and rebuke and chastise the ingratitude and temerity of Demetrius. But they were deceived in their calculations. For Hannibal anticipated their measures by the capture of Saguntum: the result of which was that the war took place not in Iberia, but close to Rome itself, and in various parts throughout all Italy. B. C. 219. Coss. M. Livius Salinator L. Aemilius Paullus. However, with these ideas fixed in their minds, the Romans despatched Lucius Aemilius just before summer to conduct the Illyrian campaign in the first year of the 140th Olympiad.
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Hannibal Takes Saguntum (search)
Hannibal Takes Saguntum But Hannibal had started from New Carthage and was Hannibal besieges Saguntum. leading his army straight against Saguntum. This city is situated on the sea-ward foot of the mountain chain on which the frontiers of Iberia and Celtiberia converge, and is about seven stades from the sea. The district cultivatSaguntum. leading his army straight against Saguntum. This city is situated on the sea-ward foot of the mountain chain on which the frontiers of Iberia and Celtiberia converge, and is about seven stades from the sea. The district cultivated by its inhabitants is exceedingly productive, and has a soil superior to any in all Iberia. Under the walls of this town Hannibal pitched his camp and set energetically to work on the siege, foreseeing many advantages that would accrue if he could take it. Of these the first was that he would thereby disappoint the Romans in thter a siege extending to the eighth month, in the course of which he endured every kind of suffering and anxiety, he finally succeeded in taking the town.Fall of Saguntum. An immense booty in money, slaves, and property fell into his hands, which he disposed of in accordance with his original design. The money he reserved for the
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Rome's Reaction to the Fall of Saguntum (search)
Rome's Reaction to the Fall of Saguntum But when news came to Rome of the fall of Saguntum, Indignation at Rome at the fall of Saguntum. there was indeed no debate on the question of war, as some hisSaguntum, Indignation at Rome at the fall of Saguntum. there was indeed no debate on the question of war, as some historians assert; who even add the speeches delivered on either side. But nothing could be more ridiculous. For is it conceivable that the Romans should have a year before proclaimed war with the CarthaSaguntum. there was indeed no debate on the question of war, as some historians assert; who even add the speeches delivered on either side. But nothing could be more ridiculous. For is it conceivable that the Romans should have a year before proclaimed war with the Carthaginians in the event of their entering the territory of Saguntum, and yet, when the city itself had been taken, should have debated whether they should go to war or no? Just as absurd are the wonderfuSaguntum, and yet, when the city itself had been taken, should have debated whether they should go to war or no? Just as absurd are the wonderful statements that the senators put on mourning, and that the fathers introduced their sons above twelve years old into the Senate House, who, being admitted to the debate, refrained from divulging anyhen the Romans heard of the disasterEnvoys sent to Carthage to demand surrender of Hannibal. at Saguntum, they at once elected envoys, whom they despatched in all haste to Carthage with the offer of t
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Romans Demand Surrender of Hannibal (search)
throughout the discussion, the last treaty made in the Sicilian war; in which they affirmed that there was no clause relating to Iberia, but one expressly providing security for the allies of both parties to the treaty. Now, they pointed out that the Saguntines at that time were not allies of Rome, and therefore were not protected by the clause. To prove their point, they read the treaty more than once aloud. On this occasion the Roman envoys contented themselves with the reply that, while Saguntum was intact, the matter in dispute admitted of pleadings and of a discussion on its merits; but that, that city having been treacherously seized, they had only two alternatives,—either to deliver the persons guilty of the act, and thereby make it clear that they had no share in their crime, and that it was done without their consent; or, if they were not willing to do that, and avowed their complicity in it, to take the consequences. The question of treaties between Rome and Carthage was ref
Polybius, Histories, book 3, The Roman Case For War (search)
The Roman Case For War I have explained the pleas advanced by the Carthaginians; I must now state what is alleged on the contrary by the Romans, For though it is true that in this particular interview, owing to their anger at the fall of Saguntum, they did not use these arguments, yet they were appealed to on many occasions, and by many of their citizens. The Roman case.First, they argued that the treaty of Hasdrubal could not be ignored, as the Carthaginians had the assurance to do: for it did not contain the clause, which that of Lutatius did, making its validity conditional on its ratification by the people of Rome; but Hasdrubal made the agreement absolutely and authoritatively that "the Carthaginians should not cross the Iber in arms." Next they alleged that the clause in the treaty respecting Sicily, which by their own admission stipulated that "the allies of neither party should be attacked by the other," did not refer to then existing allies only, as the Carthaginians interpre
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Both Sides Are in the Wrong (search)
Both Sides Are in the Wrong These things being so, they argued that it was beyond controversy that Saguntum had accepted the protection of Rome, several years before the time of Hannibal. The strongest proof of this, and one which would not be contested by the Carthaginians themselves, was that, when political disturbances broke out at Saguntum, the people chose the Romans, and not the Carthaginians, as arbitrators to settle the dispute and restore their constitution, although the latter were close at hand and were already established in Iberia. I conclude, then, that if the destruction of Saguntum is toMutual provocation. be regarded as the cause of this war, the Carthaginians must be acknowledged to be in the wrong, both in view of the tf both parties, and in view of the treaty of Hasdrubal, which disabled the Carthaginians from passing the Iber with arms.Saguntum of course is south of the Iber, but the attack on it by Hannibal was a breach of the former of the two treaties. Livy (2
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