A HISTORY OF THE ART OF WAR AMONG THE CARTHAGINIANS AND ROMANS DOWN TO THE BATTLE OF PYDNA, 168 B. C, WITH A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE SECOND PUNIC WAR
WITH 227 CHARTS, MAPS, PLANS OF BATTLES AND
TACTICAL MANOEUVRES, CUTS OF ARMOR,
WEAPONS AND UNIFORMS
THEODORE AYRAULT DODGE
IN TWO VOLUMES. — VOLUME I.
To THE AMERICAN SOLDIER
IN the study of the campaigns of Alexander, original research has been limited to a few travelers and geographers, or to military men conducting explorations under the auspices of some government and provided with facilities denied to most of us. In the case of Hannibal it is different. Spain and Italy are accessible, as Persia and Afghanistan are not, and the topography of the theatre of the Second Punic War can be readily examined and ascertained. No historian of Hannibal appears, however, to have studied his campaigns on the ground. Almost all accounts of his extraordinary marches, manoeuvres and battles borrow their topography, if they give any, from some predecessor equally limited in his facilities, or from very insufficient maps. Many errors have thus been propagated.
The author has been fortunate enough repeatedly to visit the scenes of the Punic captain's achievements. With Polybius and Livy in the hand, he has followed Hannibal from Cartagena across the Pyrenees, the Rhone and the Alps, crossing every pass in the latter range by which the Carthaginian army could possibly have made its way; he has visited every section of Italy and has compared the facts given by the ancient writers with the existing topography; he has been able to consult the best authorities as to the geological changes which the centuries may have wrought: and what he has herein described is from diligent study of the authorities on the ground. This course has enabled him to correct some errors which naturally enough have crept into history, and to harmonize some of the statements of the old authors which have been deemed irreconcilable. In the case of Cannae, for instance, all historians have found it necessary to discard one or more of the positive statements of Polybius and Livy. But a study of the battlefield has made it possible to explain the positions and manoeuvres so as to coincide with every statement of these, our two most important authorities, as well as to accord with the probabilities. No modern historian of the Second Punic War has mapped out Hannibal's wonderful marches in Italy. Most histories are very inexplicit as to the exact locations and routes. The charts in the text of these volumes will be found to show every essential topographical feature of Hannibal's movements over the length and breadth of the peninsula.
Much of what was said in the preface to the volumes on Alexander applies to this. The best chroniclers of the war against Hannibal are Polybius and Livy, whose relations are full and explicit The former exists in its entirety only down to the battle of Cannae; the latter covers the whole period. Cornelius Nepos, Appian, and Plutarch in his lives of Fabius and Maroellus, give us many facts. The little which remains of Dion Cassias is useful. Floras and Orosius are meagre. Stray facts may be gleaned from references in Velleius Paterculus, Sallust, Justinus, Pausanias, Eutropius, Josephus and the Maccabees. To the opinions of the great modern historians and critics due heed has been given. Practically, however, Polybius and Livy are the source from which we draw all our information.
In a few instances the author has been compelled to treat historical matter controversially. As in the case of the passage of the Alps, upon which subject he has found some three hundred and fifty treatises, mostly devoted to the establishment of some pet theory, it has been sometimes impossible to state facts without controverting the opinions of others, if for no other reason than to show that they have not failed of due consideration. The first men who wrote exhaustively on the Little St. Bernard route were Wickham and Cramer. Their views have been stoutly combated, but most of them remain sound. In the case of the battles of the Ticinus, the Trebia, Lake Trasimene and Cannae, the author has been led by the topography of the several fields to disagree with many of the most highly considered historians and critics; but he has in all cases given his reasons for so doing.
The author desires once more to disclaim the writing of a military text-book. Apart from the peculiar qualifications requisite for such work, it is doubtful whether history can be written on lines suitable for a treatise of the kind. History is a consecutive narrative of facts accompanied by suitable comment; a text-book should enunciate certain principles and select historical facts as illustrations. So far as history, pure and simple, is valuable to the military student, — and it has always been pronounced by great leaders and critics to be the most fruitful of studies, — so far will these volumes reach. But they aim rather, for the benefit of the general reader, to enlarge upon those military facts to which the histories devote small space, and thus narrate the origin and growth of the art of war, than to spread before the young military student those principles which lie at the basis of the profession he proposes to embrace.
In a few places the author has undertaken to show that Livy's statements are inexact In such cases he has construed Livy by Livy, and has always taken the distinguished historian as a whole. No doubt has been cast on any particular fact, unless Livy himself, taking every passage relating to the subject into consideration, shows that such a fact is inconsistent with his own statements elsewhere.
The author desires to acknowledge his special indebtedness to the learned work of Colonel Hennebert
It is perhaps impossible for a soldier to write about Hannibal— or of the other great captains—without exhibiting some traces of hero worship. That the author is subject to the sentiment it is not attempted to conceal; but he trusts that it is subordinated to the truth. There is not a fact connected with the history of Hannibal, nor a slur upon his character, which has not been duly weighed in writing this history. Nor is there any material fact, either making for or against him, which has not found its place in these pages. The sum of all which the ancient authors tell us describes a man and a captain on whom hero worship is not wasted.
If, in the perusal, the reader will frequently refer to the table of dates, as well as the large map at the end of these volumes, so as to keep the skeleton of the entire Italian war in mind, the author believes that he will conceive a clear impression of the gigantic whole of Hannibal's unequaled campaigns. He can rely upon the legend at the head of each chapter as a fair summary of such portions as he desires to skip.
far the third century B.C. Rome and Carthage divided the power of the Mediterranean world. Rome waa fint on land, Carthage first at sea. Intolerant of powerful neighbors, Rome quarreled with Carthage, and in the First Pnnio War brought her to her knees. The Carthaginians were of Phoenician origin, one of the early settlements of Tyre. By their energy and intelligence they succeeded in acquiring the hegemony of all the Phoenician colonies on the Mediterranean, as Tyre had done at home. The government was an aristocracy of capitalists, controlled by a senate. This " London of antiquity " gradually extended her conquests all around the western Mediterranean. The city was strongly walled and beautifully built; and in addition possessed vast commercial works, harbors and arsenals. Agriculture was as highly esteemed and practiced as commerce, and the land was worked by rich planters. The prosperity of the city was equally indebted to either art Carthage was really the capital of a gnat North African empire, as Rome was of the Italian peninsula.
Two generations after the death of Alexander, Carthage and Rome divided the power of the Mediterranean world between them. Carthage was the most powerful colony planted by Tyre, and inherited all the enterprise, intelligence and courage which the mother city showed in her extended commerce and many wars, and notably against the great Macedonian. Carthage was first at sea; Home on land. Rome, alwayB intolerant of powerful neighbors, of necessity fell to quarreling with her great rival, unwilling to content herself with less than the supremacy on both elements. The first conflict between these cities was over the island of Sicily, situated midway between them. Rome, as usual, won, and at the end of the twenty-three years, during which lasted the First Punic War, imposed severe terms on her conquered adversary. This was in B. c. 241.
ROME AND CARTHAGE
The Phoenicians had originally been nomads inhabiting the plains which extend from the Mediterranean to the Tigris, but, pushed by the Egyptians and Jews into the narrow region between Mt. Libanus and the seashore, they ended by making the sea their home. Libanus furnished them the best of shipbuilding material, and such was their native enterprise that they soon commanded the entire commerce of the Mediterranean, as well as became its most active pirates. Of all the towns the chief in activity and size, Tyre eventually grew to the hegemony of the land. The Phoenicians were in antiquity celebrated, among other products, for their wines, salted fish and mineral resources, as well as for distributing the products of the world; and learning, the arts, mechanics and architecture grew to a great height among this enterprising people.
Occasional overgrowth, or discontent of some part of the population, lay at the root of emigration from Tyre. (Jades (Cadiz) was founded a dozen centuries before Christ; Utica soon after; and from 1000 to 600 B. C. Tyre founded many colonies—all naturally to the westward and upon the Mediterranean ooast.
Herodotus, who visited Tyre about 450 B. a, gave the then age of the city as twenty-three hundred years. This is mere tradition. In the time of Joshua (1250 B. c.) Tyre was certainly a town of respectable size. Originally a republic, in the years immediately preceding David and Solomon Tyre appears to have been brought under the sway of a line of kings. The struggles between aristocrats and rich burghers were at all times fierce, but the strength of the city none the less grew apace. She resisted many sieges, notably those of the Scythians and Nebuchadnezzar, eventually to perish before the conquering hand of Alexander. The proud history of Tyre shows what it was that animated the Carthaginians in their vigorous growth, as well as their vigorous opposition to Rome; for it is thought by some authorities to have been to an emigration of Tyrian aristocrats, and not mere traders, that the great metropolis owed her origin. And though we know little about the great city except from her enemies, it is certain that a high degree of intelligence, culture and courage must have gone to raise her to her high estate.
According to other writers Carthage (Karthada, or new town) was founded in the ninth century B. C, as a mere trading colony by the Tynans, who were joined in the venture by some other Phoenician cities. The new colony carried on her affairs with considerable vigor and intelligence, and soon won the supremacy of all the cities of the African coast, as Tyra had done before her in Phoenicia. Her population was steadily increased by immigration from the mother country. Her farm of government grew to be an aristocracy of capitalists with a limited popular suffrage, controlled by a senate of one hundred and four members, — "a democracy inclining towards an oligarchy," says Aristotle, who has told us much about Carthage. The executive officers were two magistrates, who have been likened to the Spartan kings, and who were annually elected by the citizens. But there was a council of twenty-eight elders, elected at the same time, who really possessed the power. During her period of prosperity, Carthage must have had a good government, however constituted.
SITE OF CARTHAGE
Carthage was constantly at war, for commercial rather than international reasons, and in the sixth century B. c. Mago I. is said to have laid the foundation of her solid military organization. This ruler was the progenitor of a remarkable line of generals, who made Carthage celebrated for one hundred and fifty years. The growth of this financially splendid city— "the London of antiquity" — warranted her in seeking constant accessions among the islands of the Mediterranean, and her commercial navy soon grew into a military arm of the most powerful description. From the beginning of the fifth to the middle of the third century B. c. Carthage was at the height of her power.
The plateau of Byrsa, now the hill of St. Louis, on and at the foot of which Carthage was built, stands up nearly two hundred feet above the sea level, and commands a magnificent view of the whole surrounding country. The situation of Carthage could not be improved for a city or for commerce, situated as it was at the narrows of the Mediterranean. Ap-pian gives us very interesting details of Carthage, but from them we can reconstruct the city only in part. The extent of the entire capital as it was when destroyed in 146 B. C. has been hidden by the ages. Excavations have so far been limited ; but in the Middle Ages, Carthage, like other perished cities, became a quarry for the world. The Cathedral of Pisa, among many other vast structures, was built from blocks of marble dug from the ruins.
CARTHAGE AND VICINITY
That the works about Carthage were enormous is shown by the fact that the artificial harbors covered an area of some fifty acres, a much larger amount than those of any other ancient city. That the architecture of the city was splendid we know, and that there was a Phoenician style is shown by the fact that Tyrian architects were hired to build the temple of Solomon. Circular and semicircular and horseshoe-shaped edifices seemed to be the role, and stone work was fitted like carpentry in male and female joints, as well as held together by the famous cement which so long resisted Alexander's rams at Tyre. The arms of Carthage displayed a horse resting under a palm-tree. The first emigrants to land on the heights of Byrsa are said to have dug up the skull of a horse at the foot of a tree, at the spot which commands the entire landscape, and to have adopted the emblem for the city they proposed to build. But, however splendid, Carthage was essentially of the earth, earthy. She was wrapped up in money-making; there was a sad lack of higher motives and intelligence in her statecraft, though her social life was unquestionably of a high order. Albeit her commercial activity made her prosperous, Carthage was able only to propagate; she could not create. Carthage had not been the first, but she was the most prominent settlement of the Phoenicians in the west A rich corn-growing district, peopled by splendid agriculturists, on the greatest roadstead of Northern Africa, could not fail to prosper. In expatiating upon the extended commerce of the Carthaginians, we must not forget that they were in the highest degree remarkable as an agricultural people.
SECTIONS FO WALLS OF CARTHAGE ON LINE A - B OF GROUND PLAN (see below)
The Carthaginian territory was exceptionally rich by nature and by art, and extensive agricultural products not only assured a certainty of exportation, but kept the indigenous population prosperous and busy. Not only this, but their flocks and herds were of the best. Polybius calls Africa a land marvelous for grain and fruits and animals; Scylax especially vaunts it After Zama, it was agriculture to which the Carthaginians turned under the leadership of Hannibal, and it helped them to rise again as nothing else could. Irrigation was practiced in its best methods, and to-day the plains of Tunis are covered with the ruins of numberless towns and villages, which only the most exceptional fertility could have sustained. Mago's treatise on agriculture was the best known of antiquity. It was used even by the Romans and is highly praised by Cato and Pliny.
Carthage, like Tyre, was practically free, though she pud occasional tribute to the Great King. The Greek colonies and migrations struggled long with those emanating from Phoenicia, but finally bounds were set to further Grecian progress about 500 B. C. The towns of Hippo, Hadrume-tum, Thapsus, Leptis and others on the coast of Africa were made colonies of Carthage and paid her tribute. Utica was an earlier settlement than Carthage, had been her patron, and remained free. Carthage was really the capital of a great North African empire, extending from the desert of Tripoli to the Atlantic, and protected inland by a chain of fortified posts. Grades, though earlier colonized by Tyre, fell under the hegemony of Carthage, as did all subsequent western colonies of Phoenicia.
PLAN OF CARTHAGE
About 500 B. c. Carthage appears to have been at war with the Greek colony of Massilia (Marseille), and to have got a foothold on Sardinia, on the west and northwest coast of Sicily and on the adjacent islands. Finally, after much friction, the Greeks and Carthaginians agreed to tolerate each other, and by 800 B. C. Carthage controlled almost all Sicily and fully monopolized the trade of the western Mediterranean. She bad become the richest city in the world, says Polybius, and is by some authorities reckoned to have had a population of seven hundred thousand souls.
GROUND PLAN OF WALLS OF CARTHAGE AS RESTORED BY DAUX
It was indeed fortunate for Carthage that Alexander did not advance so far along the African coast after he had con-
quered Egypt. The distance from the then centre of the world — Babylon — had in like manner gaved her from Cyrus. Carthage is said, however, to have sent a deputation to congratulate Alexander on his return to Babylon.
The city of Carthage was about twenty miles in circumference, including the citadel on the Byrsa, whose walls were two miles in extent. We know from Appian how these walls were made. That the engineers who could plan so good a profile would also make an admirable line of walls may be assumed; and reentering and salient angles, curtains and towers, arranged to give good cross-fire, were part of the mural scheme. Facing the sea, the citadel stood on an almost perpendicular line of rooks, where the walls need be less strong. On the west and northwest there were triple walls, for here the lay of the land demanded strength. On the north and south were double walls, on the east but a single one. The citadel had accommodation for fifty thousand souls. The temple, used as a redoubt, could hold one thousand men.
The walls were built of huge blocks of tufa, protected from the elements by bitumen, jointed and cemented. They were over thirty feet thick and nearly fifty feet high. The three lines had each the same profile. Three hundred elephants, four thousand horses and twenty thousand foot could be housed in them. In these walls were double vaulted passages, used both for storage and barracks, and intended as well to break the vibration of the blows of rams. The towers were usually of four stories. Along the wall was a terrace thirty feet wide. The thickness of wall slopes and ditch was nearly six hundred feet. Recent excavations prove the accuracy of the description of Appian. The construction of these walls goes to show great military skill among the Carthaginian engineers, as well as great ability in the builders.
SILVER TETRADRACHMA WITH SUPPOSED HEAD OF HANNIBAL, PROBABLY NOT AUTHENTIC
CARTHAGE depended for both army and navy on mercenaries, which she got from all her dependencies and the barbarian nations with which she traded. Her harbors were the largest of antiquity and the size of her fleet was enormous, consisting principally of triremes, but with many quinquiremes and still more transports. Few Carthaginian citizens served, except in the Sacred Band. The Liby-Phoenicians, Iberians and Gaols made np the bulk of the army, supplemented by light troops from all quarters. In peace, the cadres were kept afoot and the arsenals were full of war-material. This mercenary system was weak, in absolute contrast to the inherent strength of the Roman system of personal service; for the mercenary had neither fealty nor a sense of honor; nor was he to be quickly obtained in serious emergencies. The generals were under control of the waroounril, whioh interfered with their freedom of action, to the great detriment of military operations. The Carthaginian army was organized on the Greek method, though foreign mercenaries were wont to retain their own habits. The heavy foot was phalangial, the light foot irregular. The heavy cavalry was good, the light, especially the Numidians, exceptionally valuable. The arms, equipment and discipline were inferior to the Roman. Chariots and elephants were in use. The train consisted of pack animals and was moderate in size. The army was able to march well, but was subject to epidemics, on account of the number of foreigners unused to oaring for their health. In fortification the Carthaginians excelled, but they did not intrench a daily camp until they came in oontact with the Romans. In the time of the Barcas, the Carthaginian power was on the wane, but the remarkable ability of the Barca family gave it an impetus whioh all but carried it to success, and, under Hamil-car in Spain and Hannibal during the first few years in Italy, the Carthaginian army was of the highest order of material and discipline.
CARTHAGE preferred mercenary troops to a system of personal military service. Her citizens being mostly traders or rich planters, whose time was too valuable to the state, or whose social position was too high, to allow them to spend their years in the ranks, it was natural that a standing army should grow up by permitting substitution. Moreover the hiring, for such an army, of soldiers and sailors among the numerous semi-civilized tribes with which Carthage traded, kept up her pleasant relations with these tribes and enabled her gradually to extend her influence over their neighbors. Commerce with the barbarians was highly remunerative. The same rule applied to the navy, which was in like fashion manned by bought and hired crews.
The harbor, dockyards and arsenal of Carthage were well fortified, and were the largest and finest of the times. They afforded an abundant refuge for their fleets, which were more numerous and efficient than any then afloat. The Lake of Tunis also afforded unlimited accommodation to any number of bottoms.
Down to the Punic wars the warships of the Carthaginians were mostly triremes, — in number reaching in the third century over three hundred and fifty, — and were rowed by slaves and manned by land troops. The number of small vessels was enormous. In the treaty with Xerxes, 480 B. c, Carthage agreed to put afloat and at Xerxes' disposition two thousand war vessels and three thousand transports. Even at the close of the Second Punic War she gave up five hundred vessels to the Romans.
The rowers were as a rule about three fourths of the crew, and were a standing force purchased by the government for this purpose* The vessels were commanded by naval officers who were only under the control of generals when associated with an army. Both land and sea forces were under the direct orders of the senate. The fleet was of necessity the more important arm. We shall have, however, in narrating the Second Punic War, to deal almost exclusively with the land forces, though these were, as an element in the growth of Carthage, by far of less importance.
That the navy of Carthage was much larger and more important than the army was natural enough. The competition for power with Syracuse, the other Greek colonies in Sicily and with Rome, obliged Carthage to keep her marine, despite often great losses and depletion, on the highest footing. We find in Diodorus, Polybius, Appian and Aristotle much more detail regarding the navy than the army of Carthage. The splendid harbors and fleets and organization are fully set forth. As a rule the " long " or war ships were triremes, carrying some three hundred rowers and one hundred and twenty soldiers; but the use by Alexander of larger ships, and especially their increase in size by Demetrius Poliorcetes, gave an impetus to naval architecture everywhere, and we find quinquiremes and even a septireme in the war against Pyrrhus, and in the First Punic War. Quinquiremes were thenceforward common in the Carthaginian navy. The increase in rowers in these latter brought greater speed and ability to manoeuvre and made them much more dangerous in battle. On the whole, the Carthaginian ships were ahead of any others, and the size of their fleets was remarkable. In the battle against Regulus, as we are told by Polybius, no less than three hundred and fifty Carthaginian ships were engaged, containing one hundred and fifty thousand rowers and soldiers, while Regulus had three hundred and thirty galleys, with one hundred and forty thousand men aboard. Fifty Carthaginian galleys are said to havo been sunk and thirty thousand men lost This is hard to believe, and yet Polybius is our most credible authority. The width of a vessel of the first class in Carthage was, we happen to know, about seventeen feet This, judging from the old delineations of warships, might give her a length of one hundred to one hundred and twenty feet This is, however, a mere estimate.
Appian tells us that the arsenals of Carthage held two hundred thousand complete suits of armor, an immense number of darts and javelins and two thousand catapults, and Strabo repeats the fact, making the number of engines three thousand. Trained artificers in these arsenals were able to turn out each day one hundred to one hundred and twenty shields or bucklers, three hundred swords, one thousand catapult-missiles, five hundred lances and a number of engines.
The Carthaginian citizen was found only to a limited numerical extent in the army. But in the cavalry, where wealth was required and honor sought, and especially in a corps cTHite called the Sacred Band, — the body-guard of the oom-mander-in-chief and a sort of training-school for officers like the Macedonian Pages,—and in the higher official berths, he was fairly well represented. The Sacred Band, which consisted of fifteen hundred infantry, was sumptuously clad and equipped, and was noted for its courage and discipline. The cavalry, one thousand strong, came next in order of importance, and appears to have formed an appendage to the Sacred Band. Thus but twenty-five hundred of those who were fortunate enough to hold Carthaginian citizenship served in an army then numbering seventy thousand men. Though not commonly in the ranks, the citizen was in times of public danger held to service, and the city alone could put on foot an army of forty thousand hoplites and one thousand horse.
The next grade of land troops came from the Liby-Phoeni-oians, peoples lying near by and tributary to Carthage, and the outcome of an admixture of the colonial and native blood. These tribes furnished a much higher number than Carthage herself. The foreign mercenaries were the bulk of the army. These last troops were recruited among all nations in Africa and Europe with which Carthage had commercial relations, with the idea, says Polybius, of avoiding conspiracies and mutiny by having no common political aspirations among the several divisions of the army. Indeed, the different bodies did not generally understand each other's language. They were apt to be devoted only to their immediate chief. These troops were got in bodies of hundreds and thousands by bargain and sale from the governments of their respective countries. As a rule, some senator was sent as ambassador to such nations as it was desired to reach, and a given number of troops arranged for on given terms of payment.
The best of these mercenary troops were the Iberians from the Spanish peninsula. Among the most recklessly brave were the half-naked Gauls, who at a very early period served for pay in the Carthaginian ranks. The most numerous were the nomad soldiers collected from every part of the African coast, from Egypt to the Pillars of Hercules.
The general plan of recruitment was not dissimilar to the Persian. The Great King assembled under his banners all the peoples of the East; Carthage all the nations of the West The numbers under arms have probably been vastly overestimated by the ancient Greek and Roman historians. Still, no doubt Carthage could, with little effort, put under the colors a force of over one hundred thousand men. The wars in Sicily probably called out the largest force Carthage ever had in the field; and at times she had numbers on foot much exceeding this estimate, though the sum of three hundred thousand men which has been given can scarcely be accepted as a reliable estimate of forces assembled at any one time for one campaign.
In seasons of peace, the nucleus of the army was kept iiv tact, with plenty of weapons in the arsenals, and horses and beasts of burden. The citadel was not only the centre of military defense, but the headquarters of the army as welL Here were the barracks for the troops; and here the commander of the citadel and of the troops in garrison was in sole authority.
It is unnecessary to point out how vastly such a mercenary organization as has been described must in the long run be inferior to the system of personal service, to the theory which makes every man's breast a bulwark for the honor and safely of the fatherland. It had its advantages. Mercenaries are apt to be of low stock, and with more animal than moral or intellectual qualities. But they enlist because they have more to gain than to lose, and are often of great reliability so long as they can clearly see their object As above remarked, the hiring of mercenaries kept Carthage on a very friendly footing with all the nations which it thus subsidized ; and so long as the state coffers were full, it mattered not what gaps were rent in the armies; they could be quickly patched with gold ; for the supply of men happy to serve for pay and plunder was unfailing among the barbarians. Moreover, this system left the native Carthaginian free to pursue his lucrative commercial and agricultural schemes. On the other hand, the troops were without ties either to the state or among themselves. There could be no feeling of loyalty; the better virtues, which are quite essential to make a permanently effective army, were absent The various detachments were ready at any time to turn their arms against Carthage on the slightest pretext for dissatisfaction; the offer of a higher rate of pay would quickly deprive the city of their services, perhaps at a time of gravest danger. The dependence on hiring mercenaries might leave the state helpless against a sudden invasion or insurrection, for it consumed time to bring together any considerable force of purchased soldiers. It may be said that the Carthaginian government was at the mercy of the men it paid. No nation can ever build a permanent structure, unless the individuals who govern are and remain themselves the defenders of the country. But such an army was in strict keeping with the commercial and political aims and tendencies of Carthage, and after a fashion did very well, except in times of serious danger. If a foreign enemy suddenly landed on its shores, Carthage could not always oppose him with a sufficiently large and well-disciplined army; and in case of internal dissensions, all was uncertainty and confusion. The government was apt to be the victim of surprises. We shall see notable instances of this.
The generals were chosen from the citizens by the people. The political system of Carthage from the earliest times was rotten, and money could buy anything. Capacity was by no means the primal reason for appointment Popular fancy or the power of gold could procure military position, though it could not purchase the soldier's skill or fame. Jealousies and fear lest a successful captain might turn his arms against the state made the senate an uncertain master, and the senate was all-powerful. This fact was fraught with constant danger, for changes in command were by no means unusual, even in the midst of a campaign; or the general had his hands tied by the withholding of supplies or reinforcements. Worse still, at the side of the general in command stood a deputy of the senate, who not only watched his proceedings, but to a certain extent might direct them. In the fifth century there had been an attempt by an army-commander named Malchus to seize the reins of government, and there was at once constituted the above-named gerousia or Elders’ War Council of one hundred and four senators, who thereafter were the supreme commanders, and who directed and controlled all military operations, however distant, drew up the plans of campaign, required strict compliance with their demands, and rewarded or punished the successful or unsuccessful captains as they chose. Even a reasonable or necessary variation from their plan was sometimes mercilessly chastised. The War Council's plan could rarely accord with the existing facts; generals dared assume no responsibility; their conduct was apt to be indecisive or weak; and if a campaign was successful, it was in spite of the system. Over half-civilized or quite barbarous nations victory could be easily won. But when the Carthaginians met even smaller armies of well* disciplined troops under good generals whose hands were free, they were apt to faiL The defeats they suffered at the hands of Gelon, the elder Dionysius and Timoleon abundantly prove this fact.
SACRED BAND FOOTMAN
In view of this thoroughly wrong-headed policy, it is a wonder that Carthage rose at all. But her growth was not a military growth like that of Rome. It was due strictly to successful commerce and rich agriculture, and to the fact that she stood in a location which kept her from contact with the stronger nations. Her military prosperity was due to the mere weight of gold and men, excepting always the few brilliant accidents, among them the star,
Hannibal, which have shed eternal radiance upon the Carthaginian arms, as well as thrown into relief the selfishness, ingratitude and lack of patriotism and virtue of the Carthaginians as a race.
The Carthaginian foot and horse were each divided into heavy and light, regular and irregular. The weapons, equip-
ment and manner of fighting were almost as various as the nationalities. Each petty detachment came to swell the host of irregulars with its own peculiar arms and habits.
SACRED BAND CAVALRYMAN
The Sacred Band was a body of heavy-armed in- fantry, composed, says Di-odorus, only of leading Carthaginian citizens. Plainer -citizens served in the phalanx when on duty. The infantry of the Sacred Band carried a large circular shield over three feet in diameter, a short sword and probably also a pike or lance; were clad in a red tunic and wore sandals. Though not mentioned in the authorities, they no doubt wore armor. Others among the richer of the Carthaginians who entered service were appointed to the heavy cavalry, a position which entailed great expense to maintain at a proper level.
These cavalrymen were distinguished by wearing golden rings, one for each campaign served by them, and their weapons were a buckler, a longer and a shorter lance and a wide, short sword. They were clad in mail and wore a helmet and greaves. That there were so few of these leading Carthaginian citizens in a large army shows the system up in its weakest aspect. The Liby - Phoenicians fought mainly as heavy foot and horse. All these infantry troops carried a heavy and long spear as their chief weapon, much like the Greek hoplite, on whom indeed they were at this time patterned, so far as race peculiarities permitted.
The Spanish infantry and horse were also classed as heavy, but their chief weapon was a powerful cnt-and-thrust sword for close quarters, in the use of which they were wonderfully expert. They wore white woolen tunics, with red edges, and carried a buckler made of bull's hide. The Spaniards were then, and have always been, under good generals, the making of excellent soldiers. The Gauls were
of light complexion, and were fond of dyeing their hair red.
They wore it long, hanging over the shoulders or tied in a knot at the top of the head. The men wore full beards, the officers only a mustache.
Up to the time of the wars with Rome, the Gauls fought on foot, almost naked, with a sword good only for cutting, of no use except at swinging distance and apt to be dulled or bent by the first blow upon a good helmet or shield. The Roman soldier, who with gladius and scutum closed sharply
with his man, had the Gaul at an utter disadvantage. The Gauls were noted for genial qualities and courage, but equally for inconstancy, wildness and brutality. When not in battle, they were clad in a shirt, loose tunic and cloak. Their helmets,
not always worn, were decked with horns or feathers, and were made of considerable height to give to the soldier a taller look and thus increase the terror of his aspect. They wore many bracelets, necklaces and rings. For additional arms they had slings, a lance with fire-sharpened point, a pike or halberd with curved blade and a club. They were most dangerous as swordsmen, and Hannibal replaced all their other weapons with their one peculiar arm, manufacturing these in Cartagena, so as to give them the advantage of the best of material.
They later adopted armor and a shield, which in early days they had despised.
The next most valuable arm was the corps of two thousand Balacrean slingers, then peculiar to Carthage. They carried two slings, one for long, one for short distance firing. The distance and accuracy of their aim with pebble-stones and leaden bullets are so well vouched for that we are fain to believe the feats narrated of them, and can fully understand their military value. We know that the Jewish left-handed slingers could sling stones at a hair's breadth; and on the Retreat of the Ten Thousand, Xenophon was not satisfied with his light troops until he had organized a band of slingers, for these seemed best able to keep the enemy at a distance when protecting the column. Their fire was more severe than that of the best archers of the day.
The ordinary light footman had lance and javelins and a small round shield of hide-covered wood. He was a fine marcher, and some of the men could keep pace with a galloping horse. They and the Gauls were wont to indulge in fearful outcries in battle. They were very clever in casting darts, and were not apt to miss their aim at any fair distance.
The Africans were straight-featured, strong and hardy. They shaved their heads and left but a small fringe of beard. They tattooed extensively. They wore a red hood, a white woolen shirt hanging to the knees and belted at the waist. A bournous, or cloak, or the skin of a goat or some wild beast, covered their shoulders. Their legs were bare. A long lance, bow and arrows, a buckler of elephant's or bull's hide, sometimes a long sword, were their weapons.
Some had special arms, such as flails,
and harpoons held by a cord. Later, Hannibal armed these men with the Roman weapons picked up on the battle-fields of the Trebia and Trasimene and Cannae. The Africans were peculiarly tough, faithful and uncomplaining. They
were hideously cruel to their prisoners, and hard to restrain from massacre; but they were the best of material from which to make a devoted army.
The ordinary heavy cavalry was African, Spanish and Gallic. The Spaniards had good horses, used to a hill country, and these habitually carried two warriors, one to fight on foot and one on horseback. The Gallic horse was better even than the foot. The African was, however, the best, and was exceedingly well mounted and equipped.
The Numidian cavalry, under which name came the irregular light horse of scores of tribes, was the most numerous and perhaps the most useful of the Carthagian soldiery. Their appearance, sat Strabo and Appian, belied their value. Almost naked, covered with but a leopard or tiger skin, which, hung over the left arm, served also as ashield with those who carried none, and armed with lance, casting darts and sword; mounted on the small mean-looking runt of the steppes or desert, which, innocent of saddle or bridle, was guided solely by the voice or a slender rod, they were yet warlike, plucky, tireless, satisfied with little, and made up a wonderful body for partisan warfare. Useless if separated from their horses, so long as they were with them they were of distinct and unequivocal value. In attack they charged with fiery £lan, but at once turned on meeting opposition ; not, however, to fly, for they charged again and again, riding up into the very teeth of the foe, but never remaining to fight hand to hand with heavier troops. As a curtain for the army in which they served, and as an element to unsettle the morale of the enemy, they ranked among the best of light horse. They were equally useful on level or broken terrain, and were peculiarly clever in taking advantage of the accidents of the ground for ambush or temporary defense. In pursuit they never tired, and here they were the most dangerous of opponents. Like our own broncos or the Cossack horses, their little nags were wonderful for endurance and activity, and throve i on food which would } kill a civilized horse. On the other hand, they were cruel, reckless and noted for plundering and rapacity.
In early times the Carthaginians employed chariots; and after the war with Pyrrhus, elephants. It is not known whether they brought the habit of using chariots with them from Phoenicia, or found it in Africa. The employment of elephants they learned probably from the Epirot king, and made good use of it, as they could find an abundant supply of these animals in Africa.
The elephants of the Carthaginian army were an uncertain feature. If they acted successfully they were, in conflict with nations which knew little about them, of untold moral value. If they lost their heads and turned, they might be still more dangerous to their own friends. For this reason, during the Second Punic War, their drivers carried mallet and spike to kill them in case they should grow unmanageable or treacherous.
A Carthaginian army presented a singular aspect. In the centre the heavy Carthaginian or Liby-Phoenician, Spanish or Gallic foot; in front the Balacrean stingers, light troops and perhaps chariots; on the flanks some heavy and swarms of Numidian cavalry. The method in early days was not unlike that of the mobs of the Orient, but grew better by imitating Greek models. Still it was patched up of such diverse elements that it is a wonder that even a good general could make it available.
The train consisted generally of beasts of burden, mules, horses and beeves. In Italy, however, carts were often employed. The management of the trains in the days of Hannibal was extremely efficient, and at all times the trains were of moderate extent.
The Carthaginian army was quickly moved because not loaded down with baggage, nor consisting of much heavy material. It could march long distances, and its light troops preserved it from surprises. But these light troops at the same time devastated the country, making subsistence difficult and retreat impossible; and were often hard to control.
There was little organization, and under the every-day general little discipline. Owing to the vast numbers of cavalry-horses, and generally the presence of elephants, it could not be readily transported across sea; and, like all armies full of unintelligent material, it was subject to severe epidemics of sickness.
It must not be understood that such was the complexion of the army of Hamilcar or Hannibal. These partook peculiarly of the genius of their leaders, as armies always do. The above description applies to the Carthaginian army as a whole, and in most points not to those bodies which did such wonderful work in Spain and Italy.
It is probable that the Carthaginians made use in fortification and siege-proceedings of what was within the common knowledge of all civilized nations at that day. Castrameta-tion was certainly practiced. Troops, we know, were camped behind temporary fortifications when awaiting shipment or after disembarking. This is shown by the first commercial treaty with Rome in 509 B. C. But they did not fortify the daily camp.
So far as minor tactics, arms, organization, and marches and battles are concerned, we do not know as much about those of the Carthaginians as about those of other nations. It is generally understood that, during the First Punic and down to the beginning of the Second Punic War, the heavy and regular foot and horse approximated largely to the Macedonian type. Xanthippus, during the First Punic War, joined the Carthaginian army with a body of Greek mercenaries. These of course retained the phalangial habit, and as they were the best troops in the army, and Xanthippus was placed in command of all the Carthaginian forces, the Greeks no doubt gave a phalangial training to the Carthaginians, whose foot was already set up somewhat after this fashion; for intercourse with Greece as well as the traditions of Tyre would no doubt accomplish so much; and the knowledge of Alexander's wonderful successes would lead the Carthaginians to imitate his method, so far as they could learn it. The light and mercenary troops retained their own methods of combat, regulated by such masters as Hamilcar or Hannibal to suit the occasions which might arise. We shall see the latter introducing a number of Roman methods.
The Carthaginian phalanx, then, like the Greek, waa a mass designed to give one heavy shock. The details of the phalangial organization have been given in describing the army of Philip and Alexander. The tetrarchia of sixty-four hoplites in four files sixteen deep, or the syntagma which contained four of these companies, that is, two hundred and fifty-six men in a body sixteen square, was the fighting unit. The smaller phalanx had sixteen syntagmas, or a total of four thousand and ninety-six hoplites or heavy infantrymen. In open or parade order the hoplites occupied six feet each way; in close or battle order (the usual one), three feet; in very close order to receive a charge, one and one-half feet, in which formation the whole was called a synapism.
The hoplite had a shield and a pike from twelve to sixteen feet long, which the first three to five ranks held horizontally and the others vertically or slanted forward. The pike of even the fourth rank man projected beyond the first rank. That the Carthaginian soldier used the twenty-one foot Macedonian sarissa is improbable. The Greeks never employed it It required too much drill to use the sarissa to advantage.
Whether the phalanx had, in addition to the hoplite, a somewhat less heavily armed soldier, like the Greek peltast, is not known. The peltast, midway between the hoplite and the light-armed footman, had sword, shield and lighter pike, and armor adapted to quicker movements. But it is highly probable that the peltast, or some equivalent of the peltast, was found in the Carthaginian phalanx, and it unquestion* ably had its light troops disposed like the Greek psiloi, to the extent of about half the hoplites in number, to fight as skirmishers on front and flanks.
There were practically no intervals in the phalanx. It was not a good body for hilly countries, lacking entirely the mobility of the Roman legion. Its advantages and disadvantages have been already discussed ?JX the period of Alexander, and will be elsewhere in this.
The cavalry, if organized on a Greek basis, was light and heavy, the former being mostly used in outpost duty. The heavy fought in a unit of sixteen ranks, four men deep, called an ile. How the Numidian and other light cavalry was organized is not known, but the Carthaginian army decidedly lacked homogeneity.
The phalanx of this era had, in Greece, and probably in Carthage: —
Heavy infantry ... 4,096
Light infantry ... 2,048 6,144
Heavy cavalry ... 512 6,656
Of light cavalry there was an indefinite number. Several of these phalanxes acting together in one line were known as a grand phalanx. That the Carthaginian army adopted exactly this formation is not known, but its organization was unquestionably phalangiaL
From the time of the First Punic War, the military power of Carthage was markedly on the wane. It was only the wonderful military capacity of Hamilcar Barca and his family which made the light to brighten — as it did indeed in a manner seen but a few times in the world's history — before it finally flickered and went out. According to Aristotle it was the corruption of the political atmosphere which led to this condition, the bald fact that everything had become purchasable, and that the same individual could hold more than one office. This circumstance, coupled to one other, that the government was, as it were, a shuttlecock between the two families headed by Hamilcar Barca, representing the patriotic aristocrats, and by Hanno, who marshaled the democratic peace-party, could terminate in but one way.
It cannot be gainsaid that the successes of Hamilcar in Spain, brilliant as they were, contributed to the political decline of Carthage. The Iberian silver mines furnished means of purchasing what could not be otherwise got at home, and accelerated the growth of political dishonesty. Added to these causes was the fact that the Carthaginian fleet had suffered a fatal blow at the close of the First Punic War, from which it never rallied. All the efforts of the Carthaginians were unable to replace it on the proud plane it had occupied for generations. The power of Carthage had resided in its splendid fleet; it now went over to its army, and this lay in Spain in the hands of the Barcas. Nothing so fully demonstrates the lack of vessels and the increased value of the army as the march of Hamilcar from Carthage to the Pillars of Hercules, and his crossing to Grades by transport Two generations before, a Carthaginian army would have been transported by sea from the harbor of Carthage itself.
But it must be noted, though the military power of Carthage was about to expire, that, owing to the extraordinary military talent of the Barcas, Carthage never possessed an army so hardened by campaigns, so inured to discipline and so devoted to its chief as the one which Hannibal commanded when he left Spain on his way to Italy. This was in spite of the decadence of Carthage, and purely the individual work of this remarkable family. Military capacity is infrequently transmitted to posterity. The few exceptions to this rule shine with all the more radiance from their rarity. It is a curious fact that out of the six greatest captains of history, three, Alexander, Hannibal and Frederick, owe their armies to their fathers' skill as organizers, and the two former came honestly by their military genius.
BY 480 B. c. Carthage had acquired abundant territory in Africa, Spain, Sicily, the islands of the Western Mediterranean, and beyond the Pillars of Hercules. Her main energies for orer two centuries were devoted to the conquest of Sicily, in which scheme she was rigorously opposed by Syracuse. Through good and ill, Carthage ended by owning the western half of the island; and during all this period she had repeated commercial treaties with Rome. It was her hold on Sicily which finally brought on the Punic wan, the result of "P^r^ffft jtiaiousj of her controlling influence so near the Italian peninsula.
BEFORE the beginning of the Sicilian wars, 480 B. a, Car-thage had won for herself a very substantial footing. She had a large territory in Northern Africa; possessed Sardinia, the Balearic Islands and some of the other smaller ones, a part of Sicily, probably Corsica, Madeira and the Canaries; and had colonies on the coast of Spain and beyond the Straits of Gibraltar. Her naval accomplishments were extraordinary. A fleet under Hanno had sailed down the coast of Africa, it is thought as far as the equator, and his brother Imilco had at the same time sailed north to the shores of Great Britain, exploring the coast of Spain and France on the way. Her position Carthage is stated to have owed largely to the skill of Mago I., though its growth was probably gradual. From this time to the First Punic War — the period of the greatest prosperity of Carthage — almost her entire energies were bent upon the sole ownership of Sicily. In this she was opposed by the city of Syracuse, whose purpose was the same; and while Carthage nearly attained her object, she was eventually thwarted, and suffered meanwhile many bloody defeats.
The first attempt of Carthage was made under orders of, or at least in connection with, Xerxes, whom she still acknowledged as Great King, and to whom, as above stated, she had occasionally paid tribute. This was in 480 B. C. While Xerxes was to attack Greece from the east, Carthage would attack Sicily and prevent the Greeks of Sicily and southern Italy from aiding their countrymen at home. But the invasion of Sicily by Carthage was repelled by Gelon, king of Syracuse, with a loss to the Carthaginians, according to Herodotus and Diodorus, of three hundred thousani men, — not a soul of this vast force returning to Carthage. This is not improbably an exaggeration.
Sundry descents were thereafter made by Carthage on the island, with forces variously stated at from one hundred thousand to three hundred thousand men, and a not inconsiderable part of it was conquered or laid under contribution. Even Syracuse was besieged. But in 396 B. C. Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Carthaginians with a loss of one hundred and fifty thousand men, as we are informed by Diodorus and Plutarch.
Not discouraged, the Carthaginians of the next generation renewed their attempts, and in B. C. 843 got possession of the town but not the citadel of Syracuse. Still this success was not lasting, and two years later the Carthaginians were all but driven from Sicily. Other invasions were made in 840 and 889 B. a, but had no better results. The Carthaginians were beaten back by Timoleon and finally begged for peace.
This peace lasted nearly a generation. War then broke out again between Carthage and Syracuse, of which city Agathocles was tyrant. A Carthaginian army again besieged the town of Syracuse, and Agathocles replied by transporting his army to Africa and attacking Carthage. This resulted in relieving Syracuse, and brought Carthage to the verge of ruin (311-806 B. a). This carrying of the war into Africa is interesting as a prototype of the later invasions of the Romans. In 278-276 B. C. the Carthaginians were again on foot and again besieged Syracuse. This city called to its aid Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, then in Italy. At first in a large measure successful, Pyrrhus was eventually compelled to leave Sicily. Carthage, however, retained much of her hold on the island, keeping her most important western city, Agri-gentum, and more than half its superficial area. Her next opponent in Sicily was Rome.
In the wars thus summarized there is little of military interest They are merely given to show with what equipment and experience in arms Carthage entered into her great struggle with Rome.
The two great western cities had long had some connection, brought about naturally enough by commercial matters. The mariners of one nation were apt to be driven by storms into the waters of the other, and as piracy and commerce largely went hand in hand in those days, were not infrequently subjected to grievous hardships. To prevent or to rectify these, the first treaty between Rome and Carthage was made in 509 B. C, followed by a second in 847 B. C. A synopsis of both is on record. They show that Carthage held a much stronger hand than Rome. A third, of which we have no details, was made in 306 B. C. ; but it was manifest that jealousy and friction between the rival cities was on the increase.
POSESSIONS OF CARTHAGE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST PUNIC WAR
This was for the moment suspended by a fourth treaty, in 277 B. c, of an offensive and defensive nature against Pyrrhus, and Carthage offered to aid Rome with one hundred and thirty ships. It was not long after this that the first serious breach occurred, — a breach resulting in wars which for generations bathed the territories of both in blood.
FROM the most remote times the Romans were peculiarly patriotic and subject to discipline. It was this which lay at the root of their strong military system. The earliest Roman organisation was derived from the Greeks in southern Itjdy, and was practically the old Dorian phalanx. Servius Tullius divided the population into tribes, according to wealth, and every able-bodied citizen was bound to serve (or rather he alone had the privilege of serving), from seventeen to forty-five yean of age. When the monarchy gave way to a republic, the consuls became the army-leaders instead of the kings. The youth of Rome was scrupulously trained to arms, and underwent a rigorous gymnastic drill. Both the Greeks and Romans began with the phalangial idea, which is rather a defensive than an offensure one. But the Romans had a peculiar way of taking the initiative in war, and out of the phalanx they developed the germ of the legion, some time prior to 500 B. a The heavy foot was set up in three lines, with intervals between centuries or companies, and the first and second lines eheekerwise, the hone on the flanks, and the light troops in front or rear, as needed. This enabled the second or third line to advance through the intervals to sustain the first and renew a failing combat. The number of men in the century and the legion was changed from time to time. Not till the Second Punic War was the legion the settled body which is commonly described, and even after this date it was materially altered. The Romans were good distance marchers, but careless in camp and outpost duty. In fortification and sieges they were behind the Greeks. Bnt the one thing in which they excelled was in making every detail of their organization bend to the offensive idea, and in carrying this out with vigor and consistency. Their one rule was always to attack.
THERE has never been a people better adapted for war by nature and training than the Roman. At the root of this national aptitude lay two characteristics, intense love of Rome and unremitting zeal in subordinating all individual aspirations to the necessities of the state. These two virtues, patriotism and discipline, were infused into the Roman blood as early as the traditional time of the first kings. To trace the details of the growth of the organization of the Roman army from the earliest era is an engrossing study, but it must here be done in brief space. The legion as it existed at the time of the war against Hannibal will be more fully treated.
Rome under its earliest conditions was apparently little more than a den of robbers, a fortified asylum for adventurers, the rendezvous of all manner of roughs and outcasts. The heroes of remote antiquity were most of them of this stripe. The interesting traditions of the imperial city are inventions of later days. But this turbulent crowd showed one marked virtue. It had the good sense to perceive that by organization alone and the strictest of discipline could it hold its own in the midst of its warlike neighbors. This motley company of brigands by no means lacked leaders or intelligence, nor indeed high ambitions and admirable purpose, and out of their efforts to fit themselves to struggle against surrounding danger grew the most splendid military organization the world has ever seen. Whatever the early leaders may have been, or however named, they laid the foundation of an enduring people.
The earliest Gneco-Italian military organization, from which Rome derived its own, was probably a Homeric collection of the stoutest warriors on horseback. By the time of the kings this had, from the demands for greater numbers, changed to the Dorian phalanx of hoplites, with the horsemen on the flanks, and no doubt a few irregular skirmishers in front or flank.
The entire population was early divided by the magnates of Rome into three tribes, each of which was held to furnish on call one thousand fully armed footmen, and one hundred horsemen, who should serve at their own cost and furnish arms and rations. This body of one thousand infantry was divided into ten centuries of one hundred men each, and the horse, generally made up of the richest citizens, into ten decuries of ten men each. The three thousand foot and three hundred horse thus provided for made up the legion which was the successor of the Dorian phalanx.
There appears to have been a body-guard for the king or leader, con* sisting of three hundred specially selected mounted men, called celeres, who were paid and kept constantly on foot These were the first standing force of Rome. Each thousand men were under a tribune, or colonel, each one hundred under a centurion or captain. Such was the bare skeleton upon which later changes were grafted. But what gave this body life was a singular spirit of discipline, subordination and patriotism, — an esprit de corps, — rarely equaled in the world's history. Gymnastic training and warlike exercises were of later growth. The early Roman was by his vagabond life already a vigorous soldier.
To Servius Tullius (? 578-584 B. C.) is ascribed by tradition the division of the population into classes according to wealth. The distinction between patricians and plebeians was already marked. There were raised from these classes, and armed according to the ability of each, one hundred and sixty-eight centuries of foot, or sixteen thousand eight hundred men, in four legions of forty-two hundred men each, two of juniors, seventeen to forty-five years old, and two of seniors, forty-six to sixty. There were also centuries of pioneers and musicians, and the total cavalry was twenty-four hundred strong. Every citizen must serve sixteen, or in case of need twenty, campaigns of six months each, if in the foot, ten if in the horse; no one might look for state employment on less than ten years' service in the foot or five years in the horse, unless sooner disabled by honorable wounds.
Service laid burdens upon the citizens, but brought honor and power in the state. None but citizens in good standing were permitted to bear arms. The Servian classes were census-tribes for both service and taxation. Political and military rights and duties ran side by side. The first class contained those who had farms of twenty jugera or more, or money to the amount of one hundred thousand asses or over. The value of the as (originally a pound's weight of copper or copper alloy) was very variable, being often reduced according to the necessities of the public treasury,—during the First Punic War to two, during the Second to one ounce, as Pliny tells us. Before the reduction, one hundred asses are stated to have been equal to nearly two dollars, which was the price of an ox. But this is quite unsatisfactory as a measure of value. The jugerum was about two thirds of an acre. The second class comprised those who had three fourths as much land or seventy-five thousand asses; the third class, one half as much land or fifty thousand asses; the fourth, one fourth as much land or twenty-five thousand asses; the fifth, one eighth as much land or twelve thousand five hundred asses. Those belonging to the sixth class, who had less than this, were reckoned as supernumeraries. There were also classes of artificers and musicians. At the close of the Second Punic War, the sixth class was diminished by only exempting those who had but six thousand asses. The small area of the farms must have demanded considerable skill in cultivation ; judging from the money qualification, even the fourth class was what we should call well-to-do. The arms of the first class were a helmet, breastplate or coat of mail, greaves, shield, sword and long lance; the second class had no greaves, the third neither greaves nor breastplate, the fourth no metal helmet, and the fifth was, like the Greek psilos, armed alone with darts or bows.
Under the kings, Rome had no soldiers who were not citizens; but in the fifth century B. c. they began to make treaties with neighboring states, and these furnished legions to serve in connection with the Roman troops. These allies (socii or civitates federated) kept their own laws and customs, but were bound to furnish each its quota of men, in legions assimilated to those of Rome.
