Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: What, pray, would have happened if his l
Display Latin text
History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXI Chapter 46: The Romans withdraw, Hannibal follows.[218 BC]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
By no means so great an alacrity prevailed among the Romans, who, in addition to other causes, were also alarmed by recent prodigies; for both a wolf had entered the camp, and having torn those who met him, had escaped unhurt; and a swarm of bees had settled on a tree overhanging the general's tent. After these prodigies were expiated, Scipio having set out with his cavalry and light-armed spearmen towards the camp of the enemy, to observe from a near point their forces, how numerous, and of what description they were, falls in with Hannibal, who had himself also advanced with his cavalry to explore the circumjacent country: neither at first perceived the other, but the dust arising from the trampling of so many men and horses soon gave the signal of approaching enemies. Both armies halted, and were preparing themselves for battle.Scipio places his spearmen and Galliccavalry in front; the Romans and what force of allies he had with him, in reserve. Hannibal receives the horsemen who rode with the rein in the centre, and strengthens his wings with Numidians. When the shout was scarcely raised, the spearmen fled among the reserve to the second line: there was then a contest of the cavalry, for some time doubtful; but afterwards, on account of the foot-soldiers, who were intermingled, causing confusion among the horses, many of the riders falling off from their horses, or leaping down where they saw their friends surrounded and hard pressed, the battle for the most part came to be fought on foot; until the Numidians, who were in the wings, having made a small circuit, showed themselves on the rear. That alarm dismayed the Romans, and the wound of the consul, and the danger to his life, warded off by the interposition of his son, then just arriving at the age of puberty, augmented their fears. This youth will be found to be the same to whom the glory of finishing this war belongs, and to whom the name of Africanus was given, on account of his splendid victory over Hannibal and the Carthaginians. The flight, however, of the spearmen, whom the Numidians attacked first, was the most disorderly. The rest of the cavalry, in a close body, protecting, not only with their arms, but also with their bodies, the consul, whom they had received into the midst of them, brought him back to the camp without any where giving way in disorder or precipitation. Coelius attributes the honour of saving the consul to a slave, by nation a Ligurian. I indeed should rather wish that the account about the son was true, which also most authors have transmitted, and the report of which has generally obtained credit.

Event: Hannibal in North Italy. Battle of Ticinus and Trebia