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Mathōs and Spendius

Gesco came to Tunes by sea, bringing the money with him. There he held a meeting first of the officers, and then of the men, according to their nationalities; rebuked them for their past behaviour, and endeavoured to convince them as to their duty in the present: but most of all he dwelt upon their obligation in the future to show themselves well-disposed towards the people whose pay they had been so long enjoying. Finally, he proceeded to discharge the arrears of pay, taking each nationality separately.
But there was a certain Campanian in the army, a runaway Roman slave named Spendius, a man of extraordinary physical strength and reckless courage in the field. Alarmed lest his master should recover possession of him, and he should be put to death with torture, in accordance with the laws of Rome, this man exerted himself to the utmost in word and deed to break off the arrangement with the Carthaginians.
He was seconded by a Libyan called Mathōs, who was not a slave but free, and had actually served in the campaign. But he had been one of the most active agitators in the late disturbances: and being in terror of punishment for the past, he now gave in his adhesion to the party of Spendius; and taking the Libyans aside, suggested to them that, when the men of other races had received their pay, and taken their departure to their several countries, the Carthaginians would wreak upon them the full weight of the resentment which they had, in common with themselves, incurred; and would look upon their punishment as a means of striking terror into all the inhabitants of Libya. It did not take long to rouse the men by such arguments, nor were they at a loss for a pretext, however insignificant. In discharging the pay, Gesco postponed the payment of the valuations of rations and horses.
Spendius and Mathōs cause an outbreak.
This was enough: the men at once hurried to make a meeting; Spendius and Mathōs delivered violent invectives against Gesco and the Carthaginians; their words were received with every sign of approval; no one else could get a hearing; whoever did attempt to speak was promptly stoned to death, without the assembly so much as waiting to ascertain whether be intended to support the party of Spendius or no.
A considerable number of privates as well as officers were killed in this manner in the various émeutes which took place; and from the constant repetition of this act of violence the whole army learnt the meaning of the word "throw," although there was not another word which was intelligible to them all in common. The most usual occasion for this to happen was when they collected in crowds flushed with wine after their midday meal. On such occasions, if only some one started the cry "throw," such volleys were poured in from every side, and with such rapidity, that it was impossible for any one to escape who once ventured to stand forward to address them. The result was that soon no one had the courage to offer them any counsel at all; and they accordingly appointed Mathōs and Spendius as their commanders.

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