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CHAPTER XX

Rejoicings in Rome -- Scipio's Triumph -- Carthage rebuilt by Augustus


[133] Carthage being destroyed, Scipio gave the soldiers a certain number of days for plunder, reserving the gold, silver, and temple gifts. He also gave prizes to all who had distinguished themselves for bravery, except those who had violated the shrine of Apollo. He sent a swift ship, embellished with spoils, to Rome to announce the victory. He also sent word to Sicily that whatever temple gifts they could identify as taken from them by the Carthaginians in former wars they might come and take away. Thus he endeared himself to the people as one who united clemency with power. He sold the rest of the spoils, and, in sacrificial cincture, burned the arms, engines, and useless ships as an offering to Mars and Minerva, according to the Roman custom.

[134] When the people of Rome saw the ship and heard of the victory early in the evening, they poured into the streets and spent the whole night congratulating and embracing each other like people just now delivered from some great fear, just now confirmed in their world-wide supremacy, just now assured of the permanence of their own city, and winners of such a victory as never before. Many brilliant deeds of their own, many more of their ancestors, in Macedonia and Spain and lately against Antiochus the Great, and in Italy itself, had they celebrated; but no other war had so terrified them at their own gates as the Punic wars, which ever brought peril to them by reason of the perseverance, skill, and courage, as well as the bad faith, of those enemies. They recalled what they had suffered from the Carthaginians in Sicily and Spain, and in Italy itself for sixteen years, during which Hannibal destroyed 400 towns and killed 300,000 of their men in battles alone, more than once marching up to the city and putting it in extreme peril. Pondering on these things, they were so excited over this victory that they could hardly believe it, and they asked each other over and over again whether it was really true that Carthage was destroyed. And so they gabbled the whole night, telling how the arms of the Carthaginians were got away from them and how, contrary to expectation, they supplied themselves with others; how they lost their ships and built a great fleet out of old material; how the mouth of their harbor was closed, yet they managed to open another in a few days. They talked about the height of the walls, and the size of the stones, and the fires that so often destroyed the engines. They pictured to each other the whole war, as though it were just taking place under their own eyes, suiting the action to the word; and they seemed to see Scipio on the ladders, on shipboard, at the gates, in the battles, and darting hither and thither. In this way the people of Rome passed the night.

[135] The next day there were sacrifices and solemn processions to the gods by tribes, also games and spectacles of various kinds. The Senate sent ten of the noblest of their own number as deputies to arrange the affairs of Africa in conjunction with Scipio, to the advantage of Rome. They decreed that if anything was still left of Carthage, Scipio should obliterate it and that nobody should be allowed to live there. Direful threats were levelled against any who should disobey and chiefly against the rebuilding of Byrsa or Megara, but it was not forbidden to go upon the ground. The towns that had allied themselves with the enemy it was decided to destroy, to the last one. To those who had aided the Romans there was an allotment of lands won by the sword, and first of all to the Uticans was given the territory of Carthage itself, extending as far as Hippo. Upon all the rest a tribute was imposed, both a land tax and a personal tax, upon men and women alike. It was decreed that a praetor should be sent from Rome yearly to govern the country. After these arrangements had been carried out by the deputies, they returned to Rome. Scipio did all that they directed, and he instituted sacrifices and games to the gods for the victory. When all was finished, he sailed for home and was awarded the most glorious triumph that had ever been known, splendid with gold and gorged with statues and votive offerings that the Carthaginians had gathered from all parts of the world through all time, the fruit of their countless victories. It was at this time also that the third Macedonian triumph occurred for the capture of Andriscus, surnamed Pseudophilippus, and the first Grecian one, for Mummius. This was about the 160th Olympiad.

Y.R. 631

[136] Some time later, in the tribunate of Gaius Gracchus,

B.C. 123
uprisings occurred in Rome on account of scarcity, and it was decided to send 6000 colonists into Africa. When they were laying out the land for this purpose in the vicinity of Carthage, all the boundary lines were torn down and obliterated by wolves. Then the Senate put a stop to the settlement. At a still later time it is said that C├Žsar, who afterwards became dictator for life, when he had pursued Pompey to Egypt, and Pompey's friends from thence into Africa, and was encamped near the site of Carthage, was troubled by a dream in which he saw a whole army weeping, and that he immediately made a memorandum in writing that Carthage should be colonized. Returning to Rome not long after, and while making a distribution of lands to the poor, he arranged to send some of them to Carthage and some to Corinth. But he was assassinated shortly afterward by his enemies in the Roman Senate, and his son Augustus, finding this memorandum, built the present Carthage, not on the site of the old one, but very near it, in order to avoid the ancient curse. I have ascertained that he sent some 3000 colonists from Rome and that the rest came from the neighboring country. And
Y.R. 708
thus the Romans took Africa away from the Carthaginians,
B.C. 46
destroyed Carthage, and repeopled it again 102 years after its destruction.


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