At the beginning of winter, Scipio resolved to sweep away the Carthaginian power in the country, and the allies from whom supplies were sent to them. Sending his captains this way and that he moved in person to Nepheris against Diogenes, who held that town as Hasdrubal's successor, going by the lake while sending Gaius Lælius by land. When he arrived he encamped at a distance of two stades from Diogenes. Leaving Gulussa to keep Diogenes unceasingly employed, he hastened back to Carthage, after which he kept passing to and fro between the two places overseeing all that was done. When two of the spaces between Diogenes' towers were demolished Scipio came and stationed 1000 picked soldiers in ambush in the enemy's rear, and 3000 more, also carefully selected for bravery, in his front, to attack the demolished rampart. They. did not make the attack en masse, but by divisions in close order, following each other, so that if those in front were repulsed they could not retreat on account of the weight of those coming behind. The attack was made with loud shouts, and the Africans were drawn thither. The 1000 in ambush, unperceived and unsuspected, fell boldly upon the rear of the camp, as they had been ordered, and tore down and scaled the palisade. When the first ones entered the Africans were panic-stricken and fled, thinking that the numbers of the new assailants were much greater than they were. Gulussa pursued them with his Numidian cavalry and elephants and made a great slaughter, some 70,000, including non-combatants, being killed. Ten thousand were captured and about 4000 escaped. In addition to the camp the city of Nepheris was taken also, after a siege of twenty-two days, prosecuted by Scipio with great labor and suffering on account of the severity of the weather. This success contributed much to the taking of Carthage, for provisions were conveyed to it by this army, and the people of Africa were in good courage as long as they saw this force in the field. As soon as it was captured the remainder of Africa surrendered to Scipio's lieutenants or was taken without much difficulty. The supplies of Carthage now fell short, since none came from Africa or from foreign parts, navigation being cut off in every direction by the war and the storms of winter.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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