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From the battlefield Scipio proceeded at once to storm the enemies' camp, where an immense quantity of plunder was secured.  He then returned to his ships, having received intelligence that P. Lentulus had arrived off Utica with 50 warships and 100 transports loaded with supplies of every kind.  Laelius was sent to carry the news of the victory to Scipio, who, thinking that the panic in Carthage ought to be increased by threatening the city on all sides, ordered Octavius to march the legions thither overland while he himself sailed from Utica with his old fleet strengthened by the division which Lentulus had brought, and steered for the harbour of Carthage.  As he was approaching it he was met by a vessel hung with bands of white wool and branches of olive. In it there were the ten foremost men of the State, who, on Hannibal's advice, had been sent as an embassy to sue for peace.  As soon as they were near the stern of the general's vessel they held up the suppliant emblems, and made imploring appeals to Scipio for his pity and protection.  The only answer vouchsafed them was that they were to go to Tunis, as Scipio was about to move his army to that place. Keeping on his course he entered the harbour of Carthage in order to survey the situation of the city, not so much for the purpose of acquiring information as of discouraging the enemy.  He then sailed back to Utica and recalled Octavius thither also. As the latter was on his way to Tunis he was informed that Vermina, the son of Syphax, was coming to the aid of the Carthaginians with a force consisting mainly of cavalry.  Octavius attacked the Numidians whilst on the march with a portion of his infantry and the whole of his cavalry. The action took place on December I7, and soon ended in the utter rout of the Numidians. As they were completely surrounded by the Roman cavalry all avenues of escape were closed; 15,000 were killed and 1200 taken prisoners, 1500 horses were also secured and 72 standards. The prince himself escaped with a few horsemen.  The Romans then reoccupied their old position at Tunis, and here an embassy consisting of thirty delegates had an interview with Scipio. Though they adopted a much humbler tone than on the previous occasion, as indeed their desperate condition demanded, they were listened to with much less sympathy on account of their recent breach of faith.  At first the council of war, moved by a righteous indignation, were in favour of the complete destruction of Carthage. When, however, they reflected on the greatness of the task and the length of time which the investment of so strong and well-fortified a city would occupy, they felt considerable hesitation.  Scipio himself too was afraid that his successor might come and claim the glory of terminating the war, after the way had been prepared for it by another man's toils and dangers. So there was a unanimous verdict in favour of peace being made.
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