History of Rome, Vol III
Titus Livius

Part 4 out of 11

audience of the senate." All hope of appearing before the senate,
and deprecating their decision, being then cut off, the levies were
completed in the twelve colonies without difficulty, as the number of
their youth had increased during their long exemption from service.

16. Another affair, likewise, which had been passed over in silence
for an almost equally long period, was laid before the senate by
Marcus Valerius Laevinus; who said, "that equity required that the
monies which had been contributed by private individuals, when he
and Marcus Claudius were consuls, should now at length be repaid. Nor
ought any one to feel surprised that a case, where the public faith
was pledged, should have engaged his attention in an especial manner;
for, besides that the matter appertained, in some degree, peculiarly
to the consul of that year in which the money was contributed, he was
himself the author of the measure, as the treasury was drained, and
the people unable to pay the taxes." This suggestion was well received
by the senate, and, bidding the consuls to propose the question, they
decreed, "that this money should be paid by three instalments; that
the present consuls should make the first payment immediately, and the
third and fifth consuls, from that time, the two remaining."

After this, all their other cares gave place to one alone when the
sufferings of the Locrians, of which they had been ignorant up to that
day, were made known by the arrival of their ambassadors. Nor was it
the villany of Pleminius so much as the partiality or negligence of
Scipio in that affair, which excited the resentment of the people.
While the consuls were sitting in the comitium, ten ambassadors of the
Locrians, covered with filth, and in mourning, and extending branches
of olive, the badges of suppliants, according to the Grecian custom,
prostrated themselves on the ground before the tribunal, with loud
lamentations. In answer to the inquiry of the consuls, they said,
"that they were Locrians, who had suffered such things at the hands of
Pleminius the lieutenant-general, and the Roman soldiers, as the
Roman people would not wish even the Carthaginians to experience. They
requested that they would allow them to appear before the senate, and
complain of their sufferings."

17. An audience having been granted, the eldest of them thus spoke:
"I know, conscript fathers, that the importance you will attach to
the complaints we make before you must depend, in a very great degree,
upon your accurately knowing the manner in which Locri was betrayed to
Hannibal, and placed again under your dominion after the expulsion of
his garrison. Inasmuch as if the guilt of defection does not rest
upon the public, and it is made apparent that our restoration to your
dominion was effected, not only in concurrence with our wishes, but by
our own co-operation and valour, you will be the more indignant that
such atrocious and shameful injuries should have been inflicted upon
good and faithful allies by your lieutenant-general and soldiers.
But I think it proper that the subject of our changing sides, in both
instances, should be deferred to another time, on two accounts: first,
that it may be discussed in the presence of Publius Scipio, who
retook Locri, and who witnessed all our acts, both good and bad; and
secondly, because, whatever we are, we ought not to have suffered
what we have. We cannot conceal, conscript fathers, that when we had
a Carthaginian garrison in our citadel we were exposed to many
sufferings, of a shocking and shameful kind, from Hamilcar, the
captain of the garrison, and the Numidians and Africans. But what
are they compared with what we endure this day? I request, conscript
fathers, that you will hear without offence what I am reluctant to
mention. All mankind are now in a state of anxious suspense, whether
they are to see you or the Carthaginians lords of the world. If an
estimate is to be formed of the Roman and Carthaginian governments
from what we Locrians have suffered from the Carthaginians on the one
hand, or on the other, from what we are suffering, at the present time
especially, from your garrison; there is no one who would not wish
the Carthaginians to be his masters rather than the Romans. And yet
observe what are the feelings which the Locrians have entertained
towards you. When we were suffering injuries of much less magnitude
from the Carthaginians, we fled for protection to your general; now
we are suffering more than hostile indignities from your garrison, we
have carried our complaints to no others than yourselves. Conscript
fathers! either you will consider our forlorn condition or there is
no other resource left us for which we can even pray to the immortal
gods. Quintus Pleminius, the lieutenant-general, was sent with a body
of troops to recover Locri from the Carthaginians, and was left there
in command of the same as a garrison. In this your lieutenant-general
there is neither any thing of a man, conscript fathers, but the figure
and outward appearance, (for the extremity of our misery prompts me to
speak freely,) nor of a Roman citizen, but the attire and dress, and
the sound of the Latin language. He is a pest and savage monster, such
as are fabled to have beset the strait by which we are separated
from Sicily, for the destruction of mariners. And yet if he had been
content to be the only person to vent his villany, his lust, and
rapacity upon your allies, that one gulf, deep as it was, we would
however have filled up by our patience. But the case is, he has
made every one of your centurions and soldiers a Pleminius, so
indiscriminately has he willed that licentiousness and wickedness
should be practised. All plunder, spoil, beat, wound, and slay; all
defile matrons, virgins, and free-born youths torn from the embraces
of their parents. Our city is captured daily, plundered daily. Day
and night, every place indiscriminately rings with the lamentations of
women and children, seized and carried away. Any one, acquainted with
our sufferings, might be astonished how it is that we are capable of
bearing them, or that the authors of them are not yet satiated with
inflicting such enormous cruelties. Neither am I able to go through
with them, nor is it worth your while to listen to the particulars of
our sufferings. I will embrace them all in a general description.
I declare that there is not a house or a man at Locri exempt from
injury. I say that there cannot be found any species of villany, lust,
or rapacity which has not been exercised on every one capable of being
the object of them. It would be difficult to determine in which case
the city was visited with the more horrible calamity, whether when it
was captured by an enemy, or when a sanguinary tyrant crushed it
by violence and arms. Every evil, conscript fathers, which captured
cities suffer, we have suffered, and do now as much as ever suffer.
All the enormities which the most cruel and savage tyrants are wont
to perpetrate upon their oppressed subjects, Pleminius has perpetrated
upon ourselves, our children, and our wives.

18. "There is one circumstance, however, in complaining of which
particularly we may be allowed to yield to our deeply-rooted sense of
religion, and indulge a hope that you will listen to it; and, if it
shall seem good to you, conscript fathers, free your state from
the guilt of irreligious conduct. For we have seen with how great
solemnity you not only worship your own deities, but entertain even
those of foreign countries. We have a fane dedicated to Proserpine, of
the sanctity of which temple I imagine some accounts must have reached
you, during the war with Pyrrhus; who, when sailing by Locri, on his
return from Sicily, among other horrid enormities which he committed
against our state, on account of our fidelity towards you, plundered
also the treasures of Proserpine, which had never been touched up to
that day; and then, putting the money on board his ships, proceeded
on his journey himself by land. What, therefore, was the result,
conscript fathers? The next day his fleet was shattered by a most
hideous tempest, and all the ships which carried the sacred money were
thrown on our shores. That most insolent king, convinced by this
so great disaster that there were gods, ordered all the money to be
collected and restored to the treasures of the goddess. However, he
never met with any success afterwards; but, after being driven out of
Italy, he died an ignoble and dishonourable death, having incautiously
entered Argos by night. Though your lieutenant-general and military
tribune had heard of these, and a thousand other circumstances, which
were related not for the purpose of creating increased reverence, but
frequently experienced by ourselves and our ancestors, through the
special interposition of the goddess, they had, nevertheless,
the audacity to apply their sacrilegious hands to those hallowed
treasures, and pollute themselves, their own families, and your
soldiers, with the impious booty. Through whom we implore you,
conscript fathers, by your honour, not to perform any thing in Italy
or in Africa, until you have expiated their guilty deed, lest they
should atone for the crime they have committed, not with their own
blood only, but by some disaster affecting their country. Although,
even now, conscript fathers, the resentment of the goddess does not
tarry either towards your generals or your soldiers. Already have they
several times engaged each other in pitched battles, one party headed
by Pleminius, and the other by the two military tribunes. Never did
they employ their weapons with more fury against the Carthaginians
than when encountering each other; and they would have afforded
Hannibal an opportunity of retaking Locri, had not Scipio, whom we
called in, come in time to prevent it. But, by Hercules, is it that
the soldiers are impelled by frenzy, and that the influence of the
goddess has not shown itself in punishing the generals themselves?
Nay, herein her interposition was manifested in the most conspicuous
manner. The tribunes were beaten with rods by the lieutenant-general.
Then the lieutenant-general, treacherously seized by the tribunes,
besides being mangled in every part of his body, had his nose and ears
cut off, and was left for dead. Then, recovering from his wounds, he
threw the tribunes into chains; beat them, tortured them with every
species of degrading punishment, and put them to death in a cruel
manner, forbidding them to be buried. Such atonements has the goddess
exacted from the despoilers of her temple; nor will she cease to
pursue them, with every species of vengeance, till the sacred money
shall have been replaced in the treasury. Formerly, our ancestors,
during a grievous war with the Crotonians, because the temple was
without the town, were desirous of removing the money into it; but a
voice was heard from the shrine, during the night, commanding them to
hold off their hands, for the goddess would defend her own temple.
As they were deterred, by religious awe, from removing the treasures
thence, they were desirous of surrounding the temple with a wall. The
walls were raised to a considerable height, when they suddenly fell
down in ruins. But, both now, and frequently on other occasions, the
goddess has either defended her own habitation and temple, or has
exacted heavy expiations from those who had violated it. Our injuries
she cannot avenge, nor can any but yourselves avenge them, conscript
fathers. To you, and to your honour, we fly, as suppliants. It makes
no difference to us whether you suffer Locri to be subject to that
lieutenant-general and that garrison, or whether you deliver us up
for punishment to incensed Hannibal and the Carthaginians. We do
not request that you should at once believe us respecting one who is
absent, and when the cause has not been heard. Let him come; let him
hear our charges in person, and refute them himself. If there is any
enormity one man can commit against another which he has not committed
upon us we do not refuse to suffer all the same cruelties over again,
if it is possible we can endure them, and let him be acquitted of all
guilt towards gods and men."

19. When the ambassadors had thus spoken, and Quintus Fabius had asked
them whether they had carried those complaints to Publius Scipio, they
answered, "that deputies were sent to him, but he was occupied with
the preparations for the war, and had either already crossed over
into Africa, or was about to do so within a few days. That they had
experienced how highly the lieutenant-general was in favour with the
general, when, after hearing the cause between him and the
tribunes, he threw the tribunes into chains, while he left the
lieutenant-general, who was equally or more guilty, in possession of
the same power as before." The ambassadors, having been directed to
withdraw from the senate-house, not only Pleminius, but even Scipio,
was severely inveighed against by the principal men; but, above all,
by Quintus Fabius, who endeavoured to show, "that he was born for the
corruption of military discipline. It was thus," he said, "that in
Spain he almost lost more men in consequence of mutiny than the
war. That, after the manner of foreigners and kings, he indulged the
licentiousness of the soldiers, and then punished them with cruelty."
He then followed up his speech by a resolution equally harsh: that "it
was his opinion, that Pleminius should be conveyed to Rome in chains,
and in chains plead his cause; and, if the complaints of the Locrians
were founded in truth, that he should be put to death in prison, and
his effects confiscated. That Publius Scipio should be recalled, for
having quitted his province without the permission of the senate; and
that the plebeian tribunes should be applied to, to propose to the
people the abrogation of his command. That the senate should reply to
the Locrians, when brought before them, that the injuries which they
complained of having received were neither approved of by the senate
nor the people of Rome. That they should be acknowledged as worthy
men, allies, and friends; that their children, their wives, and
whatsoever else had been taken from them, should be restored; that
the sum of money which had been taken from the treasures of Proserpine
should be collected, and twice the amount placed in the treasury. That
an expiatory sacred rite should be celebrated, first referring it to
the college of pontiffs, to determine what atonements should be made,
to what gods, and with what victims, in consequence of the sacred
treasures' having been removed and violated. That the soldiers at
Locri should be all transported into Sicily, and four cohorts of the
allies of the Latin confederacy taken to Locri for a garrison." The
votes could not be entirely collected that day in consequence of the
warm feeling excited for and against Scipio. Besides the atrocious
conduct of Pleminius, and the calamities of the Locrians, much was
said about the dress of the general himself, as being not only not
Roman, but even unsoldierlike. It was said, that "he walked about in
the gymnasium in a cloak and slippers, and that he gave his time to
light books and the palaestra. That his whole staff were enjoying
the delights which Syracuse afforded, with the same indolence and
effeminacy. That Carthage and Hannibal had dropped out of his memory;
that the whole army, corrupted by indulgence, like that at Sucro in
Spain, or that now at Locri, was more to be feared by its allies than
by its enemies."

