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[2] It seemed a marvellous piece of good fortune that the Gallic war did not break out while the Punic war was raging, but that the Gauls, like a third champion sitting by and awaiting his turn with the victor, remained strictly quiet while the other two nations were fighting, and then only stripped for combat when the victors were at liberty to receive their challenge. Nevertheless, the Romans were greatly alarmed by the proximity of their country to the enemy, with whom they would wage war so near their own boundaries and homes, as well as by the ancient renown of the Gauls, whom the Romans seem to have feared more than any other people. For Rome had once been taken by them,1

1 In 390 B.C. See the Camillus, xix.-xxiii.

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