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Dispositions For the Battle of Zama

After these speeches Hannibal and Scipio parted without
The momentous issues depending on the battle of Zama, B. C. 202.
coming to any terms; and next morning by daybreak both generals drew out their forces and engaged. To the Carthaginians it was a struggle for their own lives and the sovereignty of Libya; to the Romans for universal dominion and supremacy. And could any one who grasped the situation fail to be moved at the story? Armies more fitted for war than these, or generals who had been more successful or more thoroughly trained in all the operations of war, it would be impossible to find, or any other occasion on which the prizes proposed by destiny to the combatants were more momentous. For it was not merely of Libya or Europe that the victors in this battle were destined to become masters, but of all other parts of the world known to history,—a destiny which had not to wait long for its fulfilment.

Scipio placed his men on the field in the following order:

Scipio's order of battle.
the hastati first, with an interval between their maniples; behind them the principes, their maniples not arranged to cover the intervals between those of the hastati as the Roman custom is, but immediately behind them at some distance, because the enemy was so strong in elephants. In the rear of these he stationed the triarii. On his left wing he stationed Gaius Laelius with the Italian cavalry, on the right Massanissa with all his Numidians. The intervals between the front maniples he filled up with maniples of velites, who were ordered to begin the battle; but if they found themselves unable to stand the charge of the elephants, to retire quickly either to the rear of the whole army by the intervals between the maniples, which went straight through the ranks, or, if they got entangled with the elephants, to step aside into the lateral spaces between the maniples.

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