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Hannibal Takes Saguntum

But Hannibal had started from New Carthage and was
Hannibal besieges Saguntum.
leading his army straight against Saguntum. This city is situated on the sea-ward foot of the mountain chain on which the frontiers of Iberia and Celtiberia converge, and is about seven stades from the sea. The district cultivated by its inhabitants is exceedingly productive, and has a soil superior to any in all Iberia. Under the walls of this town Hannibal pitched his camp and set energetically to work on the siege, foreseeing many advantages that would accrue if he could take it. Of these the first was that he would thereby disappoint the Romans in their expectation of making Iberia the seat of war: a second was that he would thereby strike a general terror, which would render the already obedient tribes more submissive, and the still independent ones more cautious of offending him: but the greatest advantage of all was that thereby he would be able to push on his advance, without leaving an enemy on his rear. Besides these advantages, he calculated that the possession of this city would secure him abundant supplies for his expedition, and create an enthusiasm in the troops excited by individual acquisitions of booty; while he would conciliate the goodwill of those who remained at Carthage by the spoils which would be sent home. With these ideas he pressed on the siege with energy: sometimes setting an example to his soldiers by personally sharing in the fatigues of throwing up the siege works; and sometimes cheering on his men and recklessly exposing himself to danger. After a siege extending to the eighth month, in the course of which he endured every kind of suffering and anxiety, he finally succeeded in taking the town.
Fall of Saguntum.
An immense booty in money, slaves, and property fell into his hands, which he disposed of in accordance with his original design. The money he reserved for the needs of his projected expedition; the slaves were distributed according to merit among his men; while the property was at once sent entire to Carthage. The result answered his expectations: the army was rendered more eager for action; the home populace more ready to grant whatever he asked; and he himself was enabled, by the possession of such abundant means, to carry out many measures that were of service to his expedition.

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