20. Though these charges, partly true, and partly containing a mixture
of truth and falsehood, and therefore, probably, were urged with
vehemence; the opinion, however, of Quintus Metellus prevailed, who,
agreeing with Maximus on other points, differed from him in the case
of Scipio. "For how inconsistent would it be," said he, "that the
person whom the state a little while ago selected as their general,
though a very young man, for the recovery of Spain; whom, after he
had taken Spain out of the hands of their enemies, they elected their
consul, for the purpose of putting an end to the Punic war; whom they
marked out with the most confident anticipation as the person who
would draw Hannibal out of Italy, and subdue Africa; how inconsistent
would it be, that this man, like another Pleminius, condemned in
a manner without a hearing, should suddenly be recalled from his
province! when the Locrians asserted that the wicked acts which had
been committed against them were done not even in the presence of
Scipio, and no other charge could be brought against him, than that he
spared the lieutenant-general, either from good nature or respect. He
thought it advisable, that Marcus Pomponius the praetor, to whose lot
the province of Sicily had fallen, should go to his province within
the next three days; that the consuls should select out of the senate
ten deputies, whomsoever they thought proper, and send them with the
praetor, together with two tribunes of the people, and an aedile. That
the praetor, assisted by this council, should take cognizance of the
affair. If those acts of which the Locrians complained were committed
at the command or with the concurrence of Scipio, that they should
command him to quit the province. If Publius Scipio had already
crossed over into Africa, that the tribunes of the people and the
aedile, with two of the deputies, whom the praetor should judge most
fit for it, should proceed into Africa; the tribunes and the aedile to
bring Scipio back from thence, and the deputies to take the command of
the army until a new general had come to it. But if Marcus Pomponius
and the ten deputies should discover that those acts had been
committed neither with the orders nor concurrence of Publius Scipio,
that Scipio should then remain with the army and carry on the war as
he had proposed." A decree of the senate having passed to this effect,
application was made to the tribunes of the people to arrange among
themselves, or determine by lot, which two should go with the praetor
and the deputies. The advice of the college of pontiffs was taken on
the subject of the expiations to be made, on account of the treasures
in the temple of Proserpine, at Locri, having been touched, violated,
and carried out of it. The tribunes of the people, who went with the
praetor and ten deputies, were Marcus Claudius Marcellus and Marcus
Cincius Alimentus. To these a plebeian aedile was given, whom, if
Scipio, whether he was still in Sicily or had now crossed over into
Africa, should refuse to obey the orders of the praetor, the tribunes
might direct to apprehend him, and bring him home in right of their
most sacred authority. The plan was, to go to Locri before they went
to Messana.

21. With regard to Pleminius, there are two different accounts. Some
relate that, having heard what measures had been adopted at Rome,
as he was going into exile to Naples, he accidentally fell in with
Quintus Metellus, one of the deputies, by whom he was forcibly
conveyed back to Rhegium. Others say, that Scipio himself sent a
lieutenant-general with thirty of the most distinguished of the
cavalry to throw Quintus Pleminius into chains, and with him the
principal movers of the mutiny. All these, whether by the orders
of Scipio before, or of the praetor now, were delivered over to the
Rhegians to be kept in custody. The praetor and the deputies going to
Locri, gave their attention first to the affair relating to religion,
agreeably to their instructions; for, collecting all the sacred money,
whether in the possession of Pleminius or the soldiers, they replaced
it in the treasury, together with that which they had brought with
them, and performed an expiatory sacred rite. The praetor then,
summoning the soldiers to an assembly, ordered them to march out of
the city, and pitched a camp in the plain, issuing an edict which
threatened severe punishment to any soldier who either had remained
behind in the city, or had carried out with him what did not belong to
him. He gave permission to the Locrians to seize whatever each of them
identified as his property, and demand restitution to be made of any
thing which was concealed. Above all, he was resolved that the free
persons should be restored to the Locrians without delay. That the man
who did not restore them should be visited with no light punishment.
He then held an assembly of the Locrians, and told them, that "the
people and senate of Rome restored to them their liberty and their
laws. That if any one was desirous of bringing charges against
Pleminius, or any one else, he should follow them to Rhegium. If they
were desirous of complaining, in the name of their state, of Publius
Scipio, as having ordered and approved of the nefarious acts which had
been committed at Locri against gods and men, that they should send
deputies to Messana, where, with the assistance of his council, he
would hear them." The Locrians returned thanks to the praetor and
deputies, and to the senate and people of Rome, and said that they
would go and bring their charge against Pleminius. That Scipio, though
he had evinced too little sympathy in the injuries inflicted on their
state, was such a man as they would rather have their friend than
their enemy; that they were convinced that the many and horrid acts
which had been committed were done neither by the orders nor with
the approval of Publius Scipio; that he had either placed too much
confidence in Pleminius, or too little in them; that the natural
disposition of some men was such, that they rather were unwilling that
crimes should be committed, than had sufficient resolution to punish
them when committed. Both the praetor and his council were relieved
from a burden of no ordinary weight in not having to take cognizance
of charges against Scipio. Pleminius, and as many as thirty-two
persons with him, they condemned and sent in chains to Rome. They
then proceeded to Scipio, that they might carry to Rome a statement
attested by their own observation relative to the facts which had been
so generally talked of, concerning the dress and indolent habits of
the general, and the relaxation of military discipline.

22. While they were on their way to Syracuse, Scipio prepared to clear
himself, not by words but facts. He ordered all his troops to assemble
there, and the fleet to be got in readiness, as though a battle had
been to be fought that day with the Carthaginians, by sea and land.
On the day of their arrival he entertained them hospitably, and on the
next day presented to their view his land and naval forces, not only
drawn up in order, but the former performing evolutions, while the
fleet in the harbour itself also exhibited a mock naval fight.
The praetor and the deputies were then conducted round to view the
armouries, the granaries, and other preparations for the war. And so
great was the admiration excited in them of each particular, and of
the whole together, that they firmly believed, that under the conduct
of that general, and with that army, the Carthaginians would be
vanquished, or by none other. They bid him, with the blessing of
the gods, cross over, and, as soon as possible, realize to the Roman
people the hopes they conceived on that day when all the centuries
concurred in naming him first consul. Thus they set out on their
return in the highest spirits, as though they were about to carry to
Rome tidings of a victory, and not of a grand preparation for war.
Pleminius, and those who were implicated in the same guilt with him,
when they arrived at Rome, were thrown immediately into prison. At
first, when brought before the people by the tribunes, they found no
place in their compassion, as their minds were previously engrossed
by the sufferings of the Locrians; but afterwards, being repeatedly
brought before them, and the hatred with which they were regarded
subsiding, their resentment was softened. Besides, the mutilated
appearance of Pleminius, and their recollections of the absent Scipio,
operated in gaining them favour with the people. Pleminius, however,
died in prison, before the people had come to a determination
respecting him. Clodius Licinius, in the third book of his Roman
history, relates, that this Pleminius, during the celebration of the
votive games, which Africanus, in his second consulate, exhibited
at Rome, made an attempt, by means of certain persons whom he had
corrupted by bribes, to set fire to the city in several places, that
he might have an opportunity of breaking out of prison, and making his
escape; and that afterwards, the wicked plot having been discovered,
he was consigned to the Tullian dungeon, according to a decree of the
senate. The case of Scipio was considered no where but in the
senate; where all the deputies and tribunes, bestowing the highest
commendations on the fleet, the army, and the general, induced the
senate to vote that he should cross over into Africa as soon as
possible; and that permission should be given him to select himself,
out of those armies which were in Sicily, those forces which he would
carry with him into Africa, and those which he would leave for the
protection of the province.

23. While the Romans were thus employed, the Carthaginians, on their
part, though they had passed an anxious winter, earnestly inquiring
what was going on, and terrified at the arrival of every messenger,
with watch-towers placed on every promontory, had gained a point of no
small importance for the defence of Africa, in adding to their allies
king Syphax, in reliance on whom chiefly they believed the Romans
would cross over into Africa. Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, not only formed
a connexion of hospitality with the before-named king, when Scipio and
Hasdrubal happened to come to him at the same time out of Spain,
but mention had also been slightly made of an affinity to take place
between them, by the king's marrying the daughter of Hasdrubal.
Hasdrubal, who had gone for the purpose of completing this
business, and fixing a time for the nuptials, for the virgin was now
marriageable, perceiving that the king was inflamed with desire, for
the Numidians are, beyond all the other barbarians, violently addicted
to love, sent for the virgin from Carthage, and hastened the nuptials.
Among the other proofs of joy felt upon the occasion, and in order
that a public connexion might be added to this private one, an oath
was taken in confirmation of an alliance between the Carthaginian
people and the king, and faith reciprocally pledged that they would
have the same friends and enemies. But Hasdrubal, recollecting both
the alliance which had been entered into by the king and Scipio, and
how inconstant and changeable were the minds of the barbarians, was
afraid that, if Scipio were to invade Africa, that marriage would
prove but a slight bond of union, he therefore took advantage of the
Numidian while under the influence of the first transports of love,
and calling to his aid the caresses of the bride, prevailed upon him
to send ambassadors into Sicily to Scipio, and by them to warn him
"not to cross over into Africa in reliance upon his former promises.
That he was united to the Carthaginians both by a marriage with
a Carthaginian citizen, the daughter of Hasdrubal, whom he saw
entertained at his house, and likewise by a public treaty. That
his first wish was that the Romans would carry on the war with the
Carthaginians at a distance from Africa, as they had hitherto done,
lest he should be compelled to interfere with their disputes, and join
one of the two contending parties, renouncing his alliance with the
other. If Scipio should not keep away from Africa, and should advance
his army to Carthage, it would be incumbent upon him to fight for
the land of Africa, which gave him birth, and for the country of his
spouse, for her parent, and household gods."

24. The ambassadors, sent to Scipio by the king with these
instructions, met him at Syracuse. Scipio, though disappointed in
an affair which was of the greatest importance with regard to his
operations in Africa, and in the sanguine expectations he had formed
from it, sent the ambassadors back into Africa speedily, before their
business was made known, giving them letters for the king, in which he
warned him over and over again "not to violate the laws of hospitality
which bound them together; the obligation of the alliance entered into
with the Roman people; nor make light of justice, honour, their
right hands pledged, and the gods the witnesses and arbitrators of
compacts." But, as the coming of the Numidians could not be concealed,
for they lounged about the city, and had frequently appeared at the
pavilion; and as, if nothing were said about the object of their
visit, there was danger lest the truth, from the very circumstance of
its being made a secret, should spontaneously spread the more; and, in
consequence, the troops become alarmed lest they should have to wage
war at once with the king and the Carthaginians, Scipio endeavoured to
divert their attention from the truth by preoccupying their minds with
false information; and, summoning his soldiers to an assembly, said,
"that it was not expedient to delay any longer. That the kings, their
allies, urged them to cross over into Africa with all speed. That
Masinissa himself had before come to Laelius, complaining that
time was consumed in delays, and that now Syphax sent ambassadors,
expressing his astonishment on the same account, namely, what could
be the cause of such long delay; and requesting either that the army
would now at length be transported into Africa, or, if the plan was
changed, that he might be informed so that he might himself take
measures for the safety of himself and his dominions. Therefore, as
every thing was now ready and prepared, and as the business admitted
of no further delay, he was resolved, after having removed the fleet
to Lilybaeum, and collected here all his forces of foot and horse,
with the blessing of the gods to pass over into Africa the first day
the ships could sail." He sent a letter to Marcus Pomponius, directing
him, if he thought proper, to come to Lilybaeum, that they might
consult together as to what legions, in preference to any others, and
how large a number of soldiers, they should convey into Africa; he
also sent round to every part of the sea-coast, with directions that
all the ships of burthen should be seized and collected at Lilybaeum.
When all the soldiers and ships in Sicily were assembled at Lilybaeum,
and neither the city could contain the multitude of men, nor the
harbour the ships, so ardent was the desire possessed by all of
passing over to Africa, that they did not appear as if going to wage
war, but to reap the certain rewards of victory. Particularly those
who remained of the soldiers who had fought at Cannae felt convinced
that under Scipio, and no other general, they would be enabled, by
exerting themselves in the cause of the state, to put an end to their
ignominious service. Scipio was very far from feeling contempt for
that description of soldiers, inasmuch as he knew that the defeat
sustained at Cannae was not attributable to their cowardice, and that
there were no soldiers in the Roman army who had served so long, or
were so experienced not only in the various kinds of battles, but in
assaulting towns also. The legions which had fought at Cannae were
the fifth and sixth. After declaring that he would take these with him
into Africa, he inspected them man by man; and leaving those whom he
considered unfit for service, he substituted for them those whom he
had brought from Sicily, filling up those legions so that each might
contain six thousand two hundred infantry and three hundred horse. The
horse and foot of the allies, of the Latin confederacy, he also chose
out of the army of Cannae.

