previous next

Scipio Crosses the Ticinus

About the same day Publius Scipio, having now crossed the Padus, and being resolved to make a farther advance across the Ticinus, ordered those who were skilled in such works to construct a bridge across this latter river; and then summoned a meeting of the remainder of his army and addressed them: dwelling principally on the reputation of their country and of the ancestors' achievements. But he referred particularly to their present position, saying, "that they ought to entertain no doubt of victory, though they had never as yet had any experience of the enemy; and should regard it as a piece of extravagant presumption of the Carthaginians to venture to face Romans, by whom they had been so often beaten, and to whom they had for so many years paid tribute and been all but slaves. And when in addition to this they at present knew thus much of their mettle,—that they dared not face them, what was the fair inference to be drawn for the future? Their cavalry, in a chance encounter on the Rhone with those of Rome, had, so far from coming off well, lost a large number of men, and had fled with disgrace to their own camp; and the general and his army, as soon as they knew of the approach of his legions, had beat a retreat, which was exceedingly like a flight, and, contrary to their original purpose, had in their terror taken the road over the Alps. And it was evident that Hannibal had destroyed the greater part of his army; and that what he had left was feeble and unfit for service, from the hardships they had undergone: in the same way he had lost the majority of his horses, and made the rest useless from the length and difficult nature of the journey. They had, therefore, only to show themselves to the enemy." But, above all, he pointed out that "his own presence at their head ought to be special encouragement to them: for that he would not have left his fleet and Spanish campaign, on which he had been sent, and have come to them in such haste, if he had not seen on consideration that his doing so was necessary for his country's safety, and that a certain victory was secured to him by it."

The weight and influence of the speaker, as well as their belief in his words, roused great enthusiasm among the men; which Scipio acknowledged, and then dismissed them with the additional injunction that they should hold themselves in readiness to obey any order sent round to them.

Creative Commons License
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.

load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Ticinus (Switzerland) (2)
Rome (Italy) (1)
Rhone (1)
Padus (Italy) (1)
Alps (New Mexico, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: