For Hasdrubal's successor there could be no1
question but that the choice originating with the soldiers —who immediately bore young Hannibal into the praetorium and with loud and universal acclamation hailed him general —would obtain the ratification of the senate. The approval of the [p. 9]
The new commander had been2
summoned to Spain by Hasdrubal when a mere lad, and the matter had even been debated in the senate. The Barcine party were urging that Hannibal should become inured to warfare and succeed to the resources of his father, when Hanno, the leader of the other faction, addressed the House.
“There is reason,” said he, “in Hasdrubal's request, nevertheless I am opposed to granting it.”
When astonishment at a speech so inconsistent had attracted everybody's attention, he continued: “The youthful charms which Hasdrubal himself permitted Hannibal's father to enjoy he considers that he has the right to require again at the hands of the son. But that we should accustom our young men, by way of military training, to gratify the concupiscence of our generals is most unseemly.
Or do we fear lest Hamilcar's son may too late behold the inordinate powers and the regal pomp which his father has set up? that the son of the king who left our armies as a legacy to his son-in-law may find us too slow in accepting him for our master?
For my part, I think that the young man should be kept at home and taught to live in submission to the laws and the magistrates, upon an equal footing with the others, lest one day this small fire kindle a great conflagration.”