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Laelius and Scipio Proceed to New Carthage

But although historians agree in attributing these calculations to him; yet, when they come to narrate their issue, they somehow or another attribute the success obtained not to the man and his foresight, but to the gods and to Fortune, and that, in spite of all probability, and the evidence of those who lived with him; and in spite of the fact that Publius himself in a letter addressed to Philip has distinctly set forth that it was upon the deliberate calculations, which I have just set forth, that he undertook the Iberian campaign generally, and the assault upon New Carthage in particular.

However that may be, at the time specified he gave secret

Gaius Laelius proceeds to New Carthage with the fleet,
instructions to Gaius Laelius, who was in command of the fleet, and who, as I have said, was the only man in the secret, to sail to this town; while he himself marched his army at a rapid pace in the same direction.
Scipio by land. B.C. 209.
His force consisted of twenty-five thousand infantry and two thousand five hundred cavalry; and arriving at New Carthage on the seventh day he pitched his camp on the north of the town;1 defended its rear by a double trench and rampart stretching from sea to sea,2 while on the side facing the town he made absolutely no defences, for the nature of the ground made him sufficiently secure.

But as I am now about to describe the assault and capture of the town, I think I must explain to my readers the lie of the surrounding country, and the position of the town itself.

1 Dr. Arnold declares it "all but an impossibility that an army should have marched the distance (not less than 325 Roman miles) in a week." Livy (26, 42) accepts the statement without question.

2 Mr. Strachan-Davidson explains this to mean from the sea to the lake, as Scipio's lines would not have extended right round the lake to the other sea.

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