The town of Cilla was in the neighborhood and near it was a hill well adapted for a camp. Hannibal, perceiving this, sent a detachment forward to seize it and lay out a camp. Then he started and moved forward as though he were already in possession of it. Scipio having anticipated him and seized it beforehand, Hannibal was cut off in the midst of a plain without water and was engaged all night digging wells. His army, by toiling in the sand, with great difficulty obtained a little muddy water to drink, and so they passed the night without food, without care for their bodies, and some of them without removing their arms. Scipio, mindful of these things, moved against them at day-light while they were exhausted with marching, with want of sleep, and want of water. Hannibal was troubled, since he did not wish to join battle in that plight. Yet he saw that if he should remain there his army would suffer severely from want of water, while if he should retreat the enemy would take fresh courage and fall upon his rear. For these reasons it was necessary for him to fight. He speedily put in battle array about 50,000 men and eighty elephants. He placed the elephants in the front line at intervals, in order to strike terror into the enemy's ranks. Next to them he placed the third part of his army, composed of Celts and Ligurians, and mixed with them everywhere Moorish and Balearic archers and slingers. Behind these was his second line, composed of Carthaginians and Africans. The third line consisted of Italians who had followed him from their own country, in whom he placed the greatest confidence, since they had the most to apprehend from defeat. The cavalry were placed on the wings. In this way Hannibal arranged his forces.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE PUNIC WARS
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.