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I – In Carthage Hannibal's enemies, deaf to his requests for help, convinced the senate to send a new army to Spain, replacing that of Asdrubale Barca.

This army, commanded by Annone, joined Magone Barca near Ilipa (not far from Seville), while Asdrubale Gisgone was encamped near Gades.

Magone Barca

Annone hired a large number of those Celtiberi who had betrayed Gneo Scipione years before.

The new Scipione, not to give the Carthaginians time to train recruits and to agree with the Celtiberi the conduct of the war, sent Marco Silano with ten thousand infantry men and five hundred knights against Annone and Magone Barca.

Silano advanced with such speed to anticipate with the presence the news of his arrival.

Informed by the guides to be ten miles from the enemies (about 15 km), he knew that in one camp there were the Carthaginians, in the other, with no discipline and no order, the Celtiberi.

Scipione Marco Silano

Silano, who was loudly asked by the veterans to avenge Gneo Scipione, decided to attack Celtiberi first.
Approaching their camp, he stopped in a subsidence that concealed his army to the sight of the enemy.
From here, restored the soldiers and laid down their backpacks, moved to the attack of the enemies, when they saw the Romans less than a mile, with great clamor and even more confusion prepared for the battle.

Magone at the first riots came out of his camp taking the command of the Celtiberi.
Those, who have a great agility, are accustomed to fight running throughout the battlefield, but the roughness and tightness of the places made vain their agility, while ours, accustomed to fight steady, were most favored.

Unable to defend themselves, many enemies were killed or captured, only two thousand infantry men and the cavalry managed to escape with Magone and as he sheltered near Asdrubale Gisgone, the Celtiberi dispersed in their lands of origin.

Annone, who had intervened in Magone's rescue, was taken prisoner.
Asdrubale Gisgone to save his own army, prevented Scipio and deployed his forces in various cities, returned to Gades.

Scipione, considering that too much time was needed to capture every single city, returned to Tarraco, but not to let the enemies domineered into the region (Andalusia), sent his brother Lucio to the attack of Orongi (today Jimena de la Frontera in Andalusia) the richest city in the area.

Orongi was stormed, but by order of Lucio Scipione was not plundered.
The Carthaginian garrison and three hundred citizens were captured.
To the remainder of the population was restored their belongings.


Lucio Scipione

The magnanimity of Lucio Scipione was the cause of serious discontent among the soldiers who saw themselves bereaved of the expected booty.


II – Approaching the winter season Scipione, in order not to burden a single city, distributed his troops in Tarraco, Cartaghe and Orongi.

There they wintered the soldiers who conquered the city a few months before, among them, as it was said, because of the lack of booty, the dissatisfaction was spreading.
As Orongi was a city rich especially for fertile campaigns and numerous herds, the legionaries said that Scipione sent them among peasants and shepherds, while their companions could enjoy the comforts and leisure of big cities.
Increased the resentment the delay in paying their salaries.

In this time Scipione was taken seriously ill. Shortly the news that he had died spread.
Then we realized how weak our achievements were.

Mandonio and his brother Indibile called to arms the Lacetani, a Pyrenean population and together with the youth of the Celtiberi plundered the allies of the Romans.

Mandonio and Indibile

But the most painful and most shameful episode took place in Orongi where the most turbulent of the legionaries were wintering.

Those, given credit to the news of Scipione's death, thinking of acting unpunished, first plundered the local population, then, expelled the military tribunes, openly rebelled.

While waiting for news about Scipio's funeral, they learned that not only he didn’t die, but on the contrary was more vigorous than ever before.
Scipione, though unwilling to sentence all the rebels, could not tolerate such episodes dishonoring the Roman army.

He then resolved to send to Orongi seven military tribunes, expert men and full of resources.
They, though coolly welcomed, gained the trust of the soldiers by giving them reason and adding that nothing had happened so serious that it could not be remedied.
Gathering complaints about the delay in paying salaries, said they could go to Cartaghe to retire these salaries, moreover they could  decide whether to go each cohort individually or all together.
As confident by so much liberality, the soldiers replied that they would go all together.