25. There is a wide difference among historians as to the number of
men transported into Africa. In some I find ten thousand infantry and
two hundred horse; in others, sixteen thousand infantry and sixteen
hundred horse. In others, again, I find it stated that thirty-five
thousand infantry and cavalry were put on board the fleet, making the
number more than one half greater. Some have not added an account of
the number; among whom, as the matter is doubtful, I should rather
have myself ranked. Caelius, though he abstains from specifying the
number, increases the impression of their multitude indefinitely. He
says, that birds fell to the ground from the shout of the soldiers,
and that so great a multitude went on board the fleet, that it seemed
as if there was not a man left in Italy or Sicily. Scipio took upon
himself the care of seeing that the soldiers embarked orderly and
without confusion. The seamen, who were made to embark first, Caius
Laelius, the admiral of the fleet, kept in order on board the ships.
The task of the putting on board the provisions was assigned to Marcus
Pomponius, the praetor. Food for forty-five days, of which enough for
fifteen was cooked, was put on board. When they were all embarked, he
sent boats round with directions that the pilots and masters, with
two soldiers from each ship, should assemble in the forum to receive
orders. After they had assembled, he first asked them whether they had
put on board water for the men and cattle, sufficient to last as many
days as the corn would. When they answered that there was water on
board sufficient for five and forty days' consumption, he then charged
the soldiers that, conducting themselves submissively, and keeping
quiet, they would not make any noise or disturb the mariners in the
execution of their duties. He informed them, that he himself and
Lucius Scipio in the right wing, with twenty ships of war, and Caius
Laelius, admiral of the fleet, together with Marcus Porcius Cato, who
was then quaestor, with the same number of ships of war in the left
wing, would protect the transports. That the ships of war should carry
each a single light, the transports two each. That in the ship of the
commander-in-chief there would be three lights as a distinction by
night. He desired the pilots to make for Emporia, where the land is
remarkably fertile; and on that account the district abounds with
plenty of every thing, and the barbarous inhabitants are unwarlike,
which is usually the case where the soil is rich. It was supposed
that they might, therefore, be overpowered before assistance could be
brought them from Carthage. After these commands were delivered, they
were ordered to return to their ships, and the next day, with the
blessing of the gods, on the signal being given, to set sail.

26. Many Roman fleets had set sail from Sicily, and from that very
harbour. But not only during this war, nor is that surprising, (for
most of the fleets went out for the purpose of getting plunder,) but
even in any former war, never did a fleet on setting out exhibit
so grand a spectacle. And yet, if the estimate is to be formed with
reference to the magnitude of the fleet, it must be owned that two
consuls with their armies had passed from thence before, and there
were almost as many ships of war in those fleets as the transports
with which Scipio was crossing. For, besides fifty men of war, he
conveyed his army over in four hundred transports. But what made the
Romans consider one war as more formidable than the other, the second
than the first, was, that it was carried on in Italy, and that so many
armies had been destroyed, and their commanders slain. The general,
Scipio, also, who enjoyed the highest degree of renown, partly
from his brave achievements, and partly from a peculiar felicity of
fortune, which conducted him to the acquisition of boundless glory,
attracted extraordinary regard. At the same time, the very project of
passing over into the enemy's country, which had not been formed
by any general before during that war, had made him an object of
admiration; for he had commonly declared, that he passed over with the
object of drawing Hannibal out of Italy, of removing the seat of war
into Africa, and terminating it there. A crowd of persons of every
description had assembled in the harbour to view the spectacle; not
only the inhabitants of Lilybaeum, but all the deputies from Sicily,
who had come together out of compliment to witness the departure
of Scipio, and had followed Marcus Pomponius, the praetor of the
province. Besides these, the legions which were to be left in Sicily
had come forth to do honour to their comrades on the occasion; and not
only did the fleet form a grand sight to those who viewed it from the
land, but the shore also, crowded as it was all around, afforded the
same to those who were sailing away.

27. As soon as day appeared, silence having been obtained by a herald,
Scipio thus spoke from the ship of the commander-in-chief: "Ye gods
and goddesses who preside over the seas and lands, I pray and entreat
you, that whatever things have been, are now, or shall be performed
during my command, may turn out prosperously to myself, the state, and
commons of Rome, to the allies and the Latin confederacy, and to
all who follow my party and that of the Roman people, my command and
auspices, by land, by sea, and on rivers. That you would lend your
favourable aid to all those measures, and promote them happily. That
you would bring these and me again to our homes, safe and unhurt;
victorious over our vanquished enemies, decorated with spoils, loaded
with booty, and triumphant. That you would grant us the opportunity of
taking revenge upon our adversaries and foes, and put it in the power
of myself and the Roman people to make the Carthaginian state feel
those signal severities which they endeavoured to inflict upon our
state." After these prayers, he threw the raw entrails of a victim
into the sea, according to custom, and, with the sound of a trumpet,
gave the signal for sailing. Setting out with a favourable wind, which
blew pretty strong, they were soon borne away out of sight of the
land; and in the afternoon a mist came over them, so that they could
with difficulty prevent the ships from running foul of each other. The
wind abated when they got into the open sea. The following night the
same haziness prevailed; but when the sun rose it was dispelled, and
the wind blew stronger. They were now within sight of land, and, not
long after, the pilot observed to Scipio, that "Africa was not more
than five miles off; that he could discern the promontory of Mercury,
and that if he gave orders to direct their course thither, the whole
fleet would presently be in harbour." Scipio, when the land was in
sight, after praying that his seeing Africa might be for the good
of the state and himself, gave orders to make for another place of
landing, lower down. They were borne along by the same wind; but a
mist, arising nearly about the same time as on the preceding day, hid
the land from them; and the wind fell as the mist grew more dense.
Afterwards, the night coming on increased the confusion in every
respect; they therefore cast anchor, lest the ships should either
run foul of each other, or be driven on shore. At daybreak the wind,
rising in the same quarter, dispelled the mist and discovered the
whole coast of Africa. Scipio asked what was the name of the nearest
promontory, and, on being told that it was called the cape of Pulcher,
he observed, "the omen pleases me, direct your course to it." To
this place the fleet ran down, and all the troops were landed. I have
adopted the accounts given by a great many Greek and Latin authors,
who state that the voyage was prosperous, and unattended with any
cause of alarm or confusion. Caelius alone, except that he does not
state that the ships were sunk in the waves, says that they were
exposed to all the terrors of the heavens and the sea, and that
at last the fleet was driven by tempest from Africa to the island
Aegimurus, from which, with great difficulty, they got into the right
course; and that, the ships almost foundering, the soldiers, without
orders from their general, got into boats, just as if they had
suffered shipwreck, and escaped to land without arms, and in the
utmost disorder.

28. The troops being landed, the Romans marked out their camp on the
nearest rising grounds. By this time, not only the parts bordering on
the sea were filled with consternation and alarm, first in consequence
of the fleet being seen, and afterwards from the bustle of landing,
but they had extended to the cities also. For not only multitudes of
men, mixed with crowds of women and children, had filled up all the
roads in every direction, but the rustics also drove away their cattle
before them, so that you would say that Africa was being suddenly
deserted. In the cities, indeed, they occasioned much greater terror
than they felt themselves. At Carthage, particularly, the tumult was
almost as great as if it had been captured. For since the time of
Marcus Atilius Regulus and Lucius Manlius, which was almost fifty
years ago, the Carthaginians had seen no Roman armament, with the
exception of fleets sent for plundering, from which troops had made
descents upon the lands bordering on the sea, and after carrying away
every thing which chance threw in their way, had always returned to
their ships before their noise had collected the peasantry. For this
reason the hurry and consternation in the city was, on the present
occasion, the greater. And, by Hercules, they had neither an efficient
army at home, nor a general, whom they could oppose to their enemy.
Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, was by far the first man in their state in
respect of birth, fame, opulence, and, at that time, also by reason
of an affinity with the king. But they recollected that he had been
routed in several battles and driven out of Spain by this very Scipio;
and that therefore, as a general, he was no more a match for the
general of the enemy than their tumultuary army was for that of the
Romans. Therefore they shouted to arms, as if Scipio were coming
immediately to attack the city; the gates were hastily closed, armed
men placed upon the walls, guards and outposts stationed in different
places, and the following night was spent in watching. The next day,
five hundred horsemen, sent to the coast to reconnoitre and interrupt
the enemy while landing, fell in with the advanced guards of the
Romans; for by this time Scipio, having sent his fleet to Utica, had
proceeded a short distance from the sea, and occupied the nearest
heights. He had also placed outposts of cavalry in proper situations,
and sent troops through the country to plunder.

29. These, engaging the body of Carthaginian horse, slew a few of them
in the fight, and the greater part of them as they pursued them when
they were flying; among whom was Hanno, their captain, a young man of
distinction. Scipio not only devastated the lands in the country
round him, but also took a very wealthy city of the Africans which lay
nearest to him; where, besides other things which were immediately
put on board the transports and sent into Sicily, eight thousand free
persons and slaves were captured. But the most gratifying circumstance
to the Romans was, the arrival of Masinissa just at the commencement
of their operations. Some say that he came with not more than two
hundred horse, but most authors say with a body of two thousand
cavalry. But, as this man was by far the greatest king of his age, and
rendered most essential service to the Romans, it seems worth while to
digress a little, to give a full account of the great vicissitudes
of fortune he experienced in the loss and recovery of his father's
kingdom. While he was serving in Spain in the cause of the
Carthaginians, his father, named Gala, died. The kingdom, according to
the custom of the Numidians, came to Oesalces, the brother of the
late king, who was very aged. Not long after, Oesalces also dying,
the elder of his two sons, named Capusa, the other being quite a boy,
succeeded to his father's kingdom. But, as he occupied the throne more
by right of descent than from the esteem in which he was held among
his countrymen, or the power he possessed, there stood forth a person
named Mezetulus, not unrelated by blood to the kings, of a family
which had always been hostile to them, and had continually contested
the right to the throne with those who then occupied it, with various
success. This man, having roused his countrymen to arms, over whom he
possessed a great influence, from the hatred felt towards the kings,
openly pitched his camp, and compelled the king to come into the field
and fight for the throne. Capusa, with many of his nobles, falling in
the action, the whole nation of the Massylians came under the dominion
and rule of Mezetulus. He abstained, however, from assuming the
title of king; and, contenting himself with the modest appellation
of protector, gave the name of king to the boy Lacumaces, a surviving
branch of the royal stock. In the hope of an alliance with the
Carthaginians, he formed a matrimonial connexion with a noble
Carthaginian lady, daughter of Hannibal's sister, who had been lately
married to the king Oesalces; and, sending ambassadors for that
purpose, renewed an old connexion of hospitality with Syphax, taking
all these measures with a view to obtain assistance against Masinissa.

30. Masinissa, hearing of the death of his uncle, and afterwards that
his cousin-german was slain, passed over out of Spain into Mauritania.
Bocchar was king of the Moors at that time. Applying to him as a
suppliant, he succeeded, by means of the most humble entreaties, in
obtaining from him four thousand Moors to escort him on his march,
since he could not procure his co-operation in the war. With these,
after sending a messenger before him to his own and his father's
friends, he arrived on the frontiers of the kingdom, when about five
hundred Numidians came to join him. Having, therefore, sent back the
Moors to their king, as had been agreed, though the numbers which
joined him were much less than he had anticipated, not being such as
to inspire him with sufficient confidence for so great an attempt,
yet, concluding that by action, and by making some effort, he should
collect sufficient strength to enable him to effect something, he
threw himself in the way of the young king Lacumaces, at Thapsus, as
he was going to Syphax. The troops which attended him having fled back
to the town in consternation, Masinissa took it at the first assault.
Of the royal party, some who surrendered themselves he received,
others he slew while attempting resistance. The greater part, with the
young king himself, escaped during the confusion and came to Syphax,
to whom they intended to go at first. The fame of this success, in
the commencement of his operations, though of no great magnitude,
brought the Numidians over to the cause of Masinissa; and the veteran
soldiers of Gala flocked to his standard from all quarters, from the
country and the towns, inviting the youth to come and recover his
paternal dominions. Mezetulus had somewhat the advantage in the number
of his soldiers, for he had himself both the army with which he had
conquered Capusa, and also some troops who had submitted to him after
the king was slain; and the young king Lacumaces had brought him very
large succours from Syphax. Mezetulus had fifteen thousand infantry,
and ten thousand cavalry. With these Masinissa engaged in battle,
though he had by no means so many horse or foot. The valour, however,
of the veteran troops, and the skill of the general, who had been
exercised in the war between the Romans and Carthaginians, prevailed.
The young king, with the protector and a small body of Massylians,
escaped into the territories of the Carthaginians. Masinissa thus
recovered his paternal dominions; but, as he saw that there still
remained a struggle considerably more arduous with Syphax, he thought
it advisable to come to a reconciliation with his cousin-german.
Having, therefore sent persons to give the young king hopes, that if
he put himself under the protection of Masinissa, he would be held in
the same honour by him as Oesalces had formerly been by Gala; and to
promise Mezetulus, in addition to impunity, a faithful restitution
of all his property; as both of them preferred a moderate share
of fortune at home to exile, he brought them over to his side,
notwithstanding the Carthaginians studiously exerted every means to
prevent it.

