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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book X Chapter 4: War in Etruria. Gnaeus Fulvius.[301 BC]
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The news of this defeat created a quite unnecessary alarm in Rome. Measures were adopted as though an army had been annihilated; all legal business was suspended, guards were stationed at the gates, watches were set in the different wards of the City, armour and weapons were stored in readiness on the walls, and every man within the military age was embodied.

When the dictator [Note 1] returned to the camp he found that, owing to the careful arrangements which the Master of the Horse [Note 2] had made, everything was quieter than he had expected. The camp had been moved back into a safer position; the cohorts who had lost their standards were punished by being stationed outside the rampart without any tents; the whole army was eager for battle that they might all the sooner wipe out the stain of their defeat. Under these circumstances the dictator at once advanced his camp into the neighbourhood of Rusella. The enemy followed him, and although they felt the utmost confidence in a trial of strength in the open field, they decided to practise a stratagem on their enemy, as they had found it so successful before. At no great distance from the Roman camp were some half-demolished houses belonging to a village which had been burnt when the land was harried. Some soldiers were concealed in these and cattle were driven past the place in full view of the Roman outposts, who were under the command of a staff-officer, Gnaeus Fulvius. As not a single man left his post to take the bait, one of the drovers, coming up close to the Roman lines, called out to the others who were driving the cattle somewhat slowly away from the ruined cottages to ask them why they were so slow, as they could drive them safely through the middle of the Roman camp. Some Caerites who were with Fulvius interpreted the words, and all the maniples were extremely indignant at the insult, but they did not dare to move without orders. He then instructed those who were familiar with the language to notice whether the speech of the herdsmen was more akin to that of rustics or to that of towndwellers. On being told that the accent and personal appearance were too refined for cattle-drovers, he said, "Go and tell them to unmask the ambush they have tried in vain to conceal; the Romans know all, and can now no more be trapped by cunning than they can be vanquished by arms." When these words were carried to those who were lying concealed, they suddenly rose from their lurking-place and advanced in order of battle on to the open plain, which afforded a view in all directions. The advancing line appeared to Fulvius to be too large a body for his men to withstand, and he sent a hasty message to the dictator to ask for help; in the meantime he met the attack single-handed.

Note 1: dictator = Valerius
Note 2: Master of the Horse = Aemilius

Event: Fourth war with Etruria

Nuntiata ea clades Romam maiorem quam res erat terrorem exciuit; nam ut exercitu deleto ita iustitium indictum, custodiae in portis, uigiliae uicatim exactae, arma, tela in muros congesta. Omnibus iunioribus sacramento adactis dictator ad exercitum missus omnia spe tranquilliora et composita magistri equitum cura, castra in tutiorem locum redacta, cohortes quae signa amiserant extra uallum sine tentoriis destitutas inuenit, exercitum auidum pugnae, quo maturius ignominia aboleretur. Itaque confestim castra inde in agrum Rusellanum promouit. Eo et hostes secuti, quamquam ex bene gesta re summam et in aperto certamine uirium spem habebant, tamen insidiis quoque, quas feliciter experti erant, hostem temptant. Tecta semiruta uici per uastationem agrorum deusti haud procul castris Romanorum aberant. Ibi abditis armatis pecus in conspectu praesidii Romani, cui praeerat Cn. Fuluius legatus, propulsum. Ad quam inlecebram cum moueretur nemo ab Romana statione, pastorum unus progressus sub ipsas munitiones inclamat alios, cunctanter ab ruinis uici pecus propellentes, quid cessarent cum per media castra Romana tuto agere possent. Haec cum legato Caerites quidam interpretarentur et per omnes manipulos militum indignatio ingens esset nec tamen iniussu mouere auderent, iubet peritos linguae attendere animum, pastorum sermo agresti an urbano propior esset. Cum referrent sonum linguae et corporum habitum et nitorem cultiora quam pastoralia esse, "ite igitur, dicite" inquit, "detegant nequiquam conditas insidias: omnia scire Romanum nec magis iam dolo capi quam armis uinci posse." haec ubi audita sunt et ad eos qui consederant in insidiis perlata, consurrectum repente ex latebris est et in patentem ad conspectum undique campum prolata signa. uisa legato maior acies quam quae ab suo praesidio sustineri posset; itaque propere ad dictatorem auxilia accitum mittit; interea ipse impetus hostium sustinet.