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[4arg] In what fashion and in what language the war-herald of the Roman people was accustomed to declare war upon those against whom the people had voted that war should be made; also in what words the oath relating to the prohibition and punishment of theft by the soldiers was couched; and how the soldiers that were enrolled were to appear at an appointed time and place, with some exceptional cases in which they might properly be freed from that oath.
CINCIUS writes in his third book On Military Science 1 that the war-herald of the Roman people, when he declared war on the enemy and hurled a spear into their territory, used the following words: “Whereas the Hermundulan people and the men of the Hermundulam people have made war against the Roman people and have transgressed against them, and whereas the Roman people has ordered war with the Hermundulan people and the men of the Hermundulans, therefore I and the Roman people declare and make war with the Hermundulan people and with the men of the Hermundulans.” Also in the fifth book of the same Cincius On [p. 141] Military Science we read the following: 2 "When a levy was made in ancient times and soldiers were enrolled, the tribune of the soldiers compelled them to take an oath in the following words dictated by the magistrate: 'In the army of the consuls Gaius Laelius, son of Gaius, and Lucius Cornelius, son of Publius, and for ten miles around it, you will not with malice aforethought commit a theft, either alone or with others, of more than the value of a silver sesterce in any one day. And except for one spear, a spear shaft, wood, fruit, fodder, a bladder, a purse and a torch, if you find or carry off anything there which is not your own and is worth more than one silver sesterce, you will bring it to the consul Gaius Laelius, son of Gaius, or to the consul Lucius Cornelius, son of Publius, or to whomsoever either of them shall appoint, or you will make known within the next three days whatever you have found or wrongfully carried off, or you will restore it to him whom you suppose to be its rightful owner, as you wish to do what is right.' “Moreover, when soldiers had been enrolled, a day was appointed on which they should appear and should answer to the consul's summons; then an oath was taken, binding them to appear, with the addition of the following exceptions: 'Unless there be any of the following excuses: a funeral in his family or purification from a dead body 3 (provided these were not appointed for that day in order that he might not appear on that day), a dangerous disease, 4 or an omen which could not be passed by without expiatory rites, or an anniversary sacrifice which could not [p. 143] be properly celebrated unless he himself were present on that day, violence or the attack of enemies, a stated and appointed day with a foreigners; 5 if anyone shall have any of these excuses, then on the day following that on which he is excused for these reasons he shall come and render service to the one who held the levy in that district, village or town.'” Also in the same book are these words: 6 “'When a soldier was absent on the appointed day and had not been excused, he was branded as a deserter.” Also in the sixth book we find this: 7 “The columns of cavalry were called the wings of the army, because they were placed around the legions on the right and on the left, as wings are on tile bodies of birds. In a legion there are sixty centuries, thirty maniples, and ten cohorts.”
1 Frag. 12, Huschke; 2, Bermer.
2 Frag. 13, Huschke; 2, Bremer.
4 See xx. 1. 27. It refers especially to epilepsy, also called morbus comitialis, or “election disease,” because if anyone present was attacked by it, elections, or other public business, might be postponed; cf. Suetonius, Jul. xlv. 1.
5 Stranger or foreigner was the original meaning of hostis.
6 Frag. 14, Huschke; 3, Bremer.
7 Id. 15 and 4.
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