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war was over.
have often proved a fatal weakness to ruling aristocracies. Carthage had suffered from it keenly in the Mercenary war, and she felt it even when the
Of the two great party leaders Hamilcar and Hanno, the former was the most popular among the people, by virtue of his signal merits as a soldier, if not by the factious help of Hasdrubal. He was made general by their votes, to secure their hold on Southern Spain, and he was glad to go, for he breathed more freely in the camp than in the city, and had far-reaching projects to secure. No better scene of action could easily be found than Spain. The mines which had tempted Phænician enterprise in early days were unexhausted still, and might give him the command of untold wealth. The native tribes might be won by fair words or show of force, and their homes would then be recruiting grounds for hardy soldiers. The scene was far enough away to be out of sight of jealous rivals, and conquests made upon it were no immediate defiance of Rome's power. If such were his aims, they were successful. He pushed on with slow and patient steps till the South of Spain was in his hands; he organized a powerful army which was disciplined by constant warfare and maintained with little help from home, while he kept up almost royal state, not forgetting to find funds for his partisans at Carthage, the socalled Barcine faction.
When death abruptly closed the career of his ambition, Hasdrubal, his son-in-law, was ready to step into his place and carry on his work with equal skill, and when he too was hurried off by an assassin's knife, the army felt such sense of strength and personal will as to choose a general for itself, asking the state only to approve its choice. Hannibal, with all his father's bitterness of hate, and more than his father's genius, was ready to carry on the struggle against Rome. His army, composite as was its structure, was welded into a mighty thunderbolt of war; secure of its loyalty, and relying on his party organized at home, he might hope to overrule the scruples of warier statesmen or opponents.
Rome meanwhile looked on quietly at first at the progress of the Punic arms in Spain, but with growing uneasiness as time went on. At last she forced on Hasdrubal a treaty to respect the line of the Hiberus as the boundary of the influence of the two great empires, but showed scant respect for it herself when she accepted an ally in Saguntum, which lay across the river. She would perhaps have pushed matters to extremes at once, had not her attention been distracted by the war with the Cisalpine Gauls. That enemy was conquered, but not crushed; the colonies of Placentia and Cremona, whose walls were being built to overawe them, were soon to provoke another outburst, and they were ready to welcome any antagonist of Rome. Now that she was mistress of the seas, there could be no better base of operations for a war against her than the country of these Gauls, who were of race akin to the Spanish Celts who fought for Hannibal. The way indeed by land was long and rough, and Punic armies had seldom faced the legions except to be defeated, but Hannibal relied on his own genius, and was impatient to begin the struggle anew. He flung defiance in the teeth of Rome by striking down Saguntum her ally, and then in early spring pushed rapidly along the road which was at last to lead him through the Alps to Italy, where for fifteen years he was to spend all the unparalleled resources of his military skill in the vain effort to destroy the power of Rome.
THE AUTHORITIES FOR THE HISTORY OF
THE SECOND PUNIC WAR'.
The authorities for the history of the Second Punic war consist not only of the third decade of Livy (book xxI—Xxx), but of the third book of Polybius, together with fragments of some later books, of the war of Hannibal by Appian, of some passages of Dion Cassius, preserved or summarized by Zonaras, and also of a long and tedious poem by Silius Italicus.
Of these the bistory of Polybius is much the earliest in date. Its author, though a Greek, lived long at Rome in intimate relations with the circle of the Scipios, and other ruling families, whose memories of the great struggle were likely to be fresh and vivid; he travelled, as he tells us, to
1 On this subject compare Nissen, Kritische Untersuchungen über die Quellen des Livius. Böttcher, Krit. Unt. in Jahrb. Class, Phil. Suppl. 1864. Nitzsch, Rhein. Mus. 1868.
gain a special knowledge of the scenes of the campaigns, and he possessed, in a high degree, many of the qualifications for the work of an historian. It is important therefore to compare his narrative with that of Livy.
Upon careful scrutiny it may be seen that in many passages of the two writers there is very close resemblance in the language used, more especially in dealing with the first part of the war. ment is too minute and circumstantial to be ascribed to chance, or to faithful rendering only of the facts.
At first therefore it was thought, as by Lachmann and by others, that the later author Livy must have copied freely from Polybius, though without acknowledging his debts, or even mentioning him by name until the end (xxx. 45. 4). We can lay little stress indeed upon this silence, for ancient writers had no scruples in using the materials which they found ready to their hands; they borrowed often largely from each other, and had no delicacy of feeling about such debts of honour. But there is good reason for believing that the view just stated is not an adequate explanation of the facts.
1. Even in the passages where Livy seems at first sight to copy Polybius most closely, we may find commonly some incidents, some names of persons or of things, some notices of causes or effects, which form distinct additions to the story of the earlier writer, and which point to some other literary source;