An army thus composed of soldiers called out in the spring, discharged in the fall, serving at their own cost and armed each according to his own fancy, was naturally subject to many inconveniences. It could not march far from home, could make no lengthy or distant campaigns, could not garrison captured cities. This weakness grew so marked that before the end of the siege of Veil, 405 B. C, the senate was forced to begin to pay, feed and equip the men. It is believed by Niebuhr that the men were paid at a much earlier period. The pay was at first three and one third asses silver aday — one hundred asses a month — for a footman, twice as much for minor officers and cavalrymen, and thrice as much for a cavalryman who furnished his own horse. If the statement be true that one hundred asses would purchase an ox, this was a very high rate of pay; but arms, equipments and rations may have been deducted from the pay* The rations consisted of corn, which the men ground themselves in hand-mills and made into porridge or a sort of pancake. And there were probably occasional meat rations as welL This step was the first towards the creation of a standing army in Rome; for so long as the soldier was fed, he was not restless if constrained to remain in the ranks, when he saw there was distinct need for his services. Longer campaigns could now be undertaken, and the leader of an army was less hampered in his manoeuvres.
The change from kingdom to republic in no wise altered the military scheme of Rome. The commanders of the army were the two consuls instead of the kings. These, outside of Rome, had almost unlimited power. If there was but one army, the consuls drew lots for command. If two, each commanded one. If these two armies served together, each consul commanded on alternate days. This absurd habit continued for centuries, and, despite its absurdity, worked fairly welL On occasions of grave public danger, a dictator was chosen to take the entire military power in hand. This officer was then given full authority over army and state, peace and war, for the term of the war, but not usually for a period longer than six months. Associated with him was a master of the horse (magister equitum) whom he appointed, and who commanded the cavalry, as the dictator did specifically the foot.
To serve in the Roman army was looked upon rather in the light of a privilege than a duty, and was confined only to the worthy and to the free-born. The right to serve in the army was the exact complement to the duty to so serve; to be a citizen meant to be a soldier. Stated shortly, the jus militia called all men into service between seventeen and forty-five years of age, with certain stated exceptions.
No citizen under seventeen or over forty-five could be obliged to serve on active duty, though he might elect to do so and be perhaps accepted. After forty-five still remained service in the city-garrison (legiones urban®), or home guard-duty, which was confined to manning the defenses of the city or town in case of war. Men who reenlisted (emeriti or veterani) enjoyed especial honor and privileges.
A citizen who had served twenty campaigns of six months each in the foot, or ten in the horse, was exempted. And as above stated, only he who had served half this number could aspire to any political office. Gallant service in war was the only stepping-stone to civic honors.
Those physically wanting — generally not many among this plain and hearty people—were exempt. Small stature was not a grave objection. The burly Gauls laughed at the little Romans until they got to close quarters with them. The height was usually from five feet to five feet three inches. Men exceeding this height were not considered strong. Men under five feet were sooner accepted. Any disablement of hand or foot which rendered the man unable to wield his weapons, any weakness of sight or hearing, or any clear physical defect exempted. The following was the man wanted, according to Vegetius, and a pretty good man he was, though the description belongs to a later period. " The recruit must have sharp eyes, a head carried erect, broad breast, stout shoulders, big fists, long hands, not a big belly, of well proportioned growth, feet and soles less fleshy than muscular. If he has all this, no stress need be laid on the height, for it is far more important that the soldier should be strongly built than tall." The man must also be of good moral character, as, in this era of simple life and national virtues, was apt to be the rule.
Citizens in the public service were exempt, but might volunteer. Priests and augurs were not expected to serve, unless in Gallic invasions, when they must guard the treasury in the CapitoL In recognition of extraordinary services to the republic, citizens were sometimes exempted for a term of years, as were also at times towns or entire districts.
No freedman or slave was allowed to serve, the latter being considered on a level with the beasts of burden. But there were occasions in a later epoch when slaves were armed, served with distinguished credit and thereby earned their freedom. The bitterest punishment for a Roman citizen was to be declared unworthy to serve. Whole provinces were thus punished on more than one occasion, as Bruttium, Lu-cania, Picenum and many cities, for joining Hannibal after Cannae.
The youths of Rome were early trained to war. Under seventeen years of age, all boys were called tirones or recruits, and were systematically put through certain exercises by experienced drill-masters to fit them for their duty as soldiers, namely, setting-up, marching, running, jumping, climbing heights, swimming, the use of arms and bearing heavy weights. These exercises were constant and uninterrupted. The grown men kept up this training almost throughout life.
From all this, of which the above is the baldest sketch, we can readily see why the Roman army grew to what it was. Not even the Spartans in their palmiest days bad a system in which physique and personal devotion, added to broad intelligence, were thus united.
Speaking in general terms, the arms and equipment of the Roman soldier were much like those of the Greek. No doubt they came originally from the Greek colonists in Italy. No doubt, too, the original legion more nearly approached the phalanx than it did the legion of the later years of Rome. The three tribes were set up, each in ten centuries, without intervals, and the several classes of heavy troops stood close behind each other in two or three lines, while the light troops skirmished around the flanks and front, much as with the phalanx. The cavalry was uniformly on the flanks. Each levy-district furnished, by a regular system, an equal part of each century and each legion, so that the entire body and its several parts were homogeneous; and the best men, that is, the non-commissioned officers, were in the front rank, so as to make the steel edge to the legion, as it had existed for centuries in the phalanx.
The early Roman army was set np in eight to twelve ranks, and in a legion of three thousand men there were from two hundred and fifty to three hundred and seventy-five files, covering a front of something less than a quarter of a mile. It was practically a phalanx. But starting from this common point there was a divergence between Greek and Roman methods. The Greeks stuck to their one-shock idea, and used the light troops for duty requiring an open order. The Romans conceived the idea of a formation which would give each man more individual scope, and which would provide for renewing a failing battle by bringing in fresh troops as occasion demanded. Out of this grew their later formation. The fourth and fifth class men were used as skirmishers, and the three first classes were set up as three lines, the best in the rear, the least good in front, and with the centuries at such intervals that the rear lines could advance through the leading ones to the attack, to relieve the others if overmatched, or to close up the line in one compact mass. This was an outgrowth of what originally was a phalangial order, and seems to have been already in use about 500 B. C. It was phalanx or legion, at wilL It was reached by a process of individualizing. The Hellenic phalanx was a close order, and nothing else; the Roman legion was an open order, which could be made close by the simple advance into the intervals of the rear lines. The pilum and gladius were the weapons representing both distant and hand-to-hand fighting, and the use of the fortified camp allowed the offensive and defensive to be waged at will.
This order was again improved, about the time of the siege of Veii, by making the intervals equal to the front of the centuries, thus forming a oheckerwise line (quincunoialis) of great mobility. At the same time the arms of the men underwent a change from similar causes. The long pike of the Greek hoplite was shortened down to the hasta, to which was added a casting lance or pilum. Both could be used equally at long distance or hand to hand. Darts replaced bows and slings, except in special corps of light troops. All these changes tended towards closer quarters, and finally grew into making the sword the chief weapon of the heavy-armed for the final struggle; and the sword was the terror of all who met the Roman legion.
Many of these changes are ascribed to the Dictator Furius Camillus. At the time of the second invasion of the Gauls (866 B. c.) he is said to have given to the Roman soldier steel helmets to resist the cut of the heavy Gallic sword, iron-rimmed shields and better lances, and to have drilled them in their use.
About the middle of the fourth century B. c. the lines of the legion had got changed. The third class was now in the middle line, and the men were called hastati, from their long lance; the second class, esteemed better, was in front, and hence called principes. This order gave the first blow with seasoned troops. The first or best class was in the third line, and hence called triarii. These three made up the heavy foot of the phalanx — or legion — which was still about three thousand strong, of which six hundred were triarii and twelve hundred each principes and hastati, more or less according to circumstances. The fourth and fifth classes were rorarii, young soldiers, and accensi, supernumeraries,.who furnished the light troops. They varied from one thousand to sixteen hundred in number. In line they stood in the rear; in battle they had no special place, but were used wherever needed.
At a period not well established, each line was divided into fifteen centuries, but these had ceased to number one hundred men. Each century of principes and hastati had two centurions, sixty men in ten files six deep, a trumpeter and an ensign-bearer, sixty-four men in all. The centuries of the triarii had the same depth, but half the front and thus half the number. Intervals equaled century-fronts of the first two lines, and there were thirty to sixty paces between lines. The principes and hastati still stood cheokerwise. After this the centuries were not again recruited up to one hundred.
There were three hundred cavalry and three hundred sling-ers and archers attached to each legion. The cavalry, when in line, stood on the flanks; in battle it was dispatched wherever it could be best employed. It sometimes fought dismounted to good effect The archers and stingers had no specific place.
Thus the legion had grown to consist of about forty-six hundred men, according to the numbers of the several bodies. The checkerwise formation, with the mobility it gave the several lines, must be considered a great advance in tactical formations, due to Roman ingenuity and the spirit which prompted them to come to hand-to-hand work. In detail the formation was later much changed, but not in principle.
In line of battle the Roman army thus had two lines and a reserve with the cavalry on the flanks. Often a reserve of supernumeraries was put between the lines, or the triarii were left to protect the camp. The cavalry was not infrequently placed in rear of flanks or oentre, or indeed between the lines. The armies leaned their flanks on obstacles, woods, rivers or hills, but fought only in parallel order. They were not unapt to try to surround the enemy's flank, or to send out detachments to fall on his rear, by a circuit or from ambush. An attack in mass on tne centre to separate the enemy's wings was occasionally seen, but an oblique attack as practiced by Epaminondas and Alexander was not known to the Romans. Their tactics was simple.
What is peculiarly marked in the tactics of die Romans, and worthy of repetition, is the fact that they always took the initiative; they always attacked, never awaited attack. It was the defensive idea which bred the phalanx; it was the offensive idea which out of the phalanx evolved the legion. The arrangement for renewing the fight with the fresh lines in the rear savored distinctly of the offensive.
In camp, in early times, the Romans were careless. Their campaigns were undertaken only in summer, and they had not even tents. These they later made of sheepskin; but in their stead they were apt to build huts of twigs and straw in permanent camps. There was at this early day no particular order of camping, nor any outpost-service deserving the name.
Marches the Romans could, in all eras, make long and fast. They were used to their arms and carried their rations with them. But the extent of Roman territory was not great, nor the distance the armies had to move.
Fortification and the art of sieges had not yet grown to any degree of perfection, though the Romans had got the general principle of the art from the Greeks. Though it was an ancient custom to do so, up to the time of the war with Pyr-rhus (beginning of the third century) the daily camp was not fortified with any system or regularity, says Livy. Cities were better fortified, in the manner usual with the ancients. Rome, from early times, was well protected by good walls. The old walls of Roma Quadrata on the Palatine had probably no great strength; but some king, Tarquinius Priscus it is said (? 616-578), surrounded the city with stone walls and towers, and began the construction of the Capitol or citadeL Under Servius Tullius the city counted its seven hills within a strong and massive walL The kings of Rome spent a large part of the public treasure and booty in this way.
Towns as a rule were taken by sadden attacks, by assault or ruse. In assaults, both ladders and tortoises were employed in the early times, but gradually more skillful means came into use, no doubt learned from the Greeks. Undermining walls and the use of mantelets and covers for the men date back to the fifth and sixth centuries. But the first real growth of which we have any record was at the siege of Veil, which lasted nine years, thus showing great inexpertness in management. Here the Romans first used walls of circumvallation around the town and contravallation against outside attack, as well as a mound, all of which the Greeks had used at Platea, thirty years before. Finally the town was taken (395 B. C.) by digging a subterranean passage which led to the citadel. From this time on larger progress was made. Catapults were soon introduced, having been adopted from Sicily, according to Diodorus. Rams came later. These siege devices have been fully described in connection with Alexander's army.
TESTUDO (FROM COLUMN OF TRAJAN)
On the whole the Romans had, from their adaptability and the necessity for being always ready for war, developed a system which promised far greater eventual results than the system of the Greeks.
Such, briefly, was the growth of the art of war and its status among the Romans down to the siege of Veii and somewhat later. At the time of the Punic wars there remained in principle the same system, but the details had been changed in many particulars.
THE legions were raised by a rapid and careful system, which made the maniples of even strength and material. The recruits took an oath, were armed, and only then had the eagles delivered to their charge. The consul, powerless in Rome, was all-powerful in camp. Arrived at rendezvous, the organization was completed. The arms and equipment were helmet, shield, breastplate for the heavy foot, greaves, sword, pike and lance, all excellent of their kind. The special Roman weapon was the gladius. The cavalry was not as good as the foot, but during the Second Punic War H was much improved. The number of men in the legion varied in certain epochs from three thousand to six thousand men. The usual number was forty-two hundred foot and three hundred horse. The term legion meant one Roman and one allied legion, all told not far from ten thousand men, when full. The consular army was two legions, that is, from eighteen thousand to twenty-five thousand men. The early unit of service was the oentury, but each two centuries were later ployed together into a maniple; and each set of maniples of prinoipes, hastati and triarii, with its share of velites and hone, was a cohort. The cohort then became the unit Intervals between maniples equaled their front, and the maniples of hastati and prin-dpes stood oheokerwise. With cavalry on the flanks, a legion of ten thousand men covered a front of three quarters of a mile, and had a depth of about nine hundred feet. In line of battle, the Roman legions were in the centre, the allied on the flanks. The oonsular army covered a front of one and one half miles. The Romans were fast but careless marchers, and subject to surprises, until Hannibal taught them caution. They still invariably attacked. Battle was opened by the velites, followed up by the first line and decided by the second and third, the cavalry meanwhile fighting on the flanks. What lent the legion mobility was also a source of weakness, — the intervals. When they met an enemy who was apt to penetrate into these, they advanced the second line into or dose up to the intervals of the first The youth were still trained as soldiers from their earliest years, and drilled not only in the " Tactics," but in mock combat and camp-fortification as well. Labor was unremitting. The evolutions of the Romans at drill were much the same as to-day, and commands were given by the trumpets. The eagle of the legion was the rallying-paint, as sacred as the "colors" of a regiment of modern days.
IN the epoch to which this volume is devoted, the Roman army had not undergone material alteration, but it had been much improved in its details. The jus militice was still unchanged. Only citizens, with the exceptions already existing, were allowed or compelled to serve. By constant use in war the organization had become better settled.
Polybius tells us how the armies were recruited* When the consuls had been elected the war-tribunes were chosen, twenty-four in all, fourteen from those who had served five years and ten from those who had served ten. On the day set for the levy the citizens fit for military duty were assembled on the Capitoline hill, by means of a flag hoisted on the Capitol and public announcement by heralds. Later on, the field of Mars was the rendezvous. The arrivals grouped themselves in their tribes, at this time thirty-five in number. To raise the usual four legions, two for each consular army, the war-tribunes were first distributed by a sort of rote to the legions, six to each. The tribunes of each legion then by lot called up each tribe in turn and selected four men, as much alike in qualifications as was possible. One of these was assigned to each legion. This method proceeded by turn among the tribes until the required number had been chosen, and each legion was thus served as nearly alike as possible.
The recruits then took the oath, one of their number speaking for all: "I swear that I will obey my superiors, and use all my strength to carry out that which they order," and the rest, coming close to him, one by one, repeated " I also." This oath varied at different epochs.
No consul, by law, might exercise command within the boundary of the city of Rome. The ohosen recruits were therefore assembled on a given day in their respective legions, unarmed, at the most convenient locality outside the city limits, were assigned to whatever part of the legion was legal or expedient, and armed and equipped according to assignment. The quaestors then delivered to their keeping the eagles, which had been kept for safety in the treasury in the Capitol. The consul, before joining the army, paid certain rites at the Temple of Mars, shook the shield and lance of the statue of the war-god, and not until then assumed the appropriate garb of his office. He then joined the army. Before marching, the army cleansed f itself by appropriate sacrifices (lustratio).
War, as with the Greeks, was declared by heralds, who first formally demanded satisfaction for injury done, and in case of refusal cast a bloodstained spear upon the territory of the opponent. Battles were preceded by sacrifices and religious ceremonies, and after a victory sacrifices were renewed.
CONSUL WITH WAR CLOAK
Such were the formal proceedings. But these were often shortened by the requirements of haste, or were simplified when large bodies were raised. The four consular legions, including the cavalry, could be set on foot within twenty-four hours. L. Quintius Cincinnatus, dictator in 457 B. c, raised, armed and equipped the legions, and set forth on his march between sunrise and sunset of one day. One entire campaign in 445 B. a, beginning with the calling in of the tribes and including their armament, one day for the march out, the defeat of the enemy five miles beyond the boundary of Roman territory, and one day for the march home, was comprised in the space of four days.
ROMAN CAVALRYMAN (FROM COLUMN OF TRAJAN)
In the cavalry only those knights (equites) could serve correspondingly ineffective; later they were given helmet, breastplate, greaves, a shield, sword and stout lance, but none of these were as heavy as those of the infantry. The horsemen received their horses from the state. A gold ring at the same time, but by somewhat simpler means. They then marched to the rendezvous and joined the Roman legions, who were rated as owning fifty thousand asses. There was a general lack of horses and a decided preference for foot duty among the Roman gj largely owing to the expense of cavalry service. In early days the Roman cavalry was very lightly armed, — much like velites, in fact,—and was their badge. They stood (counting Romans and allies) in the ratio of about one to ten of the infantry, the same proportion as the three hundred cavalry to the old legion of three thousand men. They took the same oath.
The raising of legions among the allies was undertaken at the call of the consuls in the same manner and at the same time, but by somewhat simplier means. They then marched to the rendezvous and joined the Roman legions.
Arrived at rendezvous, the recruits were usually assigned by the tribunes: those from seventeen to twenty-five years old to the light foot, now all called velites; those from twenty-five to thirty to the hastati; those from thirty to forty to the principes; those from forty to forty-five to the triarii Exceptions were, however, made in recognition of ability or service.
The arms and equipment were then issued to all. To each of the velites were given a leathern helmet (galea) lined with sponge and leather, a small round wooden shield (par-ma) three feet in diameter and a good protection against arrows or sling-stones, a sword and seven darts. These darts were usually thirty inches long and about the thickness of the finger, but their form varied materially. Their tips were long and slender, and after they had struck an object were generally so bent as to be useless to the enemy until repaired.
To the legionaries, hastati and prinoipes, were given as armor a leather helmet covered or strengthened with iron, and ornamented with red and black plumes (cassis); a breastplate made of metal scales sewed upon stout leather, which covered shoulder, breast and abdomen (lorica); greaves for the legs (ocrea), much like the Greek, but particularly stout for the right leg — for the Roman legionary soldier calculated to go at the enemy with his sword more than any other weapon — and a large square, curved shield (scutum), semi - cylindrical on a radios of about nine inches, made of stout, well-fitted wood, leather-covered and iron-edged, and often having in the middle a knob with which the legionary was expert in pushing and striking his enemy.
SCUTUM (TRAJAN COLUMN)
His weapons were the terrible gladius, a two-edged sword of Spanish origin, with twenty-inch blade two inches wide, used both to cut and thrust, and vastly better than the Greek sword, which was a mere knife; a heavy lance (pilum) of cornel wood, whose dimensions are variously given, but probably two inches square, with rounded corners, at one time five and a half feet long in the shaft, with nine* inch iron, at another with three feet shaft and two and one half feet iron, of Italian invention; and a lighter lance (hasta) of equal length. The head of the lances was apt to be made with hooks or fins, so that they could catch an enemy's shield and pull it off his arm. The Romans had first used square shields; they then adopted from an Hellenic source a round shield; and lastly took up, not from the Samnites as tradition says, but probably from the Greeks, the cylindrical scutum.
The triarii, sometimes called pilani (and hence the hastati and principes antepilani), were the " Old Guard," to be called in to decide a victory or forestall defeat. They had, in lieu of the heavy lance, a pike which at times varied from ten to fourteen feet, and sometimes carried several darts in the left hand within the shield.
GLADIUS (FROM POMPEI)
This whole equipment, which, however, was
changed from epoch to epoch, so that it is difficult to define
it at any one time, was excellent. Defensively, while protecting the soldier, it allowed him the
free use of body and limbs. The weapons were of thorough
workmanship, and the sword, in the hands of the practiced soldier, could penetrate any armor, as could the lance, well thrown. In the wars with Greece, Livy relates that the Romans inflicted blows with the gladius which cut off arms and legs, and even severed the head from the body of an opponent. It was the favorite weapon.
The soldiers were trained to serve in any capacity, and the heavy legionaries could act as skirmishers, the velites could charge in close order and the horse fight on foot.
PRINCEPS AND HASTATUS
The cavalry was by no means as good. This arm had never been a favorite with the Romans. It was considered as a mere auxiliary to the foot The horsemen's equipment was not as thoroughly made, nor were their weapons as well fashioned, as those of the foot. Even at the beginning of the Punic wars the horsemen had no armor, only leather
shields which the rain weakened, poor swords, and lances. far from stout enough. They preferred to fight on foot rather than mounted. Moreover, the Roman was not as naturally a horseman as were the wild tribes from which Hannibal drew his cavalry. It was, indeed, in this that Hannibal saw and used his great advantage. But the Romans learned
the lesson, and before the end of the Second Punic War
had placed their cavalry on an excellent footing, giving it
helmets and armor, greaves and boots, darts, twelve-foot lances, sharp at both ends, and a carved sword. The cavalryman had neither saddle, which was introduced in the fourth century A. D., nor stirrups, which date from the sixth. He rode on two blankets, the inner one felt or leather, held in place and fastened together by surcingle, breast strap and crupper. These were often ornamented to a high degree. A bridle completed the harness. In his left hand the cavalryman carried his shield and bridle, and kept his right free for sword or lance. No wonder, one might say, that the Roman cavalryman, thus burdened, was not effective. And yet Alexander's Companions, the most splendid body of cavalry of antiquity, were armed in like manner. Bather wonder that the ancient cavalryman ever was good.
Exactly how much space the cavalryman took up in the ranks we do not know, but it is most credibly stated at five feet front by ten feet depth. Scipio Africanus later became the father of the Roman horseman, and made the arm effective and reliable. The description of the arms of the Roman soldier is carefully made by the old authors; the pictorial delineation, such as the procession on the column of Trajan, varies much from the histories. This is to be referred to the different eras of which the books and monuments treat. The variation is not material.
ROMAN CAVALRYMAN (FROM THE ARCH OF CONSTANTINE)
The number of men in the legion varied considerably at different times. In the third century B. c. there were still supposed to be twelve hundred velites, twelve hundred prin-cipes, twelve hundred hastati and six hundred triarii, besides three hundred horse, or in allied legions six hundred horse. The number of the triarii and horse was apt to remain the same, but the others varied so much at times that the legion was all the way from four thousand two hundred to six thousand men. After Cannae there was five thousand foot in the legions; Scipio in Africa had fifty-two hundred; <32miUius Paullus in Macedon six thousand. Two hundred of the horse of the allied legions, added to eight hundred and forty of the foot, made up a special body called extraordinarii, who, with those of the other legions, were a sort of reserve body under immediate command of the general. Of this body, one fifth — the best of the men (ablecti) — formed his body-guard. These were hostages for the fidelity of their respective cities.
Other subject nations, not allies, were not figured in with the Roman legions, but their forces kept their own organization, being used as auxiliaries merely, and having no set place inline.
The term " legion " was apt to mean one Roman and one allied, legion, nearly ten thousand men. Thus the usual consular army of two legions was really two Roman and two allied legions, eighteen to twenty thousand men, of which eighteen hundred were horsemen. If the two consuls were together, they had, dqring the Second Punic War, not far from forty thousand men.
In combat, the swaying to and fro of the lines often isolated the unit of service, separated as it was by intervals from . its neighbors, and the Romans had gradually found that the century unit was somewhat too small to oombat successfully on open ground with troops in more compact order. Though it had done abundantly well against the nations with somewhat similar organization which it had had to meet, it had found difficulty in resisting the masses of the Gauls and the phalanxes of Pyrrhus, and before the Punic wars they had com-1 bined each two neighboring centuries into one body, making a maniple. This added strength without loss of flexibility and ease of manoeuvring. The light troops and the cavalry remained as they were. The three lines were also changed so as again to put the hastati in the lead, then the principes, then the triarii. This gave the first shock in action with the youngest and presumably most fiery troops, and followed it up with the older and steadier. Each of the two first lines, not counting officers, was thus in ten maniples of one hundred and twenty men each, in twelve files ten deep, and each was still divisible into two centuries or twelve decuries. The maniples of the triarii were but sixty strong, in six files ten deep. The velites, though numbered with the hastati and the principes, sixty to each maniple, had no special place in line. If the legion was numerically strengthened, it was done by adding more men to each maniple of has-tati and principes. Thus, after Cannie, the legion, made np to over five thousand footmen, had sixteen hundred hastati, sixteen hundred prinoipes, six hundred triarii, all in files ten deep, and from twelve hundred to sixteen hundred velites. The horse remained the same.
TURMA OF CAVALRY
ALA OF CAVALRY
The space allowed to each man is also variously stated. It seems to have been the ground he stood on, plus three feet between him and his neighbor, thus being about five feet front by four feet and a half deep. This gave him ample room to use his weapons. It was nearly twice the space allowed the phalangite in battle order. He was drilled, however, to close this distance down to three or even one and a half feet to resist cavalry or to form a tortoise. The maniples still stood checkerwise in line of battle, and two hundred and fifty feet or more were between the lines, as had been the case with the century formation.
The cavalry of each legion was divided into ten turmse of thirty horsemen, and each turma into three decuris of ten horsemen. The turmsa stood in ten files three deep. The ten turmse in line were called a wing (ala).
COHORT IN ONE DETACHMENT
The maniples and turmae were all numbered, and a maniple of hastati, one of principes and one of triarii, from front to rear, with the velites who belonged to i them and one turma, were termed a cohort From the right, the first maniple each of hastati, principes and triarii, their velites and the first turma, made up the first cohort of the legion. There were thus ten cohorts in each legion, each cohort having troops of all arms and numbering four hundred and fifty men, namely, one hundred and twenty velites, one hundred and twenty hastati, one hundred and twenty principes, sixty triarii and thirty cavalry, or up to five hundred and seventy men, namely, one hundred and sixty each of velites, hastati and principes, sixty triarii and thirty cavalry. In this fashion, either a maniple or a cohort could be treated as the tactical unit, according to the duty required. The cohort was our battalion. Later its organization was materially changed.
INFANTY OF THE LEGION
The front space occupied by a legion, that is, one Roman and one allied legion of forty-two hundred men each, plus three hundred Roman and six hundred allied horse, total nine thousand three hundred men, may, in round numbers, be thus figured out: —
Infantry, each maniple with 12 files, each of 5 feet front, making 60 feet front, or for 20 maniples, 10 in the Roman and 10 in the allied legion ..... 1,200 feet
To this add 20 intervals between the 10 maniples of 60 feet each, or ..... 1200 feet 2,400 feet
Cavalry, 900 men in 3 ranks or 300 files, each file of 5 feet .... 1,500 feet
Intervals between cavalry and infantry, say ..... 100 feet
Total ..... 4000 feet
The velites took up no front space. The legion thus covered about three quarters of a mile of front.
This gave eight thousand four hundred infantry to a frontage of twenty-four hundred feet or seven hundred and forty metres. There were thus but eleven men to each metre front as against twenty-eight men in the phalanx, and six or seven men, including reserves, in modern armies.
The depth of the legion may be thus reckoned: —
The hastati, file of 10 men at 4J feet = 45 feet, and the interval at its rear = 250 feet, say .... 295 feet
The principes, do ..... 296 feet
The triarii, do ..... 45 635 feet
The Telites when out in front may have taken up .... 265 feet
aking the depth of the legion ..... 900 feet
The cavalry on the wings, if in one line, was less than forty feet deep. Thus the legion was a body of four thousand feet front largely made up of intervals, by some nine hundred feet depth, reckoned from the skirmishing line backward.
In the line of battle of the consular army the Roman legions occupied the centre, the allied were on their right and left. The entire cavalry was on the flanks of the army, or in front or in rear as needed. At times, placed between the lines, it broke out through the intervals with good effect. The allied extraordinarii and ablecti made up a special reserve, whose place was determined by the leader, and was often between the flank of the infantry and the cavalry. The consular army with its two Roman and two allied legions and intervals between them thus occupied a front space of a mile and a half or over, with a depth of nine hundred feet. The intervals between cavalry turmsB, and between foot and horse are uncertain. The exact frontage cannot be determined.
Such was the formation of the legion during the Punic wars. Later, the principes were put back into the first line, the hastati in seoond, and the velites, if not in front, in a third line, while the triarii were held in a sort of reserve still farther back or left to guard the camp or baggage. This change was made from the experience of the Seoond Punic War, which showed that fiery assault alone was not enough. It must be stanch and lasting as well as gallant.
Some modern authorities read the ancient authors to give the Roman soldier a total space of only three feet. Were this so, the legion would occupy a correspondingly smaller front. The legion of Vegetiufl differs materially from those of Poly-bius and Livy, and the details are not reconcilable.
AGMEN NOT NEAR ENEMY
The Romans, up to the battle of Lake Trasimene, were careless about their order of march. The armies moved from one camp to the next in any convenient manner and without precautions, and were liable to surprises and ambuscades. Fabius Cunctator did much to obliterate this evil, and there was introduced a regular method of march (agmen) in one or more columns, by cohorts, or variously by the flank. In front, as a van, went the extraordinarii and part of the velites; then, if the army was marching by the right flank, the first allied legion, with its impedimenta; then the first Roman legion, the second Bo-man legion, the second allied legion, each with its train. Following was a rear-guard of the ablecti and the rest of the velites. By the left flank the order was reversed. The cavalry usually rode with the baggage train. In the front and on the flanks were thrown out a large number of scouts or flankers (specu-latores) to give notice of the presence of the enemy. In retreat the extraordinarii and part of the velites were the rear-guard. In passing a defile the column had to be ployed into smaller space. The above order of march was suited to the open country of a great part of Italy. But, except the presence of artillery, all the difficulties of marching an army to-day existed in greater measure in the time of the Punic wars. The order was changed from day to day, to make it easier for the troops and equalize the foraging.
ORDER OF MARCH NEAR ENEMY
In open country, in the presence of the enemy, the march was conducted by the flank in three columns, hastati, prin-cipes, triarii, the baggage of each maniple preceding it, so that there would be no long train for the enemy to attack.
The baggage could readily torn out of the ranks and park, and the legions quickly form front to right, left or forward. The presence of the enemy on the right or left would dictate whether the inarch should be left or right in front. The velites and cavalry shielded the front and exposed flank.
As from earliest times, the Bomans still always attacked. No nation ever grasped the idea of the initiative so firmly. Nothing but their dread of Hannibal ever altered this habit. The sign for battle having been given, the troops, duly prepared and often spurred on by a battle speech (allocutio) from the general, moved out of camp and drew up in line not far therefrom. They looked upon the intrenched camp as a fortress, and fought near by it if possible. All the baggage and heavy burden of the soldiers remained in camp under a specially detailed guard, — in time of great danger the triarii.
Polybius and Vegetius tell us that the Bomans had seven orders of battle. But these were the development of the books rather than the field. In the period to which we refer the orders were confined to the parallel and some variations running towards the oblique, as we shall see. As a rule, only the parallel was used, and the cavalry operated round the enemy's flanks. A wedge was sometimes formed to pierce the enemy's centre, and turning movements by detachments or by one wing were common. The oblique order, as taught by Epaminondas and Alexander, was not known.
Battle was opened by the signal of the trumpets. At this, the army gave its battle-cry, from the sound of which the general could often foretell success or failure, or at least gauge the moral tone of the men. At the second signal the army advanced, at the quick-step. A third signal was sometimes given at the proper distance for the line to take the double-quick, which it did with loud shouts, the clashing of lance on shield and the sounding of all the horns and bugles, — the better to encourage the men and demoralize the enemy.
The velites advanced in open order in front of the legionaries, hurled their darts and attacked in small companies, to tire the enemy and bring him into disorder. When the legion advanced, the velites retired through the intervals, part falling back behind the triarii, and the rest sustaining the hastati and principes, furnishing them with darts and spears, and carrying the wounded to the rear. For the latter service there was also a special corps of deportates.
The hastati now attacked the enemy, — or the principes, when these were in first line. At a distance of eight to ten paces from the enemy they hurled their spears, the javelins first and then the pike. The first ranks are described as bending slightly, to allow those in the rear to fire over their heads, though there was space enough between the men for this purpose. They then fell to with the sword. This attack might last a few minutes, or it might last for hours. If the first line was beaten back, it retired rapidly through the intervals of the second, or rather the second line advanced into or through its intervals, to sustain it or take its place. A tired line could be thus reinforced or entirely rested. The second line, or the first and second together, now attacked in like manner. If driven back, the triarii advanced to the attack.
These veterans had been waiting their turn. They are portrayed as having one knee on the ground, and holding their shields aloft to ward off the enemy's long-range missiles, though at their distance in the rear this would seem to be unnecessary. They now stood ready to make the third and final attack, either alone or in connection with the defeated lines, which may have formed in their intervals or in their rear, while the extraordinarii still remained for a last effort The cavalry, during this time, had made its charges upon the enemy's horse, and, if successful, followed it up or turned upon the flanks and rear of the enemy's line. The use of ambush on the enemy's flank or flanks was common.
If the enemy was defeated, the cavalry followed him up with the velites, and the extraordinarii were in support. The legion followed after in three lines as before. In case of retreat, the cavalry, velites, extraordinarii and triarii covered the movement.
Of course all this was only the prescribed rule. As in all battles there was the usual wavering of the lines, the success of one group and the failure of its neighbors, the uncertainly and risk, the gallantry of some cohorts and the demoralization of others, the difficulty of managing a line perhaps two miles in length, and all the attendant features of armed conflict The rule was what should be done; circumstances dictated what was done.
Such was the technical battle-method. But the Romans more than any other people, even the Greeks, excepting always Alexander and his lieutenants, paid heed to the ground on which they fought or the position of the enemy, and altered their dispositions accordingly. Their battles have a general similarity of character, but all vary much in detail.
One decided weakness of the legion was the very thing which lent it mobility, — its intervals. In its conflict with the Gauls and Spaniards, whose preponderance of force was great and whose individual bravery was marked, it was several times compromised by the enemy making his way in groups between the intervals and taking the maniples in flank and rear. This danger the Romans learned to overcome by moving the second line up into the intervals of the first, or by reducing the distance between the lines so as to cover these intervals effectually. We shall see quite another form of cohort used by Marius and by Caesar in his Gallic wars. But
at this era, whatever the exceptional changes, the formation prescribed by the " Tactics " was with the intervals mentioned. To refer again to the groundwork of the Roman plan of military organization, — the training of youth. In this they varied wholly from the Greeks. They did not teach the young citizen the theory of war, but gave him a practical drilling in what he would have to do when at seventeen years of age he would be drafted into the ranks. They had no schools or teachers of science; they considered such learning unnecessary— certainly less excellent than the habit of obedience, coupled with strength and the expert use of arms. Thus they laid the foundation of exemplary discipline and a practical knowledge of what war was among the rank and file. The higher military education was left to the richer and more noble families to give by private instruction to their sons. But these sons, in common with all the rest, must report at given times on the field of Mars for drill. No exceptions were made. Here, under experienced drill - masters and headed by old soldiers, they were practiced in the soldier's setting-up, marching in correct time and style, the run, climbing heights and walls, singly and in squads, with and without arms and baggage, jumping ditches and obstacles, vaulting and swimming. They were taught the use of all the weapons they would be called on to handle, for which purpose heavy posts were set up at which the youths shot with bows, oast darts and spears, and on which they made sham attacks with the sword; and they were instructed how to use their shields so as to protect the body in every position. In these exercises all weapons were much heavier, Polybius says twice the weight of the actual ones, to inure the youth to his work. In addition to the above, heavy loads were carried, intrench* ments dug, camps fortified and such works attacked and defended.
Once in service, the soldier Had yet harder work to do. He was steadily drilled in the field, in camp and in garrison. But for proficiency here, handsome rewards were given. Constant occupation was believed to be the best means of keeping up the soldier's morale, — a truism which is not always acted on to-day. Hence practice-marches with full equipment and baggage, manoeuvres, fortification so far as it was essential for the camp, were common; and the men were not infrequently put on public works. The vast amphitheatres, aqueducts and roads of Rome were largely the creation of the Roman soldier.
Such preparation of youth and soldier enabled Rome speedily to raise large armies of men fully ready for their task, fit for immediate duty and able to undergo great fatigues and perform exceptional work in every weather and under all conditions. Moreover, the Romans seemed unusually free from sickness and camp epidemics,—the very reverse of the Carthaginians.
All this must be Rome in mind when we come to the question of what troops Hannibal had to encounter. Historians are wont to refer to Hannibal's men as veterans and to the 'Pomftnn as raw recruits. At the outset such were the conditions, but they did not long obtain. The Roman raw levies needed but one or two short campaigns and a slight degree of success to be superior as soldiers to all but a few of the best Punic troops.
The tactical manoeuvres of the Romans did not vary much from those of the Greeks, from whom they were unquestionably derived. But in its drill the legion was much more elastic and quick in motion than the average phalanx, though it might be hard to draw a comparison between it and the phalanx of Philip and Alexander. It was wont to move forward and to the rear, and by either flank; to open and close order, ploy and deploy, double ranks and wheel; in short, perform all the operations known to modern minor-tao-tics. The ancient minor-tactics were very cleverly devised, and executed with the skill which comes of constant practice. The infantry common-time step was one hundred and twenty to the minute, the quick one hundred and forty-five, the double-quick and run according to circumstances.
The cavalry-drill was in this period much simpler than the infantry. Not till after the Second Punic War did this arm attain much suppleness in manoeuvres. Scipio Africanus was the first to introduce good cavalry tactics, which he did in Spain. Polybius gives us interesting details of these. The individual was well drilled, alone and in squads, and the turma was practiced in wheeling to right, left and rear; in forming column to the right or left or forward from the centre; in forming line with intervals or without; in ploying into column of more or less files, and in marching to the front or by the rear rank, with many other exercises. All these evolutions were practiced at every speed.
LITUUS, BUCCINA, TUBA
The usual musical instruments employed by the Romans were four; the lituus, which was a horn made of leather- covered wood curved at the end, was chiefly used by the cavalry; the tuba, made of copper, two and a half feet long, straight, was the infantry bugle; the buccina, a shell-shaped trumpet, and the cornu, also a curved trumpet, lighter in shape, were in general use.
COHORT STANDARD, CORNU, MANIPLE STANDARD
The difference in tone of these several horns, and the variety of notes and calls which could be blown on them, made them very useful. They were employed in oamp, on the march, in battle, to indicate various evolutions, call the men to certain duties or meals, or change guards, apparently much more than bugle-calls are used to-day. The leader had a special call, classicum, which he alone might use. Drills were performed by the sound of the trumpet. Commands for all the manoeuvres necessary in battle could be and were so given. The signal blown by the general-trumpeter was repeated throughout the command. There were no firearms or artillery to drown the trumpet-blast. The musicians belonged to the centuries, maniples, and cohorts, some generally to the legion, and each leader of a detachment had his special buglers.
VEXILLUM (FROM ARCH OF KONSTANTINE), LEGIONARY EAGLE
Flags, like ours, were used only to call troops together. The standard was originally a simple affair, such as a bundle of hay tied on a lance; later it was a carved rt human fist on a lance,—hence manipulus, a handful or squad. The "colors" of the legion were an eagle of silver or gold mounted on a staff, with the number of the organization affixed to it on a bit of stuff. The eagle of the legion was carried by the first centurion of the first maniple of the triarii. This man, called primipilus, was held in especial honor, and often commanded the legion under the tribunes. The eagle was more sacred than even the colors are to us. The principes and hastati were called antesignani. The cavalry colors (vexillum) were scarlet.
RANK in the legion was: commander, who was consul or prater; legate, or general of division; tribune, in turn battalion or brigade ornnmander; eentu-rioo or captain; anb-eentarion or lieutenant; signif er, ensign; deeurion, oorpo-raL The staff oomprised quaestors, who were paymasters, quartermasters, commissaries and ordnance offioeis; contobemales or aides-de-camp; offieers who were topographical engineers and scouts; augurs and priest*. The clothing was tunic, at times short trowsers, cloaks, sandals, the cost of all of which was deducted from the soldier's pay, as were also lost arms and horses. The cavalryman was held to a higher grade of character and rigor than the footman. Ungronnd wheat and beef issues made up the ration, which the men cooked themselves. They eat morning and evening. The Roman soldier carried, in addition to the burden of the modern footman, two or more stakes for the wall of the daily camp. His load was fully half as much again as that of the modern soldier. Armed, equipped and loaded as he was, ha had but to lay down his baggage and put on his helmet and he was ready for battle. The baggage-train oonsisted of pack-hones and occasionally carts, and the doctors, servants and artificers accompanied it. Women were excluded from camp. Discipline was rigid. Rewards were generous, pumahments immediate and crueL The man's honor was strongly appealed to. He could gain much by good service; he was sure to suffer by neglect or crime. The Romans were careless though rapid marchers, until Hannibal taught them logistics; and their battle-method not only grew in art under the same great master, but he first showed them what strategy could do. The successful general was saluted as Impera-tor and allowed a triumph. Booty was divided by a strict rule. The main structure of the legion did not change for centuries; its details were frequently altered. At no one period can its every detail be given with certainty.
RANK in the legion, from the lesser up, was as follows: — Decurions, set over the ten men of each file, — non-commissioned officers, —were the front men in the files, and made up the front rank of the maniple. Each maniple also had a standard-bearer (signifer), a chosen man who carried the maniple-flag (signum), and was distinguished by a helmet covered with a lion's or bear's head, and a trumpeter.
SIGNIFER, CENTURION, EAGLE-BEARER
Sub-centurions, commanders of half a century,— subalterns, — appointed by the war-tribunes at the suggestion of the centurions, and acting as file-closers in rear of the maniples, to see that the rear ranks did their duty.
Centurions, originally set over the century of one hundred men, — captains, — appointed by the general, upon choice of the war-tribunes. Each maniple had two, a senior and a junior, whose places were on the right and left of the decurions in the front rank. The centurion who was the eagle-bearer had singular privileges. He was a knight, and could attend councils of war. The above-named officers were selected for courage, experience and good sense, and all wore badges of rank on helmet and armor, and bore stout sticks of vine with which to inflict summary chastisement for minor offenses. In the cavalry, each turma was commanded by a decurio, having as lieutenant a sub-decurio. There was at times a third decurio as well as three file-closers. The senior decurio commanded the whole body of horse in a legion.
War-tribunes. Of these there were at first four to a legion— one senior and one of the juniors to each line; later six, or two to each line; still later ten, one for each cohort. They were nominated by the burgesses, and were in some respects like our staff-officers. The seniors sat in councils of war. The war-tribunes commanded the legion in turn, unless there was a legate in command.
Legates. These were at first civil envoys of the senate, who should advise with the leader and his council, and replace the leader in case of his death or disablement; later they were chosen by the general from among the war-tribunes. They were like our general-officers, and were placed in command of detachments or legions.
Thus the ranks, from the highest down, ran: consul, praetor or quaestor who was army-leader or general; legates, generals of division; tribunes, who in turn acted as brigadiers or as colonels, or when there was one for each cohort, as battalion-chiefs or majors; centurions or captains, sub-centurions or lieutenants; signif ers, ensigns or color-sergeants ; decurions or corporals. The rank was not as extended as in the Macedonian phalanx. The system of rotation in command obliged the higher officers to serve in subordinate capacity the most part of the time. This appears to have worked well among the Romans, though usually a bad plan.
Curiously, the army-leader, according to Plutarch, must legally serve on foot, or at least must ask permission of the senate to serve mounted. He was thus held to give an example of subordination to the legions. If two consuls were present with the army, each as formerly commanded in turn for twenty-four hours. On occasions of grave necessity there was the dictator, and his magister equitum, or cavalry commander. In three hundred and sixty-four years (497 to 133 B. c.) there were eighty-two dictators, showing their frequent election. Prefects commanded the allied legions and cohorts. The other officers of the allied legions were the same. In later days, when the Romans had many armies in the field, the command of these was given, in each province, to pro-consuls, pro-praetors and pro-quaestors, men who had occupied and retired from the dignity of consul, pnetor and quaestor. These were held to a strict accountability; but the Roman senate wisely abstained from public investigation and punishment of mere misfortune in command, lest the gravity of the situation should alarm the legions, or the punishment should weaken the standing of their representative. In this they were more discreet than the Greeks or Carthaginians.
ARMY-LEADER IN MANTLE, LICTOR
The army-leader wore as a distinguishing mark a purple mantle, rode a horse very richly caparisoned, and was accompanied by lictors, who varied in number, according to a fixed rule, from two to twelve. These were a sort of noncommissioned staff, or provost-marshals, and had especially punishments under their control. They had as badge an axe tied in a bundle of rods, and came almost invariably from the lower classes, especially freedmen.
The general staff consisted of qtuestors, of equal rank with legates, who transacted the business of our paymasters, quartermasters, commissaries, and ordnance officers, and who, their number being limited, were not always with an army, and were then replaced by a legate; of contubernales, tent-mates, who were our volunteer aides-de-camp; of officers whose peculiar duty was to make and break camp, (mensores and censores); of those corresponding to our topographical engineers (ante-mensores and ante-censores); of ezploratores and sulcatores, that is, scouts; of assistants to the quaestors, or quartermaster and commissary sergeants; and finally of the augurs and priests, who always accompanied an army, and who foretold success or failure from the flight of birds, the feeding of hens, the entrails of sacrificial victims and other common occurrences. Nothing was under* taken without their advice and the customary divinations; but the able leader frequently managed to make their opinions and divinations coincide with his own ideas.
In early days, as above stated, the Roman soldiers had served without pay; from 405 B. 0. — or perhaps earlier— the pay of the soldier was three and one third asses a day for the foot, ten asses for the cavalry, when the man furnished his own horse, six and two thirds asses for sub-officers of infantry and other cavalrymen. This was raised during the Second Punic War, on account of a much greater reduction in value of the as, to five and a half, sixteen and a half and eleven respectively, and oo remained till Caesar's day. This scale only shows relative compensation, for the actual purchasing value of the as at various times is quite indefinite. From this pay was deducted a given amount for arms, rations, horses, forage and other issues.
The clothing was the woolen tunic, close fitting next the body to the waist, with long plaited skirt to the knee, and with a broad leather belt, to which, on the right side, hung the sword; a field cloak, first square, later round, reaching to the knee, brownish-red for the men, white for officers, held by lacing or buttons at the shoulder or in front; and for wet or cold weather hooded capes of wool, of several weights, according to the season. For foot gear, sandals. During the Empire the Boman soldier wore a species of short trowsers (bracc») to just below the knee. In earlier times his legs were bare. Braces are shown in the monuments decorated with Boman military subjects, as these are mostly of the imperial era. The soldier cut his hair short and shaved.
While the value of his clothing and rations were deducted from the man's pay, this was no hardship, for one or two days' pay was equivalent to a month's rations. The capture of much booty often resulted in these deductions being merely nominal. Lost arms or equipments the soldier was held to replace. The cavalryman was similarly dressed, but had a long white purple-edged cloak for occasions of ceremony.
The arms have already been described. These were made by armorers especially employed, and later in arsenals duly equipped. To provide these was part of the quaestor's duty, and the manufacture appears to have been excellently organized. They remained the same for centuries.
The government furnished the cavalry horses. The citizens serving in the cavalry were held to a high grade of physical and moral ability. A yearly inspection in midsummer was made, and rigid requirements were enforced. Any testimony showing lack of courage, or indolent or weakly habits, inexorably excluded a knight from this service. The horses were individually inspected, and if an animal appeared to have been badly cared for he was rejected, and the knight lost his chance for honorable employment. After lapse of his ten years (or ten campaigns) the horse was returned by the knight to the government through the quaestors. The animal seems to have been hardy and serviceable.
Unground wheat was issued as ration, once in eight to thirty days, at the rate of four Roman measures, not far from one to one and a half bushels a month for the foot-soldier. This was between one and a half and two pounds of wheat a day, — what we should call a very scanty ration, if this was the whole of it But beef cattle were also used, and no doubt generously issued, and the foragers or countrymen brought into camp fresh fruits and vegetables whenever the season warranted. The cavalryman received thrice as much, for self and two servants, beside forage for three horses. The allies received somewhat less. This corn the men carried, ground in hand-mills, and made into the usual cakes or porridge. They eat morning and evening only, — the common custom, — a slight breakfast taken standing, and a heartier supper, at which the men reclined; the latter was eaten in the first watch, six to nine P. M. Before an intended battle a more liberal breakfast was usual.
The purchase of rations in bulk was the affair of the quaestors. In the enemy's country rations were collected by forced contributions. Victual was stored in suitable magazines.
The burden carried by the Roman soldier is scarcely credible, though from youth up he was trained to bearing heavy loads at drilL The foot-soldier carried all through the campaign, on the right shoulder, two or more posts or palisades for the stockade of the nightly camp. These were quite long and two or three inches thick. Slung to the end of these was his bag of corn, calculated to last him at least two weeks. His shield, lance and as many as seven darts he carried on his left arm. The helmet, if not worn, hung by its strap upon the breast. At times he must also carry axe, saw, spade, scythe, a rope, a basket and a pot to cook his rations in. His cloak was rolled up and slung on his back. About extra clothing or sandals we do not hear. All this, with the armor, made up a weight which had to be Rome under the sun, dust and sand of Italy or Africa, through the heavy mud of spring and fall, through the everlasting snows of the mountains.
LEGIONARY ON THE MARCH
The weight carried in modern days by the soldiers of various countries, including clothing worn, runs from fifty-six to sixty-four pounds. It is made up roughly of the following items: Clothing, say 18 pounds; rifle and cartridges, 20 pounds; knapsack, packed, 13 pounds; haversack, packed, 5 pounds; intrenching tools, 4 pounds; belts, etc., 2 pounds; canteen, filled, 2 pounds. Total, 64 pounds. Including his clothing, the Bo-man soldier, with the load above given, must have carried something over eighty-five pounds, much more than half his own average weight.
The Romans justly named the train-baggage impedimenta, and their constant effort was to increase the weight the soldier could bear and decrease what followed the army on wagons and beasts of burden.
In case of sudden attack, the footman thus accoutred had but to lay down his posts and baggage and put on his helmet, and he was ready for the fray. The palisades and baggage were often temporarily stuck up as breastworks against cavalry.
ARMY CART (FROM TRAJAN COLUMN), PACK HORSE (FROM TRAJAN COLUMN)
Sumpter-animals, horses, mules or asses, generally carried the tents and camp and garrison - equi- , page, intrenching tools and necessary utensils. One pack animal per century is said to have been the ordinary allowance, though this seems very small Everything was calculated to give the Romans a capacity to march quick and far, which was all but unequaled by any nation of antiquity. But it took all the strength derived from constant work, as well as discipline rigidly enforced, to do it.
Among the non-combatants were doctors, the servants and slaves of the knights and officers, and about two hundred artificers per legion. Women were absolutely forbidden to be seen in camp. This was a vast improvement on the habit of Alexander's army.
Obedience was more strictly enforced and persisted in among the Romans than among any nation of any age. The wisdom and skill of the found-en of the Roman republic is in nothing more pointedly shown than the placing upon the shoulders of a raw, obstinate and fiery population the yoke of such military discipline. The groundwork of it rested on a judicious compounding of rewards and punishments. A review of the victories and defeats of the Romans will show that so long as subordination was maintained at its proper standard, so long was success assured. While some Greek nations at times approached Rome in their army discipline, no nation ever possessed it combined with so much common sense and intelligence, or kept it through so many centuries.
