"Why, in dealing with the Carthaginians, should we change our nature, in the exercise of which we have until now so greatly prospered? Is it because their city is large? That is the very reason why it ought to be spared. Is it because they have often violated their treaties with us? So have other nations, almost all of them. Is it because they are now to be subjected to a light punishment? They are to lose all their ships but ten. They are to give up their elephants, which constitute so large a part of their strength. They are to pay 10,000 Euboïc talents. They are to yield all the cities and territories outside of the Phœnician trenches, and they are forbidden to enlist soldiers. What they took from us when pressed by hunger they are to restore, although they are still hungry. As to all doubtful matters, Scipio, the man who fought against them, is the judge. I praise Scipio the rather for the magnitude and multitude of these things. I think you ought to spare them considering the invidiousness and the mutability of human affairs. They still have (until the treaty is ratified) an abundance of ships and elephants, and Hannibal, that most skilful captain, who still has an army; also Mago, who is leading another considerable force of Celts and Ligurians; also Vermina, the son of Syphax, is allied with them, and other Numidian tribes. They have also a great many slaves. If they despair of pardon from you they will use all these things with a lavish hand. Nothing is more dangerous than desperation in battles, in which also the divine will is both uncertain and vengeful.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE PUNIC WARS
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.