Some African deserters, who were at that time among the Roman auxiliaries, while the townsmen were occupied in defending those quarters whence danger was apprehended, and the Romans were making approaches where they could gain access, observed that the
most elevated part of the town, which was protected by a very high rock, was neither fortified by any work nor furnished with defenders.
Being men of light make and nimble from being well exercised, they climbed up wherever they could gain access over the irregular projections of the rock, carrying with them iron spikes.
If in any part they met with a cliff too steep and smooth, they fixed spikes at moderate intervals, and having thus formed a sort of steps, and those who were foremost pulling up those who followed, and those who were behind lifting up those before them, they succeeded in gaining the summit, whence they
ran down with a shout into the city, which had already been taken by the Romans.
Then it became manifest indeed that it was resentment and hatred which prompted the assault upon the city. No one thought of taking any alive, nor of booty, though every thing lay exposed to plunder. They butchered all indiscriminately, armed and unarmed, male and female. Their cruel resentment extended to the slaughter of infants.
They then set fire to the houses, and pulled down those which could not be consumed by fire, so bent were they upon erasing even every vestige of the city, and blotting out the memory of their enemies.
Scipio marched his army thence to Castulo, which was defended, not only by Spaniards who had assembled there, but also by the remains of the Carthaginian army, which had gone there from the various places to which they had been dispersed in their flight.
But the news of the calamity of the Illiturgians had reached them before the arrival of Scipio; and in consequence of this, dismay and desperation had seized them;
and as their cases were differently circumstanced, and each party was desirous of consulting its own safety independent of the other, at first secret jealousy, and then an open rupture, created a separation between the Carthaginians and Spaniards.
Cerdubellus without disguise advised the latter to surrender. Himilco commanded the [p. 1190]
Carthaginian auxiliaries, which, together with the city, Cerdubellus delivered up to the Romans, having secretly obtained terms.
This victory was attended with less cruelty; for not only was the guilt of this people less than the others, but their voluntary surrender had considerably mitigated resentment.