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Just as though the war were at end, so far as Syphax and the Carthaginians were concerned, Scipio pressed on the siege of Utica and was already bringing his engines up to the walls when he received intelligence of the enemy's activity.  Leaving a small force to keep up the appearance of an investment by land and sea, he marched with the main body of his army to meet his foes.  His first position was on a hill some four miles distant from the king's camp. The next day he marched his cavalry down into what are called the Magni Campi, a stretch of level country extending from the foot of the hill, and spent the day in riding up to the enemies' outposts and harassing them with skirmishes.  For the next two days both sides kept up this desultory fighting without any result worth mentioning; on the fourth day both sides came down to battle.  The Roman commander drew up his principes behind the leading maniples of the hastati, and the triarii as reserves; the Italian cavalry were stationed on the right wing, Masinissa and the Numidians on the left.  Syphax and Hasdrubal placed the Numidian cavalry opposite the Italian, and the Carthaginian horse fronted Masinissa, whilst the Celtiberians formed the centre to meet the charge of the legions. In this formation they closed.  The Numidians and Carthaginians on the two wings were routed at the first charge; the former consisting mostly of peasants could not withstand the Roman horse, nor could the Carthaginians, also raw levies, hold their own against Masinissa, whose recent victory had made him more formidable than ever.  Though exposed on both flanks the Celtiberians stood their ground, for as they did not know the country, flight offered no chance of safety, nor could they hope for any quarter from Scipio after carrying their mercenary arms into Africa to attack the man who had done so much for them and their countrymen.  Completely enveloped by their foes they died fighting to the last, and fell one after another on the ground where they stood. Whilst the attention of all was turned to them, Syphax and Hasdrubal gained time to make their escape. The victors, wearied with slaughter more than with fighting, were at last overtaken by the night.
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