Slike strani
PDF
ePub

commanders sought an asylum amid the tombs of Hanno and Hamilcar ; and when a slave of Sextilius, the prefect of Africa, carried an order to the fugitive desiring him to quit the dilapidated walls which served him for a retreat, “Go tell thy master,” replied the fallen consul, “ that thou hast seen Marius seated upon the ruins of Carthage.”.

The conflict between Pompey and Cæsar was at length extended to the fields and deserts of Barbary. Juba, whose claims had been opposed in the senate by the latter of these warriors, took part with his antagonist, and joined himself to the remains of the fine army which had been broken at Pharsalia. The conqueror himself soon afterward appeared in Africa, where his talents and fortune produced their wonted effects ; subduing the more resolute of his enemies, and gaining the favour of those who were influenced by personal motives rather than by zeal for the cause in which they had engaged. Scipio Metellus, the father-in-law of Pompey, was defeated and put to death. The Numidian king, in order to escape from falling into the hands of the victor, induced his own friend, Petreius, to run him through the body. Cato slew himself at Utica; and Sylla, who was taken by one of Cæsar's lieutenants, was in a very summary manner deprived of life. Bocchus and Bogud, kings of Mauritania, who had alternately fought under the banners of the two great rivals, lost, in the end, both their lives and their dominions; and hence, at the period when Augustus ascended the imperial throne, the whole of Barbary belonged to the Romans, or at least acknowledged them as the supreme rulers.*

But although Northern Africa was thus reduced into the form of a province, the new emperor was too well acquainted with the manners of the people, and with the vast difference which still subsisted between their consuetudinal laws and the statutes of a civilized nation, to place the Numidian states under the superintendence of a Roman deputy. He therefore resolved to confer the honour of sovereignty upon young Juba, the son of the late king, who being a mere infant at the death of his father, was educated in Italy, and trained in all the accomplishments which became his rank. As his dispositions were not inferior to his genius, which was of the highest order, he acquired the esteem of Augustus,

* A. Hirt. Pans. de Bello Africano, cap. 73–75.

who carried him as a companion in all his expeditions; and at the end of the civil war, when the family of Cleopatra were received under his protection, he married his royal captive to a daughter of the Egyptian queen, giving her as a dowry the crowns of Mauritania and Numidia.

This descendant of Micipsa is represented by historians as a very extraordinary person, and his works have been highly celebrated by learned men. According to Pliny, who frequently quotes his writings, he was a curious and indefatigable collector of valuable records—extracting them from the Greek, Latin, Punic, and African chronicles, and connecting them in a continuous narrative with the greatest accuracy. He was, says the same historian, more distinguished for his erudition than by his kingly power. *

This amiable prince was succeeded by his son Ptolemy, who owed his name to his mother's family, and who inherited the least auspicious part of their fortunes. A revolt of his subjects, headed by a brave though unprincipled leader, who is known to history under the appellation of Tacfarinas, not only disturbed his government several years, but also employed the arms of Rome in a very doubtful war. Tacitus remarks, that many generals contented themselves with triumphal honours, without exerting their strength to subdue the enemy. At Rome had been erected no fewer than three statues crowned with laurel, and yet Africa was still ravaged by the insurgents, who, disgusted with the conduct of some of Ptolemy's officers, preferred an honourable war to an inglorious vassalage. Their place of retreat was the territory of Garamantis, whose prince shared in the spoil, though without sending his troops into the field. Lolabella, the proconsul, whose force had been unduly diminished by the recall of the ninth legion, found it necessary to attack his enemy under the cloud of night. Hearing that the Numidians had taken possession of a wood as a safe place of encampment, he made a forced march with his cavalry and light-armed foot, and falling upon them while still asleep, and their horses at pasture, he gained an easy and a most complete victory. The Romans, irritated by the fatiguing service in which they had been so long employed, and stung by the remembrance of several discomfitures, failed not to

* Plin., Hist. Nat., lib.v., c. ). Tacit., Annal., lib. iv., c. im

take ample revenge on their unresisting foes. The main object of their desire, however, was the life or captivity of Tacfarinas ; being satisfied that as long as he should survive, the disaffected Africans would never be without a rallying point, a standard to follow, and a general to lead. But this brave rebel had determined that the soldiers of Augustus should not exult over him as a prisoner. Perceiving that all his guards were cut in pieces, that his son was already taken, and his adversaries pouring in thickly upon him, he sprang undauntedly forward into the midst of his assailants, and sold his life at a dear price.*

Ptolemy did not long enjoy the peace which was purchased at the expense of so much blood ; for being invited to Rome by the Emperor Caligula, he was barbarously murdered at the command of that tyrant, who either coveted his riches or envied his popularity. He was the last king of Africa for many ages; his dominions at his death being incorporated with the contiguous provinces, and governed by a pretor or proconsul. Mauritania, on this occasion, was divided into two sections-a measure which was not accomplished without some disturbance and much bloodshed ; for Ædemon, one of the freedmen of the late sovereign, took up arms to revenge his death. This war, which was prosecuted with various success, continued some years during the reign of Claudius, and, indeed, appears not to have reached its termination till near the middle of the first century ; various leaders having sprung up to vindicate the independence of Western Africa, which, before these troubles, had not been approached by a Roman army.t

