The same year Publius and Gnaeus Cornelius, in consequence of their success in Spain and their recovery of many old allies and the addition of new allies, enlarged their hopes in the direction of Africa as well.
There was Syphax, king of the Numidians,1
who had suddenly become an enemy of the Carthaginians.
To him they sent three centurions as legates, to establish friendship and alliance with him, and to promise that if he should continue to embarrass the Carthaginians by war, it would be acceptable to the senate and the Roman people, and they would endeavour to return the favour at the right moment and with generous interest.
This embassy pleased the barbarian, and he conferred with the ambassadors on the conduct of the war; and hearing what was said by experienced soldiers, he noted, from comparison with so well-ordered a system, how many things he did not know himself.
Then, as the first act befitting good and faithful allies, be begged that two of the legates might report to their generals, and one remain with him as instructor in tactics. He said the Numidian nation was inexpert in infantry warfare, of service only as horsemen.
This was the way their ancestors from their earliest history had waged war, thus they had [p. 331]
themselves been trained from boyhood. But he2
had an enemy who relied upon infantry battles, and if he wished to be a match for him in military strength he too must acquire infantry.
And for that purpose his kingdom was supplied with men in great numbers, but they did not understand the art of arming and equipping them and placing them in battle-line. Everything was formless and unmethodical, as if a mob had been gathered by chance.
The legates replied that for the present they would do as he desired, after receiving his pledge to send back the man at once, if their generals should not approve of their action.
Quintus Statorius was the name of the one who remained with the king. With the two Romans the king sent three legates from the Numidians to Spain, to receive confirmation from the Roman generals.
He further instructed them at once to persuade Numidians who were auxiliaries in the forces of the Carthaginians to desert them.
And Statorius out of the mass of young men enrolled infantry for the king, organized them almost in the Roman manner, taught them in formation and evolution to follow standards and keep their ranks, and to such an extent accustomed them to fortifying and other regular
duties of the soldier that in a short time the king had as much confidence in his infantry as in his cavalry, and in a regular engagement in formal array on level ground he defeated the Carthaginian enemy.
The Romans also in Spain profited greatly by the coming of the king's representatives. For upon the news of their arrival desertions by the Numidians began to be frequent.
Thus began the friendship of the Romans with Syphax. When the Carthaginians learned of the [p. 333]
matter they at once sent legates to Gala, who reigned3
in the other part of Numidia,4
his people being called the Maesulians.