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The Defeat of Regulus

The Romans at once noticed a change. They saw
The new strategy of the Carthaginians.
that the Carthaginians chose level country for their line of march, and flat places for their encampments. This novelty puzzled and rather alarmed them, yet their prevailing feeling was an eager desire to come to close quarters with the enemy. They therefore advanced to a position about ten stades from them and employed the first day in pitching a camp there. Next day, while the chief officers of the Carthaginians were discussing in a council of war what dispositions were called for, and what line of strategy they were to adopt, the common soldiers, in their eagerness for the engagement, collected in groups, shouted out the name of Xanthippus, and showed that their opinion was in favour of an immediate forward movement. Influenced by the evident enthusiasm and eagerness of the army, and by the appeals of Xanthippus that they should not let the opportunity slip, the generals gave orders to the men to get ready, and resigned to Xanthippus the entire direction of affairs, with full authority to act as he thought most advantageous.
The dispositions for the battle.
He at once acted upon this authority. He ordered out the elephants, and placed them in a single line in front of the whole army. The heavy phalanx of the Carthaginians he stationed at a moderate interval in the rear of these. He divided the mercenaries into three corps. One he stationed on the right wing; while the other two, which consisted of the most active, he placed with the cavalry on both wings. When the Romans saw that the enemy were drawn up to offer them battle they readily advanced to accept it. They were however alarmed at the elephants, and made special arrangements with a view to resist their charge. They stationed the velites in the van, and behind them the legionaries, many maniples deep, while they divided the cavalry between the two wings. Their line of battle was thus less extended than usual, but deeper. And though they had thereby made a sufficient provision against the elephants, yet being far out-numbered in cavalry, their provision in that part of the field was altogether inadequate. At length both sides had made their dispositions according to their respective plans of operation, and had placed their several men in the posts assigned to them: and now they were standing drawn up in order, and were each of them watching for the right moment for beginning the attack.

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