To Syphax it seemed a splendid thing —as indeed it was —that the generals of the two richest peoples of that time had come on the same day to ask for peace and friendship from him.
He invited both of them to be his guests, and inasmuch as chance had ordained that they should be under one roof and in the same dwelling, he tried to draw them into a conference to put an end to their quarrels.
Scipio indeed stated that neither as a private citizen had he any hatred toward [p. 77]
the Carthaginian which might be ended by a conference,1
nor as regarded the state could he treat with an enemy without an order from the senate.
When the king kept insisting that he consent to come to the same feast for fear one of his guests should seem to have been excluded from his table, Scipio did not decline, and they dined together in the king's house.
On the same couch even, since the king would have it so, Scipio and Hasdrubal reclined.
Moreover, such was the genial manner of Scipio, such his inborn cleverness in meeting every situation, that by his eloquent mode of address he won not Syphax only, the barbarian unacquainted with Roman ways, but his own bitterest enemy as well.
Hasdrubal plainly showed that when he met him face to face, Scipio seemed even more marvellous than in his achievements in war, and that he did not doubt Syphax and his kingdom would soon be in the power of the Romans;
such skill did the man possess in winning men over.2
And so, he said, it was not so essential for the Carthaginians to inquire how their Spanish provinces had been lost as to consider how they were still to hold Africa.
It was not as a traveller, nor as one who idles along beautiful shores, that so great a Roman general had left a newly subdued province, had left his armies, and with only two ships had crossed over to Africa and entrusted himself to an enemy's land, to a king's power, to a man's untested honour; on the contrary he was cherishing a hope of conquering Africa.
It had long [p. 79]
been Scipio's constant reflection, his open complaint,3
he added, that he was not waging war in Africa, as Hannibal was in Italy.
Scipio, after making a treaty with Syphax, set sail from Africa, and tossed in open sea by unsteady winds, mostly violent, he reached the harbour of New Carthage on the fourth day.