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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.

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