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UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

years' siege. The art treasures of the city were preserved by Marcellus and

transported to Rome-the first of many such stupendous robberies. In the

course of the following two years the reconquest of the island was

completed, Agrigentum withstood a protracted siege, at the conclusion of

which the leading defenders of the place were put to death, and the rest of

the inhabitants sold as slaves. The dominion of Rome over Sicily was

completely reestablished.

While these events were taking place in the vicinity of Italy, the war was

continued by the Scipios in Spain. The power of Carthage in the peninsula

was rapidly broken down. In B. C. 21S Saguntum was retaken, and the African

coast began to be threatened by the Romans. The Carthaginian allies

dropped away. Syphax, a leader of the Numidian clans, deserted the cause of

Africa for that of Europe. Finally, Hasdrubal was obliged to relinquish

the Spanish possessions, the hard-earned fruits of Hamilcar's victories,

and return to Carthage to defend the home kingdom from the dangers with

which it was menaced. He was soon enabled to secure the alliance of the

Numidian chief Gula, with whom he made a joint attack on Syphax, who was

overthrown. The success was so marked that Hasdrubal recruited his forces,

and, returning to Spain, was enabled to assume the offensive against the

Scipios. The latter had indiscreetly divided their army, and thus exposed

themselves to the blows of an antagonist of whom previous experience ought

to have taught them to be wary. Taking advantage of the separation of his

enemy's forces, Hasdrubal attacked each division in turn and gained an

overwhelming victory. The Romans were utterly discomfited. The whole army

was either dispersed or killed. Both the Scipios were found among the

slain. The greater part of Spain was recovered by a single blow, and Italy

again lay open to invasion by way of the Pyrenees.

But the Roman Senate proved equal to the emergency. It was immediately

resolved to recover the Spanish peninsula, at whatever cost. To this end a

new expedition was organized, and entrusted to the command of Publius

Cornelius Scipio, son of the consul recently killed in Spain, a young man

of but twenty-seven, who until now had never held any office higher than

that of aedile. The enterprise was one of the most hazardous and daring

upon which any general of Rome had ever entered. In the fall of B. C. 210

he set out on his campaign, and, arriving in Spain, took up his head-

quarters in Tarraco. Here he devised his plans, a knowledge of his purposes

being shared by a single person. Nearly two years were spent in developing

and disciplining his army, and obtaining information of the position and

movements of his enemies. Early in B. C. 207 he broke up his camp, and

advancing rapidly upon New Carthage, succeeding in effecting its capture

before the Carthaginians could come to the rescue. Shortly afterwards a

battle was fought with the army of Hasdrubal, at Baecula, in Andalusia.

The result was not decisive, but was so far favorable to the Carthaginians

that Hasdrubal was enabled to make his way to the north and carry out the

long-cherished plan of reinforcing his brother in Italy. His departure from

Spain enfeebled the opposition to Scipio, who in B. C. 206 fought a second

battle, on the field of Baecula, with a second Hasdrubal, the son of Gisgo.

The result was a complete rout of the Carthaginians, whose recently wide-

extended possessions in the Spanish peninsula were suddenly reduced to the

single city of Gades.

The effects of this defeat were exceedingly disastrous to Carthage. The

loyalty of the Spanish nations-never to be depended on- was now completely

broken down. In Africa a defection occurred which was still more serious.

Masinissa, the son of the Numidian chief Gula, who with his father had

aided in the overthrow of Syphax, having conceived a sudden admiration for

Scipio, abandoned the Carthaginian cause and went over