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Po'ntius Telesi'nus

1. A Samnite, appears to have been appointed general of the Samnite forces in the Social war after the death of Pompaedius Silo. At all events he was at the head of the Samnite army in B. C. 82, in which year Carbo and the younger Marius were consuls. Marius and the brother of Telesinus were besieged in Praeneste by Sulla. Telesinus himself, at the head of an army of 40,000 men, had marched to the neighbourhood of Praeneste, apparently with the intention of relieving the town, but in reality with another object, which he kept a profound secret. In the dead of the night he broke up from his quarters, and marched straight upon Rome, which had been left without any army for its protection. The Samnites were upon the point of avenging the many years of oppression which they had experienced from the Romans. Sulla scarcely arrived in time to save the city. Near the Colline gate the battle was fought, the most desperate and bloody of all the contests during the civil war. Pontius fell in the fight; his head was cut off, and carried under the walls of Praeneste, to let the younger Marius know that his last hope of succour was gone. (Appian, App. BC 1.90-93; Vell. 2.27.)

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82 BC (1)
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