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The most considerable personages of the city were not ashamed to trade. They applied themselves to it as industriously as the meanest citizens; and their great wealth did not make them less in love with the diligence, patience, and labour, which are necessary for the acquiring them. To this they owed their empire of the sea, the splendor of their republic, their being able to dispute for the superiority with Rome itself, and their elevation of power, which forced the Romans to carry on a bloody and doubtful war, for upwards of forty years, in order to humble and subdue this haughty rival. In fine, Rome, even in its triumphant state, thought Carthage was not to be entirely reduced any other way, than by depriving that city of the benefit of its commerce, by which it had so long been enabled to resist the whole strength of that mighty republic.
However, it is no wonder, that as Carthage came in a manner out of the greatest school of traffic in the world, I mean Tyre, she should have been crowned with such rapid and uninterrupted success.
The very vessels on which its founders had been conveyed into Africa were afterwards employed by them in their trade. They began to make settlements upon the coasts of Spain, in those ports where they unloaded their goods. The ease with which they had founded these settlements, and the conveniences they met with, inspired them with the design of conquering those vast regions; and some time after, Nova Carthago, or New Carthage, gave the Carthaginians an empire in that country almost equal to that they enjoyed in Africa.
THE MINES OF SPAIN, SECOND SOURCE OF THE RICHES
AND POWER OF CARTHAGE.
DIODORUS' justly remarks, that the gold and silver mines found by the Carthaginians in Spain, were an inexhaustible fund of wealth, that enabled them to sustain such long wars against the Romans. The natives had been long ignorant of these treasures, at least of their use and value, that lay concealed in the bowels of the earth. The Phenicians first made the discovery; and by bartering some wares of little value for this precious metal, which the natives suffered them to dig up, they amassed infinite wealth. The Carthaginians improved from their example, when they conquered that country; as did the Romans afterwards, when they had dispossessed the latter of it.
The labour employed to come at these mines, and to dig the gold and silver out of them, was incredible; for the veins of these metals rarely appeared on the superficies: they were to be sought for, and traced through frightful depths, where very often floods of water stopped the miners, and seemed to defeat all future pursuits. But avarice is as patient in undergoing fatigues as ingenious in finding expedients. By pumps, which Archimedes had invented when in Egypt, the Romans afterwards threw up the water out of these kind of pits, and quite drained them. Numberless multitudes of slaves perished in these mines, which were dug to enrich their masters, who treated them with the utmost barbarity, forced them by heavy
Lib. iv. p. 312, &c.
stripes to labour, and gave them no respite either day or night. *Polybius, as quoted by Strabo, says, that in his time, upwards of forty thousand men were employed in the mines near Nova Carthago, and furnished the Romans every day with 25,000 drachms, or 8591. 7s. 6d.
We must not be surprised to see the Carthaginians, soon after the greatest defcats, sending fresh and numerous armies again into the field; fitting out mighty fleets, and supporting, at a great expense, for many years, wars carried on by them in far distant countries. But it must surprise us to hear of the Romans doing the same; they whose revenues were very inconsiderable before those great conquests which subjected to them the most powerful nations, and who had no resources, either from trade, to which they were absolute strangers, or from gold or sil. ver mines, which were very rarely found in Italy, in case there were any ; and consequently, the expenses of which must have swallowed up all the profit. The Romans, in the frugal and simple life they led, in their zeal for the public welfare, and their love for their country, possessed funds which were not less ready or secure than those of Carthage, but at the same time were far more honourable.
* Lib. iii. p. 147. y 25,000 drachms. An Attic drachm, according to Dr. Bernard, is equal to 8 1.40. English money, consequently 25,000 is 8591. 7s. 6. is 83819,45.
CARTHAGE must be considered as a trading, and at the same time a warlike republic. Its genius and the nature of its government led it to traffic; and the necessity the Carthaginians were under, first of de. fending their subjects against the neighbouring nations, and afterwards a desire of extending their commerce and empire, led them to war. This double idea gives us, in my opinion, the true plan and character of the Carthaginian republic. We have already spoken of its commerce.
The military power of the Carthaginians consisted in their alliances with kings ; in tributary nations, from which they drew both men and money; in some troops raised from among their own citizens; and in mercenary soldiers purchased of neighbouring states, without their being obliged to levy or exercise them, because they were already well disciplined and inured to the fatigues of war ; they making choice in every country of such soldiers as had the greatest merit and reputation. They drew from Numidia a nimble, bold, impetuous, and indefatigable cavalry, which formed the principal strength of their armies ; from the Belearian isles, the most expert slingers in the world; from Spain, a stout and invincible infantry; from the coasts of Genoa and Gaul, troops of known valour; and from Greece itself, soldiers fit for all the various operations of war, for the field or the garrison, for besieging or defending cities.
In this manner the Carthaginians sent out at once powerful armies, composed of soldiers which were the flower of all the armies in the universe, without depopulating either their fields or cities by new levies ; without suspending their manufactures, or disturbing the peaceful artificer; without interrupting their commerce, or weakening their navy. By venal blood they possessed themselves of provinces and kingdoms, and made 'other nations the instruments of their gran- . deur and glory, with no other expense of their own, but their money; and even this furnished from the traffic they carried on with foreign nations.
If the Carthaginians, in the course of a war, sustained some losses, these were but as so many foreign accidents, which only grazed, as it were, over the body of the state, but did not make a deep wound in the bowels or heart of the republic. These losses were speedily repaired, by sums rising out of a flourishing commerce, as from a perpetual sinew of war, by which the
government was furnished with new supplies for the purchase of mercenary forces, who were ready at the first summons.
And from the vast extent of the coasts which the Carthaginians possessed, it was easy for them to levy, in a very little time, a sufficient num. ber of sailors and rowers for the working of their fleets, and to procure able pilots and experienced captains to conduct them.
But as these parts were fortuitously brought together, they did not adhere by any natural, intimate, or necessary tie. No common or reciprocal interest united them in such a manner as to form a solid and unalter. able body. Not one individual in these mercenary