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On his arrival in Sicily Scipio organised the volunteers into [2??] maniples and centuries, and selected three hundred of the most robust and active whom he kept about his person. They did not carry arms, and did not know why they were unarmed, and why they were not included in the centuries.  Then he picked out of the whole military population of Sicily three hundred of the noblest and wealthiest and formed them into a cavalry corps to take with him into Africa. He fixed a day on which they were to present themselves fully equipped with horses and arms.  The prospect of a campaign far from home with its many toils and great dangers both by land and sea appalled the young fellows as well as their parents and relations. When the appointed day arrived they all appeared fully armed and accounted.  Scipio then told them that it had come to his knowledge that some of the Sicilian cavalry were looking forward with dread to their expedition as one full of difficulties and hardships.  If any of them felt like that he would rather that they owned it at once than that the republic should have reluctant and inefficient soldiers who were always grumbling. They should speak out their mind, he would listen to them without any feeling of resentment.  One of them ventured to say that if he were free to choose he would rather not go, whereupon Scipio replied: "Since, young man, you have not concealed your real sentiments I will provide a substitute for you;  you will give up to him your horse and your arms and other military outfit and take him with you at once to train him and instruct him in the management of a horse and the use of arms." The man was delighted to get off on these terms and Scipio handed over to him one of the three hundred whom he was keeping unarmed.  When the others saw the trooper exempted in this way with the commander's approval they, every one of them, excused themselves and accepted a substitute. By this means the Romans replaced the three hundred Sicilian cavalry without any expense to the State.  The Sicilians had all the care of their training, for the general's orders were that any one who did not carry this out would have to go on active service himself.  It is said that this turned out a splendid squadron of cavalry and did good work for the republic in many battles.  Then he inspected the legions and picked out the men who had seen most service, particularly those who had been under Marcellus, as he considered that these had been trained in the best school, and after their protracted investment of Syracuse were thoroughly familiar with the methods of attacking fortified places.  In fact Scipio was not contemplating any small operations, he had already fixed his mind on the capture and destruction of Carthage.  He then distributed his army amongst the fortified towns and ordered the Sicilians to supply corn, thus husbanding what had been brought from Italy. The old ships were refitted and C. Laelius was sent with them to plunder the African coast; the new ones he beached at Panormus, as owing to their hasty construction they had been built of unseasoned wood and he wished them to be on dry land through the winter.  When his preparations for war were completed, Scipio visited Syracuse. This city had not yet recovered its tranquillity after the violent convulsions of the war.  Certain men of Italian nationality had seized the property of some Syracusans at the time of the capture, and though the senate had ordered its restitution they still retained it.  After making fruitless efforts to recover it, the Greeks came to Scipio for redress. He felt that confidence in the honesty of the government was of the very first importance, and by issuing a proclamation [18??] and pronouncing judgment against those who persisted in keeping possession he succeeded in restoring their property to the Syracusans.  This action on his part was gratefully appreciated not only by the owners themselves but by all the cities of Sicily, and they exerted themselves more than ever to assist him. During this summer an extensive war broke out in Spain at the instigation of Indibilis, whose sole motive was his intense admiration for Scipio which made him think lightly of other commanders.  The people looked upon him as the only general the Romans had left to them, all the others having been killed by Hannibal. Indibilis told the Spaniards that it was owing to this there was no one else who could be sent to Spain after the two Scipios were killed, and when the war began to press more heavily on Italy he [21??] was recalled home as the only man who could oppose Hannibal.  The Roman generals in Spain were nothing but names and the veteran army had been withdrawn; now there was confusion everywhere, and an untrained mob of raw recruits.  Never again would Spain have such a chance of recovering its liberty.  Up to that time it had been in bondage to either the Romans or the Carthaginians, nor always to one alone, occasionally to both at the same time. The Carthaginians had been expelled by the Romans, the Romans could be expelled by the Spaniards if they were unanimous, and then with their country freed for [25??] ever from foreign domination they could return to the traditions and rites of their forefathers. By arguments of this kind he succeeded in rousing his own people and their neighbours, the Ausetani.  Other tribes round joined them and in a few days 30,000 infantry and about 4000 cavalry mustered in the Sedetanian territory, the appointed rendezvous.
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