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Quote of the day: It is a disagreeable task in the case of
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXI Chapter 4: Hannibal's character[218 BC]
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A few, and nearly every one of the highest merit, concurred with Hanno; but, as usually happens, the more numerous party prevailed over the better. Hannibal, having been sent into Spain, from his very first arrival drew the eyes of the whole army upon him. The veteran soldiers imagined that Hamilcar, in his youth, was restored to them; they remarked the same vigour in his looks and animation in his eye the same features and expression of countenance; and then, in a short time, he took care that his father should be of the least powerful consideration in conciliating their esteem. There never was a genius more fitted for the two most opposite duties of obeying and commanding; so that you could not easily decide whether he were dearer to the general or the army: and neither did Hasdrubal prefer giving the command to any other, when any thing was to be done with courage and activity; nor did the soldiers feel more confidence and boldness under any other leader. His fearlessness in encountering dangers, and his prudence when in the midst of them, were extreme. His body could not be exhausted, nor his mind subdued, by any toil. He could alike endure either heat or cold. The quantity of his food and drink was determined by the wants of nature, and not by pleasure. The seasons of his sleeping and waking were distinguished neither by day nor night. The time that remained after the transaction of business was given to repose; but that repose was neither invited by a soft bed nor by quiet. Many have seen him wrapped in a military cloak, lying on the ground amid the watches and outposts of the soldiers. His dress was not at all superior to that of his equals: his arms and his horses were conspicuous. He was at once by far the first of the cavalry and infantry; and, foremost to advance to the charge, was last to leave the engagement. Excessive vices counterbalanced these high virtues of the hero; inhuman cruelty, more than Punic perfidy, no truth, no reverence for things sacred, no fear of the gods, no respect for oaths, no sense of religion. With a character thus made up of virtue and vices, he served for three years under the command of Hasdrubal, without neglecting any thing which ought to be done or seen by one who was to become a great general.

Event: Hannibal assistant to Hasdrubal

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