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Attempted Treachery By the Gauls

After the victory over the Gauls at Olympus, when the
The Gauls try to take Cnaeus Manlius by a stratagem, but are foiled. See Livy, 38, 25.
Romans were encamped at Ancyra, and Cnaeus was on the point of continuing his advance, ambassadors came from the Tectosages asking that Cnaeus would leave his troops in their quarters, and advance himself in the course of the next day into the space between the two camps; and promising that their kings would come to meet him, and discuss the terms of a peace. But when Cnaeus consented, and duly arrived at the appointed place with five hundred horse, the kings did not appear. After his return to the camp, however, the ambassadors came again, and, offering some excuses for the kings, begged him to come once more, as they would send some of their chief men to discuss the whole question. Cnaeus consented; but, without leaving the camp himself, sent Attalus and some tribunes with three hundred horse. The envoys of the Gauls duly appeared and discussed the business: but finally said that it was impossible for them to conclude the matter or ratify anything they agreed upon; but they engaged that the kings would come next day to agree on the terms, and finally settle the treaty, if the Consul would also come to them. Attalus promised that Cnaeus would come, and they separated for that day. But the Gauls were deliberately contriving these postponements, and amusing the Romans, because they wanted to get some part of their families and property beyond the river Halys; and, first of all, to get the Roman Consul into their hands if they could, but if not, at any rate to kill him. With this purpose they watched next day for the coming of the Romans, with a thousand horse ready to fall upon him. When Cnaeus heard the result of Attalus's interview, believing that the kings would come, he left the camp, attended as usual by five hundred horse. Now it happened that, on the days of the previous interviews, the foraging parties which went out from the Roman camp to fetch wood and hay had gone in the same direction, in order to have the protection of the squadron which went to the parley. A numerous foraging party acted in the same way on this third occasion, and the tribunes ordered them to proceed in the same direction, with the usual number of horsemen to protect them as they advanced. And their being out on this duty proved accidentally to be the salvation of their comrades in the danger which threatened them. . . .

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 38, 25
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