Some of the leading men opposed this plan, saying
that it was not best to send an army into Africa while Italy
was wasted by such long wars and was subject to the ravages of Hannibal, and while Mago was enlisting Ligurian and Celtic mercenaries for a flank attack upon her. They ought not to attack another land, they said, until they had delivered their own country from its present perils. Others thought that the Carthaginians were emboldened to attack Italy because they were not molested at home, and that if war were brought to their own doors they would recall Hannibal. So it was decided to send Scipio into Africa, but they would not allow him to levy an army in Italy while Hannibal was ravaging it. If he could procure volunteers he might take them, and he might use the forces which were then in Sicily. They authorized him to fit out ten galleys and allowed him to take crews for them, and also to refit those in Sicily. They did not give him any money except what he could raise among his friends. So indifferently at first did they undertake this war, which soon came to be the most great and glorious for them.