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Quote of the day: A shudder comes over my soul, whenever I
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Agricola by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Chapter 37: Agricola in Britain. The battle (cont.)[AD 84]
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Those of the Britons who, having as yet taken no part in the engagement, occupied the hill-tops, and who without fear for themselves sat idly disdaining the smallness of our numbers, had begun gradually to descend and to hem in the rear of the victorious army, when Agricola, who feared this very moment, opposed their advance with four squadrons of cavalry held in reserve by him for any sudden emergencies of battle. Their repulse and rout was as severe as their onset had been furious. Thus the enemy's design recoiled on himself, and the cavalry which by the general's order had wheeled round from the van of the contending armies, attacked his rear. Then, indeed, the open plain presented an awful and hideous spectacle. Our men pursued, wounded, made prisoners of the fugitives only to slaughter them when others fell in their way. And now the enemy, as prompted by their various dispositions, fled in whole battalions with arms in their hands before a few pursuers, while some, who were unarmed, actually rushed to the front and gave themselves up to death. Everywhere there lay scattered arms, corpses, and mangled limbs, and the earth reeked with blood. Even the conquered now and then felt a touch of fury and of courage. On approaching the woods, they rallied, and as they knew the ground, they were able to pounce on the foremost and least cautious of the pursuers. Had not Agricola, who was present everywhere, ordered a force of strong and lightly-equipped cohorts, with some dismounted troopers for the denser parts of the forest, and a detachment of cavalry where it was not so thick, to scour the woods like a party of huntsmen, serious loss would have been sustained through the excessive confidence of our troops. When, however, the enemy saw that we again pursued them in firm and compact array, they fled no longer in masses as before, each looking for his comrade; but dispersing and avoiding one another, they sought the shelter of distant and pathless wilds. Night and weariness of bloodshed put an end to the pursuit. About of the enemy were slain; on our side there fell men, and among them Aulus Atticus, the commander of the cohort, whose youthful impetuosity and mettlesome steed had borne him into the midst of the enemy.

Event: Agricola in Britain: 84 AD

Et Britanni, qui adhuc pugnae expertes summa collium insederant et paucitatem nostrorum vacui spernebant, degredi paulatim et circumire terga vincentium coeperant, ni id ipsum veritus Agricola quattuor equitum alas, ad subita belli retentas, venientibus opposuisset, quantoque ferocius adcucurrerant, tanto acrius pulsos in fugam disiecisset. Ita consilium Britannorum in ipsos versum, transvectaeque praecepto ducis a fronte pugnantium alae aversam hostium aciem invasere. Tum vero patentibus locis grande et atrox spectaculum: sequi, vulnerare, capere, atque eosdem oblatis aliis trucidare. Iam hostium, prout cuique ingenium erat, catervae armatorum paucioribus terga praestare, quidam inermes ultro ruere ac se morti offerre. Passim arma et corpora et laceri artus et cruenta humus; et aliquando etiam victis ira virtusque. Nam postquam silvis adpropinquaverunt, primos sequentium incautos collecti et locorum gnari circumveniebant. Quod ni frequens ubique Agricola validas et expeditas cohortis indaginis modo et, sicubi artiora erant, partem equitum dimissis equis, simul rariores silvas equitem persultare iussisset, acceptum aliquod vulnus per nimiam fiduciam foret. Ceterum ubi compositos firmis ordinibus sequi rursus videre, in fugam versi, non agminibus, ut prius, nec alius alium respectantes: rari e vitabundi in vicem longinqua atque avia petiere. Finis sequendi nox et satietas fuit. Caesa hostium ad decem milia: nostrorum trecenti sexaginta cecidere, in quis Aulus Atticus praefectus cohortis, iuvenili ardore et ferocia equi hostibus inlatus.