War With Carthage Resolved Upon
When the Carthaginians had been some time deliberating
B. C. 149. Utica puts itself under the protection of Rome.
how they should meet the message from Rome
they were reduced to a state of the utmost
embarrassment by the people of Utica anticipating
their design by putting themselves under the protection of Rome. This seemed their only hope of safety left:
and they imagined that such a step must win them favour at
Rome: for to submit to put themselves and their country
under control was a thing which they had never done even in
their darkest hour of danger and defeat, with the enemy at
their very walls.
Carthaginian plenipotentiaries at Rome.
And now they had lost all the fruit of this
resolve by being anticipated by the people of
Utica; for it would appear nothing novel or
strange to the Romans if they only did the same
as that people. Accordingly, with a choice of two evils only
left, to accept war with courage or to surrender their independence, after a long and anxious discussion held secretly in the
Senate-house, they appointed two ambassadors with plenary
powers, and instructed them, that, in view of the existing state
of things, they should do what seemed for the advantage of
their country. The names of these envoys were Gisco
Strytanus, Hamilcar, Misdes, Gillimas, and Mago. When
they reached Rome from Carthage, they found war already
decreed and the generals actually started with their forces.
Circumstances, therefore, no longer giving them any power of
deliberating, they offered an unconditional surrender.