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The History Of Rome

Book Third From The Union Of Italy To The Subjugation Of Carthage And The Greek States

Theodor Mommsen

Translated With The Sanction Of The Author

By

William Purdie Dickson, D.D., LL.D.

Professor Of Divinity In The University Of Glasgow

A New Edition Revised Throughout And Embodying Recent Additions

CONTENTS

BOOK THIRD From The Union Of Italy To The Subjugation Of Carthage And The Greek States

CHAPTER I Carthage

CHAPTER II The War Between Rome And Carthage Concerning Sicily

CHAPTER III The Extension Of Italy To Its Natural Boundaries

CHAPTER IV Hamilcar And Hannibal

CHAPTER V The War Under Hannibal To The Battle Of Cannae

CHAPTER VI The War Under Hannibal From Cannae To Zama

CHAPTER VII The West From The Peace Of Hannibal To The Close Of The Third Period

CHAPTER VIII The Eastern States And The Second Macedonian War

CHAPTER IX The War With Antiochus Of Asia

CHAPTER X The Third Macedonian War

CHAPTER XI The Government And The Governed

CHAPTER XII The Management Of Land And Of Capital

CHAPTER XIII Faith And Manners

CHAPTER XIV Literature And Art

BOOK THIRD

From The Union Of Italy To The Subjugation Of Carthage And The Greek States

Arduum res gestas scribere.

--Sallust.

Chapter I

Carthage

The Phoenicians

The Semitic stock occupied a place amidst, and yet aloof from, the nations of the ancient classical world. The true centre of the former lay in the east, that of the latter in the region of the Mediterranean; and, however wars and migrations may have altered the line of demarcation and thrown the races across each other, a deep sense of diversity has always severed, and still severs, the Indo- Germanic peoples from the Syrian, Israelite, and Arabic nations. This diversity was no less marked in the case of that Semitic people which spread more than any other in the direction of the west--the Phoenicians. Their native seat was the narrow border of coast bounded by Asia Minor, the highlands of Syria, and Egypt, and called Canaan, that is, the "plain." This was the only name which the nation itself made use of; even in Christian times the African farmer called himself a Canaanite. But Canaan received from the Hellenes the name of Phoenike, the "land of purple," or "land of the red men," and the Italians also were accustomed to call the Canaanites Punians, as we are accustomed still to speak of them as the Phoenician or Punic race.

Their Commerce

The land was well adapted for agriculture; but its excellent harbours and the abundant supply of timber and of metals favoured above all things the growth of commerce; and it was there perhaps, where the opulent eastern continent abuts on the wide-spreading Mediterranean so rich in harbours and islands, that commerce first dawned in all its greatness upon man. The Phoenicians directed all the resources of courage, acuteness, and enthusiasm to the full development of commerce and its attendant arts of navigation, manufacturing, and colonization, and thus connected the east and the west. At an incredibly early period we find them in Cyprus and Egypt, in Greece and Sicily, in Africa and Spain, and even on the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. The field of their commerce reached from Sierra Leone and Cornwall in the west, eastward to the coast of Malabar. Through their hands passed the gold and pearls of the East, the purple of Tyre, slaves, ivory, lions' and panthers' skins from the interior of Africa, frankincense from Arabia, the linen of Egypt, the pottery and fine wines of Greece, the copper of Cyprus, the silver of Spain, tin from England, and iron from Elba. The Phoenician mariners brought to every nation whatever it could need or was likely to purchase; and they roamed everywhere, yet always returned to the narrow home to which their affections clung.

Their Intellectual Endowments

The Phoenicians are entitled to be commemorated in history by the side of the Hellenic and Latin nations; but their case affords a fresh proof, and perhaps the strongest proof of all, that the development of national energies in antiquity was of a one-sided character. Those noble and enduring creations in the field of intellect, which owe their origin to the Aramaean race, do not belong primarily to the Phoenicians. While faith and knowledge in a certain sense were the especial property of the Aramaean nations and first reached the Indo-Germans from the east, neither the Phoenician religion nor Phoenician science and art ever, so far as we can see, held an independent rank among those of the Aramaean family. The religious conceptions of the Phoenicians were rude and uncouth, and it seemed as if their worship was meant to foster rather than to restrain lust and cruelty. No trace is discernible, at least in times of clear historical light, of any special influence exercised by their religion over other nations. As little do we find any Phoenician architecture or plastic art at all comparable even to those of Italy, to say nothing of the lands where art was native. The most ancient seat of scientific observation and of its application to practical purposes was Babylon, or at any rate the region of the Euphrates. It was there probably that men first followed the course of the stars; it was there that they first distinguished and expressed in writing the sounds of language; it was there that they began to reflect on time and space and on the powers at work in nature: the earliest traces of astronomy and chronology, of the alphabet, and of weights and measures, point to that region. The Phoenicians doubtless availed themselves of the artistic and highly developed manufactures of Babylon for their industry, of the observation of the stars for their navigation, of the writing of sounds and the adjustment of measures for their commerce, and distributed many an important germ of civilization along with their wares; but it cannot be demonstrated that the alphabet or any other of those ingenious products of the human mind belonged peculiarly to them, and such religious and scientific ideas as they were the means of conveying to the Hellenes were scattered by them more after the fashion of a bird dropping grains than of the husbandman sowing his seed.

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