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Quote of the day: Appius Claudius was keenly alive to the
Notes
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXXVIII Chapter 28: Speech of Scipio to the soldiers (cont.)[206 BC]
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"Though no crime is dictated by rational motives, I should still like to know what was in your mind, what was your intention, so far as such wickedness admitted of any. Years ago [Note 1] a legion which was sent to garrison Rhegium murdered the principal men of the place and kept possession of that wealthy city for ten years. For this crime the entire 4000 legion of men were beheaded at Rome in the Forum. But they did not choose for their leader an Umbrian who was little more than a camp-follower, an Atrius whose very name is an evil omen. They followed Decius Jubellius, a military tribune. Nor did they join hands with Pyrrhus, or with the Samnites and Lucanians, the enemies of Rome, but you communicated your plans to Mandonius and Indibilis and prepared to join them in arms. They were content to do as the Campanians did when they wrested Capua from the Tuscans, its old inhabitants, or as the Mamertines did when they seized Messana in Sicily; they intended to make Rhegium their future home without any idea of attacking Rome or the allies of Rome. Did you intend to make Sucro your permanent abode? If, after subjugating Spain, I had gone away and left you here you would have rightly complained to gods and men that you had not returned to your wives and children. But you may have banished from your minds all thought of them, as you have in the case of your country and in my own case. I want to trace the course which your criminal project would have taken, though stopping short of the extreme of madness. As long as I was alive and retained intact the army with which in one day I captured New Carthage and defeated and routed four Carthaginian armies, would you really have wrested the province of Spain from the hands of Rome, you, a force of some 8000 men, every one of you of less account at all events than the Albius and Atrius whom you made your masters? "I put aside and ignore my own honour and reputation, and assume that I was in no way injured by your too easily crediting the story of my death. But what then? Supposing I had died, would the common-wealth have died with me, would the sovereignty of Rome have shared my fate? No, Jupiter Optimus Maximus would never have allowed a City built for eternity, built under the auspices and sanction of the gods, to be as short-lived as this fragile mortal body of mine. Gaius Flaminius, Aemilius Paulus, Sempronius Gracchus, Postumius Albinus, Marcus Marcellus, Titus Quinctius Crispinus, Gnaeus Fulvius, and my own relations, the two Scipios [Note 2], all of them distinguished generals, have been carried off in this single war, and yet Rome lives on and will live on though a thousand more should perish through sickness or the sword. Would then the republic have been interred in my solitary grave? Why even you yourselves, after the defeat and death of my father and my uncle, chose Septimus Marcius to lead you against the Carthaginians, flushed as they were with their recent victory. I am speaking as though Spain would have been left without a general; but would not the sovereignty of the empire have been amply vindicated by Marcus Silanus, who came into the province invested with the same power and authority as I myself with my brother Lucius and Gaius Laelius as his lieutenants? Can any comparison be made between their army and you, between their rank and experience and those of the men you have chosen, between the cause for which they are fighting and the one which you have taken up? And if you were superior to them all would you beararms in company with the Carthaginians against your country, against your fellow-citizens? What injury have they done to you?"

Actions in Spain in 206 BC

Rhegium plundered by the Capanian legion (281 BC)
Note 2: Scipio's = Publius Scipio and Gnaeus Scipio

Events: Actions in Spain in 206 BC, Rhegium plundered by the Capanian legion