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[43] The consul Rutilius and Gaius Marius built bridges over the river Liris at no great distance from each other. Vettius Cato pitched his camp opposite them, but nearer to the bridge of Marius, and placed an ambush by night in some ravines around the bridge of Rutilius. Early in the morning, after he had allowed Rutilius to cross the bridge, he started up from ambush and killed a large number of the enemy on the dry land and drove many into the river. In this fight Rutilius himself was wounded in the head by a missile and died soon afterward. Marius was on the other bridge and when he guessed, from the bodies floating down stream, what had happened, he pushed away those in his front, crossed the river, and captured the camp of Cato, which was guarded by only a small force, so that Cato was obliged to spend the night where he had won his victory, and to retreat in the morning for want of provisions. The body of Rutilius and those of many other patricians were brought to Rome for burial. The corpses of the consul and his numerous comrades made a piteous spectacle and the mourning lasted many days. The Senate decreed from this time on that those who were killed in war should be buried where they fell, lest others should be deterred by the spectacle from entering the army. When the enemy heard of this they made a similar decree for themselves.

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