His name and the number of each man's century — later cohort—was painted on his shield, all shields of the same century or cohort being of the same color, so that he was easily identified. No soldier might be used for private purposes, but all fatigue-duties were performed by the troops. One mile beyond the limits of the city, the Roman general had absolute power of life and death over every man and officer in his army, — himself alone the judge, though indeed it was usual for him to call a Council of War in important cases. Punishments were immediate and severe. Stripes were cruel; the Roman soldier was beaten with rods, the allied with sticks. Death was inflicted by beheading, hanging and flogging; the fustuarinm was a species of running the gauntlet of his fellow soldiers, who stoned or beat the criminal, whom, if he escaped with his life, no one, not even his family, thereafter dared harbor. By the law of the Twelve Tables (449 B, a), he was condemned to death who instigated war on Rome, betrayed a citizen to the enemy, fought in battle without keeping his proper order, left his century or post, failed in his duty, deserted his post or his colors, threw away his weapons or mutinied. A body of men who fled in battle was decimated, that is, each tenth, eighth or even fifth man was executed; the troops were not allowed to camp thereafter with the others, and in lien of wheat received barley as rations. Misappropriation of booty was visited with banishment, sometimes death; deserters were beaten and sold into slavery; going over to the enemy— which any soldier was held to do who wandered beyond sound of trumpet— was punished with crucifixion in a Roman citizen, decapitation in an ally. Open disobedience was death. Sleeping on post or infraction of any rules of field or garrison* duty, stealing, false witness and minor neglects met with stripes, or even f ustuarium. False claiming of an act of prowess in war was deemed stealing. Petty infractions were fined. From dishonorable dismissal, exposure in the stocks, the wearing of torn clothes as a badge of misconduct, equally with the severer penalties, no rank or influence could save any officer or soldier. Nor were these mere written statutes. They were carried out, and in such a manner that no nation of antiquity ever rivaled the Roman army in its perfect subordination and devotion to duty. It must, however, be observed that, in the early periods, the Roman citizen was of so simple a habit, so warm in his love of country, so earnest in his daily labors, so honorable and upright, that military crimes were rare and punishments infrequently ordered. The law was preventive rather than punitive. It did not always remain so.
Rewards were equally pronounced, and designed to heighten military aspirations. They consisted of promotion in rank or to a higher arm, increase of pay, presents of money, fine armor, silver and gold wreaths, necklaces, bracelets, deeds of land, freedom from taxes, pensions and shortening of service-years. Whole bodies were often thus rewarded, as well as had their standards peculiarly decorated. For freeing a body surrounded by the enemy or saving the life of a citizen, a wreath of grass or oak leaves, often ornamented with gold, was awarded; for first mounting a breach, a wreath of beech-leaves wrought in gold; for first entering the enemy's camp, a golden crown in the form of palisades; for any extraordinary deed of valor, a golden crown inscribed with its recital. Whoso wounded an enemy in single combat received a spear or lance; whoso thus killed one a necklace, arms of honor, or, if a knight, costly horse-equipments; and there were many others, often selected by the commander. All such distino-tions were publicly conferred, and gave the recipients peculiar honor at all times. Aged and crippled soldiers were supported by the state or given land or positions in Roman colonies.
Until taught by bitter experience in their defeats by Hannibal, the Romans practioed logistics little. They moved from camp to camp without any particular order or precaution, and were quite open to surprises. Outpost-duty was not well done, but the Romans at all periods were rapid and untiring marchers. After Trasimene, Fabius Cunctator saw the necessity of precaution, and the Roman marches were thereafter more carefully conducted, with a proper van and rear-guard, and flankers.
In consequence of the salutary lessons given the Romans by Hannibal, battle-tactics became more scientific. But though lacking science, the Romans, as no one else did, knew the value of and practioed the offensive in battle. The notice to get ready for battle was the hanging of the general's purple mantle in front of his tent. The troops prepared their armor and weapons, ate and then moved into line in front of the camp. The baggage was left in camp under a special guard; the soldier went out with only his arms. The course of a battle has already been described. It remained the same until, at a later day, the cohort formation was changed. The camp enabled the Roman army to accept or refuse battle at wilL
The successful general was sometimes saluted by his troops as Imperator, and was allowed by the senate a triumph, greater or lesser (triumphus or ovatio). The former was a crowned entry into Rome and a march up to the Capitol, clad in purple and riding in a chariot, preceded by captives and spoil and followed by his army; the latter was a simpler entry on horseback, accompanied only by the plaudits of the people.
Booty, on the capture of a city, was collected and taken in charge by regular details and deposited in one place. Here it was sold by the quaestors and divided by strict rule, a set part being kept for the obsequies of the slain and other purposes, a third part going to the state and a third part to the leader. All received their share, those on detail and the sick as well as the combatants. When the custom grew of rewarding soldiers in land, all booty was placed at the disposal of the leader or in the state treasury. Part of it was employed for public games, monuments and other general uses.
ROMAN MOUNTED OFFICER (FROM STATUE IN NAPLEA)
It goes without saying that all the above mentioned rules were altered by circumstances. The Romanj were quick to apprehend the desirability of change and to make it, while holding fast to the excellent structure of their military body. The above is but a synopsis of what is treated of at great length by the old authors. Like all manuals, the Roman " Tactics " was largely made up of exceptions. There is a vast deal of disagreement as to details in all the ancient writers, each one being apt to speak about a period with which he was most familiar. Yegetius, Onosander, Polybius and Livy are utterly at variance on many points. A life's work could not reconcile all their differences; nor is it worth while. One can come very close to the truth, and this is all that is called for. One finds at times in modern books the formation of the legion set down with dogmatic accuracy. We must remember that the legion was a slow growth, and that in the course of five or six centuries a great many changes were sure to be made. Its minute details cannot be given with absolute reliability for any one period, except perhaps Caesar's. But the germ of the legion remained unaltered until the time of Marius; the variation in minutiae in no wise affected its general features.
GAMPS and towns had always been fortified by the Romans. Of the camp-intrenehments we have full particulars. The daily camp, during war, was invariably fortified. It was square, always of the same shape and details, and every man knew just what his part of the work was. It had a ditch, and a wall surmounted by the palisades earned by the legionaries. Its interior arrangements were convenient. There was a regular guard, outside and inside; and everything went by clock-work. The cities of Italy were fortified much like the Greek. Siege operations were about the same, but did not rise to as much perfection as under Alexander. The fighting force on which Rome could call, in ease of emergency, at the beginning of the Seeond Punic War, was over three quarters of a million men. One fifth of the whole population could bear arms in some way. The Romans were active in studying out the problems of any war they proposed to undertake. They stood defeat and adversity bravely, and learned from each its appropriate lesson. Their army was usually only the consular one of four legions, but in the Gallic wars it rose to twenty-two legions. The Romans differed from the Greeks in their practical good sense. Less learned in war, they did better what they knew, and the army was constantly in superior condition. They always took the initiative, and came to battle as soon as possible. When the Greeks and Romans clashed, all the Greek science could not save them from the Roman hard knocks.
THE Romans were wont from comparatively early days to fortify both their towns and camps; and probably long before the time of the Punic wars a system had grown up which we must presume to have reached a high grade of perfection. Pyrrhus was much surprised at the art displayed in the Ro^ man camp - intrenchments, Polybius and Hyginus — the latter himself a specialist, a topographical engineer in fact — have given us a good deal of detail on this subject, in which the Romans were easily ahead of all ancient nations. Polybius gives the most satisfactory description of the Roman camp; but Hyginus enters into detail from which we can give the profile of the breastworks and similar facts. Just how far advanced the art was in the period of the Second Punic War we must estimate. It is probable that the camp was then about as carefully fortified as at any time prior to Marius' day.
EXCAVATION OF ROAM CAMP ON RIVER AISNE
At the end of a day's march, in time of war, the Romans invariably fortified their camp. They calculated to finish their distance in season to prepare the camp with all due care. The position chosen was preferably quite open ground, near forage, wood and water, and if possible on ft, slope, the front of the camp facing downhill; such a location that the enemy would have no place to plant an ambush near by. If ground of this kind was not available, they camped wherever they must, but in their dispositions paid close heed to the surrounding conditions. A tribune with some centurions, or the ante-mensores and mensores, went ahead of the army under suitable guard to choose the camp, locating with a flag and in a prominent place the praetorium or headquarters, and staking out the corners with flags of different colors. As the camp of a given body was always of the same size, shape and kind, every man knew exactly what he had to do so soon as he reached the ground, and all had from youth up been trained to do it.
The palisades carried by the infantry were at once put to use. A ditch was dug and a wall of earth was quickly thrown up and strengthened by these palisades, pointed sometimes upward, sometimes outward, and held together by the flexible branches, which the men had been careful not to cut off.
PALISADES IN PLACE
These were much better than the shorter, thicker palisades of the Greeks, and held so much more firmly in the earth that the enemy could not readily pull them out in assaulting the camp. In the presence of the enemy a portion of the troops was moved out to the front, as a protection to the camping - party. In case no enemy was near, the several bodies of the army at once repaired, each to its well-known place, and set to work. First, the outer intrenchment was completed; then the interior of the camp was put in order.
The camp was square, — for a consular army of four legions (two Roman and two allied) something over two thousand one hundred feet on each side, covering an area of not far from one hundred acres. This was increased or diminished according to the strength of the legions or army. If the two consuls camped together, two similar camps were made, sometimes back to back with each other. The camp was divided by a street one hundred feet wide (via principa-lis) into a large part (praetentura) in front, which the .men occupied, and a smaller one (retentura) in rear, where were headquarters (praetorium), the reserve, baggage, and sometimes a small place of arms. Headquarters, with all its belongings, was on a space two hundred feet square, if convenient in the highest part of the camp. In front of this were the tents of the tribunes and prefects, in a space fifty feet wide, all opposite their respective troops. To its left were the quaestors, one hundred feet distant, with the quaestorium, where rations were issued, the men paid and other similar business transacted ; to its right the legates, non-combatants and camp-followers, and the forum or market. On the flanks of forum or quaestorium were the ablecti, voluntares and veterani. In their rear was another street, one hundred feet wide, the via retentura, behind which was the reserve-horse, the reserve (extraordinarii) and the hospitals. When horse and foot camped with each other, the foot faced the wall for the purposes of quicker defense. The Roman legions camped in the centre, the allied on the flanks, in regular streets by cohorts, just so many feet to each. A street fifty feet wide (via prsetoriana) ran from the praetorium down to the front of the camp, and the several bodies were separated by regular camp-streets.
Each tent was allowed a space ten feet square, but for how many men it sufficed is not stated. To each maniple and each turma was allotted one hundred feet square, counting space for baggage and picketing horses. The triarii maniples occupied but half as large a space.
On either side of the via protoriana, the Roman horse camped, and back to back with these the triarii. Facing the triarii across a fifty-foot street came the principes, backed by the hastati. Then across another fifty-foot street the allies. The whole space of the protentura was cut in halves by a street parallel to the via principalis and called the via quin-tana, because it had blocks of five maniples on each side. The tents of the centurions came in the front line. A space two hundred feet wide was left between the rows of tents and wall for kitchens, sinks and other conveniences, and for assembly for defense. In this space the velites camped, somewhat more crowded. Polybius likens the whole camp to a walled city with its streets and houses.
Each camp had four gates, the pretoriana in front, through which the troops issued for battle or the inarch; the decu-mana in rear, for use mainly as a business exit, for fatigue parties, etc.; the principalis dextra and the principalis sinis-tra on either side, also as debouches for the troops. Additional smaller gates were usual, which were protected each by its own little ditch and wall, and with heavy gates of logs.
PROFILE OF CAMP INTRENCHMENTS
Camps were for one or several nights (castra) or for a long period (castra stativa). For the former a ditch three feet deep and five wide was usually dug and a corresponding sodded wall made with palisades on the crest; for the latter a ditch twelve feet wide and nine deep, and the wall, which was ten feet high and ten wide, was strengthened by logs, hurdles and fascines. These measurements varied at times. The above profile is that of the camp on the Aisne. At the corners and on the faces of the wall, towers were sometimes erected to get a cross-fire on the ditch. Bowmen, slingers and engines were placed in these towers. At this period few except daily camps occur. To each century and maniple a particular part of the wall and ditch belonged, and it was their duty to build and keep it in repair. This part was usually that lying nearest them. Thus the front and rear belonged to the Roman legions, the sides to the allied. On the oldest centurion of each maniple lay the duty of inspecting the wall belonging to it.
The camp finished, an oath was taken to deliver all booty found or captured to the tribune of the day, two maniples per legion were selected to pitch tents for headquarters and officers, and details were made for fatigue-duty, to get wood and water, and to forage and water the animals, much as in modern times; the rest pitched the tents of the men, and a general guard-detail was ordered. The velites furnished the guard for the outside and the wall, the legionaries for the interior posts. The day and night, from six to six, were divided into four watches of three hours each, the first watch six to nine o'clock; the second, nine to twelve o'clock; the third, twelve to three; the fourth, three to six. A full watch-guard was composed of a decurion and eight men. Sentinels stood three hours, that is, through a watch.
Each morning the legates, tribunes and prefects of the allies came to headquarters for orders and the password. These were written on small wooden tablets and passed from maniple to maniple for the centurions to see, and then back to the tribunes. Each noon occurred a sort of guard-mounting parade at which the decurions received their orders. There were regular rounds in each watch, made to all posts on the walls by a cavalry-detail in regular rotation by turmse, and a tribune of the day received their reports.
Camp was broken by three signals. At the first, tents were struck; at the second, they and all baggage were loaded on the pack-animals; at the third, the men fell in ready for the march.
The early Romans were deficient in their ideas of fortification, excepting that of the daily camp; they made their most marked advance in the art of permanent fortification during the period covering the Punic wan, or later. Much was
borrowed from the Greek Italians, as indeed nearly all the
Romans knew of the arfcjaLjgir had been; but a practical
flavor was given jd^mfffle flfytojtas borrowed and it was
The walls of the Italian cities were usually of stone and tip to fifty feet high, with towers standing above and out from them at the corners or salients and along the faces at bow-shot intervals (say five or six hundred feet), so as to give a chance for crossfire. The walls were broad, had roads upon them and a related parapet. The ditch was a wet one when possible. ... All this was similar to the fortifications of other nations, Greek and Eastern. But the art of fortification did not rise to its fullest development with the Romans for two hundred years from this period. Nor did the walls of cities ever grow to the stupendous proportions of those of Nineveh and Babylon.
Siege-operations were the same as those in use by other nations, as they have been fully described in the volume on Alexander. They were not apt to rise to a high degree of art, except under distinguished generals, until later. But some of the sieges in the Punic wars, Lilybseum, Syracuse, Carthage, and later Numantia, are among the most celebrated in the annals of Rome. Field-works especially were well constructed. At Numantia, Scipio built walls of circum- and contravallation over eight miles long, ten feet high and eight thick, with heavy palisades, a battlemented parapet, and bastions at suitable intervals, mounted with missile-throwers (tormenta). In some low, swampy ground on the line, earthworks were thrown up, and the river Durius (Douro) was held by floating forts flanked by forts on the shore.
Ballistas and catapults were only used in regular sieges. The latter they had as long back as the siege of Veii; they now began to employ ballistas. The Romans at this time had no field artillery like that designed and used by Alexander, nor was the use of artillery in the line of battle, as employed by Alexander's successors, known to the Romans of this day. Sams underwent the same process of evolution as with the Greeks, being moved first solely by hand, then swung in a framework, then mounted on tracks, and finally covered in by buildings or mounted in towers. Terraces, machines for breaking down walls, mining operations and movable towers were generally in use. A large part of the art of the Macedonians had been lost, and did not reappear until Caesar's day in a perfect form in general use. In capturing cities during the Second Punic War, the Romans rather relied upon a blockade by walls of ciroum- and contravalla-tion very cleverly designed, than upon the energetic methods used with such astonishing success by Alexander in breaking down or surrounding the walls of cities.
The numerical force which Rome with its allies and colonies was capable of raising is thus given by Polybius. The time is between the First and Second Punic Wars. The figures are sustained by Diodorus and Pliny: —
In active service under the consuls (Romans and allies) ..... 54,000 men, horse and foot
Sabines and Tyrrhenians ..... 54,000
Tribes of the Apennines ..... 40,000
Reserves in and near Rome (Romans and allies) ..... 53,500 201,500 men
In addition to this, according to the lists handed in by the allies (Latins, Saxnnitea, Messapians, Lncanians, Maniam, Frentinians and Vestinians), there could be furnished in case of need ..... 294,000 men
Two legions in Sicily ..... 8,800 men
General drafts in Rome and Campania could raise in case of need ..... 273,000 men
Giving an enormons total of ..... 777,300 men of whom about 70,000 were mounted. This was the fighting body which Hannibal had to encounter.
This force came from a population stated at about three and a quarter million free, and about an equal number of slaves. Thus every fourth individual in the entire free population was able to render military service in some capacity. This means that every male capable of labor was capable of bearing arms.
Rome was essentially a fighting nation, and, as the above table shows, was at this time abundantly able to fight. Her organization, political and military, was well calculated to this end. She had as a nation the same hunger for territory, the same jealousy of rival power in any of her neighbors, which as an individual Alexander may be said to have had. Her annual consuls saw conquest to be the safest road to fame and standing for themselves, and were apt to be in search of war. Some and all her officials were constantly on the outlook for opportunities for conquest; she always stuck her fingers into every pie, and never ceased to breed quarrels in order herself to benefit by eventual interference. She took sides with the weaker in order to weaken the stronger, and eventually to subdue both. Everything was justifiable which led to its end. Her political proceedings with foreign tribes were far from having the same uprightness which was shown in the national home character. In other words, a Roman was held to be honest only towards a Roman. Her cry of "Punic Faith" against Hannibal has its laughable aspect, as we shall see.
Rome could be patient under adversity, and bide her time; but once at war, she carried on war with all her might; once victorious, her opponent was ground into the dust. It has been observed that the statecraft of heathen Rome, from the founding of the city till the fourth century A. D., and of Christian Rome, from the sixth century A. D. till the present day, has always been the same, — a Jesuitical statecraft, and a wonderfully able one.
The Romans were untiring in seeking information with regard to the peoples which it desired or might desire to attack. Their cities, armies, generals, the character and sentiment of their population, and all other conditions, were carefully studied. Meanwhile, every appearance of friendliness was maintained, and magazines of provisions, arsenals, and depots were established in suitable places.
So soon as preparations were completed, the Roman senate found no difficulty in picking a quarrel, and declared war through the festiales, or priests. These demanded, in the name of the senate and people of Rome, reparation for injuries claimed to have been done, and often imaginary enough. If the harsh terms thus imposed were declined, they threw a bloody lance upon the enemy's territory, — the ancient challenge to arms. Later this ceremony was gone through in the agger hostilis, near Rome, and the Roman army took the field. Then the doors of the temple of Janus were opened, and not closed until the war was ended.
As a rule, the Romans, relying on the discipline and courage of the troops, put only the consular army of four legions in the field; but at times several such armies were afoot. Against the Gauls (226 to 220 B. c.) there were five armies and two extra legions, — twenty-two legions in all, — not counting auxiliary troops. As the Roman conquests grew in extent and spread beyond seas, so the army grew. In such cases the Roman troops were left in the conquered provinces as reserve, and the provincial troops sent to the front.
The art of war with the Romans was much what it was among the Greeks; but so far in the history of Rome the wars had not generally been waged on a very extensive scale. The conduct of war had been simple rather than scientific, but the simplicity had been supplemented by the wonderful capacity and character of the troops. The stanchness of the army rather than the ability of the generals had made Koman wars successful; and the rule in war was the same as in battle,— always to seize the initiative, at once to assume the offensive, and bring on a battle with the enemy as soon as possible. It was the old Donnybrook Fair rule: " Wherever you see a head, hit it," And the small baggage-trains, the capacity for marching fast and far, and the habit always to fortify the camp, even for a single night, and, if possible, always to fight near it, as at the gates of a fortress, gave the Roman army a distinct advantage over nations which did not practice this method. It was an advantage which even the Greeks did not possess. The Roman camp was in fact a movable fortress, always accompanying their marches, to which they could retire in case of disaster, and await help from their base, which was never very far. In a certain measure, in the light of the lack of military art by other nations, this camp enabled the Romans to dispense with a regular base and line of operations. They lived on the country they traversed, having no wars where breadstuffs were not grown and flocks and herds in plenty. They chose their own time for fighting.
Battle was the one thing needful. Tactics, therefore, was to the Romans of much more importance than strategy. The latter branch of the art of war first began to dawn upon the Roman mind after two years of victory by Hannibal. Prior to that time it had been exemplified only in the campaigns of the abler generals, and in a small degree; and the average Roman, the necessity being over, soon forgot to practice it. But battle-tactics, in their understanding of it, and as adapted to the conditions of the period, the Romans brought to a high state of perfection.
For centuries the Romans kept up an even, steady progress in practical war. What they lacked they were ready to learn from any source, and what they learned they put to good uses. The success of Rome lay in its homogeneity, its single purpose, its cohesion as a people and its persistency, and in the remarkable skill with which it moulded its military organization into the shape best suited to its purpose. All that Rome lacked — a knowledge of what the greater operations of war are, of what the genius of war teaches, the divine half of the art, as Napoleon calls it— she was now about to gain in the lessons of adversity she received at the hands of the greatest soldier the world had yet produced, excepting Alexander, and this was an experience which made her able thereafter to cope with any kind of foe, and to accomplish what Alexander had aimed at, the permanent conquest of the world.
The Greeks were more expert in the theory of war, which, indeed, they had created, or at least put into a form which was capable of perpetuation. The lessons of the great captains antedating the Greeks, however useful, have been swallowed up by the ages. The Greeks studied war in a learned way. They were in this sense head and shoulders above any other nation. The Romans did not do this, but they practiced war with heed to its minutest details, satisfied with waging simple war perfectly, rather than scientific war in an indifferent way, and the excellence of their discipline and its constancy gave them the upper hand. The Greeks, with all their cleverness, by refusing to learn from others, to alter their organization to suit changing times and conditions, and to conform to new ideas, remained at a standstill.
The Romans, vastly less cultured and able, had a marked advantage in their practical good sense, their common purpose, and their spirit of order and discipline. The Greeks had developed an art which they could not use. Without material, the art was of no avail, and their armies sooner or later degenerated. The Romans had no such art, but they had an army, sound and able to the last man, and that army remained so. When the clash came, not all the scientific ability of the Greeks could enable their rotten system to stand the blow of the less intellectual but sturdier opponent. While it cannot be denied that, up to this era, the Greeks and Macedonians had carried the art of war in its intellectual phases far beyond the Romans, and that Philip had created an army in all its details the equal if not the superior of the Roman army, it remains true that among the Greeks there was lacking that persistence which bore the Romans through so many centuries of war without decrease of purpose or slackening of discipline. For a period of six hundred years, from the foundation of Rome to the civil wars (754 to 133 B. a), the Roman discipline, the fighting ability of its army, were steadily on the increase; and for half this period the army was at the apex of effectiveness.
LEGIONARY SOLDIER (FROM COLUMN OF TRAJAN)
Josephus says: "When we consider to what degree the Romans studied the art of war, we must acknowledge that the height of power to which they attained was not a gift of luck, but a reward of wisdom. They did not wait for war to make the use of weapons a business; they did not, sleeping in the lap of peace, then first begin to move their hands when necessity drove them to it; they never interrupted their warlike exercises, as if they were born with weapons in their hands, and as if weapons were a part of their bodily structure; and these warlike exercises are but a well-considered study of battle forms. Each day every warrior shows proof of his strength and courage, and therefore real battles bring him nothing new or difficult; habituated to close their ranks in fight, the Roman soldiers know no demoralization nor dis order; never is their sight or understanding clouded by surprise or fear; never is their strength subject to weariness. They are sure of victory, for they know well that they have to do with enemies who are not their equals, and they cannot, as we must allow, deceive themselves; for their exercises are battles without bloodshed, and their battles bloody exercises."
THE early wars of Rome had the character of raids. The two interesting facte in them are that Rome always took the offensive; and that she always gained in strength by her wars, rather than lost. Even her defeats and disgraces were profitable in their lessons. After the siege of Veil war became somewhat more methodical, and the Samnite wars showed np Rome in the quality of conqueror. No less than ninety thousand men were on foot at one time, and her self-reliance grew apace with the extension of her sway. The most interesting operations of Rome, prior to the First Punic War, were in the war against Pyrrhus. This Eptrot king, one of the most notable military adventurers of history, came to southern Italy at Che invitation of Tarentum. He had been trained under Antigonus, and represented the art of war as waged by Alexander. He was a skillful soldier, but not always wise in his policy. He failed in his mission because his own allies were uncertain and because he met on its own soil a nation able and courageous to the last degree. Pyrrhus' army was set up in phalangial order, and at Heraclea he first met the Roman legion. The elephants and Pyrrhus* tactical ability really won this battle, not the phalanx. The same was the result of the second battle, at Asculum. The legion and phalanx were not evenly matched. In the third battle, at Beneventum, the elephants caused Pyrrhus' defeat by turning on their own line. Though these three battles were the first in which legion encountered phalanx, they cannot be said to prove the superiority of either. Pyrrhus won nothing by his victories; the Romans gained strength and knowledge by their defeats. Not till later was the contest between the two formations decided. In fact, the legion and the phalanx never met under equal conditions and commanders. During the war with Pyrrhus, Rome and Carthage had joined in a treaty, offensive and defensive, but this soon gave way to arms. The extension of Roman policy could not allow Carthage to hold Sicily.
THERE is little which is interesting or which repays study in the early wars of Rome. But as the rise of the art of war in Greece has been fully sketched in a previous volume, it may be profitable to devote a few pages to the status from which Rome rose to the full comprehension of what war should be. The final polish to her education was given her by Hannibal, and later by Ctesar. Let us see what she had learned before she came under Hannibal's tutelage.
The character of the early wars of Rome was that of plundering raids, made both in quest of booty and for extension of territory. One fact, which lifts itself into such prominence out of these conflicts that one is fain to repeat it, is that the Romans were always the attacking party. Even in repelling invasion they assumed the initiative. Upon this feature of the Roman method we cannot too strongly insist. The wars of the Greek states among themselves were apt to partake of a defensive character, against which the decided offensive character of the Romans in their Italian wars stands out in marked relief. The Romans always sought battle as the outcome of their campaigns. But there is nothing noteworthy in the conduct of these early wars, except the persistency and consistency of the Romans in the pursuit of their object.
The fact that the Romans almost uniformly came out of their many wars as victors not only did not weaken them, but gave them the strength of discipline and experience. They gained by the one and in no wise relaxed the other. In this they stand again in marked contrast to the Greeks, whose wars among themselves were exhausting to the last degree. The early Roman wan, in being those of a people ignorant of war as a science, resemble the early Greek wars, but differ from them in that the Romans showed by far the greater vigor and cohesiveness.
The Roman programme was usually the same. A neighbor was selected for attack, and a quarrel foisted on him on any pretense, good or bad; troops were raised, the f estiales declared war, and one, or perhaps two, armies of from six to twenty thousand men, under a king, or later a consul, marched into the enemy's territory, and sought battle or besieged the capital. In the earliest days plunder was the main object of the campaigns; in later years plundering became only a means of coercion; accession of territory or increase in the list of subject allies was the purpose of the war.
The first noteworthy operation of the Bomans was the siege of Veii, which occupied nearly ten years (404 to 395 B.C), and like Troy, the city was finally captured by a ruse, namely, the digging of an underground passage from the Bo-man lines to the citadel, in which stood the temple of Juno. Through this tunnel a select party made its way, fell on the Veiians in the rear, and opened the gates, while the inhabitants were kept busy with a simultaneous attack at many points. Furius Camillus was the hero of this siege. The Bomans here first employed lines of circum- and oontravaUa-tion, which the Greeks had already used at the siege of Pla-taea, a generation before.
With the larger scope of operations succeeding the siege of Veii, the foray character of the Roman wars began to disappear; but for fifty years after the capture of Veii, the struggle between patricians and plebeians, coupled with the Gallic invasions and the Italian wars, narrowed the opera* tions of Rome to something resembling defensive warfare. Then began her career of conquest.
The two invasions of the Gauls in 389 and 866 B. c. have no peculiar interest, except to show that even Roman discipline and good sense, unless the army was led by a man equal to the occasion, were powerless to meet the unexpected or overwhelming.
The Samnite wars (843 to 290 B. a), which were the first real wars of conquest by the Bomans, took place during the era of Philip of Macedon, and of Alexander and his successors. Eome was just beginning to build up an empire in Italy when Macedon had conquered the whole world. Neither Rome nor Carthage was at that time of any consequence in the Grecian economy. Livy doubts whether contemporary Romans had even heard of Alexander, and while Alexander had learned of Carthage through Tyre, if he had heard of
Rome, it was only through the dim mist of the stories of Greek tradesmen who sailed the western Mediterranean. Yet Rome and Carthage were preparing to fight for the supremacy of the world, while the vast possessions of Alexander were crumbling into dust.
THEATRE OF SAMNITE WARS
The Samnite wars, more than any other, laid the foundation of the greatness of Rome, solidified the army organization, taught the men to fight in mountains as well as on the level, and to contend with the various difficulties, uncertainties and surprises incident to meeting a succession of new opponents. The forces put on foot by Rome during this period reached as high as ninety thousand men at one time, which, in view of its limited population and resources, is a wonderful exhibit.
SAMNITE FOOTMAN (FROM A VASE), ETRUSCAN WARRIOR (FROM A BRONZE STATUETTE )
The so-called Samnite wars were really wars of Rome with Samnium, the unconquered parts of Latium, Campania, Etruria, and Umbria,— with all her central Italy neighbors, in fact, — but all had the same characteristics and object. The countries surrounding Rome were rich, populous, able, and in many respects superior to Rome, whose rugged patriotism and courage were almost her only strength. The Etruscans and Latins were, indeed, in no wise wanting in the courage, skill and ability in war which distinguished the Romans, and if they and the others had joined hands, Rome must have gone down. But happily for her, and largely by good management on her part, Rome was able to fight these enemies singly until towards the close of the war.
By admirably skillful policy and singleness of purpose, Rome did not lose heart or strength during the war. She bravely stood her defeats and disgraces, of which she had not a few, learned from each its proper lesson, and rose out of them stronger and more able, with her power to make war greater, her self-reliance ever on the increase. Weighing the difficulties, the trials, the failures and the losses of Rome, the Samnite wars showed what stuff there was in her.
CAMPANIAN HORSEMAN (FROM A BRONZE STATUETTE), SAMNITE SIGNIFER (FROM A VASE)
The most interesting war, in a military sense, in which Rome was engaged previous to the Second Punic War was the war against Pyrrhus (281 to 272 B. a). This was the first occasion on which legion and phalanx came into conflict; it was the link which bound together the art of war as practiced by the brilliant Greeks and the less scientific, but within its scope more perfect, art which had been developed from the same origin by the sturdy Romans.
Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, was a military adventurer, but an interesting and an able one,— a species of Charles XII. His splendid personal gallantry, no less than his bold career, command our admiration and our sympathy. He had been trained to war under Antigonus, who himself had learned his trade under Alexander. Pyrrhus had lost his throne through Macedonian machinations, but, brought to Alexandria as a hostage after the battle of Ipsus in 801 B. C, he won the friendship of Ptolemy, and regained his kingdom five years later. In 287 B. G. he was called to the throne of Macedon, but shortly resigned it, unwilling to encounter the intrigues of his subjects, who were restless under any monarch not a Macedonian. Fyrrhus was ambitious to a degree of the glory which comes of conquest; and there soon arose an opportunity which promised the possibility of carving out an empire in the West, as his great sampler, Alexander, had hewn his from the East.
THEATRE OF WAR AGAINST PYRRHUS
In the towns of southern or Grecian Italy the aristocrats universally leaned towards Rome, and sought her protection; the democrats opposed her. A multitude of towns were under her protection. Among these the allied town of Thurii, on the gulf of Tarentum, had been at war with and was hard pressed by the Lucanians and Bruttians. Rome sent a small fleet to her assistance in 282 B. G. This was literally an infraction of an old treaty with Tarentum; but more recent conventions and the general state of amity existing between the towns had practically nullified this treaty. The fleet passed the promontory of Laoinium and anchored in the harbor of Tarentum. It was here unjustifiably attacked by a Tarentine mob, four triremes were sunk and one captured, with its crew. The Thurian democrats now rose, drove out the aristocratic party and placed the city under Tarentine rule. A Roman embassy, sent to demand reparation from Tarentum, was treated with contumely. Rome immediately declared war, and dispatched a consular army against the city.
The Tarentines called to their aid Pyrrhus, who was in many respects the most noted soldier of the day, and well known in Tarentum from her Greek affiliations. It is not likely that the king of Epirus was well informed about Rome or its power, much as Rome had known nothing of Alexander. He had perhaps heard of its conquests, but these the Tarentines would naturally underrate in telling him about their enemy, and he no doubt looked on Rome as a semi-barbarous nation which had won successes because it had never yet met the phalanx of the Greeks. This self-confidence was a thoroughly Grecian trait, by which Pyrrhus came honestly enough in his training under Antigonus.
The Roman army sent against these new foes accomplished nothing in the first year, and contented itself with ravaging the Tarentine territory. It then withdrew to Lucania and took up winter-quarters. Next spring Pyrrhus appeared on the scene with a force variously stated at from ten thousand men and fifty elephants to twenty-five thousand men and twenty elephants. His infantry consisted of Epirots, Greeks and Macedonians. His van of three thousand men, under Milon, had preceded him. He at once took matters in hand, arrogated to himself vastly more power than the Tarentines had dreamed of giving him, and placed the whole population under arms, despite protests and marked dissatisfaction. The Tarentines had called in a servant; they found a master, and a harsh one. Pyrrhus soon had — whether brought with him or since recruited—an army of almost twenty thousand heavy infantry, two thousand archers, five hundred slingers and three thousand cavalry. To these were added a number of elephants. The coming contest was to be not only one between phalanx and legion, but one between the regular militia system of Rome and the method of hiring mercenaries to which Greece had now succumbed.
While his colleague, Tiberius Goruncanius, was engaged in Etruria, the consul Publius L&vinus had in the spring of 280 B. c. again invaded Luoania with the usual consular army of about twenty thousand men, and devastated it. Pyrrhus advanced to meet him. On the rolling plain between Heraclea and Pandosia, on the Siris, the Roman legion first measured its strength against the Grecian phalanx. Pyrrhus had a slightly superior force.
When the king came in sight of the Roman camp, and from across the Siris observed its orderliness and the soldierly bearing and strong, hearty appearance of the men, he could not conceal his surprise. He saw that he had not barbarians but a disciplined army to fight, one, indeed, whose organization was superior to his own. Nor was his surprise quickly lessened; for no sooner did the Romans perceive the approach of the enemy than they filed from their camp with their usual promptness and perfect order, pushed some light troops sustained by a column of horse through the river-ford, smartly attacked the van of Pyrrhus' army, which was holding the ford, and drove it in on the main body. Startled at this audacious advance and his sudden check, Pyrrhus galloped to the front with his three thousand cavalry, and though thrown from his horse, at which his army was for a moment somewhat abashed, soon reestablished the matter along his own front. The Roman van held the fords and enabled the legions to cross, when they deployed into line.
We have, unfortunately, few details of this battle. The thirteenth book of Livy, which contained them, has been lost. Bat we have the statements of Plutarch and Dionysius and Hieronymus, and the tenacity of the fighting is vouched for. If set up, as is probable, in strict phalangial order, the king's infantry covered a front much less than the consular foot. But its weight was as much greater. The phalanx had more than twice the number of infantry per metre of front that there was in the legion.
BATTLE OF HERACLEA
The two lines of heavy foot met; the ponderous phalanx struck its fearful blow, but failed to pierce the legion; it met such a foe as it had never yet encountered. In vain did the sarissas of the Epirots force back the Roman line; as often did the legionaries arrest its onset with their own fierce charge and greater front The fall, in the fray, of Megaclea, one of Pyrrhus' general officers, with whom the king is stated by Plutarch to have exchanged armor, — for what purpose is not clear,—for the second time threatened the destruction of the phalanx from sheer demoralization at the supposed death of its leader, while the Romans were correspondingly cheered, and Laevinus felt sure of victory; but Pyrrhus, with bared face, rode through the ranks, and to see him revived their courage. The phalanx recovered and once more moved to the attack. The lines clashed again and again. Seven times the Roman charge broke on the phaJangial masses, seven times the vaunted phalanx essayed vainly to crush the elastic structure of the legion. It was metal against rubber. The one could not break the other, nor could this tear its foe asunder.
Finally Pyrrhus, unable to make headway, brought to the front his elephants, until now held in reserve. The Roman horse was at the time seriously, and as Lsevinus imagined successfully, threatening Pyrrhus9 flank. Appalled at the aspect of these huge creatures, which none had yet beheld, and which now suddenly appeared in line from behind a roll in the ground, and severely handled, moreover, by the flights of arrows from the towers the elephants bore, the horse at once fell back in confusion and broke through the line of the legion in its panic. Pyrrhus launched his Thessalian cavalry upon the cohorts, which completed the defeat. The Roman forces fled across the river, but managed here to hold the fords against the king's pursuit. According to Dionysius fifteen thousand Roman legionaries lay dead or wounded upon the field; Hieronymus says seven thousand; two thousand were captured. Pyrrhus had suffered equally. Dionysius gives thirteen thousand as his casualties; Hieronymus only four thousand killed. But the smaller figure was a terrible loss,—nearly sixteen per cent, in killed alone. Pyrrhus visited the field thus won. He saw that all the dead Romans lay with faces to the foe. " One more such victory and I am lost!" quoth he, according to the Roman legend. He may indeed have thought so; but he was too good a soldier to speak it openly.
The elephants, debouching as from ambush, had decided the day, or, as some had it, Lsevinus was at fault The table of contents of Livy's lost books, still preserved, assigns the cause of the defeat to the elephants. It was a moot question yet between legion and phalanx. It is very doubtful whether the discipline of Pyrrhus' phalanx, made up as it was from many different sources, was in any sense equal to that of the legion. But Pyrrhus had won a clear and important victory. He proposed to the Roman prisoners to take service under him, as was the habit of the Greeks, but was met by a stern refusal. Not one wavered in his allegiance. Pyrrhus found that he was not fighting mercenaries.
Laevinus retired to Apulia, whither two new legions had been sent him. Pyrrhus moved by forced marches on Rome, an act which we admire and commend for its boldness, but which lacked the discretion and balance displayed by Hannibal after Cannae. The Lucanians, Bruttians, Samnites and some other tribes of southern and middle Italy made treaties with him, but the confederates broke not faith. Reaching Campania, Pyrrhus took Fregelbe and laid siege to Prseneste, thirty odd miles from Rome. His whole army had advanced as far as Anagnia.
Rome was never for a moment in danger of capture. Laevinus found his ranks again filled. Thousands flocked to enlist. He held Campania against the king and followed him up, while the other consul, Coruncanius, having quieted Etruria, quickly moved towards the scene. The king deemed it wise to withdraw, not wishing to be caught between two Roman armies. He had tasted the quality of Roman valor and found it unsafe to run too great a risk. His march on Rome had manifestly been an error. Negotiations ensued, the senate listened, but Rome held firm for war.
Pyrrhus' next encounter was near Asculum (Ascoli) in Apulia, on the river now called Torrente Carapella, with the armies of the consuls Decius and Sulpioius. The king was aiming to cross the mountains by way of Beneventum, when the consuls headed him off. Each side had some seventy thousand men, of which in the Roman army twenty thousand were Roman citizens and eight thousand cavalry; in the king's army sixteen thousand were Greeks and Epirots and eight thousand cavalry. The balance was made up of allies. The Epirot and Greek infantry was in the centre of Pyrrhus* line, in a solid phalanx; his allies he set up, in imitation of the Romans, in manipular order, so as to extend his front, which, at Heraclea, had been dangerously outflanked. It must be remembered that the phalangial formation took up per thousand men a front much less than half that of the legionary.
The Romans had apparently again established their camp on the farther side of the river, intending to cross it to attack the king, and to use it as a ditch to their camp. The river flows through a narrow alluvial valley, with hills of five to seven hundred feet on either bank, and rising on the south to the dignity of mountains. Asculum lay on a plateau some thirteen hundred feet above the sea. The ground along the river was swampy, treacherous and much cut up by woods. The Bomans crossed the stream and attacked the king on the rolling ground to the east.
The swampy condition of part of the ground delayed Pyrrhus in getting his elephants into line, while the wooded and cut-up nature of the country was unsuited to the operations of his cavalry. The first day's battle was ended only by night. Pyrrhus' forces slept on their arms; the Roman army, better provided, crossed to its camp. It had not been victorious.
BATTLE OF ASCULUM. SECOND DAY
Next day Pyrrhus early occupied the swampy land with some light troops, and managed to take possession of advanced ground where he could put his elephants into line, as well as confine the legion to a surface on which it could not so readily advance and retreat, in the swaying to and fro of the lines closing in battle. The Romans had prepared some chariots with long projecting spiked poles, to meet the onset of the elephants; but they proved unavailing on the rough ground. The conflict of the second day was long and bitter. The legionaries fought among the spears of the phalanx, reckless of their own persons, determined to break through the bristling array; but time and again they were thrown back by the heroic personal efforts of Pyrrhus. Finally Boman pertinacity carried the day; the king's allies could no longer resist the better discipline of the Boman cohorts, and, the wings weakened, the legionaries began slowly to force the wavering phalanx back. Pyrrhus, foreseeing the gravity of his situation, sent his elephants by a circuit to attack the Roman horse, which stood all ready to fall on the phalanx when it should dissolve its ranks. The mighty creatures charged down in line with thundering tread upon the knights, and as at Hera-clea, the frightened horse gave way. Even Alexander's Companions had been unable to face these monsters in a charge. Aided by this diversion, Pyrrhus rallied the phalanx and the allies, and with one advancfe all along the line forced back the startled legionaries. The Romans were driven beyond the river. Pyrrhus held the field.
Again the elephants had saved the phalanx, had worsted the Roman soldiers. The losses were enormous; fifteen thousand fell on both sides, says Dionysius; but Hieronymus gives the Roman loss at six thousand killed, while Pyrrhus' own accounts state his losses at three thousand five hundred and fifty killed. No doubt the Roman losses were the larger. The king himself was badly wounded. The Romans safely reached their camp, which Pyrrhus was in no condition to attack, and disabled by his wound he retired to Tarentum. The battle was a tactical victory for the Greeks, but the Romans were sizing up the phalanx.
Pyrrhus was losing ground. Nothing but constant successes could save him. The bulk of his Epirot infantry had perished; he could get more with difficulty; his allies saw that he was not holding his own and accordingly declined in their allegiance and aid. Still Pyrrhus must fight. No other coarse would serve his purpose or enable him to hold his ground. Next spring, 278 B. a, he again advanced to meet the consuls C. Fabricius and Q. iEmilius, who were on the boundary of the Tarentine territory. It was for the purposes of parley, however. The victor of Heraclea and Asculum desired peace. But the Romans knew not how to yield. Nothing but negotiations without result came of the movement, and having been invited to Sicily by the Syra-cusans, Pyrrhus set sail for that island. Here by his unsound policy he managed to accomplish no good end. It was not the soldier but the statesman who was at fault The Romans, meanwhile, took possession of all southern Italy ex. cept the territory controlled by Tarentum and Rhegium. Pyrrhus returned to Italy in 276 B. c. with twenty thousand infantry, three thousand horse and a few remaining elephants. His veterans had disappeared. The Romans, despite their defeats, had recovered ground. Their constancy and hopefulness under adversity deserved the success they won.
In 275 B. c. Pyrrhus set out to aid the Samnites, who were being harassed by one of the consular armies. The other consul was in Lucania. On the way, the king detached a small force to hold head against the latter, who would thus be prevented from joining his colleague except by the roundabout way of Campania. He then pushed on to Beneventum. The consul Manius decided to avoid battle and sought to retire towards Campania, to enable his colleague to come up. But Pyrrhus pushed him home and forced him to battle on open ground near the city. The details of this, as of other battles of the Epirot king, are difficult to decipher from the old records. It can only be done by a study of the locality, which will sometimes elucidate passages otherwise impossible to understand.
PYRRHUS' MARCH ON BENEVENTUM
Pyrrhus endeavored by a circuit to make a night attack on his opponent, taking with him his best troops and elephants; but during the march he was obliged to make
through a thickly wooded country, the torches of the guides gave out, and the column lost its way. In consequence of this bad hap, it was broad day when he reached the vicinity of the Roman camp. The consul Manias came out to meet him, and, attacking his van as it debouched from the hills, threw it into confusion and cut out a number of prisoners and elephants. But Pyrrhus withdrew, made his way into the plain, deployed into line and confronted Manias. The contest was obstinate. Manias appears to have had the better of the phalanx; but the elephants again came into play and by a well-timed advance forced the legion back to the trenches of the camp. Here, however, Manius ordered out the entire reserve left within the walls, which, charging fresh and unexpectedly upon the elephants, drove them back.
These, as so often happened in olden warfare, turned from their foes upon their friends, completing a destruction already begun. Pyrrhus was defeated with an enormous loss in killed, thirteen hundred prisoners and eight elephants captured. He fled to Tarentum, whence he soon sailed for Epirus, leaving Milon in command. This lieutenant managed to hold on till Pyrrhus died in 272 B. c, when he surrendered with promise of free exit.
BATTLE OF BENEVENTUM
Such were the first contests of legion against phalanx. The difficulty of gauging the comparative discipline and soldierly qualities of the two contestants make it impossible to award the wreath to either one or the other. The Romans were clearly both of better stuff and under better discipline; and they were fighting on their own soil against invasion. The relative value of Roman and Greek formation was not yet settled. The duel was fought out later. But even then the terms were never even. The best phalanx never met the best legion under equal commanders. While the legion was in many respects the better body, it was Roman grit and not its order of battle which eventually prevailed.
Pyrrhus cannot be counted among the great soldiers of history. He was brilliant, lacked not ability, had dash and many of the intellectual qualities which go to make up the great captain. But he was deficient in solidity. His intellectual grasp was not comprehensive. In his policy with the cities of Italy and Sicily he failed; in some of his military schemes he was bold rather than long-headed. His splendid career arrests our attention and commands our sympathy; but his claim to our study rests on his having commanded the phalanx in its initial struggle with the legion.
Rome now easily conquered all southern Italy and punished those towns which, after once accepting her protection, had joined their forces with Pyrrhus. Her hold on all Italy, won in the Samnite wars and this, enabled her to turn her attention to Sicily, where Carthage held main sway. During the troubles with Pyrrhus, Rome and Carthage had had a treaty for the common interest of expelling outside interference. This treaty now gave way to arms.
The conquered towns of Italy were classified in threefold manner: —
1. Municipal cities (municipia), which had Roman citizenship with all its burdens but no suffrage or claim to office in Rome. Some were allowed to keep their own city government ; some were not.
2. Colonies (coloni®), which were only captured cities turned into Roman fortresses, whose land was often divided among needy Roman citizens, who then became the ruling class. Both municipal cities and colonies were governed by a Roman profect.
3. Allies (socii, civitates federate), whose relations to Rome were regulated by treaty. They generally kept their own government, and in lieu of service in the Roman legion furnished auxiliary legions or ships.
LEGIONARY SOLDIERS (FROM COLUMN OF TRAJAN)
THE o«ue of the First Punio War was the jealousy of Rome at the holding of Carthage in Sicily. Rome had no navy. She saw that to soooeed ahe must eommand the sea; and so intelligent and energetic were her efforts that not only did she create a fleet equal in size to the Carthaginian, but in the fifth and the eighth yean of the war she defeated Carthage on her own element, by elerer devices and good naval tactics. Despite tremendous losses—seven hundred ships in five yean—Rome kept np her navy from this time on, though it ground her seaeoast allies into the dost The construction and management of her marine was on a Greek model. After the naval victory of Eonomus, the consul Regulus landed in Africa and essayed to impose heavy terms on Carthage. This city resisted, and procuring the services of Xanthippus, a Spartan, with some Greek mercenaries, defeated Regulus in the battle of Tunes, mainly by the latter's unwise alteration of the manipular form of his legions. So far legion against phalanx had not done well. Towards the dose of the First Punio War, Hamiicar Baroa, father of TTfttinn^l, came to the front, but, though his ability was marked, too late to redeem the Carthaginian cause. The naval battle of iEgusa finished the war. Carthage was heavily mulcted in money and territory, and evacuated Sicily, parts of which she had held for centuries. Succeeding this came a rebellion of the unpaid Carthaginian mercenaries, in which Carthage waa sore pressed. Hamiifiar, by very able measures, tactics and ma-ncBuvring, put down the rebellion. His work well shows whence Hannibal drew his own inspiration.
SHORTLY after the war with Pyrrhus came the First Punio War, which lasted from 264 to 241 B. C. The real origin of the wars against Carthage lay in the jealousy of Rome for the power at sea of the Carthaginians, and her fear lest the possession of Sicily by Carthage should become a threat to her own dominion in Italy. With increasing territory her ideas were broadening, and during this war, whose course it is not within the pnrpose of this volume to trace, the Romans steadily grew in warlike capacity, in the organization and discipline of their armies, and in all the minutiae of war. No great soldier appeared on the side of the Romans in the First Punic War; on the Carthaginian side only Hamilcar Barca, the father of Hannibal, and he at a stage in the struggle when it was too late to rehabilitate a cause already lost By their courage, steadfastness and patriotism, the Romans proved that no task was too great for them to accomplish.
For fifty years Rome had been making sundry efforts to create a fleet. She had needed none so long as she was only in conflict with the nations of Italy. But when the events of the first Punic War showed her the necessity of conquering Sicily if she would not continue to suffer a thorn in her flesh by the Carthaginian occupation of a large part of the island, a fleet became essential. Nothing exhibits the extraordinary energy of the Romans better than the fact that in the fifth year of the war (260 B. c.) the consul Duilius won a naval victory over the experienced Carthaginians, and in the eighth year (257 B. C.) the consul Regulus won a seo-ond, with a fleet of three hundred and fifty triremes carrying one hundred and forty thousand rowers and soldiers. This was a gigantic piece of work splendidly carried through. From this time on, Rome always had a fleet, though at times, after great naval losses, it sank to a low ebb, with the discouragement of the Roman people and the poverty of the public treasury.
No sooner had the Romans determined to make themselves strong at sea than they set heartily to work. The burden was put on the seacoast allies and colonies, the Etruscans and the Greek settlers of southern Italy, and these peoples were thereafter fairly ground into the dust by the constant demands made upon them. Polybius states that a captured Carthaginian trireme served them as first model; but this is doubtful, for the coasts of Italy were full of good seamen, and the Greek knowledge of naval war had been brought to the Italian peninsula long before, though naval architecture had not been developed by any serious demand. No doubt ideas were borrowed, but there were ships and shipwrights in abundance. All the senate had to do was to order ships to be built, and the allies and colonies produced them.
