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Quote of the day: He, the negotiator and arbitrator of the
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 52: War in Africa[AD 17]
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In this same year a war broke out in Africa, where the enemy was led by Tacfarinas. A Numidian by birth, he had served as an auxiliary in the Roman camp, then becoming a deserter, he at first gathered round him a roving band familiar with robbery, for plunder and for rapine. After a while, he marshalled them like regular soldiers, under standards and in troops, till at last he was regarded as the leader, not of an undisciplined rabble, but of the Musulamian people. This powerful tribe, bordering on the deserts of Africa, and even then with none of the civilisation of cities, took up arms and drew their Moorish neighbours into the war. These too had a leader, Mazippa. The army was so divided that Tacfarinas kept the picked men who were armed in Roman fashion within a camp, and familiarised them with a commander's authority, while Mazippa, with light troops, spread around him fire, slaughter, and consternation. They had forced the Ciniphii, a far from contemptible tribe, into their cause, when Furius Camillus, proconsul of Africa, united in one force a legion and all the regularly enlisted allies, and, with an army insignificant indeed compared with the multitude of the Numidians and Moors, marched against the enemy. There was nothing however which he strove so much to avoid as their eluding an engagement out of fear. It was by the hope of victory that they were lured on only to be defeated. The legion was in the army's centre; the light cohorts and two cavalry squadrons on its wings. Nor did Tacfarinas refuse battle. The Numidians were routed, and after a number of years the name of Furius won military renown. Since the days of the famous deliverer [Note 1] of our city and his son Camillus, fame as a general had fallen to the lot of other branches of the family, and the man of whom I am now speaking was regarded as an inexperienced soldier. All the more willingly did Tiberius commemorate his achievements in the Senate, and the senators voted him the ornaments of triumph, an honour which Camillus, because of his unambitious life, enjoyed without harm.

Note 1: deliverer = Furius Camillus

Event: War in Africa