When everything was ready each one rode up and down encouraging his soldiers. Scipio, in the presence of his army, invoked the gods, whom the Carthaginians had offended by their frequent violation of treaties. He told the soldiers not to think of the numbers of the enemy but of their own valor, by which aforetime these same enemies, in even greater numbers, had been overcome in this same country. If fear, anxiety, and doubt oppress those who have hitherto been victorious, how much more, he said, must these feelings weigh upon the vanquished. Thus did Scipio encourage his forces and console them for their inferiority in numbers. Hannibal reminded his men of what they had done in Italy, their great and brilliant victories won, not over Numidians, but over those who were all Italians, and throughout Italy. He pointed out, in plain sight, the smallness of the enemy's force, and exhorted them not to show themselves inferior to a less numerous body in their own country. Each general magnified to his own men the consequences of the coming engagement. Hannibal said that the battle would decide the fate of Carthage and all Africa; if vanquished, they would be enslaved forthwith, if victorious, they would have universal supremacy hereafter. Scipio said that there was no safe refuge for his men if they were vanquished, but if victorious there would be a great increase of the Roman power, a rest from their present labors, a speedy return home, and glory forever after.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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