Scipio, finding the discipline of the army relaxed and the soldiers under Piso given up to idleness, avarice, and rapine, and a multitude of hucksters mingled with them, who followed the camp for the sake of booty, and accompanied the bolder ones when they made expeditions for plunder without permission (although in contemplation of law everybody was a deserter who went beyond the sound of the trumpet in time of war); seeing also that the commander was held to blame for all their failures and that the plunder they took was the cause of fresh quarrels and demoralization among them, for many of them fell out with their comrades on account of it and proceeded to blows, wounds, and even manslaughter -- in view of all these things and believing that he should never master the enemy unless he first mastered his own men, he called them together and, mounting a high platform, he lashed them with these words: --
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THE PUNIC WARS
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