The gravity of the event prompted Scipio to convene a war council to decide what action to take.
It was decided to proceed with moderation.
After the seven tribunes’ statement, the chiefs of the revolt were identified.
As soon as the soldiers arrived to withdraw the salary, the army closed every chance of escape. Then Scipione severely rebuked the rebels, ordered to lead the thirty-five guilty in front of the praetorium (the tent of the commander).

An herald, accompanied by the screams of the shields beaten by the swords, called the condemned men by name.
When they all were tied to a pole, first were beaten by the rods, then decapitated.

As promised, to others, the salary was paid.


III - At the same time, a legate of Magone Barca, named Annone, like so many Carthaginians, was sent from Gades, with a modest contingent, to excite the revolt, with the mirage of rich prizes, the people set up along the Beti River (Today Guadalquivir).

Intercepted by Lucio Marcio hardly saved himself with a hasty flight.

Lucio Marcio

Meanwhile, Gaio Lelio, crossing the Strait (Gibraltar), approached Carteia (near Tarifa, not far from Cadiz), an ancient city at the entrance of the Ocean, where the sea, exited from the mouth of the Strait, stretches as far as the eye can see.

Lelio had been enticed by the hope of taking Gades, for betraying of some conspirators, but a delation revealed the plan.
Magone, arrested the guilty, gave them to the commander of his fleet, Aderbale, to bring them to Carthage.

This one embarked the prisoners on a quinquereme, escorting it with eight triremes.
Lelio, spotted the Carthaginian convoy, left Carteia's port to attack.
Aderbale, surprised by the unexpected appearance of the Roman fleet, forwarding the quinquereme, prepared for the fight.

To protect the escape of the quinquereme he had to sacrifice three triremes, which were sunk by the Romans. Finally he escaped with the surviving ships.
Lelio returned to Carteia victorious, learned that the conspiracy had been discovered, making vain his hopes of taking Gades without fighting, decided to return to Scipione, advising Marcio to do the same.

Magone, aware of the revolt in the Roman field and of the insurgency guided by Mandonio and Indibile, had entrusted to Aderbale the task of requesting the Senate of Cartaghe new aids to regain the whole of Spain, exaggerating the importance of the legionaries’ rebellion.


IV – Mandonio and Indibile, learned that Scipione, far from being dead, was in full health, stopped awaiting the events, but when they came to know at what punishment the leaders of the Roman soldiers' rebellion had been condemned, fearing they would be subject to analogous torment, returned to the Lacetani, resumed their hostilities.

Crossing the Ebro with twenty thousand infantry men and two thousand horsemen, they set up the camp in the territory of the Sedetani, bordering on the Ilergeti, their land of origin.
Scipione, in that time was in Cartaghe with a part of the army, determined to severely destroy the foolish ambition of Mandonio and Indibile, ordered Silano to move from Tarraco with the rest of the army to join the banks of the Ebro in the territory of the Ilergeti (not far from the current Mequinenza).

Mandonio and Indibile, warned of the advance of Scipione, left the territory of the Sedetani, again crossed the Ebro, to camp in the territory of the Ilergeti, here come, called the Celtiberi, to oppose great forces to our.
Grown self-confident by their number and the desire to fight of the Celtiberi youth, the Spaniards, when saw the Scipio army, prepared for the battle.
They had divided their forces into three parts, one constituted by the cavalry, the second by the infantry, the third part under the command of Mandonio and Indibile, occupied a hill, was kept in reserve.

Scipione observed the deployment of the enemies, sent to Silano his messengers with the order of hiding behind the enemy infantry.
The battle began in the plain with the clash of the cavalry, several times our horsemen chased by the enemies, repaired between the rows of the infantry, against which broke the Spanish cavalry, that worn out by continuous losses, while still battling valiantly, had lost momentum and vigor.

Then, together, our infantry and knights, passed on to counterattack.
In that the enemy infantry, which had passively witnessed the clashes, was called in defense of their knights, but here the trumpets of Silano's army blared from behind.

