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Quote of the day: Julius Civilis, a man of commanding infl
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 20: The Battle at Lake Regillus (Cont.)[499 BC]
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Marcus Valerius, the brother of Publicola, catching sight of the fiery young Tarquin conspicuous in the front line, dug spurs into his horse and made for him with levelled lance, eager to enhance the pride of his house, that the family who boasted of having expelled the Tarquins might have the glory of killing them. Tarquin evaded his foe by retiring behind his men. Valerius, riding headlong into the ranks of the exiles, was run through by a spear from behind. This did not check the horse's speed, and the Roman sank dying to the ground, his arms falling upon him. When the dictator Postumius saw that one of his principal officers had fallen, and that the exiles were rushing on furiously in a compact mass whilst his men were shaken and giving ground, he ordered his own cohort -- a picked force who formed his body-guard -- to treat any of their own side whom they saw in flight as enemy. Threatened in front and rear the Romans turned and faced the foe, and closed their ranks. The dictator's cohort, fresh in mind and body, now came into action and attacked the exhausted exiles with great slaughter. Another single combat between the leaders took place; the Latin commander saw the cohort of exiles almost hemmed in by the Roman dictator, and hurried to the front with some maniples of the reserves. Titus Herminius saw them coming, and recognised Mamilius by his dress and arms. He attacked the enemies' commander much more fiercely than the Master of the Horse had previously done, so much so, in fact, that he killed him by a single spear-thrust through his side. Whilst despoiling the body he himself was struck by a javelin, and after being carried back to the camp, expired whilst his wound was being dressed. Then the dictator hurried up to the cavalry and appealed to them to relieve the infantry, who were worn out with the struggle, by dismounting and fighting on foot. They obeyed, leaped from their horses, and protecting themselves with their targets, fought in front of the standards. The infantry recovered their courage at once when they saw the flower of the nobility fighting on equal terms and sharing the same dangers with themselves. At last the Latins were forced back, wavered, and finally broke their ranks. The cavalry had their horses brought up that they might commence the pursuit, the infantry followed. It is said that the dictator, omitting nothing that could secure divine or human aid, vowed, during the battle, a temple to Castor and promised rewards to those who should be the first and second to enter the enemies' camp. Such was the ardour which the Romans displayed that in the same charge which routed the enemy they carried their camp.

Thus was the battle fought at Lake Regillus. The dictator and the Master of the Horse returned in triumph to the City.

Event: War of Rome against Latium

Referentibus iam pedem ab ea parte Romanis, M. Valerius Publicolae frater, conspicatus ferocem iuuenem Tarquinium ostentantem se in prima exsulum acie, domestica etiam gloria accensus ut cuius familiae decus eiecti reges erant, eiusdem interfecti forent, subdit calcaria equo et Tarquinium infesto spiculo petit. Tarquinius retro in agmen suorum infenso cessit hosti: Valerium temere inuectum in exsulum aciem ex transuerso quidam adortus transfigit, nec quicquam equitis uolnere equo retardato, moribundus Romanus labentibus super corpus armis ad terram defluxit. Dictator Postumius postquam cecidisse talem uirum, exsules ferociter citato agmine inuehi, suos perculsos cedere animaduertit, cohorti suae, quam delectam manum praesidii causa circa se habebat, dat signum ut quem suorum fugientem uiderint, pro hoste habeant. Ita metu ancipiti uersi a fuga Romani in hostem et restituta acies. Cohors dictatoris tum primum proelium iniit; integris corporibus animisque fessos adorti exsules caedunt. Ibi alia inter proceres coorta pugna. Imperator Latinus, ubi cohortem exsulum a dictatore Romano prope circumuentam uidit, ex subsidiariis manipulos aliquot in primam aciem secum rapit. Hos agmine uenientes T. Herminius legatus conspicatus, interque eos insignem ueste armisque Mamilium noscitans, tanto ui maiore quam paulo ante magister equitum cum hostium duce proelium iniit, ut et uno ictu transfixum per latus occiderit Mamilium et ipse inter spoliandum corpus hostis ueruto percussus, cum uictor in castra esset relatus, inter primam curationem exspirauerit. Tum ad equites dictator aduolat, obtestans ut fesso iam pedite descendant ex equis et pugnam capessant. Dicto paruere; desiliunt ex equis, prouolant in primum et pro antesignanis parmas obiciunt. Recipit extemplo animum pedestris acies, postquam iuuentutis proceres aequato genere pugnae secum partem periculi sustinentes uidit. Tum demum impulsi Latini perculsaque inclinauit acies. Equiti admoti equi, ut persequi hostem posset; secuta et pedestris acies. Ibi nihil nec diuinae nec humanae opis dictator praetermittens aedem Castori uouisse fertur ac pronuntiasse militi praemia, qui primus, qui secundus castra hostium intrasset; tantusque ardor fuit ut eodem impetu quo fuderant hostem Romani castra caperent. Hoc modo ad lacum Regillum pugnatum est. Dictator et magister equitum triumphantes in urbem rediere.