feries of Roman transactions, and often unfolded the connection between cause and effect. . This detail, most animated and interesting, imprelles on the reader, with great force, the opinion, or sentiment, he means to convey ; but one fourth only of Livy's performance has been preserved. The first ten books (as Dr. Ferguson observes) contain what may be called the antiquities down to the fifth century of Rome. His information concerning the earlier periods of that part of his history must have been, necessarily, very imperfect ; for, though records were said to have been kept even from the days of Romulus, and exposed to public inspection, yet, it is confeiled, that all these documents perished in the fourth century of the city, when Rome was destroyed by the Gauls. The authority of historians must, therefore, have been principally derived from tradition. From that circumstance Dr. Ferguson considers much of the narrative of those times as extremely doubtful, if not fabulous. When the archives were regularly formed and preserved, we may look for the first authentic information concerning Roman affairs. During fomewhat more than a century after this time, books of Livy are extant, and display, with great beauty, animation, and force, the progress of the Roman institutions and character, and their effects on the nations of Italy. But, when Rome had made herself mistress of the middle and southern distrias of that celebrated peninsula, the continuity of the Roman historian is, to us, unfortunately broken. We have not traced, by his bold pen, the commencement of Rome's interference in ultra-marine affairs; the rise and progress of her disputes and hostilities with Carthage ; the commencement, establishment, and success of her naval power: in short, the military events, general result, and character of the first Punic war. That important period of Roman history was to be learned from other authors. Of these, the most eminent were Polybius and Plutarch. Polybius, from the time in which he lived, from his military knowledge, from the vigour of his genius, and his profound political philosophy, in his works, afforded the most important information and instructive observations respecting both that and a subsequent period ; but his books are so far from being entire, that, of forty, five only remain, with some fragments of others. Plutarch has prefented separate portions of either history or tradition, in his biography of Roman characters, but does not supply the loss of Livy's account of the first Punic war, although, in his life of Fabius Maximus, and still more in that of Marcellus, he affords considerable knowledge respecting the plans and efforts of Rome, during her peace with Carthage, in subjugating the

tribes of Gauls who had possessed themselves of the northern parts of Italy. From the commencement of the second Punic war to the reduction of Macedonia, Livy's work is recovered, and contains a most interesting period of history when the was engaged in hoftilities with a most formidable rival of immense resources, brought into action under either the immediate conductor inspiring direction of one of the ableft men, greatest Generals, and most profound politicians that had ever appeared in any age or country :

“ Although," as Dr. Ferguson obferves, “ in point of times, this amounts to the greater part of the whole period of Livy's history; yet, compared to what must have followed, relating to transactions the most important, and to persons the most diftinguithed, of any age or nation, we must consider what has hitherto been reco. vered as but the meaner and less authentic part of the work,"

The period of which Livy's history is preserved, exhibited Roman genius and character as advancing in vigour. It was, as he sets forth in his introduction, a great part of his object, after having traced the national character in its progress to its perfection, at least the highest degree of perfection at which it arrived, to mark its retrogressive movements until it plunged into the abyss of despotism. Had the whole of a performance of such moment been preserved, a more uniform and complete view of Rome would have been presented than any that is to be derived from the works of any ancient writer, Even, however, the recovery of Livy's books would not have superseded the usefulness of an 'uniform history by a modern writer competent to the talk. The ardent imagination of Livy often hurries him into most striking and picturesque descriptions, exquisitely delightful, we admit, to the taste, when rigid adherence to fact, and exhibition of cause and effect in such a way as fact could justify, would have better answered the purposes of authentic history. The vivid sensibility of that eminent author sometimes operated so much as to preclude impartiality. We, not unfrequently, find in him the prejudices of a Roman; in his character, especially of Hannibal, and the principal opponents of Rome, penetrating and fagacious as Livy is, he sometimes views objects through a false medium. So much of the great production of Livy, · and the whole of the general history of Sallust being lost; part of Polybius having thared the same fate, and his performance only comprehending a particular portion of Roman transa&tions; the affairs of the republic, treated of by Plutarch, not being in a continued series, and no farther than they illustrated the characters of his several subjects, the history NO, XIV. VOL. III.



of Rome required to be collected from a variety of detached sources. Not few modern writers have professed to execute a history of that celebrated people ; some of them have succeeded so well through their indufiry, and acquaintance with ancient authors, as to compile sufficient materials in point of fact, and are very useful annalists. To ftring together facts, however, in the present age of knowledge and generalization, is far froin being the fole business of the historian. Men of genius and speculation have, from the details before them, formed political theories of great ability and importance; but a complete history of the progress and termination of the Roman republic, at once detailing and generalizing, exhibiting circumstance and situation, ftating operations and events, unfolding the nature and exertion of intellectual and moral qualities, deducing them from their cause, and tracing them in their effects, was long a defideratum in literature, reserved for the pen of a Ferguson to supply. Worthy, indeed, of the subject was the execution. As Dr. Gillies had exhibited a whole unbroken view of Grecian transactions, and Grecian character, Mr. Hume, of English transactions and English character, so did Dr. Ferguson of Roman transactions and Roman character. The sentiments of Ferguson contributed powerfully to the excellence of his work as well as his genius. An ardent admirer of virtue, but estimating, most highly, the lofty and sublimer qualities of the heart-energy, magna. nimity, benevolence, self-command, fortitude, he enters, with enthufiafm, on narratives replete with so many instances of such moral exertions. He is a great adınirer of ancient manners, at least, of the earlier ages of the Roman republic, as producing virtuous heroism, energy, and greatness of mind; in opposition to excessive refinement, generating feebleness and frivolity. “ The Romans," he says, “ poflèffed not the feeble ingenuity of mechanical artisans ; they were men to command artisans. Their very vices and excesses were those of strong minds.” But much as the author admires Roman vigour, when directed to just and virtuous objects, when vindicating their rights and independence, when resisting and punishing tyranny; when bearing up boldly and resolutely against the evils of adversity; when vanquishing misfortune by greatness of spirit, he accurately marks its misemployment in promoting purposes of encroachment and injustice. He discovers an ardent zeal for the rights of mankind, and expreffes himself with virtuous indignation against those enemies of their country, who raised themselves above the authority of law, trifled with the happiness of their fellow-citizens, and


subdued the liberties of those with whom it would have been more honourable to live on terms of equality.