CORVUS (FROM FOLARD'S SKETCH)
The creation of a fleet so rapidly was wonderful enough, but that Roman generals, unused to the sea, should so soon have become clever admirals is marvelous. It was largely due to the fact that the ancient naval warfare was less of a distinct art than it is to-day; and that the Roman practical good sense came quickly into play. C. Duilius won his victory by means of a new device, of his own invention some allege, though probably ancient, — a huge crow, or hook (corvus), and a bridge, mounted on the prow of the warships, and fixed so as to be dropped either to front or either side, which, grappling on the Carthaginian ships, enabled the Roman soldiers to board and carry them. This device, used at the battle of Myl», west of Messana, in 260 B. C, was a complete surprise to the Carthaginians, who expected only to manoeuvre their ships in the usual manner until they could run down the Roman galleys. The uniform tactics of the ancient men-of-war was to fight bows on, so as to run their spur into the enemy's sides, or break off the oars. As we hear little more of this corvus, likely enough the Carthaginians soon found a way to avoid its danger.
VICTORY OF ECONOMUS
When in 256 B. 0. it was determined by the Romans to carry the war to Africa, they were again enabled by good management to break through the Carthaginian fleet of three hundred and thirty triremes, opposing them off Mt. Ecnomus in Sicily. This latter was extended in a huge concave line, intended to envelop the Roman fleet. But the consuls, M. Atilius Begulus and L. Manlius Vulso, formed their own fleet—with the almost incredible complement of ships and men above given on the authority of Poly-bius — in a wedge or triangle, lashed the triremes which formed the apex together in a body, and by forestalling the Carthaginians in their intention to manoeuvre and come to individual combat of the galleys, broke through and landed on the African coast.
In 255 B. c. the Roman fleet was destroyed in a storm on the coast of Sicily, but the senate at once ordered the seaooast allies to build a new one, increasing the number of allies on whom was laid the duty of building, manning and equipping the new fleet, and in consideration of their so doing relieved them from all land-duty. The tremendous efforts of the senate are well shown by the fact that in five years (257 to 253 B. a) no less than seven hundred triremes were lost, and yet Rome kept a navy afloat. The seacoast cities were ruined and could, they alleged, furnish no more ships. But the senate would not give up its determination to control sea as well as land, and in 250 B. c. another fleet was raised for the siege of Lilybteum. Then immediately followed the loss by the consul Appius Claudius Pulcher of one hundred and seventeen ships and twenty thousand men. The colonies being quite unable to build more vessels, the aristocrats did so at their own cost, and with these, near Lilybaeum, at the iEgusa Islands, the consul Lutatius Catulus defeated the Carthaginians and put an end to the First Punic War in 241 B. C.
A fleet now became part and parcel of the military equipment of Rome. We shall see her planting her foot on Sardinia and other islands, and reaching out to Spain, Hlyria, Macedonia, Greece, and the East. This growth of the naval power of Rome was even more astonishing than that of her army. Still it is the land-forces of Rome which lend peculiar interest to her military history.
In building, equipping and manning her fleets, Rome, as above said, followed the then accepted model of the Greeks, which had reached Italy by way of the Greek colonies. But upon this they imprinted their own practical good sense. The number of rowers was twice or more that of marines in a trireme. The command of the fleet was, as a rule, given to the leader of the military forces.
As with the Greeks, the Romans made but short passages of the sea. Usually they kept along the coast, landing every night, pulling the ships up on the beach and building an in* trenched camp around them. Provisions followed on transports, or "round" ships. In battle the Bomans preferred boarding and hand-to-hand work. But despite success at sea, whenever it was possible they held it better to do their work on land.
One or two of the battles in the First Punic War are noteworthy as illustrating the conflict between the Grecian and Roman systems. Carthage had practically the phalangial idea, though the numerous bodies of frequently changed mercenary troops of divers nationalities made it impracticable for her to introduce perfect tactics.
After varying fortunes by land and sea, when the Roman fleet had won its great victory of Eonomus in 256 B. c, had poshed aside the Carthaginian fleet and landed on African soil, the consul Regulus, having won an initial success, was unwise enough, in the common Eoman fashion, to try to impose terms too harsh upon the Carthaginians, and was met by crisp refusal. Regulus was unable to enforce his terms on the instant. The Carthaginians sent to Greece for mercenaries, and the Spartan general Xanthippus entered their service. At this time the art of war was better preserved in Sparta than elsewhere in Greece. Xanthippus was an able leader. He saw that the situation to which Carthage had been brought was more due to blundering policy than lack of material strength. His knowledge and skill infused confidence into government and people alike, and he was given the supreme command of the army. Regulus, meanwhile, had subdued the surrounding country, — which, as all the cities had been deprived of their walls by Carthage, in her system of preserving her own preeminence, was no great task, — and was steadily approaching the capital. Xanthippus, having organized and drilled the Carthaginian foot in LacedsBmonian fashion, and raised their esprit de corps to a high pitch, marched out of Carthage with twelve thousand foot, four thousand horse, and one hundred elephants, purposing to seek the Romans on the plains, where cavalry and elephants could have free play.
Regulus was somewhat surprised at this new phase of Carthaginian affairs, but, nothing loath, he took up the challenge and advanced to meet Xanthippus. The armies came together near Tunes, in 255 B. C. The Carthaginians were in high spirits, of which fact Xanthippus took advantage, and drew up in line with perfect confidence. His heavy Carthaginian foot, eight to nine thousand strong, was in a sixteen-deep phalanx in the centre, in one mora divided into four lochoi, Lacedaemonian fashion, and under officers selected by himself. The rest of his foot, three to four thousand mercenaries, was partly heavy, partly light. The heavy mercenaries Xanthippus placed on the right of the phalanx. In front of this line of foot, well advanced, he put the elephants in one line, close together, so as to cover exactly the front of the foot The cavalry, on which he mainly depended, he stationed on the flanks of the line of elephants, and in their rear he placed the light mercenaries. The duty of the cavalry, sustained by the light mercenaries, was to brush aside the Roman velites, defeat the Roman cavalry, and then fall on the flanks of the Roman legion.
BATTLE OF TUNES
Regulus had the usual oonsular army of two Roman and two allied legions, some sixteen thousand foot His velites he ranged in one line in front of the legions, and his horse, of which he had but little, as he had come from beyond sea, in their usual place on the flanks. The legions he drew up in the common three lines, — hastati, principes, triarii,—but, instead of forming the maniples checkerwise, he doubled his maniples, ploying each two into a column, as it were. This doubled the intervals, making his formation a line of columns placed much too far apart Such a formation might, perhaps, be useful against a charge of elephants, by giving them wide lanes through which they could be driven to the rear, but was highly dangerous against Xanthippus9 larger force of cavalry, which could readily make its way into the open spaces. Begulus apparently intended to gain both frontage and depth; but he was losing other and greater advantages, and his men were unaccustomed to this new formation. His dispositions were as mistaken as Xanthippus* were well considered.
Contrary to Roman habit and good judgment, Begulus allowed Xanthippus to attack. This the Spartan did with a will, first projecting his own horse against the Roman. From the line of elephants, pushed forward at the same time, the Roman velites quickly retired, falling back through the intervals of the legion, which meanwhile advanced to counter the impending blow. The elephants on the Carthaginian right, in their forward movement, had edged in towards the centre, and left a gap between their right and the Carthaginian cavalry. Through this the three legionary columns of the Bo-man left pushed their way, and threw back the heavy mercenaries in confusion ; but the other columns, striking the line of elephants, made no headway, and by much wavering lost the crispness of their alignment. The Carthaginian horse, having by its superior numbers quickly dispersed the Roman cavalry, now fell upon the legions in flank. The centre legionary columns fought their way through the elephants and stoutly attacked the phalanx, where all fell with faces to the front; but the Carthaginian cavalry prevented the others from following in their lead. They were placed on the defensive : they formed a sort of square to protect themselves, but were surrounded and cut to pieces. Begulus and five hundred men were captured. Only the three legionary columns of the left escaped, some two thousand strong.
So much came of Regulus alteration of the usual legionary formation. Tactical changes immediately before battle are dangerous, unless advisedly made, and such that they exactly fit the conditions, and are thoroughly understood by the men. Here the phalanx had beaten the legion; but still not on even terms.
The employment of elephants was with the Carthaginians a new thing, which they had learned in the war with Pyr-rhus; but they had made good use of the new device, and, in this battle and later in Sicily, the Romans found the huge creatures hard to neutralize. The cavalry, as in Alexander's battle at the Hydaspes, could not be got to face them, and even the legionaries were nervous in their presence. But in 251 B. c. the proconsul Ciecilius Metellus won a decisive victory over Hasdrubal at Panormus, despite the great number of elephants in the Carthaginian line, and captured one hundred and twenty of these animals. After this the Romans ceased to dread this arm.
The rest of the war was a mixture of victory and defeat, but the Bomans, on the whole, gained ground and finally confined the Carthaginians to the western end of Sicily.
It was not till 247 B. C. that Hamilcar, surnamed Barca (or lightning), was placed in command of the Carthaginian army. His ability and enterprise gave a decided promise of success, and for six years he held his own against the Roman armies in the mountains of the west coast of Sicily, as well as inflicted heavy losses on them by privateers. Any other man would have been driven from his position time and again.
Rome had repeatedly lost her fleet But she raised another and another, and, each time regaining the control at sea, finally won a decisive victory over the Carthaginian fleet under Hanno at iEgusa. Peace was forced on Carthage. Even Hamilcar advised peace, having other projects in mind for revenge at a future time. The Carthaginians gave up Sicily and paid three thousand two hundred talents (four million dollars) indemnity in ten years. Hamilcar, " the un-oonquered general of a vanquished nation, descended from the mountains which he had defended so long and delivered to the new masters of the island the fortresses which the Phoenicians had held in their uninterrupted possession for at least four hundred years." The plan of Carthage to monopolize the trade of the western Mediterranean was wrecked.
During the First Punic War the Romans were as much distinguished for their persistent following up of their one object as the Carthaginians were for a poor use of their natural advantages. It redounded greatly to the glory of Rome that she had defeated Carthage on her own element, and one unknown to herself, — the sea.
It is well worth while to cite two or three instances, taken at random, of the originality of Hamilcar Barca, to whom Hannibal owed not only his army but a large part of his ability, by birth as well as by education.
Lilybeum had, in 245 B. C, been closely blockaded by the Romans, and was all but reduced by famine. Hamilcar had undertaken to revictual the place. With his entire fleet he made a feint of trying to force an entrance into the harbor, meanwhile hiding in an adjoining bay thirty big transports laden to the water's edge with food. The Romans fell with their usual determination and singleness of purpose on the Carthaginian fleet, which, designedly retiring, induced the Romans to follow it out into the open. While thus engaged at a distance from the town, the thirty transports quietly made their way into the port This simple stratagem of war was one of the acts of " Punic Faith" over which the Romans made so much ado, because it was a clever device of which they had never thought. It was no more than a common feint, novel at that time, and well executed in its details.
THEATRE OF MERCENARY INSURRECTION
The First Punic War was followed in 288 B. c. by a fearful insurrection among the unpaid African mercenaries of Carthage, and the city itself was besieged by a leader named Matho, at the head of a large force of the old soldiers.
Hamilcar had gone into retirement, but lie was sought out and entreated to resume the conduct of affairs. Matho was zealously guarding the outlets of the mountain chain which closes in the isthmus of Carthage; had occupied in force all the fords of the Bagradas River on its west, and especially held the only bridge, three miles above Utica, by a bridgehead. Carthage was cut off from the mainland and in a desperate strait. Hatnilcar alone saw a remedy. He had personally observed that a west-northwest wind always blew the water from the bar at the mouth of the Bagradas to such an extent as to make the bar fairly practicable for both foot and horse,— a fact lost on every one else. Acting on this knowledge he assembled the only forces Carthage could raise, organized them as carefully as time would allow, and one night, when the bar was available, he marched out of Carthage and across the bar, wading deep in water. Before dawn his little army of ten thousand men and seventy elephants had taken the enemy at the fords and the bridgehead, and the besiegers of Utica, in reverse; and the moral effect of his ingenious scheme — which recalls Alexander at the Pamphylian Ladders— relieved the blockade of Carthage. A march here had accomplished more than a battle. This was a novelty in the then art of war, and one which, excepting Hannibal, no one put into practice till Cssar dawned upon the world; and from his day no general until Gustavus.
But the rebels nevertheless stood and fought, and Hamil-car had an opportunity to show them that he was a tactician as well as a marcher. To his paltry ten thousand men — raw, at that — the rebels opposed twenty-five thousand seasoned troops, without depleting their defenses. Hamilcar moved towards his enemy on a line parallel to their front, in three columns. He was about to " form front to a flank," but under the conditions was better justified in so doing than Frederick later at the battle of Kolin. At all events he succeeded,— as indeed the Last of the Kings came close to doing too.
BATTLE NEAR UTICA
The left column, nearest the rebels, was composed of the seventy elephants; the centre column of the cavalry and light infantry; the third, which was the column of direction, of the heavy foot. Hamilcar had drilled his men in the manoeuvre he intended them to make. At the proper place, when he reached a position opposite the enemy, the two left columns filed to the right " by sections to the rear," and moved rapidly towards and through the heavy foot, which opened intervals to allow them to pass. As Hamilcar expected, the rebels assumed that this was a movement in retreat, and at once made ready to follow it up, which they did in careless order. The heavy foot, meanwhile, closed its intervals, and the two columns which had filed through to the rear, by a change of direction, right and left, marched to either flank and came to a front on the wings of the main line, when the whole body moved forward in perfect order. The rebels were seized with confusion at the unexpected resistance of a perfect line of battle when they had looked for a panic, and were defeated with great slaughter.
Still, a large body escaped to Tunes, and these bad to be obliterated. Hamilcar closely followed the rebels, and by cleverly manoeuvring for Rome weeks, without coming to a battle, he so wrought up the Libyan hot blood to the pitch of frenzied desire to fight that the rebels followed him about from day to day, wherever he chose to turn. Acting on this fact, Hamilcar managed to lure them to a defile on the cape which incloses the bay of Tunes on the east, which defile he had previously reconnoitred with care. So soon as the enemy, to the number of forty thousand men, had entered the defile, Hamilcar closed its rear exit with a body of men hidden for the purpose, which quickly threw up works at a chosen narrow spot, — while he, with the main body, turned on the rebels at the other exit, which was rugged enough to hold without much effort. This too he fortified, and here, in an immense trap, he had his enemy at his mercy. Here too he ended the war, — with a terrible massacre, to be sure, but one not then unusual, and perhaps well earned by the rebels. This manoeuvre leads one to think that his great son in later years, at Trasimene, had his father in mind when he laid his stratagem to trap the Roman consul.
THEATRE OF GALLIC AND ILLYRIAN WARS
The interval between the First and Second Punic Wars (241 to 218 B. c.) was fully occupied by the Romans in contests with the Gauls, Ligurians and Hlyrians. The war with the latter originated in the piratical expeditions of this people, which kept the Adriatic in a constant ferment They were thoroughly subdued, and during this war — noteworthy for this, if for nothing else — Rome first got acquainted with Greece. It was not long before her avaricious grasp was extended thither. The war with the Gauls included both the cis- and transpadane Gauls, and Rome, during this struggle, put two hundred thousand men on foot, showing a vast increase in military ability, — despite the abnormal exertions of the First Punic War. The allied Gauls concentrated on the Po and advanced through Etruria, plundering and devastating, and winning a battle at Fsesul® against the pnetor in command of the province. Learning of the disaster, JEmil-ius Papus set out from Ariminum to relieve his colleague. The Gauls intended to retire with their booty along the Tyrrhenian coast. Meanwhile, Caius Atilius Regulus had landed from Sardinia at Pisa, and with thirty-seven thousand men advanced upon them, thus cutting off their retreat, which must be across the Apennines, not far from the Gulf of Genoa. They had no choice, for at this point there was no other way open. The seventy thousand Gauls were shut in between the eighty thousand men of Papus and the army! half as large, of Regulus.
THEATRE OF GALLIC WARS
At Telamon, near the sea, and south of the Umbro, a battle occurred, which is interesting from its double lines. The Gauls made ready to fight for their booty and for retreat, and took up a position between coast and hills. Their foot, as usual, was in deep masses and now in two lines, back to back. Facing Papus were the Gsesate and Insubrians; facing Regulus, the Boians and Tauriscans. Their cavalry was on the flanks of the infantry, facing in similar manner, and the flanks of the cavalry they protected with chariots, headed outward. Their train laden with booty they placed on a height to the east, under strong guard. Here was a good formation in which to fight for life, but as bad an one to get beaten in as could well be devised.
BATTLE OF TELAMON
Regulus drew up on the northerly front of the Gauls, and seeing a small height on their western flank, he occupied it with a strong body of cavalry, sustained by foot. This body the Gauls tried repeatedly to dislodge, but every assault on the hill was driven back. From this hill Regulus could see the army of Papus and signal to it, and both consuls prepared to act in concert Papus began the battle by sending some cavalry to fall on the western flank of the Gauls, who were assaulting the hill held by Regulus. Here occurred some stoat fighting, in which Begulus was killed. Meanwhile, the line of battle advanced on the southerly front of the Gauls, where, despite the terrible aspect of the naked barbarians, — for the Gauls always stripped for battle, wearing solely their legging** and ornamented with their golden bracelets and necklaces, — and the hideous din of trumpets and battle song, the legion made a serious impression upon it. The velites acted well, and drove the van of the Gauls back on the main line, thus producing some confusion in the enemy's ranks at the moment when the legions were advancing to the charge. Papus sent a body from his right to seize the train-camp on the hilL The Gauls made a splendid resistance; but the Roman cavalry hemmed in and defeated the Gallic horse, and then turned and fell upon the flanks of the footmen. This soon broke their formation and power of resistance; they were huddled together so as to lose their capacity to fight, and were cut to pieces. It is said that forty thousand were killed or took their own lives, and that ten thousand were captured.
This battle is interesting as showing the difference between the ancient and modern art One can scarcely expect the Gauls to develop a science of war, but had they first moved sharply on Begulus, whom they outnumbered two to one, they might well have beaten him, and would then have been ready to turn on Papus with the consciousness of victory and equal forces, and with their line of retreat open and booty safe, of itself no mean provocative of courage. Or, indeed, with a skillful rear-guard, after defeating Begulus, they might have made good their retreat with all their booty. For the road afforded numberless positions suitable for defense.
The battle of Telamon was the beginning of a series of victories by which the Romans not only gained control of all northern Italy to the confines of the mountains, but learned to cope with a foe whom they were to meet under HannibaL In order to hold the line of the Po they planted military colonies at Cremona, Placentia, Mutina and a number of other places. These came into play, as we shall see, when Hannibal, a few years later, debouched upon the Pa-dane valley from the Alps.
By 220 B. c. Rome had placed her hand on the entire Italian peninsula, and held the seas on its either side, with Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and other contiguous islands. This century had wrought great changes in her standing. But Rome was to be called on again to fight for her holding, and this time as never before. Had it not been for her sensible institutions and sound body-politic, she must have succumbed before the Carthaginian captain.
Rome was liberal to her colonies, all of whom in consequence desired her success; Carthage ground hers down with heavy tribute, so that they would really be benefited by her falL Carthage destroyed the walls of her colonies because she feared them; Rome kept those of her colonies, and as a result possessed a rampart of fortified posts. An enemy landing on Roman soil had just begun his task; an enemy landing in Africa had all but completed his. In Carthage the land was owned by planters and tilled by slaves; in Rome the citizen himself tilled the soil. In Rome the landed interest was the highest; in Carthage the moneyed interest controlled everything. Rome was governed by men who fairly represented the people; the small fanner was a distinct power in the land; Carthage was governed by rich merchants or planters, whose money gave them influence, and who cared for nothing else. The Roman was simple; the Carthaginian luxurious. The Carthaginian citizen was averse to military duty; it was the pride of the Roman. The Roman senate and its generals worked in unison; the Carthaginian senate and its officers were invariably at odds. Rome was sound; Carthage was rotten. The revenues of Rome were but a tithe of those of Carthage, but the Carthaginian system of war was by far the more expensive. We shall see which system worked the better.
LEGIONARY (COLUMN OF SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS)
Two factions controlled Carthage, the Barcine or war-faction, and the Hanno or peace party. Hamilcar, the head of the former, planned to conquer Spain in order to replace Sicily, and in 236 n. o. led an expedition thither. In the succeeding eight jean, Hamiicar, basing on Gades, subdued a considerable part of western Iberia. He was succeeded by Hasdrubal, his son-in-law, who continued his wise and energetic policy, and largely increased the Carthaginian fi/J/tjng, Tfonnihft] was HasdrnbalT8 cavalry-commander, and in 221 B. C, on Hasdrubal's death, became head of the Iberian army. Saguntum, chief of the Greek colonies on the eastern coast, fearing the extension of Carthaginian power, applied to Rome for protection. This Rome gare her, and notified Carthage that her forces must not cross the Ebro, to which ultimatum Carthage was fain to agree. Hannibal had inherited from his father, not only an army, but the purpose to use it for an inrasion of Italy overland. He was not strong enough at once to undertake this, and his first two yean in Spain were spent in consolidating his conquests there. In this he showed wisdom, energy and intelligence ; and in one of his campaigns when the barbarians, relying on his youth, had rebelled and cut him off from Cartagena, he showed the qualities of an Alexander in dealing with such enemies, and defeated them on the Tagua with great slaughter. Titus Lhrius, his bitterest enemy, has left us a pen-picture of the young commander, which testifies to his splendid attributes.
THERE were, as stated in a former chapter, two factions in Carthage. The one was headed by Hamilcar Barca, the leader of the liberal or aristocratic or patriotic party, so to speak, which was wedded to a war policy or policy of resistance, despite the late defeat and the serious condition of Carthage. The other was led by Hanno, the head of the democrats or conservatives, who represented conciliation and peace, or in other words the acceptance of the situation, and was suspected of playing into the hands of the Romans. The usual
r&les of aristocrats and democrats seem to have been reversed. Hamilcar well knew that peace with Rome meant oppression by Rome and the extinction of all national growth and pride; and his life-work was a constant, unremitting effort to prepare the nation for war and then to make war upon this one arch-enemy of his country. The hatred he bore the great Italian city became a family instinct as well as a family purpose, rendered only the more keen by internal opposition; and the destiny of the Baroa family was to express its hatred in war and to bury itself in its last great struggle with Rome. And, though eventually a failure, this policy was clearly shown by more than one unworthy and oppressive act of Rome to have been the true one for Carthage to pursue. It failed because of the half-heartedness of its support.
With this end in view, Hamilcar, still a young man, little over thirty, developed a plan to make good to Carthage its losses in Sicily by the conquest of Spain. This plan was at once undertaken, with the most statesmanlike method.
Iberia had long been not only a recruiting ground of Carthage, but from time immemorial had lured the Phoenicians to its fertile shores. Gades was the earliest of the Tyrian ventures; and Hamilcar was merely carrying out, with a vigor no one else had shown, a part of the old national policy, at a time when such a man and such energy in the proper direction were essential to save Carthage from dying out.
Iberia was a country of great natural resources. Abundant forests, large navigable rivers and inexhaustible mines were both a prize worth contending for, and a means by which, in addition to its mountainous territory, the strong warlike native population could indefinitely resist invasion. But Hamilcar felt in himself the strength to overcome these obstacles for the sake of the prize, and he foresaw that the peninsula might some day furnish him a base from which, with the aid of the brave Iberians, as well as the Rome-hating Gauls, both of which peoples had figured largely in the list of Carthaginian mercenaries, he might carry the war into Italy and attack his hereditary foe at his own hearth. The plan and the man were each worthy the other. And, despite the opposition of the Hanno faction, aided largely by the sentiment of the populace and by money, which was the common means of control in Carthage and which he and his family possessed in superabundance, Hamilcar gained from the Carthaginian senate permission to undertake the expedition; or at least his enterprise, if not authorized, was not forbidden.
Carthage had not been able to rebuild a fleet since the destruction of its last one in the First Punio War. The city, in its present condition of weakness, dared not undertake openly to build a navy, lest the jealousy of Rome should be again provoked to attack her before she was prepared There was no means of shipping an army to Spain. But Hamilcar, nothing daunted, found it possible, by careful and systematic measures, to undertake a march along the northern shore of Africa to the Pillars of Hercules, accompanied by 8uch few transports as he could command to carry bread; for, though there were many colonies along the coast, there were stretches which could not be safely crossed without rations always at hand. From the Pillars, Hamilcar was able to cross to Gades in B. c. 236. This bold and intelligent undertaking showed how well Hannibal came by his own daring genius for dealing with the impossible.
Once on Iberian soil, Hamilcar conducted a series of campaigns, basing on Gades and moving eastward, and in these doughty blows were so admirably seasoned with generous conduct and far-sighted diplomacy that in nine years he had conquered the greater part of the southern extremity of the peninsula, and placed the power of Carthage on a firm foundation. Cato, a generation later, exclaimed that no king was worthy to be named beside Hamilcar Barca. And when we read the history of the wars which have been carried on in Spain from Hamilcar's era to Napoleon's, and look at the difficult nature of the country, and the bold resistance always offered by its people, this praise seems no whit too high.
In B. c. 228 Hamilcar was killed in a campaign against tribes somewhere between the Tagus and the Durius (Dou-ro); but so strongly had the Carthaginians impressed themselves upon their Spanish allies that the chief command of all the troops, Carthaginian and Iberian, was at once, by unanimous consent, conferred on his son-in-law, HasdrubaL The position was an important one, for the joint forces amounted to sixty thousand foot, eight thousand horse and two hundred elephants.
Hasdrubal — a common Carthaginian name, there being in Carthaginian history no less frhfl-n eight generals thus named, and this one was dubbed Hasdrubal the Handsome — went on with the policy of Hamilcar in a thoroughly workmanlike manner. He was noted for great personal strength and beauty, justice, courtesy and intelligence. His administration increased the Carthaginian authority and territory. It was he who founded Cartagena (New or Spanish Carthage), and he so firmly established the Carthaginian influence in the peninsula that most towns as far north as the Iberus (Ebro) paid tribute to his native city. This was by no means brought about without the usual bitter antagonism of the conservatives at home; but success, military and financial, in Spain reconciled the Carthaginians to Hasdrubal's doings, and forbade the opposition party under Hanno to interfere.
There were many rich and thriving Greek colonies along the east coast, of which Saguntum, in the centre, was the most flourishing. These colonists had grown rich in their dealings with the Spaniards, and viewed with alarm the threatening growth of Carthaginian influence. In the fear that they might all eventually fall under the dominion of the new power, and the mother country being unequal to the task of helping them, the inhabitants of Saguntum unwisely turned to Rome for protection.
Rome was only too happy to embrace this opportunity of again weakening her ancient foe, whose growth in the Spanish peninsula she had long been suspiciously watching. She took Saguntum under her protection, sent a garrison to the city, and gave notice to Hasdrubal that the Iberus must be the boundary of his advance. Rome clearly had no idea then of an overland invasion being contemplated; but Saguntum was an excellent base for her own operations in Spain, should the successes of Carthage there make such a proceeding desirable. For Hasdrubal meant war when Carthage
should be strong enough, and Rome foresaw war. But Rome did not go at the matter on so broad and intelligent a scale, and the Gallic problem on the Po was difficult enough to rivet attention to northern Italy. "The policy of the Bo-mans was always more remarkable for tenacity, cunning and consistency, than for grandeur of conception or power of rapid organization,'9 says Mommsen.
Hasdrubal, not deeming Carthage strong enough to precipitate a war with the great city, was fain to agree to the terms so haughtily formulated.
Shortly after this treaty, in B. c. 221, Hasdrubal was assassinated, and again the Iberians showed their confidence in the Carthaginian policy, and in its leading family, by electing Hannibal, eldest son of Hamilcar Barca, then twenty-eight years old, to the command in chief, and, despite the vote of Hanno's party, the home government confirmed the election.
The army still consisted of the same elements, namely, Carthaginians, Liby-FhoBnicians, Spaniards and Gauls, together with heavy and Numidian cavalry. But the army was in every sense an army, reflecting its noble leaders in all its characteristics. The power of Carthage had been transferred from its fleet to its land forces, and all there was of these which had a marked value lay in Spain, and under the command of the Barcas.
Hannibal (" Favorite of Baal," the chief Phoenician deity) was born B. c. 249. He had been a mere stripling when he first accompanied his father to Spain in 236 B. C. He had always shown clear-cut powers of intellect, and had received the best of educations, under the careful scrutiny of Hamilcar, who was equally fond of the lad and proud of his evident capacity. Hannibal and his brothers, Hasdrubal, Mago, and Hanno, — the lion's brood, — were all born and trained to arms, and all nobly fulfilled their mission. Three died on the field; the greatest lived to aid his country in her dire extremity.
We do not know much about the character of Hannibal's education. We do not even know what the Punic language was, except that it was allied to the Egyptian and Hebrew. That it had a literature of its own we are told by the Roman historians; and Mago's book on agriculture, an exhaustive treatise in twenty-eight volumes, and the only work of which we are informed, was translated into Latin, and was the chief text-book in Italy. We cannot fail to recognize the ability of the Carthaginians; we know that they came of the stock to which we owe our letters; but Carthage was so utterly destroyed that not a vestige remains to tell us the literary status of the " London of Antiquity." Prophetic, indeed, had been the exclamation of Cato, " Delenda est Carthago!"
We know that Carthage had borrowed much of the Greeks, and no doubt this was true in a literary as it had been in a military sense, though indeed the Greeks and Carthaginians were jealous of one another in a commercial way. Dion Cassius states that Hannibal had studied all that the Greeks could teach; and while the Carthaginians as a nation were chiefly distinguished for their ability to turn all they handled to gold, the Barca family had aspirations far above mere filthy lucre. There can be no question whatever, from the uniform leaning of the little testimony we have upon the subject, that Hannibal's vast intellect was supplemented by a mind stored with all that was then known to the world as great and beautiful. And " his character has descended to us throughout the ages, pure beyond the power of his enemies to stain.
Love of his native land and intense hatred of Rome had been Hannibal's hourly lesson since he could first speak, and while his education was of the most liberal character, it was chiefly directed to the department of war. Hannibal remained in his father's camp nine years. During this period he was constantly in the field, and was near his father when he fell in battle. He was then sent back to Carthage, some say at an earlier date, the better to continue his education. At all events, he went home upon his father's death. But he returned to Spain in B. c. 224, at the age of twenty-five, called thither by Hasdrubal, and in the next three years received his maturer military training in the field, as commandant of Hasdrubal's cavalry.
Titus Livius, who harbored a solid Roman hatred of Hannibal, and has in the same breath abundant ill to say of him, gives us this photograph of the young chief: "No sooner had he arrived, than Hannibal drew the whole army towards him. The old soldiers fancied they saw Hamilcar in his youth given back to them; the same bright look, the same fire in his eye, the same trick of countenance and features. But soon he proved that to be his father's son was not his highest recommendation. Never was one and the same spirit more skillful to meet opposition, to obey or to command. It was hard to decide whether he was more dear to the chief or to the army. Neither did Hasdrubal more readily place any one at the head when courage or activity were required, nor were the soldiers under any other leader so full of confidence and daring. He entered danger with the greatest mettle, he comported himself in danger with the greatest unconcern. By no difficulties could his body be tired, his ardor damped. Heat and cold he suffered with equal endurance; the amount of his food and drink was gauged by natural needs and not by pleasure. The time of waking and sleeping depended not on the distinction of day and night. What time was left from business he devoted to rest, and this was not brought on by either a soft couch or by quiet Many have often seen him, covered by a short field cloak, lying on the ground betwixt the outposts and sentinels of the soldiers. His clothing in no wise distinguished him from his fellows; his weapons and horses attracted every one's eye. He was by long odds the best rider, the best marcher. He went into battle the first, he came out of it the last. ... He served three years under HasdrubaTs supreme command, and left nothing unobserved which he who desires to become a great captain ought to see and to do."
Thus equipped, it was by no means strange that Hannibal should succeed to the command. The manner in which he used his power forms one of the greatest pages in history.
Hannibal early declared that he would complete the conquest of all Spain, and it was a family secret that such a conquest was but the first step towards carrying the war into Italy. But he was wise enough to keep his own counsel on the latter point, and to follow up the excellent plans of his father and Hasdrubal towards making his position on the peninsula impregnable. The plan which this young chieftain carried in his head was no doubt the original conception of Hamilcar, and had by him been impressed upon his son-in-law and son. But the crude conception had long been seething in the soul of Hannibal, and it was his brain which truly gave the project birth, as it was his hand which carried it through to the close. The colossal nature of the plan, its magnificent daring, its boundless self-confidence, its contempt of danger, no less than the extraordinary manner of its execution in the succeeding years, are equaled only by Alexander's setting forth—also but a youth —to conquer the illimitable possessions of the Great King.
But Hannibal was far from being a mere dreamer. He well knew that he could not invade Italy without exceptional
material resources in addition to the motive power furnished by his well-equipped head and self-reliant heart He recognized that he had the Pyrenees and the Alps to cross, in addition to many mighty rivers, and that these, difficult indeed for small bodies of troops going from one friendly land to another, even at an auspicious season, might be all but insurmountable for an army of invasion, — particularly his, which must be accompanied by long and heavy trains as well as a number of elephants. Nor were these natural obstacles any worse than the possible opposition of the warlike Gauls, through whose land he must pass upon his way. He was wise enough to contemplate no actual movement until all his preparations were made, his army perfectly equipped, his base reliable, and his projected advance reconnoitred.
Hannibal, owing to the political combinations, could not rely on help from Carthage. The peace party was again in the ascendant and would not allow him to declare war. He was a mere servant of the senate, with his hands tied, and liable at any moment to be recalled, though the wealth and influence of the Barcas, and the results accomplished, had long left them in control of Spain. All his force in men and means must come from the peninsula. The mother-country was still weak from her struggle with Rome, and looked to him for aid rather than was able or willing to yield it Without the revenues of the Iberian mines, in fact, the Bar-cine hold on command would have probably long before been severed. But Carthage needed the money which came from them and favored the generals who made war remunerative instead of costly. Hannibal did not conceal from himself the fact that the peace party in Carthage would oppose his scheme in every manner. What he did was done with his eyes wide open and with a full calculation of means and consequences. But the main factor in the proposition was that burning genius which made his heart bold to undertake any difficulty to avenge the wrongs of his down-trodden country, that lambent flame of the divine which—among soldiers — few indeed have ever shown in such effulgence.
IBERIAN CONQUEST OF HANNIBAL
In no wise blinded to the herculean nature of his task, Hannibal spent the first two years of his command (B. C. 221-220) in consolidating his Spanish possessions, which the death of Hasdrubal had again in some parts threatened to compromise. He reduced the town of Carteia, near the Pillars of Hercules, by a vigorous siege, overcame the tribes along the Tagus and made them tributary to his scheme, and then retired to Cartagena to winter. The next year he added the tribes of the Durius region to his standard, capturing both Arbocala, or Albucella, and Salmantica (Salamanca). His liberality to his soldiers, both from the public purse and still more from his private fortune, was a means of keeping them devoted to his person no less than that pride which, of all subordinates, the soldier most truly feels for his successful chief. He was sure of his army wherever he went, and his generous policy to the tribes He overcame promised to avoid trouble when his back should be turned, and he distant from the scene.
BATTLE OF THE TAGUS
These conquests on the Tagus and the Durius were not made without many a hard struggle. One may well be instanced. While Hannibal was besieging Arbocala, certain
of the tribes between the two rivers joined forces to the number of one hundred thousand men, and on his return stood awaiting him near modern Toledo, hoping to fall on his rear when he should cross the river, incumbered as he was with immense trains of booty. They undervalued the capacity of the young chieftain. The bed of the Tagus is difficult to ford, and the conditions offered the barbarians a fine opportunity of revenge. They occupied the right bank at one of the *n%in fords*
Hannibal was suddenly called upon to show Iris qualities as a general; and he himself took advantage of the difficulties of the country on which the enemy chiefly relied. Declining to cross the Tagus with so large a force in his vicinity, he contented himself, when attacked, with holding his own, and at nightfall took up a strong position on the right bank of the river, fortifying it in such a manner as to lead the enemy to believe that he intended to act on the defensive in that position. Meanwhile, he sent out scouts to reconnoitre the river, who found up the stream, and not far off, a practicable ford. While the barbarians were debating how best to deliver an attack on the morrow, Hannibal, shortly after the fall of night, keeping his camp-fires bright and leaving a rear-guard to simulate the presence of the army, stole a march upon them, crossed the Tagus and took up a new and similar position on the left or farther bank, opposite the ford held by the barbarians, purposing to punish their temerity, as he must not fail to do if he was to quiet the land.
He had escaped the chief danger by acting on a common theory of barbarians, that no army will undertake an important march at night, of which Alexander so often, and he himself later in the Alps so ably, took advantage. He oould now direct events himself.
Like all barbarians, these tribes ascribed Hannibal's retirement to fear. Early in the morning they followed him up and began fording the river in detached parties, expecting to make him an easy prey. Anticipating exactly this, Hannibal had made his plans. The main ford lay at a bend in the river, of which the convexity was nearest Hannibal's new position. Along the banks he had distributed his elephants as a curtain to his infantry. In the centre, opposite the ford, he placed his cavalry. No sooner had the enemy begun to throng the ford than the Carthaginian horse advanced and met them in midstream, where, riding them down by mere weight, the force of the current swept them off their feet and towards the banks. Here the elephants crashed them or the infantry cut them down. Foot had no chance whatever in the torrent against mounted men. Meanwhile, the light troops from between the elephants showered arrows and darts upon the barbarians in the water or entering the fords. Though without artillery, or long-range arms, Hannibal showed a clear idea of the value of the bend in the river which indented his own position.
New masses constantly appeared on the other bank, crowding out of all organization to gain the front. Hannibal saw that the day was his. He recalled his horse. This, retiring, unmasked the heavy infantry, which Hannibal called in from either flank and sent with a vigorous £lan in close column across the ford against the ill-arrayed barbarians, followed by the cavalry, which had formed again in its rear. Nothing could resist the charge. The barbarian masses melted into a demoralized mob. A bitter defeat and merciless slaughter of these tribes taught the whole of Spain not to undervalue the new commander for his youth.
The entire operation reads like one of Alexander's battles in Asia; and shows that in dealing with similar enemies Hannibal possessed the same tremendous force. It was when pitted against the three quarters of a million of men which Rome could muster that Hannibal was called on to exercise caution and self-control, — virtues Alexander never possessed.
By this last victory Hannibal was enabled to make his conquests secure. Having, by the addition of the territory he had subdued, the whole peninsula south of the Iberus under control, he again returned to Cartagena for the winter.
Hannibal was ready for his expedition against Rome. He oontrolled all 8pain aa far as the Ebro, aave only the city of Saguntum. This he now attacked. The Roman, who had promised Sagnntnm their protection, did nothing hot tend an embassy to protest against the act Sagnntnm lay on a high and naked rook, affording a besieger no facilities for the erection of works. The inhabitants were brave and skillful, and for eight months, daring a part of which time he was called away to pat down a rebellion on the Tagns, bid defiance to all Hannibal's efforts. Finally the city was taken; but the brave Sagnntines buried themselves and their treasures in one vast conflagration. Nothing was left of the city but a heap of stones. Rome sent a second em-bassy to demand Hannibal's surrender. On the refusal of the demand, the senate declared war.
IN B.C. 219 Hannibal considered himself able to undertake his great expedition against Rome. Except Catalonia and the single city of Saguntom on the east coast, all Iberia was his. His army was of the best, and devoted to his cause; the chiefs of Spain promised men and means. His route he had already reconnoitred by envoys to the Gauls living on both slopes of the Alps, which envoys had returned with Gallio chiefs bearing many promises of good-will and assistance. He was ready and eager to provoke a quarrel with the great republic Saguntum, still under Roman protection, was yet without much defense* Under a pretense that the Saguntines were attacking the Torboletes, subjects of Carthage, Hannibal advanced against the city and laid siege to it, —while the Roman senate, instead of flying to the assistance of its ward, contented itself, as it had done the year before, with sending protesting embassies both to Hannibal and to Carthage. Hoping to force a declaration of war out of Rome, Hannibal treated the ambassadors, when they reached him, with marked discourtesy.
The siege of Saguntum, in 219 B. a, was no child's play. This city was then situated about a mile from the sea. It is
now nearer three. On a long and naked rock, three hundred to four hundred feet above the plain, commanding the entire country, it was scarcely to be approached. On the west the slope of the rock was least steep. Its defenses were thoroughly constructed, and it had a large population of courageous and well prepared inhabitants, plenty of stores and the prospect of the help of its Roman allies. Hannibal planted his main body at the western end, for though here the walls were thickest and a great tower faced the assailant, here also the more moderate slope of the ground alone afforded him a possible chance to work. He had an abundance of men, stated by Livy at one hundred and fifty thousand, and by Eutropius at one hundred and seventy thousand men, but probably much less than either figure. The garrison was not large, — "insufficient," says Livy. But it was not a question of numbers. Only so many men oould be put to work on the walls. The rest were mere blockaders. Hannibal hoped for a prompt surrender, but he was doomed to disappointment. He set to work to besiege the place, throwing up the usual lines of ciroumvallation, surrounded by numerous towers.
For a number of weeks he oould make no impression whatever upon the city. Owing to the entire lack of earth upon the rock of Saguntum, the usual works could not be thrown up, and the common siege devices were unsuited to the ground. Resort had to be had to a novel kind of movable towers and engines. The besieged showed the greatest determination, and met Hannibal's siege arrangements with many daring sorties, in which both parties appear to have equally suffered. On one of these occasions Hannibal, exposing himself at the head of his troops, was so seriously wounded in the thigh that for some time he could not personally superintend the siege, which for lack of the master's hand degenerated into simple blockade. On his recovery he set to work with renewed vigor. He had as good siege material as was then known. We remember how expert the Tynans were in their defense against Alexander a hundred years before; their daughter, Carthage, was presumably not behind her in inventiveness. But sieges were by no means Hannibal's strong point. His excellence lay in broader conceptions and more cunning manoeuvres than are called out by the details of a siege.
No whit disheartened by the stubborn nature of his task, Hannibal advanced his vine© or covered ways, erected towers with battering-rams of great size, and was finally successful in throwing down a portion of the wall and three of the towers of the town. He now ordered an assault, but though the breach was wide and the fighting was forced in heavy columns, so that the Carthaginians were able to penetrate even beyond the ruins of the wall, the besieged met him with such bitter determination that, coupled with the novel use of the falerica,—a sort of burning lance or dart,— they drove him back with great loss, and speedily repaired the walls; and this, though Hannibal headed the assault in person. In the mel£e he was all but crushed by a heavy stone. It is a curious fact that the entire experience of Hannibal in this siege was repeated in 1811 by the French.
Annoyed beyond measure at this unexpected resistance, Hannibal now erected a wooden terrace and a huge movable tower, armed with a goodly force of men and missile-throwers on every story, moved it up to the ditch, drove the besieged away from the wall and undermined it This latter was a work which could be done with pickaxes, because the stones were not laid in cement, but clay. Thus a further breach was opened. A fresh assault met with no greater result, for the troops found a demi-lune built behind the breach. But Hannibal held what he had got, and though constantly opposed by newly erected walls behind each breach he managed to operate, he made a slow but certain progress; for with each point gained he had a proportionately better chance for the next assault, lacking not men.
Meanwhile, the siege was interrupted by an uprising of the Tagus barbarians, which was of so dangerous a nature that Hannibal deemed it essential to go to the scene of action in person. He left MaharbaL, son of Himilco, in command. This officer made some progress upon the defenses during his chieftain's absence, while hunger and sickness had begun to produce sad havoc within the walls. A new breach was soon assaulted, and on this occasion the Saguntines were driven into the citadel. Hannibal, when he had returned, offered terms to the brave city, — hard, to be sure, but still terms. But the inhabitants, with true Grecian pluck, refused any terms whatever. Death was to be preferred to what to them was slavery. The entire public treasure and all private wealth were collected in a huge pile, set on fire, and the most noble of the inhabitants destroyed themselves in the flames. At the same time the great tower of the burg, which had been gradually undermined, fell to the earth. Into the breach poured the Carthaginians, furious at the long defense, and spared no living souL In the general horror of the sack, most of the inhabitants set fire to their houses and perished in the universal conflagration. There was but a pile of stones left of the once splendid city.
This siege does equal honor to the bravery and skill of both attack and defense, but little indeed to the Romans, who thus, for a period of eight months, allowed the city which they had taken under their protection to be besieged, and finally to suffer an appalling fate. Hannibal sent back to Carthage a vast amount of booty for distribution, which, being accepted, committed even the peace party to the war.
This siege shows Hannibal to have been familiar with, and able to use to good advantage, all the arts then known for besieging strong places. A fuller description of these arts is to be found in the volume on Alexander. It has been often said that the Carthaginian was not good at a siege, and he was certainly not the equal of Alexander and Caesar in this respect. He was greater in other branches of the art. But we must not forget that in Spain he took Carteia, Arbocala and Salmantica, in addition to Saguntum ; and that in Italy he captured Turin in two days, and a number of other cities as well, though unprovided with siege devices. Still Tyre and Aleaia rank far beyond Saguntum.
Hannibal returned to Cartagena for the winter of 219-218 B. c, and furloughed all his Spanish troops till spring.
Rome contented herself with alleging a violation of the treaty made with her by Hasdrubal, and sent messengers, first to Hannibal and then to Carthage, the latter to demand the surrender of Hannibal and his principal officers. This demand being treated with the contempt it deserved, war was immediately declared. This war is known as the Second Punic War, or the War with Hannibal. It is in many respects the most wonderful struggle the world has ever seen.
Hannibal undertook his expedition against Rome with his eyes wide open. He carefully made his preparations for the security of Carthage and Spain and for the equipment of the Army of Italy. He had sent embassies to the Gauls on both sides of the Alp*, and from them reoeWed assurances of alliance and aid in the passage of the Alps and when he should debouch upon the TaUey of thePo, This secured him a base. Haying no fleet to hold head against the Roman supremacy at sea, he could not operate directly from either Spain or Carthage. Southern Italy was, for this very reason, unaYailable, as a single naval disaster would ruin his scheme, and the cities of lower Italy could not be relied upon to join him. Once on the Po, he would have allies, a base, and hope of aid from Macedon, with which country Rome had quarreled. The plan of an overland march to Italy was Hamiloar's; its details were all Hannibal's. It is intellectually the most gigantic plan of campaign known in military annals. Rome, unconscious of her danger, put seventy thousand men into the field, namely, twenty-aix thousand under Sempronius in Sicily, for an expedition against Carthage ; twenty-four thousand under 8cipio for one to Spain; twenty thousand in GauL She was too slow to cope with HannibaL She should have sooner sent out both her expeditions; but before either Sempronius or Sdpio had got ready, Hannibal was well upon hk road, and Sicily was kept busy by some naval raids cleverly pushed by the small Carthaginian fleet With three quarters of a million men to call upon, Rome was opposing, but forty-six thousand to the Army of Italy, which numbered ninety thousand.
HANNIBAL had not acted blindly in forcing a contest with Home. He knew that sooner or later war most come, and he was prepared to cany it to her very gates. In this extraordinary undertaking Hannibal was perhaps justified, when a weaker man would have been to blame. A bold attack is always the surest defense ; and aware that war must be mainly waged on land, — for Carthage had no fleet to cope with Rome, — Hannibal saw that to carry it into Italy would do much to keep it away from Carthage, as well as put the waste of maintaining the struggle on the enemy's soil. Nothing exalts higher both this great man's military judgment and self-reliance than this step, taken, as it was, not blindly, but with all the facts considered. For there is more evidence of careful preparation by Hannibal for his invasion of Italy than by Alexander for the campaign in Asia. But it was a step which required no less a captain than Hannibal to dare and carry through.
Hannibal was anxious to make his descent on Italy before the Romans had got through with the Gallic and IUyrian wars. He had made many preparations to this end, not only in men and material, but in reconnoitring the to him unknown route. He had, as above stated, made friends of the tribes of Gaul so far as he was able to do with repeated embassies, and had, early in 220 B. C, sent across the Alps to offer to the Padane Gauls money and his cooperation against Rome. By thus securing their friendship he aimed to have an available base of operations when he should debouch from the mountain barrier of the Alps. He received flattering answers from many of these tribes, especially the Insubres on the upper Po, and the Boii farther down; but at the same time he heard from his envoys, among whom were perhaps some of his topographical engineers, by no means reassuring accounts of the difficulties to be encountered in crossing the Alps. These reports in no wise daunted Hannibal. He felt confidence in his ability to deal with the peoples through whose territories he should have to pass; he knew how to arouse their hatred of Rome as well as their love of adventure and plunder; and he believed that he could with equal readiness surmount any natural obstacles, however great.
It was evident to Hannibal that he must have a base nearer Rome than either Spain or Carthage. To operate solely from Spain or Carthage was mere hazard,—for Rome had too strong a fleet to rely on communications kept up alone by sea, and he could not protect so long a line by land. In fact, Hannibal could have, properly speaking, no communications such as Alexander had with Macedonia, or such as are essential to-day; reinforcements from Spain or Carthage must come to him in armies rather than in detachments; if in small bodies, always at the risk of capture. He practically out himself off from any base, except such as he himself should make. Lower Italy was not available. The Roman allies in the south of the peninsula were too much committed to Rome to be relied on at the outset. Pyrrhus had found no permanent aid from them; how could he ? No base presented itself which was in any respect as promising as cisalpine Gaul, in other words, the line of the Po. The insurrectionary tribes of the Gauls had but just been conquered, and their feelings were supremely bitter; many of their cousins, the Spanish Celts, were in Hannibal's ranks; the In-subres and the Boii had promised their own immediate aid on his arrival, had assured him reliable guides across the Alps, the aid of the transalpine tribes in the passage, and abundant supplies on his arrival. Thus the Po would be an effective base among allies who would look on him as their deliverer from the yoke of hated Rome. Maoedon and Rome had come to a rupture, and perhaps aid might be persuaded to come through Illyria—though it was a long circuit — to meet him on the Po. With a good base on that river, with a supply of troops coming from Spain on his right, and with an allied army from Maoedon to sustain him on his left, he would be firmly planted for a decisive struggle with his enemy. This was the hopeful side.
The plan was not altogether new; it had been canvassed again and again in the Barca family. The ground had, in fact, been already reconnoitred by Hamilcar; the Romans found a party of Carthaginians in Liguria in 230 B. C. But the scheme was none the less Hannibal's.
If Carthage had been mistress of the seas, southern Italy would have afforded a markedly better base than the Po. For Macedon might then readily hare sustained the Carthaginian right, and reinforcements could come from home or Spain with much less time and risk. But southern Italy was full of fortified cities committed to the Roman cause; a foothold was not so easy to acquire there; and Carthage had no fleet which could compete with Rome.
Next came the question whether Hannibal should seek to reach the Po by land or by sea. Though the sea was commanded by the Roman fleet, a descent at Genoa was possible. But a single naval disaster would ruin the Carthaginian cause beyond redemption; by the overland route conflict would be avoided until the Gallic allies had been reached. Hannibal's knowledge of the topography of northern Italy was as yet meagre. He knew that from Genoa there was still a mountain range to cross to reach the Po; how much less an one than the Alps he was not advised. The Alps had already been crossed by many roving bands of large size; indeed, Gallic armies had accomplished the feat; why might not as much be done by a Carthaginian army? Moreover, in the plan to cross the Alps, there was the element of doing that which your enemy least expects, and Hannibal understood and had weighed this well.
