|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXI Chapter 19: Rome looks for allies in Spain[218 BC]
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This direct inquiry and denunciation of war seemed more consistent with the dignity of the Roman people, both before and now, especially when Saguntum was destroyed, than to cavil in words about the obligation of treaties. For if it was a subject for a controversy of words, in what was the treaty of Hasdrubal to be compared with the former treaty of Lutatius, which was altered? Since in the treaty of Lutatius, was expressly added, "that it should only be held good if the people sanctioned it;" but in the treaty of Hasdrubal, neither was there any such exception; and that treaty during its life had been so established by the silence of so many years, that not even after the death of its author was any change made in it. Although even were they to abide by the former treaty, there had been sufficient provision made for the Saguntines by excepting the allies of both states; for neither was it added, "those who then were," nor "those who should afterwards be admitted." and since it is allowable to admit new allies, who could think it proper, either that no people should be received for any services into friendship? or that, being received under protection, they should not be defended? It was only stipulated, that the allies of the Carthaginians should not be excited to revolt, nor, revolting of their own accord, be received. The Roman ambassadors, according as they had been commanded at Rome, passed over from Carthage into Spain, in order to visit the nations, and either to allure them into an alliance, or dissuade them from joining the Carthaginians. They came first to the Bargusii, by whom having been received with welcome, because they were weary of the Carthaginian government, they excited many of the states beyond the Iberus to the desire of a revolution. Thence they came to the Volciani, whose reply being celebrated through Spain, dissuaded the other states from an alliance with the Romans; for thus the oldest member in their council made answer: "What sense of shame have ye, Romans, to ask of us that we should prefer your friendship to that of the Carthaginians, when you, their allies, betrayed the Saguntines with greater cruelty than that with which the Carthaginians, their enemies, destroyed them? There, methinks, you should look for allies, where the massacre of Saguntum is unknown. The ruins of Saguntum will remain a warning as melancholy as memorable to the states of Spain, that no one should confide in the faith or alliance of Rome." Having been then commanded to depart immediately from the territory of the Volciani, they afterwards received no kinder words from any of the councils of Spain: they therefore pass into Gaul, after having gone about through Spain to no purpose.
Event: Rome looks for allies