Mago, on his return to Gades, not being allowed to enter the place, brought his fleet to shore at Cimbis, a place not far distant from Gades; whence he sent ambassadors with complaints of their having closed their gates upon a friend and ally.
While they endeavoured to excuse themselves on the ground that it was done by a disorderly assembly of their people, who were exasperated against them on account of some acts of plunder which had been committed by the soldiers when they were embarking, he enticed their suffetes, which is the name of the chief magistracy among the Carthaginians, together with their quaestor, to come to a conference;
when he ordered them to be lacerated with stripes and crucified.
He then passed over with his fleet to the island Pityusa, distant about a hundred miles from the continent, and inhabited at that time by Carthaginians; on which account the fleet was received in a friendly manner; and not only were provisions liberally furnished, but also young men and arms were given them to reinforce their fleet. Rendered confident by these supplies, the Carthaginians crossed over to the Balearian islands, fifty miles distant.
The Balearian islands are two in number; one larger than the other, and more powerful in men and arms; having also a harbour in which, as it was now the latter end of autumn, he believed he might winter conveniently.
But here his fleet was opposed with as much hostility as he would have met with had the Romans inhabited that island. The only weapons they used at that time, and which they now principally employ, were slings; nor is there an individual of any other nation who possesses such a degree of excellence in the skilful use of this weapon, as the Balearians universally possess over the rest of the world.
Such a quantity of stones, therefore, was poured like the thickest hail on the fleet, when approaching the shore, that, not daring to enter the harbour, [p. 1213]
they made off for the main.
They then passed over to the lesser Balearian island, which is of a fertile soil, but not equally powerful in men and arms.
Here, therefore, they landed, and pitched a camp in a strong position above the harbour; and having made themselves masters of the city and country without a contest, they enlisted two thousand auxiliaries, which they sent to Carthage, and then hauled their ships on shore for the winter.
After Mago had left the coast of the ocean, the people of Gades surrendered to the Romans.