|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXII Chapter 48: The Romans get surrounded[216 BC]
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|Now also in the left wing of the Romans, in which the allied cavalry were opposed to the Numidians, the battle was joined, which was at first languid, commencing with a stratagem on the part of the Carthaginians. About five hundred Numidians, who, besides their usual arms, had swords concealed beneath their coats of mail, quitting their own party, and riding up to the enemy under the semblance of deserters, with their bucklers behind them, suddenly leap down from their horses; and, throwing down their bucklers and javelins at the feet of their enemies, are received into their centre, and being conducted to the rear, ordered to remain there; and there they continued until the battle became general. But afterwards, when the thoughts and attention of all were occupied with the contest, snatching up the shields which lay scattered on all hands among the heaps of slain, they fell upon the rear of the Roman line, and striking their backs and wounding their hams, occasioned vast havoc, and still greater panic and confusion. While in one part terror and flight prevailed, in another the battle was obstinately persisted in, though with little hope. Hasdrubal, who was then commanding in that quarter, withdrawing the Numidians from the centre of the army, as the conflict with their opponents was slight, sends them in pursuit of the scattered fugitives, and joining the Africans, now almost weary with slaying rather than fighting the Spanish and Gallic infantry.