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It chanced that a horse, which had broken its halter and wandered wildly in fright at the uproar, overthrew some men against whom it dashed. Thence arose such a panic, from the belief that the Germans had burst into the camp, that all rushed to the gates. Of these the decuman gate was the point chiefly sought, as it was furthest from the enemy and safer for flight. Cæcina, having ascertained that the alarm was groundless, yet being unable to stop or stay the soldiers by authority or entreaties or even by force, threw himself to the earth in the gateway, and at last by an appeal to their pity, as they would have had to pass over the body of their commander, closed the way. At the same moment the tribunes and the centurions convinced them that it was a false alarm.