Abandoned by the infantry, the Spanish knights, who could not escape, were massacred until the last.
Three thousand infantry men were taken prisoners, few managed to escape, others remained on the battlefield dead or injured.
Mandonio and Indibile fled with their contingent.

The camps of the Spaniards were taken and plundered.
In that harsh struggle of our men died six hundred, three thousand were injured.
Mandonio and Indibile, fearing being handed over to the Romans, decided to rely on Scipio's clemency.
Mandonio as a suppliant went to the Roman commander.

He pleaded for his forgiveness, cursed the wrath of the fate that had led him and his brother to such a step, and then brought their lives back into his hands.
Scipione, after having severely rebuked him, granted him and his brother life and liberty, but as an admonition imposed on the Ilergeti to pay the annual salary of the Roman army.

The price of the uprising would not have been mild.


V – Sent back Silano to Tarraco, Scipione kept behind Marcio that had already started toward the Ocean.

Magone disappointed in all his hopes, was preparing to leave Gades to return to Africa when received a lot of money along with the order to embark on the fleet to recruit as many Gauls and Ligurians could and go to Hannibal's rescue.

To dispose of as much money as he could, he did not hesitate to plunder the inhabitants of Gades, then with short incursions plundered neighboring cities, but when he returned to Gades the inhabitants shut their gates.
Magone testifying the Carthaginian bad faith, invited to talk, the chiefs of the city, then crucified them.
After this fine feat sailed  for the island of Ebusus (today Ibiza), inhabited by Carthaginians.

From here he went to the major of the Balearic Islands, called Majorca, where he counted to winter, but the inhabitants, having experienced the duplicity of the Carthaginians, welcomed him with a dense hailstorm of stones thrown by their famous slingers.

Magone therefore had to content with landing in the smallest and much less inhabited Minorca. Occupied the harbor that took his name (still today called Mahon=Magone), took possession of the island.

Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Gades opened the gates to the Romans. 


VI – Expelled from Spain, the Carthaginians devoted their attention to Numidia.

Gaia, the father of that Masinissa who had valiantly fought in Spain under their colors, came to death. They sought to win back Siface to their cause, fearing that with Gaia's death his kingdom would soon be disrupted.

To make the alliance more secure Asdrubal Gisgone married his enchanting daughter Sofonisba to the Numidian King.


In the flower of the years, she knew all the arts of seduction, with which she bound inextricably Siface, while remaining totally faithful to his father.

Thus the Numidian, abandoned the alliance with Rome, threw himself into the dangerous Carthaginian arms.

Masinissa, lost his father Gaia, for many clues had reason to suspect the treason of the ancient allies, who in fact supported Siface in the war that he had sparked against the Massili, the Numidians who lived in Gaia's kingdom, and were destroyed by the joint enemy forces.

For all his long life Masinissa remembered this infamous treason and until the death he hated the Carthaginians, wishing more than anything else the destruction of Carthage.
Moved first by the suspects, then by the certainty of the Carthaginian volte-face, Masinissa contacted Scipione.


Who from youth had observed at Trebbia, Trasimeno and Canne, that the irresistible strength of Hannibal's army was represented by the Numidian cavalry, then commanded by Maarbale.

He was therefore pleased to receive Masinissa, who in no other way than Maarbale had commanded the Numidian cavalry in Spain, alongside the Carthaginians.
Masinissa, who had the same age of Scipione, opened his heart to the Roman, returned by his new friend, who confided his intention to go to Rome and stand to the consulate, in succession, crossed the sea, would have led the war in Africa, under the walls of Carthage.

Masinissa was a man of extraordinary courage, extraordinary value and violent passions, listened Scipio asked him for a ship to be escorted to the lands of the Massili with his most faithful knights. Once arrived, he would gather a new army and when Scipione would have landed in Africa, would reach him with his cavalry, fighting at once Siface and the Carthaginians.

Sealed the pact, Masinissa embarked for Africa.


VII – Scipione entrusted Spain to Marco Giunio Silano and Marco Ralla Marcio, went to Rome (in 206) to submit his candidacy to the consulate.

