. . had provided them with arms.1
he saw the preparations for a siege by land and sea, he also disposed his troops as follows:
two thousand of the townsmen he stationed against the enemy on that side on which lay the Roman camp; the citadel3
he garrisoned with five hundred soldiers; five hundred he posted on the hill in the city towards the east;4
the rest of the multitude he ordered to be on the alert in every direction and to confront the enemy wherever shouting or an emergency should call them.
then opening the gate he sent out the men he had drawn up on a street leading towards the camp of the enemy.
the Romans, instructed by the general himself, drew back for a short time, that they might be nearer the reinforcements to be sent in the midst of the engagement. and at first the battle —lines stood fairly matched; then reinforcements sent again and again from the camp not only put the enemy to flight, but so pressed upon them in their disorder that, if Scipio had not sounded the recall, they would, it seemed, have mingled with the fugitives, and burst into the city.
but the alarm in the battle was no greater than that throughout the city. many positions were deserted in panic and flight, and the walls were abandoned, when the men had leaped down, each taking the shortest way.
when this was noticed by Scipio, who had climbed the hill which they call Mercury's Hill,5 [p. 173]
namely, that at many points the walls were stripped6
of defenders, he gave orders to call all the men out of camp, to advance to the attack upon the city and to bring ladders.
he himself, while three strong young men held their shields in front of him —for a great number of missiles of every kind were flying from the walls —came
up to the city, gave encouragement and pertinent orders, and, what was of most importance in firing the soldiers' spirits, he was there as witness and spectator of every man's courage or cowardice.
and so men dashed on in the face of wounds and missiles, and neither walls nor armed men standing on them could restrain them from vying with each other in the attempt to climb.
and at the same time from the ships an attack began upon that part of the city which is washed by the sea.
but from that side they were able to create an uproar rather than to launch an attack. in making fast, in hastily landing ladders and men, in their impatience to get ashore, each the shortest way, they hindered one another by their very haste and rivalry.