Then a council was held on the conduct of the war.
And when some advised him to overtake Hasdrubal at once, Scipio thought that a dangerous course, for fear lest Mago and the other Hasdrubal1
should join forces with him. He therefore merely sent a force to occupy the Pyrenees,2
and himself spent the remainder of the summer in receiving the submission of the peoples of Spain.
A few days after the battle at Baecula, when Scipio, now on his way back to Tarraco, had emerged [p. 295]
from the forest of Castulo, the generals, Hasdrubal3
the son of Gisgo and Mago, came from farther Spain to Hasdrubal, bringing belated aid after the defeat, but not inopportunely for a council on the prosecution of the rest of the war.
There, as they were exchanging information concerning the spirit of the Spaniards in the territory assigned to each of them, Hasdrubal, the son of Gisgo, was alone of the opinion that the most remote part of Spain, which extends toward the Ocean and Gades, was still unacquainted with the Romans and in consequence sufficiently loyal to the Carthaginians.
The other Hasdrubal4
and Mago agreed that, both as states and as individuals, all men were prepossessed owing to the favours of Scipio; and there would be no end to desertions until all the Spanish soldiers had been either segregated in the farthest part of Spain, or led over into Gaul.
And so, they said, even if the Carthaginian senate had not decreed it,5
Hasdrubal would still have been obliged to proceed into Italy, where was the focus of the war and the main issue, with this purpose also, in order that he might lead all the Spanish troops out of Spain, far removed from the fame of Scipio.
They proposed that his army, depleted both by desertions and by defeat, should be recruited with Spanish soldiers; and further, that Mago, after turning over his army to Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, should himself cross to the Balearic Isles with a large sum of money, to hire mercenary auxiliaries;
that Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, should retire with his army into the interior of Lusitania and not engage in battle with the Roman; that for Masinissa there should be a full complement of three thousand horsemen, the pick of all the cavalry, and [p. 297]
that, roaming about over hither Spain, he should lend6
aid to allies and devastate towns and farms of the enemy. Having thus ordered, the generals separated, to carry out the measures decided upon. Such were the events in Spain that year.7
At Rome Scipio's fame was growing from day to day; Fabius, although Tarentum had been taken by ruse rather than by courage, nevertheless gained glory thereby; Fulvius' celebrity was declining;
Marcellus was even in bad repute, not only because he had at first been defeated, but also because, while Hannibal was wandering about Italy, he had drawn off his troops to their billets at Venusia in midsummer.
He had a personal enemy, Gaius Publicius Bibulus, tribune of the plebs. This man, beginning with the first battle, which had been unsuccessful, by continually haranguing had defamed Claudius to the common people and made them hate
him, and by this time he was arguing for the abrogation of his command when the relatives of Claudius nevertheless carried their point that Marcellus should leave a lieutenant at Venusia and come to Rome, to clear himself of the charges which his enemies were making, and that the abrogation of his command should not be discussed while he himself was absent.
By chance Marcellus came to Rome to avert disgrace, about the same time that Quintus Fulvius, the consul, arrived to conduct the elections.