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[2] However, as the Romans were descending some steep hills, the Parthians attacked them and shot at them as they slowly moved along. Then the shield-bearers wheeled about, enclosing the lighter armed troops within their ranks, while they themselves dropped on one knee and held their shields out before them. The second rank held their shields out over the heads of the first, and the next rank likewise. The resulting appearance is very like that of a roof,1 affords a striking spectacle, and is the most effective of protections against arrows, which glide off from it.

1 It was the testudo, described in Dio Cassius, xlix. 3.

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