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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXI Chapter 61: Scipio defeats Hanno in Spain[218 BC]
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Before any certain news of this disaster arrived, Hasdrubal, having passed the Iberus with eight thousand foot and a thousand horse, intending to meet the Romans on their first approach, after he heard of the ruin of their affairs at Scissis, and the loss of the camp, turned his route towards the sea. Not far from Tarraco, having despatched his cavalry in various directions, he drove to their ships, with great slaughter, and greater route, the soldiers belonging to the fleet and the mariners, while scattered and wandering through the fields (for it is usually the case that success produces negligence), but not daring to remain longer in that quarter, lest he should be surprised by Scipio, he withdrew to the other side of the Iberus. And Scipio, having quickly brought up his army on the report of fresh enemies, after punishing a few captains of ships and leaving a moderate garrison at Tarraco, returned with his fleet to Emporiae. He had scarcely departed, when Hasdrubal came up, and having instigated to a revolt the state of the Ilergetes, which had given hostages to Scipio, he lays waste, with the youth of that very people, the lands of the faithful allies of the Romans. Scipio being thereupon roused from his winter quarters, Hasdrubal again retires from in all the country on this side the Iberus. Scipio, when with a hostile army he had invaded the state of the Ilergetes, forsaken by the author of their revolt, and having driven them all into Athanagia, which was the capital of that nation laid siege to the city; and within a few days, having imposed the delivery of more hostages than before, and also fined the Ilergetes in a sum of money, he received them back into his authority and dominion. He then proceeded against the Ausetani near the Iberus, who were also the allies of the Carthaginians; and having laid siege to their city, he cut off by an ambuscade the Lacetani, while bringing assistance by night to their neighbours, having attacked them at a small distance from the city, as they were designing to enter it. As many as twelve thousand were slain; the rest, nearly all without their arms, escaped home, by dispersing through the country in every direction. Nor did any thing else but the winter, which was unfavourable to the besiegers, secure the besieged. The blockade continued for thirty days, during which the snow scarce ever lay less deep than four feet; and it had covered to such a degree the sheds and mantelets of the Romans, that it alone served as a defence when fire was frequently thrown on them by the enemy. At last, when Amusitus, their leader, had fled to Hasdrubal, they are surrendered, on condition of paying twenty talents of silver. They then returned into winter quarters at Tarraco. |
Event: Gnaeus Scipio in Spain
Foot:a. part of the body (3379). b. infantry (6534).
Horse:a. the animal. b. cavalry.