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Quote of the day: It had been the ancient policy of the fo
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXXVIII Chapter 36: Mago attacks New Carthage[206 BC]
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Mago's hopes had been raised by the mutiny in the Roman camp and the revolt of Indibilis. Now he despaired of effecting anything in Spain and made preparations for his departure. Whilst he was so employed a despatch came from the Carthaginian senate ordering him to take the fleet which he had at Gades over to Italy, and after raising as large a force as possible of Gauls and Ligurians in that country to form a junction with Hannibal and not allow the war which had been begun with so much energy and even more success to drag on lifelessly. Money was brought to him from Carthage for the purpose, and he also requisitioned as much as he could from the people in Gades. Not only their public treasury but even their temples were plundered, and they were all compelled to contribute their private stores of gold and silver. Sailing along the Spanish coast, he landed a force not far from New Carthage, and plundered the nearest fields, after which he brought up his fleet at the city. During the day he kept his men on board, and did not disembark them till night. He then took them to that part of the city wall where the Romans had effected the capture of the place; thinking that the city was held by a weak garrison and that there would be a movement amongst some of the townsmen who hoped for a change of masters. The country people, however, who were fleeing from their fields had brought news of the depredations and approach of the enemy. His fleet had also been seen during the day, and it was obvious that they would not have taken their station before the city without some special reason. An armed force was accordingly drawn up outside the gate which faced the sea. The enemy approached the walls in disorder, soldiers and seamen were mixed together, and there was much more noise and tumult than fighting strength. Suddenly the gate was thrown open and the Romans burst out with a cheer; the enemy were thrown into confusion, turned their backs at the very first discharge of missiles and were pursued with heavy loss down to the shore. If the ships had not been brought up close to the beach and so afforded a means of escape, not a single fugitive would have survived. On the ships, too, there was hurry and confusion; the crews drew up the ladders, lest the enemy should clamber on board with their comrades, and cut the cables and hawsers so as not to lose time in weighing anchor. Many who tried to swim to the ships could not see in the darkness what direction to take or what dangers to avoid, and perished miserably. The next day, after the fleet had regained the ocean, it was discovered that 800 men had been killed between the wall and the shore and as many as 2000 arms of different kinds picked up.

Actions in Spain in 206 BC

Event: Actions in Spain in 206 BC