31. It happened that Hasdrubal was with Syphax at the time these
things were taking place. He told the Numidian, who considered that it
could make very little difference to him whether the government of the
Massylians was in the hands of Lacumaces or Masinissa, that "he was
very much mistaken if he supposed that Masinissa would be content with
the same power which his father Gala or his uncle Oesalces enjoyed.
That he possessed a much greater degree of spirit, and a more
enterprising turn of mind, than had ever existed in any one of that
race. That he had frequently, when in Spain, exhibited proofs to his
allies, as well as to his enemies, of such valour as was rarely
found among men. That both Syphax and the Carthaginians, unless they
smothered that rising flame, would soon find themselves enveloped in
a vast conflagration, when they could not help themselves. That as yet
his strength was feeble, and such as might easily be broken, while
he was trying to keep together a kingdom, which was not yet firmly
cemented." By continually urging and goading him on, he succeeded in
inducing him to lead an army to the frontiers of the Massylians, and
to pitch his camp in a country for which he had not only disputed
verbally, but had fought battles with Gala, as though it had been his
own by uncontested right. He alleged, that "if any one should attempt
to dislodge him, which was what he most wanted, he would have an
opportunity of fighting; but, if the ground were given up to him
through fear, he must march into the heart of the kingdom. That the
Massylians would either submit to his authority without a contest,
or would be inferior to him in arms." Syphax, impelled by these
arguments, made war on Masinissa, and, in the first engagement, routed
and put him to flight. Masinissa, with a few horsemen, effected his
escape from the field to a mountain called by the natives Balbus.
Several families, with their tents and cattle, which form their
wealth, followed the king; the rest of the Massylian people submitted
to Syphax. The mountain, which the exiles had seized, had plenty
of grass and water; and, as it was well adapted for feeding cattle,
afforded an abundant supply of food for men who live upon flesh and
milk. From this place they infested all the surrounding country; at
first with nightly and clandestine incursions, but afterwards with
open depredations. The lands of the Carthaginians suffered the
severest devastation, because there was not only a greater quantity
of booty there than among the Numidians, but their plunder would be
safer. And now they did it with so much boldness and defiance, that,
carrying their booty down to the sea, they sold it to merchants, who
brought their ships to land for that very purpose; while a greater
number of Carthaginians were slain and made prisoners, than frequently
happens in a regular war. The Carthaginians complained bitterly of
these occurrences to Syphax, and urged him strongly to follow up this
remnant of the war, though he was himself highly incensed at them. But
he considered it hardly suitable to the dignity of a king to pursue a
vagabond robber through the mountains.

32. Bocchar, one of the king's generals, an enterprising and active
officer, was chosen for this service. Four thousand infantry and
two thousand cavalry were assigned him; and having been loaded with
promises of immense rewards if he brought back the head of Masinissa,
or if, which would be a source of incalculable joy, he took him alive;
he unexpectedly attacked his party while dispersed and carelessly
employed, and after cutting off an immense quantity of cattle and men
from the troops which guarded them, drove Masinissa himself with
a small body of attendants to the summit of the mountain. On this,
considering the business as in a manner settled, he not only sent the
booty of cattle and the prisoners he had made to the king, but also
sent back a part of his forces, as being considerably more than were
necessary to accomplish what remained of the war; and then pursuing
Masinissa, who had come down from the top of the mountain with not
more than five hundred foot and two hundred horse, shut him up in a
narrow valley, both the entrances of which he blocked up. Here great
slaughter was made of the Massylians. Masinissa, with not more than
fifty horsemen, disengaged himself from the defile by passing through
steep descents of the mountains, which were not known to his pursuers.
Bocchar, however, followed close upon him, and overtaking him in the
open plains near Clupea, so effectually surrounded him, that he slew
every one of his attendants except four horsemen. These, together with
Masinissa himself, who was wounded, he let slip, in a manner, out of
his hands during the confusion. The fugitives were in sight, and
a body of horse, dispersed over the whole plain, pursued the five
horsemen of the enemy, some of them pushing off in an oblique
direction, in order to meet them. The fugitives met with a very broad
river, into which they unhesitatingly plunged their horses, as they
were pressed by greater danger from behind, and carried away by the
current were borne along obliquely. Two of them having sunk in the
rapid eddy in the sight of the enemy, Masinissa himself was supposed
to have perished; but he with the two remaining had emerged among the
bushes on the farther bank. Here Bocchar stopped his pursuit, as he
neither had courage to enter the river, nor believed that he now had
any one to pursue. Upon this he returned to the king, with the false
account of the death of Masinissa. Messengers were despatched to
Carthage to convey this most joyful event, and all Africa rang with
the news of Masinissa's death; but the minds of men were variously
affected by it. Masinissa, while curing his wound by the application
of herbs, was supported for several days in a secret cave by what the
two horsemen procured by plunder. As soon as it was cicatrized, and he
thought himself able to bear the motion, with extraordinary resolution
he set out to recover his kingdom; and collecting not more than forty
horsemen during his progress, when he arrived among the Massylians,
where he now made himself known, he produced such a sensation among
them, both by reason of their former regard for him, and also from the
unhoped-for joy they experienced at seeing him safe whom they supposed
to have perished, that within a few days six thousand armed foot and
four thousand horse came and joined him; and now he not only was in
possession of his paternal dominions, but was also laying waste
the lands of the states in alliance with the Carthaginians, and the
frontiers of the Massylians, the dominions of Syphax. Then, having
provoked Syphax to war, he took up a position between Cirta and Hippo,
on the tops of mountains which were conveniently situated for all his

33. Syphax, considering this an affair of too great importance to be
managed by one of his generals, sent a part of his army with his son
Vermina, a youth, with orders to march his troops round and attack the
enemy in the rear, while he engaged their attention in front. Vermina
set out by night, as he was to fall upon the enemy unawares; but
Syphax decamped in the day-time and marched openly, intending to fight
a pitched battle. When it was thought that sufficient time had elapsed
for those who were sent round to have reached their destination,
Syphax himself, relying upon his numbers and on the ambuscade prepared
on the enemy's rear, led his troops up the mountain which lay before
him, by a gentle acclivity which led towards the enemy. Masinissa,
relying chiefly on the great superiority he would have over his
opponents in respect of the ground, on his part also formed his
troops. The battle was furious, and for a long time doubtful;
Masinissa having the advantage in point of situation and the courage
of his troops, and Syphax in respect of his numbers, which were much
the greater of the two. His numerous troops, which were divided, some
of them pressing upon the enemy in front, while others surrounded them
on the rear, gave Syphax a decisive victory; and, enclosed as they
were in front and rear, the enemy had not even a way to escape.
Accordingly, all their troops, both horse and foot, were slain and
made prisoners, except about two hundred horsemen, which Masinissa
having collected round him in a compact body, and divided into three
squadrons, ordered to force their way through, first naming a place
where they were to meet after being separated in their flight.
Masinissa himself escaped through the midst of the enemy's weapons in
the quarter to which he had directed his course; two of the squadrons
were unable to extricate themselves; one of them surrendered to the
enemy through fear, the other, taking a more obstinate resistance, was
overwhelmed with weapons and annihilated. Vermina followed Masinissa,
treading almost in his steps; but he eluded him by continually turning
out of one road into another, till at length he obliged him, wearied
with the hopeless task, to desist from the pursuit, and arrived at the
Lesser Syrtis with sixty horsemen. Here, in the country lying between
the Carthaginian Emporia and the nation of the Garamantians, he passed
all the time till the coming of Caius Laelius and the Roman fleet into
Africa, with the proud consciousness of having made every exertion
to recover his paternal dominions. These are the circumstances which
incline me to the opinion, that afterwards also, when Masinissa came
to Scipio, he brought with him a smallish rather than a large body of
cavalry to succour him; for the large number would seem to suit
only with the condition of a reigning king, while the small number
corresponds with the circumstances of an exile.

34. The Carthaginians having lost a detachment of cavalry together
with the commander, got together another body by means of a new levy,
and gave the command of it to Hanno son of Hamilcar. They frequently
sent for Hasdrubal and Syphax by letters and messengers, and lastly
even by ambassadors, ordering Hasdrubal to bring assistance to his
almost besieged country, and imploring Syphax to bring relief to
Carthage, nay to all Africa. At that time Scipio had his camp about
five miles from the city of Utica, having removed it from the sea,
where he had continued encamped for a few days near the fleet. Hanno,
having received the body of horse, which was far from being strong
enough, not only to attack the enemy, but even to protect the country
from devastation, made it his first business to augment the number
of his cavalry by pressing; and though he did not despise the men of
other nations, he enlisted principally from the Numidians, who are by
far the first horsemen in Africa. He had now as many as four thousand
horsemen, when he took possession of a town named Salera, about
fifteen miles from the Roman camp. When Scipio was told of this, he
said, "What! cavalry lodging in houses during the summer! Let them be
even more in number while they have such a leader." Concluding that
the more dilatory they were in their operations, the more active he
ought to be, he sent Masinissa forward with the cavalry, directing him
to ride up to the gates of the enemy and draw them out to battle; and
when their whole force had poured out and pressed upon him with such
impetuosity in the contest that they could not easily be withstood,
then to retire by degrees, and he would himself come up and join
in the battle in time. Waiting only till he thought he had allowed
sufficient time for the advanced party to draw out the enemy, he
followed with the Roman cavalry, proceeding without being seen, as
he was covered by some rising grounds, which lay very conveniently
between him and the enemy, round the windings of the road. Masinissa,
according to the plan laid down, at one time as if menacingthe enemy,
at another as if he had been afraid, either rode up to the gates, or
else by retiring when his counterfeited fears had inspired them with
courage, tempted them to pursue him with inconsiderate ardour. They
had not as yet all gone out, and the general was wearying himself with
various occupations, compelling some who were oppressed with sleep and
wine to take arms and bridle their horses, and preventing others from
running out at all the gates in scattered parties and in disorder,
without keeping their ranks or following their standards. At first,
those who incautiously rushed out were overpowered by Masinissa; but
then a greater number pouring out of the gate at once in a dense body,
placed the contest on an equal footing; and at last the whole of their
cavalry coming up and joining in the battle, they could now no longer
be withstood. Masinissa, however, did not receive their charge in
hasty flight, but retired slowly, until he drew them to the rising
grounds which covered the Roman cavalry. The Roman cavalry then rising
up, their own strength unimpaired and their horses fresh, spread
themselves round Hanno and the Africans, fatigued with the fight and
the pursuit, and Masinissa, suddenly turning his horses round, came
back to the battle. About a thousand who formed the first line and
could not easily retreat, together with Hanno their general, were
surrounded and slain. The victors pursuing the rest through a space
of three miles, as they fled with the most violent haste, being
terrified, principally on account of the death of their leader, either
took or slew as many as two thousand horsemen more. It appeared that
there were not less than two hundred Carthaginian horsemen among them,
some of whom were distinguished by birth and fortune.

35. It happened that the same day on which these events occurred,
the ships which had carried the plunder to Sicily returned with
provisions, as if divining that they came to take another cargo of
booty. All the writers do not vouch for the fact that two generals of
the Carthaginians bearing the same name were slain in the battles of
the cavalry; fearing, I believe, lest the same circumstance related
twice should lead them into error. Caelius, indeed, and Valerius, make
mention of a Hanno also who was made prisoner. Scipio rewarded his
officers and horsemen according to the service they had respectively
rendered, but he presented Masinissa above all the rest with
distinguished gifts. Leaving a strong garrison at Salera, he set out
with the rest of his army; and having not only devastated the country
wherever he marched, but taken some cities and towns, thus spreading
the terrors of war far and wide, he returned to his camp on the
seventh day after he set out, bringing with him an immense quantity
of men and cattle, and booty of every description, and sent away his
ships again loaded with the spoils of the enemy. Then giving up all
expeditions of a minor kind, and predatory excursions, he directed the
whole force of the war to the siege of Utica, that he might make it
for the time to come, if he took it, a position from which he might
set out for the execution of the rest of his designs. At one and the
same time his marines attacked the city from the fleet in that part
which is washed by the sea, and the land forces were brought up from a
rising ground which almost immediately overhung the walls. He had also
brought with him engines and machines which had been conveyed from
Sicily with the stores, and fresh ones were made in the armoury, in
which he had for that purpose employed a number of artificers skilled
in such works. The people of Utica, thus beset on all sides with so
formidable a force, placed all their hopes in the Carthaginians, and
the Carthaginians in the chance there was that Hasdrubal could induce
Syphax to take arms. But all their movements were made too slowly for
the anxiety felt by those who were in want of assistance. Hasdrubal,
though he had by levies, conducted with the utmost diligence, made
up as many as thirty thousand infantry and three thousand horse,
yet dared not move nearer to the enemy before the arrival of Syphax.
Syphax came with fifty thousand foot and ten thousand horse, and,
immediately decamping from Carthage, took up a position not far from
Utica and the Roman works. Their arrival produced, however, this
effect, that Scipio, who had been besieging Utica for forty days,
during which he had tried every expedient without effect, left the
place without accomplishing his object; and as the winter was now fast
approaching, fortified a camp for the winter upon a promontory, which
being attached to the continent by a narrow isthmus, stretched out a
considerable way into the sea. He included his naval camp also within
one and the same rampart. The camp for the legions being stationed on
the middle of the isthmus, the ships, which were drawn on land, and
the mariners occupied the northern shore, the cavalry a valley on the
south inclining towards the other shore. Such were the transactions in
Africa up to the close of autumn.

