While the Romans were thus employed, the Carthaginians, on their part, though they had passed an anxious winter, earnestly inquiring what was going on, and terrified at the arrival of every messenger, with watch-towers placed on every promontory,
had gained a point of no small importance for the defence of Africa, in adding to their allies king Syphax, in reliance on whom chiefly they believed the Romans would cross over into Africa.
Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, not only formed a connexion of hospitality with the before-named [p. 1263]
king, when Scipio and Hasdrubal happened to come to him at the same time out of Spain, but mention had also been slightly made of an affinity to take place between them, by the king's marrying the daughter of Hasdrubal.
Hasdrubal, who had gone for the purpose of completing this business, and fixing a time for the nuptials, for the virgin was now marriageable, perceiving that the king was inflamed with desire, for the Numidians are, beyond all the other barbarians, violently addicted to love, sent for the virgin from Carthage, and hastened the nuptials.
Among the other proofs of joy felt upon the occasion, and in order that a public connexion might be added to this private one, an oath was taken in confirmation of an alliance between the Carthaginian people and the king, and faith reciprocally pledged that they would have the same friends and enemies.
But Hasdrubal, recollecting both the alliance which had been entered into by the king and Scipio, and how inconstant and changeable were the minds of the barbarians, was afraid that, if Scipio were to invade Africa, that marriage would prove but a slight bond of union, he therefore took advantage of the Numidian while under the influence of the first transports of love, and calling to his aid the caresses of the bride, prevailed upon him to send ambassadors into Sicily to Scipio, and by them to warn him "not to
cross over into Africa in reliance upon his former promises.
That he was united to the Carthaginians both by a marriage with a Carthaginian citizen, the daughter of Hasdrubal, whom he saw entertained at his house, and likewise by a public treaty.
That his first wish was that the Romans would carry on the war with the Carthaginians at a distance from Africa, as they had hitherto done, lest he should be compelled to interfere with their disputes, and join one of the two contending parties, renouncing his alliance with the other.
If Scipio should not keep away from Africa, and should advance his army to Carthage, it would be incumbent upon him to fight for the land of Africa, which gave him birth, and for the country of his spouse, for her parent, and household gods.