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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXXVIII Chapter 35: Scipio meets Masinissa[206 BC]
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The negotiations which had been begun with Masinissa were delayed for various reasons. He wanted in any case to meet Scipio personally and to grasp his hand in confirmation of the league between them, and this was the reason why Scipio undertook at that time such a long and out-of-the-way journey. Masinissa was at Gades, and on being informed by Marcius that Scipio was coming, he represented to Mago that his horses were getting out of condition through being confined in so small an island, and were causing a general scarcity from which all alike suffered, whilst his cavalry were becoming enervated through inaction. He persuaded the Carthaginian commander to allow him to cross to the mainland for the purpose of plundering the adjacent country. When he had landed he sent three Numidian chieftains to Scipio to fix the time and place of the interview. Two were to be detained by Scipio as hostages, the third was to be sent back to conduct Masinissa to the place that had been decided upon. They came to the conference, each with a small escort. From what he had heard of his achievements the Numidian had already conceived a great admiration for the Roman commander and had pictured him in imagination as a man of grand and imposing presence. But when he saw him he felt a deeper veneration for him. The majesty, natural to Scipio, was heightened by his flowing hair and the simplicity of his general appearance, which was devoid of all adornment and decoration, and in the highest degree manly and soldierly. He was at the most vigorous time of life, and his recovery from his recent illness had given him a freshness and clearness of complexion which renewed the bloom of youth. Almost speechless with astonishment at this his first meeting with him, the Numidian began by thanking him for having sent his nephew home. From that moment, he declared, he had looked for such an opportunity as this of expressing his gratitude, and now that one was offered him by the kindness of heaven he would not let it slip. He was desirous of rendering such service to Scipio and to Rome that no one of foreign birth might ever be found to have afforded more zealous assistance. This had long been his wish, but Spain was a strange and unknown land to him, and he had been unable to carry out his purpose there; it would, however, be easy to do it in the land of his birth, where he had been brought up in the expectation of succeeding to his father's throne. If the Romans sent Scipio as their general into Africa, he felt pretty certain that the time of Carthage would be very short. Scipio watched him and listened to him with great pleasure. He knew that Masinissa was the master-spirit in all the enemy's cavalry, and the youth's whole bearing showed high courage. After they had pledged their faith to each other, Scipio returned to Tarraco. Masinissa was allowed by the Romans to carry off plunder from the adjacent fields, in order that he might not be thought to have sailed across to the mainland without sufficient cause. After this he returned to Gades.

Actions in Spain in 206 BC

Event: Actions in Spain in 206 BC