BATTLE OF THE METAURUS.
to the very brink of destruction by a revolt of her foreign troops. Other mutinies of the same kind must from time to time have occurred. Probably one of these was the cause of the comparative weakness of Carthage at the time of the Athenian expedition against Syracuse; so different from the energy with which she attacked Gelon half a century earlier, and Dionysius half a century later. And even when we consider her armies with reference only to their efficiency in warfare, we perceive at once the inferiority of such bands of condottieri, brought together without any common bond of origin, tactics, or cause, to the legions of Rome, which at the time of the Punic wars were raised from the very flower of a hardy agricultural population, trained in the strictest discipline, habituated to victory, and animated by the most resolute patriotism. And this shows also the transcendency of the genius of Hannibal, which could form such discordant materials into a compact organized force, and inspire them with the spirit of patient discipline and loyalty to their chief; so that they were true to him, in his adverse as well as in his prosperous fortunes; and throughout the chequered series of his campaigns no panic rout ever disgraced a division under his command, no mutiny, or even attempt at mutiny, was ever known in his camp; and finally, after fifteen years