Hannibal crossed the river at break of day, after sending ahead of him the Baliares and the other light-armed troops, and posted each corps in line of battle, in the order in which he had brought it over.
The Gallic and Spanish horse were next the river, on the left wing, facing the Roman cavalry;
the right wing was assigned to the Numidian horse; the centre was composed of infantry, so arranged as to have the Africans at both ends, and between them Gauls and Spaniards.
The Africans might have passed for an array of Romans, equipped as they were with arms captured partly at the Trebia but mostly at Lake Trasumennus.
The Gauls and the Spaniards had shields of almost the same shape; their swords were different in use and in appearance, those of the Gauls being very long and pointless, whilst the Spaniards, who attacked as a rule more by thrusting than by striking, had pointed ones that were short and handy.1
These tribes were more terrifying to look on than the others, because of the size of their bodies and the display they made of them.
The Gauls [p. 353]
were naked from the navel up; the Spaniards had2
formed up wearing crimson-bordered linen tunics that shone with a dazzling whiteness. The total number of the infantry who then took their place in line was forty thousand, of the cavalry ten thousand.
The generals commanding on the wings were Hasdrubal on the left, Maharbal on the right; Hannibal himself, with his brother Mago, had the centre.
The sun —whether they had so placed themselves on purpose or stood as they did by accident —was, very conveniently for both sides, on their flanks, the Romans looking south, the Phoenicians north.
A wind —which those who live in those parts call Volturnus —beginning to blow against the Romans carried clouds of dust right into their faces and prevented them from seeing anything.3