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The Boii Attack the Romans and Lose

Seeing the expulsion of the Senones, and fearing the
B. C. 282.
same fate for themselves, the Boii made a general levy, summoned the Etruscans to join them, and set out to war. They mustered their forces near the lacus Vadimonis, and there gave the Romans battle; in which the Etruscans indeed suffered a loss of more than half their men, while scarcely any of the Boii escaped. But yet in the very next year the same two nations joined forces once more; and arming even those of them who had only just reached manhood, gave the Romans battle again; and it was not until they had been utterly defeated in this engagement that they humbled themselves so far as to send ambassadors to Rome and make a treaty.1

These events took place in the third year before Pyrrhus crossed into Italy, and in the fifth before the destruction of the Gauls at Delphi. For at this period fortune seems to have plagued the Gauls with a kind of epidemic of war. But the Romans gained two most important advantages from these events. First, their constant defeats at the hands of the Gauls had inured them to the worst that could befall them; and so, when they had to fight with Pyrrhus, they came to the contest like trained and experienced gladiators. And in the second place, they had crushed the insolence of the Gauls just in time to allow them to give an undivided attention, first to the war with Pyrrhus for the possession of Italy, and then to the war with Carthage for the supremacy in Sicily.

1 For a more complete list of Gallic invasions in this period, see Mommsen, H. R. i. p. 344. The scantiness of continuous Roman history from B. C. 390, and its total loss from 293 to the first Punic war renders it difficult to determine exactly which of the many movements Polybius has selected.

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