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Jewish History From The Babylonian Captivity To The Birth Of Christ

The Antediluvian World

The Hebrew Race From Abraham To The Sale Of Joseph

The Civil Wars Between Caesar And Pompey

Grecian Civilization Before The Persian Wars

Rome In Its Infancy Under Kings

The Conquest Of Canaan To The Establishment Of The Kingdom Of David


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Jewish History From The Babylonian Captivity To The Birth Of Christ

The Antediluvian World

The Hebrew Race From Abraham To The Sale Of Joseph

The Civil Wars Between Caesar And Pompey

Grecian Civilization Before The Persian Wars

Rome In Its Infancy Under Kings

The Conquest Of Canaan To The Establishment Of The Kingdom Of David





Roman Conquests From The Fall Of Carthage To The Times Of The Gracchi








Although the Roman domination now extended in some form or other over most
of the countries around the Mediterranean, still several States remained
to be subdued, in the East and in the West.

The subjugation of Spain first deserves attention, commenced before the
close of the third Punic war, and which I have omitted to notice for the
sake of clearness of connection.


After the Hannibalic war, we have seen how Rome planted her armies in
Spain, and added two provinces to her empire. But the various tribes were
far from being subdued, and Spain was inhabited by different races.

This great peninsula, bounded on the north by the ocean
Cantabricus, now called the Bay of Biscay, and the Pyrenees, on the east
and south by the Mediterranean, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, was
called Iberia, by the Greeks, from the river Iberus, or Ebro. The term
Hispania was derived from the Phoenicians, who planted colonies on the
southern shores. The Carthaginians invaded it next, and founded several
cities, the chief of which was New Carthage. At the end of the second
Punic war, it was wrested from them by the Romans, who divided it into two
provinces, Citerior and Ulterior. In the time of Augustus, Ulterior Spain
was divided into two provinces, called Lusitania and Baetica, while the
Citerior province, by far the larger, occupying the whole northern country
from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, was called Tanagona. It included
three-fifths of the peninsula, or about one hundred and seven thousand
three hundred square miles. It embraced the modern provinces of Catalonia,
Aragon, Navarre, Biscay, Asturias, Galicia, Northern Leon, old and new
Castile, Murcia, and Valentia, and a part of Portugal. Baetica nearly
corresponded with Andalusia, and embraced Granada, Jaen, Cordova, Seville,
and half of Spanish Estremadura. Lusitania corresponds nearly with
Portugal.

The Tanaconneusis was inhabited by numerous tribes, and the chief
ancient cities were Barcelona, Tanagona the metropolis, Pampeluna, Oporto,
Numantia, Saguntum, Saragossa, and Cartagena. In Baetica were Cordova,
Castile, Gades, and Seville. In Lusitania were Olisipo (Lisbon), and
Salamanca.

Among the inhabitants of these various provinces were Iberians,
Celts, Phoenicians, and Hellenes. In the year 154 B.C., the Lusitanians,
under a chieftain called Punicus, invaded the Roman territory which the
elder Scipio had conquered, and defeated two Roman governors. The Romans
then sent a consular army, under Q. Fulvius Nobilior, which was ultimately
defeated by the Lusitanians under Caesarus. This success kindled the flames
of war far and near, and the Celtiberians joined in the warfare against
the Roman invaders. Again the Romans were defeated with heavy loss. The
Senate then sent considerable re-enforcements, under Claudius Marcellus,
who soon changed the aspect of affairs. The nation of the Arevacae
surrendered to the Romans--a people living on the branches of the Darius,
near Numantia--and their western neighbors, the Vaccaei, were also subdued,
and barbarously dealt with. On the outbreak of the third Punic war the
affairs of Spain were left to the ordinary governors, and a new
insurrection of the Lusitanians took place. Viriathus, a Spanish
chieftain, signally defeated the Romans, and was recognized as king of all
the Lusitanians. He was distinguished, not only for bravery, but for
temperance and art, and was a sort of Homeric hero, whose name and
exploits were sounded throughout the peninsula. He gained great victories
over the Roman generals, and destroyed their armies. General after general
was successively defeated. For five years this gallant Spaniard kept the
whole Roman power at bay, and he was only destroyed by treachery.

While the Lusitanians at the South were thus prevailing over the
Roman armies on the bunks of the Tagus, another war broke out in the North
among the Celtiberian natives. Against these people Quintus Caecilius
Metellus, the consul, was sent. He showed great ability, and in two years
reduced the whole northern province, except the two cities of Termantia
and Numantia. These cities, wearied at last with war, agreed to submit to
the Romans, and delivered up hostages and deserters, with a sum of money.
But the Senate, with its usual policy, refused to confirm the treaty of
its general, which perfectly aroused the Numantines to resentment and
despair. These brave people obtained successes against the Roman general
Laenas and his successors, Mancinus and M. AEmilius Lepides, as well as
Philus and Piso.

