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Spain — and defeated the Romans in the battle of Tici
nus, and again at Trebia. 217 — The Achaian confederacy, now in the height of its glory
in maintaining the liberties of Greece, united all the Greeks in a confederacy under the influence of Philip, king of Macedon, with the hope of arresting the power
and ambition of Rome. 216 - Hannibal inflicted a dreadful defeat on the Romans
near the Thrasymenean Lake. The Romans were greatly alarmed, and made Fabius Maximus dictator, whose habit of refusing a pitched battle, wearing out his adversary by skirmishes and cutting off his supplies, is called “The Fabian Policy.” This plan is, by maneuvering and delay, to wear out and destroy an invader in detail without peril of defeat in battle. The Romans kept armies in Spain to prevent the Car
thaginians from sending reinforcements to Hannibal. 215 — At the close of this year Fabius resigned his dictator
ship and the consuls appointed to succeed him abandoned his policy. They offered battle to Hannibal at Canne and the army was annihilated. 40,000 Romans were slain on the field. These defeats had destroyed the flower of their fighting population, but Roman courage and resolution always rose with defeat. They did not despair, but raised a fresh army and put Fabius again at its head, against whom the talents of Hannibal were vain. They fomented disturbances in Greece to keep Philip, King of Macedon at home, and beseiged
Syracuse in Sicily, which had joined the Carthaginians, 212— for three years, and then took it by stratagem. Ar
chimedes, a celebrated mathematician of Syracuse, who had protracted the siege by his ingenious and power
ful engines was killed in the sack of the city. Soon 210 after the whole island was subdued and remained a Ro
man province. 206 – Asdrubal, the brother of Hannibal, general of the Car
thaginian forces in Spain, crossed the Pyrenees and the Alps to reinforce Hannibal, but was defeated by the
Romans and slain before Hannibal knew of his march. 202 — Scipio, who had conquered in Spain, led an army into
Africa, Hannibal being considered too formidable to attack, though his forces were very small. Scipio put 40,000 Numidians, allies of Carthage, to the sword, besieged the neighboring cities and defeated a large Carthaginian army. Hannibal was now called home
to defend the metropolis. He fought a battle with raw 201 — troops, at Zama, and was defeated — 20,000 Carthagi.
nians being slain. The Carthaginians begged for peace, Hannibal declaring that the war could not be protracted. The Roman terms left them little but their city. Such
was the fruit of inflexible resolution. 5. The Romans are an example of a people, who, from first to last, had one clearly defined end, to which everything else was subservient. They formed their state for conquest, and that idea controlled the Kingdom, the Republic and the Empire. They were much wiser than the Spartans, for, devoting themselves to war, they meant to secure and enjoy all the fruits of conquest, and they did all that was possible to promote the prosperity of their people that they might produce warriors in abundance; but they relied mainly on actual war for discipline. They were constantly exercised in the art in the field and the orderly and sensible instinct of the race made discipline a matter of course. They were sometimes defeated when they encountered unfamiliar difficulties, or by the mistakes of their leaders, but never abandoned a purpose once adopted and never sued for peace.
Morally, the object they set before them was entirely unjustifiable, according to the standard of national rights accepted in our day. But such a conception never entered the minds of men in the ancient times. It is the fruit of modern civilization alone. The Romans, and many a nation after them, must work out the destructive consequences of that doctrine that "Might makes Right” before the universal sense of inankind would recoil from it. It was the accepted doctrine of the ancients, and has not yet disappeared from the world. 197 — Sicily, Spain and Carthage were conquered, and Roman
valor looked around for opportunities of winning fresh laurels. Philip of Macedon, an ambitious prince, threatened the Athenians, who implored help from Rome. An army immediately proceeded to Greece, penetrated into Macedonia, and completely defeated Philip at Cy
nocephalæ. 6. The Romans were now the mightiest people in the civ. ilized world. Their obstinate contests with the vigorous nations of the West had often perilled the existence of their state, and a people of ordinary stamina and persistance would not, at the best, have risen above the rank of the Etruscans and Samnites, nor have made Rome greater than Syracuse or Carthage. They, however, matured and grew into an invincible power, whose solid and stately grandeur struck the intelligent but unpractical Greeks with admiration, and all the old peoples of the East with awe.
