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General Defection to the Romans

When Edeco had finished his speech, Scipio, who had
Edeco is followed by other tribes. B. C. 209-8.
been ready to gratify him from the first, and took the same view as to the policy of the proceeding, delivered him his wife and children, and granted the friendship which he asked. More than this, his subtle intellect made an extraordinary impression on the Iberian in the course of the interview; and having held out splendid hopes to all his companions for the future, he allowed him to return to his own country. This affair having rapidly got wind, all the tribes living north of the Ebro, such as had not done so before, joined the Romans with one consent.

Thus so far everything was going well with Scipio. After the departure of these people, he broke up his naval force, seeing that there was nothing to resist him at sea; and selecting the best of the crews, he distributed them among the maniples, and thus augmented his land forces.

But Andobales and Mandonius, the most powerful princes

Andobales and mandonius abandon Hasdrubal.
of the day in Iberia, and believed to be the most sincerely devoted to the Carthaginians, had long been secretly discontented and on the look-out for an opportunity: ever since Hasdrubal, under a pretence of having a doubt of their loyalty, had demanded a large sum of money, and their wives and daughters as hostages, as I have already narrated.1 And thinking that a convenient opportunity had now come, they got together their own forces, and, quitting the Carthaginian camp under cover of night, occupied a position sufficiently strong to secure their safety. Upon this, most of the other Iberians also abandoned Hasdrubal: having long been annoyed at the overbearing conduct of the Carthaginians, and now seizing the first opportunity to manifest their feelings.

1 See 9, 11.

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