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The Romans Burn the Enemy Camp

Everything being prepared for his expedition, Scipio left a sufficiently strong guard in the camp, and got the rest of the men on the march towards the end of the first watch, the enemy being about sixty stades distant. Arrived in the neighbourhood of the enemy, about the end of the third watch, he assigned to Gaius Laelius and Massanissa half his Roman soldiers and all his Numidians, with orders to attack the camp of Syphax, urging them to quit themselves like brave men and do nothing carelessly; with the clear understanding that, as the darkness hindered and prevented the use of the eyes, a night attack required all the more the assistance of a cool head and a firm heart. The rest of the army he took the command of in person, and led against Hasdrubal. He had calculated on not beginning his assault until Laelius's division had set fire to the enemy's huts; he therefore proceeded slowly.
Destruction of the camp of Syphax by C. Laelius and Massanissa,
The latter meanwhile advanced in two divisions, which attacked the enemy simultaneously. The construction of the huts being as though purposely contrived to be susceptible of a conflagration, as I have already explained, as soon as the front rank men began to set light to them, the fire caught all the first row of huts fiercely, and soon got beyond all control, from the closeness of the huts to each other, and the amount of combustible material which they contained. Laelius remained in the rear as a reserve; but Massanissa, knowing the localities through which those who fled from the fire would be sure to retreat, stationed his own soldiers at those spots. Not a single Numidian had any suspicion of the true state of the case, not even Syphax himself; but thinking that it was a mere accidental conflagration of the rampart, some of them started unsuspiciously out of bed, others sprang out of their tents in the midst of a carouse and with the cup actually at their lips. The result was that numbers of them got trampled to death by their own friends at the exits from the camp; many were caught by the flames and burnt to death; while all those who escaped the flame fell into the hands of the enemy, and were killed, without knowing what was happening to them or what they were doing.

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