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All through this time there was a growing tension of feeling, hopes and fears alike were becoming stronger. Men could not make up their minds whether they had more to rejoice over in the fact that at the end of sixteen years Hannibal had finally evacuated Italy and left the unchallenged possession of it to Rome, or more to fear from his having landed in Africa with his military strength unimpaired.  "The seat of danger," they said, "is changed, but not the danger itself. Quintus Fabius, who has just died, foretold how great the struggle would be when he declared in oracular tones that Hannibal would be a more formidable foe in his own country than he had been on alien soil.  Scipio has not to do with Syphax, whose subjects are undisciplined barbarians and whose army was generally led by Statorius, who was little more than a camp menial, nor with Syphax's elusive father-in-law, Hasdrubal nor with a half-armed mob of peasants hastily collected from the fields.  It is Hannibal whom he has to meet, who was all but born in the headquarters of his father, that bravest of generals; reared and brought up in the midst of arms, a soldier whilst still a boy, and when hardly out of his teens in high command.  He has passed the prime of his manhood in victory after victory and has filled Spain and Gaul and Italy from the Alps to the southern sea with memorials of mighty deeds. The men he is leading are his contemporaries in arms, steeled by innumerable hardships such as it is hardly credible that men can have gone through, bespattered, times without number, with Roman blood, laden with spoils stripped from the bodies, not of common soldiers only, but even of commanders-in-chief.  Scipio will meet many on the field of battle who with their own hands have slain the praetors, the commanders, the consuls of Rome, and who are now decorated with mural and vallarian wreaths after roaming at will through the camps and cities of Rome which they captured.  All the fasces borne before Roman magistrates today are not so many in number as those which Hannibal might have had borne before him, taken on the field of battle when the commander-in-chief was slain."  By dwelling on such gloomy prognostications they increased their fears and anxieties. And there was another ground for apprehension. They had been accustomed to seeing war going on first in one part of Italy and then in another without much hope of its being soon brought to a close. Now, however, all thoughts were turned on Scipio and Hannibal, they seemed as though purposely pitted against each other for a final and decisive struggle.  Even those who felt the greatest confidence in Scipio and entertained the strongest hopes that he would be victorious became more nervous and anxious as they realised that the fateful hour was approaching. The Carthaginians were in a very similar mood.  When they thought of Hannibal and the greatness of the deeds he had done they regretted that they had sued for peace, but when they reflected that they had been twice worsted in the open [11??] field, that Syphax was a prisoner, that they had been driven out of Spain and then out of Italy, and that all this was the result of one man's resolute courage, and that man Scipio, they dreaded him as though he had been destined from his birth to be their ruin.
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