Having spoken thus he sent the officers to arm the troops, and he offered sacrifice to Courage and also to Fear1 in order that no panic should overtake them in the night, but that the army should show itself absolutely intrepid. At the third watch the trumpet sounded lightly and the army moved, observing the most profound silence until the cavalry had completely surrounded the enemy and the infantry had arrived at the trenches. Then, with shouts mingled with the discordant blast of trumpets and horns for the purpose of striking terror into the enemy, they swept the guards away from the outposts, filled up the ditch, and tore down the palisades. The boldest, pushing forward, set some of the huts on fire. The Africans, starting in consternation out of sleep, fumbled around for their arms and tried confusedly to get into order of battle, but on account of the noise could not hear the orders of their officers, nor did their general himself know exactly what was happening. The Romans caught them, as they were starting up and trying to arm themselves, with confusion on every hand. They fired more huts and slew those whom they met. The noise of the invaders, their appearance, and the fearful work they were doing in the midst of darkness and uncertainty made the catastrophe complete. Thinking that the camp had been taken, and being afraid of the fire of the burning huts, they were glad to get out of them; and they pushed on to the plain as a safer place. Thus they ran helter-skelter, just as it happened, and the Roman horse, who had completely surrounded them, fell upon them and slaughtered them.
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THE PUNIC WARS
1 The Roman mythology was very comprehensive. "There were gods," says Duruy, "for every act of a man's life from the cradle to the grave."
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