Hannibal in his flight seeing a mass of Numidian horse collected together, ran up and besought them not to desert him. Having secured their promise, he led them against the pursuers, hoping still to turn the tide of battle. The first whom he encountered were the Massylians, and now a single combat between Masinissa and Hannibal took place. Rushing fiercely upon each other, Masinissa drove his spear into Hannibal's shield, and Hannibal wounded his antagonist's horse. Masinissa, being thrown, sprang towards Hannibal on foot, and struck and killed a horseman who was advancing towards him in front of the others. At the same time he received in his shield -- made of elephant's hide -- several darts, one of which he pulled out and hurled at Hannibal; but, as it happened, it struck another horseman who was near and killed him. While he was pulling out another, he was wounded in the arm, and withdrew from the fight for a brief space. When Scipio learned this, he feared for Masinissa and hastened to his relief, but he found that the latter had bound up his wound and returned to the fight on a fresh horse. Thus the battle continued doubtful and very severe, the soldiers on either side having the utmost reverence for their commanders, until Hannibal, discovering a body of Spanish and Celtic troops on a hill near by, dashed over to them to bring them into the fight. Those who were still engaged, not knowing the cause of his going, thought that he had fled. Accordingly, they abandoned the fight of their own accord and broke into disorderly rout, not following after Hannibal, but helter skelter. This band having been dispersed, the Romans thought that the fight was over and pursued them in a disorderly way, not perceiving Hannibal's purpose.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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