36. Besides the corn collected from all parts of the surrounding
country by plunder, and the provisions imported from Italy and Sicily,
Cneius Octavius, propraetor, brought a vast quantity out of Sardinia
from Tiberius Claudius the praetor, whose province Sardinia was; and
not only were the granaries already built filled, but new ones were
erected. The army wanted clothing, and Octavius was instructed
to consult with the praetor in order to ascertain if any could
be procured and sent out of that province. This business was also
diligently attended to. One thousand two hundred gowns and twelve
thousand tunics were in a short time sent. During the summer in which
these operations were carried on in Africa, Publius Sempronius, the
consul, who had the province of Bruttium, fought an irregular kind
of battle with Hannibal in the Crotonian territory while actually on
march; they fought with their troops drawn more in order of march than
of battle. The Romans were driven back, and as many as twelve hundred
of the army of the consul were slain in this affair, which was more
a tumult than a battle. They returned in confusion to their camp. The
enemy, however, dared not assault it. But, during the silence of the
following night, the consul marched away, and having sent a messenger
before him to Publius Licinius, the proconsul, to bring up his
legions, united his forces with his. Thus two generals and two armies
returned to Hannibal. Nor did either party delay to fight, as the
forces of the consul were doubled, and the Carthaginian was inspirited
by recent victory. Sempronius led his legions into the front line;
those of Licinius were placed in reserve. The consul, in the beginning
of the battle, vowed a temple to Fortuna Primigenia if he routed
the enemy that day, and he obtained the object of that vow. The
Carthaginians were routed and put to flight; above four thousand armed
men were slain, a little under three hundred taken alive, with forty
horses and eleven military standards. Hannibal, dispirited by this
adverse battle, led his troops away to Croton. At the same time, in
another part of Italy, Etruria, almost the whole of which had
espoused the interest of Mago, and had conceived hopes of effecting
a revolution through his means, was kept in subjection by the consul
Marcus Cornelius, not so much by the force of his arms as the terror
of his judicial proceedings. In the trials he had instituted there,
in conformity with the decree of the senate, he had shown the utmost
impartiality; and many of the Tuscan nobles, who had either themselves
gone, or had sent others to Mago respecting the revolt of their
states, at first standing their trials, were condemned; but afterwards
others, who, from a consciousness of guilt, had gone into voluntary
exile, were condemned in their absence, and by thus withdrawing left
their effects only, which were liable to confiscation, as a pledge for
their punishment.

37. While the consuls were thus engaged in different quarters, in the
mean time, at Rome, the censors, Marcus Livius and Caius Claudius,
called over the senate roll. Quintus Fabius was again chosen chief of
the senate; seven were stigmatized, of whom there was not one who had
sat in the curule chair. They inquired into the business relating to
the repair of public edifices with diligence and the most scrupulous
exactness. They set by contract the making of a road out of the ox
market to the temple of Venus, with public seats on each side of it,
and a temple to be built in the palatium for the great mother. They
established also a new tax out of the price of salt. Salt, both at
Rome, and throughout all Italy, was sold at the sixth part of an _as_.
They contracted for the supply of it at Rome at the same price, at a
higher price in the country towns and markets, and at different
prices in different places. They felt well convinced that this tax
was invented by one of the censors, out of resentment to the people
because he had formerly been condemned by an unjust sentence, and that
in fixing the price of salt, those tribes had been most burdened by
whose means he had been condemned. Hence Livius derived the surname
of Salinator. The closing of the lustrum was later than usual, because
the censors sent persons through the provinces, that a report might be
made of the number of Roman citizens in each of the armies. Including
these, the number of persons returned in the census was two hundred
and fourteen thousand. Caius Claudius Nero closed the lustrum. They
then received a census of the twelve colonies, which had never been
done before, the censors of the colonies themselves presenting it,
in order that there might appear registers among the public records,
stating the extent of their resources, both in respect of furnishing
soldiers and money. The review of the knights then began to be made,
and it happened that both the censors had a horse at the public
expense. When they came to the Pollian tribe, in which was the name
of Marcus Livius, and the herald hesitated to cite the censor himself,
Nero said, "Cite Marcus Livius;" and whether it was that he was
actuated by the remains of an old enmity, or that he felt a ridiculous
pride in this ill-timed display of severity, he ordered Marcus Livius
to sell his horse, because he had been condemned by the sentence of
the people. In like manner, when they came to the Narnian tribe, and
the name of his colleague, Marcus Livius ordered Caius Claudius to
sell his horse, for two reasons; one, because he had given false
evidence against him; the other, because he had not been sincere in
his reconciliation with him. Thus a disgraceful contest arose, in
which each endeavoured to asperse the character of the other, though
not without detriment to his own. On the expiration of the office,
when Caius Claudius had taken the oath respecting the observance of
the laws, and had gone up into the treasury, he gave the name of
his colleague among the names of those whom he left disfranchised.
Afterwards, Marcus Livius came into the treasury, and excepting only
the Maecian tribe, which had neither condemned him nor made him consul
or censor when condemned, left all the Roman people, four and thirty
tribes, disfranchised, because they had both condemned him when
innocent, and when condemned had made him consul and censor; and
therefore could not deny that they had been guilty of a crime, either
once in his condemnation, or twice at the elections. He said that the
disfranchisement of Caius Claudius would be included in that of the
thirty-four tribes, but that if he were in possession of a precedent
for leaving the same person disfranchised twice he would have left
his name particularly among the disfranchised. This contest between
censors, endeavouring to brand each other, was highly improper, while
the correction applied to the inconstancy of the people was suitable
to the office of a censor, and worthy of the strict discipline of
the times. As the censors were labouring under odium, Cneius Babius,
tribune of the people, thinking this a favourable opportunity of
advancing himself at their expense, summoned them both to trial before
the people. This proceeding was quashed by the unanimous voice of the
senate, lest in future this office of censor should become subject to
the caprice of the people.

38. The same summer Clampetia in Bruttium was taken by the consul by
storm. Consentia and Pandosia, with some other inconsiderable states,
submitted voluntarily. As the time for the elections was now drawing
near, it was thought best that Cornelius should be summoned to Rome
from Etruria, as there was no war there. He elected, as consuls,
Cneius Servilius Caepio and Caius Servilius Geminus. The election of
praetors was then held. The persons elected were, Publius Cornelius
Lentulus, Publius Quinctilius Varus, Publius Aelius Paetus, and
Publius Villius Tappulus. The last two were plebeian aediles when
elected praetors. The elections finished, the consul returned into
Etruria to his army. The priests who died this year, and those who
were put in their places, were Tiberius Veturius Philo, flamen of
Mars, elected and inaugurated in the room of Marcus Aemilius Regillus,
who died the year before: in the room of Marcus Pomponius Matho,
augur and decemvir, were elected Marcus Aurelius Cotta, decemvir, and
Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, augur, being then a very young man;
an instance of very rare occurrence in the disposal of the priests'
offices in those times. Golden four-horsed chariots were placed this
year in the Capitol by the curule aediles, Caius Livius and Marcus
Servilius Geminus. The Roman games were repeated during two days.
During two days also the plebeian games were repeated by the aediles,
Publius Aelius and Publius Villius. There was likewise a feast of
Jupiter on occasion of the games.


_Scipio, aided by Masinissa, defeats the Carthaginians, Syphax
and Hasdrubal, in several battles. Syphax taken by Laelius and
Masinissa. Masinissa espouses Sophonisba, the wife of Syphax,
Hasdrubal's daughter; being reproved by Scipio, he sends
her poison, with which she puts an end to her life. The
Carthaginians, reduced to great extremity by Scipio's
repeated victories, call Hannibal home from Italy; he holds a
conference with Scipio on the subject of peace, and is again
defeated by him in battle. The Carthaginians sue for peace,
which is granted them. Masinissa reinstated in his kingdom.
Scipio returns to Rome; his splendid triumph; is surnamed

1. Cneius Servilius and Caius Servilius Geminus, the consuls in
the sixteenth year of the Punic war, having consulted the senate
respecting the state, the war, and the provinces, they decreed that
the consuls should arrange between themselves, or draw lots, which of
them should have the province of Bruttium, to act against Hannibal,
and which that of Etruria and Liguria; that the consul to whose lot
Bruttium fell should receive the army from Publius Sempronius; that
Publius Sempronius, who was continued in command as proconsul for a
year, should succeed Publius Licinius, who was to return to Rome. In
addition to the other qualifications with which he was adorned in
a degree surpassed by no citizen of that time, for in him were
accumulated all the perfections of nature and fortune, Licinius was
also esteemed eminent in war. He was at once a man of noble family and
great wealth; possessing a fine person and great bodily strength.
He was considered an orator of the highest order, both in respect of
judicial eloquence, and also when engaged in promoting or opposing any
measure in the senate, or before the people. He was also
accurately skilled in the pontifical law. In addition to all these
recommendations, the consulship enabled him to acquire military glory.
The senate adopted the same course in the decree with respect to the
province of Etruria and Liguria as had been observed with regard to
Bruttium. Marcus Cornelius was ordered to deliver his army to the new
consul, and with continued command to hold himself the province of
Gaul, with those legions which the praetor Lucius Scribonius had
commanded the former year. The consuls then cast lots for their
provinces: Bruttium fell to the lot of Caepio, Etruria to the lot of
Servilius Geminus. The provinces of the praetors were then put to the
lot. Paetus Aelius obtained the city jurisdiction; Publius Lentulus,
Sardinia; Publius Villius, Sicily; Quinctilius Varus, Ariminum, with
two legions which had served under Lucretius Spurius. Lucretius also
was continued in command that he might complete the building of the
town of Genoa, which had been destroyed by Mago the Carthaginian.
Publius Scipio was continued in command for a period not limited in
point of time, but the object he had to achieve, namely, till the war
in Africa had been brought to a termination; and a decree was passed,
ordering a supplication to be made that the circumstance of his
crossing over into Africa might be beneficial to the Roman people, the
general himself, and his army.

2. Three thousand men were enlisted for Sicily, and lest any fleet
should go thither from Africa, as all the efficient troops that
province had possessed had been transported into Africa, it was
resolved that the sea-coast of that island should be guarded with
forty ships. Villius took with him into Sicily thirteen ships, the
rest consisted of the old ones, which were repaired. Marcus Pomponius,
the praetor of the former year, who was continued in command, having
been placed at the head of this fleet, put on board the fresh soldiers
brought from Italy. The senate assigned by a decree an equal number of
ships to Cneius Octavius, who was also a praetor of the former year,
with a similar privilege of command, for the protection of the coast
of Sardinia. Lentulus the praetor was ordered to furnish two thousand
soldiers to put on board it. The protection of the coast of Italy was
assigned to Marcus Marcius, a praetor of the former year, with
the same number of ships; for it was uncertain to what quarter the
Carthaginians would send a fleet, though it was supposed that they
would attack any quarter which was destitute of defence. The consuls,
in conformity with a decree of the senate, enlisted three thousand
soldiers for this fleet, and two city legions with a view to the
hazards of war. The Spains were assigned to the former generals,
Lucius Lentulus and Lucius Manlius Acidinus, who were continued in
command, and retained their former armies. The operations of the
war on the part of the Romans this year were carried on with twenty
legions in all, and one hundred and sixty ships of war. The praetors
were ordered to proceed to their provinces. Directions were given to
the consuls, that before they left the city they should celebrate the
great games which Titus Manlius Torquatus, when dictator, had vowed
to exhibited in the fifth year, if the condition of the state remained
unaltered. Accounts of prodigies brought from several places excited
fresh superstitious fears in the minds of men. It was believed that
crows had not only torn with their beaks some gold in the Capitol, but
had even eaten it. At Antium mice gnawed a golden crown. An immense
quantity of locusts filled the whole country around Capua, nor could
it be made appear satisfactorily whence they came. At Reate a foal was
produced with five feet. At Anagnia at first scattered fires appeared
in the sky, afterwards a vast meteor blazed forth. At Frusino a circle
surrounded the sun with a thin line, which was itself afterwards
included within the sun's disc which extended beyond it. At Arpinum
the earth sank into an immense gulf, in a place where the ground was
level. When one of the consuls was immolating the first victim, the
head of the liver was wanting. These prodigies were expiated with
victims of the larger kind. The college of pontiffs gave out to what
gods sacrifice was to be made.

