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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter IV - Hamilcar and Hannibal


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Page 30

The fidelity of the troops was secured not only by hostages collected from the Spanish communities and detained in the stronghold of Saguntum, but by the removal of the soldiers from the districts where they were raised to other quarters: the east African militia were moved chiefly to Spain, the Spanish to Western Africa, the West African to Carthage. Adequate provision was thus made for defence.

As to offensive measures, a squadron of 20 quinqueremes with 1000 soldiers on board was to sail from Carthage for the west coast of Italy and to pillage it, and a second of 25 sail was, if possible, to re-establish itself at Lilybaeum; Hannibal believed that he might count upon the government making this moderate amount of exertion. With the main army he determined in person to invade Italy; as was beyond doubt part of the original plan of Hamilcar.

A decisive attack on Rome was only possible in Italy, as a similar attack on Carthage was only possible in Libya; as certainly as Rome meant to begin her next campaign with the latter, so certainly ought Carthage not to confine herself at the outset either to any secondary object of operations, such as Sicily, or to mere defence--defeat would in any case involve equal destruction, but victory would not yield equal fruit.

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