But in Carthage the moneyed interest preponderated over the landed, in Rome at this time the landed still preponderated over the moneyed; and, while the agriculturists of Carthage were universally large landlords and slave-holders, in the Rome of this period the great mass of the burgesses still tilled their fields in person. The majority of the population in Rome held property, and was therefore conservative; the majority in Carthage held no property, and was therefore accessible to the gold of the rich as well as to the cry of the democrats for reform. In Carthage there already prevailed all that opulence which marks powerful commercial cities, while the manners and police of Rome still maintained at least externally the severity and frugality of the olden times. When the ambassadors of Carthage returned from Rome, they told their colleagues that the relations of intimacy among the Roman senators surpassed all conception; that a single set of silver plate sufficed for the whole senate, and had reappeared in every house to which the envoys had been invited. The sneer is a significant token of the difference in the economic conditions on either side.
In Their Constitution
In both the constitution was aristocratic; the judges governed in Carthage, as did the senate in Rome, and both on the same system of police-control. The strict state of dependence in which the governing board at Carthage held the individual magistrate, and the injunction to the citizens absolutely to refrain from learning the Greek language and to converse with a Greek only through the medium of the public interpreter, originated in the same spirit as the system of government at Rome; but in comparison with the cruel harshness and the absolute precision, bordering on silliness, of this Carthaginian state- tutelage, the Roman system of fining and censure appears mild and reasonable. The Roman senate, which opened its doors to eminent capacity and in the best sense represented the nation, was able also to trust it, and had no need to fear the magistrates. The Carthaginian senate, on the other hand, was based on a jealous control of administration by the government, and represented exclusively the leading families; its essence was mistrust of all above and below it, and therefore it could neither be confident that the people would follow whither it led, nor free from the dread of usurpations on the part of the magistrates. Hence the steady course of Roman policy, which never receded a step in times of misfortune, and never threw away the favours of fortune by negligence or indifference; whereas the Carthaginians desisted from the struggle when a last effort might perhaps have saved all, and, weary or forgetful of their great national duties, allowed the half-completed building to fall to pieces, only to begin it in a few years anew. Hence the capable magistrate in Rome was ordinarily on a good understanding with his government; in Carthage he was frequently at decided feud with his masters at home, and was forced to resist them by unconstitutional means and to make common cause with the opposing party of reform.
In The Treatment Of Their Subject
Both Carthage and Rome ruled over communities of lineage kindred with their own, and over numerous others of alien race. But Rome had received into her citizenship one district after another, and had rendered it even legally accessible to the Latin communities; Carthage from the first maintained her exclusiveness, and did not permit the dependent districts even to cherish a hope of being some day placed upon an equal footing. Rome granted to the communities of kindred lineage a share in the fruits of victory, especially in the acquired domains; and sought, by conferring material advantages on the rich and noble, to gain over at least a party to her own interest in the other subject states. Carthage not only retained for herself the produce of her victories, but even deprived the most privileged cities of their freedom of trade. Rome, as a rule, did not wholly take away independence even from the subject communities, and imposed a fixed tribute on none; Carthage despatched her overseers everywhere, and loaded even the old-Phoenician cities with a heavy tribute, while her subject tribes were practically treated as state-slaves. In this way there was not in the compass of the Carthagino-African state a single community, with the exception of Utica, that would not have been politically and materially benefited by the fall of Carthage; in the Romano-Italic there was not one that had not much more to lose than to gain in rebelling against a government, which was careful to avoid injuring material interests, and which never at least by extreme measures challenged political opposition to conflict. If Carthaginian statesmen believed that they had attached to the interests of Carthage her Phoenician subjects by their greater dread of a Libyan revolt and all the landholders by means of token-money, they transferred mercantile calculation to a sphere to which it did not apply. Experience proved that the Roman symmachy, notwithstanding its seemingly looser bond of connection, kept together against Pyrrhus like a wall of rock, whereas the Carthaginian fell to pieces like a gossamer web as soon as a hostile army set foot on African soil. It was so on the landing of Agathocles and of Regulus, and likewise in the mercenary war; the spirit that prevailed in Africa is illustrated by the fact, that the Libyan women voluntarily contributed their ornaments to the mercenaries for their war against Carthage. In Sicily alone the Carthaginians appear to have exercised a milder rule, and to have attained on that account better results. They granted to their subjects in that quarter comparative freedom in foreign trade, and allowed them to conduct their internal commerce, probably from the outset and exclusively, with a metallic currency; far greater freedom of movement generally was allowed to them than was permitted to the Sardinians and Libyans.