The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

HASDRUBAI

HASDRUBAL.

359

A.

him as one of the envoys (all men of the highest rank at Carthage) deputed to Rome to*fixthe terms of the final treaty of peace on that occasion, and attributes the success of the negotiation in great measure to his personal influence and ability. (Liv. xxx. 42). On his return to Carthage he is again mentioned as taking part against Hannibal in the discussions concerning the peace. (Id. ib. 44.)

13. General of the Carthaginians in their last fatal struggle with Rome, known by the name of the Third Punic War. He is first mentioned at the time of the breaking out of the war with Ma-sinissa, which immediately preceded that with Rome, b. c. 150. Hasdrubal at this time held the office called by Appian boetharch (0orf0ap%os), the nature of which is very uncertain ; but when Masinissa, after the insult offered to his two sons, Gulussa and Micipsa, whom he had sent to Car­thage as ambassadors, commenced open hostilities by the siege of Oroscopa, Hasdrubal was sent against him at the head of 25,000 foot and 400 horse, which forces were quickly increased by the accession of 6000 Numidian cavalry, who deserted from Masinissa. With this force he did not hesi­tate to give battle to the Numidian king: the action which ensued was fiercely contested from morning till night, without any decisive advantage on either side ; negotiations were then commenced by the intervention of Scipio, who was accidentally present; but these proved abortive, and Masinissa afterwards succeeded in shutting up Hasdrubal in such a position that he was able to cut off his sup­plies, and finally compelled him by famine to capi­tulate. By the terms of the treaty, the Cartha­ginians were allowed to depart in safety, leaving their arms and baggage ; but these conditions were shamefully violated: the Numidians attacked them on their march in this defenceless state, and cut to pieces by far the greater part of them ; very few made their escape, together with Hasdrubal, to Carthage. (Appian, Pun. 70—73.) After this disaster, the Carthaginians, apprehensive of the danger that threatened them from Rome, sought to avert it by casting the responsibility of the late events upon individuals, and accordingly passed sen-.tence of banishment on Hasdrubal, together with all the other leaders in the war against Masinissa. He thereupon took refuge among the neighbouring Africans, and soon collected around his standard an army of 20,000 men, with which he awaited the issue of events. The Carthaginians found, when too late, that all concessions were unavailing to conciliate their inexorable enemies ; and while they prepared for a desperate resistance within the city, they hastened to recal the sentence of Has­drubal, and appointed him to the chief command without the walls, b.c. 149. His own army gave him the complete command of the open country, and enabled him to secure abundant supplies to the city, while the Romans with difficulty drew their provisions from a few detached towns on the coast. Hovering in the neighbourhood of Carthage, with­out approaching close to the enemy, Hasdrubal prevented them from regularly investing the city, and, by means of his light cavalry, harassed and impeded all their movements. At length the Ro­man consul, Manilius, was induced to undertake an expedition against Nepheris, a stronghold in the interior, where Hasdrubal had established his head­quarters ; but far from succeeding in dislodging him from thence, he was repulsed with heavy loss,

and suffered severely in his retreat. (Appian, Pun. 74, 80, 93, 94, 97, 102—104 ; Liv. Epit. xlix.) A second attempt on the part of Manilius having proved equally unsuccessful, Hasdrubal became so elated that he aspired to the sole command, and procured the deposition of the other Hasdrubal, the grandson of Masinissa [No. 14], who had hitherto held the command within the city (Id. 108, 111). On the arrival of Scipio (b. c. 147) to carry on the war, which had been so much mismanaged by his predecessors, Hasdrubal advanced close to the walls of Carthage, and encamped within five stadia of the city, immediately opposite to the camp of the Roman general. But notwithstanding this proximity, he did not prevent Scipio from sur­prising by a night attack the quarter of the city called Megara. By way of revenging himself for this disaster, Hasdrubal, who had now withdrawn his forces within the walls of Carthage, put to death all the Roman prisoners, having previously mutilated them in the most horrible manner, and in this state exposed them on the walls to the eyes of their countrymen. By this act of wanton toir-barity he alienated the minds of many of his fellow-citizens at the same time that he exasperated the enemy ; and the clamour was loud against him in the'senate of Carthage. But he now found him­self in the uncontrolled direction of the military force within the city, a position of which he availed himself to establish a despotic authority: he put to death many of the senators who were opposed to him, and assumed the garb and manners of royalty. When Scipio had at length succeeded in completely investing the city, and famine began to make itself felt within the walls, Hasdrubal carefully reserved the supplies which from time to time were introduced, and distributed them only among his soldiers and those of the citizens on whom he mainly relied for the defence. At the same time he opened negotiations with Scipio, through the medium of Gulussa; but that general having offered him terms only for himself with his family and a few friends, he refused to purchase his personal safety by the abandonment of his country. Meanwhile the siege of Carthage was more and more closely pressed, and in the spring of 146 Hasdrubal saw himself compelled to aban­don the defence of the port and other quarters of the city, and collect all his forces into the citadel called Byrsa. Against this Scipio now concentra­ted all his attacks ; the ground Was contested foot by foot, but the Romans renewed their assaults without ceasing, both by night and day, and gra­dually advanced by burning and demolishing the houses along all the streets which led to the citadel. At length the mass of the inhabitants submitted to Scipio, and were received as prisoners ; the Roman deserters alone, wilh a few others who despaired of pardon, took refuge in the sacred precincts of the temple of Aesculapius, and still held out with the fury of desperation. Hasdrubal at first fled thither with his wife and children ; but afterwards made his escape secretly to Scipio, who spared his life. It is said that his wife, after upbraiding him with his weakness, threw herself and her children into the flames of the burning temple. Scipio carried him prisoner to Rome, where, after adorning the triumph of his conqueror, he spent the rest of his life in an honourable captivity in some one of the provincial towns of Italy. (Appian, Pun. 114,118, 120, 126—131 ; Polyb. Exc. xxxix.; Zonar. ix.

A A 4

Pages
About | First

358

359

360
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.