Having brought down the narrative of events, so far as they can be ascertained from authentic history, to the memorable epoch when the Roman empire gave laws to the greater part of the civilized world, and changed the form of supreme power in most of the ancient nations whose shores were washed by the Mediterranean, it may be convenient to pause until we shall have given a short sketch of the constitution and commerce of the Barbary States at the remote era to which our attention is now directed,

* Annal., lib. iv., c. 15. + Dion Cassius, lib. 59. Seneca, de tranquil. Vitæ. Plin., lib. v., c. 1, 2. Sueton in vita Calig., sect 26.

CHAPTER II.

Constitution, Commerce, and Navigation of the Phænician

Colonies on the coast of Barbary. Independence of the federated Towns, Utica, Leptis, &c.

Predominance of Carthage-Constancy of her GovernmentIts Progress described-Originally a Monarchy, but gradually became aristocratical-House of Mago-Rights of the People exercised in public Assemblies-And in the Election of Magis. trates-Decided in all questions in which the Kings and Senate could not agree-Constitution and Power of the Senate-The Select Council, The Kings or Suffetes-Distinction between the King and a General-Some resemblance to Roman Consuls and Hebrew Judges-Wise Administration of Justice -No judicial Assemblies of the People—Basis of Power occupied by the Senate-Trade and Coinmerce of CarthageInherited from the Phænicians-Her Position favourable, Engrossed the Trade of Africa and Southern Europe-Opposed by the Greeks at Marseilles-Her intercourse with Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, and the Balearic Isles-The Mines of Spain attract her Notice-Carthaginian Dealers penetrate into Gaul-Colonies in the Atlantic— The western Coasts of Spain-Voyages to Britain and the Tin Islands-Poem of Festus Avienus—Trade in Amber-Question whether the Carthaginians ever entered the Baltic-Voyage of Hanno towards the South-Colonies planted on the western Coast of Africa—The Towns built in that Quarter—The Carthaginians discovered Madeira–The Date at which the Expeditions of Hanno and Hamilco took place-Proofs that Carthage must have attained great Power and Civilization-Her Libra. ries-Agriculture-Splendid Villas-Rich Meadows and Gardens-Her extensive Land trade across the Desert-Her warlike Propensities—Causes of her Decline and Fall.

Of the trading towns or smaller states which owned a subordination to Carthage, some were colonies which had sprung immediately from herself, and others were settlements founded by their common parent, the wealthy city of Tyre. Sallust, who had good means of information on this subject, informs his readers, that not only Utica and Leptis, but also Adrumetum, Hippo, and other large towns on the

coast, were of Phænician origin.* These establishments are also understood to have been free and independent from the beginning; every one, with a moderate territory annexed to it, forming a little republic. Hence, the Carthaginians, even when they had attaineù their greatest degree of power, did not exercise an absolute government over these colonial sovereignties ; but rather, on all proper occasions, were ready to acknowledge their constitutional freedom, and likewise their right of entering into separate alliances with foreign nations. This opinion is supported by the remarkable fact, mentioned by Polybius, that, in a commercial treaty between them and the Romans, made in the year 348 before Christ, it is said, “ upon these conditions shall be peace between Rome and hoi allies, and between Carthage, Utica, and their allies.” Here, it is obvious, Utica is recognised as on a Cooting of equality with the larger state, and as having the privilege of contracting, in regard to trade, a friendly intercourse

with the Roman commonwealth, then fast approaching to her political supremacy.

It cannot be concealed, at the same time, that the greater riches and population of the colony founded by Dido, secured for it a predominating influence over the others, which appear to have conceded, without reluctance, that pre-eminence in public affairs which belonged to the mother-cities of Greece. Aristotle, who was well acquainted with the different constitutions which prevailed in his age, mentions, as a peculiar circumstance in the Carthaginian government, that, down to his own days, it had undergone no very great change, either from the impatience of its citizens or the usurpation of tyrants--a proof that its principles were at once well balanced and judiciously administered. In common with Athens, Rome, Sparta, and the other celebrated democracies of ancient times, this Phænician community, as we have just observed, presented the general character of having a single city for its head; and hence, however great the dominions of the metropolis might become, the govern

* Sallust. Jugurth., c. 19.—“Postea Phænices, alii multituidinis domi minuendæ gratia, pars imperii cupidine, solicitata plebe et aliis novarum rerum avidis, Hipponem, Hadrumetum, Leptim aliasque urbes in ora maritima condidere.”—Polyb., lib. i., c. 1. Heeren vol. i., p. 43.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »