Such of the Carthaginians as had crossed the river
were driven back, and the line of the Ebro was held in the meanwhile,
till Rome gained time to send a new army and a new general.
Fortunately the turn of the war in Italy, where Capua had just fallen,
allowed this to be done.
A strong legion--12,000 men--arriving under
the propraetor Gaius Claudius Nero, restored the balance of arms.
An expedition to Andalusia in the following year (544) was most
successful; Hasdrubal Barcas was beset and surrounded, and escaped a
capitulation only by ignoble stratagem and open perfidy. But Nero was
not the right general for the Spanish war.
He was an able officer,
but a harsh, irritable, unpopular man, who had little skill in the
art of renewing old connections or of forming new ones, or in taking
advantage of the injustice and arrogance with which the Carthaginians
after the death of the Scipios had treated friend and foe in Further
Spain, and had exasperated all against them.