Young Folks' History of Rome eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about Young Folks' History of Rome.
Greeks and Syrians being overthrown by 50,000 Romans.  Neither Africanus nor Hannibal were present in this battle, since the first was ill, and the second was besieged in a city in Pamphylia; but while terms of peace were being made, the two are said have met on friendly terms, and Scipio asked Hannibal whom he thought the greatest of generals.  “Alexander,” was the answer.  “Whom the next greatest?” “Pyrrhus.”  “Whom do you rank as the third?” “Myself,” said Hannibal.  “But if you had beaten me?” asked Scipio.  “Then I would have placed myself before Alexander.”

[Illustration:  HANNIBAL]

The Romans insisted that Hannibal should be dismissed by Antiochus, though Scipio declared that this was ungenerous; but they dreaded his never-ceasing enmity; and when he took refuge with the king of Bothnia, they still required that he should be given up or driven a way.  On this, Hannibal, worn-out and disappointed, put an end to his own life by poison, saying he would rid the Romans of their fear of an old man.

The provinces taken from Antiochus were given to Eumenes, king of Pergamus, who was to reign over them as tributary to the Romans.  Lucius Scipio received the surname of Asiaticus, and the two brothers returned to Rome; but they had been too generous and merciful to the conquered to suit the grasping spirit that had begun to prevail at Rome, and directly after his triumph Lucius was accused of having taken to himself an undue share of the spoil.  His brother was too indignant at the shameful accusation to think of letting him justify himself, but tore up his accounts in the face of the people.  The tribune, Naevius, thereupon spitefully called upon him to give an account of the spoil of Carthage taken twenty years before.  The only reply he gave was to exclaim, “This is the day of the victory of Zama.  Let us give thanks to the gods for it;” and he led all that was noble and good in Rome with him to the temple of Jupiter and offered the anniversary sacrifice.  No one durst say another word against him or his brother; but he did not choose to remain among the citizens who had thus insulted him, but went away to his estate at Liternum, and when he died, desired to be buried there, saying that he would not even leave his bones to his ungrateful country.  The Cornelian family was the only one among the higher Romans who buried instead of burning their dead.  He left no son, only a daughter, who was married to Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, a brave officer who was among those who were sent to finish reducing Spain.  It was a long, terrible war, fought city by city, inch by inch; but Gracchus is said to have taken no less than three hundred fortresses.  But he was a milder conqueror than some of the Romans, and tried to tame and civilize the wild races instead of treating them with the terrible severity shown by Marcus Porcius Cato, the sternest of all old Romans.  However, by the year 178 Spain had been reduced to obedience, and the cities and the coast were in good order, though the mountains harbored fierce tribes always ready for revolt.

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Young Folks' History of Rome from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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