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Quote of the day: Titus Vinius and Cornelius Laco, one the
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXXVIII Chapter 32: Speech of Scipio[206 BC]
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By his punctual payment of arrears to all alike, the guilty as well as the innocent, and by his affable tone and bearing towards every one, Scipio soon regained the affection of his soldiers. Before he broke up his quarters at New Carthage, he called his troops together and after denouncing at some length the treachery of the two chiefs in recommencing war went on to say that the temper in which he was going to avenge that crime was very different from the spirit in which he had recently healed the fault of his misled fellow-citizens. Then he felt as if he were tearing his own vitals, when with groans and tears he expiated either the thoughtlessness or the guilt of 8000 at the cost of thirty lives. Now it was in a cheerful and confident spirit that he was marching to the destruction of the Ilergetes. They were not natives of the same soil with him, nor was there any treaty bond between them; the only bond was that of honour and friendship, and that they had themselves broken by their crime. When he looked at his own army he saw that they were all either Roman citizens or Latin allies, but what affected him most was the fact that there was hardly a single soldier amongst them who had not been brought from Italy, either by his uncle Gnaeus Scipio, who was the first Roman general to come into that province, or by his father [Note 1] or else by himself. They were all of them accustomed to the name and auspices of the Scipios, and he wanted to take them back with him to their country to enjoy a well-earned triumph. Should he become a candidate for the consulship he hoped that they would support him, as the honour conferred on him would belong to them all. As to the expedition in front of them the man who regarded it as a war must have forgotten all that he had hitherto done. Mago, who had fled with a few ships to an island surrounded by an ocean; beyond the limits of the world of men, was, he assured them, more of a concern to him than the Ilergetes were, for a Carthaginian general and a Carthaginian garrison, however small, were still there, but here there were only brigands and brigand chiefs. They may be strong enough to plunder their neighbours' fields and burn their houses and carry off their flocks and herds but they have no courage for a pitched battle and an open field; when they have to fight they will trust more to their swiftness for flight than to their weapons. It was not, therefore, because he saw that there was any danger from them, or any prospect of serious war that he was marching to crush the Ilergetes before his departure from the province, but because such a criminal revolt must not go unpunished, and also because it must not be said that a single enemy has been left behind in a province which by such courage and good fortune has been reduced to submission. "Follow me then," he said, in conclusion, "with the kind help of heaven, not to make war for you have to do with an enemy who is no match for you but to inflict punishment upon men steeped in crime."

Actions in Spain in 206 BC

Note 1: father = Publius Scipio

Event: Actions in Spain in 206 BC