This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
On hearing of his uncle's death, followed by that of his cousin, Masinissa left Spain for Mauretania.  Baga was king at the time, and Masinissa, by his earnest and humble entreaties, obtained from him a force of 4000 Moors to serve as an escort as he could not induce him to supply enough for warlike operations.  With this escort he reached the frontiers of Numidia, having sent messengers in advance to his father's friends and his own.  Here about 500 Numidians joined him, and, as had been arranged, his escort of Moors returned to their king. His adherents were fewer than he expected, too few, in fact, with which to venture on so great an enterprise.  Thinking, however, that by active personal effort he might collect a force which would enable him to achieve something, he advanced to Thapsus, where he met Lacumazes, who was on his way to Syphax. The king's escort retreated hurriedly into the town, and Masinissa captured the place at the first assault.  Some of the royal troops surrendered, others who offered resistance were killed, but the great majority escaped with their boy-king in the confusion and continued their journey to Syphax.  The news of this initial success, slight though it was, brought the Numidians over to Masinissa, and from the fields and hamlets on all sides the old soldiers of Gala flocked to his standard and urged the young leader to win back his ancestral throne.  Mazaetullus had considerably the advantage in point of numbers; he had the army with which he had defeated Capussa as well as some of the troops who had gone over to him after the king's death, and Lacumazes had brought very large reinforcements from Syphax.  His total force amounted to 15,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry, but, though so inferior in both arms, Masinissa engaged him. The courage of the veterans and the skill of their commander, trained as he had been in the wars in Spain, carried the day; the king and the Protector with a mere handful of Masaesulians escaped into Carthaginian territory.  Thus Masinissa won back the throne of his ancestors. As he saw, however, that a much more serious contest awaited him with Syphax, he thought it best to effect a reconciliation with his cousin, and sent to the boy to assure him that if he would place himself in Masinissa's hands he would experience the same honourable treatment that Oezalces received from Gala.  He also pledged his word to Mazaetullus that he should not suffer for what he had done, and, more than that, that all his property should be restored to him.  Both Lacumazes and Mazaetullus preferred a moderate share of fortune at home to a life of exile, and [13??] in spite of all the efforts of the Carthaginians went over to Masinissa.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.