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the utmost terror; however, they defended themselves so courageously, that Scipio could not scale the walls. But perceiving a tower that was forsaken, and which stood without the city, very near the walls, he detached thither a party of intrepid and resolute soldiers, who, by the help of pontons,* got from the tower on the walls, and from thence into Megara, the gates of which they broke down. Scipio entered it immediately after, and drove the enemies out of that post; who, terrified at this unexpected assault, and imagining that the whole city was taken, fled into the citadel, whither they were followed by those forces that were encamped without the city, who abandoned their camp to the Romans, and thought it necessary for them to fly to a place of security.
Before I proceed farther,t it will be proper to give some account of the situation and dimensions of Carthage, which, in the beginning of the war against the Romans, contained 700,000 inhabitants. It stood at the bottom of a gulf, surrounded by the sea, and in the form of a peninsula, whose neck, that is, the isthmus which joined it to the continent, was twenty-five stadia, or a league and a quarter in breadth. The peninsula was 360 stadia, or eighteen leagues round. On the west side there projected from it a long neck of land, half a stadium, or twelve fathoms, broad; which, advancing into the sea, divided it from a morass, and was fenced on all sides with rocks and a single wall
. On the south side, towards the continent, where stood the citadel called Byrsa, the city was surrounded with a triple wall, thirty cubits high, exclusive of the parapets and towers, with which it was flanked all round at equal distances, each interval being fourscore fathoms. Every tower was four stories high, and the walls but two; they were arched, and in the lower part were stalls to hold 300 elephants with their fodder, and over these were stables for 4000 horses, and lofts for their food. There likewise was room enough to lodge 20,000 foot, and 4000 orse. All these were contained within the walls alone. In one place only the walls were weak and low; and that was a neglected angle, which began at the neck of land above mentioned, and extended as far as the harbours, which were on the west side. Of these there were two, which communicated with each other, but had only one entrance, seventy feet broad, shut up with chains. The first was appropriated for the merchants, and had several distinct habitations for the seamen. The second, or inner harbour, was for the ships of war, in the midst of which stood an island called Cothon, lined, as the harbour was, with large quays, in which were distinct receptaclest for sheltering from the weather 220 ships; overthese were magazines or store-houses, wherein was lodged whatever is necessary for arming and equipping flects. The entrance into each of these receptacles was adorned with two marble pillars, of the Ionic order. So that both the harbour and the island represented on each side two magnificent galleries. In this island was the admiral's palace; and as it stood opposite to the mouth of the harbour, he could from thence discover whatever was doing at sea, though no one, from thence, could see what was trans. acting in the inward part of the harbour. The merchants, in like manner, had no prospect of the men of war; the two ports being separated by a double wall, each having its particular gate, that led to the city, without passing through the other harbour. So that Carthage may be divided into three parts :* the harbour, which was double, and called sometimes Cothon, from the little island of that name: the citadel, named Byrsa: the city properly so called, where the inhabitants dwelt which lay around the citadel, and was called Megara.
* A sort of moveable bridge.
Newo virous, Strabo.
† Appian. p. 56, 57. Strabo, 1. xvij. p. 832
At day-break,t Asdrubals perceiving the ignominious defeat of his troops, in order that he might be revenged on the Romans, and, at the same time, deprive the inhabitants of all hopes of accommodation and pardon, brought all the Roman prisoners he had taken upon the walls, in sight of the whole army. There he put them to the most exquisite torture; putting out heir eyes, cutting off their noses, ears, and fingers; tearing their skin from their body with iron rakes or harrows, and then threw them headlong from the top of the battlements. So inhuman a treatment filled the Carthaginians with horror: however, he did not spare even them, but murdered many senators who had ventured to oppose his tyranny:
Scipio, finding himself absolute master of the isthmus, burnt the camp, which the enemy had deserted, and built a new one for his troops. It was of a square form, surrounded with large and deep intrenchments, and fenced with strong palisades. On the side which faced the Carthaginians, he built a wall twelve feet high, flanked at proper distances with towers and redoubts; and on the middle tower, he erected a very high wooden fort, from whence could be seen whatever was doing in the city. This wall was equal to the whole breadth of the isthmus, that is, twenty-five stadia. The enemy, who were within bow-shot of it, employed their utmost efforts to put a stop to this work; but as the whole army were employed upon it day and night without intermission, it was finished in twenty-four days. Scipio reaped a double advantage from this work: First, his forces were lodged more safely and commodiously than before: Secondly, he cut off all provisions from the besieged, to whom none could now be brought but by sea; which was attended with many difficulties, both because the sea is frequently very tempestuous in that place, and because the Roman fleet kept a strict guard. This proved one of the chief causes of the famine which raged soon after in the city. Besides, Asdrubal distributed the corn that was brought
* Boch. in Phal. p. 512. † Appian. p. 72
It was he who had first commanded without the city, but having caused the other Asdrubal, Masinissa's grandson, to be put to death, he got the command of the troops within the walls. V Appian. p. 73 || Four miles and three quarters
only among the 30,000 men who served under him, caring very little what became of the rest of the inhabitants.
