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SPAIN, the eastern and southern parts of which were, since the 2d Punic war, governed by the Romans under a kind of military occupation without being reduced to the form of regular provinces, was always in a disturbed state, partly from sudden uprisings of various tribes against the Roman authority, and partly from numerous bodies of banditti, who seized strongholds or fortified towns and carried on their depredations from these centres. Hence it had been the policy of the Roman praetors and consuls to insist on the demolition of fortresses and city walls, as we learn from the accounts of Cato in B.C. 195 and others. In B.C. 177 Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus had inflicted a severe defeat upon the Celtiberians, and had made a settlement of the country, which for a few years produced comparative quiet and content. But in B.C. 154 an outbreak of the Lusitani led to a considerable disaster to the Roman army under Lucius Mummius; and when the consul Q. Fulvius Nobilior arrived in B.C. 153, he found that the war had accordingly spread to the Celtiberian tribes, the Belli and Titthi, who attempted to build the walls of Segeda. On Nobilior ordering them to desist, in accordance with Gracchan settlement, most of them obeyed after some resistance, but some of them fled to the Arevacae (near the sources of the Douro and Tagus); and this powerful tribe, after defeating the Roman army, entrenched themselves in Numantia, under the walls of which Nobilior sustained further losses. He was superseded in B.C. 152 by Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who, partly by strategy, and partly by administrative skill and conciliation, restored the Roman fortunes to a better position. The Belli and Titthi became allies of Rome, and the Arevacae at least thought it worth while to ask for a truce to enable them to send envoys to Rome to arrange peace.—Appian, Hispan. 44-50.

The "Fiery War"

The war between the Romans and Celtiberians was
B.C. 153-151. The war with the Celtiberian Arevacae conducted by Q. Fulvius Nobilior and M. Claudius Marcellus.
called the "fiery war;" for it was of a peculiarly fierce kind and remarkable for the frequency of its battles. The wars in Greece and Asia were as a rule settled by one battle, or in rare cases by two; and the battles themselves were decided by the result of the first charge and shock of the two armies. But in this war things were quite different. As a rule the battles were only stopped by the fall of night; the men neither lost heart nor would yield to bodily fatigue; but returned again and again with fresh resolution to renew the combat. The whole war, and its series of pitched battles, was at length interrupted for a time by the winter. One therefore could hardly conceive a war more nearly answering to our notion of a "fiery war" than this. . . .

The Celtiberian Wars

The Celtiberians, after making a truce with the consul
M. Claudius Marcellus winters at Cordova, B. C. 152-151.
M. Claudius Marcellus, had sent ambassadors to Rome who remained there quietly waiting for the answer of the Senate. Meanwhile M. Claudius went on an expedition against the Lusitani, took Nercobrica by assault, and then went into winter quarters at Corduba.
The envoys from Spain.
Of the ambassadors who came to Rome the Senate admitted those from the Belli and Titthi, who were on the side of Rome, to enter the city; but ordered those from the Arevacae to lodge on the other side of the Tiber, as being at war with Rome, until such time as the Senate should have decided the whole question. When the time for the interview was come,1 the praetor introduced the envoys from their allies first.
Speech of the Belli and Titthi.
Barbarians as they were, they made a set speech, and endeavoured to explain clearly the causes of all the dissension prevailing in their country: pointing out that "Unless those who had broken out into war were reduced to tranquillity and punished as they deserved, the very moment the Roman legions left Iberia, they would inflict punishment upon the Belli and Titthi as traitors; and that if they escaped unpunished for their first act of hostility, they would make all the tribes in Iberia ripe for an outbreak from the belief that they were capable of coping with Rome. They begged, therefore, that the legions should remain in Iberia, and that each year a consul should come thither2 to protect the allies of Rome and punish the depredations of the Arevacae; or, if they wished to withdraw the legions, they should first take signal vengeance for the outbreak of this tribe, that no one might venture to do the like again." Such, or to this effect, was the speech of the envoys of the Belli and Titthi who were in alliance with Rome. The envoys of the hostile tribe were then introduced.
The Arevacae
On coming forward the Arevacae assumed a feigned tone of submission and humility in the language of their answer, without being, as was evident, at all yielding in their hearts or acknowledging themselves beaten. On the contrary, they continually hinted at the uncertainty of fortune; and speaking of the battles that had taken place as undecided, they conveyed the impression that they had had the best of the contest in them all.
demand the settlement of Tiberius Gracchus, B. C. 177.
The upshot of their speech was this: "If they must submit to some definite mulct for their error, they were ready to do so: but, when that was completed, they demanded that things should revert to the position fixed by their treaty made with the Senate in the time of Tiberius Gracchus."

