The same year the war was prosecuted in Spain with various success; for before the Romans crossed the Iberus, Mago and Hasdrubal had routed an immense army of Spaniards;
and the farther Spain would have revolted from the Romans, had not Publius Cornelius, hastily crossing the Iberus with his army, given a seasonable stimulus to the wavering resolutions of his allies by his arrival among them.
The Romans first encamped at a place called the High Camp, which is remarkable for the death of the great Hamilcar.
It [p. 946]
was a fortress strongly defended by works, and thither they had previously conveyed corn; but as the whole circumjacent country was full of enemy's troops, and the Roman army on its march had been charged by the cavalry of the enemy without being able to take revenge upon them, two thousand men, who either loitered behind or had strayed through the fields, having been slain, the Romans quitted this place to get nearer to a friendly country, and fortified a camp at the mount of Victory.
To this place came Cneius Scipio with all his forces, and Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, and a third Carthaginian general, with a complete army, all of whom took up a position opposite the Roman camp and on the other side the river.
Publius Scipio, going out with some light troops to take a view of the surrounding country, was observed by the enemy; and he would have been overpowered in the open plain, had he not seized an eminence near him.
Here too he was closely invested, but was rescued from the troops which environed him by the arrival of his brother. Castulo, a city of Spain, so strong and celebrated, and so closely connected with the Carthaginians, that Hannibal had taken a wife from it, revolted to the Romans.
The Carthaginians commenced the siege of Illiturgi, because there was a Roman garrison in it; and it seemed that they would carry the place, chiefly in consequence of a lack of provisions.
Cneius Scipio, setting out with a legion lightly equipped, in order to bring succour to his allies and the garrison, entered the city, passing between the two camps of the enemy, and slaying a great number of them. The next day also he sallied out and fought with equal success.
Above twelve thousand were slain in the two battles, more than a thousand made prisoners, and thirty-six military standards captured. In consequence of this they retired from Illiturgi.
After this the siege of Bigerra, a city which was also in alliance with the Romans, was commenced by the Carthaginians; but Scipio coming up, raised the siege without experiencing any opposition.