While these things were going on at Rome, if1
indeed they did happen that year,2
both consuls were waging war against the Ligurians.3
This enemy was born, as it were, to keep alive the military discipline of the Romans during the intervals between their great wars; nor did any province do more to put an edge to the soldier's courage.
For Asia, on account of the pleasantness of its cities and the abundance of its treasures of land and sea and the feebleness of the enemy and the wealth of its kings, made armies richer rather than braver.
Especially under the command of Gnaeus Manlius was discipline slackly and indifferently enforced;4
and so a somewhat more difficult advance in Thrace and a rather more effective enemy had taught them a lesson with great
slaughter. Among the Ligurians there was everything to keep an army alert —hilly and rough ground, which was difficult both for the men themselves to occupy and to dislodge the enemy who had already occupied it, and roads difficult, narrow, dangerous by reason of
ambuscades; an enemy lightly equipped, mobile and unexpected in his movements, who permitted no time or place whatever to be quiet or [p. 221]
safe; the besieging of fortified points was necessary5
and at the same time toilsome and dangerous; the district was poor, which constrained the soldiers to simple living and offered them little plunder. Accordingly, no civilian camp-follower went along, no long train of pack-animals stretched out the
column. There was nothing except arms and men who placed all their trust in their
arms. Nor was there ever wanting either the occasion or the cause for war with them, because on account of their poverty at home they were constantly raiding their neighbours' lands. And yet the fighting never brought about the final settlement of a campaign.6