Delivered to the inland revenue an enormous quantity of silver, received in the Senate, he made known the feats led in Spain, informed the senators to have founded the colony of Italica (near Seville, where Trajan was born) and finally had expelled all Carthaginians from Iberia, the committees for the election of the consuls were summoned.

The eldest people told me that they had never seen such a people's flow for an election.
From the furthest cities, those who had the right to vote (the inhabitants of the optimum iure civitates) came to Rome to support Scipione.
Here veterans opened their homes to veterans, common people were hosted by Scipione’s friends.

And they all wanted to see that leader, who would finally end the war by expelling Hannibal from Italy.

In a crowd of people, all the centuries (the popular assembly was divided into centuries) unanimously elected Publius Cornelio Scipione,  giving him as colleague Publius Licinio Crasso, who being Pontifex Maximus (the highest religious office), could not depart from Italy, so in full agreement between the new consuls, to Licinio was assigned the Bruttio, to Scipione the Sicily.

But Quinto Fabio Massimo Verrucoso, with his large following of senators, showed that he did not like to any extent the popular consent for Scipione.

Scipione Quinto Fabio Massimo Verrucoso

From this moment on, the Senate, in its majority, showed that wanted to impede Scipione.
Began Fabio Massimo, who, not honoring himself, reproached Scipio for not being able to hold Asdrubal in Spain and for the sedition of the legionaries, of which I said.

Indeed, besides an inconvenient envy, Fabio while saw what a great support Scipione enjoyed among our allies, remembered that these same allies, whose territories he had abandoned to Hannibal's plunder, had strongly opposed him.
On the contrary, today, united with the Roman people, they thought that Scipione would not only win the war, but would lead it to Africa under the walls of Carthage itself.
Actually, it was not a mystery that, as the whole people wanted, Scipione would have gone from Sicily to Africa.

Fabio Massimo not only disapproved Scipione's design, but also asserted that only a Senate resolution could authorize him to move to Africa.

The senators did not have the courage to oppose the will of the people.
They did worse.
Scipione was denied the option of enlisting new troops, anyway if he wanted, he could use volunteers.

Moreover, because Publio Cornelio, perhaps unwisely, had stated that the fleet, necessary to land in Africa, would be set up without weighing on the coffers of the State, the brave senators said that he had to provide for it. 


VIII – The injustice and the hypocrisy of this behavior backfired on Scipione's opponents.

In fact the allied cities decided to go to his rescue in such a way, first the cities of Etruria promised that would have helped the consul, each according to its own possibilities: the inhabitants of Cere would have provided grain for the crews; those of Populonia the iron; those of Tarquinia the canvas for sails; the Volterrani the skeleton of ships and wheat; the Aretini three thousand shields, as many helmets, launching weapons, lances and arrows; the inhabitants of Chiusi, Perugia and Ruselle undertook to supply timber to build ships and a large amount of grain; the Umbri, with the inhabitants of Nursia (Norcia), Reate and Aminterno, together with the Sabini promised to provide soldiers; many of the Marsi, the Peligni and the Marrucini became enlisted as volunteers; the Camerini sent a cohort of six hundred men.

Thirty warships were set up in a very short time. Embarked seven thousand volunteers, Scipione sailed for Sicily.


IX – Meanwhile in Africa, in vain Masinissa attempted to regain the paternal kingdom. Overwhelmed by the joint forces of Siface and the Carthaginians, he was on several occasions to be captured.
Chased night and day, he was injured and regarded as death.

Scipione from Sicily sent a ship to his rescue.
Masinissa saved and treated, wanted to return to Numidia as soon as possible.
Publio Cornelio gave him the money needed to arm new troops.

Without Siface being informed, Masinissa could have a small but nevertheless dangerous army. With these modest forces and with his great courage, he began to lie in wait for the army of Siface.

Thinking of dealing with a bunch of brigands, Siface promised big prizes to those who had given them into his hands. Masinissa, scent danger, went out into the mountains where the knights of Siface did not dare to venture.

Meanwhile, with the three cohorts of volunteers, sent by Scipione, who had fought under the colors of Marco Livio Salinatore, free from any obligations, I went to Etruria with a letter from Marco Livio to Gaio Terenzio Varrone, asking Gaio Terenzio to intercede with the Etruscans to embark on some of their ships, which were leaving for Sicily in reinforcements of Scipione.

