Citations:

Text #9627

Livius. "Ab urbe condita"
[Bk. 2 Ch. 30 ] http://www.the-romans.eu/books/Ab-urbe-co...

The war could no longer be delayed. The Aequi had invaded the Latin territory. Envoys sent by the Latins asked the senate either to send help or allow them to arm for the purpose of defending their frontier. It was thought safer to defend the unarmed Latins than to allow them to re-arm themselves. The consul Vetusius was despatched, and that was the end of the raids. The Aequi withdrew from the plains, and trusting more to the nature of the country than to their arms, sought safety on the mountain ridges. The other consul advanced against the Volscians, and to avoid loss of time, he devastated their fields with the object of forcing them to move their camp nearer to his and so bringing on an engagement. The two armies stood facing each other, in front of their respective lines, on the level space between the camps. The Volscians had considerably the advantage in numbers, and accordingly showed their contempt for their foe by coming on in disorder. The Roman consul kept his army motionless, forbade their raising an answering shout, and ordered them to stand with their spears fixed in the ground, and when the enemy came to close quarters, to spring forward and make all possible use of their swords. The Volscians, wearied with their running and shouting, threw themselves upon the Romans as upon men benumbed with fear, but when they felt the strength of the counter-attack and saw the swords flashing before them, they retreated in confusion just as if they had been caught in an ambush, and owing to the speed at which they had come into action, they had not even strength to flee. The Romans, on the other hand, who at the beginning of the battle had remained quietly standing, were fresh and vigorous, and easily overtook the exhausted Volscians, rushed their camp, drove them out, and pursued them as far as Velitrae, victors and vanquished bursting pell-mell into the city. A greater slaughter of all ranks took place there than in the actual battle; a few who threw down their arms and surrendered received quarter.

2.31 Whilst these events were occurring amongst the Volscians, the Dictator, after entering the Sabine territory, where the most serious part of the war lay, defeated and routed the enemy and chased them out of their camp. A cavalry charge had broken the enemy’s centre which, owing to the excessive lengthening of the wings, was weakened by an insufficient depth of files, and while thus disordered the infantry charged them. In the same charge the camp was captured and the war brought to a close. Since the battle at Lake Regillus no more brilliant action had been fought in those years. The Dictator rode in triumph into the City. In addition to the customary distinctions, a place was assigned in the Circus Maximus to him and to his posterity, from which to view the Games, and the sella curulis was placed there. After the subjugation of the Volscians, the territory of Velitrae was annexed and a body of Roman citizens was sent out to colonise it. Some time later, an engagement took place with the Aequi. The consul was reluctant to fight as he would have to attack on unfavourable ground, but his soldiers forced him into action. They accused him of protracting the war in order that the Dictator’s term of office might expire before they returned home, in which case his promises would fall to the ground, as those of the consul had previously done. They compelled him to march his army up the mountain at all hazards; but owing to the cowardice of the enemy this unwise step resulted in success. They were so astounded at the daring of the Romans that before they came within range of their weapons they abandoned their camp, which was in a very strong position, and dashed down into the valley in the rear. So the victors gained a bloodless victory and ample spoil.

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