When spring returned, Scipio laid siege to Byrsa and to the harbor of Cothon. Hasdrubal one night set fire to that part of Cothon which is in the form of a quadrangle. But Lælius, still expecting Scipio to make the attack, and while the Carthaginians were turned to that quarter, without being observed, mounted the other part of Cothon, which was in the form of a circle. A shout went up as though a victory had been gained, the Carthaginians became alarmed, while the Romans mounted on all sides, despising the danger, and filled up the vacant spaces with timbers, engines, and scaffolding, the guards making only a feeble resistance because they were weak from hunger and downcast in spirit. The wall around Cothon being taken, Scipio seized the neighboring forum. Being unable to do more, as it was now nightfall, he and his whole force passed the
night there under arms. At daylight he brought in 4000 fresh troops. They entered the temple of Apollo, whose statue was there, covered with gold, in a shrine of beaten gold, weighing 1000 talents, which they plundered, chopping it with their swords, disregarding the commands of their officers until they had divided it among themselves, after which they returned to their duty.