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While these incidents were occurring in Rome-if indeed they did occur in this year-both consuls were engaged in war with the Ligurians.  That enemy seemed born to keep up the military discipline of the Romans in the intervals between the more important wars; no other field of operations did more to whet the soldiers' courage.  In Asia the pleasures of city life, the ample supply of luxuries furnished by land and sea, the effeminacy of the enemy, and the princely wealth had enriched the armies instead of making them more efficient.  Especially under the command of Manlius they became careless and undisciplined, and so the somewhat rougher march through Thrace and a more warlike enemy gave them a much-needed lesson through severe defeat.  In Liguria there was everything to try a soldier's mettle; a rough and difficult country, mountainous heights which it cost the men as much labour to secure for themselves as it did to dislodge the enemy from them; steep narrow roads where there was always the danger of an ambush; an enemy lightly armed, rapid in his movements, sudden in his onset, who never allowed any place or hour to remain quiet and undisturbed.  Any attack on a fortified position involved much toil and danger; there was but little to be got out of the country, and the soldiers were reduced to scanty food, as they could secure very little plunder.  Consequently, there were no camp-followers, no extended line of baggage animals; there was nothing beyond the arms and the men who depended solely upon them.  Occasions of fighting were never lacking, for the natives driven by their poverty were in the habit of raiding their neighbours' fields; they never, however, engaged in a pitched battle.
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