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rased. Amid these transactions, Hannibal, having made prisoners the party employed in the siege of Caulon, who capitulated, hearing of the siege of Tarentum, marched night and day with all expedition to relieve it: but while he was hastening thither, he received the news of its being taken. On this he observed, “the Romans, too, have their Hannibal; we have lost Tarentum through the same arts by which we acquired it.” That he might not, however, seem to have turned back as in flight, he encamped on the spot where he had halted, about five miles from the city; and, after staying there a few days, retreated to Metapontum. From hence he sent to Tarentum two Metapontines, with letters from the principal men in that state to Fabius, to receive his promise of impunity for what was past, on condition of their delivering Metapontum and the Carthaginian garrison into his hands. Fabius, supposing the offer to be made with sincerity, appointed a day on which he would come to Metapontum, and gave letters in answer, which were delivered to Hannibal, who, overjoyed at the success of his stratagem, and at finding that even Fabius was not proof against artifice, formed an ambuscade at a small distance from Metapontum. As Fabius was taking the auspices, previous to his departure for Tarentum, the birds repeatedly refused the favourable signs; also, when he consulted the gods by sacrifice, the aruspex warned him to beware of treachery and plots. As he did not come on the appointed day, the two Metapontines were sent back, to remove any scruple that retarded him, but being suddenly seized, and dreading an examination by torture, they disclosed the whole plot.

XVII. In Spain, in the beginning of the summer, there came over to Scipio, who had spent all the preceding winter in conciliating the affections of the barbarians, partly by presents, and partly by sending home their hostages and prisoners, a person named Edesco, a distinguished commander among the Spaniards. This man's wife and children were in

the hands of the Romans; but, besides this motive, he was also actuated by that almost unaccountable propension which had brought over all Spain from the Carthaginian interest to that of the Romans. Led by the same motive, Indibilis and Mandonius; unquestionably the two first men in Spain, with the whole body of their countrymen, deserted Hasdrubal, and withdrew to an eminence overlooking his camp, from whence, along a continued ridge of hills, they could retire with safety to the Romans. When Hasdrubal saw the enemy's strength increasing by such large accessions, while his own was daily diminished, and would probably, unless by a bold effort he effected something, continue to decay, in the same manner as it had begun, he resolved to bring on a battle as soon as possible. Scipio was even more desirous of an engagement; as well because his hopes were strong, in consequence of the success which had hitherto attended his affairs, as because he wished to engage with a single general and his forces, rather than with all together, which he would perhaps be forced to do, were they to unite. However, should he be under a necessity of fighting more than one army at once, he had taken a judicious method to augment his strength: for, perceiving that there would be no employment for his marine, as the coast of Spain was entirely clear of any Carthaginian fleet, he hauled up the ships on land at Tarraco, and joined the marines to his land forces. As to arms for them, he had abundance, between those taken in Carthage, and those which had been afterwards made by the great number of workmen whom he employed. With this force, Scipio, in the beginning of spring, by which time he was rejoined by Lælius, who had returned from Rome, and without whom he undertook no enterprize of any extraordinary moment, set out from Terraco, and advanced towards the enemy. On his march, during which he found every place well affected, the allies showing him all respect, and escorting him as he passed through each of their states, he was met by Indibilis and Mandonius, with their armies. Indibilis spoke for both, not with the ignorance and temerity of a barbarian, but with a modest gravity, appearing rather to apologise for their changing sides, as a measure of necessity, than to boast of it, as if it had been greedily embraced on the first opportunity; for “he knew,” he said, “that the term deserter was deemed dishonourable by a man's old associates, and held in suspicion by the new. Nor did he blame men for this manner of thinking; provided only, that the merits of the case, and not the mere name, were made the grounds of this double aversion." He then enumerated his services to the Carthaginian generals; and, on the other hand, their avarice, tyranny, and ill-treatment of every kind heaped on him and his countrymen. “For these reasons," he said, “his body only had, hitherto, been on their side; his mind had long been on that side where, he believed, that respect was paid to laws divine and human. To the gods themselves, people have recourse with supplications for redress, when they can no longer endure the violence and injustice of men. He entreated Scipio not to consider their conduct as deserving either punishment or reward; but to form his judgment on a trial of them from that day forward; and by that standard to estimate the recompense which they might hereafter be thought to deserve.” The Roman answered, that he would comply with their desire in every particular; and would not consider them in the light of deserters, because they had not thought themselves bound to adhere to such an alliance, when the other party scrupled not to violate every obligation divine and human. Then their wives and children, being brought into the assembly, were restored to them, and received with tears of joy. That day they were entertained in lodgings prepared for them; and, on the next, the terms of association were ratified, and they were dismissed to bring up their forces; afterwards they encamped in conjunction with the Romans, until they conducted them to the spot where the enemy lay.

