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Spanish Hostages Given Up To the Scipios

When the Senate heard of Gnaeus Scipio's naval success, believing it to be advantageous or rather
Publius Scipio, whose imperium is prolonged after his Consulship of the previous year, with Spain assigned as his province, is sent to join his brother there with 20 ships: early in B.C. 217.
essential not to relax their hold on Iberia, but to press on the war there against Carthage with redoubled vigour, they prepared a fleet of twenty ships, and put them under the command of Publius Scipio; and in accordance with arrangements already made, despatched him with all speed to join his brother Gnaeus, and carry on the Iberian campaign in conjunction with him. Their great anxiety was lest the Carthaginians should get the upper hand in Iberia, and thus possessing themselves of abundant supplies and recruits, should get a more complete mastery of the sea, and assist the invasion of Italy, by sending troops and money to Hannibal. Regarding therefore the Iberian war as of the utmost importance, they sent these ships and Publius Scipio to that country; who, when he arrived in Iberia, effected a junction with his brother and did most substantial service to the State. For up to that time the Romans had not ventured to cross the Iber; but had thought themselves fortunate if they could secure the friendship and allies of the tribes up to that river. They now however did cross it, and for the first time had the courage to attempt a movement on the other side: their designs being greatly favoured also by an accidental circumstance.

When the two brothers, after overawing the Iberian tribes that lived near the passage of the Iber, had arrived before the city of Saguntum, they pitched their camp about forty stades from it, near the temple of Aphrodite, selecting the position as offering at once security from the attacks of the enemy, and a means of getting supplies by sea: for their fleet was coasting down parallel with them.

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