[15] Masinissae haec audienti non rubor solum suffusus sed lacrimae etiam obortae; et cum se quidem in potestate futurum imperatoris dixisset orassetque eum ut quantum res sineret fidei suae temere obstrictae consuleret—promisisse enim se in nullius potestatem eam traditurum—ex praetorio in tabernaculum suum confusus concessit. ibi arbitris remotis cum crebro suspiritu et gemitu, quod facile ab circumstantibus tabernaculum exaudiri posset, aliquantum temporis consumpsisset, ingenti ad postremum edito gemitu fidum e servis unum uocat, sub cuius custodia regio more ad incerta fortunae venenum erat, et mixtum in poculo ferre ad Sophonibam iubet ac simul nuntiare Masinissam libenter primam ei fidem praestaturum fuisse quam uir uxori debuerit: quoniam eius arbitrium qui possint adimant, secundam fidem praestare ne viva in potestatem Romanorum veniat. memor patris imperatoris patriaeque et duorum regum quibus nupta fuisset, sibi ipsa consuleret.

Hunc nuntium ac simul venenum ferens minister cum ad Sophonibam venisset, 'accipio' inquit 'nuptiale munus, neque ingratum, si nihil maius vir uxori praestare potuit. hoc tamen nuntia, melius me morituram fuisse si non in funere meo nupsissem.' non locuta est ferocius quam acceptum poculum nullo trepidationis signo dato impavide hausit.

quod ubi nuntiatum est Scipioni, ne quid aeger animi ferox iuvenis gravius consuleret accitum eum extemplo nunc solatur, nunc quod temeritatem temeritate alia luerit tristioremque rem quam necesse fuerit fecerit leniter castigat. postero die ut a praesenti motu averteret animum eius, in tribunal escendit et contionem advocari iussit. ibi Masinissam, primum regem appellatum eximiisque ornatum laudibus, aurea corona aurea patera sella curuli et scipione eburneo toga picta et palmata tunica donat. addit verbis honorem: neque magnificentius quicquam triumpho apud Romanos neque triumphantibus ampliorem eo ornatum esse quo unum omnium externorum dignum Masinissam populus Romanus ducat. Laelium deinde et ipsum conlaudatum aurea corona donat; et alii militares uiri, prout a quoque navata opera erat, donati. his honoribus mollitus regis animus erectusque in spem propinquam sublato Syphace omnis Numidiae potiundae. [8] When the news reached Scipio he was afraid that the young man, wild with grief, would [9??] take some still more desperate step, so he at once sent for him, and tried to console him. [10] at the same time gently censuring him for having atoned for one act of madness by committing another and making the affair more tragic than it need have been. [11] The next day, with the view of diverting his thoughts, Scipio mounted the tribunal and ordered the assembly to be sounded. Addressing Masinissa as king and eulogising him in the highest possible terms, he presented him with a golden crown, curule chair, an ivory sceptre and also with a purple-bordered toga and a tunic embroidered with palms. [12] He enhanced the value of these gifts by informing him that the Romans considered no honour more splendid than that of a triumph, and that no more magnificent insignia were borne by triumphing generals than those which the Roman people deemed Masinissa, alone of all foreigners, worthy to possess. Laelius was the next to be commended, he was presented with a golden crown. [13] Other soldiers received rewards according to their services. The honours which had had been conferred on the king went far to assuage his grief, and he was encouraged [14??] to hope for the speedy possession of the whole of Numidia now that Syphax was out of the way.

 

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