Massanissa Harasses the Carthaginians
Not long before this period Massanissa resolved to try
Between the second and third Punic wars Massanissa constantly encroached on Carthaginian territory. Both sides refer to Rome,
his strength with the Carthaginians. He saw
how numerous the cities built along the lesser
Syrtis were, and noticed the excellence of the
district which they call Emporia, and he had
long been casting an envious eye upon the
revenues which those places produced. He
quickly possessed himself of the open part of
the country, because the Carthaginians were
always averse from service in the field, and were
at that time completely enervated by the long peace, But he
was unable to get possession of the towns, because they were
carefully guarded by the Carthaginians.
and the Romans invariably support Massanissa.
Both parties then referring their case to the Roman Senate, and frequent embassies
coming to Rome from both sides, it always happened that
the Carthaginians got the worst of it in the
judgment of the Romans, not on the merits
of the case, but because the judges were convinced that such a decision was in
not many years before this Massanissa was himself at the head of an army in pursuit of Aphther,
who had revolted from him, and asked permission of the Carthaginians to go through this territory, which
they refused on the ground that it had nothing to do with him.
Owing, however, to the decisions given at Rome during this
period, the Carthaginians were put into such difficulties that
they not only lost the cities and territory, but had to pay
besides five hundred talents as mesne profits from the district.
And this was the origin of the present controversy.1
. . .