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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 39: A deputation from Saguntum is received by the senate[205 BC]
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The senate held a session in the Capitol. A resolution was passed on the motion of Publius Scipio that he should celebrate the Games which he had vowed during the mutiny and defray the cost out of the money which he had brought into the treasury. Then he introduced a deputation from Saguntum, the senior member of which addressed the House in the following terms: "Although there is no form of suffering, senators, which we have not endured in order to keep our faith with you to the last, still the kindness which you and your generals have shown to us has made us forget our misery. For us you have undertaken war and for fourteen years have carried it on with such determination that often you have brought yourselves and often reduced the Carthaginians to the last extremities. Though you had in the heart of Italy such a terrible war and such an enemy as Hannibal, you nevertheless sent a consul with his army to Spain to collect, as it were, the remains of our wreckage. From the day that the two Scipios, Publius and Gaius Cornelius, came into the province they never at any moment failed to do good to us and injury to our enemies. First of all, they restored our city to us, and sent men all over Spain to find out those of us who had been sold into slavery and set them free. When our fortunes, from being utterly miserable, had become almost enviable, your two generals Publius and Gaius Cornelius met with their deaths, a loss which we felt even more bitterly than you. It seemed at the time as though we had been brought back from distant exile to our old home only to see for the second time our own ruin and our country's destruction. It did not require a Carthaginian general or army to effect our annihilation, the Turduli, our inveterate enemies who had been the cause of our former collapse, would have been quite able to extinguish us. And just when we had lost all hope, you suddenly sent Publius Scipio, whom we are more fortunate than all our fellow-citizens in seeing here today. We shall carry back to our people the news that we have seen, as your consul-elect, the one man in whom we placed all our hopes of safety. City after city has been taken by him from your enemies throughout Spain, and in every instance he picked out the Saguntines from the mass of prisoners and sent them home. And lastly the Turdetani, such deadly enemies to us that had their strength remained unimpaired Saguntum must have fallen, even they have been brought so low by his arms that they are no longer to be feared by us, nor, if I may dare to say so, by our posterity. The tribe in whose favour Hannibal destroyed Saguntum have had their own city destroyed before our eyes. We take tribute from their land, but it is not the profit, but the revenge that we enjoy most. "For these blessings, the greatest that we could hope for or ask heaven to grant, the senate and people of Saguntum have sent this deputation to convey their grateful thanks. We are at the same time to convey their congratulations to you on having been so successful these last years in Spain and Italy that you have subjugated the one country by the might of your arms, not only as far as the Ebro, but even to its most distant shores which the ocean bounds, whilst in the other you have left the Carthaginian nothing outside the rampart of his camp. To the great Guardian of your stronghold in the Capitol, Jupiter Optimus Maximus, we are bidden not only to render thanks for these boons, but also, if you allow us, to offer and carry to him in the Capitol this gift of a golden crown, as a memorial of your victories. We pray that you will sanction this and further, if it seem good to you, that you will ratify and confirm for all time the advantages which your generals have conferred upon us." The senate replied to the effect that the destruction and restoration of Saguntum would both alike be a proof to all the world of the faith which each side had kept to the other. Their generals had acted wisely and properly and in accordance with the wishes of the senate in restoring Saguntum and rescuing its citizens from slavery, and all other acts of kindness which they had performed were such as the senate wished to have done. They accorded permission to the envoys to place their gift in the Capitol. Free quarters and hospitality were provided for them at the cost of the State, and orders were given for each to be presented with a sum of not less than 10,000 ases. The other deputations were then admitted to an audience of the senate. The Saguntines also asked to be allowed to make a tour through Italy as far as they could with safety, and guides were furnished them and letters sent to the different towns requesting them to give the Spaniards a hospitable reception.