Carthaginians Reinforced and Resolute
Meanwhile the Roman commander was pressing on the
seige of Utica. But when he heard that Syphax was still in
position, and that the Carthaginians were once more collecting
an army, he led out his forces and pitched his camp close
under the walls of Utica. At the same time he divided the
booty among the soldiers. . . .1
The merchants who purchased them from the soldiers went away with very profitable
bargains; for the recent victory inspired the soldiers with
high hopes of a successful conclusion of the campaign, and
they therefore thought little of the spoils already obtained,
and made no difficulties in selling them to the merchants.
Syphax is persuaded by Sophanisba to stand by the Carthaginians still.
The Numidian king and his friends were at
first minded to continue their retreat to their own
land. But while deliberating on this, certain
Celtiberes, over four thousand in number, who
had been hired as soldiers by the Carthaginians,
arrived in the vicinity of Abba. Encouraged by this additional
strength the Numidians stopped on their retreat. And
when the young lady, who was daughter of Hasdrubal and
wife of Syphax, added her earnest entreaties that he would
remain and not abandon the Carthaginians at such a crisis, the
Numidian king gave way and consented to her prayer. The
approach of these Celtiberes did a great deal also to encourage
the hopes of the Carthaginians: for instead of four thousand,
it was reported at Carthage that they were ten thousand, and
that their bravery and the excellency of their arms made them
irresistible in the field. Excited by this rumour, and by the
boastful talk which was current among the common people,
the Carthaginians felt their resolution to once
more take the field redoubled.
The Carthaginians again take the field.
within thirty days, they pitched a camp in conjunction with the Numidians and Celtiberes on what are
called the Great Plains, with an army amounting to no less
than thirty thousand.