Marco Livio Salinatore

Gaio Terenzio for having prevented Asdrubale from invading Etruria, had gained great merit with the Etruscans, therefore he got us to sail on the ships sailing from Pyrgi (near Santa Severa).   


X – As Scipio reached Sicily, Magone Barca, leaving the island of Minorca with twelve thousand men and two thousand knights, according to the orders received, headed to Liguria, where he occupied the port of our ally city of Genoa.

Shortly after he tried with little success, to induce the Cisalpine Gauls to rebellion, while Hannibal, led his army to the cape Lacinio (today Cape Colonna) was afflicted with famine. In these predicament, the Carthaginians sent more soldiers and more money to Magone to enroll the Cisalpini Gauls and the Ligurians, with the task of saving his brother Hannibal from the present difficulties.

The Ligurians, from whose land we were far away, seemed to be well-disposed, but they were few and yet asked for time to arm, while the Gauls, because of  the proximity of the proconsul Marco Livio Salinatore, told Magone they did not dare to enlist, fearing that the Roman would have them attacked while they were completely unprepared.

Magone was therefore confined to the Ligurian mountains, while Livio did not move from the vicinity of Rimini.


XI Gaio Lelio sent by Scipione to booty Africa, met Masinissa, who complained of Scipio's delay in moving to Africa right now that Siface was involved in conflicts with neighboring peoples.

Gaio Lelio Siface

As soon as Scipione would have landed in Africa he would have reached him with a fair quota of cavalry.

He also advised Lelio to return to Sicily, for he knew that the Carthaginians were sailing with a fleet against which would have been imprudent to clash.

Scipione before joining Africa wanted to regain Locri.
The recapture of Locri, for the shameful events that accompanied it, was about to blur the glory of Scipione.

The consul entrusted to the pro-praetor Pleminio the command of the operations.

This one revealing an avid and cruel soul subjected the people of Locri to all sorts of violence, competing fiercely with the Carthaginian presidium, who had preceded him.


The Locresi appealed to the military tribunes, who rebelled against Pleminio and tortured him. Scipione came to the knowledge of the facts, returned the power to Pleminio, who avenged himself both on the tribunes and the Locresi. Those driven by despair turned to the Roman Senate asking for justice.

Scipione's opponents believed to take advantage of the incident, asking Scipione be revoked.

In order to shed light on the incident, a commission of inquiry was appointed to ascertain whether Pleminio had acted on Scipione's command.
Withdrawn the charge, a new one was invented.

Scipione was accused not to take care of the training of the army, but of allowing the soldiers to indulge in any liberties.

The accusation was so inane that the new commission of inquiry had to admit that in the Roman camp things went on magnificently (among the members of the commission there was a young Marco Porcio Catone, later dogged opponent of Scipione).

Marco Porcio Catone

Scipione was then authorized by the Senate to leave for Africa, accompanied by great hopes.

As to Pleminio he was taken from Scipione to Rhegium with his accomplices and handed over to the praetor, these under custody were sent to Rome where they were imprisoned.

In obscure circumstances, Pleminio died in prison.


XII – The Carthaginians, convinced that Scipione would soon be landed in Africa, increasingly tightened the alliance with Siface.

As previously mentioned, for this purpose Asdrubal Gisgone had given his daughter Sofonisba as wife to the Numidian, so Siface blinded by passion for  the seductive and young bride, was bound to Carthage both privately and through a public treaty.

Then he wrote to Scipione, repudiating the covenant of friendship he had sealed with his father Publio and his uncle Gneo, adding that if Scipione had gone to Africa, would find him not as a friend, but as an enemy.
Scipione, who had been informed by Masinissa of the certain betrayal of Siface, estimated that he did not have to allow his enemies time to organize, so ordered all ships needed to carry the legions to Africa would be concentrated in the port of Lilibeo (Marsala).

Among the legionaries, who more than anyone else were eager to embark, there were those Canne’s veterans, sent to Sicily as a  punishment for the misdeeds of Emilio Paolo.
Scipione, as knew that, relied particularly on them.

