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Hannibal's Preparations

To resume the story of the Carthaginians and the Roman
Answer of Fabius. See Livy, 21, 18.
deputies.1 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 Rome, in case he himself should be separated from him. Thirdly, he took precautions for the security of Libya, by 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, and the rest in Carthage itself. And from the cities in the district of Metagonia he sent four thousand foot also into Carthage, to serve at once as hostages for the fidelity of their country, and as an additional guard for the city. With his brother Hasdrubal in Iberia 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.

1 From ch. 21.

2 βασιλεύς. The two Suffetes represented the original Kings of Carthage (6, 51). The title apparently remained for sacrificial purposes, like the ἄρχων βασιλεύς, and the rex sacrificulus. Polybius, like other Greek writers, calls them βασιλεῖς. Infra, 42. Herod. 7, 165. Aristot. Pol. 2, 8.

3 A promontory in Bruttium, Capo delle Colonne.

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    • Aristotle, Politics, 2.1272b
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