Laelius and Masinissa, who had pursued the routed cavalry through a considerable space, returning very opportunely, charged the rear of the enemy's line. This attack of the cavalry at length routed them.
Many of them, being surrounded, were slain in the field; and many, dispersed in flight through the open plain around, were slain on all hands, as the cavalry were in possession of every part. Of the Carthaginians and their allies, above twenty thousand were slain on that day; about an equal number were captured, with a hundred and thirty-three military standards, and eleven elephants.
Of the victors as many as two thousand fell.
Han- [p. 1328]
nibal, slipping off during the confusion, with a few horsemen, came to Adrumetum, not quitting the field till he had tried every expedient both in the battle and before the engagement; having, according to the admission of Scipio, and every one skilled in military science, acquired the fame of having marshalled his troops on that day with singular judgment.
He placed his elephants in the front, in order that their desultory attack, and insupportable violence, might prevent the Romans from following their standards, and preserving their ranks, on which they placed their principal dependence.
Then he posted his auxiliaries before the line of Carthaginians, in order that men who were made up of the refuse
of all nations, and who were not bound by honour but by gain, might not have any retreat open to them in case they fled;
at the same time that the first ardour and impetuosity might be exhausted upon them, and, if they could render no other service, that the weapons of the enemy might be blunted in wounding them.
Next he placed the Carthaginian and African soldiers, on whom he placed all his hopes, in order that, being equal to the enemy in every other respect, they might have the advantage of them, inasmuch as, being fresh and unimpaired in strength themselves, they would fight with those who were fatigued and wounded. The Italians he removed into the rear, separating them also by an intervening space, as he knew not, with certainty, whether they were friends or enemies.
Hannibal, after performing this as it were his last work of valour, fled to Adrumetum, whence, having been summoned to Carthage, he returned thither in the six and thirtieth year after he had left it when a boy;
and confessed in the senate-house that he was defeated, not only in the battle, but in the war, and that there was no hope of safety in any thing but in obtaining peace.