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Hasdrubal Equips a Fleet

While these things were going on in Italy, Hasdrubal, who was in command in Iberia, having during the winter repaired the thirty ships left him by his brother, and manned ten additional ones, got a fleet of forty decked vessels to sea, at the beginning of the summer, from New Carthage, under the command of Hamilcar; and at the same time collected his land forces, and led them out of their winter quarters.
Spain, B. C. 217.
The fleet coasted up the country, and the troops marched along the shore towards the Iber. Suspecting their design, Gnaeus Scipio was for issuing from his winter quarters and meeting them both by land and sea. But hearing of the number of their troops, and the great scale on which their preparations had been made, he gave up the idea of meeting them by land; and manning thirty-five ships, and taking on board the best men he could get from his land forces to serve as marines, he put to sea, and arrived on the second day near the mouth of the Iber. Here he came to anchor, at a distance of about ten miles from the enemy, and sent two swift-sailing Massilian vessels to reconnoitre. For the sailors of Marseilles were the first in every service of difficulty and danger, and ready at the shortest notice to do whatever was required of them; and, in fact, Marseilles has distinguished itself above all other places, before and since, in fidelity to Rome, and never more so than in the Hannibalian war. The ships sent to reconnoitre having reported that the enemy's fleet was lying off the mouth of the Iber, Scipio put to sea with all speed, wishing to surprise them.

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