While these events were taking place in Greece, Macedonia, and Asia, a slave insurrection rendered Etruria almost a battle-field.
Manius Acilius Glabrio, the praetor exercising jurisdiction in cases between citizens and aliens, was sent with one of the two city legions to investigate and suppress it, and destroyed part of them, cutting them off in detail,1
part of them by encountering them in a body;
many of them were killed and many captured; some, who had been the instigators of the revolt, he scourged and crucified, others he turned over to their masters.
The consuls departed to their provinces. As Marcellus was entering the territory of the Boi, and was pitching camp on a certain hill, his troops being exhausted by building roads all the day, a chieftain of the Boi, Corolamus by name, fell upon him with a large force and killed about three thousand of his men;
some distinguished men fell in that surprise attack, among them Titus Sempronius Gracchus and Marcus Iunius Silanus, commanders of allied detachments, and Marcus Ogulnius and Publius Claudius, military tribunes of the second legion.
The camp, however, was strongly fortified and stubbornly held by the Romans, when the enemy, elated by their victory, had assaulted it in vain.
For some days after that he remained in the same camp, while he was treating the wounded [p. 375]
and restoring the courage of his men after so serious2
The Boi —a people intolerant of the tiresomeness of delay —gradually dispersed to their forts and towns.
Marcellus quickly crossed the Po and led the legions into the district of Comum, where the Insubres were encamped after calling the Comenses to arms. The Gauls, encouraged by the success of the Boi a few days before, attacked while still in march formation, and their first charge was so vigorous that it drove in the Roman front line.
When Marcellus observed this and feared that once broken they would be routed, he threw in a cohort of the Marsi and then sent all the squadrons of the Latin cavalry against the enemy.
Their first and second charges dulled the edge of the enemy's spirited attack, and the rest of the Roman line, with renewed courage, first resisted and then charged fiercely. The Gauls did not continue the contest longer, but turned and fled in all directions.
Valerius Antias writes that more than forty thousand men
perished in that battle, and that eighty-seven standards were taken and seven hundred and thirty-two wagons and many necklaces of gold, one of which, of great weight, Claudius says was deposited in the temple on the Capitoline as a gift to Jupiter. The Gallic camp was captured and plundered that day, and the town of Comum was taken a few days later.
After that, twenty-eight strongholds went over to the consul. This question, too, is debated by the writers, whether the consul led his army against the Boi
first or the Insubres, and whether the victory wiped out the memory of the defeat or the success gained at Comum was marred by the defeat among the Boi.