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Scipio Briefs His Troops

Such is the nature of this city's situation. The side of the Roman camp which faced the city therefore was secured, without any artificial means, by the lagoon and the sea. The neck of land lying between these two, and connecting the city with the continent, Scipio did not fence off with a stockade, although it abutted on the middle of his camp,—either for the sake of making an impression upon the enemy, or by way of suiting the arrangement to his own design, —that he might have nothing to hamper the free egress and return of his troops to and from the camp. The circuit of the city wall was not more than twenty stades formerly,— though I am aware that it has been stated at forty stades; but this is false, as I know from personal inspection and not from mere report,—and in our day it has been still farther contracted.

The fleet arrived to the hour, and Publius then thought it

Scipio discloses his intention of assaulting New Carthage.
time to summon a meeting of his men and to encourage them to the undertaking by the use of the same arguments by which he had convinced himself, and which I have just now detailed. He pointed out to them that the plan was practicable; and briefly summing up the blow which their success would be to their enemies, and the advantage it would be to themselves, he ended by promising crowns of gold to those who first mounted the walls, and the usual rewards to those who displayed conspicuous gallantry. And finally he declared that "Poseidon had appeared to him in his sleep, and originally suggested his plan to him; and had promised to give him such signal aid in the actual hour of battle that his assistance should be made manifest to all." The skilful mixture in this speech of accurate calculation with promises of gold crowns, and a reference to Divine Providence, created a great impression and enthusiasm in the minds of the young soldiers.

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