Narávas Joins Hamilcar
But there was at that time a certain Narávas, a Numidian
Hamilcar is joined by the Numidian Narávas.
of high rank and warlike spirit, who entertained
an ancestral feeling of affection for the Carthaginians, rendered especially warm at that
time by admiration for Hamilcar. He now thought that he
had an excellent opportunity for an interview and association
with that general; and accordingly came to the Carthaginian
quarters with a body of a hundred Numidians, and boldly approaching the outworks, remained there waving his hand.
Wondering what his object could be Hamilcar sent a horseman
to see; to whom Narávas said that he wished for an interview
with the general. The Carthaginian leader still showing hesitation and incredulity, Narávas committed his horse and javelins
to the care of his guards, and boldly came into the camp unarmed.
His fearlessness made a profound impression not unmixed with surprise. No further objection, however, was made
to his presence, and the desired interview was accorded; in
which he declared his good-will to the Carthaginians generally,
and his especial desire to be friends with Barcas. "This was
the motive of his presence," he said; "he was come with the
full intention of taking his place by his side and of faithfully
sharing all his actions and undertakings." Hamilcar, on hearing these words, was so immensely charmed by the young man's
courage in coming, and his honest simplicity in the interview,
that he not only consented to accept his co-operation, but promised also with an oath that he would give him his daughter in
marriage if he kept faith with Carthage
to the end. The agreement having been thus made, Narávas came with his division of
Numidians, numbering two thousand. Thus reinforced Hamilcar
offered the enemy battle; which Spendius, having joined forces
with the Libyans, accepted; and descending into
the plain engaged the Carthaginians.
severe battle which followed Hamilcar's army
was victorious: a result which he owed partly to the excellent
behaviour of the elephants, but particularly to the brilliant
services rendered by Narávas. Autaritus and Spendius managed
to escape; but of the rest as many as ten thousand were killed and
four thousand taken prisoners. When the victory was completed,
Hamilcar gave permission to those of the prisoners who chose
to enlist in his army, and furnished them with arms from the
spoils of the enemy's slain: those who did not choose to accept
this offer he summoned to a meeting and harangued them.
He told them that the crimes committed by them up to that
moment were pardoned, and they were permitted to go their
several ways, wheresoever they chose, but on condition that
none of them bore arms against Carthage
again: if any one of
them were ever caught so doing, he warned them distinctly
that he would meet with no mercy.