Eth. CAMPI RAU´DII
or CAMPUS RAU´DIUS
, a plain in Cisalpine Gaul, which was the scene of the great victory of Marius and Catulus over the Cimbri, in B.C. 101.
But though this battle was one of the most memorable and decisive in the Roman annals, the place where it was fought is very imperfectly designated.
Florus and Velleius, who have preserved to us the name of the actual battle field ( “in patentissimo, quem Raudium vocant, campo,” Flor, 3.3.14; “in campis, quibus nomen erat Raudiis,” Vell. 2.12
; Vict. de Vir. Ill.
67), afford no clue to its situation. Orosius, who has described the action in more detail (5.16), leaves us wholly in the dark as to its locality. Plutarch, without mentioning the name of the particular spot, which had been chosen by Marius as the field of battle, calls it the plain about Vercellae (Τὸ πεδίον τὸ περὶ Βερκέλλας, Plut. Mar. 25
There is no reason to reject this statement, though it is impossible for us, in our total ignorance of the circumstances of the campaign, to explain what should have drawn the Gauls from the banks of the Athesis, where they defeated Catulus not long before, to the neighbourhood of Vercellae. Many authors have nevertheless rejected Plutarch's evidence, and supposed the battle to have taken place in the neighbourhood of Verona. D'Anville would transfer it to Rhò,
a small town about 10 miles NW. of Milan, but this is not less incompatible with the positive testimony of Plutarch; and there is every reason to believe that the battle was actually fought in the great plain between Vercellae and Novaria, bounded by the Sesia
on the W., and by the Agogna
on the E.
According to Walckenaer, a part of this plain is still called the Prati di R&0grave;,
and a small stream that traverses it bears the name of Roggia,
which is, however, a common appellation of many streams in Lombardy. About half way between Vercelli
is a large village called Robio
Cluver was the first to point out this as the probable site of the Raudii Campi: the point has been fully discussed by Walekenaer in a memoir inserted in the Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions
(2d series, vol vi. p. 361--373; see also Cluver. Ital.
p. 235; D'Anville, Geogr. Anc.