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elected into this office but persons of uncommon merit; and it was not judged proper to annex any sala. ry or reward to it, the single motive of the public good, being thought a tie sufficient to engage honest men to a conscientious and faithful discharge of their duty. • Polybius, in his account of the taking of New Carthage by Scipio distinguishes clearly two orders of magistrates established in Old Carthage ; for he says,
among the prisoners taken at New Carthage were two magis. trates belonging to the body or assembly of old men,' so he calls the council of the hundred and fifteen of the senate. 9 Livy' mentions only the fifteen of the senators; but, in another place, he names the old men ; and tells us, that they formed the most venerable council of the government, and had great authority in the senate.
Carthaginienses ; Oratores ad pacem petendam mittunt triginta seniorum principes. Id erat sanctius apud illos concilium, maximaque ad ipsum senatum regendum vis.
Establishments, though constituted with the est wisdom, and the justest harmony of parts, degen. erate, however, insensibly into disorder and the most destructive licentiousness. These judges, who, by the lawful execution of their power, were a terror to
• Lib. X. p. 824. Edit. Gronov. Ρ εκ της Γερασίας. .
1 εκ της Συγκλυτε. * Justin. lib. xxvi. n. 51. Lib. xxx. n. 16. • Mr. Rollin might have taken notice of some civil officers who were established at Carthage, with a power like that of the censors of Rome, to inspect the manners of the citizens. The chief of these officers took from Hamilcar, the fatier of Hannibal, a beautiful youth named Asdrubal, on a report that Hamilcar was more familiar with this youth than was consistent with modesty. Erat præterea cum eo, Amilcare, adolescens illustris et formosus, Hasdrubal, quem nonnulli diligi turpius, quam par erat
, ab Amilcare, loquebantur. Quo factum est ut a præfeeto morum H25drubal cum eo velaretur esse. Corn. Nep. in Vita Amilcaris.
transgressors, and the great pillars of justice, abusing their almost unlimited authority, became so many petty tyrants. We shall see this verified in the history of the great Hannibal, who, during his pretorship, after his return to Africa,' employed all his credit to reform so horrid an abuse, and made an authority, which before was perpetual, only annual, about two hundred years from the first founding the tribunal of the one hundred.
Defects in the Government of Carthage. Aristotle, among
other reflections made by him on the government of Carthage, remarks two great defects in it; both which, in his opinion, are repugnant to the views of a wise lawgiver and the maxims of good policy.
The first of these defects was, the investing the same person with different employments, which was considered at Carthage as a proof of uncommon merit. But Aristotle thinks this practice vastly prejudicial to a community; for, says this author, a man possessed but of one employment is much more capable of acquitting himself well in the execution of it ; because affairs are then examined with greater care, and sooner dispatched. We never see, continues our author, either by sea or land, the same officer commanding two different bodies, or the same pilot steering two ships. Besides, the welfare of the state requires that places and preferments should be divided, in order to excite an emulation among men of merit: whereas the bestowing of them on one man too often dazzles him by so distinguishing a preference, and always fills others with jealousy, discontent, and murmurs.
The second defect taken notice of by Aristotle in the government of Carthage, was, that in order for a man to attain the first posts, a certain estate was required, besides merit and a conspicuous birth; by which means poverty might exclude persons of the most exalted merit, which he considers as a great evil in a government. For then, says he, as virtue is wholly disregarded, and money is all powerful, because all things are attained by it, the admiration and desire of riches seize and corrupt the whole community. Add to this, that when magistrates and judges are obliged to pay large sums for their employments, they seem to have a right to reimburse themselves.
There is not, I believe, one instance in all antiquity, to show that employments, either in the state or the courts of justice, were sold. The expense, therefore, which Aristotle talks of here, to raise men to preferments in Carthage; must doubtless be understood of the presents that were given, in order to procure the votes of the electors; a practice, as Polybius observes, very common at Carthage, where no kind of gain was judged a disgrace." It is therefore no wonder that Aristotle should condemn a practice, whose consequences, it is very plain, may prove fatal to a govertment.
But in case he pretended that the chief employments of a state ought to be equally accessible to the rich and the poor, as he seems to insinuate; his opinion is refuted by the general practice of the wisest republics; for these, without any way demeaning or aspersing poverty, have thought that on this occasion the prefer
Ο Παρα Καρχηδονίοις εδεν αισχρον των ανηκοντων προς κερδος.
Polb. la vie
ence ought to be given to riches; because it is to be presumed, that the wealthy have received a better education, have nobler views, are more out of the reach of corruption, and less liable to commit base actions; and that even the state of their affairs makes them more affectionate to the government, inclines them to maintain peace and order in it, and to suppress whatever may tend to sedition and rebellion.
Aristotle, in concluding his reflections on the republic of Carthage, is much pleased with a custom practised in it, viz. of sending from time to time colonies into different countries, and in this manner procuring its citizens commodious settlements. This provided for the necessities of the poor, who, equally with the rich, are members of the state ; and it discharged Carthage of multitudes of lazy indolent people, who were its disgrace, and often proved dangerous to it. It prevented commotions and insurrections, by thus removing such persons as commonly occasion them, and who, being ever uneasy under their present circumstances, are always ready for innovations and tumults.
TRADE OF CARTHAGE, THE FIRST SOURCE OF ITS WEALTH
COMMERCE, strictly speaking, was the occupation of Carthage, the particular object of its industry, and its peculiar and predominant characteristic. It formed the greatest strength and the chief support of that commonwealth. In a word, we may affirm, that the power, the conquests, the credit, and glory of the Carthaginians, all flowed from trade.
Situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, and stretching out their arms both eastward and westward, the extent of their commerce took in all the known world, and wafted it to the coasts of Spain, of Mauri. tania, of Gaul, and beyond the straits and pillars of Hercules. They sailed to all countries, in order to buy at a cheap rate the superfluities of every nation, which by the wants of others became necessaries; and these they sold to them at the dearest rate. From Egypt the Carthaginians fetched fine flax, paper, corn, sails and cables for ships; from the coast of the Red Sea, spices, frankincense, perfumes, gold, pearls, and precious stones; from Tyre and Phenicia, purple and scarlet, rich stuffs, tapestry, costly furniture, and divers very curious and artificial works; in fine, they fetched from various countries, all things that are absolutely necessary, or capable of contributing to ease, luxury, and the delights of life. They brought back from the western parts of the world, in return for the commodities carried thither, iron, tin, lead, and copper. By the sale of these various commodities, they enriched themselves at the expense of all nations, and put under a kind of contribution, which was so much the surer as it was spontaneous.
In thus becoming the factors and agents of all nations, they had made themselves lords of the sea; the band which held the east, the west, and south together; and the necessary channel of their communication; so that Carthage rose to be the common city, and the centre of the trade of all those nations which the sea separated from one another.