The Romans were not without admiration for the ancient valor and the graceful culture of the Greeks. When, two hundred and fifty years before, the Romans revised their laws, under the Decemvirate, they sent to Athens to obtain models from that republic. Athens was now treated by them with much consideration, and finally became the University City of the Empire. When Roman influence became paramount after the battle of Cynocephalæ they did not at once proceed with brutal force against the land of Beauty and Art, but took it under their protection, and proclaimed the full liberty of the Grecian States. It filled the Greeks with transport, and for some time Rome played the noble and dignified part of a disinterested protector; but when the Achaians, under their excellent and talented leader Philopmen, sought to realize the fact of liberty, the Romans abandoned that pretence and made Greece a Roman province. Thus the whole of Europe that was sufficiently civilized to maintain a settled government was ruled by the Roman Republic. The period of rude and restless valor among the Greeks was past. The stage of cultivation they had reached inclined them to the quiet and elegant refinements of the scholar, and they readily received the Roman rule which suppressed the turbulance of ambitious adventurers and suffered no oppression but their own. The Romans represented the strength of the male element in human nature, the Greeks the grace of the female. They now coalesced, were married, so to speak, and the product of their union was, in the course of ages, modern civilization, which, when mature, was to share the eminent qualities of both.
7. The broken fragments of Alexander's immense empire in Western Asia and Egypt were all that now stood between Rome and the mastery of the world. The Roman people were too well convinced that it was their grand destiny to achieve universal dominion to hasten prematurely the conquest of the primitive home of civilization. They watchfully waited until the course of events should throw the dominions of the Seleucida and the Ptolemys into their hands, without offending the majesty of the republic by an undignified vio. lence and haste. 190 — Antiochus the Great, who now reigned over the empire
of the Seleucidæ, with true Grecian imprudence, became
ambitious of conquests in Europe. He invaded Greece 191 — and was defeated at Thermopylæ by the Romans and
driven into Asia. The younger Scipio, brother of the
conqueror of Hannibal, followed and totally defeated 189 — him at Magnesia, in Asia Minor. He purchased peace
by the loss of all the fruits of his ambition, but was left in possession of the Syrian kingdom. The failure to destroy so powerful an enemy appears to have brought on the two Scipios the rebuke of the repu'lic, the conqueror of Carthage having aided his brother in the war. They were condemned to a heavy fine, which Scipio Africanus refused to pay and went into 183 -- exile, where he died. His death occurred in the same
year that Hannibai, pur:ned by the vengeance of the Romans for having aided Antiochus, committed suicide by taking poison to avoid falling into their hands; and
in this year also Philopoemen, the last patriotic hero 170 - of Greece, was slain by his enemies. Perses, king of
Macedon, revolted, and, after some successes, was finally
overthrown under the walls of Pydna and dethroned. 168 — The Carthaginians could not altogether forget their
ancient greatness, and having displeased the Romans
by some independence of action, it was resolved to 148 —- destroy their city. With the courage of despair they
set the Romans at defiance, and defended themselves with a resolute bravery that engaged the lively sympathies of all after times for their painful fate. For two years they maintained the combat against their pitiless
foes, who could pardon everything but rivalry in their 146 — sweeping ambition, and then perished in the ruins of
their once glorious metropolis. A revolt of the Achaians was punished, in the same year, by the destruction
of the splendid city of Corinth, in Greece. 140 – The embers of independence in Spain broke forth
in war, which was checked by the assassination of
Viriathes, a patriotic chieftain of great ability, and 133 – quenched in blood by the self-destruction of the citi
zens of Numantium. About the same time the republic acquired the kingdom of Pergamus, covering the richest parts of Asia Minor, by the will of Attalus, its king, who, on his death, bequeathed it to Rome. This led, in a few years, to contests with the neighboring Asiatic sovereigns, and resulted, in about half a century, in the conquest and reduction into the state of Roman provinces of all Western Asia.