The Sequel of the First Punic War
The confirmation of this peace was followed by events
which involved both nations in a struggle of an identical or
similar nature. At Rome
the late war was succeeded by a
social war against the Faliscans, which, however, they brought
to a speedy and successful termination by the
capture of Falerii
after only a few days' siege.
The Carthaginians were not so fortunate.
The mercenary war, B. C. 241.
about the same time they found themselves confronted by three
enemies at once, their own mercenaries, the
Numidians, and such Libyans as joined the former in their revolt. And this war proved to be
neither insignificant nor contemptible. It exposed them to frequent and terrible alarms; and, finally, it became a question to
them not merely of a loss of territory, but of their own bare
existence, and of the safety of the very walls and buildings of
their city. There are many reasons that make it worth while
to dwell upon the history of this war: yet I must give only a
summary account of it, in accordance with the original plan of
this work. The nature and peculiar ferocity of the struggle,
which has been generally called the "truceless war," may be
best learnt from its incidents. It conveys two important
lessons: it most conspicuously shows those who employ
mercenaries what dangers they should foresee and provide
against; and secondly, it teaches how wide the distinction is
between the character of troops composed of a confused mass
of uncivilised tribes, and of those which have had the benefit
of education, the habits of social life, and the restraints of law.
But what is of most importance to us is, that we may trace
from the actual events of this period the causes which led to
the war between Rome
in the time of Hannibal.
These causes have not only been a subject of dispute among
historians, but still continue to be so among those who were
actually engaged; it is therefore a matter of importance to
enable students to form an opinion on this matter as nearly as
possible in accordance with the truth.