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When Hasdrubal became aware that the Romans formed only a small portion of the army and that they were depending entirely upon their Celtiberian auxiliaries, he determined to detach the latter from their Roman service.  He was quite at home with every form of treachery known to barbarians, and especially those practised by the tribes amongst whom he had for so many years been campaigning.  Both camps were full of Spaniards, who had no difficulty in understanding each other's language, and secret interviews were held, in the course of which he made an agreement with the Celtiberian chieftains, by the offer of a large bribe, that they should withdraw their forces.  They did not look upon this as very atrocious conduct, for it was not a question of turning their arms against the Romans, and though the money was quite equal to the pay they received in war, it was given them to abstain from war.  Then, too, the mere rest from the toils of the campaign, the thought of returning home, the delight of seeing their friends and their possessions were universally welcomed. So the mass of the troops were quite as easily persuaded as their chiefs, and they had nothing to fear from the Romans who were too few in number to keep them lack by force.  This is a thing against which Roman generals will always have to be on their guard, and instances such as these ought to serve as warnings that they must not depend upon foreign auxiliaries to such an extent as not to have in their camp a preponderance of that solidity and fighting power which native troops can alone supply.  The Celtiberians took up their standards and marched off.  The Romans asked them why they were going, and appealed to them to stay where they were, but the only answer they got was that they were called away by a war at home. When Scipio saw that his allies could not be detained by either appeals or force and that without them he was no match for the enemy, whilst a junction with his brother was out of the question, he determined to retreat as far as he could; this seemed the only safe measure to adopt.  His one object was to avoid an encounter on open ground with the enemy who had crossed the river and were pressing closely at his heels.
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