In the mean time, the praetor, Publius Manlius, having received the army from Quintius Minucius, whom he had succeeded, and joined to it the old army of Appius Claudius Nero, from Farther Spain, marched into Turditania.
Of all the Spaniards, the Turditanians are reckoned the least warlike; nevertheless, relying on their great numbers, they went to oppose the march of the Romans.
The cavalry, having been sent forward, at once broke their line; and with the infantry there was hardly any conflict.
The veteran soldiers, well acquainted with the enemy and their manner of fighting, effectually decided the battle. This engagement, however, did not terminate the war. The Turdulans hired ten thousand Celtiberians, and prepared to carry on the war with foreign troops.
The consul, meanwhile, alarmed at the rebellion of the Bergistans, and suspecting that the other states would act in like manner when occasion offered, took away their arms from all the Spaniards on this side of the Iberus;
which proceeding affected them so deeply, that many laid violent hands on themselves; this fierce race considering that, without arms, life was of no value.
When this was reported to the consul, he summoned before him the senators of every one of the states, to whom he spoke thus: “It is not more our interest than it is your own, that you should not rebel; since your insurrections have, hitherto, always drawn more mis- [p. 1509]
fortune on the Spaniards than labour on the Roman armies.
To prevent such things happening in future, I know but one method, which is, to put it out of your power to rebel.
I wish to effect this in the gentlest way, and that you would assist me therein with your advice. I will follow none with greater pleasure than what yourselves shall offer.”
They all remaining silent, he told them that he would give them a few days' time to consider the matter.
When, on being called together, even in the second meeting, they uttered not a word, in one day he razed the walls of all their fortresses; and marching against those who had not yet submitted, he received in every country, as he passed through, the submission of all the neighbouring states.
Segestica alone, an important and opulent city, he reduced by works and engines.