Hannibal, says Polybius, " conducted his enterprise with consummate judgment; for he had accurately ascertained the excellent nature of the country in which he was to arrive, and the hostile disposition of its inhabitants towards the Romans; and he had for guides and conductors through the difficult passes which lay in the way natives of the country, men who were to partake of the same hopes with himself,"
Rome had acted in a vacillating manner in sustaining her allies and in declaring war. She now committed other equal mistakes in preparing for war. Nothing was farther from her thoughts than that an attack could come overland from Spain. She would have scouted the idea of the possibility of such a thing.
The armies put into the field by Rome in B. c. 218 were as follows: Tiberius Sempronius Longus, the consul destined for Sicily, had two Roman legions, each of four thousand foot and three hundred horse; sixteen thousand allied foot and eighteen hundred horse: total twenty-six thousand four hundred men, and one hundred and sixty quinquiremes and twelve galleys. With this force Sempronius was to go to Sicily, en route to Africa, on which he was to make a descent like Agathocles and Begulus. The other consul, Publius Cornelius Scipio, was to go to Spain with two Roman legions, eight thousand foot and six hundred horse, and fourteen thousand allied foot and sixteen hundred horse: total twenty* four thousand two hundred men, and sixty quinquiremes. The praetor Lucius Manlius was to march to Padane Gaul with eighteen thousand foot and sixteen hundred horse, partly with a view to plant colonies, partly as a military measure.
According to the table of Polybius above given, Rome was capable at this time of putting on foot something like three quarters of a million men. The senate must indeed have despised its adversary to send but a tenth of this force against the Carthaginians, and to have divided this force into three parts at that. Their eyes were opened when Hannibal placed foot upon the soil of Italy.
The Romans had long been acting in a penny-wise, pound-foolish manner. They had given Carthage twenty years to recover her strength, when at any time a descent on Africa might hare crushed her. They could not see the danger of a Punic occupation of Iberia. They could not believe that the Phoenicians would again wage an offensive war. They had unnecessarily quarreled with Macedonia. They had failed to finish the work of conquering the Celts and seizing the avenues of the Alps. They had delayed any systematic action on the mere notion that the next Punic war must be waged in Africa, until the enemy himself had decided on the theatre of war. The manifest Roman plan was to land in Africa while holding the Carthaginians in Spain by a stout diversion there. This they had failed to do with energy or speed. If they had been half as active as Hannibal, they could, with their fleet, have easily placed an army on the Ebro before Hannibal could reach it. As it was, Hannibal found none but natives on the Ebro; the consul Scipio had been detained on the Po by a threatened insurrection, which Hannibal's emissaries had been the means of raising. Had the Romans made a stout contest for Spain, Hannibal could not have left it. The fortunes of Carthage were too much bound up in the peninsula, as Hannibal later found to his sorrow. Had the Romans even delayed his advance a month more, snow would have closed the Alps, and they could have fallen on Africa unopposed. But Rome could scarcely conceive boldness such as Hannibal's. Time seemed ample to do things in her own way.
Hannibal was thirty-one years old when at the end of May, B. c. 218, he left New Carthage on his great expedition. The Spanish army was distributed in a very sensible fashion to meet the wants of Carthage, Spain and the " Army of Italy." It was altogether a fine body of men. It had no mercenaries, except a few Ligurians. The bulk of the forces were Carthaginian subjects, Libyans and Spaniards. Two thirds of the army were Africans, and all were hardened troops, committed to their chief by both discipline and affection.
Following was the distribution, as given by Polybius from Hannibal's copper tablet at Lacinium. The Army of Italy had eighty-two thousand infantry and twelve thousand cavalry, in addition to thirty-seven elephants, — the latter more for effect on the Gauls than for use against the Romans. Hannibal was too able a soldier to rely to too great an extent on these creatures, though he knew their value in their place. He had sent to West Africa about fourteen thousand troops from Spain, among them some deserters and disaffected men who would do well enough out of Spain, but could scaroely be relied on in the peninsula during his absence; and for the protection of Carthage had transferred four thousand West African troops to the capital* He had brought some African troops to- Spain for a similar reason. He had left hia brother Hasdrubal in command in the Spanish colonies with twelve thousand six hundred and fifty foot and two thousand five hundred and fifty horse, largely East Africans, twenty-one elephants and fifty-seven men-of-war, mostly quinquiremes, of which thirty-seven were equipped. The communications between Spain and Carthage were secured with as much care as the smallness of the fleet would allow, and, as a diversion, twenty quinquiremes, with one thousand soldiers aboard, were sent out to pillage the west coast of Italy; while twenty-five were dispatched to Lilybaeum to essay its capture out of hand. More than this the fleet could not venture to do.
The plan was well devised and executed in all its details, and the main feature in it was, that while the Romans were sending their smallest army to cisalpine Gaul, Hannibal was ready to invade Italy through that province with a foroe more than twice their own.
Recent news from Carthage inspired Hannibal with more confidence in the support of his fellow-citizens than he had lately had. His army was wedded to him, as every army is to the man who exhibits the qualities of the great soldier. Hannibal laid his plans before them, told them the demand of the Romans, that he and all the principal officers of the army should be delivered up, explained the fertility of Italy to them, and the hearty allies they would there meet, and found the warmest support from one and alL
As a last act of self-denial, Hannibal sent his Spanish bride, Imilcea, and their infant son to Carthage. He did not dare expose them to the dangers he was himself about to encounter. He must do his work alone. Sixteen long years elapsed before he again embraced them. Surely no man ever undertook a great work to his own sorrow, from more purely patriotic instincts, than this same Carthaginian.
THE Army of Italy left Cartagena about the end of May. In July it eroded the Iberna in three columns, whioh, traversing Catalonia from south to north, by derer mountain tactics, heavy fighting and set purpose, succeeded in subduing the land. The several columns then crossed the Pyrenees and reunited at niiberis, near modern Perpignan. The loss had been thirteen thousand men. Here Hannibal left Hanno with eleven thousand men; and here too he dis-eharged an equal number of disaffected soldiers, He erased the Pyrenees with less than sixty thousand men.
FROM Cartagena, where the army wintered after the cap-tare of Saguntum, to the Ebro was twenty-six hundred stadia, three hundred and twenty-five Roman miles. Hannibal is thought to have left Cartagena about the end of May. He reached the Ebro the middle of July, having, no doubt, many things to do upon the way. This river lies in front of the Pyrenees, like a huge ditch, is the most prominent river in Iberia, and originally gave its name to the peninsula.
After crossing the Ebro, Hannibal was in Catalonia, a territory over which Rome pretended to exercise sway, — one which, at all events, had as yet been beyond Carthaginian assaults. In order to leave no danger in his rear, and to rob his enemy of a base for an invasion of the Spanish colonies of Carthage, Hannibal must first of all conquer and garrison the land. Catalonia is bounded by the eastern Pyrenees, the sea, the Ebro and the Siooris. It is a mass of mountains, valleys, passes, precipices. It has, in history, the reputation of resisting invasion with the greatest desperation and success. Through this difficult country Hannibal made a sharp, quick and costly campaign, of which unfortunately there are sparse records, as there always are of Alexander's mountain campaigns. The one thing which the old authorities invariably skip is mountain-campaigning.
Hannibal divided his army into three columns of not far from thirty thousand men each. The right column, to judge by the topography and the operations of later generals, and probably with baggage and impedimenta, crossed at Adeba (Amposta), and, aided by the fleet which skirted the coast, overran Lower Catalonia. The second passed at modern Mora, pushed up the valleys of the mountain range, and attacked the country at the heart. The third crossed near the mouth of the Sicoris (Segre) and marched up the valley of that river.
The duty of the first column must have been to take possession of the coast cities, then as now many and thriving, as far as Emporiaa; that of the left column would be to follow the line of the Sicoris as far as its source in the main range of the Pyrenees. The centre would move by way of the valleys of the central range of Catalonia. Along the Rubri-catus (Llobregat) was a road by which the columns could at need reunite midway, or assist each other in their operations.
Hannibal, no doubt, was with the right column, which had with it both treasure-chest and cavalry, and may be called 'the column of direction. Owing to the uncertainty of the Roman movements, he did not dare absent himself from the coast. The campaign covered two months and was very costly. The losses of the three columns footed up some thirteen thousand men. The Catalonians have always resisted invasion nobly. That the country could be subdued in so short a space speaks highly for Hannibal's lieutenants and the training they had received.
Having reduced Catalonia, he placed this territory under command of Hanno, and left with him ten thousand foot and one thousand horse, with headquarters probably at Barcino (Barcelona). Here too some of the Iberian regiments are said to have shown signs of disaffection, and three thousand to have deserted. But this is doubtful At all events, Hannibal deemed it wise to state that he had given them leave to go, and also to let off eight thousand more. This act added to the devotion of the rest He did not lose his moral power over his army. He is alleged to have had the additional motive of thus showing his confidence to accomplish what he had set out to do with limited numbers, and those only of such as were willing to cast in their lot with him for good or ill. He had so far set forth his object to his army as to inspire it with confidence, and his explanation to the Carthaginians of the alternative they had of victory or slavery raised the ambition of all to the pitch of following their venturesome young leader to the very end.
Catalonia thus reduced the Army of Italy by more than a third. It was with only fifty thousand foot and nine thousand horse that Hannibal crossed the Pyrenees.
Hannibal had waited at Emporiaa for the other columns to be ready to cross the mountain-range, and then, himmlf probably making his way by the pass nearest the sea, the centre and the left columns crossed at points farther west. The whole army reunited at Hliberis (Elne, near Perpignan), about the middle of September.
We know that Hannibal crossed the Iberus in three columns, and it is to be supposed that these were intended each to subdue a given part of Catalonia. The route of the columns is to a certain extent prescribed by the topographical features of the country. We know that Catalonia was subdued, and remained so until the Romans later came to its rescue. We assume, then, that the several columns traversed the country as indicated; but all we are told is of the points of departure and rendezvous, and of the result.
Hannibal had been the first man who ever frayed a passage for a regular army through the Pyrenees.
What Hannibal now had left were the best of his troops. They had been hardened by nearly twenty years of campaigning against warlike tribes in a difficult country, had been uniformly victorious, had captured many cities, including the strong fortress of Saguntum, and were well aware of their ability, hearty and self-confident. Hannibal was soldier enough to know that numbers are of less importance than homogeneity, and was willing to carry with him no soldier whose fidelity was not unquestioned. And yet it is probable that nothing less than the wonderful personal influence of this young general — an influence shown but seldom in history — would have been able to weld these diverse elements into a mass capable of such unity of action as the Army of Italy showed.
FROM the Pyrenees to the Rhone, Hannibal's route was inland, on a line towards Roqnemanre. Scipio, meanwhile, at Genoa, had embarked his legions for Spain, aad when Hannibal reached the Rhone was at Massilia. Hearing with surprise of the presenoe of the Carthaginians on the Rhone, Soipio sent a scouting party np the river to discover their whereabouts. He should have marched his entire army upstream to prevent a crossing, or at least to bring Hannibal to battle before he could reach the Alps. Hannibal forced a passage at Roqnemanre, and at once advanced np the river. Scipio, on receiving a report from his seouting-party, marched up to meet him; but he reached Roqnemanre three days after the Carthaginian rear had left He had lost a week's tame. He then returned to Massilia, sent the bulk of his army into Spain, under his brother Cnsus, to attack the Carthaginians at their base, — a wise and long-headed policy,—and personally returned to Italy, to hold head against Hannibal when he should debouch from the Alps, with the army of the proton, which was still upon the Po. His general scheme was good. It was weak in underrating his foe. Hannibal was cheered upon his way by an embassy from the Padane Gauls, which met him at the Rhone.
FROM the Pyrenees to the Rhone, Hannibal's progress was easy. Much interesting discussion has been made over the probable details of the route. These are more significant to the French, over whose territory it lay, than to us. The point of crossing the Rhone is more important. The populations along the road were, some friendly, some antagonistic, but Hannibal's sensible policy was an open sesame. He had a way of propitiating the native tribes which made his march safe and expeditious. Where honeyed words had no effect, gold was used. The Roman road later made, probably along the route Hannibal took (for Roman roads were not unapt to follow ancient paths, which themselves were dictated by the topographical requirements), crossed the Pyrenees at Bellegarde, and went by way of Elne, Perpignan, Narbonne, Beziers, somewhat to the north of Montpellier, Pont d'Ambroise, Nimes. From here Hannibal steered direct for Roquemaure, on the Rhone. It was the end of September. He reached the vicinity of this river, which flowed ih a mighty stream athwart his path, without opposition. But, arrived at the Rhone, he reached the influence of the Roman colony of Massilia (Marseille), which stood not only herself ready to oppose his passage, but had successfully used her power with all the tribes on the left shore, to turn them against the Carthaginians.
THE PYRENEES TO THE PO
Massilia was the natural ally of Rome, and Hannibal showed a deal of political wisdom in making no effort to pass her way, or even to conciliate her. The consul Publius Scipio, who was to have command of the expedition against Spain, having, after his enforced delay on the Po, made haste to assemble his new legions, had set sail from Ostia, and touched at Massilia to get news from Hannibal, whom he supposed to be still in Catalonia. On hearing, to his utter surprise, that Hannibal had crossed the Pyrenees, Scipio went into camp near Massilia, somewhat to the east of the mouth of the Rhone, expecting to arrest Hannibal's further progress at this wide and rapid river. He had a force of twenty-two thousand foot and two thousand horse.
Scipio was not aware of the exact time of Hannibal's arrival at the Rhone, as the latter had purposely marched some four days9 distance inland. He had by no means expected such an event. It is possible that Scipio calculated that if Hannibal moved towards Italy at all, he would hug the shore of the Mediterranean until he reached the Rhone, and that he would essay an entrance to Italy by way of the Maritime Alps. Polybius says Scipio believed that Hannibal would not attempt a passage of the Alps at all; he may have looked on the Carthaginian march as a mere diversion to keep him away from Spain. But he was rudely undeceived. He at once threw over his expedition to Spain, unloaded his vessels, and sent a column of three hundred cavalry up the left bank to beat the country and to bring him notice of the approach of the rash invaders. He had no idea they were so near at hand.
Scipio must be held to blame for not sending out more numerous scouting parties to ascertain definitely Hannibal's whereabouts. He might have learned, long before Hannibal neared the Rhone, that he was not far away. He should then have taken up a central position farther from the coast, and reconnoitred the river up and down by small parties, holding himself in readiness to dispute the enemy's passage. He could not, of course, hold all the available places where the river could be crossed. This would have dispersed his troops too much and rendered them liable to be taken in the rear by a force which should manage a crossing, and thus to be beaten in detail. The central position was the best from which to move rapidly to any threatened point, while Hannibal was building boats or otherwise getting ready. In case Hannibal had still succeeded in forcing or stealing a passage, Scipio could have retired his parties concentrically to some prearranged position, and have forced Hannibal to battle before he could reach the Alps, and with the river in his rear; or else could have fallen on him in flank or rear in case he moved away. Scipio's evident duty was to bring Hannibal to battle as far from Italy as possible, even at great risk to his own army. For any pitched battle must weaken Hannibal and might ruin his attempt on Italy. But it was just this part of the art of war — strategy — of which the Romans were as yet ignorant, and of which Hannibal was so consummate a master. Scipio was no wiser than his times. It was strategy the Romans were to learn from Hannibal by so much bitter experience. As tacticians they had already made considerable strides.
It can be determined with reasonable accuracy where Hannibal crossed the Rhone. It was nearly midway between the coast and the Isdre. There is a common agreement to identify the place as a little north of modern Avignon, near Roquemaure. Here Hannibal's smooth tongue came well in play. He not only gained the ear, but the active help of the inhabitants of the right bank. There were many boats on the Rhone capable of making trips at sea, and numberless canoes. These he purchased at a good price from the Gauls, and by getting their assistance, and timber for building others, — mainly common "dug-outs," —he was equipped in two days for crossing, " each one striving to stand in no need of his neighbor, but to put in himself all hope of effecting a passage/' as says Polybius. This sentence well shows how Hannibal had trained Ids men to self-reliance and helpfulness, just as Alexander had trained his Macedonians. They could turn their hands to anything.
But on the other side of the Rhone was a tribe of Gauls — the Cavares— who, if not imbued with Roman ideas, were well alive to their own independence and stood ready to oppose his passage.
CROSSING THE RHONE
Hannibal was not only fertile in resources, but he undoubtedly knew of Alexander's passage of the Hydaspes. Anticipating such opposition, he sent, on the third night, a detachment under Hanno, son of Bomilcar, one of his ablest lieutenants, with local guides, some two hundred stadia (twenty-five miles) up the river, where, near modern Pont St. Esprit, they found an island dividing the stream; and by constructing some boats and rafts from material at hand, lashing the logs with cords which they had brought with them, they were enabled to pass to the eastern side, and at once moved downstream. Hannibal had allowed this detachment three days to accomplish its mission, and had, in the early morning of the fourth day after their leaving, all the troops of his leading division ready embarked and awaiting the signal — the smoke of a huge bonfire — which this flanking party was to give him. The Cavares were so much occupied with Hannibal's ostensible preparations to cross, about which he was particularly active for this very reason, and with their own schemes for opposing the passage, that they paid little heed to anything up or down the river and knew naught of Hanno's march.
Having reached a position not far upstream from the barbarian army, the flanking party hid behind an affluent of the Rhone and gave its signal. No sooner was this seen than Hannibal ordered the boats to start across. The Rhone was swollen and rapid, and it necessitated heavy work to pull through the turgid current. The flankers, who were now closing in upon the Cavares from up the river, as soon as they perceived the boats get under way, prepared to charge in upon the enemy's flank and rear. Their activity was taken advantage of by HannibaL The heavy horsemen were in the larger boats, the infantry in the canoes. The former put across farthest upstream, so that the lighter and more frail craft could be rowed in their lee. The horses were mostly swum across, some at the side and some in the stern of each boat; but a few, ready saddled for immediate use, were aboard.
The barbarians had left their intrenchments and came down to the bank " in a scattered and tumultuous manner".
The passage began; " those who were in the larger boats vying with each other in loud cries and straggling against the rapidity of the stream, and both armies standing on each bank of the river; the Carthaginians anxious for and exhorting their men with their shouts, and the barbarians opposite raising their war-cry and daring them to come on; the scene was such as would be likely to create no small dread and anxiety in the minds of the spectators.9' (Polybius.) At this moment the flanking detachment debouched from hiding and took the barbarians utterly by surprise. A part of the force set the camp on fire, but the bulk fell on those who were guarding the passage. Some of the barbarians rushed to the defense of the camp; most of them remained on the shore; all were demoralized. Hannibal, who was in one of the first boats, headed his men as they landed, sharply attacked, and, without many casualties, dispersed the Gauls, who had lost their head in the surprise of Hanno, and who confusedly retired from the river to a place of safety. The work was vigorously pushed. By successive crossings before night, Hannibal's whole army, except the elephants, got put over. These latter were in the succeeding three days ferried across on huge earth-covered rafts, after much difficulty had been experienced in persuading them aboard. Here we may let Polybius tell his own story, upon which nothing can improve : —
" The elephants were brought over in the following manner : Having made a great number of rafts, they joined two of them together strongly and made them fast to the land on the bank; the breadth of the two thus united being about fifty feet. They then fastened two more to the extremity of these, which advanced out into the river; they secured also that side which was on the stream by cables from the land, fastened to some trees which grew on the bank, in order that they might not be forced away by the strength of the current. Having made this raft in the form of a bridge about two hundred feet in length, they added to the end of it two other larger floats very firmly joined together, but fastened to the rest in such a manner that the cable by which they were held might easily be cut asunder. They fixed also many ropes to these, by means of which the boats that were to tow them across might keep them from being carried down the stream; and thus resisting the current, convey the elephants on them to the other side. They next spread a great quantity of earth upon the rafts, laying it on until they had rendered them level, and similar in color with the road on the land that led to the passage. The elephants being accustomed to obey the Indians did so till they approached the water, but never daring to venture in, they first led forward two female elephants along the rafts, when the rest presently followed. Upon reaching the extreme rafts, the cables which fastened them to the rest were cut, and they were instantly towed by the boats towards the other side. At this, the elephants being thrown into great disorder, turned every way, and rushed to every part of the raft. But being surrounded on all sides by water, their fears subsided, and they were constrained to remain where they stood. In this manner were the greater part of the elephants brought over, two rafts being thus continually fitted to the rest. Some, however, through fear, threw themselves into the stream in the midst of the passage. The Indians who conducted these all perished, but the beasts themselves escaped; for owing to the strength and size of their trunks they were able to raise these above the water, and breathe through them; and thus discharging the water as it entered their mouth, they held out, and walked across the most part of the river."
Hannibal, hearing that the Roman fleet had neared the mouth of the Rhone, at once sent a small party of five him-dred Numidian cavalry down the east bank to ascertain the whereabouts of Scipio, of whose landing he had also heard rumors. He then called a meeting of the army. We are not told of what such an assembly consisted, as we are about the army-conclaves of Alexander. Probably, all officers, including syntagma — or battalion — commanders, were included. He introduced to them Magilus, and some petty chiefs of the Padane Gauls, who had come to meet the Carthaginian army. These chiefs assured the army of a march through a region affording plenty of supplies, of the fertility of Italy and the zeal of the Gauls in their behalf. Their presence had an excellent effect; and Hannibal's further exhortations put the army into first-rate cheer.
The Numidian scouting-party had very soon run into the three hundred Roman horse sent out by Scipio for the same purpose. A sharp conflict had ensued, in which the Numid-ians were defeated, with a loss of two hundred men to the Roman one hundred and forty, and pursued back to the Carthaginian oamp-intrenchments. Here the Romans, ascertaining the fact of Hannibal's crossing, and seeing his elephants on the other side, at once turned and hurriedly made their way back to Scipio with the news. It was too late. Scipio broke camp at once, put his heavy baggage on board his ships and advanced up the river, but he reached Hannibal's camp three days after the Carthaginians had left it. His lost opportunity must have been sensibly felt.
Here is a chance to read between the lines of Polybius and of Livy, who copies him. The commander of the Roman cavalry, it is said, had penetrated to the edge of the Carthaginian camp. What easier for Hannibal than to drive him away ? But Hannibal may have wanted him to see, and for this reason probably his Numidians had received orders to lure him on from wherever they found him to this spot, which orders they had courageously and admirably carried out by allowing themselves to be beaten with heavy loss and pursued. The Numidians were vastly better cavalry than the Romans, especially good on such service, and the defeat of five hundred of their number by three hundred Roman horse, with such casualties, would be incredible, were it not explained in some such way.
What Hannibal wished Scipio to believe was that he had not yet crossed the Rhone, and that it might yet be an affair of many days with him. Of this he proposed to convince Scipio's scouting-party. For if he could induce him to believe this, Scipio would probably move up the river, and thereby lose much time, which was exactly what Hannibal wanted him to do, as it would keep him the longer from Italy, Hannibal's goaL The elephants were still on the other side, with some few troops, and Hannibal made as much of a show of these latter as possible, and as little of the force on the left bank. This neat little stratagem succeeded admirably, for when the soouting-party returned to Scipio, its commander evidently gave him such information as to induce Scipio to waste nearly a week marching up the Rhone and back again. It was this week which prevented Scipio from reaching the Po in season to push on towards the passes of the Alps, to meet Hannibal there, or at least from demoralizing his Gallic allies by an attack before the Carthaginian army could reach them. All this is a mere assumption, but it is not a violent one.
When Scipio reached Roquemaure, he was much too late to make it worth while to follow up the invader, who was already far up the Rhone. The Gauls, except those under the influence of Massilia, would, from their excessive hatred of the Romans, be certain to take sides with Hannibal, and thus imperil and retard his pursuit. So he adopted the more rational policy of going back to Italy and preparing to meet Hannibal as he debouched, if he ever did so, from his harassing passage of the Alps into cisalpine Gaul.
He could reach Genoa in seven days, and would, he thought, have abundant time to prepare a warm reception for Hannibal on the Po. It has been said by some critics that he should have returned to Italy with his entire force; but, in the first place, Scipio did not fully gauge the danger Rome was running; and, in the second place, he may have thought that a descent on Spain would tend to handicap his opponent's plan. This was a sensible line of argument, and he followed it up by sending the bulk of his army by sea into Spain, under his brother, Cnseus Scipio, to carry out the original orders of the senate; while with a much smaller part he retired to northern Italy, where he could take command of the army of twenty-five thousand men which lay on the river Po, under the praetors Manlius and Atilius.
This course of Scipio's can scarcely have been a blind one. He had reason to believe that he could gather troops enough in Italy; and that he could best hamper Hannibal by attacking him at his base of supplies in Spain, and thus prevent his receiving further reinforcements, was by no means a shortsighted theory. Scipio should be commended for this reasoning, which looked beyond the immediate present. It shows that he could take a broad view of the military situation. A narrow mind may make a tactician. It never can make a strategist.
But Soipio, with true Roman self-reliance, underrated his adversary, and he was not yet informed of the defeat of the praetors by the Gauls, which had recently taken place. He believed that the twenty-five thousand men he expected to command in northern Italy would easily hold head against Hannibal. This proved to be an error, following on his carelessness in allowing Hannibal to cross the Rhone without a battle, and distance him towards the Alps. Scipio's general plan was excellent; the details were weak because he did not properly gauge the danger.
Hannibal had made haste to move up towards the mountains, as Livy says, fearing that Scipio would be upon his heels; but more probably to get to the Alps before the season grew too late. His infantry had been started the day after the assembly, followed by the trains. His cavalry was drawn up " towards the sea," to curtain his inarch, and it and the elephants formed his rearguard under his own command, to fend off a Roman pursuit He was forced to speed from more than one reason. He must cross the Alps before the heavy snows. Though he had allies on the Po, he was not certain of the populations through which he was to march.
Even eliminating the chances of an attack by Soipio, which, though not probable, might yet occur, his advance might excite hostility, and raise up enemies in front and flank and rear, all of which would consume time, and he had little time left. The difficulties before him were appalling; but he had burned his ships; there was but one course for him to pursue even if we assume that Hannibal was capable of turning back; he must push for Italy. And this he at once set about doing with characteristic vigor.
He was cheered on his way by the chiefs from cisalpine Gaul, whom he had met at the Rhone, and the knowledge that they and their allies had risen against the Romans. This was another fact urging him to speed in joining them. These chiefs promised him plenty of rations and reinforcements, so soon as he should reach the Po, and they hoped to conciliate their cousins along his line of march, though some of these, as will be seen, they failed to influence to peace.
POLYBIUS and Iivy are the two author* who hare treated at length of Han-nibal's passage of the Alps. The former wrote bat a generation after the event, and had himself been over the ground and consulted those who lived through these times; the latter wrote in his study during the reign of Augustus. Polybius is universally aooepted as the most reliable of the ancient historians; and aa he and Livy are not to be reconciled, Polybius is the safer to follow. This author tells us that, in his day, only four Alpine passes were known, — those now called theSplugen and the Little St Bernard, Mt Gentvre, and one over the Maritime Alps. The first and last are manifestly excluded; we must choose between the other two. HM"^, after crossing the Rhone, marched up the river, crossed the Isere and entered the Insula, as the territory between the Rhone, Isere and Mt du Chat is called. Here he assisted one Branous in gaining his disputed throne, and this chief conducted him to the entranoe of the Alps, and furnished him with food and olothes and shoes. At the first pass,—the Chevelu, — Hannibal was attacked by the tribes living in the valley beyond; but by a clever night-attack, he gained possession of it, and descending into the valley, destroyed their chief city, modern Chambery, and fully rationed the army. From this valley he marched up the Isere to modern See*. Along this route we find that Polybius* account of the days' marches and his tables of distances accurately tally with the topography. On the way, some of the valley barbarians entered into alliance with him, but it was with a treacherous purpose, which Hannibal suspected, and which was soon revealed.
THE passage of the Alps by Hannibal, while one of the most wonderful operations in military history, was but a step in his gigantic conception of an invasion of Italy. Infinitely greater as a feat than Napoleon's passage of the Great St Bernard in 1800, it was yet, like Napoleon's, bat a part of one superb plan. As a wonderful thing to do, it is equaled only by Alexander's crossing the Hindu-Koosh.
Hannibal's passage of the Alps has a military value calling for no greater space than his victories at the Trebia or at Cannae. But as it has been for two thousand years a shuttlecock of historic disputation, it will be treated at considerable length and somewhat controversially. Some of the minor points, having no special influence on the general result, — to discuss all of which would demand an entire volume, — are omitted.
GENERAL MAP OF RHONE TO PO
The two ancient historians who have treated of the Second Punic War at greatest length are Polybius and Livy. Those portions of the works of Polybius treating of the life of Hannibal, which have survived to us, show this historian to be preferable to Livy as a guide in all matters military. Especially is this so in the relation of the passage of the Alps. The fact that Polybius was a soldier, trained under Philo-poemen, and that he lived and wrote but a generation after Hannibal's extraordinary campaigns in Italy; that he had talked with men who had lived through the terrors and sacrifices of the time, and that he personally visited the Alps and went over the route pursued by Hannibal, of which, at that time, there could have been no question, should alone suffice to place his narrative above that of Livy, who lived and wrote during the reign of Augustus, who copied largely and by no means always accurately from Polybius, and who wrote in a far less judicial spirit than the Greek. Livy quotes as one of his authorities " Fabius, a contemporary of this war;" but he may have copied from Fabius as inaccurately as he has from Polybius; and in any case, Polybius at first hand is better than any author at second.
Not to notice the fabulous in his writings, we cannot adopt Livy as a guide and get Hannibal across the Alps by any known route without constant contradictions and inconsistencies. Polybius, while not boasting the beautiful style of Livy, states his facts in a far more accurate manner. We can take Polybius in hand, and by crossing the Little St. Bernard, have but one or two of his phrases to construe otherwise than in their literal meaning. The distances he gives are accurate, the topographical features tally, and — most important factor of all — this route appears to have been the one which Hannibal would be apt to select; for it was the only one which would bring him into the country of his Gallic allies in Italy, the very thing he had set out from Spain to do.
In one matter only is Polybius wanting. He rarely uses the names of peoples, rivers, mountains or towns. As he was writing for his own countrymen rather than for Romans, it is not wonderful that he should have avoided the use of names which were not only unmeaning to the Greeks, but would militate against the clearness of his story. His geographical statements, however, are as accurate as those of any ancient author; his descriptions of the route are excellent. Had Polybius used but one or two more names, there would be no room left for controversy. As between Polybius and Livy there is no question as to whom it is best to follow, — certainly in this part of Hannibal's history. You cannot reconcile their accounts nor construe Polybius in the light of Livy's statements, though in most of the known treatises on this subject, some three hundred and fifty in number, the feat is o ften attempted. Polybius9 account is all but contemporary, is that of a soldier, and bears internal evidence of accuracy. So much cannot be said of Livy's, so far at least as the passage of the Alps is concerned. Livy sustains Polybius in most of what he narrates by copying him. Whenever he is lame or inconsistent it is apt to be when he departs from his Greek predecessor.
THE RHONE AND THE ALPS
The Alps were not really well known to the Romans until the time of Augustus. The only peoples to whom they were familiar were the Gauls. The earliest military road was probably made by Pompey, over Mt. Genevre, when he had Iberia assigned to him as a province. Livy tells us of'five migrations of the Gauls into Italy and the routes they pursued,— the earliest being almost six hundred years before Christ; but his account is naturally confused, for the facts are legendary. Each tribe in all probability made its way through the pass most convenient to its own territory. That the Alps had been far from insurmountable is clear, for Poly-bius also tells us that " the Gauls inhabiting the banks of the Rhone, many and many times before Hannibal, and very recently besides, have crossed the Alps with immense forces, to fight the Romans and assist their brothers of the plains of the Po." These passages of the mountains in no manner lessen the extraordinary character of that of Hannibal The difference between a savage horde crossing the Alps in summer and among friends, and the passage of a regular army with all its trains, including elephants, after snow had fallen and among enemies, need not be insisted on. And, moreover, it was not the mere feat of the passage, however wonderful, but the gigantic conception of the whole plan of campaign, which elicits our wonder.
It is well to begin by reducing our problem down to its lowest denominations. Unless we do this, there is such a mass of plausible matter to be waded through that the reader's patience would fail him.
From Polybius comes our earliest information on the subject of the Alpine roads. Strabo tells us that Polybius, in some of his books now lost, mentions, as the only ones known to him, four passages of the Alpine range: first, one "through the Ligurians, close to the Tyrrhenian Sea,'9 that is, over the Maritime Alps from Nice to Genoa; second, one " through the country of the Taurini, which Hannibal traversed," that is, the Cottian Alps, or over Mt. Genevre; third, one " through that of the Salassi," that is, the Graian Alps, or the Little St. Bernard; fourth, one over the Rhaetian Alps, or the Splugen.
THE ALPINE PASSES
If, then, Strabo is correct in quoting four passes as the only ones which Polybius knew, it is clear that among them we must choose our route. For where such specific information is at hand, given by so good an authority as Strabo, it seems unwise not to give it heed. Now the first and fourth passes are clearly excluded; the first on account of the presence of the Roman army at Massilia, the fourth as being much too far to the east. We are narrowed down to the two central passes, Mt. Genevre or the Little St. Bernard. In lieu of the former, Mt, Cenis or Monte Yiso might be selected. And it is between these passes that most of the critics make their choice.
It is the Little St. Bernard which appears best to satisfy the relation of Polybius, and that it is the one which Hannibal apparently took will now be explained at length. It is to be noted, moreover, that Cornelius Nepos, in his life of Hannibal, states that the Carthaginians crossed the Graian Alps, and Csdius Antipater, who wrote a hundred years after Hannibal, strongly suggests in his narrative the Little St Bernard.
It will be permissible here to say that for many years the author has been the advocate of the Mt. Cenis route, in this following Napoleon's dictum; but a close study of the authorities, and a repeated crossing and careful comparison of the several passes, with Polybius and Livy in the hand, has convinced him that he was wrong.
Hannibal, we have seen, did not leave Cartagena in early June, 218 B. C, until he had received a deputation from the Boii and Insubrts, dwelling on the Po, who had lately been at war with Rome, and who sought his assistance and promised aid in provisions and men. He was too good a soldier to march out on an unknown route over such a range as the Alps, and against such an enemy as Rome, with less. " He had," says Polybius, " made exact inquiries with respect to the fertility of the country at the foot of the Alps and near the Po, the number of its inhabitants and their courage in war," and the Carthaginians had long had Gauls in their service. The Insubres and the Boii who had come to Spain to see him could and did give him very fairly accurate details about the Alps and northern Italy, as well as assured him how warmly they would embrace his alliance. They " declared that the passage of the Alps was indeed very laborious and difficult, but not at all impossible.'* The fact that he was aiming to join the Insubres and Boii is one of those on which we must rely to show why Hannibal should have chosen the Little St Bernard rather than the nearer passage over Mt Cenis or Mt. Genfevre. He knew the Alps only by hearsay, and perhaps did not know that he must march a greater distance to gain his allies' territory; but no doubt had he been aware of the longer route his allies' guides would lead him, he would have taken it in order to reach a friendly country on which he could rely as a base. For Hannibal was an old campaigner, and had too long marched to and fro in the mountains of Spain not to know what the passage of the Alps might mean; and he would scarcely elect to lead his army, which the march must under the most favorable conditions seriously fatigue and deplete, at once into the land of foes, not to speak of the danger of these foes blocking the passes through which he must descend from the watershed of the Alps upon the plains of Italy, and of their thus catching him in a cul-de-sac.
One of the chief elements of Polybius' account on which we rely to trace Hannibal's march are the tables of distances. These we must unquestionably accept. It will not do to brush these aside, as there is often a disposition to do by those advocating Livy as a guide. Polybius, it is universally agreed, is the most accurate and consistent of the authori ties, especially in military matters. We cannot drop out of sight any part of his narrative; nor is this necessary, for the whole may be made to tally with great accuracy. Over the first part of the way — from Cartagena to the Rhone — the Romans had by Polybius' time made a road, and had so marked the route every eight stadia, that is, every Roman mile, that Polybius could give the distances ex cathedra. We may fairly assume that the rest of his distances are rear sonably correct, as he had passed over the ground himself. At any rate, it is all we have to rely on. If any substantial portion of Polybius is brushed aside, nothing but guesswork remains. Polybius' uniform accuracy commends these distances to our undoubting acceptation.
The most important distances are, " from the Rhone, for those who are traveling along the river in the direction of its source," to the ascent of the Alps, fourteen hundred stadia; the Alps themselves, twelve hundred stadia. In addition to this, Polybius tells us that from Cartagena to the Ebro are twenty-six hundred stadia; and from the Ebro to Emporiae, sixteen hundred stadia; and from thence to the passage of the Rhone, sixteen hundred stadia; so that we have Hannibal's entire march mapped out. For though the Roman road was built after Hannibal's day, such roads were apt to follow the old country routes which may have been in use for many centuries previous; and especially is this so in the Alps, where the watercourses or mountain-gaps mark out the natural roadways.
Thus we begin first by narrowing ourselves down to the choice of Polybius as our guide, on account of his universally accepted accuracy and of his being the only contemporary writer who gives us details, and whom we have at first-hand; and, secondly, by taking him without omission or alteration, supplementing by other authors when they do not disagree with him. Let us see how well this works.
Hannibal reached the Rhone at Roquemaure, and actually crossed the river a league above. This seems to be well proven by the description of the river and by its distance, as given by Polybius, from Emporiae, the Insula Allobrogum (or Delta made by the Rhone, Isfere and Mt. du Chat), and the sea. The distance from Emporise is given as sixteen hundred stadia, two hundred miles; and it is actually two hundred and four from Emporise to Roquemaure. The whole distance from crossing the Rhone to the foot of the Alps being given as fourteen hundred stadia, one hundred and seventy-five Roman miles, Polybius says that from the Insula to the Alps was eight hundred stadia, one hundred miles, leaving seventy-five miles from the crossing to the Insula. Roquemaure is just about seventy-five miles from the confluence of the Rhone and Isere, that is, the Insula. It is also sixty miles from the ancient seashore line, at say Foz; and Polybius states the sea to be about four days' march from the place of crossing, which, at fifteen miles a day, is accurate enough. Moreover, the Rhone here "flows in a single stream," which does not often occur, as the Rhone is generally full of islands; and it is improbable that Hannibal crossed below the river Durance (where there is a similar stretch without islands), as he would in that event have had that stream to cross as well. The island where Hanno passed the river is just above Pont St. Esprit, opposite La Palud.
The proof of our assumption that Hannibal crossed the Little St. Bernard lies largely in the accurate tally of days and distances from the crossing of the Rhone. These must be carefully computed, even at the risk of being somewhat tiresome.
As already narrated, the army was got over, excepting the elephants, on the fifth day after the arrival at the Rhone. On the sixth day, the five hundred Numidian horse was sent out towards Massilia, and came back with the Romans at their heels; and the army held the meeting at which the chiefs of the allies on the Po were presented. On the seventh day the infantry set off up the Shone, and on this and the eighth day the elephants were got across. On the ninth, Hannibal, with the cavalry and the elephants, followed tho column as rear-guard.
Three days after, Publius Scipio reached Roquemaure. This gave six days for his soonting-detachment to rejoin him and for him to march to Eoquemaure. It being eight days' march (four down and four up), he evidently made it, as Polybius says, " with all possible haste."
Polybius describes the Rhone as flowing towards the setting sun of winter, that is, about from northeast to southwest Here is clearly an inaccuracy, though, indeed, the Rhone, in a general line from its source to its mouth, does so run. But it first flows west and then south, making an angle at Lyons. In this, as in other matters, Polybius, writing for the Greeks, who knew nothing of this part of the world, no doubt meant to describe the general direction of the river and of Hannibal's march; and no doubt his own ideas of the direction were as limited as those of all ancients in respect to geography. He had no instruments, and spoke solely by the sun and stars.
After crossing, Hannibal reached the Insula in four days* march; but the infantry,—with baggage, presumably,— which formed the head and bulk of the column, had two days9 start, and thus inarched the seventy-five miles in six days, twelve and one half miles a day. As they had several rivers to cross on the route, bridging some of which would eat up time, this rate of speed was good. The rear-guard — elephants and cavalry —easily made the same distance in four days, nineteen miles a day, for it was unincumbered with baggage, and had the road prepared for it.
POLIBIUS' IDEA OF THE INSULA
The Insula is well described by Polybius by likening it to the Delta of the Nile, but having rugged mountains on one side instead of the sea. It can be nothing but the triangular region between the Rhone and Isfere, closed on the east by the Mt. du Chat. The description tallies with Polybius' statement that the course of the Rhone is southwest. That his geography was no better than that of the day is small wonder. He likens the mountains on the third side to the position of the sea in the Nile Delta, and no doubt had in his mind something like the accompanying chart. The fact that this triangular territory is level and very abundantly watered adds to the accuracy of the description. It is universally accepted as the Insula of Polybius.
At the Insula, Hannibal found two brothers contending for their kingdom,—probably a tribe of the Allobroges, though perhaps a larger sovereignty. Embracing the cause of the eldest, Brancus, who was also the one favored by the majority of the tribe, Hannibal made a strong ally, from whom he received much subsequent assistance in munitions, corn, clothing, arms and shoes, the latter of greatest value on the mountain roads, and in protection from the rest of the Allobroges as far as the foot of the Alps.
Some modern authorities, relying on the difficulty of crossing the Isere at its confluence with the Rhone, of which Polybius does not speak, make Hannibal march up the left bank of the Isere as far as the Drao or the Arc, and thence turn towards the mountains up one or other of these streams. But Polybius rarely mentions difficulty in crossing rivers; Hannibal's men were expert pontonniers. The Allobroges lived in the Insula, and, to aid Brancus, Hannibal must have crossed the Isere in any event, having done which there was no reason for him to recross it.
THE REAL INSULA
Again, the left bank of the Isere was in places almost impassable to an army, especially one with cavalry and elephants. Near Grenoble the defiles were too narrow for troops to file through, and the streams to be crossed were rapid torrents. The modern road is largely blasted in the rock. And as Polybius says that Hannibal moved fourteen hundred stadia up " the river,'9 meaning no doubt the Shone, and not the Rhone and the Isfere, and expressly states that Hannibal " crossed (the Alps) in the part where they touch upon the Rhone," it would seem that the Isere route, which makes him cross the range so far away from the Rhone, is inadmissible. The only places where the Rhone touches the Alps at a practicable gap are Martigny, near the Great St. Bernard, — then an unknown pass, and therefore not to be considered, — or St. Genix, where is the entrance to the Mt. du Chat, one of the foothills of the Alps. This latter is therefore clearly indicated, and it is the route we are now to follow him over.
There is but one difficulty in the distance-of fourteen hundred stadia " along the river" from the crossing of the Rhone to the foot of the Alps. It obliges Hannibal to leave " the river "—that is, the Rhone—at some point, and move across country to another point, "on the river." But it is quite natural that his Gallic guide should have told him how many miles he could thus save, and equally natural that Polybius should not mention the cutting off of the angle at Lyons, for "along the river" would naturally cover such a deviation, if Hannibal regained "the river" at the end of his shortcut, while to leave the Rhone for the Isere would not. Hannibal probably left the Rhone at Vienne and rejoined it at St. Genix, marching along the then usual route via Bourgoin, afterwards made into a Roman road.
There are some lesser indications that Hannibal came this way, upon which, however, it will not do to lean too heavily. In 1714, a silver shield, with the common Carthaginian device of a lion and palm, and engraved in a manner unlike Roman work but much like Carthaginian medals, was found at the village of Passage, which lies on a hill where, on this route, you first get a view of the main chain of the Alps.
This shield, now in the Louvre, may have been, it is thought, a votive offering made by Hannibal on his approach to the greatest mountain chain of Europe, which he was about to cross. And indeed the name Passage is by an ancient tradition of the place said to come from the fact that Hannibal marched that way. Still, such traditions are unreliable. The Alps are full of them, and the modern are with difficulty to be distinguished from the ancient.
EXITS TO INSULA
Near modern Aouste, Brancus, the chief of the Allobroges, left Hannibal. Here the flat country ends, and Polybius states that the chief "secured them from all attack till they drew near the foot of the Alps." From the confluence of the Rhone and Isere to Chevelu, at the foot of the Mt da Chat, is, by our route, just about one hundred miles, the eight hundred stadia of Polybius. From St. Genix the Rhone cannot be followed far upstream, owing to its precipitous banks from La Balme to Yenne, and around the head of the Mt. du Chat, where the present road has been blasted a considerable part of the way. Hannibal probably struck from St. Genix over the hills by Chevelu, with only the guides from his Padane allies as a compass.
There are now several passes from " the Island " over the foothills of the Alps. The most southerly one, by Moirans to Voreppe and Grenoble, can scarcely have been the one selected by Hannibal; for he would not have come so far up the Rhone, merely to go back on his steps. He would rather have kept along the Isere to begin with, and we have shown the difficulty of this route. The next northerly one is Les Echelles, which was not opened until the seventeenth century, and up to that time had at many places stairs cut in the rocks to aid in the ascent. To Hannibal's elephants and cavalry, not to mention pack-mules, this route was an impossibility. Hannibal probably did not even know of it. Next come two routes to Chainblry, on either side of the lake of Aigue-bellette, but they are only practicable for mules. The last is the Mt. du Chat, the Chevelu Pass, so called from the village at its western outlet; and this alone fulfills the table of distances, which are best taken from the later established Augustan Itinerary, or which may be roughly reckoned from the course of the roads to-day. This alone is " where the Alps touch upon the Rhone." Moreover, it is vastly easier than the others, and Polybius says that Hannibal reached the Alps at a place " through which alone the army oould pass." This leads us to suppose that the others were as yet unknown, and at his time it is altogether probable that only this one was practicable. All things considered, the Cheveln Pass comes nearest the description of Polybius; and even to-day the people tell you that there is no road (by which they mean none over which they care to take you) across this range between the Chevelu Pass and the Grande Chartreuse, that is, the first one above cited.
THE CHEVELU PASS
When Hannibal reached the foot of the mountain he found that the Allobroges from beyond the Mt. du Chat, notified perhaps by those in the Insula who had sided against Bran-CU8, had occupied the pass he intended to use. He camped, and sent out his Gallic guides as spies, to ascertain the exact situation. These came back with the information that the barbarians held the pass in force only in the daytime, but retired to their village, on the farther side of the pass, to spend the night. This was a common custom among the barbarians. Operations at night were looked on as impossible. But Hannibal was not of like mind. He ordered many camp-fires to be lighted, to fortify the barbarians in the impression that he would not stir till morning, — an old and worn-out ruse, which, despite its simplicity, is apt to succeed, — and then, heading his best troops in light order, lie seized on the pass after nightfall, apparently unopposed.
At the summit of the pass, on the left going in the direction Hannibal took, the rocks are not high, — less than one hundred feet above the road. On the right rises to a considerable altitude the peak called the Mt. du Chat, which gives its name to the range of which it is the summit. The left hand rocks were probably then as now covered with a scrub growth, and are full of hiding-places, where for about a quarter of a mile archers could send down a murderous fire on a column passing the defile. This falls in well with what Polybius states the operations of the Allobroges and Hannibal to have been. They had probably taken up a position on this rock, from which it would be hard to dislodge a force, as well as on the heights opposite; and on their decamping, after dark, Hannibal took advantage of the situation, and placed his own troops on the same height.
He now had possession of the defile, but he had a very steep and difficult descent before him. The mountain on the Chamb£ry side rises sharply from the valley, and the road to-day is cut into the hillside in zigzags. Still he had the enemy at a disadvantage. When daylight came, and the Allobroges returned to the pass, they found themselves checkmated ; but seeing with how great difficulty the Carthaginians were making their way beyond the defile (there was probably only an apology for a road, a mule-path, at best), they began several simultaneous attacks at different places on the marching column. The pack train especially suffered from this attack. There seems to have been a regular stampede, such as we sometimes see in our Indian wars, and many wounded and frightened animals rolled down the precipice, which at the outlet of the defile lies on the left of the road; for whatever path there was must have led downward, with the heights upon the right.
DESCENT FROM CHEVELU PASS
Seeing the danger to his baggage, the preservation of which was of the highest necessity in his mountain march, Hannibal advanced on the Allobroges, with the body which had seized the defile; and after some time, " as he made his attack from higher ground," was enabled to drive them back. Had the barbarians been able to attack the column from above, Han* nibal would have been in soro strait, but his possession of the defile enabled but few to reach the ground above the road. . They fought so stubbornly, however, that most of them were killed; for the lay of the land was such that they were compelled to fight up the steep mountain-side. This, in olden times, was a much more serious obstacle than since the invention of gunpowder, for it was hard to hurl darts effectively against an enemy standing on ground far above you. The train was then enabled to make its way out of the bad ground of the pass, and down the road, towards the plain beyond.
Some writers have placed at modern Chambery the town to which the barbarians retired at night from the pass Hannibal had just forced. But the site of this town is too far from the pass to enable the barbarians to get to it each night and regain their posts by morning. Bourget would be a much more likely place, though Chamblry was apt to be the location of the chief place of the valley.
The road, from the pass down to the foot of the Mt. du Chat, overhangs the lake of Bourget, and the fact that Poly-bius does not mention this splendid sheet of water has been quoted against this route. But the lake had no military significance, and it was natural enough that Polybius should not mention it in connection with a military operation, any more than expend rhetoric on the magnificence of the Alps.
On reaching the level, Hannibal advanced on the city of the Allobroges, which he easily captured, as it was bared of defenders. Very likely this was on the site of modern Cham-b£ry, about ten miles from the pass. Here he found many horses, beasts of burden and captives, and corn and cattle enough for three days' rations. These rich supplies coincide with the natural fertility of the Chamb^ry plain, to which the plains about modern Aix les Bains are tributary. In fact, the entire valley of the Isfere is rich beyond any other which is the approach to a pass suggested as the one by which Hannibal crossed the Alps. It is perhaps the only one west of the main range able to sustain an army living, as Hannibal's was, on the country. The destruction of their town was a salutary lesson to all barbarians of the vicinity.
From Chambery to Montmeillan, the valley is four to six miles wide, a rich level of alluvial land, which character it retains in all but its breadth to Albertville. Judging from the numbers sent against Hannibal at the defile, it was well populated, which is the equivalent of fertility. From Albertville the valley is for a dozen miles towards Moutiers somewhat narrower, and inclosed between steep hills; but a number of ruined feudal castles still show that its productiveness is not recent, and to-day a very expensive railroad is building up the Isfere, for the trade of the valley alone. Except in one or two places, where it narrows almost to a gorge, it is wide and fertile, and the slopes are not only cultivated upwards for miles, but there are levels at the tops of the abutting hills which sustain large parishes. The entire valley is in marked contrast to any other route suggested; and it is certainly of all of them the one which was surely productive, and was apt to have a population of sufficient size to build roads, at the time of Hannibal's passage. To construct a road up the Isfere from the Chamblry plain is nowhere of extreme difficulty; any of the other passes are in places impracticable, except for the modern military road built at an enormous cost. With the slender means at the command of the barbarians, therefore, the Isfere route was apt to have by far the best road for an army to take.
