The Dalmatians, after the slaughter of the five cohorts under Gabinius and the taking of their standards, elated by their success, had not laid down their arms for ten years. When Augustus advanced against them they made an alliance with each other for mutual aid in war. They had upwards of 12,000 fighting men under a general named Versus. He occupied Promona, the city of the Liburni, and fortified it, although it was very strong by nature. It is a mountain stronghold surrounded on all sides by sharp-pointed hills like saw-teeth. The greater part of his forces were stationed in the town, but he placed guards on the
hills and all of them looked down upon the Romans from elevated positions. Augustus in plain sight began to draw a wall around the whole, but secretly he sent his bravest men to seek a path to the highest of the hills. These, concealing themselves in the woods, fell upon the guards by night while they were asleep, slew them, and signalled to Augustus in the twilight. He led the bulk of the army to make an attempt upon the city, and sent another force to hold the height that had been taken, while the captors of it should get possession of the lower hills. Terror and confusion fell upon the barbarians everywhere, for they believed themselves to be attacked on all sides. Especially were those on the hills alarmed lest they should be cut off from their supply of water, for which reason they all fled to Promona.