it remains to compare the forces on both sides, whether for numbers, or types of soldiers, or size of their contingents of auxiliaries.
The quinquennial enumerations of that period put the population at 250,000.1
And so at the time when all the Latin allies were in revolt2
it was the custom to enroll ten legions, by a levy which was virtually limited to the City.
in those years frequently four and five armies at a time would take the field, in Etruria, in Umbria (where they also fought the Gauls), in Samnium, and in Lucania.
later on Alexander would have found all Latium, with the Sabines, the Volsci and the Aequi, all Campania, and a portion of Umbria and Etruria, the Picentes and the Marsi and Paeligni, the Vestini and the Apulians, together with the whole coast of the Lower Sea, held by the Greeks, from Thurii as far as Naples and Cumae, and thence all the way to Antium and Ostia —all these, I say, he would have found either powerful friends of the Romans or their defeated enemies.
he himself would have crossed the sea with veteran Macedonians to the number of not more than thirty thousand foot and four thousand horse —mostly Thessalians —for this was his main strength. if to these he had added Persians and Indians and other nations, he would have found them a greater burden to have dragged about than a help.
add to this, that the Romans would have had recruits3
ready to call upon, but Alexander,
as happened afterwards to Hannibal, would have found his army wear away, while he warred in a foreign land.
his men would have been armed with targets and spears:4
the Romans with an oblong shield, affording more protection to the body, and the Roman javelin, which strikes, on being thrown, with a much harder impact than the lance.5
both armies were formed of heavy troops, keeping to their ranks; but their phalanx was immobile and consisted of soldiers of a single type; the Roman line was opener and comprised more separate units; it was easy to divide, wherever necessary, and easy to unite. moreover, what soldier can match the Roman in entrenching? who is better at enduring toil?
Alexander would, if beaten in a single battle, have been beaten in the war; but what battle could have overthrown the Romans, whom Caudium could not overthrow, nor Cannae?
nay, many a time —however prosperous the outset of his enterprise might have been —would he have wished for Indians and Persians and unwarlike Asiatics, and would have owned that he had before made war upon women, as Alexander, King of Epirus, is reported to have said,
when mortally wounded, contrasting the type of war waged by this very youth in Asia, with that which had fallen to his own share.6
indeed when I remember that we contended against the Carthaginians on the seas for [p. 241]
four —andtwenty years, I think that the whole life of Alexander7
would hardly have sufficed for this single war; and perchance, inasmuch as the Punic State had been by ancient treaties leagued with the Roman,8
and the two cities most powerful in men and arms might well have made common cause against the foe whom both dreaded, he had been crushed beneath the simultaneous attacks of Rome and Carthage.
The Romans have been at war with the Macedonians —not, to be sure, when Alexander led them or their prosperity was unimpaired, but against Antiochus, Philippus, and Perses —and not only without ever suffering defeat, but even without incurring any danger.
proud word I would not speak, but never —and may civil wars be silent! — never have we been beaten by infantry, never in open battle, never on even, or at all events on favourable ground:
cavalry and arrows, impassable defiles, regions that afford no road to convoys, may well occasion fear in heavy —armed troops.
a thousand battle —arrays more formidable than those of Alexander and the Macedonians have the Romans beaten off —and shall do —if only our present love of domestic peace endure and our concern to maintain concord.