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PUNCTUATION (Lat. punctum, a point)

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 653 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PUNCTUATION (Lat. punctum, a point), the theory or art of " pointing " a literary composition so as to divide it properly into sentences and portions of sentences, which the " points " are used to mark at their close, with a view to precision in the meaning of a continuous set of written words, by the indication of what would be pauses or changes of expression if they were spoken. The uses of the chief " points " are explained as follows in the " Rules for Compositors " at the Oxford University Press, compiled by Mr Horace Hart, the university printer: The "full stop " or "period " (.) marks the end of a sentence. The " colon " (:)—Greek Kcaov, a limb—is at the transition point of the sentence. The " semicolon " (;) separates different statements. The " comma " (,)—Gr. Koµµa, from Kb7rTEW, i.e. a piece cut off—separates clauses, phrases and particles. (The terms " period "—Greek Irep(olos—" colon," " comma," now identified in punctuation with the signs here given, were borrowed from the Greek grammarians, who originally described either the whole sentence or a longer or shorter part of it respectively in this way.) Among other signs, the " dash " (—) marks abruptness or irregularity. The " exclamation " (I) marks surprise. The " interrogation " or " query " (?) asks a question. The apostrophe (') marks elisions or the possessive case. " Quotes," quotation-marks or " inverted commas " (" ") define quoted words. Irregularities or interpolations in a sentence are marked by various forms of bracket () or parenthesis. Literary usage and the practice of printing-houses vary, however, so much that it is impossible to define exactly and shortly the part played by some of these points in a reasonable system of punctuation. The Oxford Rules already mentioned, which deal also with spelling and other pitfalls in literary composition and printing, carry the authority of such experts as Dr J. A. H. Murray and Dr Henry Bradley; and the art of boarding tactics. This victory left Rome free to land a force on Corsica and expel the Carthaginians (259), but did not suffice to loosen their grasp on Sicily. After two more years of desultory warfare the Romans decided to carry the war into the enemy's home territory. A large armament sailed out in 256, repelled a vigorous attack by the entire Carthaginian fleet off Cape Ecnomus (near Agrigenturn) and established a fortified camp on African soil at Clypea. The Carthaginians, whose citizen levy was utterly disorganized, could neither keep the field against the invaders nor prevent their subjects from revolting. A single campaign compelled them to sue for peace, but the terms which the Roman commander Atilius Regulus offered were intolerably harsh. Accordingly they equipped a new army in which, by the advice of a Greek captain of mercenaries named Xanthippus, cavalry and elephants formed the strongest arm. In 255, under Xanthippus's command, they offered battle to Regulus, who had taken up position with an inadequate force near Tunes, outmanoeuvred him and destroyed the bulk of his army. A second Roman armament, which subsequently reached Africa after defeating the full Carthaginian fleet off Cape Hermaeum, did not venture to reopen the campaign, but withdrew all the remaining troops. The Romans now directed their efforts once more against Sicily. In 254 they carried the important fortress of Panormus (Palermo) by an attack from the sea; but when Carthage threw reinforcements into the island the war again came to a standstill. In 251 at last the Roman general L. Metellus brought about a pitched battle near Panormus in which the enemy's force was effectively crippled. This victory was followed by an investment of the chief Punic base at Lilybaeum by land and sea. The besiegers met with a gallant resistance, and in 249 were compelled to withdraw by the loss of their fleet in a surprise attack upon the neighbouring harbour of Drepanum (Trapani), in which the admiral Claudius Pulcher was repulsed with a loss of 93 ships. Meanwhile other losses in storms on the high seas so reduced the Roman fleet that the attack upon Sicily had to be suspended. At the same time the Carthaginians, who felt no less severely the financial strain of the prolonged struggle and had a war in Africa on their hands, reduced their armaments and made no attempt to deliver a counter-attack. The only noteworthy feature of the ensuing campaigns is the skilful guerilla war waged by a new Carthaginian commander, Hamilcar Barca, from his strong positions on Mt Ercte (247–244) and Mt Eryx (244–242) in Western Sicily, by which he effectually screened Lilybaeum