This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
War had not been formally declared against this city, but there were already grounds for war. The seeds of quarrel were being sown amongst her neighbours, especially amongst the Turdetani.  When the man who had sown the seed showed himself ready to aid and abet the quarrel, and his object plainly was not to refer the question to arbitration, but to appeal to force, the Saguntines sent a deputation to Rome to beg for help in a war which was inevitably approaching.  The consuls for the time being were P. Cornelius Scipio and Tiberius Sempronius Longus. After introducing the envoys they invited the senate to declare its opinion as to what policy should be adopted.  It was decided that commissioners should be sent to Spain to investigate the circumstances, and if they considered it necessary they were to warn Hannibal not to interfere with the Saguntines, who were allies of Rome; then they were to cross over to Africa and lay before the Carthaginian council the complaints which they had made.  But before the commission was despatched news came that the siege of Saguntum had, to every one's surprise, actually commenced.  The whole position of affairs required to be reconsidered by the senate; some were for assigning Spain and Africa as separate fields of action for the two consuls, and thought that the war ought to be prosecuted by land and sea; others were for confining the war solely to Hannibal in Spain;  others again were of opinion that such an immense task ought not to be entered upon hastily, and that they ought to await the return of the commission from Spain.  This latter view seemed the safest and was adopted, and the commissioners, P. Valerius Flaccus and Q. Baebius Tamphilus, were despatched without further delay to Hannibal. If he refused to abandon hostilities they were to proceed to Carthage to demand the surrender of the general to answer for his breach of treaty.
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.