Scipio and Masinissa ravaged the country and released the Roman prisoners who were digging in the fields, who had been sent thither by Hannibal from Spain, from Sicily, and from Italy itself. They also besieged a large town called Locha, where they met great difficulties. As they were putting up the scaling ladders, the Lochaians asked a parley and offered to leave the city under a truce. Thereupon Scipio sounded a retreat; but the soldiers, angry at what they had suffered in the siege, refused to obey. They scaled the walls and slaughtered indiscriminately, not sparing women and children. Scipio dismissed the survivors in safety; he then deprived the army of its booty and compelled the officers who had disobeyed orders to cast lots publicly, and punished three of them, upon whom the lot had fallen, with death. Having done these things he began ravaging the country again. Hasdrubal sought to draw him into ambush by sending Mago, his master of horse, to attack him in front, while he fell upon his rear. Scipio and Masinissa being surrounded in this way divided their forces into two parts, turning in opposite directions against the enemy, by which means they slew 5000 of the Africans, took 1800 prisoners, and drove the remainder over a precipice.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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