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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VII Chapter 8: War with the Hernici (Cont.)[362 BC]
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Then the struggle was kept up by the foremost men of each nation. Whatever losses the common chances of battle inflicted on each side were many times greater than could have been expected from their numbers. The rest of the soldiers stood like a crowd of spectators, leaving the fighting to their chiefs as if it were their special privilege, and placing all their hopes of victory on the courage of others. Many fell on both sides, still more were wounded. At length the cavalry began to ask each other somewhat bitterly, "What was left for them to do if after failing to repulse the enemy when mounted they could make no impression on them whilst fighting on foot. What third mode of fighting were they looking for? Why had they dashed forward so eagerly in front of the standards to fight in a position which was not their proper one?" Urged on by these mutual reproaches, they raised their battle shout again and pressed forward. Slowly they compelled the enemy to give ground, then they drove them back more rapidly, and at last fairly routed them. It is not easy to say what gave the advantage where the two sides were so evenly matched, unless it be that the Fortune which ever watches over each nation had the power to raise and to depress their courage.

The Romans followed up the fleeing Hernici as far as their camp; but they abstained from attacking it, as it was late in the day. They offered sacrifices the next morning for a long time without obtaining any favourable omen, and this prevented the dictator [Note 1] from giving the signal for attack before noon; the fight consequently went on into the night. The next day they found the camp abandoned; the Hernici had fled and left some of their wounded behind. The people of Signium saw the main body of the fugitives streaming past their walls with their standards few and far between, and sallying out to attack them they scattered them in headlong flight over the fields. The victory was anything but a bloodless one for the Romans; they lost a quarter of their whole force, and by no means the smallest loss fell on the cavalry, a considerable number of whom perished.

Event: War with the Hernici

Tunc inter primores duorum populorum res geritur; quidquid hinc aut illinc communis Mars belli aufert, multiplex quam pro numero damnum est. Volgus aliud armatorum, uelut delegata primoribus pugna, euentum suum in uirtute aliena ponit. Multi utrimque cadunt, plures uolnera accipiunt; tandem equites alius alium increpantes, quid deinde restaret quaerendo, si neque ex equis pepulissent hostem neque pedites quicquam momenti facerent? Quam tertiam exspectarent pugnam? Quid ante signa feroces prosiluissent et alieno pugnarent loco?—his inter se uocibus concitati clamore renouato inferunt pedem et primum gradu mouerunt hostem, deinde pepulerunt, postremo iam haud dubie auertunt; neque, tam uires pares quae superauerit res facile dictu est, nisi quod perpetua fortuna utriusque populi et extollere animos et minuere potuit. Vsque ad castra fugientes Hernicos Romanus sequitur: castrorum oppugnatione, quia serum erat diei, abstinuere;—diu non perlitatum tenuerat dictatorem, ne ante meridiem signum dare posset; eo in noctem tractum erat certamen.—postero die deserta fuga castra Hernicorum et saucii relicti quidam inuenti; agmenque fugientium ab Signinis, cum praeter moenia eorum infrequentia conspecta signa essent, fusum ac per agros trepida fuga palatum est. Nec Romanis incruenta uictoria fuit: quarta pars militum amissa et, ubi haud minus iacturae fuit, aliquot equites Romani cecidere.