And in Sardinia under the direction of Titus Manlius, the praetor1
the operations which had been neglected ever since Quintus Mucius, the praetor, was attacked by a serious malady, were resumed.
Manlius, after beaching his warships at Carales and arming their crews,2
in order to wage war on land, and receiving an army from the praetor, made up a total of twenty-two thousand infantry and twelve hundred cavalry.
With these cavalry and infantry forces he set out for the enemy's territory and pitched camp not far from the camp of Hampsicora. At that time Hampsicora, as it happened, had gone to the region of the Skin-clad Sardinians,3
to arm their young men, in order to enlarge his forces. His son named Hostus was in command of the camp.
He with the overconfidence of youth rashly went into battle, was routed and put to flight. About three thousand Sardinians were slain in that battle, some eight hundred taken alive.
The rest of the army, at first wandering in flight through the farms and woods, then fled to the place to which it was reported that the commander had fled, a city named Cornus, the capital of that region.
And the war in Sardinia would have been ended by that battle, had not the [p. 139]
Carthaginian fleet commanded by Hasdrubal, which4
had been carried by a storm to the Balearic Islands, arrived at the right moment to revive hopes for the rebellion.
Manlius, when the arrival of the Punic fleet was reported, withdrew to Carales. By so doing he gave Hampsicora the opportunity to unite with the Carthaginian.
Hasdrubal, after landing his forces and sending the fleet back to Carthage, set out with Hampsicora as his guide to lay waste the lands of allies of the Roman people. And he would have reached Carales, had not Manlius by confronting him with an army restrained him from his widespread devastation. At first camp faced camp at no great distance.
Then charges led to skirmishes with varying results. Finally they went into line of battle. With standards against standards they fought a regular engagement for four hours.
For a long time the Carthaginians made the issue uncertain, while the Sardinians were used to being easily defeated. Finally, when the slain and the fleeing Sardinians had covered the whole field, the Carthaginians also were routed.
But when they tried to flee, the Roman general hemmed them in by a flank movement of the wing with which he had beaten back the Sardinians.
It was a slaughter after that, rather than a battle. Twelve thousand of the enemy were slain, Sardinians and Carthaginians reckoned together. About three thousand seven hundred were captured, and twenty-seven military standards.