Loaded the ships with provisions for forty-five days Scipione, with his brother Lucio, deployed to the right wing with twenty-five warships to protect the freighters on which we were sailing (about 16,000 infantrymen and 2,000 knights), to the left wing with the same number of ships was the commander of the fleet Lelio (with Catone, then quaestor).

At dawn, Scipione, ordered the herald to impose silence, prayed:
“O Gods, o Goddesses, divine Venus for you shines the light of the day, to you smile the waves of the sea, from you run away the winds.
Mother of Aeneas
(that is mother of the Romans, descendants of Aeneas), give a propitious voyage to the Romans, to the Latin allies, to us all going to avenge indescribable mourning.
O Gods, o Goddesses, I pray you, I implore you so that the feats we are willing to do be successful for the Roman People, for our Allies and for myself.
O Gods, o Goddesses, protect the winners so that they safe and unharmed return to their homes after having bent our enemies once and for all”.

After this prayer, thrown into the sea, according to the ritual, the entrails of the sacrificial victim, to the sound of the trumpet gave the starting signal.
The pilots were ordered to sail to Emporii (near Hammamet).

click to enlarge

As the earth disappeared from sight, a favorable wind rose.
On the second day of sailing, the coast of Africa appeared to our eyes.

Arrived at Cape Pulcro (today Cape Farina) Scipione ordered to land.


XIII – Panic and terror seemed to spread among the African people as we landed, so that they invaded all the roads leading to Carthage, where an even greater terror pervaded the city.

The most eminent citizen was Asdrubal Gisgone, who several times in Spain had been defeated by Scipione, who now advanced with his army, ready to attack Carthage itself.
The Carthaginian senate, as if the Roman commander was about to attack the city, shut the gates, called citizens to arms.

The next day, five hundred knights sent for exploration, faced by ours, fled, few saved.
As promised after a few days came Masinissa, with a thousand knights.
Not so many but, for the knowledge of the places, his arrival was greeted with great appreciation.

Meanwhile Asdrubal Gisgone enlisted among the Numidians four thousand knights, occupied the town of Seleca, which was fifteen miles (about 25 km) from our camps, from here sent messengers to Siface, asking to join him with his army.
As the Carthaginians moved very slowly, Scipione decided go to the attack.

Masinissa with a small contingent of knights advanced on Seleca, provoking the enemies, while Scipione with the bulk of the cavalry was concealed.
Masinissa, with his few riders, seemed to be an easy bit to the Carthaginians.
They all got out from Seleca threw themselves into pursuit of the Numidian.

When they were sufficiently far from the city walls, were attacked by Scipione and Masinissa himself.
They fled thirty miles (over 45 miles).
We made two thousand prisoners, one thousand were the dead and the wounded.
We took possession of Seleca.

Scipione, however, did not feel to have enough forces to attack Carthage. Waiting for new soldiers coming from Lilibeo, set up the camp near Utica, he plundered neighboring villages and countryside, made a big booty, loaded the vessels, sent them back to Sicily, where they would embark our second contingent.

The people of Utica, for their salvation, hoped for the aid of the Carthaginians, who in turn hoped for the aid of Siface.


XIV - Licinio, consul in Italy, clashed on several occasions with Hannibal, who, with ever-diminishing forces, retired to Crotone.

Meanwhile his brother Magone, confined in Liguria, tried with great promise to persuade the Etruscans to desert the Romans.
Those who had accessed to Magone were denounced and exiled.

Anyway the Senate, considering that the situation of Etruria had to be clarified, committed Gaio Terenzio Varrone, who enjoyed great credit with the Etruscans,  to conduct an inquiry and act as best as he believed in the interests of the Republic.

Gaio Terenzio Varrone

Indeed in the last twenty years the Etruscan territory had been plundered several times, by the Gauls first, then by the Carthaginians, many young men had died in battles fought alongside the Romans, the campaigns had been abandoned, the old splendor had vanished.