CHAMBERY TO SEEZ
Hannibal camped for one day at the captured village, no doubt to collect rations and forage, as well as to give his men a short rest after their perilous work, and to explain to them their further route. Like all great generals, he was apt to keep touch with the mood of his men; and often convoked them in assembly, which stood in lieu of a stirring order of the day. The army appreciated its perilous undertaking. On either hand were high knif o-blade or saw-tooth ridges, at the north the lake of Bourget, on the south the white-topped outlying spurs of the Alps, on the summits of which fresh snow had already fallen. This outlook on the mountains they had yet to cross must have had a repellent effect on the Carthaginians. The Alps at times look remorseless. But Hannibal seems to have found no difficulty in cheering up his men. He had a persuasive tongue.
Assuming that as far as the Mt, du Chat our route has been correct, — and the distances, it will be observed, agree as closely as the necessary slight changes of route will allow, — there remained to be made, according to Polybius, from the " entrance to the Alps " to the " foot of the Alps " at the Italian plains a march, in fifteen days, of twelve hundred stadia, or one hundred and fifty Roman miles. The first day was the one taken up by fighting through the defile just passed, and the army lay encamped at its close on the plains of Chamblry, where they spent the second day in rest and making ready for the dangerous march before them. Polybins tells us that on the fourth day after resuming the march (the sixth from the "entrance to the Alps"), the march being now along the Isfere, envoys from the inhabitants (Centrones, into whose land he was just entering, at modern Albertville) came out to meet the Carthaginians with boughs and garlands, offering hostages and supplying cattle to its troops, " desirous," they said, " of neither doing nor suffering any injury." Hannibal was shrewdly suspicious of their intentions, but deemed it wise to conceal his mood. He saw that to openly antagonize them would place him in a bad predicament He " pretended to enter into an alliance of amity with them," took some of their number as guides, in addition to those he had received from his Insubrian allies, and marched on two days farther, which brought him to "the foot of the highest ridge of the Alps."
It is nowhere suggested that the army lost its way, and indeed the Little St. Bernard is so plain a gap in the range that guides were almost unnecessary, except to point out the details of the route. This can scarcely be said of any other pass. Having reached this spot on the eighth day from Chevelu, Hannibal found his suspicions confirmed; the defile leading from the valley to the pass was occupied by the barbarians, who attacked the head of his column at its entrance, which was " difficult of access and precipitous." This was no doubt near Seez, at the foot of the Little St. Bernard.
There are grave objections to the proposition advocated by many, in this following Napoleon, that Hannibal turned from modern Montmeillan up the Arc and crossed the Mt Cenis, though indeed this might now be the better route for an army to take. First and foremost, the route is not mentioned by Polybius as known to him, as it certainly would have been if Hannibal had passed over it. Nor does Strabo mention it. Again, the valley of the Arc is narrow and rocky and far from rich. It would be unable, indeed, to sustain an army at the present day. It could not feed a sufficient population to equip an army capable of holding head against Hannibal, as was done in the passage of the main ridge. The Mt. Cenis road would lead him into the land of the unfriendly Taurini. Even the authority of Napoleon cannot overcome these objections.
Napoleon attacks this question with his usual assertiveness, in a way to bear down all controversy. And in so doing he argues, unconsciously of course, from misstatements. He says that Polybius and Livy both allege that Hannibal first entered Italy in the land of the Taurini. But Polybius expressly says that Hannibal entered Italy in the land of the Insubrians; it is Strabo who says that Polybius states that he debouched into the Taurinian territory, — in other words second-hand evidence, and probably spurious at that; and were it not so, Polybius is surely more credible in his own words than by the hearsay of even Strabo. Were not Strabo expressly contradicted by Polybius, he would be entirely credible, but in this instance we cannot pay heed to what he says.
Putting aside the fact that only four passes are mentioned by Strabo, it is clear that Napoleon argues like a soldier of this century; not as Hannibal must have done in crossing the greatest of mountain ranges quite unknown to him, and with an equally unknown but gigantic problem beyond. It seems evident that Hannibal would make every possible sacrifice of distance, ease and even safety, in order to descend from the Alps among friends. Moreover, the Mt. Cenis valley is barely three forrths of a mile wide in any place, and narrows down to a few hundred yards. It is a desolate, poverty-stricken valley now, — what must it have been in Hannibal's era ? How could he have fed his men along this route ?
Napoleon was apt to speak as well as to act from his intuitions. But even Napoleon's intuitions are not history, though, indeed, they were so wonderful as often to make it. And, curiously, in this matter of crossing the Alps, Napoleon did not seem to be positive about the Mt. Cenis route. For one day on the passage of Monte Cervo, he is said to have remarked: "II [Annibal] n'a pu prendre qu'un des cols du revers septentrionale du Viso," which leaves a considerable choice of passes.
And, after all said, the question is not what a military man would do or ought to do, but what does Polybius say Hannibal did?
It will not do to assume that Hannibal knew very much about the Alps. This is where Napoleon errs. What he knew he had learned from his allies, the Insubres, and from his own officers who had been, not all through the Alps, but only through such passes as would lead to the territory of the Insubres. It is scarcely probable that the Insubres knew much about any of the Alpine passes except the one at their very doors; and it is still less probable that they would have directed Hannibal or Hannibal's officers to a pass or passes which would lead him into the domain of the Taurini, their enemies. The question for Hannibal's topographical engineers, if any were with the embassy which visited the Padane Gauls, to answer was, not which was the easiest of the passes of the Alps, but was the passage which would lead the army to the territory of their allies a practicable one? Still, had they been called on to answer the first question, they must have pointed out the Little St Bernard. For this is not only the easiest in the Alps for an army, but it and the Mt. da Chat are those which are the most readily followed, even without guides.
Now, if Hannibal did really cross the Mt. du Chat and head up the Isdre towards the Little St. Bernard, the distances of Folybius should agree with the miles to be covered along this route. And we find that they do very closely agree. The army would naturally follow the river, for this was the only practicable way, and along its banks was subsequently built the Roman road. In three days from Bourget or Chamb&y, four from the western foot of the Mt. du Chat, the army would reach the Arly, at modern Conflans or Albertville, where they would be met by the envoys of the Centrones, above mentioned, whose boundary this river was. Almost to modern Moutiers on the sixth, and to modern Ayme on the seventh, would be fair marches, and the middle of the eighth would find the army at modern Bourg St. Maurice or S6ez. The march so far would be easy and along a valley where the barbarians would not be apt to attack, for it is several miles wide near Chamb&y, and from one upwards near Albertville, which would enable Hannibal to forestall any attack with ease; and that there was no fighting is what Polybius tells us. From Bourget to S6ez is seventy-five miles. To make this in six days is twelve and a half miles a day, — a fair rate of speed for a long column, especially while gathering rations. So far, Polybius' account coincides as well with this route as it is possible to expect.
HANNIBAL'S suspicious were confirmed. At the defile at the foot of the little St. Bernard, his pretended allies made an attack on his marching column; and it was with extreme difficulty that he beat them off and saved his army, and this with heary loss. The mention of " a certain white rock," by Poly-bins, enables ns to locate the battle-field. Daring the battle, the train was poshed on ahead np towards the summit of the pass, and when the army reached the spot it rested two days. Polybins describes a plain at the top of the pass crossed by Hannibal, which corresponds with that at the top of the Little St Bernard. Here Hannibal cheered his army by showing them that they were on the watershed and that their course would now be downward, towards fertile Italy. Snow had fallen, there was no vegetation, and the loss of part of the train in the late battle made the prospect serious. On the way down, the men had difficulty in keeping to the road, or in maintaining their footing. Many slid down the precipices and were killed. Not far down they found the road carried away by a landslide. Starvation stared them in the face; but Hannibal managed to get the road repaired and thence desoended to pasturage. The elephants were all but dead before they got forage. In three days from the break in the road they reached the level country and were Among friends. Taking all these facts into consideration, there remains small doubt that it was the Little St Bernard by which the Carthaginians crossed the Alps, The one fact suffices that they were led by Insubrian guides, and this pass alone, among those then known, wonld take them into friendly territory. Moreover, on this route, the days and distances accord better with those given by Polybius than they can be made to do orw any other pass.
THE ground at Seez admirably coincides with what Polybius tells us of the attack made at the foot of the highest pass by the barbarians on the Carthaginian column. It was the end of October. Following is substantially his account.
VALLEY AT SEEZ
Though Hannibal had seen fit to receive the advances of the barbarians who met him at the Arly, he had yet, with commendable prudence, taken his measures to be ready for a possible attack He placed the baggage, elephants and cay-alxy in front, while with the heavy-armed troops he held the rear. When the Carthaginians, in this order, " were passing through a ravine very difficult of access, and closed in by steep and rugged heights,.. the barbarians, having, meanwhile, assembled together in great numbers, made a sudden attack." The column had apparently made some progress through the defile, but the barbarians, who had secretly lined the heights bordering upon it, " advancing along the sides of the mountain " as fast as the Carthaginians through the defile, rolled rocks and hurled stones upon them, and spread such confusion and disorder in the ranks as to cause the loss of a vast number of men, beasts of burden and horses. Though but few, and these the most active of the barbarians, could clamber up the steep sides of the ravine, it was difficult to cope with this attack; but, as the bulk of the barbarians had apparently fallen on the rear-guard as it was moving up the S6ez slope, they were more easily held in check. Hannibal saw at once that if he was able to hold the mouth of the defile, he could fend off pursuit, and by suitable flanking parties hold back the attacks on the column filing through. He, therefore, with half the army, occupied " a certain white rock, strong from its position/' which commanded the approaches to the defile, and, making his bivouac close to it for the night, was able to drive off the enemy, and get his entire column through by morning. For the enemy had difficulty in making his way along the precipices bordering the defile during the day, and after nightfall could scarcely do so at all.
The train and cavalry and elephants had been kept in motion all night, and were well on ahead (" now separated from him "), with part of the infantry column following on. These suffered next day only from isolated attacks by smaller detachments, which may perhaps have advanced along the easier slope above St Germain, so as to head off the Carthaginian army. The exhibition of the elephants, which the barbarians had never seen, and upon which they looked as something supernatural, always checked their advance. On the following, the ninth day, Hannibal made his way to the head of column and reached the summit of the pass. Here he halted to reorganize his column, and camped two days, during which time many stragglers and animals came in, contrary to all expectation. The pack-animals had, however, mostly lost their loads. This fight, and that at the Mt du Chat, must have been very severe, as much of the total loss is to be ascribed to them. So far Polybius, interspersed with explanations.
Now let us look at our terrain. Just below S£ez, the valley of the Isere, which here is wide and level, and to-day under fine cultivation, narrows, and makes a sharp bend to the southeast; and it is here joined from the northeast by the Reclus, a stream having its rise in the Little St. Bernard, and fed by numberless brooks from the mountains on either hand. The ground from the river slopes up, and finally, after a rise of about six hundred feet in a dope of over a mile, narrows to a gorge. This slope has on either hand high mountains, and forms an excellent defensive battle-field for any one backing up against the defile.
BATTLE AT THE WHITE ROCK
Up a ravine on the left bank of the Beclns, probably went the old Roman road. It is also probable that whatever road the barbarians had then made ran up this bank. That they had made a road through the pass we are not only informed by the authorities, but we know that the pass is utterly impracticable without a road of some kind. The population on this route was quite equal to making fair roads for foot and packs, which the necessarily sparse population of the Mt Cenis would not be apt to have done. Dominating this road, as well as the Eeclus, between which it stands boldly out, is a high white rock of gypsum, whose face is naked, and which is here universally known as La Roche Blanche. To-day it is mined, and the rock ground into fine plaster. With reference to this rock, a tradition exists in the place that a great battle was fought at its foot. Huge bones are said to have been dug out of the river-bed ; and we know that fully half the elephants perished on the passage. Too much faith must not be placed on such notions, however, as the Alps are full of traditions, many of them of deliberate fabrication.
The Carthaginian advance was probably up the ravine road. The barbarians, anticipating this, had sent a detachment up the heights on either side, had occupied the defile some way from the entrance, and had waited in the woods for the column to get well engaged in the defile before they attacked it The bulk of their force was on the plain in Hannibal's rear. Hannibal's task, then, was to defeat the attack on the marching column, as well as to prevent the main body of the barbarians from pursuing. For this latter purpose, he backed up against the Roche Blanche, in which position he could with a handful oppose a host. Possibly a column of light troops may have made its way up the rocky bed of the river, which corresponds well with the words used by Poly-biuB, and have joined the main column nearer the source of Beclus.
The Roche Blanche is perhaps three hundred feet high and commands the whole vicinity, though we must not forget the short carriage of the arms of HannibaL It is probable that Hannibal only backed up against the rock and did not use the top of it, though indeed he may have placed archers and slingers at the top to advantage. What he did was to form his line in front of the mouth of the defile, and there hold the enemy in check.
The road all the way up is very narrow and difficult, and the army could well spend all night getting through the defile; but as we ascend towards the source of the Reclus the valley widens, and here Hannibal could make his way to the head of column, so as to u lead it to the summit," as Polybius says he did.
ROADS UP THE LITTLE ST. BERNARD
Within the present generation there has been built through the Little St. Bernard a military road which, by many and long windings along the left bank and far above the Reclus, reaches the summit The old road on the right bank is now
practicable only for mules. The Roman road, as well as the Gallic road, probably ran nearer the stream,—in places climbing up the slope to avoid a particularly bad spot.
Thus the army reached the summit of the pass, and here it rested two days.
There is here what Polybius calls, and what may, in the midst of the rugged splendor of the higher Alps, properly be called, a plain, perhaps a couple of miles long, well sheltered by the surrounding heights, and having not far from its centre a small lake, from which rises the Doria. This exactly corresponds to Polybius' description of the summit of the pass by which Hannibal crossed. The summit is full of rocky hills and vales, and gradually slopes towards the northeast. So good a camping-place for an army of thirty thousand men, at the very top of an Alpine gap, it would be hard to find elsewhere. And though the fact has no particular value, it may be mentioned that near by is a large inclosure of stones, somewhat similar to Druidical temples, universally known as Hannibal's circle, where he is supposed to have held a council. Were this so, however, it must be assumed that he did not find time to stop to build a memorial of the event. These traditions go for nothing.
PLAIN AT TOP OF LITTLE ST.BERNARD
When we come to reckon distances, it is to be noted that from Chevelu to this plain is a trifle more than eighty miles. One might vary the distance by ten per cent, for mountain roads are long or short according to the grade sought to be kept. The distance tallies closely enough. The army had been eight days, not counting the rest-day, on the way. This is as well as mountain marches can be made. The battle did not seriously delay the column, which was kept in as rapid motion as possible. But Hannibal's anticipation of battle had obliged the van to wait until the trains, which usually marched in the rear, could gain the head of column.
We now approach what to some has appeared to be a difficulty.
" There was already snow collected on the summit of the mountains, as it was now near the setting of the Pleiades" (end of October). " Wherefore, seeing his troops in a state of great dejection from the hardships they had suffered and those that still awaited them, Hannibal sought, by drawing them together, to raise their drooping spirits. The sight of Italy was the readiest expedient he had for this purpose, for it is so close beneath the mountains that, when viewed together, the Alps appear as a citadel of Italy. Pointing out, therefore, to his soldiers the plains adjacent to the Po, and reminding them of the friendly disposition of their inhabitants, the Gauls, towards them, and showing them the place where Rome itself was situated, he in some degree renewed their courage. On the morrow they decamped and began the descent."
So far we have always taken Polybius literally; but if the above passage is to be so understood, the Little St. Bernard route must be abandoned, or Polybius classed with the romancers. And the advocates of other passes have laid great stress upon this paragraph. No actual view of the plains of the Po can be had from the summit of the Little St. Bernard Pass. Some claim that Polybius was speaking literally of the plains of the Po, as he was of course figuratively of the site of Some, which is four hundred miles dis-
tant as tho crow flies, and maintain that a view can be had of the plains of the Po from heights flanking some other passes. But there is less difficulty to be encountered in taking Polybius to mean that Hannibal pointed out the downward slope of the mountain and the downward flow of the watercourses, which begin right here, and told his men that at the foot of the heights where they then stood lay the lands of the friendly Gauls, and beyond it Rome, than there is in making the rest of Polybius agree with any route near which the plains below can actually be seen. There is no special violence done to Polybius in reading this whole passage figuratively; and though there are one or two crests from which, under very favorable conditions, a dim view of the plains below may be had, there is not a single pass in the Alps from which any one pretends that the Po can be seen. From the only other pass known to Polybius which comes at all near to fitting his relation, Mt Genevre, no view of the Padane valley can be had. The romantic account of Livy of itself fully proves the author's ignorance of the Alps. Indeed, Livy makes no pretense to have written his history anywhere except in his study; and while its value in other respects is undoubted, in military matters, it is, when in conflict with Polybius, certainly to be placed far below the latter, who spoke of things he had seen, if not been a part of.
FROM TOP OF PASS TO LA THUILE
It was close upon November. Hannibal had been a month too late in his crossing. The early snows had fallen, the surface of which, on the southerly exposures, thawed during the day and froze at night. The climate of the Alps was probably more severe two thousand years ago than today. These southern peoples in their half-naked condition must have suffered beyond telling. Nothing shows the wonderful power of this man, Hannibal, over men better than the patient endurance of their danger and toil by his soldiers.
The savages offered no more opposition to his advance, but the steeper and more rugged descent on the Italian side made the progress of the army difficult and slow. The mountain paths — they could have been no more — were hidden by the snows. Whoever missed his footing slid hopelessly down the precipices. Thousands were thus lost But the men were hardened to losses, looked forward to what awaited them at the foot of the mountains, and kept up their courage. They needed it sorely.
Early on the first day of descent, the eleventh in the Alps, we are told that the army reached a place where the road had been carried away by a landslide for a stadium and a half, — about three hundred yards. Such slides were usual in this place, but the present one was more extensive. The men all but lost heart Hannibal tried to avoid the place by a circuit, but a fresh fall of snow lying upon a body of the last year's fall, yet unmelted, rendered the footing absolutely treacherous and prevented the men from making any headway. The fresh snow on the sharp slope slipped upon the old, or, being trodden through, the men and horses slipped on the glassy surface underneath; the loaded mules once down could not be got on their feet; many slid down the sharp declivities; many were engulfed in the old drifts. Hannibal abandoned the attempt as impracticable. The army went into camp, and the men, sick and well, in relays, were set at clearing, propping up and rebuilding the road, a task of great risk and difficulty. Hannibal was everywhere with cheering word and active help. During the twelfth day of the passage, so many were the hands and so willing the hearts, enough progress was made to get the horses and pack-animals through, and these were at once sent down to the pastures below the snow-line. It required much effort during the coming three days, on the part of the Numidians, whom Hannibal put at the task, to repair the road sufficiently to get the elephants past the broken part These poor beasts were nearly famished, for they were yet above the line of vegetation.
THE BREAK IN THE ROAD (SECTION)
Thus Polybius. Now let us see how well our route chimes in with our author. The old last century road down from the summit of the Little St Bernard runs from the lake through a valley of slight width, beside the Doria, some six miles to the first place which can be called a level. As the crow flies, it is but three miles; by the modern military road, which zigzags down at a fair grade, it is nine. The nature of the ground corresponds well with Polybius' description of precipices down which the men slid and fell, for the first part of the way is rugged, and the last part exceedingly steep and difficult, there is little beside a succession of precipices, and with snow upon the ground there would be only the most treacherous footing. From the lower end of the summit plain one may see far below, at the foot of the sharply descending mountain side, the village of La Thuile (ancient Artolica), in a small i but fertile valley, [ where the Baltea, from the glacier of Mt. Ruitor, on the right, joins the Do-ria, and makes a stream of goodly volume, which rushes down at a sharp incline in a torrent of great power. Just below this valley, the Doria-Baltea, as it is now called, enters a ravine where it has cut its bed deep into the solid rock for a distance of some miles. On the right, the rocks rise from the river-bank perpendicularly to a height of many hundred feet to the mountain side behind. On the left, the hills are slightly farther back and equally high, but they are of a very friable sort of schist, the detritus of which has slid down from time to time, and formed, for a height of over one thousand feet, a mountain slope of sharp descent On this left bank, as you enter the gorge, is a place where for just about three hundred yards the slides are at the worst; and the old road used to be so constantly covered by avalanches and landslides as to be eventually abandoned for the right bank, where it has now been hewn in the rook. These slides and avalanches come down a funnel-shaped ravine which discharges itself in a narrow cleft, and from the rotten structure of the heights near by, these slides, as well as the avalanches, must have been usual from remote antiquity. So much snow comes down at times, so narrow is the river-gorge, and so overhanging are the rocks which shelter its bed from the sun, that in exceptional years the snow remains in huge banks throughout the summer, and sometimes even makes a natural bridge over the torrent for a long distance. Such a thing occurs nowhere else on this route, and it is quite unusual anywhere.
Now the La Thuile valley, by the ancient path, was less than six miles from the summit, and Hannibal reached the broken place in the road on his first day's march down early enough to try to turn the place by a circuit before camping. This distance would agree very well with what Polybius tells us. In attempting Cie circuit, Hannibal may have tried to cross the river on the snow, which would account for a part of his losses. Or these, indeed, may have occurred in following the road as far as the break, and in the first attempt to cross it. Or, more probably, he may have tried to pass the river above, at La Thuile, intending to skirt or march back of the heights on the right of the river, where there is a possible though difficult passage, very likely not then known to his guides, and at this season highly unpromising. The attempt, whatever it was, failed of success.
LA THULE TO PRE ST. DIDIER
The camp at the entrance to the broken road was probably
in the La Thuile plain, and was pitched at the end of the first
day. The next day was taken up in repairing
the road, and on the morrow the horses and
pack-train were got through
and sent to pasturage down
the mountain. To-day, vegetation ceases about two
miles from the summit of
the pass. In Hannibal's day there
appears to have been none in October
on this plain. It is scarcely necessary to
mention, certainly not worth while to confute, Livy's story about softening the
rocks with vinegar. It may stand as a pleasant bit of fiction.
At the end of the gorge wherein ^i n/t. was the broken way is another steep mountain side, and at its foot, in a lovely valley, modern Pre St. Didier, under the fromning glory of Mt. Blanc. Here the valley bends to the southeast on its way to Aosta below. In Hannibal's era, the valley was inhabited by the Salassi, clients of the Insubres. The lighter animals must have been sent down below St Didier, because there is not enough pasturage at this point for so many animate for any length of time. And Hannibal must have wished to keep the nearest forage for the elephants, soon to follow. Here, in October, with fresh snow in the La Thuile valley, would be the highest pasturage.
Well out of this difficulty, says Polybius, Hannibal rejoined that part of the army which had gone down to pasturage, and in three days from the broken way " descended boldly into the plains which are near the Po and the territory of the Insubrians." He had left Cartagena five months before with ninety-two thousand men. He had crossed the Rhone with thirty-eight thousand foot and over eight thousand horse. He had now under the colors but twelve thousand African and eight thousand Spanish infantry, and six thousand horse; and these were so worn out with toil and suffering, with lack of provision and extremity of weather, that " both in appearance and condition they were brought to a state more resembling that of wild beasts than human beings."
Hannibal must have been singularly careful of his cavalry to have brought it through with so small a proportionate loss. This no doubt was the result of his having saved it as much as he could. He as well knew what its value would be to him on the plains of the Po as Alexander knew the value of his Companions; and he had done his best to keep it intact. But the condition of the army was pitiable. How many of the nine or ten thousand pack-animals which must have accompanied the army were left is not told.
" Hannibal's whole care was therefore directed to the best means of reviving the spirits of his troops and restoring the men and horses to their former vigor and condition.
Apart from Polybius' positive statement, the fact that Hannibal divided his army in the manner described, and spread his aniyriaig over the country at pasture, goes a long way to prove that he was in the land of friends, — the Insubrians, — and not among the inimical Taurini.
It is not improbable that the horses and pack-animals were headed by the infantry on the way down the mountain. To judge from Polybius' words, as well as military sense, they were under command of Hannibal, who would certainly be apt to be with the van, whether marching to meet friends or foes; and Polybius says the Numidians were ordered to proceed with the repairs of the road, which, after three days, they made practicable for the elephants.
In three days from leaving the broken road Hannibal reached the plain, where he " encamped at the foot of the Alps" at a point which was one hundred and fifty miles (twelve hundred stadia) from where he entered them. This point is clearly near modern Ivrea. Now the distance from Chevelu to Ivrea is just about one hundred and fifty miles by the Augustan Itinerary, made but two hundred years later than Hannibal's era, and it is less than one hundred and seventy miles, measured by the much longer modern road. This is near enough to an agreement, for mountain roads are long or short, according to the grade they seek to make along the steeper parts, and the extent of the zigzags they cover upon the hillsides. To compare the old with the modern road over the Little St. Bernard, though this is an extreme instance, illustrates this point. Indeed, it is not quite certain to what part of the column Polybius might refer when he says that the army reached a certain point on a certain day* A column of thirty thousand men and baggage in these mountains would be twenty miles long, at least. Dates and distances are wont to be measured by headquarters. Exact accuracy cannot be expected, as headquarters may one day be with the van, and another day with the rear. But in this case it was probably with the van.
One is apt to find discussion in most works on the Passage of the Alps by Hannibal as to just what is the u entrance to the Alps," and what the " foot of the Alps," to which Poly-bius refers. Any one familiar with this mountain-range, who remembers the plain of the Po, from which the gigantic barrier rises, as it were a wall, directly from the plain, will have no difficulty in agreeing that, by the Little St. Bernard, the " foot of the Alps " is reached near Ivrea, which is but seven hundred and eighty feet above the sea, and where one immediately, and without the succession of minor heights usual in our mountains, sets foot on the alluvial levels of the great North Italian plain. The same thing applies in almost equal degree to Chevelu, for the Mt. du Chat rises sharply up from the rolling country on its west, and is the first barrier which does so rise. It is the first mountain which has to be crossed in the route from the Rhone to the Little St. Bernard, and it is in reality a mountain, rising to the height of two thousand feet or more from a merely rolling country. That Chevelu and Ivrea are the uentrance" and the "foot" of the Alps along this route seems certain.
Now as to the days. The army broke up from the summit on the eleventh day, having reached it early on the ninth, and camped there two days, the ninth and tenth. Thd broken road was reached early on the day of starting, the eleventh. The road was repaired on the twelfth, and "the beasts of burden and the horses were immediately led down to the plains." If Hannibal headed the van, leaving the Numidians to get the elephants through, as is altogether probable, he spent the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth days in reaching "the foot of the Alps " with the van-guard. This is the number of days given by Polybiua. If Hannibal stayed with the elephants, we should Have to reckon from the van-guard, or else count three days more, or assume that Polybius meant that it was fifteen days to the point where the chief obstacles of the Alps were overcome, which was fairly the case at Pr£ St. Didier. For though there are several awkward defiles from St. Didier to Ivrea, especially one halfway to Aosta, and one at Fort du Bard, there are none to be compared to the one below La Thuile, where the snow added its list of complications to the treachery of the ground. It seems more plausible to assume that Hannibal was with the van when it reached Ivrea.
DIDIER TO IVREA
The distances and days come curiously close to Polybius' estimate, who at the time had not the Augustan Itinerary to go by. They are as follows: —
ITINERARY THROUGH THE ALPS.
1st day, passage of the Mt. da Chat and to Bourget.
2d day, halt on Chambery Plain.
3d day, to near Montmeillan.
4th day, to Freterive.
5th day, to Albertville.
6th day, to a point near Moutier.
7th day, to Ayme.
8th day, to Seez, and the fight at the Roche Blanche. The column marched all night, so that it reached the summit next morning.
9th day, at the summit, which was reached so early that this was really a day of rest.
10th day, rest.
11th day, start down the mountain, to the break in the road, and attempted circuit.
12th day, work on road, and horses got through.
13th day, Kumidians work on road, and ran marching down to foot of Alps.
14th day, Numidians work on road, and van marching down to foot of Alps.
15th day, ttumidians work on road, and van reached Ivrea, at f oot of Alps.
At close of day the elephants were got through break in road.
One more tradition may perhaps be mentioned bearing upon the Little St Bernard being the route pursued by Han-nibaL At Donnaz, just above St. Martin, and opposite the Fort du Bard, the road is chiseled out of the rock, which oomes down to the very edge of the river. Tradition assigns this work to Hannibal, and for many centuries this pass has been known as that of the Carthaginian army. It is not probable that Hannibal had anything to do with this work; but the tradition is interesting, if not reliable.
Appian is sometimes quoted as an authority on the War against HannibaL But he is quite unsatisfactory. A fair sample of his work is his description of the passage of the Alps, which is as follows: u When Hannibal came to the Alpine range, he found not even a road which led upwards, let alone one which led across, for it is extraordinarily steep. Notwithstanding this, with great boldness he ascended the mountain, under all manner of difficulties. For as it was full of snow and ice he was forced to cut down the woods and to burn them, and then subdue the heat with water and vinegar, and break up the softened rock with iron hammers, and thus make himself a path, which is yet accessible, and is known as the pass of Hannibal.'9 This, for a historian who wrote in the reign of Trajan, is rather lacking in equipoise.
To resume our narrative. " When, therefore," says Polybius, " Hannibal's troops were sufficiently recovered from their fatigues, he first of all invited the Taurini, who dwell at the foot of the Alps, to enter into an alliance with him, they being then at war with the Insubrians, and but ill-affected towards the Carthaginians. Upon their refusal, he surrounded their chief city, and took it after a siege of three days, putting to the sword all who had opposed him."
This passage follows immediately after the paragraph reciting the care Hannibal gave to reviving his army's spirits and restoring its vigor. It seems clearly to show, in addition to Polybius' explicit statement, that Hannibal emerged from the Alps among the Insubrians, his allies, and that after he had rested there, he attacked the TaurinL Apart from the absolute statement of Polybius, we cannot suppose that the Taurini, inimical to Hannibal, would neglect the chance of attacking him as he emerged, weary and demoralized, from his long passage of the mountains. In fact, one of the best reasons why Hannibal should steer for the Insubres, and not for the Taurini, was that he was by no means certain that the Romans might not be at the outlets of the Taurinian passes, waiting, in connection with their Gallic allies, to fall upon him in the naturally exhausted condition in which he must emerge from his arduous march.
The following table of dates, as given in the first column, has been compiled by Lavalette. They are as nearly accurate as ingenuity can make them* Some critics make the dates two months earlier, in which case they would be as in the second column. But Lavalette's dates accord with Polybius' reference to the setting of the Pleiades, as the others do not.
Left Cartagena ..... May 30. / March 30.
Crossed Ebro ..... July 15. / May 15.
At Elne ..... September 15. / July 15.
Crossed Rhone ..... September 27. / July 27.
At Vienne ..... October 12. / August 12.
At entrance of Alps .... October 17. / August 17.
At summit of Alps .... October 26. / August 26.
At foot of Alps ..... November 1. / September 1.
A month earlier, Hannibal would have had a much more easy time. Little snow was apt to be found late in September or early in October, and plenty of forage was on hand for the beasts, up to a considerable elevation. That, at the late season of his march, Hannibal's commissaries could have managed to get together provisions for thirty thousand men and eight thousand horses, without counting the sumpter-animals, which must have amounted to nearly ten thousand more, reflects great credit upon these officers. And that they did so tends to prove that the march was over the route indicated, the fertility of which is vastly greater than that of any other.
Nothing better shows the fearful exposures of this wonderful march than the fact that from the Rhone to the Po Hannibal had lost twenty thousand out of forty-six thousand men.
The distance covered in these five months was nearly twelve hundred Roman (say eleven hundred English) miles, but this period counted all the delays from the enemy in Catalonia, at the Rhone, and through the mountains. The loss had been slight from the Rhone to the first mountain pass, heavy from thence to the summit, almost as much so from the summit down. The truth of this numerical record is vouched for by the inscription cut upon a column, later erected by Hannibal near the promontory of Lacinium, in Calabria, before referred to.
Hannibal had reached his goaL He had with him a force of twenty-six thousand men, exhausted physically and morally from their extraordinary toils and danger. What he had gained is well put by Napoleon: " Cet Annibal . • • qui ne descend en Italie qu'en payant de la moiti£ de son armle la seule acquisition de son champ de bataille, le seul droit de se combattre." Extraordinary man; wonderful army! Nothing but the tireless nerve tension of their ever-confident chief prevented this small force from melting away like the snows they had crossed when springtide brings its heat. And here they were, with naught to help them but the promised alliance of a few Gallic barbarians, while they had the present enmity of at least an equal number to overcome. It may be doubted whether Hannibal himself, at this moment, could consider his military programme as successfully inaugurated.
What was the purpose of this reckless army? To attack on its own soil a people capable of raising three quarters of a million of men; a people which, in the last conflict, but a generation since, had utterly overthrown — all but exterminated— the Carthaginian power and nationality. Truly, in any other than an army led by such a man, an undertaking like this would have been the wildest frenzy. It was like Alexander setting forth with his handful of Macedonians to overturn an empire whose armies were numbered by the millions. But we cannot doubt that Hannibal had taken even such a situation as this into his calculations; and rely* ing on his own good arm and brain, had resolved to face it, — to dare this and any other danger for the chance of bringing to his feet the cruel, rapacious power of Rome, which had inflicted such injustice and degradation on his beloved country. And in a Hannibal this was not frenzy. The man whose courage cannot be daunted, whose mind and body are incapable of fatigue, whose soul burns with the divine spark of genius, may always confront the impossible. And Hannibal had faced all this with a full knowledge of what he was about to do. To him there was no impossible. To him, with his honest cause and unconquerable purpose, there must be a way. It is, indeed, when such a hero looks the all but impossible in the face that he is at his greatest It is here that he shines forth, clad in all his virtue. Be it that the palm of the victor awaits him, be it that he is destined to sink beneath the weight of his herculean task, at such a time he is no longer man. He is a demigod!
Tins valley of the Po wu very rich. It was inhabited by the Gauls, a fine people living on the luxuriance of the land. The Po is the main obstacle to the invasion of Italy, and its main line of defense. It and its affluents form a barrier difficult to be overcome. The Romans were at Plaoentia, a city which oan be attacked only by farising a passage of the Po from the north side, or by the defile of Stradella on the south bank. The Army of Italy was ready for its work. It was admirably organised, and despite its losses a short rest pnt it in good heart. Hannibal learned with surprise that Soipio had come back to confront him on the Po, and was now at the head of the praetorian army which had been defeated by his allies, the Boians. He was preparing to more upon Plaoentia, when he heard that the consul had moved across the Po and was about to advance towards him. This simplified a difficult problem to the dimensions of an open-country battle. Hannibal, of course, was strategically bound by the topography of the Padane country, but not in the same way Napoleon was. He moved straight towards Soipio by crossing the Ticinus at its upper fords and marching down its eastern bank. Here, at the head of his cavalry, he ran across Soipio, who was out on a reoonnoissance with his hone and light foot. A combat ensued, in which the Romans were defeated and Soipio badly wounded. The consular army retired across the Pa Hannibal had won the first innings.
THAT the peninsula of Italy was peopled by diverse nationalities was a fact in Hannibal's favor. In the northern zone, filling the valley of the Po, lived the Gauls; the Italian tribes occupied the centre; the Greek colonies monopolized the southern zone. As we have seen, Hannibal had based his calculations primarily upon the alliance of the Gauls; a second factor was possible aid from Macedon; a third, and the most important one, was the disaffection towards Rome which he might breed among her colonies and allies south of the Apennines by the victories he felt confident he could win.
Hannibal was looking down from the foothills of the great range he had crossed upon the valley of the Po, which, like a vast garden, walled in by the Alps and Apennines, lay smiling at his feet. Then, as now, it was wonderfully fertile, though more wooded in those days. Every species of grain and fruit, flax, wine and oil, was yielded to an easy culture* Herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and droves of pigs found abundant pasturage. Horses were bred in the Venetian country. All authors bear testimony to the fruitfulness of the region at that day; and Polybius tells us that a generation later the traveler was generously entertained at hostelries for one quarter of an obole, or about one cent, a day.
The Gauls who inhabited this region were a tall, straight, handsome race, living simply on the luxuriance of the land. Flocks, vines, and a few ingots of gold, easily hid or carried away, were their sole riches; raids across the Apennines were their recreation, from which they were wont to return with their carts laden down with booty. There were still many cities which, under the Etruscans, had been great and beautiful, and the Gauls themselves had made some slight progress in the arts.
Cutting this level valley from west to east ran the Po, taking its rise in Monte Viso, and, increased by many affluents, making its way through a course of three hundred miles to the Adriatic. The Po is but a dozen feet deep on the average, except in floods which cause its overflow, when it may be fifty. At Turin it is one hundred and seventy yards wide; at the confluence of the Ticinus five hundred; at Cremona one thousand. Its fall is moderate; on the plains it is a sluggish river.
The Po and its affluents form an obstacle which cannot be avoided by whoso would invade Italy from the north. In the west, the Fo is itself small, but its affluents are important ; in the east the river itself is a boundary. On descending the Alps, one is met by the affluents of the left bank, which make respectable lines of defense. Behind these is the splendid line of the TicinoJVTrebia. The key of this line is at the defile of Stradella, at whose mouth then lay the fortress of Clastidium, modern Casteggio.
THE PO AND ITS AFFLUENTS
To an army descending from the Alps, the Po is the first object of attack. To an army seeking to forestall an attack from the Alpine region, the Po is the line of defense. The Maritime Alps sweep down in a semicircle from the Cottian, to join the Apennines on the Gulf of Genoa. The Apennines throw out an immense bulwark towards the Po, which, at Stradella, forms the defile above mentioned. This defile is the key of the country, the cross-roads, so to speak, of the entire section.
The strategic value of "the knot Pavia-Stradella-Pia-cenza " was fully recognized by Napoleon. It did not exist for HannibaL But Hannibal was governed by the general topography as much as the First Consul. The Romans, in their contests with the Gauls before the Second Punic War, had in their way ascertained the relative importance of the various towns. Piacenza is nowadays the pivot of operations of the central Po. It cannot be escaped. "Un bon fort au defile de la Stradella oouvrirait l'ltalie du cot£ de la France/9 said Napoleon. Placentia in Hannibal's time possessed the same importance.
The Romans had held Plaoentia for some time, and had made it strong. Their allies, the Ananes, could hold the defile of Stradella. Several of the new colonies had been fortified. Clastidium was an oppidum. The Romans thus held the Po at the knot Farther down they held Ariminum and the passes of the Apennines. If Hannibal moved down the right bank of the Po, he would be stopped by the defile. If down the left bank, the Ticinus was a first barrier.
In regard to the military value of the Padane country as a whole, Napoleon once said: " Lorsqu'on tient l'ltalie septen-trionale, le reste de la peninsula tombe oomme un fruit mur." This was true a century ago, but it was not true in the days of HannibaL His work lay beyond the Apennines. But he had as much to do on the Po as the great Corsican.
The Carthaginian army has been already described. Let us add a word about the Army of Italy. We know little about Hannibal's officers, except that they were presumably all Carthaginian aristocrats, and that they had been through a long and arduous training. Unlike Alexander's, few are ever mentioned by name.
There were Mago, his brother, young, full of vigor and 61an, who commanded the Carthaginian legion, and was frequently sent on detached duty; Hanno, son of Bomilcar, a distinguished infantry general; Maharbal, son of Imilco, commanding the entire body of cavalry; Adherbal, chief of engineers; Hasdrubal, a cavalry general, peculiarly distinguished at Cannae; Carthalo, commanding the light cavalry; Bostar, Bomilcar, Gisgo, aides. Numbers of young Carthaginians accompanied the army, and to them later was confided the command of allied contingents.
The subsistence department is clearly defined by Polybius. There were special officers who went out with the foraging parties and gathered corn and beef and wine, and had charge of the depots of victuals. We hear that in Italy the soldiers had regular issues of beef, grain and wine, with cheese, hams, vinegar to cut the water, oil for rubbing their bodies, and, curiously enough, perfumery for the hair. And the quartermaster's department must have been equally well organized. The elephants and horses never seemed to want for forage. Medical service we learn nothing about, but we hear of a celebrated African surgeon, Synhalus, who was with the army. Veterinary care is once or twice hinted at in the authorities. Paymasters were kept regularly at work, and Hannibal's own private wealth, as well as his share of the booty, was wont to flow into their coffers.
There were no doubt topographical engineers. Polybius, Livy, Silius Italicus, speak of some kind of maps. The Bo-mans of this day had " itineraries," which were either written (annotata) or sketched (picta), and the Carthaginians were far in advance of the Romans in clever devices. However he may have used these officers, Hannibal always finished by making his own reconnoissanoes.
The ancients were clever at signaling, and if a signal-corps was not attached to the Army of Italy, we yet see repeated instances of the use of signals by smoke and flags.
It was while resting in Piedmont that Bostar, Hannibal's aide-de-camp, who had been dispatched to the temple of Jupi* ter Ammon in the Libyan desert, returned with a cheering oracle. This Hannibal used to advantage in encouraging his men. It is not probable that he had asked of the deity the foolish question Alexander is said to have put. Priestcraft was not so rampant in his camp as in the Romans. Livy makes this a reproach, in fact.
To return to our narrative. We know practically nothing about the siege of Turin. The passage of Polybius above given, supplemented slightly by some of the other authorities, Livy, Nepos and Silius, is all there is. It is evident that Hannibal tried all reasonable means to persuade the Taurini to join his cause; but being unable to do so was compelled to take harsh measures against them. By making a sudden dash and unexpected assault, he captured this chief city of the tribe, later Augusta Taurinorum, and, deeming an example necessary to his own safely, he sacked it and put the inhabitants to the sword. This act so effectually spread terror among the Lignrians and Celts of the Upper Po, that they chose at once to join his alliance. Such a motive may not have won him very warm aid, but it was better than open opposition, and Hannibal knew just how to use his tools. He placed none too much reliance on them. With this vigorous measure he secured his rear from interference when he should advance, and no doubt Hannibal intended at the outset to show that he oould be very generous to allies, very cruel to enemies.
Hannibal had learned through the Gauls and his own spies, whom he kept actively at work in every direction, — he even had spies in Some for years, — that the senate was greatly disturbed by the news of his presence in Italy; but that, instead of rising to the occasion, they had remained of divided counsels. He learned, also, with the utmost surprise, that Scipio had returned from Massilia to confront him. This news must have largely modified his plans. Neither he nor Scipio had expected the other so soon.
To recapitulate. There were two principal Roman armies this year; one destined for Spain, and already there, while its commander, Scipio, as we have seen, had harried back to the Po: one destined for Africa, which, under Tiberius Sem-pronius, had been wasting its time in Sicily, in pursuit of the Carthaginian fleet sent to ravage the Italian coast. The second Carthaginian raiding-fleet had been wrecked in a storm. Of the two consuls, Publius Scipio had just landed at Pisa, while Tiberius Sempronius, who of course still deemed Hannibal at Saguntum or somewhere south of the Pyrenees, was dividing his efforts between the Carthaginian fleet and preparations to cross over to Carthage,, and thus — should he ever get there — oblige that city to call back Hannibal for its defense.
These several contingencies had been foreseen and ably provided for by Hannibal. Before leaving Spain, as we remember, he had brought over Carthaginian troops and placed them under his brother Hasdrubal; and had sent Spanish troops to Carthage. Thus the armies in each place were not apt to fail in their duty on account of any political upheaval. Their interests were merely mercenary, and they were wont blindly to follow their chief, who in each place was wedded to the Barca cause. Moreover, the Spanish troops sent to Carthage were personally devoted to Hannibal, and could be counted on to join willingly in any scheme which would prevent those of his fellow-citizens who were headed by Hanno and opposed to himself from overturning the present regime.
The only force to oppose the advance of Hannibal was the praetorian army under Manlius, amounting to twenty thousand men; and a further force at the recently planted colonies of Placentia and Cremona. This latter force was numerically considerable. Some twelve thousand colonists had come thither to oust the aborigines; but most of them were old and unfitted for war.
The Boians and Insubrians were already in active revolt, the former vexed beyond endurance by the founding of Mu-tina and Placentia and Cremona as Roman colonies, and the distribution of their lands to Roman citizens, and both encouraged by the news of Hannibal's approach. Manlius, while marching from Ariminnm to relieve Mutina, which the Boians had attacked, had been cleverly ambushed and badly beaten by these Gauls as he was filing through a forest road. The relics of the Roman army and colonists, much more demoralized than their actual loss would warrant, had taken refuge on a hill, where the barbarians had held them in a state of blockade until reinforcements to the amount of a legion, under Atilius, had been sent to repair this disaster, when the Romans recovered their spirits and ground, and retired to Mutina. Scipio found, on reaching the scene, which he did on the day Turin was taken, a force of from twenty to twenty-five thousand men again in possession of Mutina, Cremona and Placentia. He assumed command of alL
His intention had been to attack Hannibal as he emerged from his perilous passage of the Alps, if indeed he ever got through, before he should have time to recover from its exhaustion. Had the Romans had a consular army at Turin, when Hannibal emerged from the Alps, it might have gone hard with the Punic captain. But the insurrection of the Gauls prevented Scipio's doing as he designed; and it was imperative to rest his troops after their late defeat, and find Ids own bearings in cisalpine GauL He must have been the more astonished of the two to hear that Hannibal had already established himself among good allies, captured Turin, and stood ready to try conclusions.
Scipio would have been wise to remain on the right bank of the Padns, and dispute its passage at StradeUa and Fla-centia, until he could be reinforced; for Hannibal had as jet shown no disposition to cross the river at its upper fords. Instead, however, of doing this, and doubtless fearing a general rising of the Gauls in favor of Hannibal, he crossed the river somewhere between the Ticinus and the oolony of Pla-centia, thinking to impose upon the natives, — the same idea as later in making his new camp on the Trebia,—and took up a position near the mouth of the Ticinus. Here the ground was level and in the highest degree unfavorable to him, for Soipio had but two thousand horse, while Hannibal had thrice the number, not to count the Gauls; and the plains about the vicinity were as if made for the evolutions of cavalry. Moreover, the Ticinus, while a good line of defense, must be held in its entire length to be held at all; for it can be crossed at many points. Scipio's advance savored more of courage than discretion. He went into camp and set to work to bring his men into good heart and discipline. He had by no means gauged the opponent who was about to move against him.
PLACENTIA AND HANNIBAL'S MANEUVRE
There is a tendency among some of the modern historians of Hannibal to make this general manoeuvre on the line of the Po much as Napoleon, with a more perfect art, with the history of centuries of warfare in this region before him, and with a close knowledge of its minutest topographical details, would be apt to have done. This does not appear to be warranted by the facts of the case. Hannibal was unquestionably one of the world's greatest soldiers. His strategic intuitions had as yet been equaled by no one but Alexander. It was he who taught Rome the art of war, and this so crisply that his teachings were perpetuated, and not, like Alexander's, lost to the world of that day. He knew and showed the Romans that mere fighting is not all there is of war. He may with propriety be called the father of strategy. And there can be little doubt that Hannibal had fully studied all the features of the country he was about to invade, and made himself familiar with its geographical and topographical outlines, so far as he was able to learn them. But strategy, which is still nothing but the highest military expression of the art of deceit, was in that day, as a rule, mere stratagem, and we can scarcely assume that the Carthaginian general was called on to look as closely into the strategic mapping of the country as Bonaparte was both compelled and able to do; nor indeed that his topographical engineers had found time to reduce the country to a map so detailed. Some of the cleverest of military critics seem to work on the theory that such and such a course was the proper one for a good strategist to take, and that therefore Hannibal did so, forgetting that there was no strategy in Hannibal's era, except that which came from his own intellectual conceptions, and that what we call strategy to-day is the science which Alexander and he were, to be sure, the first to put into practice, but which has since been developed by such giants as Cssar, Gustavus, Prince Eugene, Marlborough, Frederick and Napoleon; and forgetting also —and this is the main point — that the old authorities give us facts which we may not overlook. No doubt Hannibal was largely governed by the salient features of the valley of the Po in the course he followed; but we must not assume more than this. Our true rule should be, first and always, to glean our facts clearly and crisply from the original sources; when statements conflict, to select the most reliable, or most probable, to base upon; and then from these to divine what may have been Hannibal's intuitive reasoning upon the conditions presented to him, which resulted in his taking the action history tells us of.
Now there is a dispute as to the movements of Hannibal and Scipio at this moment. Let us apply our theory. The two earliest of our authorities, Polybius and Cornelius Nepos, state the battle of the Ticinus to have been fought upon the banks of the Ticinus itself. Silius Italicus places it on the Eridanus, another name for the Po,—but as he is a poet we will not rely too much on him. Floras places it between the Po and Ticinus, that is, in one of their angles of confluence, which may be said to agree with Polybius and Nepos. Livy states that it took place five miles from Yictumvue, west of the Ticinus, after Scipio had crossed not only the Po, but the Ticinus as welL He does not say why in this he does not follow Polybius, whom he copies so continually.
Polybius gives not only the clearest but the earliest account of this first battle between the Romans and Carthaginians, as well as the one which appears to accord best with the probabilities. "Publius," he says, "had already advanced across the Po, and in order to pass the Ticinus had ordered that a bridge should be built over it While waiting its completion,'9 he assembled and harangued his soldiers. " On the morrow the two armies advanced, the one against the other, along the Ticinus, on the side which looks out upon the Alps, the Romans having the river on their left, the Carthaginians on their right. The second day, the foragers of each parly having given notice that the enemy was near, each one camped in the place where he stood. On the third, Pub-lius with his cavalry, sustained by some light-armed troops, and Hannibal with his cavalry only, marched each from his side into the plain to reconnoitre the forces of the other. When they saw, from the dust, that they were not far apart, they put themselves into battle order."
This is a perfectly clean statement, snch as Polybius always makes, and Polybius had been on the ground when many who saw the battle were still alive, — the only historian who had this advantage. What he says places the battle-field on the left or east bank of the Ticinus, the Romans facing substantially north, and the Carthaginians substantially south.
How does this accord with what Hannibal would be likely to do ? The Carthaginian general had just completed the capture of the capital of the Taurini, and had probably returned to the Insubrians, where he was patching up fresh alliances with the Gauls, and making ready to advance, when news was brought in by some of the numerous scouting-par-ties which he had sent out in all directions, both Gauls and Numidians, that Scipio had already crossed the Po. Here was an unexpected piece of good luck. Though well aware of the Roman habit of forcing the fighting, Hannibal had apprehended that Scipio would hold himself at Plaoentia, and seek to defend the line of the Po there and at the defile of Stradella. In order to attack him in the open field, which was what he desired to do, Hannibal would have had to lure him out of Placentia. This he might have accomplished either by threatening Cremona, which was on the north bank of the Po, or by a turning movement around Scipio's left across the upper Po, and thence down the right bank, which would lead him through the Stradella defile, and leave Scipio the advantage of choosing ground less good for the Carthaginian cavalry than the plains on the left bank. Under the circumstances Hannibal was probably on the point of trying the first plan, relying on the impetuosity of the Roman character and the national habit, when the welcome news reached him that Scipio was about to meet him half-way.
Hannibal calculated that Scipio would not cross the Ticinus, but would back up against Placentia, with Cremona on his right, and await developments. He therefore marched towards and passed the Ticinus, from which he was not far distant; and no doubt did so for greater certainty at one of the upper fords near Lake Maggiore, thence advancing south along tip river.
