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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXVI Chapter 46: New Carthage is conquered.[210 BC]
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Those who renewed the assault by land experienced great difficulty; for they were baffled not only by the height of the walls, but also because they exposed the Romans, as they approached them, to the missiles of the enemy from different quarters, so that their sides were endangered more than the fronts of their bodies. But in the other quarter five hundred passed without difficulty through the lake, and then mounted the wall, for neither was it defended by any fortifications, because there they thought the city was sufficiently protected by the nature of the place and the lake, nor were there any outposts or guards stationed there, because all were engaged in bringing succour to that quarter in which the danger appeared. Having entered the city without opposition, they proceeded direct, with all possible speed, to that gate near which the contest was concentrated; and so intently occupied with this were not only the minds, but the eyes and ears of all, both of those who were engaged in fighting, and of those who were looking on and encouraging the combatants, that no one perceived that the city had been captured in their rear till the weapons fell upon their backs, and they had an enemy on both sides of them. Then, the defenders having been thrown into confusion through fear, both the walls were captured, and the gate began to be broken open both from within and from without; and presently, the doors having been broken to pieces by blows, in order that the way might not be obstructed, the troops rushed in. A great number had also got over the walls, but these employed themselves in putting the townsmen to the sword; those which entered by the gate, forming a regular body, with officers and in ranks, advanced through the midst of the city into the forum. Scipio then perceiving that the enemy fled in two different directions, some to the eminence which lay eastward, which was occupied by a garrison of five hundred men, others to the citadel, into which Mago himself also had fled for refuge, together with almost all the troops which had been driven from the walls, sent part of his forces to storm the hill, and part he led in person against the citadel. Not only was the hill captured at the first assault, but Mago also, after making an effort to defend it, when he saw every place filled with the enemy, and that there was no hope, surrendered himself and the citadel, with the garrison. Until the citadel was surrendered, the massacre was continued in every quarter throughout the city; nor did they spare any one they met who had arrived at puberty: but after that, on a signal given, a stop was put to the carnage, and the victors turned their attention to the plunder, of which there was an immense quantity of every description. |
Event: Actions in Spain in 210 BC.