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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VII Chapter 11: War with the Tiburtines.[361-0 BC]
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Strange to relate, that a single combat had such a farreaching influence upon the whole war that the Gauls hastily abandoned their camp and moved off into the neighbourhood of Tibur. They formed an alliance offensive and defensive with that city, and the Tiburtines supplied them generously with provisions. After receiving this assistance they passed on into Campania |
War with the Tiburtines.
This was the reason why in the following year the consul, Gaius Poetilius Balbus led an army, by order of the people, against the Tiburtines, though the conduct of the war against the Hernici had fallen by lot to his colleague, Marcus Fabius Ambustus. Though the Gauls had come back from Campania to their assistance, it was undoubtedly by the Tiburtine generals that the cruel depredations in the territories of Labici, Tusculum, and Alba were carried out. To act against the Tiburtines, the republic was content with a consul, but the sudden re-appearance of the Gauls required a dictator. Quintus Servilius Ahala was nominated, and he selected Titus Quinctius as Master of the Horse. On the authority of the senate, he made a vow to celebrate the Great Games, should the issue of the war prove favourable.
After giving orders for the consul's army to remain where it was, in order to confine the Tiburtines to their own war, the dictator mode all the "juniors " take the military oath without a single refusal. The battle, in which the whole strength of the City was engaged, took place not far from the Colline Gate in the sight of the parents and wives and children of the Roman soldiers. Even when absent, the thought of those near and dear to one is a great incentive to courage, but now that they were within view they fired the men with a firm resolve to win their applause and secure their safety. There was great slaughter on both sides, but the Gauls were in the end repulsed, and fled in the direction of Tibur as though it were a Gaulish stronghold. The straggling fugitives were intercepted by the consul not far from Tibur; the townsmen sallied out to render them assistance, and they and the Gauls were driven within their gates. So the consul was equally successful with the dictator.
The dictator passed splendid encomiums on the consuls, both in the senate and before the people, and even transferred to them the credit for his own success. He then laid down his office. Poetilius celebrated a double triumph -- over the Gauls and over the Tiburtines. It was considered a sufficient honour for Fabius to be allowed to enter the City in an ovation.
The Tiburtines laughed at Poetilius' triumph. "When," they said, "had he ever met them in a pitched battle? A few of them had come outside their gates to watch the disordered flight of the Gauls, but when they found that they, too, were being attacked and cut down indiscriminately they retreated into their city. Did the Romans deem that sort of thing worthy of a triumph? They must not look upon it as too great and wonderful a thing to create disorder in an enemy's gates; they would themselves see greater confusion and panic before their own walls."
|Et hercule tanti ea ad uniuersi belli euentum momenti dimicatio fuit, ut Gallorum exercitus proxima nocte relictis trepide castris in Tiburtem agrum atque inde societate belli facta commeatuque benigne ab Tiburtibus adiutus mox in Campaniam transierit. Ea fuit causa cur proximo anno C. Poetelius Balbus consul, cum collegae eius M. Fabio Ambusto Hernici prouincia euenisset, aduersus Tiburtes iussu populi exercitum duceret. Ad quorum auxilium cum Galli ex Campania redissent, foedae populationes in Labicano Tusculanoque et Albano agro haud dubie Tiburtibus ducibus sunt factae; et, cum aduersus Tiburtem hostem duce consule contenta res publica esset, Gallicus tumultus dictatorem creari coegit. Creatus Q. Seruilius Ahala T. Quinctium magistrum equitum dixit et ex auctoritate patrum, si prospere id bellum euenisset, ludos magnos uouit. Dictator ad continendos proprio bello Tiburtes consulari exercitu iusso manere, omnes iuniores nullo detractante militiam sacramento adegit. Pugnatum haud procul porta Collina est totius uiribus urbis in conspectu parentum coniugumque ac liberorum; quae magna etiam absentibus hortamenta animi tum subiecta oculis simul uerecundia misericordiaque militem accendebant. Magna utrimque edita caede auertitur tandem acies Gallorum. Fuga Tibur sicut arcem belli Gallici petunt; palati a consule Poetelio haud procul Tibure excepti, egressis ad opem ferendam Tiburtibus, simul cum iis intra portas compelluntur. Egregie cum ab dictatore tum ab consule res gesta est. Et consul alter Fabius proeliis primum paruis, postremo una insigni pugna, cum hostes totis adorti copiis essent, Hernicos deuincit. Dictator consulibus in senatu et apud populum magnifice conlaudatis et suarum quoque rerum illis remisso honore dictatura se abdicauit. Poetelius de Gallis Tiburtibusque geminum triumphum egit: Fabio satis uisum ut ouans urbem iniret. Inridere Poeteli triumphum Tiburtes: ubi enim eum secum acie conflixisse? Spectatores paucos fugae trepidationisque Gallorum extra portas egressos, postquam in se quoque fieri impetum uiderint et sine discrimine obuios caedi, recepisse se intra urbem; eam rem triumpho dignam uisam Romanis. Ne nimis mirum magnumque censerent tumultum exciere in hostium portis, maiorem ipsos trepidationem ante moenia sua uisuros.|