from the Roman land army. In 242 Rome resumed operations on sea. By a magnificent effort on the part of private citizens a fleet of 200 warships was equipped and sent out to renew the blockade of Lilybaeum. The Carthaginians hastily collected a relief force, but in a battle fought off the Aegates or Aegusae islands (west of Drepana) their fleet was caught at a disadvantage and mostly sunk or captured (March ro, 241). This victory, by giving the Romans undisputed command of the sea, rendered certain the ultimate fall of the Punic strongholds in Sicily. The Carthaginians accordingly opened negotiations and consented to a peace by which they ceded Sicily and the Lipari Islands to Rome and paid an indemnity of 3200 talents (about £800,000). The Interval between the First and Second Wars (241–218 B.C.). —The loss of naval supremacy not only deprived Carthage of her predominance in the western Mediterranean, but exposed her oversea empire to disintegration under renewed attacks by Rome. The temper of the Roman people was soon made manifest during a conflict which broke out between the Carthaginians and their discontented mercenaries. Italian traders were allowed to traffic in munitions of war with the mutineers, and a gross breach of the treaty was perpetrated when a Roman force was sent to occupy Sardinia, whose insurgent garrison had offered to surrender the island (239). To the remonstrances of Carthage the Romans replied with a direct declaration of war, and only withheld their attack upon the formal cession of Sardinia and Corsica and the payment of a further indemnity. From this episode it became clear that Rome intended touse her victory to the utmost. To avoid complete humiliation Carthage had no resource but to humiliate her adversary. The recent complications of foreign and internal strife had indeed so weakened the Punic power that the prospect of renewing the war under favourable circumstances seemed remote enough. But the scheme of preparing for a fresh conflict found a worthy champion in Hamilcar Barca, who sought to compensate for the loss of Sicily by acquiring a dominion in Spain where Carthage might gain new wealth and form a fresh base of operations against Rome. Invested with an unrestricted foreign command, he spent the rest of his life in founding a Spanish empire (236–228). His work was continued by his son-in-law Hasdrubal and his son Hannibal, who was placed at the head of the army in 220. These conquests aroused the suspicions of Rome, which in a treaty with Hasdrubal confined the Carthaginians to the south of the Ebro, and also guaranteed the independence of Saguntum, a town on the east coast which pretended to a Greek origin. In 219 Hannibal laid siege to Saguntum and carried the town in spite of a stubborn defence. It has always been a debateable point whether his attack contravened the new treaty. The Romans certainly took this view and sent to Carthage to demand Hannibal's surrender. But his defiant policy was too popular to be disavowed; the Carthaginian council upheld Hannibal's action, and drew upon itself an immediate declaration of war. Second Punic War (218–201 B.e.): a. The "Hannibalic" War.—It seemed as though the superiority of the Romans at sea must enable them to choose the field of battle. They decided to embark one army for Spain and another for Sicily and Africa. But before their preparations were complete Hannibal began that series of operations by which he dictated the course of the war for the greater part of its duration. Realizing that so long as Rome commanded the resources of an undivided Italian confederacy no foreign attack could beat her down beyond recovery, he conceived the plan of cutting off her supply of strength at the source by carrying the war into Italy and causing a disruption of the League. His chances of ever reaching Italy seemed small, for the sea was guarded by the Roman fleets and the land route was long and arduous. But the very boldness of his enterprise contributed to its success; after a six months' march through Spain and Gaul and over the Alps, which the Romans were nowhere in time to oppose, Hannibal arrived in the plain of the Po with 20,000 foot and 6000 horse, the pick of his African and Spanish levies (autumn 218: for details see HANNIBAL). His further advance was here disputed by some Roman troops which had been recalled from the Spanish expedition. But the superiority of the Carthaginian cavalry and the spread of insurrection among the Gaulish inhabitants forced the defenders to fall back upon the Apennines. At the end of the year the Roman army was reinforced by the division from Sicily and led out to battle on the banks of the Trebia. Hannibal, by superior tactics, repelled the assailants with heavy loss, and thus made his position in north Italy secure. In 217 