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mind and valor of a great captain. He seized an advantageous post, and drew up his forces on a narrow spot, which
gave him an opportunity of posting his left wing, the weakest part of his army, in such a manner that it could neither be attacked in front, nor charged in flank ; and of giving to his main battle and right wing a greater depth than front. After this hasty disposition of his forces, he posted himself in the centre, and first marched to attack the enemy's left wing, well knowing that all was at stake, and that he must either conquer or die. This batıle lasted a long time, and was obstinately disputed by both parties. Asdrubal, especially, signalized himself in this engagement, and added new glory to that he had already acquired by a series of shining actions. He led on his soldiers, trembling and quite dispirited, against an enemy superior to them both in numbers and in resolution. He animated them by his words, supported them by his example, and, with entreaties and menaces, endeavoured to bring back those who fled ; till at last, seeing that victory declared for the Romans, and being unable to survive the loss of so many thousand men, who had quitted their country to follow his fortune, he rushed at once into the midst of a Roman cohort, and there died in a manner worthy the son of Hamilcar and the brother of Hannibal.
This was the most bloody battle the Carthaginians had fought during this war : and, whether we consider the death of the general, or the slaughter made of the Carthaginian forces, it may be looked upon as a reprisal for the battle of Cannae. The Carthaginians lost fifty five thousand men, and six thousand were
According to Polybius, the loss amounted to but 10,000 men, and that of the Romans to 2000, 1. xi. p. 807, edit. Grongy..
taken prisoners. The Romans lost eight thousand. These were so weary of killing, that some person tell. ing Livius, that he might very easily cut to pieces a body of the enemy who were flying: “It is fit,” says he, “that some should survive, in order that they may carry the news of this defeat to the Carthaginians.”
Nero set out upon his march, on the very night which followed the engagement. Through all places where he passed, in his return, shouts of joy and loud acclamations welcomed him, instead of those fears and uneasinesses which his coming had occasioned. He arrived in his camp the sixth day. Asdrubal's head being thrown into that of the Carthaginians, informed Hannibal of his brother's unhappy fate. Hannibal perceived, by this cruel stroke, the fortune of Car. thage.“ It is done,” says he, “ I will no longer send triumphant messages to Carthage. In losing Asdru. bal, I have lost at once all my hope, all my good for. tune.” He afterwards retired to the extremity of the country of the Brutians, where he assembled all his forces, who found it a very difficult matter to subsist there, as no provisions were sent them from Carthage.
Scipio conquers all Spain. Is appointed consul, and sails into Africa. Hannibal is recalled. The fate of arms was not more propitious to the Carthaginians in Spain. The prudent vivacity of young Scipio had
& Horace makes him speak thus, in the beautiful ode where this defeat is described :
Carthagini jam non ego nuntiqs
Nominis, Asdrubale interempto. Liv. vi. Od. 4. A. M. 5799. A. Rom. 543. Polyb. I. xi. p. 150, & 1. xiv. p. 677-687, & l. xv. p. 689–694. Liv. l. xxviü. n. 1-4-16-38-40-46; 1. xxix. Il. 34-36; 1. XXX. n. 20-28.
restored the Roman affairs in that country to their for. mer flourishing state, as the courageous slowness of Fabius had before done in Italy. The three Carthaginian generals in Spain, Asdrubal, son of Gisgo, Hanno, and Mago, having been defeated with their numerous armies by the Romans, in several engagements, Scipio at last possessed himself of all Spain, and subjected it entirely to the Roman power. It was at this time that Masinissa, a very powerful African prince, went over to the Romans ; and Syphax, on the contrary, to the Carthaginians.
i Scipio, at his return to Rome, was declared consul, being then thirty years of age. He had P. Licinius Crassus for his colleague. Sicily was allotted to Scipio, with permission for him to cross over into Africa, if he found it convenient. He set out with all imaginable expedition for his province ; whilst his colleague was to command in the country whither Hannibal was retired.
The taking of New Carthage, where Scipio had displayed all the prudence, the courage and capacity which could have been expected from the greatest generals, and the conquest of all Spain, were more than sufficient to immortalize his name : but he had considered these only as so many steps by which he was to climb to a nobler enterprise, and this was the conquest of Africa. Accordingly, he crossed over thither, , and made it the seat of the war.
The devastation of the country ; the siege of Utica, one of the strongest cities of Africa ; the entire defeat of the two armies under Syphax and Asdrubal, whose camp was burned by Scipio; and afterwards the
A. M. 3800. A Rom. 544.
taking Syphax himself prisoner, who was the most powerful resource the Carthaginians had left; all these things forced them at last to turn their thoughts to peace. They thereupon deputed thirty of their principal senators, who were selected for that purpose, out of the powerful body, at Carthage, called the “ council of the hundred.” Being introduced into the Roman general's tent, they all threw themselves prostrate on the earth, such was the custom of their country, spoke to him in terms of great submission, accusing Hannibal as the author of all their calamities, and promising, in the name of the senate, an implicit obedience to whatever the Romans should please to ordain. Scipio answered, that though he was come into Africa, not for peace but conquest, he would however grant them a peace, upon condition that they should deliver up all the prisoners and deserters to the Romans ; that they should recall their armies out of Italy and Gaul; should never set foot again in Spain ; should retire out of all the islands between Italy and Africa ; should deliver up all their ships, twenty excepted, to the victor ; should give to the Romans five hundred thousand bushels of wheat, three hundred thousand of barley, and pay fifteen thousand talents : that in case they were pleased with these conditions, they then, he said, might send ambassadors to the senate. The Carthaginnians feigned a compliance, but this was only to gain time, till Hannibal should be returned. A truce was then granted to the Carthaginians, who immediately sent deputies to Rome, and at the same time an express to Hannibal, to order his return into Africa.
He was then, as was observed before, in the ex. tremity of Italy. Here he received the orders from Carthage, which he could not listen to without groans, and almost tears; and was exasperated almost to madness, to see himself thus forced to quit his prey. Never banished man' showed so much regret at leav. ing his native country, as Hannibal did in going out of that of an enemy. He often turned his eyes wishfully to Italy, accusing gods and men of his misfortunes, and calling down a thousand curses, says * Livy, upon himself for not having marched his soldiers directly to Rome, after the battle of Cannae, whilst they were still reeking with the blood of its citizens.
At Rome, the senate, greatly dissatisfied with the excuses made by the Carthaginian deputies, in justification of their republic, and the ridiculous offer of their adhering, in its name, to the treaty of Lutatius; thought proper to refer the decision of the whole to Scipio, who, being on the spot, could best judge what conditions best suited the welfare of the state.
About the same time, Octavius, the praetor, sailing from Sicily with two hundred vessels of burden, was attacked near Carthage by a furious storm, which dispersed all his fleet. The citizens, not bearing to see so rich a prey escape them, demanded importunately that the Carthaginian fleet might sail out and seize it. The
k A. M. 3802. A. Rom. 546. 1 Raro quenquam alium patriam exilii causa relinquentem magis mæstum abiisse ferunt, quam Annibalem hostium terra excedentem. Respexisse sæpe Italiæ littora, et deos hominesque accusantem, in se quoque ac suum ipsius caput execratum, “Quod non cruentum ab Cannensi victoria militem Romam duxisset.” Liv. I. Xxx. n. 20.
m Livy supposes, however, that this delay was a capital error in Han. nibal, which he himself afterwards regretted. vol. 1.