To distress them still more by the want of provisions,* Scipio attempted to stop up the mouth of the haven by a mole, beginning at the above-mentioned neck of land, which was near the harbour. The besieged, at first, looked upon this attempt as ridiculous, and accordingly they insulted the workmen; but, at last, seeing them make an astonishing progress every day, they began to be afraid; and to take such measures as might, if possible, render the attempt unsuccessful. Every one, to the women and children, fell to work, but so privately, that all that Scipio could learn from the prisoners, was, that they had heard a great noise in the harbour, but did not know the occasion of it. At last, all things being ready, the Carthaginians opened, on a sudden, a new outlet on the other side of the haven ; and appeared at sea with a numerous fleet, which they had just then built with the old materials found in their magazines. It is generally allowed, that had they attacked the Roman fleet directly, they must infallibly have taken it; because, as no such attempt was expected, and every man was elsewhere employed the Car thaginians would have found it without rowers, soldiers or officers. But the ruin of Carthage, says the historian, was decrced. Having therefore only offered a kind of insult or bravado to the Romans, they returned into the harbour.
Two days after,f they brought forward their ships, with a reso lution to fight in good earnest, and found the enemy ready for them. This battle was to determine the fate of both parties. The conflict was long and obstinate, each exerting themselves to the utmost ; the one to save their country, now reduced to the last extremity, and the other to complete their victory. During the fight, the Carthaginian brigantines running along under the large Roman ships, broke to pieces sometimes their sterns, and at other times their rudders and oars; and, when briskly attacked, retreated with surprising swiftness, and returned immediately to the charge. At last, after the two armies had fought with equal success till sun-set, the Carthaginians thought proper to retire; not that they believed themselves overcome, but in order to begin the fight on the morrow.. Part of their ships, not being able to run swiftly enough in the harbour, because the mouth of it was too narrow, took shelter under a very spacious terrace, which had been thrown up against the walls to unload goods, on the side of which a small rampart had been raised during this war, to prevent the enemy from possessing themselves of it. Here the fight was again renewed with more vigour than ever, and lasted till late at night. The Carthaginians suffered very much, and the few ships which got off, sailed for refuge to the city. Morning being come Scipio attacked the terrace, and carried it, though with great diffi culty ; after which he made a lodgment there, and Ortified himself
A. M. 3859.
on it, and built a brick wall close to those of the city audietbe satie height. When it was finished, he commanderi 4000 men to get on the top of it, and to discharge from it a perpetual shower of darts and arrows upon the enemy, which did great execution; because, as the two walls were of equal height, almost every dart took effect. Thus ended this campaign.
During the winter-quarters,* Scipio endeavoured to overpower the enemy's troops without the city, who very much harassed the convoys that brought his provisions, and protected such as were sent to the besieged. For this purpose he attacked a neighbouring fort, called Nepheris, where they used to shelter themselves. In the last action, above 70,000 of the enemy, as well soldiers as peasants, who had been enlisted, were cut to pieces; and the fort was carried with great difficulty, after sustaining a siege of two-and-twenty days. The seizure of this fort was followed by the surrender of almost all the strong holds in Africa ; and contributed very much to the taking of Carthage itself, into which, from that time, it was alınost impossible to bring any provisions.