the campaign opened in Etruria, into which the invading army, largely reinforced by Gauls, penetrated by an unguarded pass. A rash pursuit by the Roman field force led to its being entrapped on the shore of Lake Trasimene and destroyed with a loss of 40,000 men. This catastrophe left Rome completely uncovered; but Hannibal, having resolved not to attack the capital before he could collect a more overwhelming force, directed his march towards the south of Italy, where he hoped to stir up the peoples who had formerly been Rome's most stubborn enemies. The natives, however, were everywhere slow to join the Carthaginians, and a new Roman army under the dictator Q. Fabius Maximus (" Cunctator "), which, without ever daring to close with Hannibal, persistently dogged his steps on his forays through Apulia and Campania, prevented his acquiring a permanent base of operations. The eventful campaign of 216 was begun by a new aggressive move on the part of Rome. An exceptionally strong field army, estimated at 85,000 men, was sent forth in order to crush the Carthaginians in open battle. On a level plain near Cannae in Apulia, which Hannibal had chosen for his battle-ground, the Roman legions delivered their attack. Hannibal deliberately allowed his centre to be driven in by their superior numbers, while Hasdrubal's cavalry wheeled round so as to take the enemy in flank and rear. The Romans, surrounded on all sides and so cramped that their superior numbers aggravated their plight, were practically annihilated, and the loss of citizens was perhaps greater than in any other defeat that befel the Republic. The moral effect of the battle was no less momentous. The south Italian nations at last found courage to secede from Rome, the leaders of the movement being the people of Capua, the second greatest town of Italy. Reinforcements were sent from Carthage, and several neutral powers prepared to throw their weight into the scale on Hannibal's behalf. At first sight it seems strange that the battle of Cannae did not decide the war. But the resources of Rome, though terribly reduced in respect both of men and of money, were not yet exhausted. In north and central Italy the insurrection spread but little, and could be sufficiently guarded against with small detachments. In the south the Greek towns of the coast remained loyal, and the numerous Latin colonies continued to render important service by interrupting free communication between the rebels and detaining part of their forces. In Rome itself the quarrels between the nobles and commons, which had previously unsettled her policy, gave way to a unanimity unparalleled in the annals of the Republic. The guidance of operations was henceforth left to the senate, which by maintaining a firm and persistent policy until the conflict was brought to a successful end earned its greatest title to fame. The subsequent campaigns of the Italian War assume a new character. Though the Romans contrived at times to raise 200,000 men, they could only spare a moderate force for field operations. Their generals, among whom the veterans Fabius and M. Claudius Marcellus frequently held the most important commands, rarely ventured to engage Hannibal in the open, and contented themselves with observing him or skirmishing against his detachments. Hannibal, whose recent accessions of strength were largely discounted by the necessity of assigning troops to protect his new allies or secure their wavering loyalty, was still too weak to undertake a vigorous offensive. In the ensuing years the war resolved itself into a multiplicity of minor engagements which need not be followed out in detail. In 216 and 215 the chief seat of war was Campania, where Hannibal vainly attempted to establish himself on the coast and experienced a severe repulse at Nola. In 214 the main Carthaginian force was transferred to Apulia in hopes of capturing Tarentum. Though Croton and Locri on the Calabrian coast had fallen into his hands, Hannibal still lacked a suitable harbour by which he might have secured his oversea communications. For two years he watched in vain for an opportunity of surprising the town, while the Romans narrowed down the sphere of re-volt in Campania and defeated other Carthaginian commanders. In 212 the greater part of Tarentum and other cities of the southern seaboard at last came into Hannibal's power. But in the same year the Romans found themselves strong enough to place Capua under blockade. They severely defeated a Carthaginian relief force, and could not be permanently dislodged even by Hannibal himself. In 211 Hannibal made a last effort to relieve his allies by a feint upon Rome itself, but the besiegers re-fused to be drawn away from their entrenchments, and eventually Capua was starved into surrender. Its fall was a sign that