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To the later generations who survived the storms of the revolution, the period after the Hannibalic War appeared the golden age of Rome, and Cato seemed the model of the Roman statesman. It was in reality the calm before the storm and an epoch of political mediocrities, an age like that of the government of Walpole in England; and no Chatham was found in Rome to infuse fresh energy into the stagnant life of the nation. Wherever we cast our eyes, chinks and rents are yawning in the old building; we see workmen busy sometimes in filling them up, sometimes in enlarging them, but we nowhere perceive any trace of preparations for thoroughly rebuilding or renewing it, and the question is no longer whether, but simply when, the structure will fall. During no epoch did the Roman constitution remain formally as stable as in the period from the Sicilian to the third Macedonian war, and for a generation beyond it; but the stability of the constitution was here, as everywhere, not a sign of the health of the state, but a token of the incipient sickness and the harbinger of revolution. — Mommsen.
Nay, he [Marcus Cato] never after this gave his opinion, but at the end he would be sure to come out with this sentence: "Also, Carthage, methinks, ought utterly to be destroyed." But Publius Scipio Nasica would always declare his opinion to the contrary, in these words: "It seems requisite to me that Carthage should still stand." For, seeing his countrymen to be grown wanton and insolent, and the people made, by their prosperity, obstinate and disobedient to the senate, and drawing the whole city whither they would after them, he would have had the fear of Carthage to serve as a bit to hold in the contumacy of the multitude; and he looked upon the Carthaginians as too weak to overcome the Romans and too great to be despised by them. On the other hand, it seemed a perilous thing to Cato, that a city which had been always great, and was now grown sober and wise by reason of its former calamities, should still lie, as it were, in wait for the follies and dangerous excesses of the overpowerful Roman people; so that he thought it the wisest course to have all outward dangers removed, when they had so many inward ones among themselves. — Plutarch.
In 149 B. c. a Third Punic War broke out, and resulted in the destruction of Carthage, in 146 B. C, by the Roman general Scipio (the younger). The city was fired
ations who survived the storms of the revoluhe Hannibalic War appeared the golden age of d the model of the Roman statesman. It was ore the storm and an epoch of political mediat of the government of Walpole in England; found in Rome to infuse fresh energy into the tion. Wherever we cast our eyes, chinks and he old building; we see workmen busy some. up, sometimes in enlarging them, but we
trace of preparations for thoroughly rebuildI the question is no longer whether, but simply will fall. During no epoch did the Roman ormally as stable as in the period from the acedonian war, and for a generation beyond it; le constitution was here, as everywhere, not a he state, but a token of the incipient sickness volution. - MOMMSEN. toj never after this gave his opinion, but at the o come out with this sentence: “ Also, Carthage, to be destroyed.” But Publius Scipio Nasica
and destroyed, and the Carthaginian territory became the
VIRGIL. Tr. Dryden.
SPENSER. Then occurred that which has no parallel in history, - an entire civilization perished at one blow, vanished like a falling star. The “Periplus” of Hanno, a few coins, a score of lines in Plautus, and, lo ! all that remains of the Carthaginian world. — MICHELET.
A state perisbed in which Rome lost what could never be restored to her, - a noble rival. — SCHMITZ.
The most shameful and fiendish perfidy of which any nation was ever the victim. — IANE.
The ruins of Carthage have perished ; and the place might be unknown if some broken arches of an aqueduct did not guide the footsteps of the inquisitive traveller. — GIBBON.
his opinion to the contrary, in these words : ) me that Carthage should still stand.” For, 1 to be grown wanton and insolent, and the
ir prosperity, obstinate and disobedient to ing the whole city whither they would after had the fear of Carthage to serve as a bit to y of the multitude ; and he looked upon the veak to overcome the Romans and too great to On the other hand, it seemed a perilous thing ich had been always great, and was now grown ison of its former calamities, should still lie, as he follies and dangerous excesses of the overle ; so that he thought it the wisest course to gers removed, when they had so many inward
Great Carthage low in ruins cold doth lie,
Her ruins poor the herbs in height can pass ;
Tasso. Tr. Fairfax.
.S. - PLUTARCH.
Third Punic War broke out, and reruction of Carthage, in 146 B. C., by the ipio (the younger). The city was fired
Well was avenging Scipio's task performed,
Delenda est Carthago I let the tear
Still drop, deserted Carthage, on thy bier;
Let mighty nations pause as they survey
The world's great empires crumbled to decay;
And, hushing every rising tone of pride,
Deep in the heart this moral lesson hide,
Which speaks with hollow voice as from the dead,
Of beauty faded and of glory fled, —
Delenda est Carthago.
