previous next
The conflict at Zama, at the same time, was continued with great fury. Wherever any lieutenant or tribune commanded, there the men exerted themselves with the utmost vigor. No one seemed to depend for support on others, but every one on his own exertions. The townsmen, on the other side, showed equal spirit. Attacks, or preparations for defense, were made in all quarters.1 All appeared more eager to wound their enemies than to protect themselves. Shouts, mingled with exhortations, cries of joy, and the clashing of arms, resounded through the heavens. Darts flew thick on every side. If the besiegers, however, in the least relaxed their efforts, the defenders of the walls immediately turned their attention to the distant engagement of the cavalry; they were to be seen sometimes exhibiting joy, and sometimes apprehension, according to the varying fortune of Jugurtha, and, as if they could be heard or seen by their friends, uttering warnings or exhortations, making signs with their hands, and moving their bodies to and fro, like men avoiding or hurling darts. This being noticed by Marius, who commanded on that side of the town, he artfully relaxed his efforts, as if despairing of success, and allowed the besieged to view the battle at the camp unmolested. Then, while their attention was closely fixed on their countrymen, he made a vigorous assault on the wall, and the soldiers mounting their scaling ladders, had almost gained the top, when the townsmen rushed to the spot in a body, and hurled down upon them stones, firebrands, and every description of missiles. Our men made head against these annoyances for a while, but at length, when some of the ladders were broken, and those who had mounted them dashed to the ground, the rest of the assailants retreated as they could, a few indeed unhurt, but the greater number miserably wounded. Night put an end to the efforts of both parties.

1 LX. Attacks, or preparations for defense, were made in all quarters] “Oppugnare aut parare omnibus locis.” There is much discussion among the critics whether these verbs are to be referred to the besiegers or the besieged. Cortius and Gerlach attribute oppugnare to the Romans, and parare to the men of Zama; a distinction which Kritzius justly condemns. There can be little doubt that they are spoken of both parties equally.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (Axel W. Ahlberg, 1919)
load focus Latin
load focus Latin (Axel W. Ahlberg, 1919)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (28 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: