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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VII Chapter 24: War with the Gauls. The end.[350 BC]
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But the victory was not yet decided. When the Romans reached the level ground another mass remained to be dealt with. The number of the Gauls was great enough to prevent them from feeling the loss already sustained, and as though a new army had risen from the earth, fresh troops were brought up against their victorious enemy. The Romans checked their onset and stood still, for not only had they, wearied as they were, to sustain a second fight, but the consul [Note 1], while riding incautiously in the front, had his left shoulder almost run through by a heavy javelin and had retired. The victory was all but forfeited by this delay, when the consul, after his wound was bound up, rode back to the front. "Why are you standing still, soldiers? " he exclaimed. "You have not to do with Latins or Sabines whom, after you have defeated, you can make into allies, it is against wild beasts that we have drawn the sword; we must either drain their blood or give them ours. You have repulsed them from your camp, you have driven them headlong down into the valley, you are standing over the prostrate bodies of your foes. Fill the valley with the same carnage with which you filled the mountain side. Do not look for them to flee while you are standing here; the standards must go forward, you must advance against the enemy." Thus encouraged they made a fresh charge, dislodged the front companies of the Gauls, and closing up their maniples into a wedge penetrated the enemy's centre. Then the barbarians were broken up, and having no leadership or definite orders they turned the attack on to their own reserves. They were scattered over the plain, and their headlong flight carried them past their camp in the direction of the Alban hills. As the hill on which the old Alba stronghold stood appeared to be the highest in the range, they made for it. |
he consul did not continue the pursuit beyond the camp as his wound was troublesome and he did not wish to risk an attack upon hills held by the enemy. All the spoil of the camp was given up to the soldiers, and he led back to Rome an army flushed with victory and enriched by the plunder of the Gauls, but owing to his wound his triumph was delayed.
As both consuls were on the sick list, the senate found it necessary to appoint a dictator to conduct the elections. Lucius Furius Camillus was nominated, and Publius Cornelius Scipio was associated with him as Master of the Horse. He restored to the patricians their old monopoly of the consulship, and for this service he was through their enthusiastic support elected consul, and he procured the election of Appius Claudius Crassus as his colleague.
Note 1: consul = Marcus Popillius Laenas
Event: Third war with the Gauls
|Necdum certa Romanis uictoria erat; alia in campum degressis supererat moles. Namque multitudo Gallorum, sensum omnem talis damni exsuperans, uelut noua rursus exoriente acie integrum militem aduersus uictorem hostem ciebat; stetitque suppresso impetu Romanus, et quia iterum fessis subeunda dimicatio erat et quod consul, dum inter primores incautus agitat, laeuo umero matari prope traiecto cesserat parumper ex acie. Iamque omissa cunctando uictoria erat, cum consul uolnere alligato reuectus ad prima signa "quid stas, miles?" inquit; "non cum Latino Sabinoque hoste res est, quem uictum armis socium ex hoste facias; in beluas strinximus ferrum; hauriendus aut dandus est sanguis. Propulistis a castris, supina ualle praecipites egistis, stratis corporibus hostium superstatis; complete eadem strage campos qua montes replestis. Nolite exspectare dum stantes uos fugiant; inferenda sunt signa et uadendum in hostem." His adhortationibus iterum coorti pellunt loco primos manipulos Gallorum; cuneis deinde in medium agmen perrumpunt. Inde barbari dissipati, quibus nec certa imperia nec duces essent, uertunt impetum in suos; fusique per campos et praeter castra etiam sua fuga praelati, quod editissimum inter aequales tumulos occurrebat oculis, arcem Albanam petunt. Consul non ultra castra insecutus, quia et uolnus degrauabat et subicere exercitum tumulis ab hoste occupatis nolebat, praeda omni castrorum militi data uictorem exercitum opulentumque Gallicis spoliis Romam reduxit. Moram triumpho uolnus consulis attulit eademque causa dictatoris desiderium senatui fecit, ut esset qui aegris consulibus comitia haberet. Dictator L. Furius Camillus dictus addito magistro equitum P. Cornelio Scipione reddidit patribus possessionem pristinam consulatus. Ipse ob id meritum ingenti patrum studio creatus consul collegam Ap. Claudium Crassum dixit.|