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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXVII Chapter 49: Hasdrubal defeated and killed[207 BC]
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More elephants were killed by their drivers than by the enemy. They had a carpenter's chisel and a mallet, and when the maddened beasts rushed among their own side the driver placed the chisel between the earsjust where the head is joined to the neck and drove it home with all his might. This was the quickest method that had been discovered of putting these huge animals to death when there was no hope of controlling them, and Hasdrubal was the first to introduce it. Often had this commander distinguished himself in other battles, but never more than in this one. He kept up the spirits of his men as they fought by words of encouragement and by sharing their dangers; when, weary and dispirited, they would no longer fight, he rekindled their courage by his entreaties and reproaches; he rallied those in flight and often revived the battle where it had been abandoned. At last when the fortune of the day was decisively with the enemy he refused to survive that great army which had followed him, drawn by the magic of his name, and setting spurs to his horse dashed against a Roman cohort. There he fell fighting a death worthy of Hamilcar's son and Hannibal's brother. Never during the whole of the war had so many of the enemy perished in a single battle. The death of the commander and the destruction of his army were regarded as an adequate repayment for the disaster of Cannae. 56,000 of the enemy were killed, 5400 taken prisoners, and a great quantity of plunder was secured, especially of gold and silver. Above 3000 Romans who had been captured by the enemy were recovered, and this was some consolation for the losses incurred in the battle. For the victory was by no means a bloodless one; about 8000 Romans and allies were killed. So satiated were the victors with bloodshed and carnage that when it was reported to Livius on the following day that the Cisalpine Gauls and Ligurians who had taken no part in the battle or had escaped from the field were marching off in a body without general or standards or any one to give the word of command, and that a single squadron of cavalry could wipe out the whole lot, the consul replied: "Let some survive to carry the news of their defeat and our victory." |
Battle of Metaurus, 207 BC
Event: Battle of Metaurus, 207 BC
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Horse:a. the animal. b. cavalry.
Standard:When an army was in camp, they were fixed in the ground, each marking the station of the cohort to which it belonged; when they were taken up it was the signal for breaking up the camp and commencing the march.