Early in the spring, Scipio attacked, at one and the
same time, the harbour called Cothon, and the citadel. Having possessed himself of the wall which surrounded this port, he threw himself into the great square of the city that was near it, from whence was an ascent to the citadel, up three streets, on each side of which were houses, from the tops whereof a shower of darts was discharged upon the Romans, who were obliged, before they could advance farther, to force the houses they came first to, and post themselves in them, in order to dislodge from thence the enemy who fought from the neighbouring houses. The combat which was carried on from the tops, and in every part of the houses, continued six days, during which a dreadful slaughter was made. To clear the streets, and make way for the troops, the Romans dragged aside, with hooks, the bodies of such of the inhabitants as had been slain or precipitated headlong from the houses, and threw them into pits, the greatest part of them being still alive and panting. In this toil, which lasted six days and as many nights, the soldiers were relieved from time to time by fresh ones, without which they would have been quite spent. Scipio was the only person who did not take a wink of sleep all this time; giving orders in all places, and scarce allowing himself leisure to take the least refreshment.
There was every reason to believe, that the siege would last much longer, and occasion a great effusion of blood. But on the seventh day, there appeared a company of men in the posture and habit of suppliants, who des no other conditions, than that the Romans would please to spare the lives of all those who should be willing to leave the citadel: which request was granted them, only the deserters were excepted. Accordingly, there came out 50,000 men and women, who were sent into the fields under a strong guard. The deserters, who were about 900, finding they would not be allowed quarter, fortified themselves in the temple of Æsculapius, with Asdrubal, his wife, and two children; where, though their number was but small, they might have held out a long time, because the temple stood on a very high hill, upon rocks, the ascent to which was by sixty steps. But at last, exhausted by hunger and watching, oppressed with fear, and seeing their destruction at hand, they lost all patience; and abandoning the lower part of the temple, they retired to the uppermost story, resolved not to quit it but with their lives.
* Appian. p. 78.
Ibid. p. 79.
Appian. p. 81
In the meantime, Asdrubal, being desirous of saving his life, came down privately to Scipio, carrying an olive-branch in his hand, and threw himself ac his feet. Scipio showed him immediately to the deserters, who, transported with rage and fury at the sight, vented millions of imprecations against him, and set fire to the temple. Whilst it was kindling, we are told that Asdrubal's wife, dressing herself as splendidly as possible, and placing herself with her two children in sight of Scipio, addressed him with a loud voice: I call not down, says she, curses upon thy head, O Roman ; for thou only tukest the privilege allowed by the laws of war; but may the gods of Carthage, and thou in concert with them, punish, according to his deserts, the false wretch who has betrayed his country, his gods, his wife, his children! Then directing herself to Asdrubal-Perfidious wretch, says she, thou basest of men! this fire will presently consume both me and my children; but as to thee, unworthy general of Carthage, go, adorn the gay triumph of thy conqueror; suffer, in the sight of all Rome, the tortures thou so justly deservest. She had no sooner pronounced these words, than seizing her children, she cut their throats, threw them into the flames, and afterwards rushed into them herself; in which she was imitated by all the deserters.
With regard to Scipio,* when he saw this famous city, which had been so flourishing for 700 years, and might have been compared to the greatest empires, on account of the extent of its dominions, both by sea and land; its mighty armies; its fleets, elephants, and riches; while the Carthaginians were even superior to other nations by their courage and greatness of soul; as notwithstanding their being deprived of arms and ships, they had sustained, for three whole years, all the hardships and calamities of a long siege : seeing, I say, this city entirely ruined, historians relate, that he could not refuse his tears to the unhappy fate of Carthage. Fle reflected, that cities, nations, and empires, are liable to revolutions no less than private men; that the like sad fate had befallen Troy, anciently so powerful; and, in later times, the Assyrians, Medes and Persians, whose dominions were once of so great an extent; and very recently, the Macedonians, whose empire had been so glorious throughout the