Scipio, on the contrary, had already crossed the Fo, and was making ready to cross the Ticinus and to advance towards the Vercell® region, which he supposed Hannibal would be most apt to aim for after capturing Turin, when he heard that Hannibal had crossed the Ticinus; and instead of using his bridge, which was in all probability near the Po, moved at once up the Ticinus. On the second day of his march, — perhaps twenty-five miles from the Po up the east bank, — the two armies met. It was mid-November, 218 B. c.
It does not seem as if Scipio could have marched as far north as Somma, near the lake, where the scene of the battle has been placed by some historians, nor does the situation accord with the authorities.
This simple deduction from the facts stated by the earliest of our ancient authors, the one whom all agree in acknowledging as uniformly reliable, and who in this case is amply sustained by others, seems to be preferable to an argument founded on the strategic values as they are understood to-day.
These, however useful to Napoleon, were probably never appreciated by the Carthaginian.
Hannibal, meanwhile, had strongly impressed on his own troops the evident fact that they had but the single choice of conquering or being destroyed to a man. He felt convinced and assured them that success would at once bring all these Gallic peoples under his standard, and the army marched cheerfully to meet the Roman legions, which were at the same time advancing rapidly towards them, but, to credit Livy, in by no means as good morale.
A curious story is related as to the means Hannibal employed to impress this alternative of victory or slavery upon his soldiers. He had with the army a number of the hostile Gauls whom he had captured in the Alps. He had kept the young warriors in chains, had illy fed them, and had punished them with cruel stripes. He now brought these youths before the army, and exhibiting to them such weapons as Gallic kings are wont to use for single combat, and richly caparisoned steeds, he asked which of them would be willing to fight to the death with a comrade in order to earn freedom and such arms. One and all eagerly demanded the privilege of the duel, for victory would be liberty, and death a deliverance from their present evil state. Lots were drawn, and several pairs of combatants fought in the presence of the army. Those to whom the lucky numbers did not fall, and who must still languish in slavery, equally felicitated the living victor and the vanquished dead. This object-lesson had a marked effect upon the Carthaginian army.
The two detachments were approaching each other. Scipio had his two thousand Roman and allied cavalry, some Gallic cavalry, and his light troops; Hannibal had his body of six thousand horse. Inasmuch as Hannibal so greatly outnumbered the Roman general in cavalry, his line also extended far beyond the flanks of his opponent The Romans advanced slowly, with the velites and Gallic horse in the first, and the Roman and allied cavalry in the second lines. Hannibal, on the contrary, had but one line, with the Numidians on the flanks and the Spanish and Carthaginian heavy horse in the centre.
BATTLE OF THE TICINUS
The velites, who, we remember, were young soldiers, opened the action, but, speedily demoralized by the appearance of their new foe, after throwing a few darts, fled through the cavalry intervals, and allowed Hannibal to charge down upon the Roman line. The Roman opposition was stanch, and the battle wavered for a while, many Romans dismounting and fighting on foot; but the Carthaginian horse proved greatly superior, as they had years before in Sicily. They not only exceeded the Romans in numbers, but in activity and discipline, and were already on the point of breaking the Roman front, when the Numidians, who had ridden around both of Scipio's exposed flanks, fell smartly upon his rear, and, dispersing the velites who had there taken refuge, fell to sabring the disconnected Roman horse right and left withoat mercy. The entire Boman formation was quickly broken op, only a small body remaining firm around the person of wounded Scipio, and retired in much confusion to the camp. The Carthaginian loss was heavier than the Roman, says Polybius, but does not give the figures.
This defeat was perhaps partly due to a severe wound received by Scipio early in the action. He was with difficulty rescued and Rome from the fight by his seventeen-year-old son Scipio,—later so distinguished as Africanus, the victor of Zama. Hannibal deemed it wise not to follow up the Boman force, which he supposed would retire upon the infantry and to the protection of its camp. He expected nothing less than a general engagement on the morrow. He had now the moral effect of a first success upon his side, — a distinct and solid gain. He more clearly than ever grasped the idea of his superiority in horse, and saw what should be the selection of his future battle-fields whenever available.
The loss of this first combat—it scarcely rose to the dimensions of a battle — should not militate against the Boman general. The encounter of his own with Hannibal's cavalry on the Rhone had naturally misled him, and to his grievous loss. But Soipio was a good soldier; it was his feeling of Boman invincibility which had led him into rashly measuring arms with an older soldier. He too late recognized his error in meeting Hannibal without the support of his foot, and under such conditions that he must almost certainly leave the victory to his enemy.
The Romans, on the succeeding night, retired from their camp straight on the bridge they had built over the Po. On arrival at the river, Scipio decided to recross to the south side, which he did, skillfully and well, destroying behind him the bridge, which was of rafts, says Livy, and again took post at a camp near Placentia.
HANKIBAL did not follow op Scipio, bat marched two dayB up the Po, crossed it, moved unopposed through the defile of Stradella, camped below Plaeentia, and offered Scipio battle. The wounded consul could not accept the gage. The Roman senate, appalled at this first defeat, ordered the consul Sexnpronius from Sicily to reinforce Scipio. Hannibal was in position to head him off, for he lay on the direct road between Plaoentia and Ariminnm, by which Sempronius would have to march. Scipio was awkwardly placed, and was threatened by a general insurrection of the neighboring Gauls. He moved out of his Plaoentia camp, across and np the Trebia, and built a stationary camp on the borders of the river. His object is not very clear, as his manoeuvre did not cut Hannibal's communications with the upper Po. For, having moved his camp nearer Scipio's, the Carthaginian general was able to capture Clastidium, beyond the Stradella Pass, and from it draw large supplies of rations. Bnt this gain was coupled with a loss. Sempronras in some manner avoided Hannibal's watchfulness, slipped round his flank, and joined his colleague in his camp on the Trebia. Hannibal had now no alternative bnt to fight both consuls, and set about luring Sempronius, whose rashness he well knew, into a pitched battle on unequal terms, before Scipio should recover from his wound.
HANNIBAL, one of whose marked characteristics was to look coolly and prudently at a success accomplished, was wise enough not to follow too far the retreat of the Roman army, and perhaps have to force a passage across the Padus, in their teeth. He sent a force in pursuit, which captured the Roman garrison of six hundred men at the bridgehead at the Padus; or, as we may infer from some of the authorities, the force holding the bridgehead at the Ticinus.
The bridge on the Po had been broken down on Scipio's retreat. Coelius Antipater relates that Mago, with the cavalry and the Spanish infantry, at once swam the Po, while Hannibal sought fords farther up the river. But Ccelius romances occasionally. Those who know the Po will hesitate before crediting the story, as indeed Livy does not.
It was not now worth Hannibal's while to remain on the north of the Po, in the vicinity of Placentia. He had accomplished a primary gain and won much credit among his new allies. He could scarcely force the river near Placentia without unnecessary loss, for Cremona was on his flank. Moreover, this route towards central Italy was not a promising one, for the Romans held the outlet of the lower Padane country by the possession of the road from Ariminum via Mutina to Placentia. And the Po became harder to cross the farther down he marched. He preferred to effect a passage of this great river without opposition or great effort, if he could.
PLACENTIA AND THE APENNINES
Still, if he wished to attack Scipio at Placentia, the most important thing for him to do was to cross speedily to the south of the Po, and seize the intervening pass of Stradella. He therefore filed his column u> the right, crossed Soipio's bridge over the Ticinus, and marched two days upstream to a point in all probability not far from modern Cambio, here crossed the Padus with his van, on a bridge of boats of temporary construction, and went into camp to give time for building a stronger bridge so as to get his foot and trains across with more safety. He at once sent his brother Mago out with a sufficiency of horse to scour the country and make sure of Scipio's whereabouts. To his camp here — as there had to other camps — came embassies from many of the Gallic tribes of the north bank, hitherto allied to Rome, who offered him their aid with men and victuals. The Gauls were as good as their word. In addition to much in the way of breadstuffs, no less than sixty thousand men of foot and four thousand horse, at one time or other joined the Punic standard.
LILYBEUM TO PLACENTIA
The Romans held Clastidium, at the mouth of the defile of Stradella, but this oppidum apparently offered no opposition to bis free use of the pass, for, when he continued his advance, on the seoond day after putting his van across the Po, Hannibal, with a march of about fifty miles, reached the vicinity of Placentia, and in front of the town on the third he offered battle to Scipio. This being declined,—for Scipio was confined with his wound, — he camped some six miles from the city.
Scipio had no choice but to hold himself where he was, until he oould be reinforced by the other consul, Sempronius; for he oould not intrust the safety of his legions to a lieutenant. The presence of his colleague was imperative.
The Roman senate was both astounded and alarmed at the sudden appearance of Hannibal on the Padua, and the more so when news of the battle of the Ticinus was received. The consul Tiberius Sempronius was ordered speedily to reinforce Scipio. Sempronius was at the farther end of Sicily, at Lily-b»um, but got under way as soon as possible. He left the praetor M. ^Emilius in Sicily, with the fleet of fifty ships, sent Sextus Pomponius to the territory of Vibo in Bruttium, and, himself proceeding by sea, marched his army via Rome to Ariminum. This was done in forty days, being about sixteen miles a day; from Ariminum they came by forced marches to Scipio's aid. Livy says the entire army came by sea, but there are indications in other authors which seem to make him wrong in this particular.
The exact place near Placentia where Hannibal camped cannot be given, but it is thought to have been southeast of Placentia, on the Nura. He apparently had two objects in view; one, to prevent the junction of the two consuls, and the other, to accept the friendly overtures of the Boii, who dwelt in the northern foothills of the Apennines, were wavering in the bfrWpoe, and needed his presence by way of encouragement By this manoeuvre he severed the communications of Scipio with Sempronius, and should have been able to prevent their junction, and beat Sempronius while on the march to join his colleague. His own communications, by this change of position, were laid open to attack by Scipio, and would have been seriously compromised were it not that he was in the land of friends, and had a vast superiority in horse. He ran the invariable risk of such a manoeuvre. That he still kept his communications open, by what exact means we do not know, is well attested by the fact that, while encamped at this place, he was able to gain possession, by treachery, of the post of Clastidium.
MANEUVRES NEAR PLACENTIA
Now here is one of the earliest and best instances of the taking up of a central position between two armies of the enemy. It was like Napoleon's manoeuvre of 1796, and Napoleon himself recognized the fact " J'ltais," he says, " dans une situation plus favorable qu'Annibal* Les deux consuls avaient un inte*ret commun: oouvrir Rome; les deux ge*n-Iraux que j'attaquais avaient chacun un intlret partioulier qui les dominait: Beaulieu celui de couvrir le Milanais; Colli celui de couvrir le Pi6mont." There is no such crisp and masterly manoeuvre in early history as this, and it shows, by his own unfeigned acknowledgment, whence Napoleon drew his inspiration for some of his masterly strokes of genius.
Scipio was awkwardly placed. The path to Genoa, by which he had personally come to Plaoentia, was in the hands of Hannibal's allies; Hannibal, astride the direct road from Ariminnm, could stop Sempronius from joining him other than by a circuit. He was isolated. Moreover, he was troubled by a defection among the auxiliary Gauls in his own camp, of whom two thousand foot and two hundred horse deserted one night, after tumultuously killing a number of the Roman men on guard. This, Scipio feared, was the signal of a more general outbreak, and he wished to keep his hold on the Ananes, near by, which was nearly the only tribe of the vicinity which had remained faithful to Rome. This he thought he could do by camping in their midst. Only through the aid of his allies could he hope to regain and hold the pass of Stradella.
Scipio was an active soldier, whom even wounds could not quell. He determined to try on Hannibal a diversion which might make him quit his prey. He left in Placentia a suitable garrison, and moved out of his camp near the place with the bulk of his force, straight west and across the Trebia; whence, moving south, he took up and fortified a stationary camp on the left bank, in a position somewhat on a line with Hannibal's camp on the Nura. On the march he was interrupted by an attack of the Numidians, who were always on the alert; but bis rear-guard alone suffered any loss, for these cavalrymen turned aside to pillage his abandoned camp near Placentia, and afforded him time to get the bulk of his forces across the Trebia. They were sometimes unreliable.
Scipio did not go far enough in his manoeuvre. While to all appearances he had placed Hannibal where he must retire, and by means of a battle at that, he did not assure himself of the pass of Stradella, bat left the Carthaginian line open, presumably by a circuit around his left to the mouth of the defile. Indeed, Hannibal's light cavalry, of which he had so great an excess over the Romans, seems to have been equal to holding all the surrounding country and of cooping Scipio up in his camp. Battle was what Hannibal wanted, and Scipio desired for the moment to avoid. Scipio's manoeuvre was good; his morale was not equal to it. He had not gone far enough. He was bound to wait for Sempronius.
Scipio had wisely established his new camp on ground which was rolling upland, not far from the foothills of the Apennines, and broken enough to be less fitted for cavalry than near Placentia. In a stationary camp he was safe enough from assault. Placentia, on which and up the Padus he expected to rely for rations, as well as on Clastidium, were neither far distant. He was apparently in a position from which he might retrieve the disaster at the Ticinus. The Cenomani, on the north of the river, had remained faithful, and threatened the Insubres, Hannibal's chief supporters. Properly used, unless he should prove to have too little cavalry, his army could cut Hannibal off from the upper Po and his allies there. The strength of the Boman camp prevented his isolation from being a substantial danger; but while his move had been a handsome one for the purpose of compelling battle, it does not appear in what its advantages lay as a position in which to wait for Sempronius, or even compromise the Carthaginians. For he had secured neither the pass of Stradella, nor the road which might enable the reinforcements under Sempronius to reach him from Arimi-num, which lay through a country largely in revolt, and actually in Hannibal's hands. To secure the fidelity of the Ananes may, after all, have been his main object.
Hannibal paid no heed to Scipio's manoeuvre, except to assure himself that his communications could be kept open at need. Scipio, safe in his stationary camp, did not pretend to control the road to Placentia, as he could ration himself from Clastidium if he so wished. Probably the light horse of both parties scoured the whole country. This was the usual habit, and common means of foraging.
Hannibal had ascertained at an early date that Sempro-niufl was ordered to northern Italy, and it seems at first blush rather strange that he did not seek to engage Scipio's army before he should be thus reinforced. But battle could not be forced in those days of walled cities and intrenched camps; and Scipio was warily biding his time. He could not be attacked to advantage, and Hannibal always liked to see the chances on his own side. He had as marked a mixture of the bold and discreet in his composition as Ghis-tavus Adolphus. The delay is further explainable by Hannibal's having so much to do to secure his footing among his new allies that he was unable to push forward. Just so much time had to be spent in councils and negotiations. It was wiser for him not to undertake the offensive until the entire territory of cisalpine Gaul was either in alliance with or in subjection to him.
Hannibal had manoeuvred superbly in thus interposing between the two consuls. But he lost his game for all that. In some way Sempronius gave him the slip and joined his colleague. By what route or how, history does not tell us. It is not even made a matter of boast by Livy, and yet it must have been a very clever march. Colonel Hennebert, in his very learned work, suggests that he marched via Fmulfle and Loca, and thus twice crossed the Apennines. But even if the Arnus marahftft were dry at this season, it scarcely seems a probable thing for him to do. It is more likely that he moved south of the Carthaginians through the forest roads of the northern foothills, even though this was Boian territory, allied to Hannibal It is possible that it was while Hannibal was engaged in his early efforts on Clasti-dium that Sempronius slipped through. But Clastidium was small game; Sempronius was big. It seems as if Hannibal should himself have watched Sempronius. We must lay a lapse at the door of even this captain.
Whatever the means, Sempronius did escape Hannibal and did effectuate his junction with Scipio. Both consuls were now encamped on the Trebia. They were in a position to make the Carthaginian fight for his communications. But battle was just what Hannibal wanted, provided always that he could choose the occasion and the field.
Hannibal had established a new camp on the right of a small affluent of the Padua, somewhat less than five miles east of the Trebia, probably what is to-day called the Trebiola. Here he also received proposals from the Ligurians to join his forces and furnish him provisions. There were plenty of Roman haters in northern Italy, when it was safe to play that role. Hannibal saw that he must not rely too much on his new allies for food. He needed a large magazine of supplies. He turned to Clastidium, where the Romans had large quantities of breadstuffs. That even the two consuls had not severed his communications with the upper Po is evident,,for while they were discussing the situation with a view to active operations, Hannibal had been at work on this town. What measures he took to force the place we do not know, except that he prepared to assault it; but the governor was more open to the show of gold than to threats, and surrendered the place. It proved an excellent capture, of which Hannibal made good use and fully rationed his army, much to the disgust of the Roman consuls. And, as Livy says, " it served as a granary for the Carthaginians while they lay at the Trebia," a farther proof that Scipio's manoeuvre had failed to out Hannibal off from the upper Po.
The Ananian Gauls, among whom the Roman army lay, were afraid or unwilling to join the new coalition, or else they were waiting to see whether the Romans or Carthaginians would win in the battle soon to come. Making this a pretext, but really because he desired to taunt Sempronius to action before the recovery of Scipio from his wound, — for Hannibal knew Sempronius to be hot-headed and lacking in the discretion of his colleague, — the Carthaginian general sent out a force of two thousand foot and one thousand horse, Numidiana and Gauls, to ravage the Ananian territory so as to prevent the Romans from procuring forage and corn. The Ananes of course turned to the consuls for help. Scipio, as yet unable to leave his quarters, strongly advised against giving up the excellent position they held, preferring a policy of caution. Sempronius was for battle. The consuls went to the extent of indulging in all but acrimonious discussion as to what it was wise to do. Sempronius would by no means hearken to Scipio's advice. He sent out the bulk of his horse and some thousand bowmen to drive the Carthaginians from their work of destruction. This force crossed the Trebia, and won a cheap victory over a small Car-thaginian detachment which was retiring to camp laden with booty; and which, reinforced in its turn, faced about and drove in the Romans. Sempronius now moved out with a still larger force, consisting of all his cavalry and light troops, and beat off the reinforced Carthaginian column. Hannibal, having accomplished his purpose, and not desiring a general engagement under the existing conditions, contented himself with steadying his troops and left the Romans to retire. Hannibal had whetted Sempronius' appetite for a pitched battle. Liyy, who, like a good ward-politician, is in the habit of"claiming everything,9' in this instance calls the affair a draw.
Proud of his success, and desirous of coming to blows with Hannibal before Scipio could recover and assume command, —and particularly as the time for the election of new consuls was drawing nigh, — Sempronius took measures looking towards a general engagement, heedless of Scipio's caution to beware of the wily foe.
Hannibal was equally eager to engage, but proposed to get the chances in his favor; for the Roman army was now some forty thousand strong, and not counting barbarian allies on either side, considerably outnumbered his own. The Gauls also were noted for their inconstancy, and Han* nibal desired to give them an opportunity to profit by the defeat of their enemy, rather than wear out his own welcome. To lie still doing nothing was the most dangerous policy, especially as winter was coming on, and to delay meant to weary his allies by taking up winter-quarters among them, which he did not want to do without some very marked success to retire upon. The new Roman levies had as yet had no hardening in war; his own troops were quite restored in strength, and their morale was of the highest; his opponent was a rash soldier; Hannibal well knew the situation of the Roman army; everything looked favorable.
There are not a few who read the authorities to mean that Hannibal had all this while remained on the west bank of the Trebia, while the Romans held the east, — in other words, that Hannibal had made no effort to cut Sempronius off from Scipio. But not only was it natural that Hannibal should move among his allies, the Boians, but the balance of evidence goes to support the statements above given. Polybius, Livy, Nepos, all state that Scipio on leaving Placentia crossed the Trebia to encamp, and moreover it was to quiet his allies, the Ananes, that he moved among them. If Hannibal had remained west of the Trebia, he would have been among the Ananes, and there would have been no special reason for Scipio's moving from Placentia. But when Hannibal cut Soipio off from his colleague, there was a definite reason for the consul's change of camp, particularly so if, as is possible, he so placed himself as to afford Sempronius a better chance of joining him. These facts, coupled to the positions of the armies in the coming battle, which are not disputed, appear to decide the matter to be as stated.
No field can be established with absolute certainty for the battle of the Trebia, but the following account and plan accord well with the authorities and with the topography they describe. The locality given is in fact the only one in the vicinity which will do so with accuracy.
We have seen that shortly after Scipio had gone into his camp on the Trebia, Hannibal had moved his Nura camp to the Trebiola, much nearer to the enemy. Here he had been ever since, facing the Romans on the other side of the Trebia.
To the left of Hannibal's oamp was an overgrown ravine, a branch of UM Trebiola. Here he hid a party of two thousand choice troops under Mago, and before daylight next morning sent his Numidians, who had eaten their morning meal earlier than usual, across the Trebia to attack the Roman camp, and by retreating induce the Romans to follow them back. This was well done. Sena-pronius ordered his entire army into line, and though his men had not broken fast, he pushed them across the river. The day was raw; snow was falling; by the time the legions had crossed the Trebia fords the men were chilled through. The Carthaginians had, on the contrary, eaten and rubbed themselves with oil before their camp-fires. Sempronius was already half beaten. The two lines formed, and despite their bad condition, the Romans fought stanchly. The Roman hone was, however, soon beaten by the Carthaginian, which then turned in on the flanks of the Roman infantry, and at the same time Mago emerged from ambush and fell on the Roman rear. The elephants had demoralized the Gallic allies in the consular army, and the whole Roman force was surrounded by the Carthaginians. Ten thousand of the centre legionaries, under Sempronius, out their way through Hannibal's centre and marched to Placentaa; the balance were either killed, or trodden down by the elephants, or drowned in the Trebia. Scipio decamped under cover of a storm on the succeeding night and made his way to Placentia. Sempronius went to Rome. Hannibal held the entire country. Both armies sought winter-quarters, after some further slight exchanges, Hannibal in Liguria, Scipio at Ariminum, Sempronius at Luea. Hannibal's base on the Po was secure. But in Spain, Cornelius Scipio had practically recovered Catalonia.
HANNIBAL was a master of stratagem. Having ascertained by the use of numerous Gallic spies — and they were good ones, having affiliations in both camps — all the facts relating to the enemy which he deemed essential to his purpose, he carefully scrutinized the ground between the two armies and east of the Trebia. It was an open plain, well suited for the evolutions of cavalry, and on its southerly limit lay an overgrown waterway — a branch of the Trebi-ola, in fact — whose high banks, covered with underbrush, were capable of concealing a considerable force. In this retreat he placed in ambush his brother Mago, with a chosen body of one thousand horse and an equal number of the best of the light troops, all men of known resolution; and on the following morning, the Carthaginian army having been ordered to take hearty nourishment before daylight, he sent the Numidian horse beyond the Trebia to annoy the enemy, and, if possible, lure him from his camp and across the river before the hour of the morning meaL The whole Carthaginian army he ordered to make itself ready for battle. This was not far from the end of the year B. c. 218.
The Trebia is, in its upper course, no more than a mountain torrent On the plain near the Po it is at times full to overflowing; at times low and shallow—a mass of sandbanks. At this season it was full. It is the barrier which covers the eastern debouch of the defile of Stradella, and by its valley, moreover, lies the straight road from Placentia to Genoa. It is an important stream. History has lined its banks with blood.
No sooner had the Numidians shown up in the vicinity of the Roman camp, than Sempronius sent out his cavalry to drive them off, sustaining it with six thousand velites; and himself, in impatience to seize what was to him apparently an excellent opening, at the head of the entire army moved out as to battle. It is a constant rule of war to get all the chances, or as many as you can, on your own side; Sempronius was preparing to get them all, on this occasion, on Hannibal's.
BATTLE OF THE TREBIA
The Numidians had their orders. They skirmished with the cavalry for a while, then, feigning defeat, which these nomads could do with astonishing cleverness, recrossed the river. Sempronius could not restrain his ardor. He had beaten these wretches a few days since; why not again today?
The day was raw; snow was falling; the troops had not yet eaten their morning meal; yet, though they had been under arms for several hours, he pushed them across the fords of the Trebia, with the water breast-high and icy-cold. Arrived on the farther side, the Roman soldiers were so chilled that they could scarcely hold their weapons.
Hannibal was ready to receive them. His men had eaten, rubbed themselves with oil before their camp-fires, and prepared their weapons. He might have attacked the Roman army when half of it was across, with even greater chances of success. But when he saw his ruse succeeding, he bethought him that he could produce a vastly greater moral effect on the new Gallic allies, as well as win a more decisive victory, by engaging the whole army on his own terms.
Sempronius was in the worst possible position. He had a river — fordable in places, to be sure, but still a serious ob* stacle — at his back, and an army to command, which was not only not in the best of heart, but physically weakened by lack of food and the morning's exposure. But he did not recognize this weakness; he only considered how he had, as it seemed to him, driven the Numidians back across the river. He cheerfully moved forward into line of battle, calling in his horse. He had sixteen thousand Roman and twenty thousand allied infantry, and four thousand Roman and allied cavalry. He drew up this army in the usual three lines, throwing out the velites to the front, and placing the cavalry on the flanks. The Gallic auxiliaries were on the left of the legions. He then advanced to the attack.
Hannibal opened the action by sending out eight thousand light troops and his one thousand Balacrean stingers as a skirmishing first line, to sustain the Numidian horse in its retreat. His main line of twenty thousand infantry, including Gauls, he disposed a mile in front of his camp, in phalangial order, the Gauls in the centre, the Africans on either side of them, the war-hardened Spaniards on the flanks. His cavalry was now, with the Gallic auxiliaries, fully ten thousand strong. This he posted opposite the cavalry on the Roman flanks, but as the Roman front was longer, there was left an interval on each flank between his foot and horse. This interval he filled with his elephants.
The Carthaginian skirmishers, much fresher and older at the business, soon drove in the Roman velites. Hannibal then called them back, and sent them to support the elephants, in the intervals spoken of. The velites fell back, and rallied behind the triarii, and the line advanced, the prin-cipes checkerwise behind the intervals of the hastati, and the triarii in reserve, with sure Roman steadiness.
So soon as the two lines met, for in those days of short-carriage weapons, lines did meet, the Roman centre forced the fighting, but the Roman wings of infantry, which met the elephants and light troops, were unable to make any headway, though, to the surprise of all, the Romans did not take alarm at the appearance or tactics of the elephants. Hannibal now ordered forward his cavalry of both wings, and after a sharp charge and tussle they broke the Roman horse, and drove it from the field. A part of the Carthaginian horse followed up this retreat, while another part, assisted by the light troops and the Balacreans, who did astonishing execution, turned inward upon the flanks of the Roman infantry. The elephants had been driven back by the legionaries, but Hannibal dispatched them to oppose the Gauls on the extreme Roman left, where they did the best of work.
Meanwhile, Sempronius' centre, composed of the Roman legions, with that wonderful tenacity of which even their green troops were capable, despite the wrecking of their horse and the fearful danger to the infantry wings, had pushed in the Carthaginian centre, where fought the Gauls and Africans ; and, elated with its success, and no doubt imagining that it was on the eve of victory, had advanced so far that it had become separated from its wings. The Numidian and Carthaginian cavalry were now making fearful havoc among these wings, which contained the allied foot, and shortly surrounded and quite out them off from the successful centre. At this moment, too, Mago emerged from hiding, rode around the Roman right, and, falling upon their rear, completed the destruction. The bulk of the line was cut to pieces on the spot A hardy portion fought its way through to the river, but the men were here mostly either killed or drowned. What the horse did not cut down, the elephants trampled under foot, or the Trebia swallowed up. Very few were able to cross to camp.
The front of the centre, ten thousand strong, probably the prinoipes and hastatd of the Roman legions, which were not immediately reached by the attack of Mago, resolutely held together, formed circle in close order, and made their way to Placentia, under Sempronius, who, if not a discreet general, showed himself a doughty fighter. Hannibal was too busy destroying the wings to be able to prevent this escape of Sempronius with the central body. A few stragglers also made their way to Placentia. Scipio at once broke camp, and, crossing the Trebia by night, under cover of the cold and storm, which, added to the toils of the day, kept the Carthaginian army closely housed, marched in haste to the same place, with, the few troops which had been left in the camps. In Placentia, Scipio took command. Sempronius returned to Rome, sending a courier ahead to announce that he had fought a battle, and that, except for the bad weather, he would have won it A part of the troops were sent to Cremona, so as to divide the Roman force for winter-quarters.
This battle is the only one during Hannibal's Italian campaigns in which the phalanx encountered the legion, and again the balance was not even. But that the legion possessed manifest advantages over the phalanx is in nothing so power fully shown as in the fact that before Cannae Hannibal largely armed his phalangites Roman fashion; and though he did not adopt the manipular organization, we are led to believe that he made changes in his phalanx which altered its one-shock disposition to one in which there was mobility more nearly approaching the Roman line of cohorts. In Spain, legion and phalanx frequently met, with mixed success in the early years, but eventual superiority for the legion—or for Roman discipline—towards the end.
Hannibal did not follow beyond the Trebia. He had fought a masterly battle and won a decisive victory. But his losses had also been serious. They are, unfortunately, not given. The Gauls in the centre had especially suffered* He had lost nearly all his elephants, many by the cold. His brilliant success was more than compensation for any loss, and he now felt that he had a base perfectly secure in the alliance of the Gallic tribes. For these looked upon him as their savior from Roman tyranny. Had he not beaten the invincible Roman infantry man to man? No doubt remained with whom rested the credit of this first campaign. He followed up his success by numerous raids around Flacentia and nearby Roman strongholds, thus keeping the legions in a state of constant uneasiness.
The Roman army was shut up in Placentia, with its communications cut with Ariminum and Etruria. Scipio made no show whatever of leaving the place, and Hannibal knew his cautious habit and did not attempt to lure him out to battle. He also knew that a fresh army would in early spring be sent to Scipio's relief; and recognized that though he was superior to the Roman general in horse, he was far behind him in foot, and might not have so easy a task as with Sempronius. Hannibal saw that he must be active in order to keep his advantage and to satisfy the demands of his Gallic allies. The very security of his position depended upon this fickle people remaining friendly, and he made every effort to satisfy them and procure additional allies.
Hannibal held the entire country. The Numidians or Gauls scouted undisturbed over the whole of it.
The means Scipio had of getting food was by ships up the Po, for Hannibal ate out and laid waste all the contributory territory which Scipio might have used, — sparing of course his own allies. A stroogly fortified though small town, Emporium, on the right bank, aided in keeping navigation open. Hannibal made up his mind to surprise the place, and did indeed move against it one night with his cavalry. But by a system of preconcerted signals, or by the tumult, or by couriers, Scipio was called to its rescue. He came up with his cavalry at a rapid pace, followed by his legions in close order. A slight wound received by Hannibal in the cavalry action which followed was the cause of the defeat of his horse. This obliged the Carthaginians to retire. But Hannibal shortly repaired this disaster by the capture of Victumvi®, a citadel which might interrupt his communications with Ligu-ria. The inhabitants of the vicinity, who had taken refuge in Victumviae, made a gallant show of opposition, marching out to the number, says Livy, of thirty-five thousand men, to meet him in front of the town, but he gave them so summary a beating that the town decided to surrender. In order to terrify the garrisons of other towns, Hannibal, according to Livy, decided to put the Roman soldiers found here to the sword, and gave the place to his men to plunder.
The winter weather now detained him some time in quarters ; but in February (B. C. 217) a milder period set in, and Hannibal undertook a campaign up the Trebia into the Apennines, thinking to make an irruption into Etruria, and there create a diversion in his favor, and if possible detach the province from Rome. But lie was met in the mountains with BO severe a spell of weather that, after camping two days, he was fain to retire, losing a large number of men, animals and seven of his precious elephants. He went again into camp not far from Placentia. Livy's description of the storm reads like the one so graphically sketched by Curtius, in which Alexander's army suffered so severely in the Parapamisus.
Sempronius' defeat at the Trebia had not served to discourage or teach this officer caution. He had now returned from Rome. With his fiery impetuosity, for which to a certain degree he deserves credit, he determined, before retiring from Hannibal's front, again to cross swords with the Carthaginian. The opportunity was soon afforded him. Hannibal, after his mountain adventure, had returned to within ten miles of Placentia. One day, apparently while intent on making a reconnoissanoe in force, with twelve thousand foot and five thousand horse, Sempronius sallied forth to meet him, and to accept Livy's relation (Polybius does not mention the engagement), the consul's attack on Hannibal's line was so sharp that he forced him back to camp, and even went so far as to attack the camp intrenchments. Then, satisfied with the seeming advantage, he began to withdraw. This was Hannibal's opportunity. He debouched from camp with the bulk of his force, the foot from the front-gate, and the cavalry from the side-gates with instructions to fall on the Roman flanks. A hotly contested combat was the result, which only night arrested. Sempronius withdrew from the field with a loss of six hundred foot and three hundred horse, including five Roman war-tribunes, three allied prefects and many other officers. Hannibal's loss was about equal. Livy calls this a drawn battle, but the advantage had remained with Hannibal.
The Roman generals had determined to retire from Pla-oentda before going into winter-quarters. They had become convinced that they could not longer hold the line of the Padua to advantage. Leaving garrisons in Placentia and Cremona, Scipio retired on Ariminum; Sempronius retired on Luca, across the Apennines into Etruria. By this division of forces, the two consular armies protected the two lines of operation from cisalpine Gaul to Rome, — the one east, the other west of the main range of the Apennines* At this period the danger of a division of forces never seemed to be understood. Hannibal was alone aware of its weakness; but he was not always able to take advantage of this error on the part of his opponents.
The method of the day of intrenching camps placed even a small army in comparative security, provided it did not accept battle when offered. Forcing battle, as it can now be done, was not then possible. But, by parity of reasoning, an army did not protect any given line as well as when it is at all times ready to fight for its object.
The consuls deemed the presence of at least one army in cisalpine Gaul imperative. Either of the consular armies could be speedily reinforced up to the strength of Hannibal's. And as winter-quarters were by both parties deemed a sine qua non, — as they always bad been, indeed, by every one but Alexander, — both contestants subsided into quiet until spring should bring forage for their animals on the march.
The question has been suggested why Hannibal should have allowed the Romans to retire from Placentia unopposed, or indeed to divide and retreat eccentrically, without falling upon and destroying one or the other of the consular armies. Perhaps his absence from the scene and his wound are the best explanation, though such operations were not so easy in the days of daily intrenched camps as they are now. Much time was moreover consumed in negotiations with the Ldgn-rians. The relation of all the historians is more or less obscure. We constantly find gaps which can be filled only by guess-work. Such gaps, in the case of a master like Hannibal, are the more to be regretted, as we often have to pass over some incident or lapse without a proper understanding of the conditions, and thereby lose half the benefit of our study.
The reason why Hannibal did not endeavor to take Placen-tia and Cremona, so as to deprive the Romans of their last foothold in cisalpine Gaul, is probably that he had no material wherewith to conduct a siege. In fact, he appears to have had none during his entire campaign in Italy. Mention of such is nowhere made. Moreover, Hannibal seemed always to feel, and it was probably true, as of Frederick, that his proper strength was on the battle-field, or in strategic combinations, and not in sieges. He had no time to sit down before strong places. The only siege in which his ability was ever brought strongly to the fore was that of Saguntum. And the holding by the Romans of these places in no wise militated against his general scheme. He did his work with as much liberty as if they had been in his own possession. They were effectually masked by his alliances with the neighboring Gauls, and each contained but a small garrison. They were in fact soon evacuated.
The whole of cisalpine Gaul thus fell into the hands of Hannibal. He was now very eager to disembarrass his hosts, the Gauls, from the burden of his army, and to make them yet warmer allies by giving them a chance at the riches of Italy. But the severity of the season prevented his carrying out the expedition he had planned into Etruria, and forced him to winter in Gaul. He took up his quarters in Liguria* The Apennines separated him from Sempronius at Luca,
The Ligurians definitely joined Hannibal's standard, and furnished him as hostages a number of Roman officers, two quaestors (C. Fulvius and L. Lucretius), two military tribunes and five knights, most of them the sons of Roman senators.
Meanwhile in Spain, Cnaeus Cornelius Scipio, who had sailed from Massilia, as above narrated, had won some suo-cess against the Carthaginians. He had landed near Em-poriae, had by clever management gained the coast-land between the Pyrenees and the Iberus, and after defeating and capturing Hanno, in a battle near Scissis, had got possession of a considerable part of the interior. His policy was pacific, and his occupation promised success. But Hasdrubal marched across the Iberus and surprised the crews of the Roman fleet, which had landed near by and carelessly dispersed, and killed a number of them. After these latter unimportant exchanges, Hasdrubal went into winter-quarters at New Carthage, Cnaeus Scipio near Tarragona, where he divided much booty among his soldiers.
Hannibal's carefully prepared base in Spain had already received a damaging blow.
THE Padane country was lost The new oonsuls, Servilius and FUminius, proposed to hold the approaches to Rome on the two main roads, at Arretinin and Arimiiinm. Haminius was a hot-headed TPMI, though not la^Ving ability. He had the bulk of the consular foroes at Arretium. What the consuls should have done was to join their armies and fight Hannibal; but they could not see the risk of divided forces. The Carthaginian determined to invade Etruria. He did not wish to move by the main Roman road, via Plaoentia and Mutina, because the consuls expected him that way. His only other route was across the mountains to Genoa, along the coast to the Arnus, and up the river. This led him through a section of land overflowed in spring, and peculiarly marshy this year. The obstacle was a dangerous one; but it was because he could debouch on Flaminiua unexpectedly that he chose it. He broke up from winter-quarters, and after a difficult and costly maroh reached FBBUUB, much to the surprise of the consuls. In central Italy, Hannibal expected not only to win victories, but to be able to seduce some of the Roman confederates from their allegiance. In doing this lay, in fact, his only hope. Alone, he could accomplish nothing, even with victories, and he knew it well. Rome was too strong in material resources. But if he could break up the Italian Confederacy, he could dictate a peace at the gates of Rome.
THE consuls elected for the ensuing year—B. c. 217 — were Cnseus Servilius and Caius Flaminius. It was intended that the former should protect against the approach of Hannibal the line of the Via Flaminia through Umbria to Arimi-num, while the latter should cover the road which was later the Via Cassia, leading through Etruria via Arretium, Florentia and Luca. These roads were not yet the great highways of a later age, but they were good of their kind.
No unusual preparations were made by Rome. The four legions were reinforced up to their normal strength, and the cavalry was somewhat increased. Rome had no idea that she would be called on for undue exertions. The forces from Pla-centia and other fortresses on the Po were drawn in to reinforce the consular armies. They could readily drop down the Po and along the coast to Ariminwn. The two consuls expected later to concentrate north of the Apennines and again rescue the line of the Po.
ROME TO THE PO
Flaminius was of an aristocratic family, but though he had espoused the cause of the people, his quarrelsome character lost him many friends and clients. The nobility hated him, and he is generally represented as a demagogue. He was really a man of progress, with an honest and vigorous nature, but had made more foes than friends by proposing an agrarian law when he was tribune. He was of an impetuous, over-confident nature, but had shown some years before, against the Gauls, that he did not entirely lack military capacity, as he certainly possessed some civic virtues. But these were overclouded by his peculiarities. He now began in his usual wrong-headed way, and quarreled even with the senate before leaving Rome for the north, which fact enables Livy to explain the coming disasters by portents and omens. Flaminius had reason to fear that he might be again recalled by this sometimes arrogant body before he could join the army, as it had formerly tried to recall him from Gaul by appealing to the superstition of the people. Taking at Ari-minuin the two legions which properly belonged to Servilius, in addition to the two he had got by lot from Sempronius, who, we remember, had retired on Luca before winter, he concentrated at Arretium. Here he purposed to wait quietly until the roads became passable, when he supposed it would be time enough to block them against Hannibal. But he found that the Phoenician did not wait for practicable roads.
Servilius remained in Rome to raise additional forces and to make arrangements for victualing both armies. In March he moved to Ariminum with two new legions, to hold head against the Gauls, who with coming spring would be apt to move. Scipio was ordered to Spain, his province of last year, with two legions; and there were, besides, one in Sicily, one in Sardinia and one at Tarentum. The six legions ran the force of the consuls up to over fifty thousand men.
Servilius would have been better with Flaminius. There was no immediate peril from the Gauls. Alone, the Gauls were not dangerous. Under Hannibal they were much to .be feared; but once beat Hannibal, and they would leave him without delay. Hannibal was the enemy whom it was essential to crush. This could only be done by numbers, if at alL But the consuls did not yet know their man.
Hannibal had no idea of wasting his time defending the valley of the Po against Roman assaults. His work lay among the confederates in southern and central Italy. His scheme was a constant offensive, and we shall see that so long as he had strength to do so, he kept even the Romans, the very essence of whose policy was push, strictly to a defensive r&le. He well knew that should he defeat one consular army after another, this would not be defeating Rome. He must weaken the Italian Confederacy in order to strike at the root of her power. Victory was necessary, but it was only a first step. Unless victory affected in his favor the Roman allies, it could do him no eventual good. Hannibal was too old a soldier not to know that the Roman military organization was better in the long run than his own, even if the legion was not at this time better than his own phalanx. He saw that Rome could prolong the contest indefinitely, and would keep on improving, while he could not expect to do so. He by no means underrated his foe. His plan must be unremitting activity by which he could undermine the morale of the Roman senate, and a succession of victories which should incline to his cause the Roman allies. Rome had absolute material preponderance. All Hannibal had to oppose to this was his burning genius. And in his greatest successes he never forgot this limitation to his power; nor did his divine fury ever mislead him.
Hannibal made strenuous efforts, even at this time, to induce some of the allied cities to come over to his standard. He gave them to understand that his attitude towards Rome tended directly to their benefit, and that they could all gain their independence if he succeeded. The allied prisoners whom he had captured he treated generously and sent back without ransom. That he massacred the Roman prisoners is altogether doubtful, but he probably he drew a crisp distinc-
tion between them and their confederate brothers in adversity. He managed to produce a good impression, but it was as yet too dangerous a thing for any of the socii to break openly with Rome. On the other hand, the Gallic allies of Hannibal were getting restless, from having to sustain the war on their territory instead of gathering plunder on the enemy's. Hannibal was often put to severe straits to allay this feeling, which is described as being at times so strong that his assassination was planned. And it is related by Po-lybius that Hannibal was obliged to resort to all manner of subterfuges and personal disguises of costume to escape this constantly threatening danger; especially so, as he was always active in personally reconnoitring the country, and in judging what he ought to do with his own eyes.
THE ARNUS MARSHES
Flaminius had an army of four legions; at the normal strength with allies about thirty-six thousand men. Servi-
lius had half the number. While the senate had not waked up to the full danger of the situation, Rome had this year over one hundred thousand men in the field. She needed more before the year was out.
When spring opened, Hannibal determined to move to Etruria as a first step towards an invasion of central Italy. There were two directions from Liguria by which he might do this* The main route, over which the Romans marched their army to the Padane country, was excellent. From Liguria, however, it ran by a long circuit through Clastidium, Plaoentia, Mutina and Bononia, to Ariminum, before it crossed the mountains, though there were several gaps in the Apennines, with country roads turning southerly off this route — later the Via JEmilia. The only other road then practicable was one which the Ligurians had not infrequently used in their raids into Etruria, but which was little known to the Romans. It lay across the mountains to Genoa, and then along the coast to the mouth of the Arnus, whence a inarch up the right bank would bring Hannibal to the left of the Roman position at Arretium, on the southern foothills of the Apennines.
If Hannibal attempted the highway or any of the roads leading off it, the consul Flaminius could make his progress all but impossible by besetting the mountain passes, and the country was such that he would be unable to make valid use of his cavalry. Moreover, the other consul, Servilius, would soon reach Ariminum with two legions, — as Hannibal well knew, for these things were reported to him by spies whom he never neglected to keep in motion, — and could readily harass his rear should he attempt to force the mountain passes. On the other road, the territory at the mouth of the Arnus was at this season one huge marsh, which took days to traverse, and happened this year to be deeper overflowed than usual, a state of things which would last many weeks, and might subject him to as much toil as the passage of the Alps. This seemed to the bold Carthaginian, however, the lesser evil, and he chose it The route he knew to be full of difficulties, but as it was the surest and quickest to the heart of Italy, as it turned the Roman position, and as it was the one on which he would not be looked for, it was the road which best suited his ideas. Obstacles he knew not, when they lay between him and Rome.
The Romans gauged Hannibal's manoeuvres in the light of their own. They had always dictated the method of war, and could look at it only thus. So far, Hannibal had sought battle, and they supposed he would still do so by the simple means of moving directly up to their position. They were watching the valley of the Padus and the passes of the Apennines leading upwards from the lower part of the river.
Hannibal had been camping in a level country of vast extent He was now to enter upon the mountain country, near whose foothills he had won his first pitched battle. Most generals excel either in upland or lowland war; Hannibal had been trained, and was equally at home in both.
The backbone of the Apennines runs down the length of the peninsula of Italy, at times rising to an altitude of ten thousand feet, at times merely a rolling country with occasional mountains accentuating the range. Throughout their length the Apennines are now cut by numerous excellent roads; the population is large, and the cultivation abundant. In Hannibal's time, many communities lived in these hilly fastnesses; and the valleys smiled with grain and oil and wine. But the roads, excepting those which always followed hard upon Roman occupation, were probably mostly such as peoples can produce whose transportation is done by pack-animals alone. The Gauls of the Po had carts, but they lived in the plain; the mountaineers of Italy used no vehicles at that day; they own few now.
At intervals, rather rare, in this mountain chain, there were alluvial plains, and frequently the shore extended well out to sea from the foothills. But the general character of the whole peninsula was upland, and there were in central and southern Italy but three plains of marked extent; those along the Arnus, the happy fields of Campania, and the prairies of Apulia on the opposite coast Still, almost all portions of central Italy, on either side of the chain, made good campaigning ground, and the mountains could at intervals be readily crossed.
THE PLAINS OF ITALY
We do not know as much about the roads as we could wish. But where the great turnpikes with which the Romans invariably followed up their conquests did not yet exist, there were no doubt excellent substitutes in the country roads* either native or Roman. The neighbors of Rome were all but as active in internal improvements as herself. Neither the consuls nor Hannibal appear usually to have been hampered by lack of practicable roads, though in such a country certain positions and gaps have a constant and peculiar strategic value, and are used by preference. The Roman roads were so apt to follow the paths indicated by the roads of the populations which preceded their occupation, that we may fairly consider that intercommunication between all parts of Italy was excellent, certainly better than that we Americans were fain to content ourselves with in our Civil War. Hannibal had only infantry, cavalry and pack-trains; he could practically go anywhere where there were mountain-gaps.
Hannibal broke up in early spring, probably March, 217 B. c. He had wintered in the vicinity of modern Alexandria. The first part of the march towards Etruria was not overburdened with difficulties. The range from the Ligurian country to Genoa is rugged; but his troops had campaigned in Spain, and the Gauls knew the land tolerably well. From Genoa to modern Spezzia, he kept along the cliff-roads. Nearing the Luca country, he also neared the Arnus marshes. Just what the extent of this submerged section was, we only know from the ancient authors. It does Dot now exist. It is called a marsh. It probably was alluvial land covered by the usual spring overflow, this year excessive. At first blush, especially to judge from the fact that Luca was a Roman colony, one would suppose that there must have been a practicable road around the north of the flat land of the Arnus. But that there was none must not only be assumed from the authorities, but is evident from the structure of these foothills. Roads in plenty there may have been, up into the valleys of this southern slope of the Apennines, and some across the range; but to attempt to march along the length of the slope would have been to encounter a never-ending succession of precipices and torrents, as well as a zigzag path as long in miles as the entire peninsula. Hannibal was obliged to essay the passage of the marsh. Through this there was a road, fairly good daring the dry weather, but at this time considered impassable.
But the Carthaginian knew not the meaning of the word. There was no road he could not utilize. He set out confidently on his perilous march. In the van he sent the Spanish and African troops, with the jnost necessary and valuable of the baggage, so that these, his best troops, should not suffer, and that the treasure and essentials should be got across the marsh before the road was too much trodden down by the column. It is not probable that a large quantity of baggage was taken. Hannibal was well aware that if he lost the game, he would need none; if he won, he would have food and treasure in superabundance. He probably kept his treasure in small bulk. Next came the Gallic allies — the least reliable of his army — followed by Mago with the horse, whose duty it was to persuade these troops to diligence, if possible; but, if necessary, to push them on by the use of force.
The van with the baggage got through without all too great loss. They were old and hardened troops, and found the road, such as it was, still unbroken by recent travel. But the Gallic column, unused to and impatient under such exposure, lost heavily from fatigue and deprivation. The whole army was four days and three nights marching through water, where only the dead horses, dead beasts of burden or abandoned packs afforded any chance to rest. Many horses and mules cast their hoofs. Hannibal personally made the inarch on the last remaining elephant,—the rest having all perished at the Trebia or in the Apennines, — and during this season of exposure lost an eye from an inflammation which he was unable to attend to, and which was seriously aggravated by overwork. Cornelius Nepos states that he had to be carried in a litter from this time until after the battle of Trasimene.
The army finally reached firm land and went into camp, on
the north bank of the Arnus, on the heights of Faesulae (Fie-sole), overlooking the plains of modern Florence, where it found store of good provisions, the province being one of the most fertile in Italy.
Unlike Alexander, Hannibal did not do brilliant things for their own sake; but that he was always ready to face the most perilous and harassing undertakings in order to place himself nearer the accomplishment of his object, this march proves almost as well as the passage of the Alps. He had completely turned his adversary's position and had again won his choice of a theatre of operations.
ABRIYBD in Etruria, n—ai^i began manoBiming to lure FUminius oat to battle. This he did largely by devastating under his Yery eyes the country the oansul had come to protect Finally, unable to draw Flaminius out of his camp at Arretinm, Hannibal moved around his left flank and cut him off from Rome; and this without losing his own line of operations. The manoeuvre was as neat as any of Napoleon's. Still FUminiua remained in camp, and Hannibal determined to more towards Apulia, where he could Utter negotiate with the confederates, and whither he felt sure the consuls would follow him; which, if they did, would afford him a chance of draw-log them into a pitched battle. As Hannibal passed Lake Tradmene, he came to a place very suitable for an ambuscade; and hearing that Flamimus had broken oamp and was following him up, he stopped and camped on the road toPernsia.
HANNIBAL found that the Etrurians were well inclined to rise against Rome, and needed but the encouragement of suo cess to determine them. He made careful study of the whole region, as well as the condition of the Roman army, which lay southeast of his at Axretium. " The plans and temper of the consul, the situation of the country, the roads, the sources from which provisions might be obtained, and whatever else it was useful to know; all these things he ascertained by the most diligent inquiry," says Livy. This well illustrates Hannibal's constant habit.
Etruria was rich in victuals and could furnish the Carthaginians material assistance, and the Roman general was, thought Hannibal, hot-headed enough to be betrayed into a battle on as disadvantageous terms as had been Sempronius. Having studied out his problem, — and particularly the methods of Flaminius, for " it is to be ignorant and blind in the science of commanding armies to think that a general has anything more important to do than to apply himself to learning the inclinations and character of his opponent," aptly says Polybius, — Hannibal crossed the Arnus to the south bank.