Varrone, listen to the people's complaints, recalled that with two Roman legions he had guarded their territory, preventing Asdrubal from crossing it, he also informed the Etruscans that Scipione had landed in Africa, where he passed from one victory to another, soon Hannibal would leave the Bruttio, where he had fled and the whole of Italy would be restored.

Without the need for hateful punishments, Varrone returned to Rome.

In Sicily, forty war ships were assigned to the praetor Marco Matone Pomponio to prevent a Carthaginian counter-offensive.

To Scipione (in 204) was extended the command without time limit. 


XV – For forty days we attacked Utica, by land and sea, but as the city resisted, approached to our camps Asdrubal Gisgone with thirty thousand men and Siface with fifty thousand.
These troops were not so much skilled.
The army of Asdrubal was made up of Africans, more concerned with shrinking from the sun and filling their belly than anxious to fight.
Siface infantry was very numerous, but mostly peasants and shepherds were enrolled.
Through faithful people Scipione and Siface exchanged messages.
The Numidian guaranteed that if Scipio had withdrawn from Africa, the Carthaginians would leave Italy, then peace could be concluded.

Certainly not for this reason we landed in Africa!

As Scipione did not believe that Siface and Asdrubale were able to feed for long time so many men and animals, replied that he should inform the Roman Senate and wait for his decisions.

In addition, during this time, we saw that the enemy camps were badly fortified and that, with the passing of days, vigilance became more and more neglected.
When Scipione believed the times were ripe, informed Siface that the Senate rejected the proposed conditions.
And yet the enemies, instead of preparing for the clash, overlooked every discipline.

Siface’s camp was the closest to ours, here the soldiers to shelter by the sun had erected  huts of straws and canes that abound in those places.
Listened to the centurions, Scipione decided not to miss any further time.


One night, as the enemies were sleeping and the sentries indulged in wine, we began a dense launch of incendiary arrows.

The enemy camp fired like a torch, while the greatest disorder was reigning, the Carthaginians of Asdrubal thought that a fire was devouring the Numidian's huts. Therefore, got out of their fortifications, with all the water they could carry, they ran to extinguish the fire.

When they realized that the fire was our work, only Asdrubal and Siface with two thousand infantry men and five hundred knights had time to flee.

We made more than five thousand prisoners, the remaining, some died in the fire or for our own hands, others dispersed in the countryside.


XVI – Scipio, stormed two enemy cities, left the booty to the soldiers.

Asdrubale repaired to Carthage, fearing that the Carthaginians, by fear, would surrender to the Romans.
Their Sufets (charge similar to that of consuls), summoned the Senate, where various proposals were introduced.

According to some, they had to send ambassadors to Scipione to negotiate peace, according to others, Hannibal had to be recalled, a third proposal prevailed that a new army had to be set up and send messengers  to Siface for not defecting.

The messengers brought to the Numidian the news that four thousand valiant Celtiberi had come from Spain to fight alongside the Carthaginians.
Siface reassured the messengers showing them a crowd of soldiers, actually peasants, to whom he had distributed weapons and horses.

Added that he knew well how the recent defeat was due to a fire.
Only those who are beaten with weapons can be considered defeated.

Scipione was preparing to resume the siege of Utica when was informed that Asdrubale and Siface advanced with an army of thirty thousand men.
Left Utica, in less than three days we covered about sixty miles (more than 90 km) to a location called Campi Magni, preparing for the battle.

Scipione set up at the right wing the Italica cavalry that opposed the Numidian di Siface, to the left wing Masinissa with his Numidians, faced the Carthaginians, in the center our infantry opposed the Celtiberi, mixed to whom were the Carthaginian recruits and those of Siface.

At first clash, both the Italica cavalry and that of Masinissa put the enemy to flight.
In the center, while the recruits fled, were left alone the Celtiberi, who, unknowingly in the places, did not know where to repair.

Our anger hit these uncorrectable traitors. Once surrounded we massacred them to the last man.
Asdrubale and Siface pursued by Lelio and Masinissa had time to flee.


On the following day, Scipione subdued the nearby cities.
The Carthaginians taken by despair, decided to call back Hannibal to come to the rescue of his homeland.




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