Front Matter The Lady Roma The She-Wolf The Twin Boys Numitor's Grandson The Sacred Birds The Founding of Rome The Sabine Maidens The Tarpeian Rock The Mysterious Gate The King Disappears The Peace-Loving King Horatius Slays His Sister Pride of Tullus Hostilius King Who Fought and Prayed The Faithless Friend A Slave Becomes a King Cruel Deed of Tullia Fate of the Town of Gabii Books of the Sibyl Industry of Lucretia Death of Lucretia Sons of Brutus Horatius Cocles Mucius Burns Right Hand The Divine Twins The Tribunes Coriolanus and His Mother The Roman Army in a Trap The Hated Decemvirs The Death of Verginia The Friend of the People Camillus Captures Veii The Statue of the Goddess Schoolmaster Traitor Battle of Allia The Sacred Geese The City Is Rebuilt Volscians on Fire Battle on the Anio The Curtian Lake Dream of the Two Consuls The Caudine Forks Caudine Forks Avenged Fabius among the Hills Battle of Sentinum Son of Fabius Loses Battle Pyrrhus King of the Epirots Elephants at Heraclea Pyrrthus and Fabricius Pyrrhus is Defeated Romans Build a Fleet Battle of Ecnomus Roman Legions in Africa Regulus Taken Prisoner Romans Conquer the Gauls The Boy Hannibal Hannibal Invades Italy Hannibal Crosses the Alps Battle of Trebia Battle of Lake Trasimenus Hannibal Outwits Fabius Fabius Wins Two Victories Battle of Cannae Despair of Rome Defeat of Hasdrubal Claudius Enjoy a Triumph Capture of New Carthage Scipio Sails to Africa Romans Set Fire to Camp Hannibal Leaves Italy The Battle of Zama Scipio Receives a Triumph Flamininus in Garlands Death of Hannibal Hatred of Cato for Carthage The Stern Decree Carthaginians Defend City Destruction of Carthage Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi Tiberius and Octavius Death of Tiberius Gracchus Death of Gaius Gracchus The Gold of Jugurtha Marius Wins Notice of Scipio Marius Becomes Commander Capture of Treasure Towns Capture of Jugurtha Jugurtha Brought to Rome Marius Conquers Teutones Marius Mocks the Ambassadors Metellus Driven from Rome Sulla Enters Rome The Flight of Marius Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius Marius Returns to Rome The Orator Aristion Sulla Besieges Athens Sulla Fights the Samnites The Proscriptions of Sulla The Gladiators' Revolt The Pirates Pompey Defeats Mithridates Cicero Discovers Conspiracy Death of the Conspirators Caesar Captured by Pirates Caesar Gives up Triumph Caesar Praises Tenth Legion Caesar Wins a Great Victory Caesar Invades Britain Caesar Crosses Rubicon Caesar and the Pilot The Flight of Pompey Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr Caesar is Loaded with Honours Nobles Plot against Caesar The Assassination of Caesar Brutus Speaks to Citizens Antony Speaks to Citizens The Second Triumvirate Battle of Philippi Death of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra Battle of Actium Antony and Cleopatra Die Emperor Augustus

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

Hannibal Leaves Italy

Carthage might now have despaired, had not Hannibal been alive. His name, she knew well, could still inspire the Roman legions with terror, his presence would, she believed, ensure their defeat. So messengers were sent to Italy to bid him hasten to Carthage.

The great general left Italy sorrowfully, for the hopes with which he had entered her had not been fulfilled.

In spite of all the great victories he had won, Italy had slipped from his grasp. Perhaps it was true, as Maharbal had said, 'Hannibal knows how to win victories, but not how to use them.'

But if Hannibal left the country reluctantly, the people rejoiced at his departure. They could never feel secure while he was in their land. His name, indeed, still made the Romans tremble.

Before the great general left, he ordered bronze tablets to be made, and on these he ordered to be engraved the battles he had fought in Italy, as well as a full account of the war. These records were written both in the Greek and the Punic language.

A famous historian, who was a boy when Hannibal was fighting in Italy, saw these tablets when he grew to be a man, and so he was able to write a true account of the second Punic war.

But all the history that Polybius wrote was not carefully preserved. So that after the battle of Cannæ we have no records save those given to us by Roman historians. And what they, in their pride, wrote, was not, many people think, the same as Hannibal recorded on his bronze tablets.

After the capture of King Syphax, a short truce had been arranged between the two powers, while an embassy went from Carthage to Rome to try to obtain peace.

But the truce was broken by the Carthaginians, and for this the Romans made them suffer heavily.

Some ships, laden with provisions for the Roman army, were on their way from Sardinia to join Scipio's fleet, when a storm blew them on to an island in the Bay of Carthage. The Carthaginians seized some of the ships, being unable to resist the temptation to get food, of which they had had but little for some time.

Scipio was indignant at this breach of the truce, and he at once sent to Carthage to demand that the booty should be restored.

But there were some in Carthage who wished the war with Rome to go on, and they were more powerful than those who longed for peace. So the war party arranged that the Roman ambassadors should be sent back by ship to Scipio, with a safe conduct, indeed, but without an answer to his demands.

They were taken safe to within sight of their own ships, then their escort withdrew, while the admiral of the Punic fleet, having been secretly instructed, at once tried to take the ambassadors prisoners.

Two of the crew were injured, some were even killed, while the ambassadors escaped with difficulty.

After so evident an insult to the messengers of Rome, Scipio at once prepared to carry on the war.

By the autumn of 203 B.C. Hannibal was in Carthage, and the people, full of confidence in their great general, were eager that he should at once take the field.

But Hannibal roughly bade the citizens 'attend to their own affairs, and leave him to choose his own time of fighting.'

He then begged for an interview with Scipio, and tried to arrange terms of peace. But the Consul refused to have anything to do with such terms, saying that the truce had been broken, his envoys insulted, and the Carthaginians must suffer the consequences of such deeds.

Scipio was indeed impatient to fight, that the war might the sooner come to an end.

It was already the month of October, 202 B.C., and although the people of Rome had decreed that Scipio should still continue in Africa, the Senate was anxious that one of the new Consuls should be sent to join him, and share his power.

Claudius, the hero of Metaurus, was one of the new Consuls, and he was ordered to cross to Africa with a fleet of fifty quinqueremes.

Scipio resented this, for if the war with Carthage ended successfully after Claudius reached Africa, it was he, as Consul, who would enjoy the triumph at Rome.

Now the invasion of Africa had been Scipio's own scheme, and he wished to have the glory of its success himself alone. So before the end of October he hastened to lead his army to battle in the neighbourhood of Zama.