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the people declared that he would take from the consuls the power of holding an election unless they yielded to the people in this matter. Then the Senate allowed the tribunes to repeal this law, and after one year they reënacted it. In like manner the Lacedemonians, when they were obliged to relieve from disgrace those who had surrendered at Pylus,This refers to the capture of 292 Spartan hoplites on the island of Sphacteria by the Athenians in the seventh year of the Peloponnesian war, B.C. 425. said, "Let the laws sleep to-day." Thus Scipio, while seeking the ædileship, was chosen consul. When his colleague, Drusus, proposed to him to cast lots to see which should have Africa as his province, one of the tribunes put the question of the command of that army to the people, and they chose Scipio. They also allowed him to take as many soldiers by conscription as had been lost in the war, and as many volunteers as he could enlist among the allies, and for this purpose to send to the all
the interior. Mancinus, observing a neglected part of the wall of Carthage, which was protected by continuous and almost impassable cliffs and had been neglected for that reason, made an attack there, thinking to scale the wall secretly by means of ladders. These being fixed, certain soldiers mounted boldly. The Carthaginians, despising their small numbers, opened a gate adjacent to these rocks and made a sally against the enemy. The Romans repulsed and pursued them, and rushed into the B.C. 147 city through the open gate. They raised a shout of victory, and Mancinus, transported with joy (for he was giddy and rash by nature), and the whole crowd with him, rushed from the ships, unarmed or half-armed, to aid their companions. As it was now about sunset they occupied a strong position adjacent to the wall and spent the night there. Being without food, Mancinus called upon Piso and the magistrates of Utica to assist him in his perilous position and to send him provisions in all haste,