This nocturnal surprise was more destructive
than many a battle; nevertheless the Carthaginians did not suffer
their courage to sink, and they rejected even the advice of the timid,
or rather of the judicious, to recall Mago and Hannibal. Just at this
time the expected Celtiberian and Macedonian auxiliaries arrived; it
was resolved once more to try a pitched battle on the "Great Plains,"
five days' march from Utica.
Scipio hastened to accept it; with
little difficulty his veterans and volunteers dispersed the hastily-
collected host of Carthaginians and Numidians, and the Celtiberians,
who could not reckon on any mercy from Scipio, were cut down after
obstinate resistance. After this double defeat the Africans could no
longer keep the field.
An attack on the Roman naval camp attempted by
the Carthaginian fleet, while not unsuccessful, was far from decisive,
and was greatly outweighed by the capture of Syphax, which Scipio's
singular good fortune threw in his way, and by which Massinissa became
to the Romans what Syphax had been at first to the Carthaginians.