To resume the story of the Carthaginians and the Roman
To the arguments of the former the
ambassadors made no answer, except that the
senior among them, in the presence of the assembly, pointed
to the folds of his toga and said that in them he carried
peace and war, and that he would bring out and leave with
them whichever they bade him. The Carthaginian Suffete2
bade him bring out whichever of the two he chose: and upon
the Roman saying that it should be war, a majority of the senators
cried out in answer that they accepted it. It was on these terms
that the Senate and the Roman ambassadors parted.
Meanwhile Hannibal, upon going into winter quarters at
Winter of 219-218 B. C. Hannibal's arrangements for the coming campaign.
New Carthage, first of all dismissed the Iberians
to their various cities, with the view of their being
prepared and vigorous for the next campaign.
Secondly, he instructed his brother Hasdrubal
in the management of his government in Iberia
and of the preparations to be made against
, in case he himself should be separated from him.
Thirdly, he took precautions for the security of Libya
selecting with prudent skill certain soldiers from the home
army to come over to Iberia
, and certain from the Iberian
army to go to Libya
; by which interchange he secured cordial
feeling of confidence between the two armies. The Iberians
sent to Libya
were the Thersitae, the Mastiani, as well as
the Oretes and Olcades, mustering together twelve hundred
cavalry and thirteen thousand eight hundred and fifty foot.
Besides these there were eight hundred and seventy slingers
from the Balearic Isles, whose name, as that of the islands
they inhabit, is derived from the word ballein, "to throw,"
because of their peculiar skill with the sling. Most of these
troops he ordered to be stationed at Metagonia in Libya
the rest in Carthage
itself. And from the cities in the district
of Metagonia he sent four thousand foot also into Carthage
serve at once as hostages for the fidelity of their country, and as
an additional guard for the city. With his brother Hasdrubal
he left fifty quinqueremes, two quadriremes, and five
triremes, thirty-two of the quinqueremes being furnished with
crews, and all five of the triremes; also cavalry consisting of
four hundred and fifty Libyophenicians and Libyans, three
hundred Lergetae, eighteen hundred Numidians of the Massolian, Massaesylian, Maccoeian, and Maurian tribes, who dwell
by the ocean; with eleven thousand eight hundred and fifty
Libyans, three hundred Ligures, five hundred of the Balearic
Islanders, and twenty-one elephants.
The accuracy of this enumeration of Hannibal's Iberian
The inscription recording these facts.
establishment need excite no surprise, though
it is such as a commander himself would have
some difficulty in displaying; nor ought I to
be condemned at once of imitating the specious falsehoods
of historians: for the fact is that I myself found on Lacinium3
a bronze tablet, which Hannibal had caused to be inscribed
with these particulars when he was in Italy
; and holding it
to be an entirely trustworthy authority for such facts, I did
not hesitate to follow it.