Flaminiufl lay intrenched in a stationary camp at Arre-tium. His intention, very likely, was to move forward to Lnca, when the conditions of the road should allow, in order to close up the passes debouching at that point, while his colleague should move from Ariminum to replace him where he now stood. The two consuls would thus close up the avenues of the Apennines. Fadane Gaul was lost to them.
Flaminius had a certain repute, acquired partly in the field, more largely in the forum, but he was in no sense fitted to cope with Hannibal. So sure was he of victory that his camp is said to have been thronged with non-combatants who had assembled for spoil. Bnt this has been the case in the camps of better soldiers, — Pompey's at Fharsalus, as an instance.
Arretium lies at the northern outlet of a long and level valley, some ten miles wide, of which Lake Trasimene forms the southern boundary, and in a species of gap, which debouches into the valley of the Arnus. The entire surrounding country is hilly, but fertile and accessible. Flaminius was as much astonished at Hannibal's sudden appearance on his left, as Scipio must have been to find that Hannibal had crossed the Alps. He at once sent word to Servilius of Han-nibal's near presence.
Hannibal's march from the Arnus was deliberate, at every step seeking for indications of the consul's purpose. He was living on the country, but in addition to what he took for victual, he thoroughly plundered the land, partly to gather booty, by the distribution of which he hoped to gain new adherents to his cause, but mainly to work Flaminius up to a proper pitch of fury. For seeing the land he had come to protect reduced to a desert under his very eyes, the consul was the more apt to lose his head. But though the smoke of burning villages and the outcries of pillaged inhabitants rose like a spectre to appall the consul, he showed no sign of moving from his stationary camp at Arretium. He was held there by the advice of his colleague and lieutenants.
ARRETIUM TO TRASIMENE
It was then that Hannibal conceived another of his brilliant manoeuvres. We are told nothing about it by the ancient authors, whose knowledge of war confined them solely to the description of battles. But it is apparent enough to us. He was still in the Aquileia region, north and west of Arretium. Marking his progress with fire and sword, he headed southerly, and marching boldly around the consul's left flank, he made for the Clavis above Cluaium. By this handsome march Hannibal cot Flaminius off from Rome. It is probable that he sent his heavy train by way of Saena (modern Siena), and made his march in order of battle, as he was apt to move by the flank past the Roman camp, the more bitterly to taunt the Roman general The operation did not, however, partake of the danger which would beset it to-day.
Here again is shown — as by Alexander on two several occasions — the clear conception of the enemy's strategic flank, with all its advantages, having, of course, reference to the difference of arms and war-methods. Nor by his manoeuvre had Hannibal recklessly cut himself loose from his base, though he was living on the country and independent of it, as it were; the fact is, that the complete integrity of his line of communications with the Luca country, and beyond to Li-guria, was preserved by the valley of the modern Elsa, near whose sources lay the town of Saena, which was a route much, shorter than that of the consul from Arretium. While this line of retreat was unquestionably difficult, it was far less so than Napoleon's, after he had entered Italy by the Great St. Bernard. Every week tended to reduce the overflow of the Arnus. A more perfect case of cutting the enemy from his communications can scarcely be conceived.
It goes without saying, that the consequences of losing their line of communications was not fraught with the danger for the ancients which it is to-day. Flaminius had no long trains of food and ammunition to be cut off and captured. He did not depend for his daily bread, nor for his ability to fight a battle, on what could reach him from Rome. But he was none the less cut off from the capital. If he fought, it must be under morally and materially worse conditions than if his line was open; and the effect on his men of having the enemy between them and Rome, as well as of their being held back from a battle, could not but be disastrous. While Hannibal's manoeuvre could not accomplish the result against Flaminius which Napoleon's did against Melas or Mack, it was none the less the work of a master-hand, and affords the intelligent soldier a lesson in strategy, if it cannot be used as an illustration to the young student of the modern art of war.
Hannibal continued to tempt Flaminius to battle by all the arts he knew how to practice. He relied upon the consul's well-known vehemence for this result, and doubted not that it yet would come. It was in fact only the joint entreaties of all Flaminius' lieutenants which had constrained him so long to hold the defensive role.
It would seem as if Flaminius, when he found that Hannibal had got between him and Rome, would have sent for Sen* vilius to come immediately to his assistance. Nothing but concentration and action could overcome the Carthaginian general. Flaminius could well have prevented the success of Hannibal's manoeuvre by a timely occupation in force of Clusium, or some point near it But to learn to play such a strategic game was no part of a Roman's military education. Up to this time, strategy had been a closed book to the Romans. They understood how to fight. Manoeuvring was an unknown art Perhaps the two consuls could not act amicably together in one body; and Servilius was deemed to be necessary in Ariminum to hold the Gauls in check. It is altogether likely that it never entered Flaminius9 head that Hannibal could by any possibility reach his rear.
Hannibal continued to waste the country after collecting what material he needed, and finally, when he saw that Flaminius showed no inclination to accept his gage of battle, he moved down the Clavis to Clusium, devastating as he went, thence across the river due east to Lake Trasimene, and around its north side to the road leading by that bank to Perusia.
Hannibal has been criticised for thus moving so that a force of thirty thousand men should be on his rear. But Hannibal at this moment may be said to have had no rear. He was living on the country in every sense, and all his actions were based on what he had ascertained about the character, position, and force of his antagonist, and what he felt sure he would od, and Hannibal was rarely deceived in such matters. No doubt the most essential factor in calculating a campaign is the weight of the opposing commander. This Hannibal had surely gauged. He had moreover retained his line of operations until he saw that he must run a further risk, and under the circumstances he was wise to run it. He wak seeking for the proper fileld of battle, and felt sure that Flaminius would by and by follow him to it. It must be remembered that Hannibal did not look upon these strategic manoeuvres of his in the same light that he would have done had he lived and fought to-day. Then, as now, battle was the purpose of all manoeuvres, but then more than now. The consuls were safe in their camp. Rome was safe within its walls. The moral or political effect which Hannibal could produce by marching even up to the walls of Rome was not what to-day would be produced by such an act Nothing would suit Hannibal's purpose or extend his influence in Italy except to beat the Romans in battle; and in his march around Flaniinius' left, he was aiming first and foremost at battle on a suitable battle-field, and in a secondary sense at a change of base. He had tried his best to bring FlaminiuB out to fight, and this was a new resort to accomplish the same end. As Flaminius was not disastrously affected by Hannibal's cutting him off from Rome, so Hannibal did nothing unwarranted in cutting himself loose from his own communications.
The other and perhaps stronger consideration for Hannibal's inarch was the fact that it had been from the inception a part of his programme at the proper time to throw np his base on the Padus, and make a new one for himself in central or southern Italy, where he could readily communicate with Carthage by sea, as well as be closer to his prospective allies, those cities of the Roman confederacy which he might succeed in detaching from their allegiance. It was doubtless at this moment that he determined to give up his old line of operations, and acted accordingly. His march accomplished both his aims.
Flaminius was wrought up to a high pitch of wrath by this march and devastation of Hannibal's. He again called a council of war, though he had determined in any event on his own responsibility to follow and chastise the insolent invader. The council advised caution, to wait for Servilius and merely to send out his horse to hamper Hannibal's movements and prevent his laying waste any more of the country. But vexed still more at being crossed, Flaminius at once ordered the troops under arms and moved on Cortona, a strongly situated town on a high hill jutting from the eastern range of the valley south of Arretium, and half-way on the road to Trasimenus. According to Livy there were many signs and portent* of approaching disaster. The keener-witted officers shook their heads, but the army was of the mood of its commander. The march was made without any particular order or precaution, — a fact well known to the Carthaginian general.
Flaminius is taken to task by both Polybius and Livy, as well as by many modern writers, for thus moving on Han-nibaL They appear to judge him solely by the event, and by his naturally quarrelsome disposition. This criticism does not seem to be well earned. It would have been less than soldierly, with Hannibal moving around him with daily taunts, ravaging with fire and sword the land of the people he was supposed to defend, and having actually got between him and Rome, to do less than seek to attack him. Fla-minius is blamable for not having forestalled Hannibal in reaching the road to Rome, and is blamable in the highest degree, in the presence of a captain who within a few months had in two encounters shown the Romans the necessity of the greatest caution, for not moving with such precaution as to prevent his being surprised, even though such was not the habit of Roman marches; or, if you like, blamable for not waiting for the other consul, on the ground that yon cannot do better than get together your very utmost force on the eve of battle; but clearly he was not wrong in following up, with a view to attack, or at least with a view to harass, the enemy which his chief duty as consul it was to destroy. He was not wrong in moving out to face HannibaL He was blamable for his methods only. He might readily, while waiting for Servilius, have taken up a position to observe his enemy and seek to place him at a disadvantage before bringing him to battle. He could have seriously hampered the Carthaginians without risking his own safety. Ho was not bound to plunge into an open snare.
It was in the manoeuvring that one general showed his skill, and the other his want of it. Flaminius could in no wise cope with Hannibal, who had from the instant he appeared in Italy shown the highest conceptions of the art of war. His operations had been bold as well as wise. His battles had been skillfully conducted; his march into Etruria had been stolen on Flaminius and made by a path the latter had never conceived that an army could tread, — like Alexander's march around Mt. Ossa in Thessaly, or his march by the Pamphylian Ladders, and with similar results. He had crossed, without a battle, the Apennines, the obstacle at which the consuls had felt sure they could arrest his progress. He had skillfully gauged the ability of each of his opponents, and had acted accordingly. He now stood ready for the final arbitrament of battle, so soon as it could be had on even terms, and was doing all that in him lay to force the consular army into it. And it must be added that Hannibal's political good sense was equal to his military skill. No captain has ever succeeded whose policy did not march abreast with his manoeuvres. That Hannibal eventually failed was not from lack of intelligent policy, but because he had no aid from home, and because the Latin confederacy had been builded with a cement altogether too strong
LEGIONARY WITH SCALE ARMOR
On the east bank of the lake, Hannibal put his whole army in ambush to trap the Roman consul. The locality it south of modern Paerignano, where the mountains oome down to the lake and make a narrow plain, closed in at both ends by a defile. Through this plain and defile ran the road. On the heights bordering the plain, Hannibal placed his light troops; at the end of the plain, near the entrance defile, the Gauls and Nmnidians; at the south end his heavy troops. Flaminins was intent on following up and chastising the invader. He left Cortona, marched to the lake and camped. Next morning, at daylight, he entered the defile, at the end of which he could see Hannibal's camp on the hill orer whioh ran the road to Perusia. A morning mist aided to conceal the ambushed Carthaginians. So soon as the entire Roman army had entered the plain, the defile was closed by the Nnmidians. flaminins was advancing without order or care, when suddenly his van was attacked by Hannibal's heavy troops, and the signal was given for a general attack. The entire Carthaginian force fell on one flank of the Romans, who were in order of march, and had the lake on the other flank. There arose at once a sauvt qui peitf, and in a brief space the whole army, exoept six thousand men, who out their way through to Pernsia, were killed or captured. The six thousand were taken next day. Flaminius did not outlive his shame. Within a day or two, Maharbal defeated a reinforcement of four thousand Roman hone, killing half and capturing the rest This was the worst of Roman defeats. After the battle, though the road to Rome was open, Hannibal was wise enough not to try to march on the capital. He saw the impossibility of the undertaking, and moved down to Apulia instead, from whence he could communicate with Carthage. Rome showed her wonderful capacity for resisting disaster as never before. Fabius Maximus was chosen dictator, and he made Minucius his master of the horse.
JUST bow far away from the consuls Hannibal might have marched, or what was his original motive in moving towards Perusia, can only be guessed, though it is evident he first of all desired battle. But while on the march he took notice of the topography of Lake Trasimene, and its singular fitness for an ambuscade. If his plans were at once to move farther south, he altered them at this place. He no doubt studied his scheme with care. He may have remembered his father's able trapping of the Libyan rebels in the Tunisian defile. He learned at the moment that Maminius had left Cortona to follow him up. Divining from the impetuosity of hid character that his pursuit would be conducted in a headlong manner, Hannibal, instead of keeping on towards Peruaia, bethought him again to attempt an ambuscade, not with a small force, but with his entire army, in these same defiles of the Lake of Trasimene. The idea was no sooner conceived than acted on. It is the only instance in history of lying in ambush with the whole of a large army.
The exact location of the battle is not stated by Polybius or Livy, but on carefully comparing these authors with the locality itself, it appears altogether probable that it took place between the defile at modern Passignano and the hill over which the road ascends on the way to modern Perugia. The topography here not only admirably fits the statements of these authors, but is exactly the place Hannibal would have chosen for the work in hand. This is not the spot selected by all modern critics, many of whom make the locality of the battle between Borghetto and Passignano.
The plain at whose apex lay Arretium (Arezzo), and on the eastern flank of which Cortona juts boldly out on a mighty hillside commanding the valley, ends at Lake Trasimene, the ranges on either hand spreading out and continuing on around the lake. On the northeast shore, at modern Borghetto, the range descends to the water side in a gently sloping hill; then recedes so as to form a wide plain between hills and lake; and again, at modern Passignano, it impinges on the lake in a huge, bold headland, terminating in a preoi-pioe of sheer rock, which overhangs the water. From the hills across ike plain, which is entirely a flat, alluvial deposit, run a number of small brooks of no size or volume, except in spring. The lake has a depth of thirty or forty feet; the mountains to the east rise gradually to an average height of fifteen hundred feet above its surface; the plain is about five miles long, and at its widest some mile and a half.
Southeast of the exit of this first plain, at modern Pas-signano, is another and less wide plain, some four miles long, which is terminated at Torricella by the hills again impinging on the lake, and over these hills the road now runs, some three hundred feet up and down, by way of Maggione to Perugia. It appears probable that this is the scene of the battle. In Livy's day, tradition would have still been reliable. Poly-bius could certainly identify the spot From both of their descriptions of ground and ambush, the author inclines to the belief that the battle was not fought on the first plain reached by Flaminius, though this is the one now pointed out to tourists as the battle-field. There is no difficulty in understanding the battle, after visiting the locality itself.
The changes in the lake during the last two thousand years have not altered the features named by both Polybius and Livy, namely, a narrow entrance-defile, a narrow plain, which, indeed, Livy also calls a defile, and a hill closing the farther exit And the second plain was much better fitted for ambuscade, as the mountains at places came down close to the shore, and at no place is the plain, even to-day, more than half a mile in width. In Hannibal's day it was probably narrower yet Small brooks also cross this plain.
BATTLE OF LAKE TRASIMENE
On the hill at the southern exit of the plain he had chosen, Hannibal camped where he was in full view of any one entering at the northern defile, and spent the night in placing his troops. Below the camp, he posted his heavy infantry — Spanish and African — upon a slight elevation, from which
they could rush down with effect upon the Roman head of column when it should reach the position. His heavy cavalry was on the right of this infantry force, where it had ample charging ground, prepared to take the Roman head of column
on the left flank. For an army passing this way had but a narrow path to follow. His light troops, bowmen and stingers, were posted at intervals all along the heights overlooking the plain, with orders to keep well hidden in the woods, and to debouch sharply when the order for attack should be given; his Numidian and Gallic cavalry and the Gallic infantry was hidden in the hills well back in the depths of a wooded valley at that end of the defile which the Romans would first enter, but so placed that the cavalry could quickly sally out and dose the entrance when the game was trapped.
It was ApriL flaminius, wmrir>lnng from Cortona, camped at sunset at a place conveniently situated on the road before it reaches the ominous defile, not unlikely on the hillside of modern Borghetto. He was so overcome with indignation at his predecessors, and at the circumstances which had enabled Hannibal to ravage one of the most fruitful regions of Italy, that he was incapable of harboring any idea except determination summarily and severely to chastise the barbarian. For, much as Hannibal exceeded, in all that was intellectual and cultured, any Roman general of the day, he still remained, as we to the followers of Confucius, an outer barbarian. Maminius easily ascribed the defeat on the Ticinus and at the Trebia to causes other than lack of caution. The invariable victories of the past had made every Roman feel himself invincible. With his enthusiastic and angry legions the consul might well feel able to overthrow any foe. Little he thought that he was to be one of those who, for Rome's eventual good, was by succumbing to Hannibal's abler method to teach a lesson in the art of war. For Rome, in order to make complete her splendid equipment, system and discipline, needed to learn that war is an intellectual game and not merely a contest of giants.
In the usual Roman fashion, Flaminius made no attempt to reconnoitre the ground in his advance, or to send out parties who should ascertain the whereabouts of the enemy. Hannibal, we must believe, took every precaution against his ambuscades being made known to Flaminius. The best disposed of the inhabitants of this section were but half-inclined to favor Hannibal's presence, and there must have been many arch-Romans among them, who, unless such precautions had been taken with exceptional skill, would be apt voluntarily to report to the Roman general the situation of the Carthaginian army. It is surprising indeed that Hannibal's plan succeeded.
Flaminius was eager to oome up with Hannibal. He broke camp very early the next morning, — considerably before daylight, — and began his march in the midst of a morning fog, common in the vicinity of any large sheet of water, and which on this day lasted well into the forenoon. He hoped soon to reach the rear of his enemy, whom he no doubt imagined to be evading him for the purpose of continuing his ravages unmolested. To these the consul determined to put a stop.
One must call his imagination into play for the horrors of this memorable battle. A general description and the result alone are given in history. The Roman army, in slender column, skirted the precipice whieh formed the entrance to the fatal plain. As the head of column reached the open ground, the army spread itself out for convenience of marching. From the entrance, and above the fog which covered the surface to no great height, ilaminius had seen, on the hills at the southern end of the plain, the tents of Hannibal's camp, some four miles off. He imagined the Carthaginian army to be oollected at that spot Eager to come to blows with his enemy, he pushed rapidly on, and hurried up the column in the rear. The entire Roman army passed into the open space without discovering any sign of an ambush. The morning fog was all in Hannibal's favor.
As the head of column reached the vicinity of the southerly exit, and began to halt to dose up ranks, for they were now near where Flaminius had seen the Carthaginian camp, the Roman right was suddenly saluted with a loud blare of trumpets, — the signal for a general attack by all parts of the ambushed Carthaginian line, — which signal they again heard repeated and repeated along the hillside on their front and towards their left as far as the gap they had just filed through; and immediately thereupon they saw, advancing upon them through the rolling clouds of mist, the serried ranks of the Carthaginian phalanx. To add to the consternation of the moment, the thundering tread of charging horse, and the terrible shout of horsemen galloping to certain victory, came rushing down upon the head of column from the left.
The first idea of the Roman officers was that they had merely thrust their van into an ambuscade, and must at once withdraw it. The head of column was compromised. But they were soon undeceived. As far down the marching line as they could hear, for see they could not, the enemy's light troops on the heights, with exulting shouts, debouched from hiding, and rushing down the hills towards the carelessly spread-out Roman column, discharged their hail of leaden bullets and fired their darts and arrows upon the Romans, who were utterly unprepared for resistance and in nothing resembling order of battle; while from several of the heights, which in this plain came down close to the water, fell a constant rain of arrows and sling stones. Nor could the surprise and terror of the head of column exceed that of the rear, when, rushing from their wooded screen in the upper valley, the Numidians and Gallic horse and foot fell furiously upon the disordered troops.
It must be remembered that there was at that day no regular order of march in a Roman army, and Flaminius' eagerness to get up with Hannibal had probably made speed rather than care the order of the day. There was no front, no flank, no rear. There was no way of retreat. On one side was the lake; on the other the hills from which debouched bodies of unseen but active foes; on right and left the attack of well-prepared and carefully arrayed battalions, instinct with the ardor of victory already won. Never was army worse compromised, never was army more certain of destruction. The Gauls had as yet had no chance to wreak their ill-will for many acts of cruelty done upon them by their Roman conquerors, and they now glutted their vengeance to the fulL The Carthaginians saw that to-day they might wipe out the defeat and shame of the war in which their fathers had been so terribly punished, so deeply humiliated. The butchery was savage.
The Roman soldier, unconquerable when fighting within the lines of disciplined combat, appeared here to be no better than a brute beast led to the shambles. In the brief space of three hours, before the morning mists had lifted, there was no semblance of an army left, and still the butchery went on. Legions, cohorts, velites, triarii, all were mixed in one confused mass. Even the small bodies which hung together to defend themselves seemed incapable of wielding their arms; thousands threw themselves into the lake to seek a fate to them less cruel; other thousands put an end to their own existence. livy states that so horrible was the tumult that neither party was aware of the occurrence of an earthquake, which at the very moment of the battle " overthrew large portions of many of the cities of Italy, turned rivers from their rapid course, carried the tides up into the rivers, and leveled mountains with an awful crash." A body of six thousand men cut its way through towards Perusia, no doubt under cover of the fog. Not exceeding ten thousand men all told escaped this fatal day. Of the remaining thirty thousand, half were killed in their tracks, half captured. Hannibal's loss did not exceed fifteen hundred men, mostly Gauls.
Hannibal at once sent Maharbal with the Spanish foot, some archers and the heavy cavalry in pursuit of the body which had escaped through the fines to Perusia. They were surrounded next day on a hOl they had occupied, and obliged to surrender to save their hare fives. On their surrendering, the Hnin*w« were made prisoners of war, the allied soldiers were all sent home without ransom. tt I come not," said Hannibal,*4 to place a yoke on Italy, bat to free her from the yoke of Rome." Some authorities have stated that of the whole force but six hundred cut their way through; that but nine hundred were captured; and that the rest, including Fla-minius, were cut to pieces. Fbuninius indeed fell with the rest Well for him that he did! The first quoted figures are probably more nearly correct than the latter, which seem to go beyond probability. Certainly, however, Rome had never as yet seen so sad a day.
Plutarch relates that Hannibal sought long for the body of Flaminius, to give it burial, but was unable to find it.
The Roman soldier must not be underrated. The ten thousand legionaries of the centre at the Trebia cut their way through the Carthaginian army in good order, despite the utter demoralization of the rest of the army. The six thousand leading troops at Trasimene did the like. The Carthaginian was an older, not a better soldier. In material and basis of organization, and in the natural discipline and character of the race, the Romans were by far the stronger. The advantage of the Carthaginian soldier was the training which comes of long service and a strong leader; and the whole body profited by the expertness of its cavalry; but any superiority of the Carthaginians as an army lay solely in Hannibal's genius.
The Roman army here showed a decided capacity for panic. No wonder, perhaps, for the column was not in hand. But the instinct for panic has always existed among troops in greater or less degree. No soldier has ever, on the whole, been so free from it as the American volunteer, — or, rather, no soldier has ever so quickly recovered from the effect of panic and returned to duty. Lines were driven back during our civil war in apparent great confusion; but a few hundred yards to the rear these same -lines would of their own motion rally, apparently ashamed of having broken, and advance to renew the fight with no semblance of panic left.
Tacitus tells us that the Romans were accustomed to demand their rights of their enemies with weapons in hand, and not dumbly and by stratagem, and iElian says that it was a virtue peculiar to the Romans to employ neither ruse nor artifice to overcome their enemies. Livy and Valerius Max-imus cry out against Hannibal's ruses as instances of deceit. But the Romans were not so free from stratagems as they pretend; the difference between theirs and Hannibal's was but in the degree of ability displayed. And war cannot be conducted on a basis of frankness. It is strictly a game of wits, of deceit. Rob the able general of all which comes within the ken of stratagem and you paralyze his right arm.
After the battle Hannibal went into camp to give his men their well-earned rest. But hearing that a force of four thousand horse had been sent, under the pro-praetor Cnaus Centenius, from the consular army of Sempronius at Arirai-num, to reinforce Flaminius, and to give the latter a somewhat nearer mounted equality to the Carthaginians, Hannibal sent Maharbal out to meet it with a part of his own cavalry and some light troops. In a battle shortly fought, Maharbal defeated Centenius with a loss of half his number. The rest took refuge on an adjoining hill, where, next day, Maharbal made the balance prisoners. Again humiliation to the proud Roman name.
The road to Rome was open to Hannibal, and he has been often criticised, as after Cannae, for not at once marching upon it But Hannibal was more far-sighted than Pyrrhus. He knew it would be impossible to take the city by a coup de main. It was over a hundred miles distant. It was always well garrisoned and in two days could raise a large force. He knew the Roman character for stanchness all too welL So long as the Latin confederacy remained without a breach, there were still many times as many men to defend Rome as he himself could put in front of the capital; and to attack the capital might, until some of the allies were clearly weaned from their allegiance, be but the cause of a new birth of goodwill towards Some. The allies as yet knew Hannibal and his intentions little. He was still to them a barbarian invader, and despite his victories an unknown quantity, and Hannibal recognized the fact that these allies could only be detached from the Roman alliance by a continued series of victories, added to a much longer diplomatic suasion than he had yet found time to use.
It was evident to Hannibal that he could make no progress without appealing to the interest of the allies. This indeed was his universal rule. He had thus won the Gauls to his Bide, and he must thus influence the Italians; By a system of generosity backed by victories on the one hand, and by living on their land and occasional devastation on the other, he thought he might eventually rely on self-interest to bring about their defection from Rome. Success alone would not do. His three victories had, while strictly due to his own able generalship, been won under circumstances which might not again occur. And he would have shown a weakness which was no part of his character had he failed to appreciate the fact that Rome had within its walls many men abler than those he had yet encountered. He was strong in the field, owing largely to his cavalry; but of what use was his cavalry when coping with walled cities ? He had no siege-machinery ; he knew that Rome was heavily fortified, and he was not insane enough to expect the senate to open her gates to him as the servile satraps of Babylon and Susa had done to Alexander. Perhaps as good a proof of Hannibal's remarkable generalship as any during his whole life is his refraining from marching on Rome at this moment and after Canns. No one has ever doubted this man's remarkable courage or exceptional spirit of enterprise, — has he not abundantly proved them? But greater than these was that wonderful balance of judgment which always overrode every other quality, and was perhaps never wrong.
It has been sometimes said that Alexander captured cities in his campaigns as well as won battles; that Caesar did the like; why, then, if he was an equal soldier, should not Hannibal have marched on and captured Rome? But it must be remembered that Alexander and Caesar commanded each the very best army of his day, an army drilled, disciplined, armed and equipped in a manner so far beyond that of any he encountered, that the odds were entirely on his side so far as actual fighting or any feat of engineering was concerned. Alexander and Caesar had siege-material which was the best of its day, and, with few exceptions, the cities they captured had much cruder means of defense, excepting walls. And each had under his command a trained corps of engineer officers, the most expert of their day. Despite which, we have seen how Alexander, when he matched himself against the science and strength of Tyre, came as near failure as he ever did; and we shall see Cesar recoil from the walls of Gergovia.
In Hannibal's case the circumstances were exactly reversed. He had no siege-enginery in Italy, or at least the authorities so lead us to infer from their silence on the subject, and, if any, but a small equipment of missile-throwers. The art of using engines had perhaps degenerated since the days of Alexander. Those famous field and mountain batteries of his had been forgotten. Nor, indeed, had Hannibal anticipated their use. He had expected to win pitched battles to weaken Rome, and use diplomacy to detach her allies. A plan which contemplated long sieges of the numberless strong places of Italy would have been from its inception doomed. We shall see what a mistake of this kind Hasdru* bal made when later he followed his brother to Italy. Siege-material was not an essential in a campaign in Italy. Cities could be won by bargaining better than by force. Cavalry was the arm of most importance. And while Hannibal's army was veteran, so far as work and the hardiness of the field was concerned, it never had come near the wonderful natural subordination inherent in the Roman and allied legions. His recent allies, the Gauls, furnished him only a wild and unreliable contingent; and the numerical strength of his stanch troops was pitifully small compared to the enormous forces of men, trained to arms from their youth up, which Rome could within a few days — almost hours — oppose to him at the gates of her capital. And to the Roman soldier 44 actual war was but a bloody repetition of his daily drill, as his daily drill was but a bloodless campaign." The balance in the matter of army ran decidedly against Hannibal instead of in his favor. Nothing, perhaps, shows how well Hannibal recognized the better arms and equipment of the Roman legion than the fact that he shortly reorganized his Libyan foot on a Roman basis. Just what the details of the changes may have been we are not informed, but he armed them with the Roman weapons taken at Trasimene, and Livy observes that one could at a distance scarcely tell the differ* ence between Carthaginians and Romans.
Again, the walls of Rome were strong and defended by skillful officers and large bodies of good, if new, troops, who would be fighting for their homes and precious Rome, their gods and household fires* And in a few days after Hannibal had sat down before Rome, an army of relief vastly larger than his own would have come to besiege himself. Imagine Alexander before Tyre, with an enormous Persian army in his rear to shut him in, and without a fleet; what would have been his chances ? Imagine Cssar opposed at Alesia with an army of relief of disciplined legions. Hannibal would have been in still worse case. With yet only a few of the confederates wavering in their allegiance to Rome, and barely looking upon Hannibal as a possible recourse in case of future unquestioned success, he would have been wanting indeed in good judgment had he undertaken such an operation. And as to marching on Rome for the mere sake of so doing, and without a definite object, this was not Hannibal's understanding of the art of war. We shall recur to this subject after the battle of Cannes.
Turning, then, from a prize he saw he could not yet win, he ravaged the fertile plains of Umbria, attacked the fortress Spoletum, but was repulsed from before its walls, — clearly from lack of siege-material, —marched eastward across the range to Anoona, thence south along the Adriatic, and, spreading devastation right and left upon his road, levied contributions all over Pioenum, which was covered with Roman farms. His men could not be kept from retaliating even upon innocent yeomen the horrors suffered by their fathers in the First Punic War. In the southern part of this province he gave his troops a few days9 rest among its plethoric granaries, well earned by a year's hard campaigning, and sadly needed. For the men were in bad condition, suffering from scurvy and other camp diseases caused by deprivations, and the horses were much reduced. The men are said to have bathed the horses in old wine to cure them of an irruptive disease. Hannibal then proceeded towards the south, apparently marching along the eastern foothills of the Apennines, so as to cross the streams at their narrowest, through the land of the Pretutii, Hadria, the Marsi, the Marucini and Peligni, and stopped in Apulia, in the neighborhood of Arpi and Lu-ceria. He hoped to open communication by sea with Carthage, and thus make for himself a new base of operations in this province. From here he sent dispatches home by sea to announce his successes to the Carthaginian senate, and we may readily imagine the rejoicing caused by the welcome news.
FROM TRASIMENE TO LUCERIA
Luceria was one of those locations which have always been selected by able generals to command the adjoining country.
The place has long been known as the key of Apulia. The town lies on lofty but level ground, sloping easily to south and east, but sharply to north and west. On the west the plateau projects into a site now crowned by the ruins of a medieval castle. Here stood the arx of the Romans, who had held it from 314 B. C. Hannibal made this place a coign of vantage from which to dominate Apulia.
The stanchness of the Roman character, that supreme virtue which deserved to conquer the world, as it did, was never more fully shown than now. The gathering rumors of disaster, so new to Roman ears, and which grew the more the news came in, the cumulative effect of a third and infinitely worse defeat — slaughter — than those of the Ticinus and Trebia, were all but paralyzing. The common people were instinct with terror; even the senate was dismayed beyond immediate power to act. But what made Rome great was the presence of men — of a class, indeed — which was always able to rise superior to disaster. And it was so now. This class took the matter into its own hand, and the plebs followed its lead. No word of peace was heard; no idea of aught but stubborn defense of the Koman soiL There was but one thing to do. A dictator must be appointed. Under the law of the land the dictator must be nominated by the consuls, — and one was dead, the other distant. The necessity was pressing, but the love of law reigned supreme. The senate allowed the people to elect, not a dictator but a pro-dictator. The choice fell upon Q. Fabius Maximus, and he, as was the rule, chose as master of the horse — his most important lieutenant—M. Minucius Bufus.
ROME was put in a «tate of defense, and Fabina Maximus, who had been made dictator, at once went to work to repair the disaster. Serrilins had transferred his army to Rome, and Fabius, after raising' some fresh troops, marched out to meet Hannibal, who, when he reached Lnoeria, found the dictator's army at Mom. The Romans were well supplied; Hannibal had to forage. Fabins was cautious in all his movements; kept in the hills where the enemy's cavalry could not attack him, and harassed the Carthaginians with small-war. This was just what gare Hannibal the greatest tumble. It deprived him of the possibility of winning victories. There was a great deal of opposition to Fa-bins* policy, but he in no wise altered it. Finally, Hannibal was driven from Apulia by sheer lack of an enemy to fight, and made his way to Campania, one of the richest parts of Italy, hoping that dread lest he should devastate the province would bring Fabins to battle. The dictator slowly followed, still keep-ing on the defensive. Minncms and the army were anxious for battle; but despite Hannibal's devastation Fabios refused to undertake the offensive.
FABIUS was a scion of one of the old aristocratic families. He himself was of a moderate, wise and reasonable character, and had already rendered excellent service in Roman wars. His intelligence was broad. He is said to have conformed to all the religions and formal rites of the state, less because he believed in the Roman gods than because he deemed religions faith a necessary anchor of good government. And knowing how powerfully superstition rules tho masses, he did not leave Some until the Sibylline Books had been consulted. He was then ready to set out to face the great Carthaginian.
Rome was quickly put in a state of defense, and sundry weak places in the walls were repaired. Minuoius, master of the horse, was instructed to raise two additional legions, which was speedily done. Orders had already been given to forestall the expected march of Hannibal on Rome (so soon as it should be known that he was advancing) by devastating the country, burning the crops and houses, removing the breadstuffs, destroying the bridges and retiring the population into the towns and strong places, so that nothing should be left for HminiHal to subsist upon. If he marched on Rome, it should be through a howling waste. As matters turned, these orders were not carried out.
Meanwhile, Fabius took command of the army of Servilius, which this general, after a few slight exchanges with the Gauls, had promptly and sensibly transferred from the valley of the Po to Ocriculum, near Rome, so soon as news had reached him of the defeat at Lake Trasimene, and which, increased by the two supplemental legions, amounted to an effective of fifty thousand men. To Servilius was given the duty of raising a fleet to protect the coast of Italy from probable Carthaginian invasions, for the Carthaginians had just intercepted a Roman fleet sailing from Ostia for Spain with provisions.
Though the allies showed no sign of defection, but each city in tarn closed its gates on Hannibal, Rome did not deem it wise to allow Hannibal in their midst without the presence of a Roman army as counterweight. Fabius took this matter in hand, and, advancing along the Via Appia, which led him towards and through Campania and thence through the mountains of Samnium, via Beneventum, into northern Apulia, he advanced to iEcae, within half a dozen miles of his adversary, intending to prevent his ravages, but not proposing to accept battle on disadvantageous terms. When Hannibal passed Luceria toward Arpi, he found the dictator on his flank at Ecae.
The Bomans exceeded the Carthaginians in number, but were weaker in cavalry. They were well provisioned, and so placed that they could constantly receive supplies by way of the Beneventum country, and needed to forage but little for their rations. This was a manifest advantage, as the campaigns of all ages have shown; for to supply an army in an enemy's country, and sometimes in a friendly one, always means large detachments of troops and a great tax on the intelligence and time of the commander. Napoleon has said that the general who cannot provide for his troops is ignorant of his business. This is doubtless true, but it does not make the difficulties any the less. And in that age, half or two thirds of an army was habitually obliged to be absent on foraging duly, — a vast danger.
LUCERIA AND VICINITY
Fabius, who bad no doubt been selected in a spirit of revulsion at the military demagoguism of Flaminius, acted on this knowledge. He moved with the utmost caution, and with his troops well in hand. He kept at a safe distance and in the hilly country bordering the vast Apulian plain, where cavalry could not so easily operate. He harassed Hannibal by picking up his foraging parties, which had grown overbold and reckless, and making a small-war wherever he could. He never lost Hannibal from sight He never got so near him as to give him an advantage. He insisted on the strictest performance of all their duties by the soldiers, protected his few foragers by proper detachments of cavalry, kept the men close in camp, permitted no straggling, and when he marched, it was in so cautious a manner and with such van- and rearguards and flankers, that none of Hannibal's manoeuvres, marches or countermarches, none of his offers of battle, none of his wiles, were of any avail. Hannibal tried every stratagem, every taunt, to impress Fabius with a willingness to fight He shifted camp constantly, moving round the Romans from place to place and ravaging under their very eyes. He disappeared for a day or two, and again came back to the vicinity of Fabius. He marched away, and laid ambushes, into which he hoped Fabius, by following, might falL But all proved useless. Fabius was of a different mould from his predecessors in command. He kept either close to camp, or moved with a caution proof to all that Hannibal could do.
There was little in Rome or in the Roman camp which was concealed to the Carthaginian. His activity in procuring information was abnormal. Even the secrets of the capital or of the headquarters of the consular armies were delivered to him. And though he was in the enemy's country, the Romans knew nothing of his. To organize and use such a service well is a wonderful proof of ability, and throughout his entire career, Hannibal showed that he was equal master of the grand operations, and of the minutiae of war.
This singular change of policy from the universal rule of the Romans — which was summary, unquestioning attack under all circumstances, relying solely on the fighting quality of the legions — has excited the admiration of all historians and soldiers. Fabius' troops were excellent, but new; Hannibal's less good in material, but old and experienced. The Romans could reinforce their army; Hannibal could look for little help. Fabius had not much cavalry; in this Hannibal was rich. Every motive pointed to just this policy; and yet it was, as it were, an absolutely new invention of this levelheaded soldier, a positive departure from Roman precedent. He was teaching himself and the Romans a new system of war. And it was exactly what Hannibal the least desired, — the one thing he saw that he could not long stand up against Still, wise aa this policy was, — it was in fact the only one which was not under the circumstances fatally weak, — Minucius was much dissatisfied with it, and, like Sempronius and Fla-minius, he also desired a battle. Bat the proof of Fabius' wisdom lay in the fact that Hannibal was of like mind with Minucius.
Eventually this clever manoeuvring worried the Carthaginian into leaving Apulia, where he had not met with the hoped-for support of the population, and into marching through the land of the Hirpini across the Apennines and into Samnium, which he did by moving around Fabius' flank and through the same valleys by which the latter had advanced. This must have been an operation of great delicacy and beautifully conducted. We have no details of it.
HANNIBAL'S ROUTE TO CAMPANIA
At this point the Apennines are not high. A few of the peaks rise to an altitude of from three thousand to four thousand five hundred feet; but between the ranges, which branch out in every direction, are valleys and plains of more or less extent, and much beautiful rolling upland, susceptible of er-cellent cultivation. The streams are not large in summer; in spring they are torrents. Some of the hillsides are of naked limestone, and at the highest part of the range the surface is stony and sterile, and there are now few trees. The country was presumably well wooded in those days.
At Beneventum, which lay strongly fortified on the Via Appia, on an eminence high on north and east, but sloping down on south and west, in the midst of a pleasant, rolling, fertile country, whose hills vary from one hundred to five hundred feet above the valleys, he found the gates closed and the town unassailable. He ravaged the vicinity, and proceeding down the Calor, captured Telesia, where a vast store of booty rewarded his efforts. It had been made a depot for the grain raised in the fertile valleys near at hand.
Hannibal now heard from spies in Capua that he might expect to capture that wealthy city. It was the most important of the cities dependent on Rome, and felt itself grievously oppressed by the arrogant capital. Hannibal had formed connections there and hoped for its alliance; and turning from Telesia, he kept on through the mountains between Samnium and Campania, crossed the Vulturnus, near Allifa, headed through the passes in Mons Eribanus, and, descending by way of Cales into the Falernian plain, selected a camp on the north of the river, near Casilinum, and strongly fortified it He then sent out Maharbal to ravage the vicinity, which was done with his accustomed thoroughness as far as Sinuessa.
This plain, Campania Felix (even to-day called Campania Felice), consisting of the Falernian to the north of the Vulturnus, and the Campanian to the south of it, was perhaps the most beautiful and fruitful part of Italy, fed by nature, as well as by the commerce of the adjoining sea-towns. Its fertility was wonderful...
THE FALERNIAN PLAIN
We cannot but wonder why Hannibal, who was so anxious to gain over the allies, and whose policy had been one of generosity towards them, should hare resorted to devastating their lands, thereby not only irritating them, but destroying his own means of foraging. Upon many of these questions we have barely the stated fact, with no explanation given by the contemporary historian, and are left to draw our own conclusions. We must not lose sight of the fact that the historians of Hannibal were for the most part his bitter enemies; and that even their facts must sometimes be taken with a grain of allowance.
Hannibal accumulated an immense quantity of victuals and booty, which he destined for the approaching winter, — but this was only one motive. Perhaps he despaired of attaining any success with the Roman allies in Campania, and concluded that he might as well make them an example for the purpose of being able to approach the others with both a record for abundant generosity and relentless cruelty. With regard to the latter quality, we can say nothing except that war has always been cruel; that two thousand years ago it was worse than cruel; and reflect that, until within a few generations, civilization has been unable to rob war of its element of utter savagery. Nor was Hannibal in any respect worse than the Romans. Be it as it may, Fabius certainly understood that his enemy was in his every act sapping the possibility of success for his cause, and all the more clung to his cunctatory policy. The pertinacity with which Fabius stuck to this manifestly proper line of conduct, against the most grievous opposition, redounds vastly to his reputation for strength of character, despite the fact that one of his cognomens was Ovicula, or the Lamb. The comparison between Fabius and Washington, however old, clings constantly to one's mind.
THOUGH Jmbius would not fight, he made an assailant plan for trapping Han. nibal in tha Falarnian plain. Ha eloaed the aontharn exit at Caailinum on the Vulturous, held the VUAppU and Via Latina in Iarea, and put a coupe in tha defile by which Hannibal had entered. Tha Romans were abundantly sup-plied; tha Carthaginian! had only tha small valley to depend on. Fabius' plan was to wait until Hannibal sought to escape, and then to attack him in flank or rear. Hannibal was really in bad ease. But ha hit on a happy stratagem. Having fruitlessly offered battle to Fabius, he took two thousand beeves, and tying torches to their horns, drove them at night up the slopes of the mountains inclosing the defile ha had oome in and proposed to leave by. The Roman force holding the defile, imagining the Carthaginians to be escaping through the wood*, left the defile to attack them; Hannibal promptly occupied it, and hk column and trains speedily made their way through. After this stratagem he made a raid towards Rome, and finally went to Geronium to winter. Fabius merely followed him up, with his old caution. All parties now began to lose faith in Fabius and his policy.
THOUGH cautious, Fabius lacked not alertness. He devised a plan for surrounding Hannibal, and took his measures accordingly. The northern half of the plain, —the Faler-nian, — where the Carthaginian army had been committing its ravages, had the unfordable Vulturnus on the south, with but a single bridge, at Casilinum, held by the Roman garrison at that town; it had on the east a line of difficult hills whose only debouch was the pass by which Hannibal had entered, for the main road to Beneventum was south of the river; on the west was the sea; on the north Fabius and the Latin colony at Teanum blocked the road and closed the Latin Way. The Appian Way, also leading northward, had several fortified places along its course, and passed through the defile of Terracina as welL Thus the exits of the Falernian plain were all dosed* Polybius says that the fti^nntaiTia on the north and east of the plain had but three outlets. By this he unquestionably means the Via Appia, or main road via Beneventum, the more difficult pass near Allifae, by which Hannibal had entered, and the Via Latina through Teanum. The plan thus organized by Fabius was excellent.
Hannfhfti had finished his work, but without meeting with the political success he had anticipated; he now proposed to gather together his booty and march to the other coast or to southern Italy, where he could spend the winter in greater comfort and security. Fabius had foreseen all this and acted accordingly. He had sent Minucius to put in a state of defense the defile of Terracina, where the mountains come down to the sea, so as to hold the Appian Way to Rome; another force of four thousand men he had sent to hold the pass of Moos Eribanus (or Callicula), as the defile to Allifce was named; he had strengthened the garrison of Casilinum, and with the main ^nman army now moved from Mt. Massicus eastward, along the hills towards the road which Hannibal must use, to a point where he could readily observe the Carthaginian movements. Fabius proposed to wait till Hannibal, after destroying or consuming the provisions of the valley, should try to make his way out. He would then have him at an utter disadvantage. In his rear Fabius had all Latium and Samnium to victual his main army; his force at Casilinum had the Campanian plain for supplies; Minucius was on the Via Appia, and his four thousand men in the defile could depend on Beneventum. The dictator was in a position to wait for battle on his own terms.
Hannibal fully understood the difficulties of his situation, and having carefully gathered his booty, sought to study the means of leaving the valley. It was early £alL It was essential that he should pass the next winter in some region not yet devastated by the war. His immense train of booty was a very serious factor in his calculations. And it may be well here to point out that in weighing the operations of Hannibal, such factors must not be lost sight of. Nearly always in Bo-man or allied territory, he was forced to move with large trains, which the Romans, having victual on every hand, could dispense with. What Hannibal accomplished was with every element in favor of his enemies, and scarcely a single tactical or strategic value on his own side.
It is probable that at this time Hannibal had a very large train of wagons, which he had taken from the farmers of the Falernian plains. As a rule, his trains consisted only of Bumpier-animals. He had to pay his men, and give them much booty; he desired to provide for the winter; he must keep on hand treasure for the subvention of towns he hoped to induce to join his cause. For the moment, he was unusually loaded with trains.
Hannibal could not debouch by either the Appian Way or the Latin Way leading to Rome, as these roads were not only held in force, but a movement along them would bring Fabius at once down on his flank while he was cutting his way out It was, moreover, not the direction he desired to take. He could not well cross the Vulturnus, because Fabius could fall upon his rear during the serious operation of forcing the river. The mountain pass on the east by which he had entered was held by Fabius9 detachment of four thousand men, and Hannibal reckoned that this was the direction from which he would be for that very reason least expected, especially as he had acquired the reputation of not pursuing the same road twice, and it was by no means an easy pass. This exit was the one Hannibal chose for his passage. But it was an operation of some delicacy, for if his way was stoutly disputed, it was altogether likely that he would be attacked by Fabius from the rear during his movement. Having chosen his route, as a first step, he must drive the Romans out of the pass by force or stratagem, and he set about it in a curious manner. He had come in that way, and he knew the lay of the land very accurately.
Operations were opened by a cavalry demonstration on Minucius, to divert Fabius from the idea that he would seek to leave the valley m which he was — a very trap to any but a Hannibal — by way of the mountains. Minucius sent Hostilius Mancinus out to meet the Numidians, and this officer drove them back to camp. Following them up too hastily, Hostilius was met by Carthalo with the whole body of horse, badly cut up, and himself slain. The relics of the Roman cavalry took refuge in Fabius' camp. Hither, too, Minucius had returned, after securing the defile of Terracina. Even this defeat in no wise changed the Roman ardor for a general battle, though it showed Fabius that he was right in dinging to his own scheme of defense.
Next day Hannibal drew up in battle order in the plain below Fabius' camp, and endeavored to bring him out to fight He would have been glad to measure swords in earnest with Fabius, and did his best to bring about this end. Fabius also drew up his army in front of his camp, but refused to move down to the plain, contenting himself with beating back a skirmishing attack of horse, which must have been severe, as Livy acknowledges a Roman loss of two hundred men killed, and with his very natural habit of exaggerating the enemy's, states the Carthaginian loss at eight hundred. Finding this last resort to engage battle on at least even terms a failure, Hannibal was driven to ruse. Fabius had made up his mind not to fight till Hannibal tried to escape, when he would take him in flank or rear.
THE OXEN STRATAGEM
The Carthaginians had collected several thousand beef-cattle. Hasdrubal at this time had charge of the engineering detail of the army, and to him Hannibal gave his orders. Selecting two thousand of the most vigorous of these creatures, pitch-pine or other dry branches tied in fagots were fastened to their horns, and towards the middle of the night, — in the third watch, — having lighted these strange torches, Hasdrubal's pioneers, aided by the light infantry, drove the cattle up the slopes inclosing the defile of Mons Eribanus, which was held by the enemy. Maddened with fear and pain, the bullocks rushed in all directions up the hill and into the woods, giving to the Romans the impression that the Carthaginian army was trying to escalade the heights with torches. The defenders of the defile imagined from the noises on the heights that Hannibal's troops were escaping through the woods over the mountains, thus turning the defile they felt unable to force, and, leaving their position, at once set out to oppose them or cut off their retreat When they reached the heights they were equally puzzled and dismayed by meeting an array of mad bulls in lieu of Carthaginian phalangites, and not only made no pretense to fight, but forgot all about the defile they had been ordered to hold. The beeves rushing hither and yon prevented any serious engagement on the heights. Having aided the pioneers to drive the beeves as far as necessary, the light infantry attacked the defile through which Hannibal proposed to march. They found it almost unprotected, and at once possessed themselves of it Fabius, fearing to fall into some new ambuscade of Hannibal's, remained close to his camp, though he drew up his army in order of battle.
Having thus opened the defile, Hannibal lost no time in setting out on the march, for which his entire column stood in readiness. The African infantry was in the van. The cavalry followed. The baggage-train and booty came next The Spaniards and then the Gauls closed the column. From this defile his head of column soon emerged upon the valley of the upper Vulturous near A11 if re, whence his road was clear. For by hurrying a detachment down the Vulturnus to the junction of the Calor to hold this point, the road via Beneventum was open to him and closed to Fabius. The marching was forced, and before morning the whole army and baggage-train had passed beyond the reach of Roman interference.
As the morning mists were dissipated, Fabius discovered his four thousand men who had been stationed to hold the defile and the heights, still skirmishing all along the line with the Carthaginian light infantry, who were now sustained by the Spanish and Gallic rear-guard of Hannibal's column. Under cover of this combat, the Carthaginian column had been enabled to retire in perfect safety, after throwing the Bomans back into the valley they had just left, with a loss of not far from one thousand men.
CAMPANIA TO GERONIUM
Hannibal now went into camp at Allife, well satisfied with the success of his very remarkable and ingenious stratagem. Before thinking of winter-quarters, however, he determined to impose still further on Fabius by leading him to believe
that he would move to the vicinity of Rome, through eastern Latium. He could continue his ravages and collect booty for
a while longer, owing to his enemy's utter discomfiture at bis escape. He marched up the valley of the Vulturnus to Venafrum; but instead of making towards Rome, he kept within Samnium, crossed the Apennines and descended by Sulmo to the plains of the Peligni, where he gathered additional rich stores.
To read the ancient historians9 account of Hannibal's method of foraging with his Numidian cavalry, calls vividly to mind the forays of Sherman's bummers. Barring the cruelties practiced by the barbarian horse, one might imagine one's self to be reading of Georgia instead of Italy.
Fabius followed up Hannibal's march along the hills, showing no little skill, and keeping always between him and Rome, Hannibal had found his diversion a failure; he could not lure Fabius to battle. Learning that in Geronium, near Lari-num, there was abundance of booty and much wheat, he soon altered his course towards the land of the Frentani. Unable to seduce the inhabitants of Geronium by promises or threats, Hannibal attacked and took the place by storm, razed it to the ground, leaving the walls and a few buildings for magazines, and put the inhabitants to the sword. He then strongly fortified a camp near by, and began amassing victual for the winter, sending each day two thirds of his force out foraging, each party being charged to bring in a given quantity of wheat, and deliver the same to the commissaries. Having secured none of the Italian allies, he must take np winter-quarters alfresco. Fabius slowly followed the Carthaginians, and finally went into an equally strong camp at the foot of Mt Calene in the territory of Larinum.
(END OF THE VOLUME I)