Hannibal by Jacob Abbott

Hannibal by Jacob Abbott 2354

Hannibal , Makers of History , by Jacob Abbott 1803-1879 PREFACE The author of this series has made it his special object to confine himself very strictly, even in the most minute details which he records, to historic truth. The narratives are not tales founded upon history, but history itself, without any embellishment or any deviations from the strict truth, so far as it can now be discovered by an attentive examination of the annals written at the time when the events themselves occurred. In writing the narratives, the author has endeavored to avail himself of the best sources of information which this country affords; and though, of course, there must be in these volumes, as in all historical narratives, more or less of imperfection and error, there is no intentional embellishment. Nothing is stated, not even the most minute and apparently imaginary details, without what was deemed good historical authority. The readers, therefore, may rely upon the record as the truth, and nothing but the truth, so far as an honest purpose and a careful examination have been effectual in ascertaining it. CONTENTS. Chapter I. THE FIRST PUNIC WAR II. HANNIBAL AT SAGUNTUM III. OPENING OF THE SECOND PUNIC WAR IV. THE PASSAGE OF THE RHONE V. HANNIBAL CROSSES THE ALPS VI. HANNIBAL IN THE NORTH OF ITALY VII. THE APENNINES VIII. THE DICTATOR FABIUS IX. THE BATTLE OF CANNAE X. SCIPIO XI. HANNIBAL A FUGITIVE AND AN EXILE XII. THE DESTRUCTION OF CARTHAGE HANNIBAL. CHAPTER I. THE FIRST PUNIC WAR. B.C. 280-249 Hannibal.- -Rome and Carthage.- -Tyre.- -Founding of Carthage.- -Its commercial spirit.- -Gold and silver mines.- -New Carthage.- -Ships and army.- -Numidia.- -Balearic Isles.- -The sling.- -The government of Carthage.- -The aristocracy.- -Geographical relations of the Carthaginian empire.- -Rome and the Romans.- -Their character.- -Progress of Carthage and Rome.- -Origin of the first Punic war.- -Rhegium and Messina.- -A perplexing question.- -The Romans determine to build a fleet.- -Preparations.- -Training the oarsmen.- -The Roman fleet puts to sea.- -Grappling irons.- -Courage and resolution of the Romans.- -Success of the Romans.- -The rostral column.- -Government of Rome.- -The consuls.- -Story of Regulus.- -He is made consul.- -Regulus marches against Carthage.- -His difficulties.- -Successes of Regulus.- -Arrival of Greeks.- -The Romans put to flight.- -Regulus a prisoner.- -Regulus before the Roman senate.- -Result of his mission.- -Death of Regulus.- -Conclusion of the war. Hannibal was a Carthaginian general. He acquired his great distinction as a warrior by his desperate contests with the Romans. Rome and Carthage grew up together on opposite sides of the Mediterranean Sea. For about a hundred years they waged against each other most dreadful wars. There were three of these wars. Rome was successful in the end, and Carthage was entirely destroyed. There was no real cause for any disagreement between these two nations. Their hostility to each other was mere rivalry and spontaneous hate. They spoke a different language; they had a different origin; and they lived on opposite sides of the same sea. So they hated and devoured each other. Those who have read the history of Alexander the Great, in this series, will recollect the difficulty he experienced in besieging and subduing Tyre, a great maritime city, situated about two miles from the shore, on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Carthage was originally founded by a colony from this city of Tyre, and it soon became a great commercial and maritime power like its mother. The Carthaginians built ships, and with them explored all parts of the Mediterranean Sea. They visited all the nations on these coasts, purchased the commodities they had to sell, carried them to other nations, and sold them at great advances. They soon began to grow rich and powerful. They hired soldiers to fight their battles, and began to take possession of the islands of the Mediterranean, and, in some instances, of points on the main land. For example, in Spain: some of their ships, going there, found that the natives had silver and gold, which they obtained from veins of ore near the surface of the ground. At first the Carthaginians obtained this gold and silver by selling the natives commodities of various kinds, which they had procured in other countries; paying, of course, to the producers only a very small price compared with what they required the Spaniards to pay them. Finally, they took possession of that part of Spain where the mines were situated, and worked the mines themselves. They dug deeper; they employed skillful engineers to make pumps to raise the water, which always accumulates in mines, and prevents their being worked to any great depth unless the miners have a considerable degree of scientific and mechanical skill. They founded a city here, which they called New Carthage- -_Nova Carthago_. They fortified and garrisoned this city, and made it the center of their operations in Spain. This city is called Carthagena to this day. Thus the Carthaginians did every thing by power of money. They extended their operations in every direction, each new extension bringing in new treasures, and increasing their means of extending them more. They had, besides the merchant vessels which belonged to private individuals, great ships of war belonging to the state. These vessels were called galleys, and were rowed by oarsmen, tier above tier, there being sometimes four and five banks of oars. They had armies, too, drawn from different countries, in various troops, according as different nations excelled in the different modes of warfare. For instance, the Numidians, whose country extended in the neighborhood of Carthage, on the African coast, were famous for their horsemen. There were great plains in Numidia, and good grazing, and it was, consequently, one of those countries in which horses and horsemen naturally thrive. On the other hand, the natives of the Balearic Isles, now called Majorca, Minorca, and Ivica, were famous for their skill as slingers. So the Carthaginians, in making up their forces, would hire bodies of cavalry in Numidia, and of slingers in the Balearic Isles; and, for reasons analogous, they got excellent infantry in Spain. The tendency of the various nations to adopt and cultivate different modes of warfare was far greater, in those ancient times, than now. The Balearic Isles, in fact, received their name from the Greek word _ballein_, which means to throw with a sling. The youth there were trained to perfection in the use of this weapon from a very early age. It is said that mothers used to practice the plan of putting the bread for their boys' breakfast on the branches of trees, high above their heads, and not allow them to have their food to eat until they could bring it down with a stone thrown from a sling. Thus the Carthaginian power became greatly extended. The whole government, however, was exercised by a small body of wealthy and aristocratic families at home. It was very much such a government as that of England is at the present day, only the aristocracy of England is based on ancient birth and landed property, whereas in Carthage it depended on commercial greatness, combined, it is true, with hereditary family distinction. The aristocracy of Carthage controlled and governed every thing.

Hannibal , Makers of History , by Jacob Abbott 1803-1879 PREFACE The author of this series has made it his special object to confine himself very strictly, even in the most minute details which he records, to historic truth. The narratives ar
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