The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

HASDRUBAL.

command in Spain for a period of between eight and nine years. (Polyb. ii. 1, 13, 36 ; Diod. Eoec. flocsdu xxv. 3, p. 511 ; Appian, Hisp. 4—8 ; Liv. xxi. 2; Zonal, viii. 19.)

According to Fabius (ap. Polyb. iii. 8), Hasdrubal had .been so elated by the successes he had obtained in Spain, that he repaired to Carthage, with the design of overthrowing the constitution of his country, and establishing himself in the possession of unlimited power ; but failing in this object^ he returned to Spain, and thenceforth governed that country with uncontrolled and arbitrary authority. Notwithstanding the censure of Polybius, there is certainly nothing in itself improbable in this state­ment: the position of Hasdrubal in Spain, like that of his predecessor and successor, was in great measure independent of the government at home, a fact sufficiently proved by the remarkable circum­stance that the celebrated treaty which fixed the Iberus as the boundary of the two nations was concluded by the Romans, not with the Carthagi­nian government, but with Hasdrubal alone. (Po­lyb. ii. 13, iii. 27, 29; Liv. xxi. 2, 18, 19.) A splendid palace which he erected at New Carthage was also pointed out as an additional proof of his assumption of sovereign power. (Polyb. x. 10.

§9.)

6. Son of the great Hamilcar Barca, and brother

of the still more famous Hannibal. He is men­tioned as being present in the battle in which his father lost his life, and from which he escaped, together with his brother Hannibal, to the city of Acra Leuce. (Diod. Exc. Hoesch. xxv. 2.) This is the only notice we find of him previous to the departure of Hannibal for Italy ; but it is evident that he must not only have been trained up in war, but must have already given proofs of his ability, which led his brother to confide to him the im­portant command of the army in Spain, when he himself set out on his daring march to Italy, b. c. 218. The troops left under his command amounted to less than 13,000 foot and 2500 horse, princi­pally Africans (Polyb. iii. 33); but he doubtless greatly increased this number by levies among the Spaniards themselves. With a part of this force he advanced to support Hanno, who had been left in charge of the province between the Iberus and the Pyrenees, against Cn. Scipio ; but that general was defeated, and his army destroyed before he could arrive, and he was obliged to content himself with cutting off a body of the Roman soldiers who were attached to the fleet. (Polyb. iii. 76; Liv. xxi. 61.) The next spring (b. c. 217) he advanced from New Carthage, where he had wintered, with the intention of dispossessing Cn. Scipio of the province north of the Iberus; but the loss of his fleet, which was almost destroyed by that of the Romans, appears to have paralysed his movements, and he did not even cross the Iberus. Before the end of the season, P. Scipio joined his brother with large reinforcements from Rome, and they now assumed the offensive, and crossed the Iberus, with­out Bostar, who had been despatched'by Hasdrubal to oppose them, venturing to meet them in.the field. No decisive action took place before the winter ; but Bostar, by suffering the Spanish hos­tages to fall into the hands of the Romans [bostar No. 3], gave a shock to the Carthaginian influence throughout Spain which it hardly recovered. (Polyb. iii. 95—99; Liv. xxii. 19-22.) The campaign of the next year, 216, which was marked

355

HASDRUBAL.

in Italy by the great victory of Cannae, was sig­nalised by no decisive results in Spain, Hasdrubal having apparently confined himself to defensive operations, or to enterprises against the Spanish tribes. But when the news of the battle of Cannae reached Carthage, orders were immediately sent to Hasdrubal to march at once into Italy, in order.to support and co-operate with the victorious Han­nibal, and Himilco was sent with a fresh army to supply his place in Spain. But the execution of this plan was frustrated by the total defeat of Hasdrubal in a battle with the two Scipios near the passage of the Iberus; and this disaster was followed by $te defection of many of the native tribes. (Liv. xxiii 26—29, 32; Zonar. ix. 3.) The Carthaginians now sent to his relief his brother Mago, with a force of 12,000 foot, 1500 horse, and 20 elephants, which had been previously destined for the assistance of Hannibal in Italy; and we henceforward find the two. brothers co­operating in the war in Spain. But our knowledge of their proceedings is very imperfect: the Roirtan accounts are full of the most palpable and absurd exaggerations ; and it is utterly impossible to form any thing like a clear conception of the military operations of either side. Hence a very brief notice of the leading events of the war is all that can be here attempted. It may be observed, how­ever, that the operations of the generals on both sides must naturally have been determined in great measure by the fluctuating policy of the different Spanish tribes, concerning which we have scarcely any information ; and this circumstance may some­times serve to explain changes of fortune which would otherwise appear wholly unaccountable.

In the year 215 we find Hasdrubal and Mago employed with their united forces in the siege of Illiturgi, when the two Scipios came up to the re­lief of the city, totally defeated them, and took their camp. But this disaster did not prevent them from soon after forming the siege of Indibilis, where, it is said, they again experienced the like ill fortune. (Liv. xxiii. 49.) The next year, 214, was marked by the arrival in Spain of a third Carthaginian general, Hasdrubal the son of Gisco, with a considerable army ; but, notwithstanding this reinforcement, nothing memorable was effected. The Roman-accounts indeed speak of two succes­sive victories gained by Cn. Scipio, but followed (as usual) by no apparent results. (Liv. xxiv. 41, 42.) Of the campaign of 213 no particulars are recorded by Livy ; but according to Appian (Hisp. 15), Hasdrubal was employed during a part of this year in Africa, having been sent for by the govern­ment at home to carry on the war against the re­volted Numidians, which he brought to a successful termination, and then returned to Spain. The following year (b. c. 212) was at length marked by a decisive success on the part of the Carthagi­nians. The two Scipios appear to have roused themselves to make a great effort, and dividing their forces, marched to attack the separate Car­thaginian armies at the same time. The result was fatal: Cn. Scipio, who was opposed to Has­drubal, was at once paralysed by the defection of 20,000 Celtiberian mercenaries, who were gained over by the Carthaginian general: meanwhile his arother Publius had fallen in an engagement with the Numidian cavalry of Hasdrubal son of Gisco and Mago; and those two generals having hastened to join their forces with those of the son of Barca,

a a 2

Pages
About | First

354

355

356
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.