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Both Sides Prepare For Battle

When the people of Carthage saw the cities in their territory being sacked, they sent a message to Hannibal begging him to act without delay, to come to close quarters with the enemy, and bring the matter to the decision of battle. He bade the messengers in answer "to confine their attention to other matters, and to leave such things to him, for he would choose the time for fighting himself." Some days afterwards he broke up his quarters at Adrumetum, and pitched his camp near ZAMA, a town about five days' march to the west of Carthage.
Hannibal moves to Zama.
From that place he sent spies to ascertain the place, nature, and strength of the Roman general's encampment. These spies were caught and brought to Scipio, who, so far from inflicting upon them the usual punishment of spies, appointed a tribune to show them everything in the camp thoroughly and without reserve; and when this had been done, he asked the men whether the appointed officer had been careful to point out everything to them. Upon their replying that he had, he gave them provisions and an escort, and despatched them with injunctions to be careful to tell Hannibal everything they had seen. On their return to his camp, Hannibal was so much struck with the magnanimity and high courage of Scipio, that he conceived a lively desire for a personal interview with him. With this purpose he sent a herald to say that he was desirous of a parley to discuss the matters at issue. When the herald had delivered his message, Scipio at once expressed his consent, and said that he would himself send him a message when it suited him to meet, naming the time and place. The herald returned to Hannibal with this answer. Next day Massanissa arrived with six thousand infantry and about four thousand cavalry.
Arrival of Massanissa.
Scipio received him with cordiality, and congratulated him on having added to his sway all those who had previously been subject to Syphax. Thus reinforced, he removed his camp to Naragara: selecting it as a place which, among other advantages, enabled him to get water within a javelin's throw.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), NARAGGERA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ZAMA
    • Smith's Bio, Masinissa
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