The Ancient Library

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and which should retain his command. The soldiers chose Hamilcar, who accordingly remained at his post, and Hannibal succeeded Harino as his col­league. Matho and Spendius, the leaders of the insurgents, had taken advantage of the dissensions among their adversaries, and after many successes had even ventured to lay siege to Carthage itself; ,but Hamilcar,. by laying waste the country behind them, and intercepting their supplies, reduced them to such distress, that they were compelled to raise the siege. Spendius now took the field against Hamilcar; but though his forces were greatly superior, he was no match for his adversary in generalship; and the latter succeeded in shutting him up, with his whole army, in a position from which there was no escape. Hence, after suffering the utmost extremities of hunger, Spendius him­self, together with nine others of the leaders of the rebels, repaired to the camp of Hamilcar to sue for mercy. That general agreed to allow the army to depart in safety, but without arms or baggage, and retaining to himself the power of selecting for punishment ten of the ringleaders. These terms being agreed to, he immediately seized on Spendius and his companions as the ten whom he selected: the rebel army, deeming themselves betrayed, rushed to arms ; but Hamilcar surrounded them with his elephants and troops, and put them all to the sword, to the number, it is said, of 40,000 men. (Polyb. i. 82—85.) But even this fearful mas­sacre was far from putting an end to the war: a large force still remained under the command of Matho, with which he held the important town of Tunis. Here Hamilcar and Hannibal proceeded to besiege him with their combined forces; but Matho took advantage of the negligence of the latter, to surprise his camp, cut to pieces great part of his army, aud take Hannibal himself prisoner. This disaster compelled Hamilcar to raise the siege of Tunis, and fall back to the river Bagradas. The Carthaginian senate, in great alarm, now exerted themselves to bring about a reconciliation between Hamilcar and Hanno ; and this being at length effected j the two generals again took the field in concert. They soon succeeded in bringing matters to the decision of a general battle, in which the rebels were completely defeated, and Matho him­self taken prisoner ; after which almost all the revolted towns submitted to the Carthaginians. Utica and Hippo alone held out for a time, but they were soon reduced, the one by Hamilcar and the other by Hanno ; and. this sanguinary war at length brought to a successful close (b. c. 238), after it had lasted three years and four months. (Polyb. i. 86—88 ; comp. Diod. JEvc.- Hoeschel. xxv. 1; and for the chronology see Clinton, Jf*V H. vol. iii. an. 238.)

There is much obscurity with regard to the con­duct of Hamilcar after the termination of the war of the mercenaries. Polybius states simply (ii. 1) that the Carthaginians immediately afterwards sent him with an army into Spain. Diodorus and Appian, on the contrary, represent him as engaging in intrigues with the popular party at Carthage against the aristocracy; and the latter author asserts that it was in order to escape a prosecution brought against him by the adverse party for his conduct in Sicily, that he sought and obtained em­ployment in a war against the Numidians, in which Hanno was associated with him as his colleague ; and on the latter being recalled to Carthage, j


Hamilcar crossed over into Spain. Both Appian and Zonaras expressly assert that he took this im­portant step without any authority from the govern­ment at home, trusting to the popular influence at Carthage to ratify his measures subsequently; and it is said that he secured this confirmation not only by his brilliant successes, and by the influence of his son-in-law Hasdrubal, one of the chief leaders of the democratic party at Carthage, but by em­ploying the treasures which he obtained in Spain in purchasing adherents at home. (Appian, Hisp. 4, 5, Annib. 2 ; Zonar. viii. 17 ; Diod. Exc. Vafes. xxv.) Whatever weight we may attach to these statements (which are probably derived from Fa-bius), it is certain that Hamilcar was supported by the popular or democratic party at Carthage, in opposition to the old aristocracy, of whom Hanno was the chief leader: and it was in order to strengthen this interest that he allied himself with Hasdrubal, who, both by his wealth and popular manners, had acquired a powerful body of adherents in the state. It seems probable also that we are to attribute to Hamilcar alone the project to which he henceforth devoted himself with so much energy, and which was so ably followed up after his death by Hasdrubal and Hannibal,—that of forming in Spain a new empire, which should not only be a source of strength and wealth to Carthage, and compensate for the loss of Sicily and Sardinia, but should be the point from whence he might at a subsequent period renew hostilities against Rome. (Polyb. iii. 9, 10.) His enmity to that state, and his long-cherished resentment for the loss of Sicily, had been aggravated by the flagrant injustice with which the Romans had taken advantage of the weakness of Carthage after the African war, to force from her the cession of Sardinia, one of her most valued possessions; and the intensity of this feeling may be inferred from the well-known story of his causing his son Hannibal, when a child of nine years old, to swear at the altar eternal hostility to Rome. '(Polyb. iii. 11.) But his views were long-sighted, and he regarded the subjugation of Spain as a necessary preliminary to that contest for life or death, to which he looked forward as his ultimate end. The Carthaginians, whether or not they sanctioned his plans in the beginning, did not attempt to interfere with them afterwards, and left him the uncontrolled direction of affairs in Spain from his first arrival there till his death, a period of nearly nine years. But of all that he accomplished during this long interval we know, unfortunately, almost nothing. Previous to this time the Car­thaginians do not appear to have had any dominion in the interior of Spain, though Gades and other' Phoenician colonies gave them in some measure the command of the southern coasts ; but Hamilcar carried his arms into the heart of the country, and while he reduced some cities and tribes by force of arms, gained over others by negotiation, and availed himself of their services as allies or as mercenaries! The vast wealth he is said to have acquired by hia victories was probably derived not only from the plunder and contributions of the vanquished na­tions, but from the rich silver mines in part of the country which he subdued. We are told also that he founded a great city, which he destined to be the capital of the Carthaginian empire in Spain, at a place called the White Promontory ("AKpa Aeu/of), but this was probably superseded by New Car­thage, and its 0 situation is now unknown. The

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