It looked as if the rest of the summer would be undisturbed, and so it would have been as far as the Phoenicians were concerned.
But, besides that the Spaniards themselves are constitutionally restless and eager for change, no sooner had the Romans withdrawn from the pass to the seacoast, than Mandonius and Indibilis —the
latter had formerly been a chieftain of the Ilergetes —roused up their countrymen and invaded the peaceful territories of Rome's allies, on a marauding expedition.
To oppose them Scipio dispatched a tribune of1
the soldiers with light-armed auxiliaries. They easily routed the enemy —a mere hastily-organized militia —slaying a thousand of them, making some prisoners, and disarming the greater part.
Nevertheless, this outbreak induced Hasdrubal, who was retreating towards the ocean, to turn back and cross the Ebro, for the purpose of protecting his allies.
The Phoenicians were in camp in the country of the Ilergavonenses, the Romans near Nova Classis,2
when tidings came which gave at once a new turn to the campaign.
The Celtiberians, who had sent their leading men to treat with the Romans and had given hostages, incited by a message from Scipio, rose up in arms and invaded the Carthaginian province with a powerful army.
They captured three towns by assault, and afterwards twice engaged successfully in battle with Hasdrubal himself, slaying some fifteen thousand of their enemies, and taking four thousand prisoners, with many military standards.3