WHILE these things are done at Rome, (if they were really transacted in this year,) both the consuls were em- [p. 1792]
ployed in the war with the Ligurians.
This enemy seemed born for the purpose of preserving military discipline among the Romans, during the intervals between important wars; nor was any province better calculated to form a soldier to active valour.
For Asia, from the enticing pleasures of its cities, the abundance of every production both of land and sea, the unwarlike temper of the enemy, and the wealth of its princes, made Roman armies rich, rather than brave. Under the command of Cneius Manlius, particularly, the troops were kept in a state of idleness and licentiousness.
Therefore, in Thrace, a passage somewhat more difficult, and a more vigorous enemy, checked them with severe loss.
Whereas in Liguria there was every circumstance that could invigorate the courage of soldiers; the country mountainous and rugged, so that even the taking possession of unoccupied posts, and much more the dislodging of an enemy from those already in possession, was attended with much labour; the roads hilly, narrow, and exposed to ambuscades;
the enemy light, active, and energetic in their motions, so as to allow no season or place to be quiet or secure; the necessary attack on the strong forts with much toil and danger; and the country so poor as to constrain the soldier to a sparing mode of living, while it afforded but a small share of' booty.
Accordingly, no sutler followed the army, no long train of baggage horses extended its line of march, nothing was to be seen but arms, and men having all their hopes in their arms.
Nor was either subject or cause for hostilities with them ever wanting; because on account of their poverty at home they made frequent incursions on the territories of their neighbours; they did not, however, fight a battle which could decide the entire war.