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To these arguments the Roman commander made the following reply: "I was quite aware, Hannibal, that it was the hope of your arrival that led the Carthaginians to break the truce and cloud all prospect of peace.  In fact, you yourself admit as much, since you are eliminating from the terms formerly proposed all that has not already been long in our power.  However, as you are anxious that your countrymen should realise what a great relief you are bringing them, I must make it my care that they shall not have the conditions they formerly agreed to struck out today as a reward for their perfidy. You do not deserve to have the old proposals still open and yet you are seeking to profit by dishonesty!  Our fathers were not the aggressors in the war for Sicily, nor were we the aggressors in Spain, but the dangers which threatened our Mamertine allies in the one case and the destruction of Saguntum in the other made our case a righteous one and justified our arms.  That you provoked the war in each case you yourself admit, and the gods bear witness to the fact; they guided the former war to a just and righteous issue, and they are doing and will do the same with this one.  As for myself, I do not forget what weak creatures we men are; I do not ignore the influence which Fortune exercises and the countless accidents to which all our doings are liable.  Had you of your own free will evacuated Italy and embarked your army before I sailed for Africa and then come with proposals for peace, I admit that I should have acted in a high-handed and arbitrary spirit if I had rejected them.  But now that I have dragged you to Africa like a reluctant and tricky defendant I am not bound to show you the slightest consideration.  So then, if in addition to the terms on which peace might have been concluded previously, there is the further condition of an indemnity for the attack on our transports and the ill-treatment of our envoys during the armistice, I shall have something to lay before the councils. If you consider this unacceptable. then prepare for war as you have been unable to endure peace." Thus, no understanding was arrived at and the commanders rejoined their armies.  They reported that the discussion had been fruitless, that the matter must be decided by arms, and the result left to the gods.
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