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Quote of the day: Capito, though foully stained with avari
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXI Chapter 6: Saguntum asks for help. Rome sends an embassy.[218 BC]
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As yet there was no war with the Saguntines, but already, in order to a war, the seeds of dissension were sown between them and their neighbours, particularly the Turdetani, with whom when the same person sided who had originated the quarrel, and it was evident, not that a trial of the question of right, but violence, was his object, ambassadors were sent by the Saguntines to Rome to implore assistance in the war which now evidently threatened them. The consuls then at Rome were Publius Cornelius Scipio and Tiberius Sempronius Longus, who, after the ambassadors were introduced into the senate, having made a motion on the state of public affairs, it was resolved that envoys should be sent into Spain to inspect the circumstances of the allies; and if they saw good reason, both to warn Hannibal that he should refrain from the Saguntines, the allies of the Roman people, and to pass over into Africa to Carthage, and report the complaints of the allies of the Roman people. This embassy having been decreed but not yet despatched, the news arrived, more quickly than any one expected, that Saguntum was besieged. The business was then referred anew to the senate. And some, decreeing Spain and Africa as provinces for the consuls, thought the war should be maintained both by sea and land, while others wished to direct the whole hostilities against Spain and Hannibal. There were others again who thought that an affair of such importance should not be entered on rashly; and that the return of the ambassadors from Spain ought to be awaited. This opinion, which seemed the safest, prevailed; and Publius Valerius Flaccus, and Quintus Baebius Tamphilus, were, on that account, the more quickly despatched as ambassadors to Hannibal at Saguntum, and from thence to Carthage, if he did not desist from the war, to demand the general himself in atonement for the violation of the treaty.

Event: Siege and destruction of Saguntum