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Tarraconia comprehended the rest of Spain, that is, the kingdoms of Murcia and Valentia, Catalonia, Arragon, Navarre, Biscay, the Asturias, Gallicia, the kingdom of Leon, and the greatest part of the two Castites. Tarraco,' a very considerable city, gave its name to that part of Spain. Pretty near it lay Bar. cino." Its name makes it conjectured that it was built by Barcha, father of the great Hannibal. The most renowned nations of Tarraconia, were the Celtiberi, beyond the river Iberus ;' the Cantabri, where Biscay now lies ; the Carpetani, whose capital was Toledo ; the Ovitani, &c.
Spain, abounding with mines of gold and silver, and peopled with a martial race of men, had sufficient to excite both the avarice and ambition of the Cartha. ginians, who were more of a mercantile than of a warlike disposition, even from the genius and constitution of their republic. They doubtless knew that their Phenician ancestors, as "Diodorus relates, taking advantage of the happy ignorance of the Spaniards, with regard to the immense riches which were hid in the bowels of their lands, first took from them these precious treasures, in exchange for commodities of the lowest value. They likewise foresaw, that if they could once subdue this country, it would furnish them abundantly with well disciplined troops for the conquest of other nations, as actually happened.
* The occasion of the Carthaginians' first landing in Spain, was to assist the inhabitants of Cadiz, who were invaded by the Spaniards. That city, as well
• Tarragona. u Barcelona. "Ebro.
w Lib. v. p. 312 * Justin, I. aliy, c. 5. Diod. 1. v. p. 300.
as Utica and Carthage, was a colony of Tyre, and even more ancient than either of them. The Tyrians, having built it, established there the worship of Hercules, and erected in his honour a magnificent temple, which became famous in after ages. The success of this first expedition of the Carthaginians made them desirous of carrying their arms into Spain.
It is not exactly known in what period they entered Spain, nor how far they extended their first conquests. It is probable that these were slow in the beginning, as the Carthaginians had to do with very warlike nations, who defended themselves with great resolution and courage. Nor could they ever have accomplished their design, as Strabo observes, had the Spaniards, united in a body, formed but one state, and mutually assisted one another. But as every canton, every people, were entirely detached from their neighbours, and had not the least correspondence with them, the Carthaginians were forced to subdue them one after another. This circumstance occasioned, on one hand, their ruin ; and on the other, protracted the war, and made the conquests of the country much more difficult ;? accordingly it has been observed, that though Spain was the first province which the Romans invaded on the continent, it was the last they subdued, a and was not entirely subjected to their power, till after having made a vigorous opposition for upwards of two hundred years.
3 Lib. iii. p. 158. z Such a division of Britain retarded, and at the same time facilitated the conquest of it by the Romans. Dum singuli pugnant, universi vin. ountur. Tacit.
* Hispania prima Romanis inita Provinciarum quæ quidem continentis sint, postrema omnium perdomita est. Liv. I. sxviii. n. 12.
It appears, from the accounts given by Polybius and Livy, of the wars of Hamilcar, Asdrubal, and Hanni bal, in Spain, which will soon be mentioned, that the arms of the Carthaginians had not made any consider. . able progress in that country, till this period, and that the
greatest part of Spain was then unconquered. But in twenty years time they completed the conquest of almost the whole country.
• At the time that Hannibal set out for Italy all the coast of Africa, from the Philenorum Are, by the great Syrtis, to the pillars of Hercules, was subject to the Carthaginians. Passing through the straits, they had conquered all the western coast of Spain, along the ocean, as far as the Pyrenean hills. The coast which lies on the Mediterranean had been almost wholly subdued by them ; and it was there they had built Carthagena ; and they were masters of all the country, as far as the river Iberus, which bounded their dominions. Such was, at that time, the extent of their empire. In the centre of the country, some nations had indeed held out against all their efforts, and could not be subdued by them.
Conquests of the Carthaginians in Sicily. The wars which the Carthaginians carried on in Sicily are more known. I shall here relate those which were waged from the reign of Xerxes (who first prompted the Carthaginians to carry their arms into Sicily) till the first Punic war. This takes up near two hundred and twenty years, viz. from the year of the world 3520 to 3738. At the breaking out of these wars, Syracuse, the most considerable as well as the most powerful
Polyb. 1. iii. p. 192, 1. i. p. 9.
city of Sicily, had invested Gelon, Hiero, and Thrasybulus, three brothers who succeeded one another, with a sovereign power. After their deaths, a democracy or popular government was established in that city, and subsisted above sixty years. From this time, the two Dionysius's, Timoleon, and Agathocles, bore the sway in Syracuse. Pyrrhus was afterwards invited into Sicily, but he kept possession of it only a few years. Such was the government of Sicily during the wars of which I am going to treat. They will give us great light with regard to the power of the Carthaginians at the time that they began to be engag. ed in war with the Romans.
Sicily is the largest and most considerable island in the Mediterranean. It is of a triangular form, and for that reason was called Trinacria and Triquetra. The eastern side, which faces the Ionian or Grecian sea, extends from cape Pachynumo to Pelorum.d The most celebrated cities on this coast are Syracuse, Tauromenium, and Messana. The northern coast, which looks toward Italy, reaches from cape Pelorum to cape Lilybeum' The most noted cities on this coast are Myle, Hymera, Panormus, Eryx, Motya, Lilybeum. The southern coast, which lies opposite to Africa, extends from cape Lilybeum to Pachynum. The most remarkable cities on this coast are Selinus, Agrigentum, Gela, and Camarina. This island is separated from Italy by a strait, which is about a mile and a half over, and called the Faro, or strait of Messina.
* The passage from Lilybeum to Africa is but fifteen hundred furlongs, that is about seventy five leagues.
* Strabo, I. vi. p. 267.
& The period in which the Carthaginians first carried their arms into Sicily is not exactly known. All we are certain of is that they were already possessed of some part of it at the time that they entered into a treaty with the Romans; the same year that the kings were expelled, and consuls appointed in their room, viz. twenty eight years before Xerxes invaded Greece. This treaty, which is the first we find mentioned to have been made between these two nations, speaks of Africa and Sardinia as possessed by the Carthaginians; whereas the conventions with regard to Sicily relate only to those parts of the island which were subject to them. By this treaty it is expressly stipulated, that neither the Romans nor their allies shall sail beyond the Fair Promontory, " which was very near Carthage ; and that such merchants, as shall resort to this city for traffic, shall pay only certain duties as are settled in it.'
It appears by the same treaty that the Carthaginians were particularly careful to exclude the Romans from all the countries subject to them, as well as from the knowledge of what was transacting in them : as though the Carthaginians, even at that time, took um. brage at the rising power of the Romans, and already harboured in their breasts the secret seeds of the jealousy and diffidence that were one day to burst out in long and cruel wars, and which nothing could extin
Rom. 245. Ant. J. C. 503. Polyb. I. fii. p. 245, and seq. edit. Gronov.
1. The reason of this restraint, according to Polybius, was the unwil. lingness of the Carthaginians to let the Romans have any knowledge of the countries which lay more to the south, in order that this enterprising people might not hear of their fertility. Polyb. I. ii. p. 247. edit Gronos
i Polyb. I. wi. p. 246.
& A. M. 3501. A. Carth. 343.