Dr. Ferguson fhews himself thoroughly acquainted with not only thc moral and political history, but the military art and operations, of the Romans. We see the general tactics, the particular arrangements of each battle, the evolutions, the movements, every cause that produced victory or defeat. The author displays this knowledge with peculiar success, in those contests which the Romans had with disciplined troops, and with Generals of the highest skill. In Livy we do not see profound knowledge of military operations. The writer on Roman affairs, who gives the most accurate and able account of warlike proceedings, is Polybius. But the Legion underwent several important changes after the time in which that historian wrote. Dr. Ferguson has accurately investigated and studied the whole military system of the Romans in its progress and perfection. A specimen of his admirable skill in describing batties, we have in his account of the fight at Cannæ :

“ The Consuls, L, Emilius Paulus and C. Terentius Varro, de. scending by the Banks of the Aufidus, advanced, by mutual consent, within fix miles of the Carthaginian camp, which covered the village of Canna. Here they differed in their opinions; and, by a strange defect in the Roman policy, which, in times of less virtue, must have been altogether ruinous, in', even in these times, was ill-fitted to produce a consistent and well-supported series of measures, had no rule by which to decide their precedency, and were obliged to take the command each a day in his turn.

“ Varro, contrary to the opinion of his colleague, proposed to give battle on the plain ; and, with this intention, as often as the cornmand devolved upon himself, till advanced on the enemy. In order that he might occupy the passage, and both sides of the Aufidus, he encamped in two separate bodies, joined by a bridge, having the strength of his army on the right of the river, opposed to Hannibal's camp. From this position, itill taking the opportunity of his turn to command the army, he pailed, with the larger division, to a plain, supposed to be on the lefi of the Aufidus, and there, in a field which was too narrow 10 receive the legions in their usual form, he so compressed his order as to have no advantage of numbers in the extent of his front, making the depth of his manipules, or little columns; greatly to exceed the face which they turned to the enemy.*

“ He placed his cavalry on the flanks, the Roman Knights on his right towards the river, and the horsemen of the allies on his left.

Ποιεων το βαθος εν ταις Σπειραις Πολλαπλασία του μέλοπε. Vid. Polyb.


“ Hannibal

“ Hannibal no sooner saw this movement and dispofition of the enemy, than he haltened to meet them on the plain which they had - chosen for the field of action. He likewise palled the Aufidus, and : with his left to the river, and his front to the north, formed his army upon an equal line with that of the enemy.

“ He placed the Gaulish and Spanish cavalry on his left, facing the Roman knights, and the Numidians on his right, facing the allies.

The flanks of his infantry on the right and the left were com. posed of the African foot, armed in the Roman manner, with the pilum, the heavy buckler, and the stabbing sword, of which he had collected a sufficient assortment on the Trebia and the lake Thrafiminus. His contre, though opposed to the choice of the Roman k. gions, contifted of the Gaulish and Spanish foot, variously armed and intermingled together.

“ Hitherto no advantage seemed to be taken on either side. As the armies fronted the south and north, even the sun, which rofe foon after they were formed, shone upon the flanks, and was no disadvan. tage to either. The superiority of numbers was greatly on the side of the Romans, but Hannibal rested his hopes of victory on two circumstances ; firit, on a motion to be made by his cavalry, if they prevailed on either of the enemy's wings ; next, on a position he was to take with his centre, in order to begin the action from thence, to bring the Roman legions into some disorder, and expose them, under that disadvantage, to the attack which he was prepared to make with his veterans on both their flanks.

“ The action accordingly began with a charge of Gaulish and Spanith horse, who, being superior to the Roman knights, drove them from their grounds, forced them into the river, and put the greater part of them to the sword. By this event the flank of the Roman army, which might have been joined to the Aufidus, was entirely uncovered.

Having performed this service, the victorious cavalry had orders to wheel at full gallup, by the rear of their own army, and to join the Numidian horse on their right, who were still engaged with the Ro. man allies. Upon this unexpected junction, the left wing of the Roman army was likewise put to fight, and pursued by the African horse ; at the same time the Spanish cavalry prepared to attack the Roman infantry, whenever they should be ordered on the flank or rear.

While these important events took place on the wings, Hannibal amused the Roman legions of the main body with a singular movement that was made by the Gauls and Spaniards, and with which he proposed to begin the action. These came forward, not in a straight line abreaft, but swelling out to a curve in the centre, without disjoining their flanks "from the African infantry, who remained firm on their ground.

“ By this motion they formed a kind of crescent convex to the front. The Roman manipules of the right and the left, fearing, by

this fingular difpofition, to have no share in the action, hastened to bend their line into a corresponding curve, and, in proportion as they cime to close with the enemy, charged them with a confident and im. petuous courage. The Gauls and Spaniards reGifted this charge do


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