CHAPTER XV. THE SECOND PUNIC WAR.-FROM CANNAE TO THE BATTLE OF ZAMA (216-202).
ROME was appalled; but though defeated, she was not subdued. All the Latin allies were summoned for aid in the common peril. Boys and old men alike took up arms even the slaves were promised freedom if they would join the ranks.
Hannibal marched from Cannae into Campania. He induced Capua, the second city of Italy, to side with him. But his expectations that other cities would follow her example were not fulfilled. He went into winter quarters here (215-214). The Capuans, notorious for their luxurious and effeminate habits, are said to have injured his soldiers. But Hannibal's superiority as a general is unquestionable, and his want of success after this was due to insufficient aid from home, and to the fact that the resources of Rome were greater than those of Carthage. The Latin allies of Rome had remained true to their allegiance, and only one city of importance was under his control. It was an easy matter to conquer the enemy in open battle, but to support his own army was more difficult, for all Italy had been devastated. On the other hand, the Romans were well supplied with food from their possessions in Sicily.
Hannibal saw, therefore, that more active measures than those already employed were necessary. He sent to Carthage an appeal for aid. He formed an alliance with Philip V. of Macedonia, and earnestly urged Hasdrubal Baroa, his lieutenant in Spain, to come to his assistance. He hoped, with this army from the north, with supplies and reinforcements from Carthage, and with such troops as he might obtain from Macedonia, to concentrate a large force at Rome and compel her into submission.
The Romans, realizing the position of Hannibal, kept what forces they could spare in Spain, under the two Scipio brothers, Publius and Gnaeus. With these they hoped to stop reinforcements from reaching the enemy from that quarter. At the same time their army in Northern Greece effectually engaged the attention of Philip. Thus two years (214-212) passed without any material change in the situation of affairs in Italy.
In 212, while the Carthaginians were in the extreme south of Italy, besieging Tarentum, the Romans made strenuous efforts to recover Campania, and especially Capua. Hannibal, learning the danger, marched rapidly north, and failing to break through the lines which enclosed the city, resolved to advance on Rome itself.
Silently and quickly he marched along the Via Latino through the heart of the territory of Rome, to within three miles of the city, and with his vanguard he even rode up to one of the city gates. But no ally joined him; no Roman force was recalled to face him; no proposals of peace reached his camp. Impressed by the unmoved confidence of the enemy, he withdrew as quickly as he came, and retreated to his head-quarters in the South.
Capua fell in 211, and the seat of war, to the great relief of Rome, was removed to Lucania and Bruttium. The punishment inflicted upon Capua was severe. Seventy of her Senators were killed, three hundred of her chief citizens imprisoned, and the whole people sold as slaves. The city and its territory were declared to be Roman territory, and the place was afterwards repeopled by Roman occupants.
Such was the fate of this famous city. Founded in as early times as Rome itself, it became the most flourishing city of Magna Graecia, renowned for its luxury and refinement, and as the home of all the highest arts and culture.
AFFAIRS IN SICILY.
HIERO II., tyrant of Syracuse, died in 216. During his long reign of more than fifty years he had been the stanch friend and ally of Rome in her struggles with Carthage. Hieronymus, the grandson and successor of Hiero, thought fit to ally himself with Carthage. The young tyrant, who was arrogant and cruel, was assassinated after reigning a few months.
The Roman Governor of Sicily, MARCELLUS, troubled by the Carthaginian faction in Syracuse, threatened the city with an attack unless the leaders of this faction were expelled. In return, they endeavored to arouse the citizens of the neighboring city of Leontini against Rome and the Roman party in Syracuse. Marcellus at once attacked and stormed Leontini. The Syracusans then closed their city gates against him. A siege of two years (214-212) followed, famous for the various devices adopted by the noted mathematician ARCHIMÉDES [Footnote: Archimédes was a great investigator in the science of mathematics. He discovered the ratio of a sphere to its circumscribed cylinder. One of his famous sayings was, "Give me where to stand, and I will move the world." He exerted his ingenuity in the invention of powerful machines for the defence of Syracuse. Eight of his works on mathematics are in existence. He was killed at the close of the siege by a Roman soldier, who would have spared his life had he not been too intent on a mathematical problem to comply with the summons to surrender. On his tombstone, it is said, was engraved a cylinder enclosing a sphere.] to defeat the movements of the Romans. The city was finally betrayed by a Spanish officer, and given up to plunder. The art treasures in which it was so rich were conveyed by Marcellus to Rome. From this time (212) the city became a part of the province of Sicily and the head- quarters of the Roman Governor.
THE CAMPAIGNS IN SPAIN.