Gala had a son Masinissa,1
seventeen years old, but a young man of such promise that even then it was evident that he would make the kingdom larger and richer than what he had received.
The legates stated that, inasmuch as Syphax had attached himself to the Romans, in order, through alliance with them, to be more powerful against the kings and peoples of Africa, it would be well for Gala too to attach himself as soon as possible to the Carthaginians, before Syphax should cross into Spain or the Romans into Africa.
Syphax could be surprised, they said, while he had as yet no advantage from his treaty with the Romans except the name.
They easily persuaded Gala to send an army, as his son was begging for the command; and reinforced by the Carthaginian legions, Masinissa defeated Syphax in a great battle.
Thirty thousand men are said to have been slain in that battle. Syphax with a few horsemen fled from the field to the Maurusian Numidians, who live far away, near the Ocean opposite Gades.
And as the barbarians on hearing of him flocked together from all sides, he soon armed immense forces with which to cross into Spain, separated only by a narrow strait. But Masinissa came with his victorious army, and there by himself, without any help from the Carthaginians, he carried on war against Syphax with great distinction.
In Spain nothing notable occurred except that the2
Roman commanders attracted to their side the young men of the Celtiberians at the same pay at which these had made an agreement with the Carthaginians, and more than three hundred Spaniards of the highest rank were sent to Italy to win over their fellow-countrymen who were among Hannibal's auxiliaries.
This is the only occurrence of that year in Spain that is worthy of record, since the Romans had no mercenary soldiers in their camps previous to the Celtiberians whom they had at that time.