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Hasdrubal Comes to a Decision

Surrounded by such difficulties Hasdrubal was agitated by many conflicting emotions and anxieties. He was vexed by the desertion of Andobales; vexed by the opposition and feud between himself and the other commanders; and greatly alarmed as to the arrival of Scipio, expecting that he would immediately bring his forces to attack him. Perceiving therefore that he was being abandoned by the Iberians, and that they were joining the Romans with one accord, he decided upon the following plan of action. He resolved that he must collect the best force he could, and give the enemy battle: if fortune declared in his favour he could then consider his next step in safety, but if the battle turned out unfavourably for him, he would retreat with those that survived into Gaul; and collecting from that country as many of the natives as he could, would go to Italy, and take his share in the same fortune as his brother Hannibal.

While Hasdrubal was arriving at this resolution, Publius

Early in B. C. 208, Scipio moves
Scipio was rejoined by Gaius Laelius; and, being informed by him of the orders of the Senate, he collected his forces from their winter quarters and began his advance: the Iberians joining him on the march with great promptness and hearty enthusiasm.
southward to attack Hasdrubal in the valley of the Baetis. Livy, 27, 18-19.
Andobales had long been in communication with Scipio: and, on the latter approaching the district in which he was entrenched, he left his camp with his friends and came to Scipio. In this interview he entered upon a defence of himself in regard to his former friendship with the Carthaginians, and spoke of the services he had done them, and the fidelity which he had shown to them. He then went on to narrate the injustice and tyranny which he had experienced at their hands; and demanded that Scipio himself should be the judge of his pleas. If he were shown to be making ungrounded complaints against the Carthaginians, he might justly conclude him incapable of keeping faith with the Romans either: but if, on a review of these numerous acts of injustice he were proved to have had no other course than to desert the Carthaginians, Scipio might confidently expect that, if he now elected to join the Romans, he would be firm in his loyalty to them.

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