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The first army they came to was the one commanded by Hasdrubal, which was encamped near the city of Baecula.  Cavalry outposts were stationed in front of the camp. The advance guard of the Roman column with the velites and skirmishers, at once attacked these outposts without changing their order of march or stopping to entrench themselves, and the contempt they showed for their enemy showed clearly the difference in the temper of the two armies.  The cavalry were driven in hasty flight back to their camp, and the Roman standards were carried almost to the gates.  That day's skirmish only served to whet the courage of the Romans, and, impatient for battle, they formed their camp.  In the night Hasdrubal withdrew his force to a hill, the summit of which formed a broad table-land.  His rear was protected by a river, in front and on either side the hill sloped down precipitously, forming a kind of steep bank, which surrounded the whole position. Below there was another level stretch of ground which also fell away abruptly, and was equally difficult of ascent.  When, on the morrow, Hasdrubal saw the Roman battle-line standing in front of their camp, he sent his Numidian cavalry and the Balearic and African light infantry on to this lower ground.  Scipio rode along the ranks and pointed to the enemy standing in full view, who, he said, having given up all hope of success on level ground were clinging to the hills, trusting to the strength of their position and not to their arms or their courage.  But the walls of New Carthage were higher still, and yet Roman soldiers had surmounted them; neither hills, nor citadel, nor the sea itself had stayed the advance of their arms.  What use would the heights which the enemy had seized be to them except to compel them to leap down cliffs and precipices in their flight? Even that way of escape he should close to them. He then told off two cohorts, one to hold the entrance of the valley through which the river ran, the other to block the road which led from the city along the slope of the hill into the country.  The attack was commenced by the light-armed troops who had repulsed the outposts the day before, and who were led by Scipio in person. At first their only difficulty was the rough ground over which they were marching, but when they came within range of the infantry stationed on the [12??] lower plateau, all kinds of missiles were showered upon them, to which they replied with showers of stones, with which the ground was strewn, and which not only the soldiers but the camp followers who were with them flung at the enemy.  Difficult as the climb was, and almost buried as they were beneath stones and javelins and darts, they went steadily on, thanks to their training in escalade and their grim determination.  As soon as they reached level ground and could plant their feet firmly, their superior mode of fighting told. The light and active enemy, accustomed to fighting and skirmishing at a distance, when he could evade the missiles, was quite incapable of holding his own in a hand-to-hand fight, and he was hurled back with heavy loss on to the main body posted on the higher ground.  Scipio ordered the victors to make a frontal attack on the enemy's centre, while he divided the remainder of his force between himself and Laelius. Laelius was ordered to work round the right of the hill till he could find an easier ascent; he himself, making a short detour to the left, attacked the enemy's flank.  Shouts were now resounding on all sides, and the enemy tried to wheel their wings round to face the new attack; the consequence was their lines got into confusion.  At this moment Laelius came up and the enemy fell back to avoid being assailed from the rear; this led to their front being broken, and an opportunity was afforded for the Roman centre to gain the plateau, which [18??] they could not have reached over such difficult ground, had the leading ranks of the Carthaginians kept their formation and the elephants remained in the fighting line.  The carnage was now spreading over the field, for Scipio, who had brought his left against the enemy's right, was cutting up his exposed flank.  There was no longer even a chance of flight, for the roads in both directions were blocked by the Roman detachments. Hasdrubal and his principal officers had in their flight closed the gate of their camp, and to make matters still worse, the elephants were galloping wildly about, and were dreaded by the Carthaginians as much as by the Romans. The enemies' losses amounted to 8000 men.
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