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Quote of the day: Civilis, however, was naturally politic
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXXVIII Chapter 34: Mandonius and Indibilis get mercy[206 BC]
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The Spanish camp was captured the same day and in addition to the rest of the 3000 booty prisoners were secured. As many as 2000 Romans and allies fell in the battle; the wounded amounted to more than 3000. The victory would not have been so costly had the battle been fought in a wider plain where flight would have been easier. Indibilis laid aside all idea of continuing the war, and thought that the safest course, considering his hopeless position, would be to throw himself on Scipio's well-known clemency and honour. He sent his brother Mandonius to him. Throwing himself on his knees before the victor he put everything down to the fatal frenzy of the time, which like some pestilential contagion had infected not only the Ilergetes and Lacetanians but even a Roman army with madness. He declared that he and his brother and the rest of their countrymen were in such a condition that they would, if he thought it right, give back their lives to the same Publius Scipio from whom they had received them, or, if they were spared a second time, they would devote the whole of their lives to the one man to whom they owed them. Previously they had trusted to the strength of their cause and had not made trial of his clemency, now that their cause was hopeless they put all their trust in their conqueror's mercy. It was the traditional practice of the Romans, in the case of a conquered nation with whom no friendly relations had previously existed either through treaty or community of rights and laws, not to accept their submission or allow any terms of peace until all their possessions sacred and profane had been surrendered, hostages given, their arms taken away and garrisons placed in their cities. In the present instance however, Scipio, after sternly reprimanding Mandonius and the absent Indibilis at considerable length, said that their lives were justly forfeited by their crime, but that through his own kindness and that of the Roman people, they would be spared. He would not, however, demand hostages, since these were only a security for those who feared a fresh outbreak of hostilities, nor would he take away their arms, he would leave their minds at rest. But if they revolted it was not unoffending hostages but they themselves who would feel the weight of his arm; he would inflict punishment not upon a defenceless but upon an armed foe. He would leave it to them whether they preferred the favour or the wrath of Rome; they had experience of both. So Mandonius was dismissed, the only condition imposed upon him being a pecuniary indemnity sufficient to furnish the pay which was owing to the troops. After sending Marcius on in advance into Southern Spain, Scipio stayed where he was for a few days until the Ilergetes paid over the indemnity and then, setting out with a light-armed force, overtook Marcius who was already nearing the ocean.

Actions in Spain in 206 BC

Event: Actions in Spain in 206 BC