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Quote of the day: A shudder comes over my soul, whenever I
Notes
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 20: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. Primus speaks[AD 69]
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Antonius then made his way into the companies. When his presence and personal authority had restored silence, he declared, "I would not snatch their glory or their reward from those who have deserved them so well. Yet there is a division of duties between the army and its generals. Eagerness for battle becomes the soldiers, but generals serve the cause by forethought, by counsel, by delay oftener than by temerity. As I promoted your victory to the utmost of my power by my sword and by my personal exertions, so now I must help you by prudence and by counsel, the qualities which belong peculiarly to a general. What you will have to encounter is indeed perfectly plain. There will be the darkness, the strange localities of the town, the enemy inside the walls, and all possible facilities for ambuscades. Even if the gates were wide open, we ought not to enter the place, except we had first reconnoitred it, and in the day-time. Shall we set about storming the town when we have no means seeing where the ground is level, what is the height of the walls, whether the city is to be assailed by our artillery and javelins, or by siege-works and covered approaches?" He then turned to individual soldiers, asking them whether they had brought with them their axes and spades and whatever else is used when towns are to be stormed. On their admitting that they had not done so, "Can any hands," he answered, "break through and undermine walls with swords and lances? And if it should be found necessary to throw up an embankment and to shelter ourselves under mantlets and hurdles, shall we stand baffled like a thoughtless mob, marvelling at the height of the towers and at the enemy's defences? Shall we not rather, by delaying one night, till our artillery and engines come up, take with us a strength that must prevail?" At the same time he sent the sutlers and camp-followers with the freshest of the cavalry to Bedriacum to fetch supplies and whatever else they needed.

Event: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus

Tum Antonius inserens se manipulis, ubi aspectu et auctoritate silentium fecerat, non se decus neque pretium eripere tam bene meritis adfirmabat, sed divisa inter exercitum ducesque munia: militibus cupidinem pugnandi convenire, duces providendo, consultando, cunctatione saepius quam temeritate prodesse. ut pro virili portione armis ac manu victoriam iuverit, ratione et consilio, propriis ducis artibus, profuturum; neque enim ambigua esse quae occurrant, noctem et ignotae situm urbis, intus hostis et cuncta insidiis opportuna. non si pateant portae, nisi explorato, nisi die intrandum. an obpugnationem inchoaturos adempto omni prospectu, quis aequus locus, quanta altitudo moenium, tormentisne et telis an operibus et vineis adgredienda urbs foret? mox conversus ad singulos, num securis dolabrasque et cetera expugnandis urbibus secum attulissent, rogitabat. et cum abnuerent, 'gladiisne' inquit 'et pilis perfringere ac subruere muros ullae manus possunt? si aggerem struere, si pluteis cratibusve protegi necesse fuerit, ut vulgus improvidum inriti stabimus, altitudinem turrium et aliena munimenta mirantes? quin potius mora noctis unius, advectis tormentis machinisque, vim victoriamque nobiscum ferimus?' simul lixas calonesque cum recentissimis equitum Bedriacum mittit, copias ceteraque usui adlaturos.