Marcius was thereupon sent to bring under Roman sway and authority any barbarians who had not yet been thoroughly subdued. Scipio returned to (New) Carthage to pay his vows to the gods and to conduct the gladiatorial show which he had prepared in honour of his deceased father and uncle. The exhibition of gladiators was not made up from the class of men which managers are in the habit of pitting against each other, that is, slaves sold on the platform and free men who are ready to sell their lives.
In every case the service of the men who fought was voluntary and without compensation.
For some were sent by their chieftains to display an example of the courage inbred in their tribe;
some declared on their [p. 89]
own motion that they would fight to please the1
general; in other cases rivalry and the desire to compete led them to challenge or, if challenged, not to refuse.
Some who had been unable or unwilling to end their differences by a legal hearing, after agreeing that the disputed property should fall to the victor, settled the matter with the sword.
Men also of no obscure family but conspicuous and distinguished, Corbis and Orsua, being cousins and competing for the post of chief of a city called Ibes,2
declared that they would contend with the sword. Corbis was the older in years.
Orsua's father had lately been chief, having succeeded to an elder brother's rank upon his death.
When Scipio desired to settle the question by a hearing and to calm their anger, they both said they had refused that request to their common relatives, and that they were to have as their judge no other god or man than Mars.
The older man was confident in his strength, the younger in the bloom of his youth, each preferring death in the combat rather than to be subject to the rule of the other. Since they could not be made to give up such madness, they furnished the army a remarkable spectacle, demonstrating how great an evil among mortals is the ambition to rule.
The older man by his skill with arms and by his cunning easily mastered the brute strength of the younger. In addition to this gladiatorial show there were funeral games so far as the resources of the province and camp equipment permitted.