having fired the spirits of the soldiers by1
this speech, and leaving for the defence of the region Marcus Silanus with three thousand infantry and three hundred2
horsemen, all the rest of the forces — and they were twenty —five thousand infantry and two thousand five hundred cavalry3
—he led across the Ebro.
there, although some tried to persuade him that, since the Carthaginian armies had withdrawn into three regions so widely scattered, he should attack the nearest of them, he thought there was danger that by doing so he might cause them all to concentrate and one army might not be a match for so many armies.
consequently he decided meanwhile to lay siege to New Carthage, a city both itself rich in its own resources and filled with the enemy's warlike equipment of every kind. there were his arms, there his money, there hostages from all Spain.
furthermore the city was not only situated favourably for the passage to Africa, but also on a harbour ample enough for the greatest fleet, and perhaps the only port on the coast of Spain where it faces our sea. not a man except Gaius Laelius knew whither they were going.
he was sent with the fleet round the headlands, under previous orders so to regulate the speed of his ships that Scipio might display his army on the landward side at the same time that the fleet was entering the harbour.
on the seventh day from the Ebro they reached (New) Carthage by sea and land at the same time.4
camp was pitched opposite the city where it faces the north.5
at the rear of the camp —for the front was protected by nature —an earthwork was thrown up.
for the [p. 167]
situation of (New) Carthage is as follows:6
an arm of the sea about half —way down the coast of Spain, a bay that mainly faces the southwest wind8
and makes inland about two miles and a half, with a breadth of little more than a mile and one —fifth.
at the mouth of this bay a small island facing the harbour on the seaward side makes it safe from all winds except the southwest. from the innermost part of the bay a peninsula runs out, the very hill on which the city was built, skirted by sea on the east9
and the south.10
on the west11
a lagoon hems the city in, extending somewhat to the north12
also; it is of varying depth according as the sea is coming in or going out.13
with the mainland a ridge about two hundred and fifty paces wide connects the city. although fortification on this side would have involved so little labour, the Roman commander did not throw up an earthwork, whether as proudly
displaying his confidence to the enemy, or that, as he repeatedly approached the walls of the city, retirement might be open to him.