At daylight Scipio attacked this quay because it was well situated to command the harbor. Assailing the parapet with rams and other engines he beat down a part of it. The Carthaginians, although oppressed by hunger and distress of various kinds, made a sally by night against the Roman engines, not by land, for there was no passage-way, nor by ships, for the water was too shallow, but naked and bearing torches not lighted, so that they might not be seen at a distance. Thus, in a way that nobody would have expected, they plunged into the sea and crossed over, some of them wading in water up to their breasts, others swimming. When they reached the engines they lighted their torches, and becoming visible and being naked they suffered greatly from wounds, which they courageously returned. Although the barbed arrows and spear-points rained on their breasts and faces, they did not relax their efforts, but rushed forward like wild beasts against the blows until they had set the engines on fire and put the Romans to disorderly flight. Panic and confusion spread through the whole camp and such fear as was never before known, caused by the frenzy of these naked enemies. Scipio, fearing the consequences, ran out with a squadron of horse and commanded his attendants to kill those who would not desist from flight. He killed some of them himself. The rest were brought by force into the camp, where they passed the night under arms, fearing some desperate deed of the enemy. The latter, having burned the engines, swam back home.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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