Hasdrubal had not yet received definite tidings of this disaster when he crossed the Ebro with eight thousand infantry and a thousand cavalry, as though to confront the Romans at their first arrival; but on learning of the catastrophe at Cissis and the loss of the camp, he turned and marched in the direction of the sea.
Not far from Tarraco1
he came upon the soldiers of the fleet and the naval allies, who were dispersed and wandering over the country-side, with the carelessness which usually attends success; and sending out his cavalry in all directions he drove them, with much slaughter and more confusion, to their ships.
But not venturing to tarry longer in that region, lest Scipio should be down upon him, he retreated across the Ebro.
Scipio, hearing of these new enemies, did indeed march thither with all speed; but after punishing a few of the ships' captains, he left a garrison of moderate size in Tarraco and returned with the [p. 183]
fleet to Emporiae.
No sooner was he gone than2
Hasdrubal appeared, and inciting the Ilergetes, who had given Scipio hostages, to revolt, he used the young men of this very tribe to lay waste the fields of the allies who were faithful to the Romans.
But this having roused Scipio from his winter quarters, he retreated again and abandoned all the territory north of the Ebro. Scipio invaded the country of the Ilergetes —left thus in the lurch by the instigator of their revolt —with fire and sword, and driving them all into the city of Atanagrus,3
the capital of that nation, laid siege to them.
Within a few days he had exacted more hostages of them than before, and mulcting them also in a sum of money, had received them under his authority and rule.
Thence he marched against the Ausetani, near the Ebro, who were likewise allies of the Phoenicians; and besieging their city, laid an ambush for the Lacetani, as they were bringing assistance to their neighbours, and fell upon them in the night, not far from the city, when they would have entered it.
The slain amounted to about twelve thousand; almost all the others lost their arms, and scattering over the fields in all directions, fled to their homes. As for the besieged, nothing could have saved them but a winter that was most unfavourable to the besiegers.
The blockade lasted thirty days, during which time the snow rarely lay less than four feet deep, and so completely had it covered the mantlets and pent-houses of the Romans that this alone was sufficient to protect them from the firebrands that were several times discharged upon them by the enemy.
Finally, when their chief Amusicus had fled and taken refuge with Hasdrubal, [p. 185]
they made terms and surrendered, agreeing to pay4
twenty talents of silver. The Romans returned to Tarraco and went into winter quarters.5