no power could in the long run uphold a rival Italian coalition against Rome. After a year of desultory fighting the Romans in 209 gained a further important success by recovering Tarentum. Though Hannibal from time to time still won isolated engagements, yet slowly but surely he was being driven back into the extreme south of the peninsula. In 207 the arrival of a fresh invading force produced a new crisis. Hasdrubal, who in 209–208 had marched overland from Spain, appeared in north Italy with a force scarcely inferior to the army which his brother had brought in 218. After levying contingents of Gauls and Ligurians he marched down the castcoast with the object of joining hands with his brother in central Italy for a direct attack upon Rome. By this time the drain of men and money was telling so severely upon her confederacy that some of her most loyal allies protested their inability to render further help. Yet by a supreme effort the Romans raised their war establishment to the highest total yet attained and sent a strong field army against either Carthaginian leader. The danger to Rome was chiefly averted by the prompt insight and enterprise of the consul C. Nero, who commanded the main army in the south. Having discovered that Hannibal would not advance beyond Apulia until his brother had established communications with him, Nero slipped away with part of his troops and arrived in time to reinforce his colleague Livius, whose force had recently got into touch with Hasdrubal near Sena Gallica (Sinigaglia). The combined Roman army frustrated an attempt of Hasdrubal to elude it and forced him to fight on the banks of the Metaurus. The battle was evenly contested until Nero by a dexterous flanking movement cut the enemy's retreat. Hasdrubal himself fell and the bulk of his army was destroyed. The campaign of 207 decided the war in Italy. Though Hannibal still maintained himself for some years in Calabria, this was chiefly due to the exhaustion of Rome after the prodigious strain of past years and the consequent reduction of her armaments. In 203 Italy was finally cleared of Carthaginian troops. Hannibal, in accordance with orders from home, sailed back to Africa, and another expedition under his brother Mago, which had sailed to Liguria in 205 and endeavoured to rouse the slumbering discontent in Cisalpine Gaul and Etruria, was driven back on the coast and withdrawn about the same time. b. The Subsidiary Campaigns.—Concurrently with the great struggle in Italy the Second Punic War was fought out on several other fields. It will suffice merely to allude to the First Macedonian War (214–205) which King Philip V. commenced when the Roman power seemed to be breaking up after Cannae. The diversions which Roman diplomacy provided for Philip in Greece and the maintenance of a patrol squadron in the Adriatic prevented any effective co-operation on his part with Hannibal. In view of the complete stagnation of agriculture in Italy the Romans had to look to Sardinia and Sicily for their food supply. Sardinia was attacked by a Carthaginian Sardinia armament in 215, but a small Roman force sufficed and skify. to repel the invasion. In Sicily a more serious conflict broke out. Some isolated attacks by Punic squadrons were easily frustrated by the strong Roman fleet. But in 215 internal complications arose. The death of Hiero II., Rome's steadfast friend, left the kingdom of Syracuse to his inexperienced grandson Hieronymus. Flattered by the promises of Carthaginian emissaries the young prince abruptly broke with the Romans, but before hostilities commenced he was assassinated. The Syracusan people now repudiated the monarchy and resumed their republican constitution, but they were misled by false threats of terrible punishment at the hands of Rome to play into the hands of the Carthaginians. The attacks of a Roman army and fleet under Marcellus which speedily appeared before the town were completely baffled by the mechanical contrivances of the Syracusan mathematician Archimedes (213). Meantime the revolt against Rome spread in the interior, and a Carthaginian fleet established itself in the towns of the south coast. In 212 Marcellus at last broke through the defence of Syracuse and in spite of the arrival of a Carthaginian relief force mastered the town by slow degrees. A guerilla warfare succeeded in which the Carthaginians maintained the upper hand until in 210 they lost their base at Agrigentum. Thereupon they were rapidly dislodged from their remaining positions, and by the end of the year Sicily was wholly under the power of Rome. The conflict in Spain was second in importance to the Italian War alone. From this country the Carthaginians drew large supplies of troops and money which might serve sPainreinforce ce Hannibal; hence it was in the interest