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38. There the military tribunes, without having previously selected a place for their camp, without having previously raised a rampart to which they might have a retreat, unmindful of their duty to the gods, to say nothing of that to man, without taking auspices or offering sacrifices, draw up their line, which was extended towards the flanks, lest they should be surrounded by the great numbers of the enemy. [2] Still their front could not be made equal to that of the enemy, though by thinning their line they rendered their centre weak and scarcely connected. There was on the right a small eminence, which it was determined to fill with bodies of reserve; and that circumstance, as it was the first cause of their dismay and flight, so it proved their only means of safety in [p. 370]their flight. [3] For Brennus, the chieftain of the Gauls, being chiefly apprehensive of some design1 being intended in the small number. of the enemy, thinking that the high ground had been seized for this purpose, that, when the Gauls had been engaged in front with the line of the legions, the reserve was to make an attack on their rear and flank, directed his troops against the reserve; certain, that if he had dislodged them [5] from their ground, the victory would be easy in the plain for a force which had so much the advantage in point of numbers: thus not only fortune, but judgment also stood on the side of the barbarians. In the opposite army there appeared nothing like Romans, either in the [6] commanders, or in the soldiers. Terror and dismay had taken possession of their minds, and such a forgetfulness of every thing, that a far greater number of them fled to Veii, a city of their enemy, though the Tiber stood in their way, than by the direct road to Rome, to their wives and children. Their situation defended the reserve for some time; throughout the remainder of the line as soon as the shout was heard, by those who stood nearest on their flank, and by those at a distance on their rear, almost before they could look [7] at the enemy as yet untried, not only without attempting to fight, but without even returning the shout, fresh and unhurt they took to flight. Nor was there any slaughter of them in the act of fighting; but their rear was cut to pieces, whilst they obstructed their flight by their struggling one [8] with another. Great slaughter was made on the bank of the Tiber, whither the entire left wing, having thrown down their arms, directed their flight; [9] and many who did not know how to swim, or were exhausted, being weighed down by their coats of mail and other defensive armour, were swallowed up in the current. The greatest part however escaped safe to [10] Veii; whence not only no reinforcement, but not even an account of their defeat, was forwarded to Rome. Those on the right wing which had been posted at a distance from the river, and rather near the foot of the mountain, all made for Rome, and, without even shutting the gates, fled into the citadel. [p. 371]

1 In my translation of this passage I have differed from Baker, who thus renders: “thinking, that as his enemies were few in number, their skill was what he had chiefly to guard against.” Dureau De Lamalle thus translates: “supposant de la ruse aux ennemis, a raison de leur petit nombre.” This is obviously the [4] correct version.

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load focus Notes (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
load focus Summary (Latin, Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1924)
load focus Summary (English, Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1924)
load focus Summary (Latin, W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
load focus Latin (Robert Seymour Conway, Charles Flamstead Walters, 1914)
load focus Latin (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
load focus English (Rev. Canon Roberts, 1912)
load focus English (Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1924)
load focus Latin (Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1924)
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  • Commentary references to this page (11):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, textual notes, 31.21
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 31.21
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 31.21
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 34.28
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 36.1
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 37.39
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 40.32
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 40.33
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 41.9
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 43-44, commentary, 43.5
    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 8.167
  • Cross-references to this page (4):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Provocatio
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Aliensis
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Clientes
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita, Index, Galli
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (21):
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