In Sardinia also the operations of the war, which had been intermitted from the time that Quintus Mucius, the praetor, had been seized with a serious illness, began to be conducted by Titus Manlius, the praetor.
Having hauled the ships of war on shore at Carale, and armed his mariners, in order that he might prosecute the war by land, and received the army from the praetor, he made up the number of twenty- [p. 884]
two thousand foot and twelve hundred horse.
Setting out for the territory of the enemy with these forces of foot and horse, he pitched his camp not far from the camp of Hampsicora. It happened that Hampsicora was then gone among the Sardinians, called Pelliti, in order to arm their youth, whereby he might augment his forces.
His son, named Hiostus, had the command of the camp, who coming to an engagement, with the presumption of youth, was routed and put to flight. In that battle as many as three thousand of the Sardinians were slain, and about eight hundred taken alive.
The rest of the army at first wandered in their flight through the fields and woods, but afterwards all fled to a city named Cornus, the capital of that district, whither there was a report that their general had fled;
and the war in Sardinia would have been brought to a termination by that battle, had not the Carthaginian fleet under the command of Hasdrubal, which had been driven by a storm upon the Balearian islands, come in seasonably for inspiring a hope of renewing the war.
Manlius, after hearing of the arrival of the Punic fleet, returned to Carale, which afforded Hampsicora an opportunity of forming a junction with the Carthaginian.
Hasdrubal, having landed his forces and sent back his fleet to Carthage, set out under the guidance of Hampsicora, to lay waste the lands of the allies of the Romans; and he would have proceeded to Carale, had not Manlius, meeting him with his army, restrained him from this wide-spread depredation.
At first their camps were pitched opposite to each other, at a small distance; afterwards skirmishes and slight encounters took place with varying success; lastly, they came down into the field and fought a regular pitched battle for four hours.
The Carthaginians caused the battle to continue long doubtful, for the Sardinians were accustomed to yield easily; but at last, when the Sardinians fell and fled on all sides around them, the Carthaginians themselves were routed.
But as they were turning their backs, the Roman general, wheeling round that wing with which he had driven back the Sardinians, intercepted them, after which it was rather a carnage than a battle.
Two thousand of the enemy, Sardinians and Carthaginians together, were slain, about three thousand seven hundred captured, with twenty-seven military standards.