During this period of alternating fortunes the other consul Lucius Furius Purpurio [p. 377]
invaded the territory of the Boi by way of the tribus
When he was already approaching the fortified town of Mutilum, fearing that he would be cut off by the Boi and Insubres together, he led the army back by the same way he had come, and after a long roundabout march through country that was open, and therefore safe, he joined his colleague.
Thenceforth with united forces they penetrated first the Boian territory as far as Felsina, plundering as they went.
This city and all the forts in the neighbourhood and all the Boi except the men of military age, who were in arms in the hope of plunder —they had at this time retired into the pathless forests —surrendered. The army was then led against the Ligures.
The Boi, with the intention of falling suddenly upon the Roman column, which would not be under strict discipline, since the Boi would be believed to be far away, followed by secret paths.
Failing to overtake them, and suddenly crossing the Po in boats, when they had laid waste the country of the Laevi and Libui, and were returning from there loaded with the spoils of the country along the edges of the Ligurian territory, they encountered the Roman column.
A battle began, more sudden and furious than if they had clashed with minds prepared to fight at a predetermined time and place.
There it was apparent how much stimulus passion can apply to courage; for the Romans fought with so much greater desire for slaughter than for victory that they left the enemy hardly a messenger to tell of the defeat.
By reason of these achievements, when the letters of the consuls were received in Rome, the senate decreed a thanksgiving of three days. A little later the consul Marcellus arrived in Rome, and was voted a [p. 379]
triumph with the complete agreement of the senators.
While still in office he triumphed over the Ligures and Comenses; the hope of a triumph over the Boi he left to his colleague, because he personally had suffered defeat at the hands of that people, but had been victorious when associated with his colleague.4
Many spoils of the enemy were transported in captured carts, and many standards; three hundred and twenty thousand asses
of bronze and two hundred and thirty-four thousand pieces of coined silver were carried.
Each infantryman was given eighty asses,
each cavalryman and centurion thrice that sum.