Hannibal Did All He Could
Such was the end of this battle, fought under these
famous commanders: a battle on which everything depended,
and which assigned universal dominion to Rome. After it had
come to an end, Scipio pushed on in pursuit as far as the
Carthaginian camp, and, after plundering that,
returned to his own.
Hannibal escapes to Adrumetum.
Hannibal, escaping with
a few horsemen, did not draw rein until he
arrived safely at Adrumetum. He had done in the battle all
that was to be expected of a good and experienced general.
First, he had tried by an interview with his opponent to see
what he could do to procure a pacification; and that was the
right course for a man, who, while fully conscious of his former
victories, yet mistrusts Fortune, and has an eye to all the possible
and unexpected contingencies of war. Next, having accepted
battle, the excellence of his dispositions for a contest with
the Romans, considering the identity of the arms on each side,
could not have been surpassed. For though the Roman line
is hard to break, yet each individual soldier and each company,
owing to the uniform tactic employed, can fight in any direction,
those companies, which happen to be in nearest contact with
the danger, wheeling round to the point required. Again, the
nature of their arms gives at once protection and confidence, for
their shield is large and their sword will not bend: the Romans
therefore are formidable on the field and hard to conquer.