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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter VI - The War under Hannibal from Cannae to Zama


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 83

Scipio Driven Back to the Coast - Surprise of the Carthaginian Camp

On the report of Scipio's landing, Massinissa immediately arrived in the camp of the general, whom not long before he had confronted as an enemy in Spain; but the landless prince brought in the first instance nothing beyond his personal ability to the aid of the Romans, and the Libyans, although heartily weary of levies and tribute, had acquired too bitter experience in similar cases to declare at once for the invaders.

So Scipio began the campaign. So long as he was only opposed by the weaker Carthaginian army, he had the advantage, and was enabled after some successful cavalry skirmishes to proceed to the siege of Utica; but when Syphax arrived, according to report with 50,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry, the siege had to be raised, and a fortified naval camp had to be constructed for the winter on a promontory, which easily admitted of entrenchment, between Utica and Carthage.

Here the Roman general passed the winter of 550-1. From the disagreeable situation in which the spring found him he extricated himself by a fortunate -coup de main-. The Africans, lulled into security by proposals of peace suggested by Scipio with more artifice than honour, allowed themselves to be surprised on one and the same night in their two camps; the reed huts of the Numidians burst into flames, and, when the Carthaginians hastened to their help, their own camp shared the same fate; the fugitives were slain without resistance by the Roman divisions.

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