XVIII. The nearest army of Carthaginians was that commanded by Hasdrubal, which lay near the city of Bæcula. In the front of this camp he had posted advanced guards of cavalry. On these, the Roman light infantry, the front rank, and those who composed the van guard, instantly, as they arrived, and without waiting to choose ground for a camp, made an attack, and with such apparent contempt, as plainly demonstrated what degree of spirit each party possessed. The cavalry were driven within their works, whither they fed in confusion, pressed almost to the very gates. The action of that day having only whetted their ardour for a contest, the Romans pitched their camp. Hasdrubal, during the night, drew back his army to a hill, the summit of which was spread out into a level plain; on the rear of the hill was a river, and on the front and on either side it was encircled by a kind of steep bank : at some distance below this, lay another plain, sloping downwards, the circumference of which was likewise bounded by another bank of equally difficult ascent. Into this lower plain, Hasdrubal, next day, on seeing the enemy's line formed in front of their camp, sent down his Numidian cavalry, and the light-armed Balearians and Africans. Scipio, riding round the companies and battalions, desired them to observe, that “the enemy, renouncing at once all hope of being able to oppose them on plain ground, endeavoured to secure themselves on hills; waiting within sight, and confiding in the strength of their posts, not in their valour and their arms. But Roman soldiers had mounted the higher defences of Carthage. Neither hills, nor a citadel, nor the sea itself had stopped the progress of their arms. Those heights, which the

enemy had seized, would answer no other purpose that of compelling them, in their flight, to leap down craggs and precipices : but he would prevent their escaping, even in that way.” Accordingly, he gave orders to two cohorts, that

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than one of them should secure the entrance of the valley, through which the river ran; and that the other should block up

the road, which led from the city into the country, across the declivity of the hill. He then put himself at the head of the light troops, which had, the day before, beaten the enemy's advanced guards, and led them against the light-armed forces posted on the brink of the lower descent. For some time they proceeded over rough ground, without meeting any other obstacle than the difficulty of the way; afterwards, when they came within reach, vast quantities of weapons of every sort were poured down upon them ; while, on their side, not only the soldiers, but a multitude of servants mixed among the troops, assailed the enemy with stones, which they found every where scattered, and which, in general, were of such a size as that they could be thrown by the hand. But, though the ascent was difficult, and they were almost overwhelmed with darts and stones, yet, through the skill which they had acquired by practice in climbing walls, and the obstinacy of their courage, the foremost gained the summit. When they got upon ground that was any way level, and where they could stand with firm footing, they soon beat back the enemy ; who, though light and fit for skirmishing, and able enough to defend themselves at a distance, while an uncertain kind of fight was waged with missive weapons, yet, when the matter came to close fighting, were quite deficient in steadiness ; so that they were driven with great slaughter into the line of troops posted on the higher eminence. On this, Scipio, ordering the conquerors to press forward against their centre, divided the rest of the forces with Lælius, whom he ordered to go round the hill to the right, until he should find a gentler ascent, while he himself, making a small circuit to the left, charged the enemy in flank. This, at once, threw their line into disorder, though they attempted to change the position of their wings, and face about their ranks towards the several shouts, which assailed their ears from every quarter. During

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