This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The next day the envoys were again summoned before the council and severely taken to task for their want of truth and honesty, and they were admonished to lay to heart the lesson taught by their numerous defeats and to believe in the power of the gods and the sanctity of oaths.  The conditions of peace were then stated to them. They were to be a free State, living under their own laws;  all the cities, all the territory and all the frontiers that they had held before the war they were to continue to hold, and the Romans would on that day cease from all further depredations.  They were to restore to the Romans all the deserters, refugees and prisoners, to deliver up their warships, retaining only ten triremes and all their trained elephants, at the same time undertaking not to train any more. They were not to make war either within or beyond the frontiers of Africa without the permission of Rome.  They were to restore all his possessions to Masinissa and make a treaty with him. Pending the return of the envoys from Rome they were to supply corn and pay to the auxiliaries in the Roman army.  They were also to pay a war indemnity of 10,000 talents of silver, the payment to be in equal annual instalments, extending over fifty years. One hundred hostages were to be handed over, to be selected by Scipio between the ages of fourteen and thirty years. Finally, he undertook to grant them an armistice if the transports which had been seized during the previous truce were restored with all that they contained.  Otherwise there would be no armistice, nor any hopes of peace. When the envoys brought these terms back and laid them before the Assembly, Gisgo came forward and protested against any proposals for peace.  The populace, alike opposed to peace and incapable of war, were giving him a favourable hearing when Hannibal, indignant at such arguments being urged at such a crisis, seized him and dragged him by main force off the platform. This was an unusual sight in a free community, and the people were loud in their disapproval.  The soldier, taken aback by the free expression of opinion on the part of his fellow-citizens, said, "I left you when I was nine years old, and now after thirty-six years' absence I have returned. The art of war which I have been taught from my boyhood, first as a private soldier and then in high command, I think I am fairly well acquainted with. The rules and laws and customs of civic life and of the forum I must learn from you."  After this apology for his inexperience, he discussed the terms of peace and showed that they were not unreasonable and that their acceptance was a necessity.  The greatest difficulty of all concerned the transports seized during the armistice, for nothing was to be found but the ships themselves, and any investigation would be difficult, as those who would be charged were the opponents of peace.  It was decided that the ships should be restored and that in any case search should be made for the crews. It was left to Scipio to put a value on whatever else was missing and the Carthaginians were to pay the amount in cash.  According to some writers, Hannibal went down to the coast straight from the battlefield, and going on board a ship which was in readiness, set sail immediately for the court of King Antiochus, and when Scipio insisted before all else upon his surrender, he was told that Hannibal was not in Africa.
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.