Before the destruction of Carthage, the senate and people managed the affairs of the republic with mutual moderation and forbearance; there were no contests among the citizens for honor or ascendency, but the dread of an enemy kept the state in order. When that fear, however, was removed from their minds, licentiousness and pride, evils which prosperity loves to foster, immediately began to prevail; and thus peace, which they had so eagerly desired in adversity, proved, when they had obtained it, more grievous and fatal than adversity itself. The Patricians carried their authority, and the people their liberty, to excess; every man took, snatched, and seized what he could. There was a complete division into two factions, and the republic was torn in pieces between them. Yet the nobility still maintained an ascendency by conspiring together; for the strength of the people, being disunited and dispersed among a multitude, was less able to exert itself. Things were accordingly directed, both at home and in the field, by the will of a small number of men, at whose disposal were the treasury, the provinces, offices, honors, and triumphs, while the people were oppressed with military service and with poverty, and the generals divided the spoils of war with a few of their friends. The parents and children of the soldiers, meantime, if they chanced to dwell near a powerful neighbor, were driven from their homes. Thus avarice, leagued with power, disturbed, violated, and wasted everything, without moderation or restraint, disregarding alike reason and religion, and rushing headlong, as it were, to its own destruction. — Sallust.
For when their dread of Carthage was at an end, and their rival in empire was removed, the nation, deserting the cause of virtue, went over, not gradually, but with precipitation, to that of vice; the old rules of conduct were renounced, and new introduced; and the people turned themselves from activity to slumber, from arms to pleasure, from business to idleness. — Velleius Paterculus.
GREECE A ROMAN PROVINCE.
In 146 B. c., the same year in which she destroyed Carthage, Eome also destroyed Corinth in Greece, and Greece became a Eoman province under the name of Achaia.
'T is Greece, but living Greece no more!
The Greeks surpass all men till they face the Romans, when Roman character prevails over Greek genius. — Emerson.
As far as intellect is concerned, the Greeks were in a state of complete decay; at Athens schools indeed still existed, but poetry was extinct, and even the art of oratory, the last flower of the Hellenic mind, had disappeared from Greece and established itself among the Asiatic nations, which had become Hellenized without possessing the great qualities of the Greek nation. Most towns were only shadows of what they had been, and there were few which had not been destroyed several times. Corinth wTas one of the fortunate exceptions, and hence had become the most flourishing of all Greek cities. — Niebuhr.
The conquerors, brave and resolute, faithful to their engagements, and strongly influenced by religious feelings, were, at the same time, ignorant, arbitrary, and cruel. With the vanquished people were deposited all the art, the science, and the literature of the Western world. In poetry, in philosophy, in painting, in architecture, in sculpture, they had no rivals. Their manners were polished, their perceptions acute, their invention ready; they were tolerant, affable, humane. But of courage and sincerity they were almost utterly destitute. — Macaulat.
For should a man except the achievement at Marathon, the sea-fight at Salamis, the engagements at Platsea and Thermopylae, Cimon's exploits at Eurymedon and on the coasts of Cyprus, Greece fought all her battles against, and to enslave, herself; she erected all her trophies to her own shame and misery, and was brought to ruin and desolation almost wholly by the guilt and ambition of her great men. — Plutarch.
In Greece the unity of the social principle led to a development of wonderful rapidity; no other people ever ran so brilliant a career in so short a time. But Greece had hardly become glorious, before she appeared worn out; her decline, if not quite so rapid as her rise, was strangely sudden. It seems as if the principle which called Greek civilization into life was exhausted. — Guizot.
When we reflect on the fame of Thebes and Argos, of Sparta and Athens, we can scarcely persuade ourselves that so many immortal republics of ancient Greece were lost in a single province of the Roman Empire, which, from the superior influence of the Achaean League, was usually denominated the province of Achaia. — Gibbon.
It is a just though trite observation, that victorious Rome was herself subdued by the arts of Greece. — Gibbon.
The interior, or active political history of the Greeks ceases with the subjugation of their country by Alexander, or at least by the Romans; but it is from this very point that the history of their exterior influence may be said almost to commence. From this period we begin to learn how important a part the little corner of Europe, which gave birth to art and science, to politics and philosophy, was really destined to play in human affairs. — Merivaee.
When conquered Greece brought in her captive arts,
Horace. Tr. Francis.