|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXII Chapter 46: The Carthaginians prepare for battle[216 BC]
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|Hannibal, at break of day, having sent before him the Baliares and other light-armed troops, crossed the river, and placed his troops in line of battle, as he had conveyed them across the river. The Gallic and Spanish cavalry he placed in the left wing, opposite the Romancavalry: the right wing was assigned to the Numidian cavalry, the centre of the line being strongly formed by the infantry, so that both extremities of it were composed of Africans, between which Gauls and Spaniards were placed. One would suppose the Africans were for the most part Romans, they were so equipped with arms captured at the Trebia, and for the greater part at the Trasimenus. The shields of the Gauls and Spaniards were of the same shape; their swords unequal and dissimilar. The Gauls had very long ones, without points. The Spaniards, who were accustomed to stab more than to cut their enemy, had swords convenient from their shortness, and with points. The aspect of these nations in other respects was terrific, both as to the appearance they exhibited and the size of their persons. The Gauls were naked above the navel: the Spaniards stood arrayed in linen vests resplendent with surprising whiteness, and bordered with purple. The whole amount of infantry standing in battle-array was forty thousand, of cavalry ten. The generals who commanded the wings were on the left Hasdrubal, on the right Maharbal: Hannibal himself, with his brother Mago, commanded the centre. The sun very conveniently shone obliquely upon both parties; the Romans facing the south, and the Carthaginians the north; either placed so designedly, or having stood thus by chance. The wind, which the inhabitants of the district call the Vulturnus, blowing violently in front of the Romans, prevented their seeing far by rolling clouds of dust into their faces.