of the Romans to challenge their enemy within his Spanish domain. Though the force which Rome at first spared for this war was small in numbers and rested entirely upon its own resources, the generals Publius and Gnaeus Scipio by skilful strategy and diplomacy not only won over the peoples north of the Ebro and defeated the Carthaginian leader Hasdrubal Barca in his attempts to restore communication with Italy, but carried their arms along the east coast into the heart of the enemy's domain. But eventually their successes were nullified by a rash advance. Deserted by their native contingents and cut off by Carthaginian cavalry, among which the Numidian prince Massinissa rendered conspicuous service, the Roman generals were slain and their troops were destroyed in detail (212 or 211). Disturbances in Africa prevented the Punic commanders from reaping the full fruit of their success. Before long the fall of Capua enabled Rome to transfer troops from Italy to Spain, and in 209 the best Roman general of the day, the young son and namesake of the recently slain P. Scipio, was placed in command. The new leader signalized his arrival by a bold and successful coup-de-main upon the great arsenal of Carthago Nova. Though he failed to prevent Hasdrubal Barca from marching away to Italy, Scipio profited by his departure to push back the remaining hostile forces the more rapidly. A last effort by the Carthaginians to retrieve their losses with a fresh army was frustrated by a great victory at Ilipa (near Corduba), and by the end of 206 they were completely driven out of the peninsula. In 205 Scipio, who had returned to Rome to hold the consul-ship, proposed to follow up his victories by an attack upon the The War home territory of Carthage. Though the presence m Africa. of Hannibal in Italy at first deterred the senate from sanctioning this policy, the general popularity of the scheme overbore all resistance. Scipio was granted a force which he organized and supplemented in Sicily, and in 204 sailed across to Africa. He was here met by a combined levy of Carthage and King Syphax of Numidia, and for a time penned to the shore near Utica. But in'the winter he extricated himself by a surprise attack upon the enemy's camp, which resulted in the total loss of the allied force by sword or flame. In the campaign of 203 a new Carthaginian force was destroyed by Scipio on the Great Plains not far from Utica, their ally Syphax was captured, and the renegade Massinissa (q.v.) rein-stated in the kingdom from which Syphax had recently expelled him. These disasters induced the Carthaginians to sue for peace, but before the very moderate terms which Scipio offered could be definitely accepted a sudden reversal of opinion caused them to recall Hannibal's army for a final trial of war, and to break off negotiations. In 202 Hannibal assumed command of a composite force of citizen and mercenary levies stiffened with a corps of his veteran Italian troops. After an abortive conference with Scipio he prepared for a decisive battle at Zama (an inland site not yet identified with certainty). Scipio's force was smaller in numbers, but well trained throughout and greatly superior in cavalry. His infantry, after evading an.attack by the Carthaginian elephants, cut through the first two lines of the enemy, but was unable to break the reserve corps of veterans. The battle was ultimately decided by the cavalry of the Romans and their new ally Massinissa, which by a manoeuvre recalling the tactics of Cannae took Hannibal's line in the rear and completely destroyed it. The Carthaginians having thus lost their last army again applied for peace and accepted the terms which Scipio offered. They were compelled to cede Spain and the Mediterranean islands still in their hands, to surrender their war-ships, to pay an indemnity of ro,000 talents (about £2,400,000) within fifty years and to forfeit their independence in affairs of war and foreign policy. The Second Punic War, by far the greatest struggle in which either power engaged, had thus ended in the complete triumph of Rome. This triumph is not to be explained in the main by any faultiness in the Carthaginians' method of attack. The history of the First Punic War, and that of the Second outside of Italy, prove that the Romans were irresistible on neutral or Carthaginian ground. Carthage could only hope to win byinvading Italy and using the enemy's home resources against him. The failure of Hannibal's brilliant endeavour to realize these conditions was not due to any strategical mistakes on his part. It was caused by the indomitable strength of will of the Romans, whose character during this period appears at its best, and to the compactness of their Italian confederacy, which no shock of defeat or strain of war could entirely disintegrate. It is this spectacle of individual genius overborne by corporate and persevering effort which lends to the Second Punic War its peculiar interest. The Third Punic War (149-146 B.e.)