The Senate's Instructions to Marcellus

The Senators having thus heard both sides called
The Senate refer both the deputations to Marcellus,
in the legates from Marcellus; and when they saw that they also were inclined to a pacification, and that Marcellus was more inclined to favour the enemy than the allied tribes, they answered the Arevacae that Marcellus would declare in Iberia to both parties the decision of the Senate. However, they were convinced in their own minds that their true interests were such as the envoys of the allied tribes suggested, and that the Arevacae were still inclined to haughty independence, and that their own commander was afraid of them: they therefore gave secret instructions to the legates of Marcellus to carry on the war with spirit, and as the honour of the country demanded.
but secretly determine to go on with the war and to supersede Marcellus.
B. C. 151. Coss. Lucius
But when they had thus determined on a continuance of the war, feeling no confidence in Marcellus, they determined first of all to send a commander to relieve him in Iberia, as the new consuls Aulus Postumius and Lucius Licinius Lucullus had just taken up their office.
Licinius Lucullus, Aulus Postumius Albinus.
They then entered with spirit and vigour on their preparations, because they believed that the Iberian question would be decided by the result of this campaign: if these enemies were beaten, they assumed that all others would accept the orders of Rome; but that, if the Arevacae proved able to ward off the punishment that threatened them, not only would their spirits be again raised, but those of all the other Iberian tribes besides.

Scipio Volunteers For Spain

The more determined however the Senate was to carry on
The terror of the Celtiberians at Rome made men use every pretext for avoiding service in the army.
the war, the greater became their embarrassment. For the report brought to Rome by Q. Fulvius Nobilior, the commander in Iberia in the previous year (B. C. 153), and those who had served under him, of the perpetual recurrence of the pitched battles, the number of the fallen, and the valour of the Celtiberians, combined with the notorious fact that Marcellus shrank in terror from the war, caused such a panic in the minds of the new levies as the old men declared had never happened before. To such an extent did the panic go, that sufficient men were not found to come forward for the office of military tribune, and these posts were consequently not entirely filled up; whereas heretofore a larger number than were wanted had been wont to volunteer for the duty: nor would the men nominated by the Consuls as legati to accompany the commanders consent to serve; and, worst of all, the young men tried to avoid the levies, and put forward such excuses as were disgraceful for them to allege, and beneath the investigation of the Consuls, and yet impossible to refute.
Scipio volunteers to act as legatus or tribune.
But at length, in this embarrassment of the Senate and magistrates, when they were wondering what was to be the end of this shameless conduct of the young men, for they could call it nothing else, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, who, though still a young man, had been one of those to advise the war, and who, though he had already acquired a reputation for high principle and pure morality, had not been known for his personal courage, seeing the Senate was in a difficulty, stood up and bade them send him to Iberia, either as military tribune or legatus, for he was ready to serve in either capacity. "Though, as far as I am concerned," he said, "my mission to Macedonia would be safer and more appropriate"—for it happened that at that time Scipio was personally and by name invited by the Macedonians to come and settle the disputes which were raging among them—"yet the needs of my own country are the more pressing of the two, and imperatively summon to Iberia all who have a genuine love of honour."
This offer shames others into doing the same.
This offer was unexpected by all, both from the youth of Scipio and his general character for caution, and consequently he became exceedingly popular on the spot, and still more so on subsequent days. For those who had before shrunk from the danger of the service, now, from dislike of the sorry figure they made in comparison with him, began volunteering to serve. Some offered to go as legati to the generals, and others in groups and clubs entered their names on the muster rolls. . . .

Lucius Lucinius Lucullus, consul for B. C. 151, is sent to Spain, Scipio Aemilianus acting as his legatus. They found that the Arevacae had already submitted to Marcellus; but being in want of money Lucullus was determined not to be deprived of a campaign. He therefore attacked the next tribe, the Vaccaei, who lived on the other side of the Tagus, nominally on the pretext of their having injured the Carpetani. The war which followed was marked by signal acts of cruelty and treachery on the part of Lucullus, as on that of the praetor Servius Sulpicius Galba among the Lusitani. Appian, Hisp. 49-55.

Scipio's Spanish Campaign

In Scipio's mind there rose a contest of feelings, and
Incidents in Scipio's Spanish campaign.
a hesitation as to whether he ought to meet the barbarian and fight him in single combat.3 . . .

Scipio's horse was much distressed by the blow, but did not come down entirely, and accordingly Scipio managed to light on his feet. . . .

Cato's Wit

Cato was consulted by Scipio, at the request of Polybius, on behalf of the Achaeans; and when the debate in the Senate, between the party who wished to grant it and the party that opposed it, was protracted to a considerable length, Cato stood up and said: "As though we had nothing else to do, we sit here the whole day debating whether some old Greek dotards should be buried by Italian or Achaean undertakers!" Their restoration being voted, Polybius and his friends, after a few days' interval, were for appearing before the Senate again, with a petition that the exiles should enjoy the same honours in Achaia as they had before.
Restoration of the Achaean detenus, B. C. 151.
Cato, however, remarked with a smile that Polybius, like another Odysseus, wanted to go a second time into the cave of the Cyclops, because he had forgotten his cap and belt. . . .

1 Probably in February, the month usually devoted by the Senate to legationes.

2 Since B. C. 195 up to B. C. 154 the two divisions of Spain had been entrusted to Praetors.

3 Livy, Ep. 48.Provocatorem barbarum tribunus militum occidit.

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