Then, in order that his troops might not become demoralized by delay and inaction, he crossed the Pyrenees with the remainder of his forces1
and pitched his camp by the town of Iliberri.2
The Gauls, though they heard that the war was aimed at Italy, nevertheless, because it was said that the Spaniards beyond the Pyrenees had been forcibly subjugated and strong garrisons imposed upon them, were driven by the fear of servitude to arm themselves, and several tribes assembled at Ruscino.3
When Hannibal was apprised of this, he was more [p. 69]
afraid of delay than of fighting, and dispatched4
ambassadors to their chieftains to inform them that he wished to confer with them in person, and suggested that either they come nearer to Iliberri or that he would go forward to Ruscino, so that being close to one another they might meet more easily.
He would be glad, he said, to receive them in his camp, nor would he hesitate to go to them. He had come into Gaul as a friend, not as an enemy, and would keep his sword sheathed, if the Gauls would let him, till he had entered Italy.
Thus far his emissaries. But when the Gallic chieftains, moving up their camp at once near Iliberri, came, nothing loath, to the Phoenician, they were captivated by his gifts, and permitted the army to march unmolested through their borders and past the town of Ruscino.