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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


IV. The Revolution

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 I - The Subject Countries Down to the Times of the Gracchi


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Page 39

The Carthaginian senate was disposed to consent, but the multitude prevented the execution of the decree, and the Roman envoys, who had brought this order to Carthage, were in peril of their lives. Massinissa sent his son Gulussa to Rome to report the continuance of the Carthaginian warlike preparations by land and sea, and to hasten the declaration of war. After a further embassy of ten men had confirmed the statement that Carthage was in reality arming (602), the senate rejected the demand of Cato for an absolute declaration of war, but resolved in a secret sitting that war should be declared if the Carthaginians would not consent to dismiss their army and to burn their materials for a fleet. Meanwhile the conflict had already begun in Africa. Massinissa had sent back the men whom thCarthaginians had banished, under the escort of his son Gulussa, to the city.

When the Carthaginians closed their gates against them and killed also some of the Numidians returning home, Massinissa put his troops in motion, and the patriot party in Carthage also prepared for the struggle. But Hasdrubal, who was placed at the head of their army, was one of the usual army-destroyers whom the Carthaginians were in the habit of employing as generals; strutting about in his general's purple like a theatrical king, and pampering his portly person even in the camp, that vain and unwieldy man was little fitted to render help in an exigency which perhaps even the genius of Hamilcar and the arm of Hannibal could have no longer averted. Before the eyes of Scipio Aemilanus, who at that time a military tribune in the Spanish army, had been sent to Massinissa to bring over African elephants for his commander, and who on this occasion looked down on the conflict from a mountain "like Zeus from Ida," the Carthaginians and Numidians fought a great battle, in which the former, though reinforced by 6000 Numidian horsemen brought to them by discontented captains of Massinissa, and superior in number to the enemy, were worsted.

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