The Carthaginians, finding themselves and the army of Hasdrubal unharmed, and that they had worsted Piso in the fighting around Hippagreta, and their forces being augmented by 800 horse, who had deserted from Gulussa, under Bithya, a Numidian chief; seeing also that Micipsa and Mastanabal, the sons of Masinissa, were always promising arms and money to the Romans, but always delaying and waiting to see what would happen, plucked up their spirits and roamed through Africa without fear, fortifying the country, and making abusive speeches in the town assemblies against the Romans. In proof of their cowardice they pointed to the two victories at Nepheris and the more recent one at Hippagreta, and to Carthage itself, which the enemy had not been able to take although it was unarmed and poorly defended. They sent to Micipsa and Mastanabal and to the free Moors asking their aid, and showing them that they, as well as Carthage, were in danger of subjection to the Romans. They sent messengers to Macedonia to the supposed son of Perseus, who was at war with the Romans, exhorting him to carry on the war with vigor and promising that Carthage would furnish him money and ships. Being now armed they considered nothing too small to be worth attention, and they gained in confidence, courage, and preparation from day to day. Hasdrubal, who commanded in the country and who had twice got the better of Manilius, was in high spirits also. Aspiring to the command in the city, which was held by another Hasdrubal, a nephew of Gulussa, he accused the latter of an intention to betray Carthage to Gulussa. This accusation being brought forward in the assembly, and the accused being at a loss to answer the unexpected charge, they fell upon him and beat him to death with the benches.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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