—The political power of Carthage henceforth remained quite insignificant, but its commerce and material resources revived in the 2nd century with such rapidity as to excite the. jealousy of the growing mercantile population of Rome and the alarm of its more timid statesmen. Under the influence of these feelings the conviction —sedulously fostered by Cato the Elder, the Censor—that " Carthage must be destroyed " overbore the scruples of more clear-sighted statesmen. A cases belli was readily found in a formal breach of the treaty, committed by the Carthaginians in 154, when they resisted Massinissa's aggressions by force of arms. A Roman army was despatched to Africa, and although the Carthaginians consented to make reparation by giving hostages and surrendering their arms, they were goaded into revolt by the further stipulation that they must emigrate to some inland site where they would be debarred from commerce. By a desperate effort they created a new war equipment and prepared their city for a siege (149). The Roman attack for two years completely miscarried, until in 147 the command was given to a young officer who had distinguished himself in the early operations of the war—Scipio Aemilianus, the adoptive grandson of the former conqueror of Carthage. Scipio made the blockade stringent by walling off the isthmus on which the town lay and by cutting off its sources of supplies from oversea. His main attack was delivered on the harbour side, where he effected an entrance in the face of a determined and ingenious resistance. The struggle did not cease until he had carried house by house the streets that led up to the citadel. Of a population probably exceeding half a million only 50,000 remained at the final surrender. The survivors were sold into slavery; the city was razed to the ground and its site condemned by solemn imprecations to lie desolate for ever. The territory of Carthage, which had recently been much narrowed by Massinissa's encroachments, was converted into a Roman province under the name of " Africa." The subsidiary authorities are : Diodorus, bks. 20-27, 32;. Appian, Res Libycae, Hispanicae, Hannibalicae; Zonaras's epitome of Dio Cassius, frs. 43, 54, 57; Plutarch's Lives of Fabius and Marcellus; Cornelius Nepos's Lives of Hamilcar and Hannibal, and short references in Justin, Eutropius, Aurelius Victor and Orosius. The sources and methods of composition of these authors have been discussed in numerous articles and dissertations, mostly German, of which the most important are mentioned in Niese's work (quoted below). These essays have brought out few certain results, but they tend to show that the narratives, so far as they are not based on Polybius or earlier authorities, are of little value. 2. Modern Works. a. For general accounts, see the respective passages in the general histories of Rome, especially Mommsen (Eng. trans., 1894, vol. ii.), and Ihne (Eng. trans., vol. H.); also C. Neumann, Das Zeitalter der punischen, Kriege (Breslau, 1883), and R. B. Smith, Rome and Carthage (London, 1881). b. For the First War.—O. Meltzer, Geschichte der Karthager, ii. 252—356 (Berlin, 1879—1886) ; J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte, vol. iii. pt. i. pp. 664—684 (Strassburg, 1893—1904) ; B. Niese, Geschichte der griechischen and makedonischen Staaten, ii. 174—199 (Gotha, 1893—1903) ; W. W. Tarn, " The Fleets of the First Punic War," in Journal of Hellenic Studies (1907), pp. 48—6o. For the chronology, see F. Reuss, in Philologus (1901), pp. 102–148, and especially P. Varese, in Studi di storia antica, vol. iii. (Rome, 1902). c. For the period 241–238.—0. Gilbert, Rom and Karthago 513–536 A.U.C. (Leipzig, 1876); Meltzer, op. cit. ii. 357–456. d. For the Second \Var.—T. Arnold, The Second Punic War (ed. W. T. Arnold; London, 1886); T. A. Dodge, Great Captains, Hannibal (Boston and New York, 1889); G. Bossi, in Studi di storia e diritto, vols. x.–xiii.; P. Cantalupi, Le Legioni romane nella guerra d'Annibale (Studi di storia antica, 1891, i. 3–48) ; Th. Zielinski, Die letzten Jahre des zweiten punischen Krieges (Leipzig, 188o). e. Special articles.—On Sicily: Niese, op. cit. ii. 505-561. On Spain : J. Frantz, Die Kriege der Scipionen in Spanien (Munich, 1883). For further bibliographical references consult B. Niese, Grundriss der romischen Geschichte, pp. 8i–88, 94-108, 138–142 (Munich, 1906). See also the articles on chief personages (especially HANNIBAL and SciP1o), and under ROME: Ancient History; CARTHAGE; SICILY. (M. O. B. C.)
End of Article: PUNCTUATION (Lat. punctum, a point)
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