Hasdrubal and Scipio Prepare to Fight
Andobales added many more arguments before finishing his speech; and when he had done, Scipio
answered by saying that "he quite believed
what he had said; and that he had the strongest
reason for knowing about the insolent conduct of the Carthaginians, both from their treatment of the other Iberians, and
conspicuously from their licentious behaviour to their wives
and daughters, whom he had found occupying the position,
not of hostages, but of captives and slaves; and to whom he
had preserved such inviolable honour as could scarcely have
been equalled by their very fathers themselves." And upon
Andobales and his companions acknowledging that they were
quite aware of this, and falling at his feet and calling him
king, all present expressed approval. Whereupon Scipio with
emotion bade them "fear nothing, for they would experience
nothing but kindness at the hands of the Romans." He at
once handed over his daughters to Andobales; and next day
made the treaty with him, the chief provision of which was
that he should follow the Roman commanders and obey their
commands. This being settled, he returned to his camp;
brought over his army to Scipio; and, having joined camps
with the Romans, advanced with them against Hasdrubal.
Now the Carthaginian general was encamped at Baecula,
Hasdrubal changes his position to one of superior strength.
in the district of Castulo
, not far from the silver
mines. But when he learnt the approach of the
Romans, he shifted his quarters; and his rear
being secured by a river, and having a stretch
of tableland in front of his entrenchment of sufficient extent
for his troops to manœuvre, and bounded by a steep descent
sufficiently deep for security, he stayed quietly in position:
always taking care to post pickets on the brow of the descent.
As soon as he came within distance, Scipio was
eager to give him battle, but was baffled by the
strength of the enemy's position.
After waiting two days,
however, he became anxious, lest by the arrival of Mago and
Hasdrubal, son of Gesco, he should find himself surrounded
by hostile forces: he therefore determined to venture on an
attack and make trial of the enemy.