Some of the barbarians ran from the parapet to meet the Romans who were crossing, while others, unseen, sought to undermine the bridges with their long spears. They were much encouraged at seeing one bridge fall and a second one follow on top of it. When a third one went down a regular panic overtook the Romans, so that no one ventured on the fourth bridge until Augustus leaped down from the tower and reproached them. As they were not roused to their duty by his words, he seized a shield and sprang upon the bridge himself. Agrippa and Hiero, two of the generals, and one of his bodyguard, Lucius, and Volas ran with him, only these four with a few armor-bearers. He had almost crossed the bridge when the soldiers, overcome by shame, rushed after him in crowds. Then this bridge, being overweighted, fell also, and the men on it went down in a heap. Some were killed and others were carried away with broken bones. Augustus was injured in the right leg and in both arms. Nevertheless, he ascended the tower with his signals forthwith and showed himself safe and sound, lest dismay should arise from a report of his death. In order that the enemy might not fancy that he was going to give in and retire he began to construct new bridges; by which means he struck terror into the Metulians, who thought that they were contending against an unconquerable will.
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THE ILLYRIAN WARS
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