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He Determines To Attack Carthagena

The fact is that he had made minute inquiries, before
Scipio's careful inquiries as to the state of things in Spain.
leaving Rome, both about the treason of the Celtiberians, and the separation of the two Roman armies; and had inferred that his father's disaster was entirely attributable to these. He had not therefore shared the popular terror of the Carthaginians, nor allowed himself to be overcome by the general panic. And when he subsequently heard that the allies of Rome north of the Ebro were remaining loyal, while the Carthaginian commanders were quarrelling with each other, and maltreating the natives subject to them, he began to feel very cheerful about his expedition, not from a blind confidence in Fortune, but from deliberate calculation. Accordingly, when he arrived in Iberia, he learnt, by questioning everybody and making inquiries about the enemy from every one, that the forces of the Carthaginians were divided into three. Mago, he was informed, was lingering west of the pillars of Hercules among the Conii; Hasdrubal, the son of Gesco, in Lusitania, near the mouth of the Tagus; while the other Hasdrubal was besieging a certain city of the Caspetani; and none of the three were less than ten days' march from the New Town. Now he calculated that, if he decided to give the enemy battle, it would be risking too much to do so against all three at once, because his predecessors had been beaten, and because the enemy would vastly out-number him; if, on the other hand, he were to march rapidly to engage one of the three, and should then find himself surrounded—which might happen by the one attacked retreating, and the others coming up to his relief,—he dreaded a disaster like that of his uncle Gnaeus and his father Publius.

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