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At the commencement of this summer war began in Spain both by land and sea.  Hasdrubal added ten ships to those which he had received from his brother, equipped and ready for action, and gave Himilco a fleet of forty vessels.  He then sailed from New Carthage, keeping near land, and with his army moving parallel along the coast, ready to engage the enemy whether by sea or land.  When Cn. Scipio learnt that his enemy had left his winter quarters he at first adopted the same tactics, but on further consideration he would not venture on a contest by land, owing to the immense reputation of the new auxiliaries. After embarking the pick of his army he proceeded with a fleet of thirty-five ships to meet the enemy. The day after leaving Tarraco he came to anchor at a spot ten miles distant from the mouth of the Ebro.  Two despatch boats belonging to Massilia had been sent to reconnoitre, and they brought back word that the Carthaginian fleet was riding at anchor in the mouth of the river and their camp was on the bank.  Scipio at once weighed anchor and sailed towards the enemy, intending to strike a sudden panic amongst them by surprising them whilst off their guard and unsuspicious of danger. There are in Spain many towers situated on high ground which are used both as look-outs and places of defence against pirates.  It was from there that the hostile ships were first sighted, and the signal given to Hasdrubal; excitement and confusion prevailed in the camp on shore before it reached the ships at sea, as the splash of the oars and other sounds of advancing ships were not yet heard, and the projecting headlands hid the Roman fleet from view. Suddenly one mounted vidette after another from Hasdrubal galloped up with orders to those who were strolling about on the shore or resting in their tents, and expecting anything rather than the approach of an enemy or battle that day, to embark with all speed and take their arms, for the Roman fleet was now not far from the harbour.  This order the mounted men were giving in all directions, and before long Hasdrubal himself appeared with the whole of his army.  Everywhere there was noise and confusion, the rowers and the soldiers scrambled on board more like men flying from the shore than men going into action.  Hardly were all on board, when some unfastened the mooring ropes and drifted towards their anchors, others cut their cables; everything was done in too much haste and hurry, the work of the seamen was hampered by the preparations which the soldiers were making, and the soldiers were prevented from putting themselves in fighting trim owing to the confusion and panic which prevailed amongst the seamen.  By this time the Romans were not only near at hand, they had actually lined up their ships for the attack. The Carthaginians were paralysed quite as much by their own disorder as by the approach of the enemy, and they brought their ships round for flight, after abandoning a struggle which it would be more true to say was attempted rather than begun.  But it was impossible for their widely extended line to enter the mouth of the river all at once, and the ships were run ashore in all directions. Some of those on board got out through the shallow water, others jumped on to the beach, with arms or without, and made good their escape to the army which was drawn up ready for action along the shore. Two Carthaginian ships, however, were captured to begin with and four sunk.
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