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UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

territories of Carthage; and he being a friend of the Roman people, the

Carthaginians durst not repel him by force without first obtaining the

permission of Rome. Such were the terms of the treaty of B. C. 201. When,

however, the appeal of Carthage was carried by ambassadors to the Senate,

that body made answer by assigning the disputed territory to Masinissa.

This intolerable course was pursued until Masinissa was enriched by the

towns and districts taken from the Carthaginians by a process in no wise

differing from robbery. Time and again the appeal was made to Rome for

justice, but in each case the ambassadors asked for a fish and received a

serpent.

Finally, in B. C. 157, Marcus Porcius Cato was sent to Africa to adjudicate

one of these ever-recurring disputes between Masinissa and the

Carthaginians, in which the latter protested in the name of the existing

treaty and the former in the name of self-interest. The controversy was

decided as usual, but not until the Roman ambassadors, particularly Cato,

were struck with amazement at the prosperous condition of the city which

only thirty-four years previously had been sacked and ruined by the army of

Scipio. The region round about was a mosaic of cornfields, orchards, and

gardens. The harbor was white with ships and the streets thronged with busy

multitudes.

On his return to Rome Cato loosed the floods of old enmity by reciting to

the Senate the things which he had seen. Finally, in a dramatic way, he

thrust his hand into a fold of his toga and drew out a bunch of luscious

figs, saying as he held them before the senators: "This fruit has been

brought from Carthage-so nigh to us is a city so strong and prosperous. I

think that Carthage must be destroyed." For several years this

distinguished Roman reiterated at every opportunity the closing sentiment

of this speech. Whatever might be his theme, he would, when his argument

was finished, add the ominous words, Ceterumcenseo Carthaginem est

delendam. (1)

His hearers were scarcely less willing than himself to see the birthplace

of Hannibal, now reviving from the ruin of war, utterly blotted from

existence. Nor was it long until a cause of quarrel was either found or

made. As on so many previous occasions, the ever forward Masinissa was the

fruitful source of the new conflict which was destined to end the existence

of Carthage. In that city the popular party was now in the ascendancy-a

party which embraced the fragments which had once been the magnificent

following of Hannibal. The opponents of this party included all those who

stood for the Roman and Numidian interest. Some of the latter-about forty

in number-having made themselves especially offensive to the Carthaginians

were banished from the city. Masinissa thereupon espoused the cause of his

friends and demanded their recall. Upon the refusal of the Carthaginian

authorities to receive them, Masinissa took up arms, marched against the

city, and inflicted upon the popular party a severe defeat. The captured

soldiers of Carthage were driven under the yoke and then massacred. It was

this action of the Carthaginians in taking up arms to resist the invasion

of their inveterate enemy without first asking

________________________________ 1 For the rest I think that Carthage must

be destroyed.