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VESERIS a river of Campania, the name of which is known only in connection with the great battle fought with the Latins by T. Manlius Torquatus and P. Decius Mus, B.C. 340. That battle is described by Livy as having been fought “haud procul radicibus Vesuvii montis, qua via ad Veserim ferebat” (8.8), an expression which would leave us in doubt whether Veseris was the name of a town or of a river. In another passage he refers to the same battle as having been fought “ad Veserim” (10.28); and Cicero also twice notices it as “pugna ad Veserim” or “apud Veserim.” (Cic. de Fin. 1.7, de Off. 3.31.) Valerius Maximus uses the latter phrase (6.4.1). The only author whose expressions are free from ambiguity is Aurelius Victor, who distinctly speaks of that celebrated battle as having been fought “apud Veserim fluvium” (de Vir. Ill. 28), and adds that the Romans had pitched their camp on its banks ( “positis apud Veserim fluvium castris,” Ib. 26). The authority of Victor is not indeed worth much on points of detail, but there is no reason to reject it in this instance, as it is certainly not at variance with the phrases of Livy and Cicero. The Veseris was probably a small stream, and is not mentioned on any other occasion, or by any geographer, so that it is wholly impossible now to identify it.


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