|Religion||Subjects||Images||Queries||Links||Contact||Do not fly Iberia|
Display Latin text
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 17: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. A fight(cont.)[AD 69]
Return to index
|In the midst of this panic Antonius omitted nothing that a self-possessed commander or a most intrepid soldier could do. He threw himself before the terrified fugitives, he held back those who were giving way, and wherever the struggle was hardest, wherever there was a gleam of hope, there he was with his ready skill, his bold hand, his encouraging voice, easily recognized by the enemy, and a conspicuous object to his own men. At last he was carried to such a pitch of excitement, that he transfixed with a lance a flying standard-bearer, and then, seizing the standard, turned it towards the enemy. Touched by the reproach, a few troopers, not more than a hundred in number, made a stand. The locality favoured them, for the road was at that point particularly narrow, while the bridge over the stream which crossed it had been broken down, and the stream itself, with its varying channel and its precipitous banks, checked their flight. It was this necessity, or a happy chance, that restored the fallen fortunes of the party. Forming themselves into strong and close ranks, they received the attack of the Vitellianists, who were now imprudently scattered. These were at once overthrown. Antonius pursued those that fled, and crushed those that encountered him. Then came the rest of his troops, who, as they were severally disposed, plundered, made prisoners, or seized on weapons and horses. Roused by the shouts of triumph, those who had lately been scattered in flight over the fields hastened to share in the victory.||
Standard:When an army was in camp, they were fixed in the ground, each marking the station of the cohort to which it belonged; when they were taken up it was the signal for breaking up the camp and commencing the march.
Triumph:The highest honour to a general: clad like Jupiter he drove in a chariot drawn by four white horses. Before him walked the prisoners taken in the war, and the spoils of the captured cities, and in later times pictures of the conquered territories were carried before the general's chariot. He was followed by his troops, who sung songs, often extempore effusions, in honour of their commander.