3. After these matters were finished, the consuls and praetors set
out for their provinces. All, however, made Africa the great object of
their concern, as though it had been allotted to them; whether it was
because they saw that the welfare of the state and the issue of
the war turned upon the operations there, or that they might oblige
Scipio, on whom the whole state was then intent. Accordingly, not only
from Sardinia, as has been before mentioned, but from Sicily also and
Spain, clothing and corn, and from Sicily arms also, together with
every kind of stores, were conveyed thither. Nor did Scipio at any
time during the winter relax in any of the various military operations
in which he was engaged on all sides. He continued the siege of Utica.
His camp was within sight of Hasdrubal. The Carthaginians had launched
their ships, and had a fleet prepared and equipped to intercept his
supplies. Amid these occupations he had not even lost sight of his
endeavours to regain the friendship of Syphax, whose passion for his
bride he thought might now perhaps have become satiated from
unlimited enjoyment. From Syphax he received terms of peace with the
Carthaginians, with proposals that the Romans should evacuate Africa,
and the Carthaginians Italy, rather than any ground of hope that he
would desert their cause if the war proceeded. For my part I am of
opinion, and in this I am countenanced by the majority of writers,
that these negotiations were carried on through messengers, rather
than that Syphax himself came to the Roman camp to hold a conference,
as Antias Valerius relates. At first the Roman general scarcely
allowed these terms to be mentioned, but afterwards, in order that
there might exist a plausible pretext for his emissaries to go
frequently into the camp of the enemy, he rejected these same terms in
a more qualified manner, holding out a hope that they might eventually
come to an agreement by agitating the question on both sides.
The winter huts of the Carthaginians, which were constructed from
materials hastily collected out of the fields, were almost entirely
of wood. The Numidians, particularly, lay for the most part in huts
formed of interwoven reeds, and covered with mats, dispersed up and
down without any regard to order; while some of them, having chosen
the situations for their tents without waiting for orders, lay even
without the trench and rampart. These circumstances having been
reported to Scipio, gave him hopes that he might have an opportunity
of burning the enemy's camp.

4. In company with the ambassadors whom he sent to Syphax, he also
sent some centurions of the first rank, of tried valour and prudence,
dressed as servants, in lieu of soldiers' drudges; in order that,
while the ambassadors were engaged in conference, they might ramble
through the camp, one in one direction and another in another, and
thus observe all the approaches and outlets, the situation and form
both of the camp in general and of its parts; where the Carthaginians
lay, where the Numidians, and what was the distance between the camp
of Hasdrubal and that of the king; and that they might at the same
time acquaint themselves with their customary mode of stationing
outposts and watches, and learn whether they were more open to
stratagem by night or by day. During the frequent conferences which
were held, several different persons were purposely sent, in order
that every circumstance might be known to a greater number. When the
more frequent agitation of the matter had given to Syphax a daily
increasing hope of peace, and to the Carthaginians through him, the
Roman ambassadors at length declared that they were forbidden to
return to their general unless a decisive answer was given, and that,
therefore, if his own determination was now fixed, he should declare
it, or if Hasdrubal and the Carthaginians were to be consulted, he
should consult them. That it was time either that an accommodation
should be settled or the war vigorously prosecuted. While Hasdrubal
was consulted by Syphax, and the Carthaginians by Hasdrubal, the spies
had time to inspect every thing, and Scipio to get together what was
necessary for the accomplishment of his project. In consequence of the
mention and prospect of a peace, neglect arose among the Carthaginians
and Numidians, as is usually the case, to take precautions in the mean
time that they might not suffer an attack of the enemy. At length an
answer was returned; and as the Romans appeared excessively eager
for peace, advantage was taken of that circumstance to add certain
unreasonable conditions, which afforded Scipio a very seasonable
pretext for putting an end to the truce according to his wishes; and
telling the king's messenger that he would refer the matter to his
council, he answered him the next day. He said, that while he alone
had in vain endeavoured to restore peace, no one else had desired it.
That he must, therefore, carry word back that Syphax must hope for
peace on no other condition than his abandonment of the Carthaginians.
Thus he put an end to the truce, in order that he might be free to
execute his designs without breaking his faith; and, launching
his ships, for it was now the beginning of spring, he put on board
machines and engines, with the purpose of assaulting Utica from
the sea. He also sent two thousand men to seize the eminence which
commanded that place, and which he had before occupied, at once with
the view of turning the attention of the enemy from the design he was
endeavouring to effect to another object of concern, and to prevent
any sally or attack which might be made from the city upon his camp,
which would be left with a slight force to protect it, while he
himself went against Syphax and Hasdrubal.

5. Having made these preparations, he called a council and after
ordering the spies to give an account of the discoveries they
had made, and requesting Masinissa, who was acquainted with every
circumstance relating to the enemy, to state what he knew, lastly, he
himself laid before the council the plan proposed for the following
night. He gave directions to the tribunes, that when, after the
breaking up of the council, the trumpets had sounded, they should
immediately march the legions out of the camp. Agreeably to his
commands, the standards began to be carried out about sun-set. About
the first watch they formed the troops in marching order. At midnight,
for it was seven miles' march, they came up at a moderate pace to the
camp of the enemy. Here Scipio assigned a part of his forces, together
with Masinissa and the Numidians, to Laelius, ordering them to fall
upon the camp of Syphax, and throw fire upon it. Then taking each
of the commanders, Masinissa and Laelius, aside, he implored them
separately to make up by diligence and care for the absence of that
foresight which the night rendered it impossible to exercise. He said,
that he should himself attack Hasdrubal and the Carthaginian camp; but
that he should not begin till he saw the fire in that of the king.
Nor did this delay him long; for when the fire thrown upon the nearest
huts had taken effect, immediately communicating with all those which
were within the shortest distance, and those connected with them in
regular succession, it spread itself throughout the whole camp. The
confusion and alarm which took place, in consequence of so widely
extended a fire breaking out during the night, were as great as might
naturally be expected; but as they concluded that it was the effect of
chance, and not produced by the enemy, or connected with the war, they
rushed out in a disorderly manner, without their arms, to extinguish
the flames, and fell in with armed enemies, particularly the
Numidians, who on account of their knowledge of the king's camp
were placed by Masinissa in convenient places at the openings of the
passes. Many perished in the flames in their beds while half asleep;
and many, tumbling over one another in their haste to escape, were
trampled to death in the narrow passages of the gates.

6. When first the Carthaginian sentinels, and afterwards the rest,
roused by the terrifying effects of a tumult by night, beheld the
light emitted from the flames, they also, labouring under the same
delusion, imagined that the fire had originated from accidental
causes; while the shout raised amidst the slaughter and wounds, being
of a confused kind, prevented their distinguishing whether it was
occasioned by the trepidation of an alarm by night. Accordingly,
rushing out one and all at every gate, each man taking the nearest
road, without their arms, as not suspecting any hostile attack,
and carrying with them only such things as might be useful in
extinguishing the flames, they fell upon the Roman troops. After all
these had been slain, not only with the animosity of enemies, but also
that no one might escape as a messenger, Scipio immediately attacked
the gates, which were unguarded in consequence of the confusion; and,
having thrown fire upon the nearest huts, at first the flames blazed
forth with great fury, in several places at once, in consequence
of the fire having been applied to different parts, but afterwards
extending themselves along the contiguous huts, they suddenly
enveloped the whole camp in one general conflagration. Men and cattle
scorched with the flames blocked up the passages of the gates, first
in a terrible rush to escape, and afterwards with their prostrate
bodies. Those who got out of the way of the fire were cut off by the
sword, and the two camps were involved in one common destruction. The
two generals, however, and out of so many thousand troops only two
thousand foot and five hundred horsemen, escaped, half armed, a great
many of them being wounded and scorched. Forty thousand men were
either slain or destroyed by the flames, and above five thousand
captured. Among the captured were many Carthaginian nobles, eleven
senators, with a hundred and seventy-four military standards, above
two thousand seven hundred Numidian horses, and six elephants. Eight
elephants were destroyed either by fire or sword, and a great quantity
of arms taken. All the latter the general dedicated to Vulcan and

7. Hasdrubal, in his flight, had made for the nearest city of the
Africans, accompanied by a few attendants; and hither all those
who survived, following the footsteps of their general had betaken
themselves. But afterwards, fearing lest he should be given up to
Scipio, he quitted that city. Soon after the Romans were received
there with open gates; nor was any act of hostility committed, because
the inhabitants had surrendered voluntarily. Shortly after, two other
cities were captured and plundered. The booty found there, together
with what had been rescued from the camps when burning, and from the
flames, was given up to the soldiers. Syphax took up a position in a
fortified place about eight miles off. Hasdrubal hastened to Carthage,
lest the apprehensions occasioned by the recent disaster should lead
to any timorous measures. So great was the consternation created there
on the first receipt of the news, that it was fully anticipated that
Scipio, suspending his operations against Utica, would immediately
lay siege to Carthage. The suffetes, therefore, who form with them an
authority similar to the consular, summoned the senate, when the
three following opinions were given. The first proposed, that a decree
should be passed to the effect, that ambassadors should be sent to
Scipio to treat of peace; the second, that Hannibal should be recalled
to defend his country from a war which threatened its annihilation;
the third breathed the spirit of Roman constancy under adversity; it
recommended that the losses of the army should be repaired, and that
Syphax should be exhorted not to abandon the war. The latter opinion
prevailed, because it was that which Hasdrubal, who was present, and
all the members of the Barcine faction, preferred. After this,
the levy commenced in the city and country, and ambassadors were
despatched to Syphax, who was himself employing every effort to
restore the war; for his wife had prevailed upon him, not, as
heretofore, by caresses, powerful as they are in influencing the mind
of a lover, but by prayers and appeals to his compassion, imploring
him, with streaming eyes, not to betray her father and her country,
nor suffer Carthage to be consumed by the same flames which had
reduced the camps to ashes. In addition to this, the ambassadors
informed him of a circumstance which had occurred very seasonably to
raise their hopes; that they had met with four thousand Celtiberians
in the neighbourhood of a city named Abba, a fine body of young men
who had been enlisted by their recruiting officers in Spain; and that
Hasdrubal would very soon arrive with a body of troops by no means
contemptible. Accordingly, he not only returned a kind answer to the
ambassadors, but also showed them a multitude of Numidian rustics,
whom he had lately furnished with arms and horses; and at the same
time assured them that he would call out all the youth in his kingdom.
He said, he well knew that the loss sustained had been occasioned by
fire, and not by battle, and that he was inferior to his adversary in
war who was overcome by force of arms. Such was the answer given to
the ambassadors; and, after a few days, Hasdrubal and Syphax again
united their forces. This army consisted of about thirty-five thousand
fighting men.

8. Scipio, considering that Syphax and the Carthaginians could make no
further efforts, gave his whole attention to the siege of Utica, and
was now bringing up his engines to the walls, when he was diverted
from his purpose by a report of the renewal of the war; and, leaving
small forces merely to keep up the appearance of a siege by sea and
land, he set out himself with the main strength of his army to meet
the enemy. At first he took up his position on an eminence about five
miles distant from the king's camp. The next day, coming down with his
cavalry into a place called the great plains, which lay at the foot of
that eminence, he spent the day in advancing up to the outposts of the
enemy, and provoking them by skirmishing attacks. During the ensuing
two days, irregular excursions were made by both sides alternately,
but nothing worthy of notice was achieved. On the fourth day, both
sides came down in battle-array. The Romans placed their principes
behind the spearmen, which latter formed the front line, and the
triarii they stationed in reserve; the Italian cavalry they opposed to
the enemy in the right wing, the Numidians and Masinissa on the
left. Syphax and Hasdrubal, placing the Numidians against the Italian
cavalry, and the Carthaginians opposite to Masinissa, received the
Celtiberians into the centre of their line, to face the Roman legions.
Thus arranged, they then commenced the encounter. At the first charge,
both the wings, the Numidians and Carthaginians, were together driven
from their ground; for neither could the Numidians, who consisted
principally of rustics, sustain the shock of the Roman cavalry, nor
the Carthaginians, who were also raw soldiers, withstand Masinissa,
who, in addition to other circumstances, was rendered formidable by
his recent victory. The Celtiberian line, though stript of the support
of both the wings, stood their ground; for neither did any hope of
safety by flight present itself, as they were ignorant of the country,
nor could they expect pardon from Scipio, against whom, though he had
deserved well both of them and their nation, they had come into Africa
to fight for hire. Surrounded therefore, on all sides by the enemy,
they died with obstinate resolution, falling one upon another; and,
while the attention of all was turned upon them, Syphax and Hasdrubal
gained a considerable space of time to effect their escape. The
victors, fatigued with the slaughter, which had continued for a
greater length of time than the battle, were interrupted by the night.

9. The next day Scipio sent Laelius and Masinissa, with all the Roman
and Numidian cavalry, and the light infantry, to pursue Syphax and
Hasdrubal. He himself, with the main strength of the army, reduced the
neighbouring towns, which were all subject to the Carthaginians, some
by holding out hopes to them, some by threats, and others by force.
At Carthage, indeed, the consternation was extreme; and it was fully
anticipated there, that Scipio, who was carrying his arms to the
different places around, would, after having rapidly subdued all the
neighbouring parts, suddenly attack Carthage itself. Their walls
were repaired and protected with outworks; and every man individually
exerted himself to the utmost in collecting from the country the
requisites for holding out against a protracted siege. Mention was
seldom made of peace, but not so seldom of sending deputies to recall
Hannibal. The majority of them urged that the fleet, which had been
equipped to intercept the convoys of the enemy, should be sent to
surprise the ships stationed near Utica, which were lying in an
unguarded state. It was also urged that they might perhaps overpower
the naval camp, which was left under the protection of a trifling
force. They chiefly inclined to the latter plan, though they thought,
nevertheless, that deputies should be sent to Hannibal; for should the
operations of the fleet succeed in the highest degree, the siege of
Utica would be partially raised, but they had no general remaining but
Hannibal, and no army but his which could defend Carthage itself.
The ships were therefore launched the following day, and, at the same
time, the deputies set out for Italy; and, their position stimulating
them, every thing was done with the greatest expedition; each man
considering, that the safety of all was betrayed in whatever degree he
remitted his own individual exertions. Scipio, who drew after him
an army now encumbered with the spoils of many cities, sent his
prisoners, and other booty, to his old camp at Utica, and, as his
views were now fixed on Carthage, he seized on Tunes, which was
abandoned in consequence of the flight of the garrison. This city is
about fifteen miles distant from Carthage, being a place secured both
by works, and also by its own natural position; it may be seen from
Carthage, and itself affords a prospect both of that city and of the
sea which washes it.

