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Then he drew up his men, the hastati in front, behind them the principes, the triarii closing the rear. He did not form the cohorts in line before their respective standards, but placed a considerable interval between the maniples in order that there might be space for the enemy elephants to be driven through without breaking the ranks.  Laelius, who had been one of his staff-officers and was now by special appointment of the senate acting as quaestor, was in command of the Italian cavalry on the left wing, Masinissa and his Numidians being posted on the right.  The velites, the light infantry of those days, were stationed at the head of the lanes between the columns of maniples with instructions to retire when the elephants charged and shelter themselves behind the lines of maniples, or else run to the right and left behind the standards and so allow the monsters to rush on to meet the darts from both sides.  To make his line look more menacing Hannibal posted his elephants in front. He had eighty altogether, a larger number, than he had ever brought into action before.  Behind them were the auxiliaries, Ligurians and Gauls, with an admixture of Balearics and Moors. The second line was made up of Carthaginians and Africans together with a legion of Macedonians.  A short distance behind these were posted his Italian troops in reserve. These were mainly Bruttians who had followed him from Italy more from the compulsion of necessity than of their own free will.  Like Scipio, Hannibal covered his flanks with his cavalry, the Carthaginians on the right, the Numidians on the left.  Different words of encouragement were required in an army composed of such diverse elements, where the soldiers had nothing in common, neither language nor custom nor laws nor arms nor dress, nor even the motive which brought them into the ranks.  To the auxiliaries he held out the attraction of the pay which they would receive, and the far greater inducement of the booty they would secure. In the case of the Gauls he appealed to their instinctive and peculiar hatred of the Romans.  The Ligurians, drawn from wild mountain fastnesses, were told to look upon the fruitful plains of Italy as the rewards of victory.  The Moors and Numidians were threatened by the prospect of being under the unbridled tyranny of Masinissa. Each nationality was swayed by its hopes or fears. The Carthaginians had placed before their eyes, their city walls, their homes, their fathers' sepulchres, their wives and children, the alternative of either slavery and destruction or the empire of the world. There was no middle course, they had either everything to hope for or everything to fear.  Whilst the commander-in-chief was thus addressing the Carthaginians, and the officers of the various nationalities were conveying his words to their own people and to the aliens mingled with them mostly through interpreters, the [13??] trumpets and horns of the Romans were sounded and such a clangor arose that the elephants, mostly those in front of the left wing, turned upon the Moors and Numidians behind them. Masinissa had no difficulty in turning this disorder into flight and so clearing the Carthaginian left of its cavalry.  A few of the animals, however, showed no fear and were urged forward upon the ranks of velites, amongst whom, in spite of the many wounds they received, they did considerable execution.  The velites, to avoid being trampled to death, sprang back to the maniples and thus allowed a path for the elephants, from both sides of which they rained their darts on the beasts. The leading maniples also kept up a fusillade of missiles until these animals too were driven out of the Roman lines on to their own side and put the Carthaginian cavalry, who were covering the right flank, to flight.  When Laelius saw the enemy's horse in confusion he at once took advantage of it.
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