The Romans, aroused at last to this inglorious war, which had
lasted nearly ten years, resolved to take the city of the Numantines at
any cost, and intrusted the work to Scipio AEmilianus, their best general.
He spent the summer (B.C. 134) in extensive preparations, and it was not
till winter that he drew his army round the walls of Numantia, defended by
only eight thousand citizens. Scipio even declined a battle, and fought
with mattock and spade. A double wall of circumvallation, surmounted with
towers, was built around the city, and closed the access to it by the
Douro, by which the besieged relied upon for provisions. The city
sustained a memorable siege of nearly a year, and was only reduced by
famine. The inhabitants were sold as slaves, and the city was leveled with
the ground. The fall of this fortress struck at the root of opposition to
Rome, and a senatorial commission was sent to Spain, in order to organize
with Scipio the newly-won territories, and became henceforth the
best-regulated country of all the provinces of Rome.

But a graver difficulty existed with the African, Greek, and
Asiatic States that had been brought under the influence of the Roman
hegemony, which was neither formal sovereignty nor actual subjection. The
client States had neither independence nor peace. The Senate,
nevertheless, perpetually interfered with the course of African, Hellenic,
Asiatic, and Egyptian affairs. Commissioners were constantly going to
Alexandria, to the Achaean diet, and to the courts of the Asiatic princes,
and the government of Rome deprived the nations of the blessings of
freedom and the blessings of order.

It was time to put a stop to this state of things, and the only way
to do so was to convert the client States into Roman provinces. After the
destruction of Carthage, the children of Masinissa retained in substance
their former territories, but were not allowed to make Carthage their
capital. Her territories became a Roman province, whose capital was Utica.

Macedonia also disappeared, like Carthage, from the ranks of
nations. But the four small States into which the kingdom was parceled
could not live in peace. Neither Roman commissioners nor foreign arbiters
could restore order. At this crisis a young man appeared in Thrace, who
called himself the son of Perseus. This pseudo-Philip, for such was his
name, strikingly resembled the son of Perseus. Unable to obtain
recognition in his native country, he went to Demetrius Sotor, king of
Syria. By him he was sent to Rome. The Senate attached so little
importance to the man, that he was left, imperfectly guarded, in an
Italian town, and fled to Miletus. Again arrested, and again contriving to
escape, he went to Thrace, and obtained a recognition from Teres, the
chief of the Thracian barbarians. With his support he invaded Macedonia,
and obtained several successes over the Macedonian militia. The Roman
commissioner Nasica, without troops, was obliged to call to his aid the
Achaean and Pergamene soldiers, until defended by a Roman legion under the
praetor Juventius. Juventius was slain by the pretender, and his army cut
to pieces. And it was not until a stronger Roman array, under Quintus
Caecilius Metellus, appeared, that he was subdued. The four States into
which Macedonia had been divided were now converted into a Roman province,
B.C. 148, and Macedonia became, not a united kingdom, but a united
province, with nearly the former limits.

The defense of the Hellenic civilization now devolved on the Romans, but
was not conducted with adequate forces or befitting energy, and the petty
States were therefore exposed to social disorganization, and the Greeks
evidently sought to pick a quarrel with Rome.

Hence the Achaean war, B.C. 149. It is not of much historical
importance. It was commenced under Metellus, and continued under Mummius,
who reduced the noisy belligerents to terms, and entered Corinth, the seat
of rebellion, and the first commercial city of Greece. By order of the
Senate, the Corinthian citizens were sold into slavery, the fortifications
of the city leveled with the ground, and the city itself was sacked. The
mock sovereignty of leagues was abolished, and all remains of Grecian
liberty fled.

In Asia Minor, after the Seleucidae were driven away, Pergamus
became the first power. But even this State did not escape the jealousy of
the Romans, and with Attalus III. the house of Attalids became extinct.

He, however, had bequeathed his kingdom to the Romans, and his
testament kindled a civil war. Aristonicus, a natural son of Eumenes II.,
made his appearance at Lecuae, a small sea-port near Smyrna, as a pretender
to the crown. He was defeated by the Ephesians, who saw the necessity of
the protection and friendship of the Roman government. But he again
appeared with new troops, and the struggle was serious, since there were
no Roman troops in Asia. But, B.C. 131, a Roman army was sent under the
consul Publius Licinius Crassus Mucianus, one of the wealthiest men of
Rome, distinguished as an orator and jurist. This distinguished general
was about to lay siege to Leucae, when he was surprised and taken captive,
and put to death. His successor, Marcus Perpenua, was fortunate in his
warfare, and the pretender was taken prisoner, and executed at Rome. The
remaining cities yielded to the conqueror, and Asia Minor became a Roman
province.

In other States the Romans set up kings as they chose. In Syria,
Antiochus Eupater was recognized over the claims of Demetrius Sotor, then
a hostage in Rome. But he contrived to escape, and seized the government
of his ancestral kingdom. But it would seem that the Romans, at this
period, did not take a very lively interest in the affairs of remote
Asiatic States, and the decrees of the Senate were often disregarded with
impunity. A great reaction of the East took place against the West, and,
under Mithridates, a renewed struggle again gave dignity to the Eastern
kingdoms, which had not raised their heads since the conquests of
Alexander. That memorable struggle will be alluded to in the proper place.
It was a difficult problem which Rome undertook when she undertook to
govern the Asiatic world. It was easy to conquer; it was difficult to
rule, when degeneracy and luxury became the vices of the Romans
themselves. We are now to trace those domestic dissensions and civil wars
which indicate the decline of the Roman republic. But before we describe
those wars, we will take a brief survey of the social and political
changes in Rome at this period.





Next: Roman Civilization At The Close Of The Third Punic War And The Fall Of Greece

Previous: The Third Punic War



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