Livy, History of Rome 24

LCL 355: 178-179

Go To Section
Go To Section
Tools

LIVY

evocare principes Locrensium ad conloquium iussit et pollicentes amicitiam Hannibalis adhortari ad urbem tradendam. 6Bruttiis in conloquio nullius rei primo fides est; deinde ut Poenus apparuit in collibus et refugientes pauci aliam omnem multitudinem in potestate hostium esse adferebant, tum metu victi consulturos se populum responderunt; 7advocataque extemplo contione, cum et levissimus quisque novas res novamque societatem mallent et quorum propinqui extra urbem interclusi ab hostibus erant, velut obsidibus datis pigneratos haberent animos, 8pauci magis taciti probarent constantem fidem quam propalam2 tueri auderent, haud dubio in speciem consensu fit ad Poenos deditio.

9L. Atilio, praefecto praesidii, quique cum eo milites Romani erant clam in portum deductis atque impositis in naves ut Regium deveherentur, Hamilcarem Poenosque ea condicione ut foedus extemplo aequis legibus fieret in urbem acceperunt; 10cuius rei prope non servata fides deditis est, cum Poenus dolo dimissum Romanum incusaret, Locrenses profugisse ipsum causarentur. 11insecuti etiam equites sunt, si quo casu in freto aestus morari aut deferre naves in terram posset. et eos quidem quos sequebantur non sunt adepti: alias a Messana traicientes freto Regium naves conspexerunt. 12milites erant Romani a Claudio praetore missi ad obtinendam urbem praesidio. itaque Regio extemplo abscessum est.

178

BOOK XXIV

walls, invite the leading Locrians to parley and then, promising them Hannibal’s friendship, urge them to surrender the city. In the parley the Bruttii from the start completely failed to win any confidence. Then, when the Carthaginians appeared on the hills and a small number of fugitives reported that the rest of their crowd was in enemy hands, they, caving in from fear, replied they would consult their people. An assembly being immediately called, since all the most feckless opted for a change of policy and change of alliance, those with kinsmen cut off by the enemy outside the city felt their loyalties just as compromised as if they had given hostages, while a few silently supported continued allegiance without daring to defend it openly. The result was capitulation to Carthage with what appeared to be clear unanimity.3

The garrison commander Lucius Atilius and the Roman soldiers under him were secretly escorted to the harbor and boarded for passage to Rhegium; and the people admitted Hamilcar and the Carthaginians on condition that a treaty be immediately struck on equitable terms. This guarantee to a people who surrendered was almost broken when the Carthaginians accused them of having underhandedly let the Romans go, while the Locrians claimed they had escaped on their own. There was even a cavalry pursuit on the off chance that the current might hold the ships in the strait or sweep them to shore. In fact, the cavalry did not overtake the men they were chasing but did catch sight of other vessels heading across the strait from Messana to Rhegium. These were Roman soldiers dispatched by the praetor Claudius to hold the city with a garrison. The Carthaginians therefore immediately left Rhegium.

179
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_24.2020