Allotted fate not fire, not wall of iron, willMarcellus set out, taking with him his colleague Crispinus, his son, who was a military tribune, and two hundred and twenty horsemen all told.  Of these, not one was a Roman, but they were all Etruscans, except forty men of Fregellae, who had given Marcellus constant proof of their valour and fidelity. Now, the crest of the hill was covered with woods, and on its summit a man had been stationed by the enemy to keep a lookout; he could not be seen himself, but kept the Roman camp in full view.  This man, then, told those who lay in ambush what was going on, and they, after permitting Marcellus to ride close up to them, rose up on a sudden, and encompassing him on all sides, hurled their javelins, smote with their spears, pursued the fugitives, and grappled with those who made resistance. These were the forty men of Fregellae,  who, though the Etruscans at the very outset took to flight, banded themselves together and fought in defence of the consuls, until Crispinus, smitten with two javelins, turned his horse and fled, and Marcellus was run through the side with a broad spear (the Latin name for which is ‘lancea’).  Then the surviving men of Fregellae, few all told, left him where he lay dead, snatched up his son who was wounded, and fled to their camp. Hardly more than forty were slain, but five lictors were taken prisoners, and eighteen horsemen.2 Crispinus also died of his wounds not many days after. Such a disaster as this had never happened to the Romans before: both their consuls were killed in a single action.
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