10. From this place the Romans, while diligently employed in raising
a rampart, descried the fleet of the enemy, on its way to Utica from
Carthage. Desisting from their work, therefore, orders for marching
were given, and the troops began to move with the utmost haste, lest
the ships which were turned towards the land, and occupied with
the siege, and which were far from being in a condition for a naval
battle, should be surprised and overpowered. For how could ships,
carrying engines and machines, and either converted to the purposes
of transports, or brought up to the walls so as to afford the means
of mounting up, in lieu of a mound and bridges, resist a fleet, with
nothing to impede its movements, furnished with every kind of naval
implement, and prepared for action. Scipio, therefore, contrary to
his usual practice in naval engagements, drew the ships of war, which
might have been employed in defending the rest, into the rear, and
formed them into a line near the land; opposing to the enemy a row
of transports, four deep, to serve as a wall; and, lest these same
transports should be thrown into disorder during the confusion of the
battle, he bound them together by placing masts and yard-arms across
them, from one vessel to the other; and, by means of strong ropes,
fastened them together, as it were, by one uninterrupted bond. He also
laid planks upon them, so as to form a free passage along the line,
leaving spaces under these bridges of communication by which the
vessels of observation might run out towards the enemy, and retreat
with safety. Having hastily made these arrangements as well as the
time would permit, he put on board the transports about a thousand
picked men, to keep off the enemy, with a very large store of weapons,
particularly missiles, that they might hold out, however long the
contest lasted. Thus prepared, and on the watch, they waited the
approach of the enemy. The Carthaginians, who, if they had made haste
would, on the first assault, have surprised their adversaries while
every thing was in a state of confusion, from the hurry and bustle
attending the preparations, were so dismayed at their losses by land,
and thereby had lost so much confidence even in their strength by sea,
in which they had the advantage, that, after consuming the day, in
consequence of the slow rate at which they sailed, about sun-set they
put in to a harbour which the Africans call Ruscino. The following
day, at sun-rise, they drew up their ships towards the open sea, as
for a regular naval battle, and with the expectation that the Romans
would come out to engage them. After they had continued stationary for
some time, and saw that no movement was made on the part of the enemy,
then, at length, they attacked the transports. The affair bore no
resemblance to a naval fight, but rather had the appearance of ships
attacking walls. The transports had considerably the advantage in
respect of height; and as the Carthaginians had to throw their weapons
upward, against a mark which was above them, most of them failed of
taking effect; while the weapons thrown from the transports from above
fell with increased force, and derived additional impetus from their
very weight. The vessels of observation, and even the lighter kind
of barks, which went out through the spaces left under the flooring,
which formed a communication between the ships, were at first run down
by the mere momentum and bulk of the ships of war; and afterwards they
proved a hindrance to the troops appointed to keep the enemy off; for
as they mixed with the ships of the enemy, they were frequently under
the necessity of withholding their weapons for fear, by a misdirected
effort, they should fall on their friends. At length, beams with iron
hooks at their ends, called harpoons, began to be thrown from the
Carthaginian upon the Roman ships; and, as they could not cut the
harpoons themselves, nor the chains suspended by which they were
thrown upon their ships, as each of the ships of war of the enemy,
being pulled back, drew with it a transport, connected with it by a
harpoon, you might see the fastenings by which the transports were
joined together rent asunder, and in another part a series of many
vessels dragged away together. In this manner chiefly were all the
bridges of communication torn to pieces, and scarcely had the troops
who fought in front time to leap to the second line of ships. About
six transports were towed away to Carthage, where the joy felt was
greater than the occasion warranted; but their delight was increased
from the reflection, that, in the midst of so many successive
disasters and woes, one event, however trifling, which afforded matter
of joy, had unexpectedly occurred; besides which, it was manifest that
the Roman fleet would have been well nigh annihilated, had not their
own commanders been wanting in diligence, and had not Scipio come up
to its assistance in time.

11. It happened about the same time, that Laelius and Masinissa
having arrived in Numidia after a march of about fifteen days, the
Massylians, Masinissa's hereditary kingdom, placed themselves under
the protection of their king with the greatest joy, as they had long
wished him among them. After the commanders and garrisons of Syphax
had been expelled from thence, that prince kept himself within
the limits of his original dominions, but without any intention of
remaining quiet. Subdued by the power of love, he was spurred on by
his wife and father-in-law; and he possessed such an abundance of men
and horses, that a review of the resources of his kingdom, which had
flourished for so many years, was calculated to infuse spirit into a
mind even less barbarous and impetuous than his. Wherefore, collecting
together all who were fit for service, he distributed among them
horses, armour, and weapons. He divided his horsemen into troops, and
his infantry into cohorts, as he had formerly learnt from the Roman
centurions. With an army not less than that which he had before, but
almost entirely raw and undisciplined, he set out to meet the enemy,
and pitched his camp at a short distance from them. At first a few
horsemen advanced cautiously from the outposts to reconnoitre, and
being compelled to retire, from a discharge of javelins, they ran back
to their friends. Then skirmishing parties were sent out from both
sides, and the vanquished, fired with indignation, returned to the
encounter with increased numbers. This is the usual incitement of
battles between cavalry, when the victors are joined by more of their
party from hope, and the vanquished from resentment. Thus, on the
present occasion, the action commencing with a few, at last the whole
body of the cavalry on both sides poured out to join in it from the
zeal excited by the contest. While the cavalry only were engaged, it
was scarcely possible to withstand the numbers of the Masaesylians,
which Syphax sent out in immense bodies. But afterwards, when the
Roman infantry, suddenly coming up between the troops of horse which
made way for them, gave stability to their line, and checked the
enemy, who were charging furiously, at first the barbarians slackened
their speed, then halted, and were in a manner confounded at this
novel kind of battle. At length, they not only retired before the
infantry, but were unable to sustain the shock even of the cavalry,
who had assumed courage from the support of the infantry. By this time
the legions also were approaching; when, indeed, the Masaesylians not
only dared not await their first charge, but could not bear even
the sight of the standards and arms; so powerful was either the
recollection of their former defeats, or their present fears.

12. It was then that Syphax, while riding up to the troops of the
enemy to try if, either by shame or by exposing his own person to
danger, he could stop their flight, being thrown from his horse, which
was severely wounded, was overpowered, and being made prisoner, was
dragged alive into the presence of Laelius; a spectacle calculated to
afford peculiar satisfaction to Masinissa. Cirta was the capital of
the dominions of Syphax; to which a great number of men fled. The
number of the slain in this battle was not so great as the victory was
important, because the cavalry only had been engaged. Not more than
five thousand were slain, and less than half that number were made
prisoners in an attack upon the camp, to which the multitude, dismayed
at the loss of their king, had fled. Masinissa declared that nothing
could be more highly gratifying to him than, having gained this
victory, to go now and visit his hereditary dominions, which he had
regained after having been kept out of them so long a time; but it was
not proper in prosperity any more than in adversity to lose any time.
That if Laelius would allow him to go before him to Cirta with the
cavalry and the captive Syphax, he should overpower the enemy while
all was in a state of consternation and dismay; and that Laelius might
follow with the infantry at a moderate rate. Laelius assenting, he
advanced to Cirta, and ordered the principal inhabitants to be called
out to a conference. But as they were not aware of what had befallen
their king, he was unable to prevail upon them, either by laying
before them what had passed, by threats, or by persuasion, until the
king was presented to their view in chains. A general lamentation
arose at this shocking exhibition, and while some deserted the walls
in a panic, others, who sought to ingratiate themselves with the
victor, suddenly came to an agreement to throw open the gates.
Masinissa, having sent troops to keep guard near the gates, and
at such parts of the wall as required it, that no one might have a
passage out to escape by, galloped off to seize the palace. While
entering the porch, Sophonisba, the wife of Syphax and daughter of
Hasdrubal the Carthaginian, met him in the very threshold, and seeing
Masinissa in the midst of the armed band, for he was distinguished
both by his arms and also by his habiliments, she concluded, as was
really the case, that he was the king; and, falling down at his knees,
thus addressed him: "The gods, together with your own valour and good
fortune, have given you the power of disposing of us as you please.
But if a captive may be allowed to give utterance to the voice of
supplication before him who is the sovereign arbiter of her life or
death; if she may be permitted to touch his knees and his victorious
right hand, I entreat and beseech, you by the majesty of royalty,
which we also a short time ago possessed; by the name of the Numidian
race, which was common to Syphax and yourself; by the guardian deities
of this palace, (and O! may they receive you more auspiciously than
they sent Syphax from it!) that you would indulge a suppliant by
determining yourself whatever your inclination may suggest respecting
your captive, and not suffer me to be placed at the haughty and
merciless disposal of any Roman. Were I nothing more than the wife of
Syphax, yet would I rather make trial of the honour of a Numidian,
one born in Africa, the same country which gave me birth than of
a foreigner and an alien. You know what a Carthaginian, what the
daughter of Hasdrubal, has to fear from a Roman. If you cannot effect
it by any other means, I beg and beseech you that you will by my death
rescue me from the power of the Romans." She was remarkably beautiful,
and in the full bloom of youth. Accordingly, while she pressed his
right hand, and only implored him to pledge himself that she should
not be delivered up to any Roman, her language assuming the character
of amorous blandishment rather than entreaty, the heart of the
conqueror not only melted with compassion, but, as the Numidians are
an excessively amorous race, he became the slave of his captive; and
giving his right hand as a pledge for the performance of her request,
withdrew into the palace. He then set upon reflecting in what manner
he could make good his promise; and not being able to hit upon any
expedient, his passion suggested to him an inconsiderate and barefaced
alternative. He ordered that preparations should be instantly made
for celebrating the nuptials that very day; in order that he might
not leave it at all open to Laelius, or Scipio himself, to adopt
any measure respecting her as a captive who had become the wife of
Masinissa. After the nuptials were concluded, Laelius came up: and so
far was he from dissembling his disapprobation of the proceeding, that
at first he would even have had her dragged from the marriage bed
and sent with Syphax and the rest of the captives to Scipio: but
afterwards, having been prevailed upon by the entreaties of Masinissa,
who begged of him to leave it to Scipio to decide which of the two
kings should have his fortunes graced by the accession of Sophonisba
he sent away Syphax and the prisoners; and, aided by Masinissa,
employed himself in reducing the rest of the cities of Numidia, which
were occupied by the king's garrisons.

13. When it was announced that Syphax was being brought into the camp,
the whole multitude poured out, as if to behold a triumphal pageant.
The king himself walked first in chains, and a number of Numidian
nobles followed. On this occasion every one strove to the utmost to
increase the splendour of their victory, by magnifying the greatness
of Syphax and the renown of his nation. "That was the king," they
said, "to whose dignity the two most powerful nations in the world the
Roman and the Carthaginian, had paid so much deference, that their own
general, Scipio, leaving his province of Spain and his army, sailed
into Africa with only two quinqueremes to solicit his friendship;
while Hasdrubal, the Carthaginian general, not only visited him in his
dominions, but gave him his daughter in marriage. That he had in his
power two commanders, one a Roman and the other a Carthaginian, at the
same time. That as both the contending parties sought the favour
of the immortal gods by the immolation of victims, so had they both
equally solicited his friendship. That he had lately possessed such
great power, that after expelling Masinissa from his kingdom, he
reduced him to such a state, that his life was protected by a report
of his death, and by concealment, while he supported himself in the
woods on prey after the manner of wild beasts." Thus signalized by the
observations of the surrounding multitude, the king was brought into
the pavilion before Scipio, who was moved by the former condition
of the man compared with his present, and particularly by the
recollection of their relation of hospitality, his right hand pledged,
and the public and private connexion which had been formed between
them. These same considerations inspired Syphax also with confidence
in addressing the conqueror; for when Scipio asked what had been his
object in not only renouncing his alliance with the Romans, but in
making war against them without provocation, he fully admitted "that
he had indeed done wrong, and acted like a madman; but not at that
time only when he took up arms against the Roman people; that was the
consummation of his frenzy, not its commencement. Then it was that
he is mad; then it was that he banished from his mind all regard
for private friendship and public treaties, when he received a
Carthaginian wife into his house. It was by the flames kindled by
those nuptial torches that his palace had been consumed. That fury
and pest had by every kind of fascination engrossed his affections
and obscured his reason; nor had she rested till she had with her own
hands clad him with impious arms against his guest and friend. Yet
ruined and fallen as he was, he derived some consolation in his
misfortunes when he saw that that same pest and fury had been
transferred to the dwelling and household gods of the man who was of
all others his greatest enemy. That Masinissa was neither more prudent
nor more firm than Syphax; but even more incautious by reason of his
youth. Doubtless he had shown greater folly and want of self-control
in marrying her than he himself had."

14. These words, dictated not merely by the hatred naturally felt
towards an enemy, but also by the anguish of jealousy, on seeing the
object of his affections in the possession of his rival, affected the
mind of Scipio with no ordinary degree of anxiety. His accusations
against Masinissa derived credibility from the fact of the nuptials
having, been celebrated in the most violent hurry, almost amid the
clash of arms, without consulting or waiting for Laelius, and with
such precipitate haste, that on the very day on which he saw the
captive enemy he united himself with her in matrimony, and performed
the nuptial rite in the presence of the household gods of his enemy.
This conduct appeared the more heinous to Scipio, because when a very
young man in Spain he had not allowed himself to be influenced by
the beauty of any captive. While ruminating on these circumstances,
Laelius and Masinissa came up. Without making any distinction between
them he received them both with a cheerful countenance, and having
bestowed upon them the highest commendations before a full assembly
of his officers, he took Masinissa aside and thus addressed him:
"I suppose, Masinissa, that it was because you saw in me some good
qualities that you at first came to me when in Spain, for the purpose
of forming a friendship with me, and that afterwards in Africa you
committed yourself and all your hopes to my protection. But of all
those virtues, on account of which I seemed to you worthy of your
regard, there is not one in which I gloried so much as temperance and
the control of my passions. I could wish that you also, Masinissa,
had added this to your other distinguished qualities. There is not,
believe me, there is not so much danger to be apprehended by persons
at our time of life from armed foes, as from the pleasures which
surround us on all sides. The man who by temperance has curbed and
subdued his appetite for them, has acquired for himself much greater
honour and a much more important victory than we now enjoy in the
conquest of Syphax. I have mentioned with delight, and I remember with
pleasure, the instances of fortitude and courage which you displayed
in my absence. As to other matters, I would rather that you should
reflect upon them in private, than that you should be put to the
blush by my reciting them. Syphax was subdued and captured under
the auspices of the Roman people; therefore he himself, his wife his
kingdom, his territories, his towns and their inhabitants, in short,
every thing which belonged to him, is the booty of the Roman people,
and it was proper that the king himself and his consort, even though
she had not been a citizen of Carthage, even though we did not see her
father commanding the armies of our enemies, should be sent to Rome,
and that the senate and people of Rome should judge and determine
respecting her who is said to have alienated from us a king in
alliance with us, and to have precipitated him into war with us.
Subdue your passions. Beware how you deform many good qualities by one
vice, and mar the credit of so many meritorious deeds by a degree of
guilt more than proportioned to the value of its object."

15. While Masinissa heard these observations, he not only became
suffused with blushes, but burst into tears; and after declaring that
he would submit to the discretion of the general, and imploring him
that, as far as circumstances would permit, he would consider the
obligation he had rashly imposed upon himself, for he had promised
that he would not deliver her into the power of any one, he retired in
confusion from the pavilion into his own tent. There, dismissing
his attendants, he spent a considerable time amid frequent sighs and
groans, which could be distinctly heard by those who stood around the
tent. At last, heaving a deep groan, he called one of his servants in
whom he confided, in whose custody poison was kept, according to the
custom of kings, as a remedy against the unforeseen events of fortune,
and ordered him to mix some in a cup and carry it to Sophonisba; at
the same time informing her that Masinissa would gladly have fulfilled
the first obligation which as a husband he owed to her his wife; but
since those who had the power of doing so had deprived him of the
exercise of that right, he now performed his second promise, that she
should not come alive into the power of the Romans. That, mindful of
her father the general, of her country, and of the two kings to whom
she had been married, she would take such measures as she herself
thought proper. When the servant came to Sophonisba bearing this
message and the poison, she said, "I accept this nuptial present; nor
is it an unwelcome one, if my husband can render me no better service.
Tell him, however, that I should have died with greater satisfaction
had I not married so near upon my death." The spirit with which she
spoke was equalled by the firmness with which she took and drained the
chalice, without exhibiting any symptom of perturbation. When Scipio
was informed of this event, fearful lest the high-spirited young
man should in the distempered state of his mind adopt some desperate
resolution, he immediately sent for him, and at one time endeavoured
to solace him, at another gently rebuked him for expiating one act of
temerity with another, and rendering the affair more tragical than was
necessary. The next day, in order to divert his mind from his present
affliction, he ascended his tribunal and ordered an assembly to be
summoned, in which having first saluted Masinissa with the title of
king, and distinguished him with the highest encomiums, he presented
him with a golden goblet, a curule chair, an ivory sceptre, an
embroidered gown, and a triumphal vest. He increased the honour by
observing, that among the Romans there was nothing more magnificent
than a triumph; and that those who triumphed were not arrayed with
more splendid ornaments than those with which the Roman people
considered Masinissa alone, of all foreigners, worthy. He then
bestowed the highest commendations upon Laelius also, and presented
him with a golden crown, and gave presents to the other military
characters proportioned to their respective merits. By these honours
the king's mind was soothed, and encouraged to hope that he would
speedily become master of all Numidia, now that Syphax was removed.

16. Scipio, having sent Caius Laelius with Syphax and the rest of the
prisoners to Rome, with whom went also ambassadors from Masinissa, led
his troops back again to Tunes, and completed the fortifications which
he had before begun. The Carthaginians, who had experienced not only
a short-lived but almost groundless joy, from their attack upon the
fleet, which, under existing circumstances, was tolerably successful,
were so dismayed at the account of the capture of Syphax, in whom they
reposed almost greater confidence than in Hasdrubal and his army, that
now listening no longer to any who advocated war, they sent thirty
of their principal elders as deputies to solicit peace. With them the
council of elders is held in the highest reverence, and has supreme
power even to control the senate itself. When they came into the Roman
camp and entered the pavilion, they prostrated themselves after the
manner of those who pay profound adoration to kings, adopting the
custom, I suppose, from the country from which they derived their
origin. Their language corresponded with such abject humiliation, for
they did not endeavour to deny their guilt, but charged Hannibal and
the favourers of his violent measures with being the originators of
it. They implored pardon for their state, which had been now twice
brought to the brink of ruin by the temerity of its citizens, and
would again owe its safety to the indulgence of its enemies. They
said, the object the Roman people aimed at in the subjugation of their
enemies was dominion, and not their destruction; that he might enjoin
what he pleased upon them, as being prepared submissively to obey.
Scipio replied, "that he had come into Africa with the hope, and
that hope had been increased by the success he had experienced in his
operations, that he should carry home victory and not terms of peace.
Still, though he had victory in a manner within his grasp, he would
not refuse all accommodation, that all the nations of the world may
know that the Roman people both undertake and conclude wars with
justice." The terms of peace which he prescribed were these: "That
they should restore the prisoners, deserters, and fugitives; withdraw
their armies from Italy and Gaul; give up all claim to Spain; retire
from all the islands between Italy and Africa; deliver up all their
ships of war except twenty, and furnish five hundred thousand pecks of
wheat, and three hundred thousand of barley." Authors are not agreed
as to the sum of money he demanded. In some I find five thousand
talents; in others five thousand pounds' weight of silver; in others,
that double pay for the troops was required. "Three days," he said,
"shall be allowed to deliberate whether you accept of peace on these
terms. If you do accept it, make a truce within me, and send deputies
to Rome to the senate." The Carthaginians being thus dismissed, as
they thought it proper to accept of any conditions of peace, for their
only object was to gain time for Hannibal to cross over into Africa,
sent some ambassadors to Scipio to conclude a truce, and others to
Rome to solicit peace; the latter taking with them a few prisoners,
deserters, and fugitives, in order to facilitate the attainment of

17. Laelius with Syphax and the principal Numidian prisoners arrived
at Rome several days before, and laying before the senate all the
transactions which had occurred in Africa in order, the greatest joy
was felt for the present, and the most sanguine anticipations formed
of the future. The sense of the senate being then taken upon the
subject, they resolved that the king should be sent to Alba to be kept
in custody, and that Laelius should be detained until the arrival
of the Carthaginian ambassadors. A supplication for four days was
decreed. The senate breaking up and an assembly of the people being
then called, Publius Aelius the praetor accompanied by Caius Laelius,
mounted the rostrum. There, on hearing that the armies of the
Carthaginians had been routed, that a king of the greatest renown had
been vanquished and made prisoner, that all Numidia had been overrun
with brilliant success, the people were unable to refrain from
expressing their delight, but manifested their transports by shouts
and all the other means usually resorted to by the multitude. The
praetor, therefore, immediately issued orders that the keepers should
open all the temples throughout the city, and that the people should
be allowed during the whole day to go round and make their adoration
to the gods, and return their thanks. The next day he brought the
ambassadors of Masinissa before the senate. They in the first place
congratulated the senate on the successes of Scipio in Africa, and
then thanked them, not only for having saluted him with the title of
king, but for having made him one, by reinstating him in his paternal
dominions, where, now that Syphax was removed, he would reign, if it
was the pleasure of the senate, without fear or opposition. Next, for
having bestowed upon him the highest commendations in the assembly,
and decorated him with the most magnificent presents, of which
Masinissa had endeavoured, and would in future endeavour, to render
himself worthy. They requested that the senate would by a decree
confirm the title of king with the other favours and benefits
conferred by Scipio, and, if it were not troublesome, they said, that
Masinissa further Requested that they would send home the Numidian
captives who were detained at Rome; for that this boon would procure
him the esteem and honour of his countrymen. On these points the
senate replied to the ambassadors, "that they reciprocated the
congratulations of the king on the successes in Africa. That Scipio
was considered to have acted properly and regularly in saluting him
with the title of king, and that the senate applauded and approved of
every thing else he had done which was gratifying to Masinissa." They
appointed by a decree what presents the ambassadors should carry to
the king; they were, two purple cloaks, each having a golden clasp,
and each accompanied with vests and broad purple borders, two horses
arrayed with trappings, two suits of equestrian armour with coats of
mail, together with tents and other military apparatus such as those
usually provided for a consul. These the praetor was directed to send
for the king. The ambassadors were severally presented with not less
than five thousand _asses_, their attendants with one thousand. Two
suits of apparel were presented to each of the ambassadors, and one
to each of their attendants and to the Numidians, who were discharged
from custody and given back to the king. In addition to these,
dwellings, reserved by the state for such purposes, grounds, and
entertainment, were assigned to the ambassadors.

18. The same summer during which these decrees were passed at Rome,
and these transactions took place in Africa, Publius Quinctilius
Varus, the praetor, and Marcus Cornelius, the proconsul, fought a
pitched battle with Mago the Carthaginian in the territories of the
Insubrian Gauls. The legions of the praetor were in the first line;
Cornelius kept his in reserve, riding forward into the front himself,
and the praetor and proconsul, leading on the two wings, exhorted
the soldiers to attack the enemy with the utmost vigour. Finding they
produced no impression upon the enemy, Quinctilius said to Cornelius:
"The battle, as you perceive, does not proceed with spirit, the enemy,
having succeeded in their resistance beyond expectation, have become
callous to fear, and there is danger lest it should be converted into
boldness. We must stir up a tempest of cavalry if we wish to disorder
and drive them from their ground; therefore, either do you sustain the
fight in front, and I will lead the cavalry into the action; or else,
I will act in the front line and you send out the cavalry of the four
legions against the enemy." The proconsul offering to take whichever
part of the service the praetor pleased, Quinctilius the praetor, with
his son, surnamed Marcus, a spirited youth, went off to the cavalry,
and desiring them to mount, instantly led them to the charge. The
confusion on occasioned by these was increased by a shout raised by
the legions; nor would the line of the enemy have stood unbroken, had
not Mago, as soon as he saw the cavalry in motion, immediately brought
into the action his elephants, which he kept in readiness. The horses
were so terrified at the snorting, the smell, and appearance of these
animals, that the aid of the cavalry was rendered ineffectual. As the
Roman horseman had the advantage in point of efficiency in a close
fight, when he could use his javelin and sword hand to hand, so the
Numidians had the advantage when throwing their darts from a distance
upon enemies borne away from them by their terrified horses. At the
same time the twelfth legion, though a great number of them were
slain, maintained their ground through shame rather than a reliance on
their strength; but they would not have continued to do so longer,
had not the thirteenth legion, brought up into the front line from the
reserve, taken up the doubtful conflict. Mago, also, bringing up the
Gauls from his reserve, opposed them to the fresh legion. The Gauls
being routed without any great effort, the spearmen of the eleventh
legion formed themselves into a circular body and charged the
elephants, which were now disordering the line of infantry; and as
scarcely one of the javelins which they threw upon them failed of
taking effect, as they were close together, they turned them all
upon the line of their own party. Four of them fell overpowered with
wounds. It was then that the front line of the enemy gave ground, the
whole body of the Roman infantry at the same time rushing forward to
increase the panic and confusion, on seeing the elephants turn their


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