Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: That two men, who for shamelessness, ind
Do not display Latin text
History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VI Chapter 28: War with Praeneste. A Dictator appointed.[380 BC]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
A report had reached Praeneste that no army had been raised in Rome and no commander-in-chief selected, and that the patricians and plebeians had turned against one another. Seizing the opportunity, their generals had led their army by rapid marches through fields which they had utterly laid waste and appeared before the Colline Gate. There was wide-spread alarm in the City. A general cry arose, "To arms!" and men hurried to the walls and gates. At last, abandoning sedition for war, they nominated Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus as dictator. He named Aulus Sempronius Atratinus as his Master of the Horse. No sooner did they hear of this -- so great was the terror which a dictatorship inspired -- than the enemy retired from the walls, and the men liable for active service assembled without any hesitation at the dictator's orders. Whilst the army was being mobilised in Rome, the camp of the enemy had been fixed not far from the Alia. From this point they spread devastation far and wide, and congratulated themselves that they had chosen a position of fatal import for the City of Rome; they expected that there would be the same panic and flight as in the Gaulish war. For, they argued if the Romans regarded with horror even the day which took its name from that spot and was under a curse, how much more would they dread the Alia itself, the memorial of that great disaster. They would most assuredly have the appalling sight of the Gauls before their eyes and the sound of their voices in their ears.

Indulging in these idle dreams, they placed all their hopes in the fortune of the place. The Romans, on the other hand, knew perfectly well that wherever he was, the Latin enemy was the same as the one who had been conquered at Lake Regillus and kept in peaceable subjection for a hundred years. The fact that the place was associated with the memories of their great defeat would sooner stimulate them to wipe out the recollection of that disgrace than make them feel that any place on earth could be of ill omen for their success. Even if the Gauls themselves were to appear there, they would fight just as they fought when they recovered their City, just as they fought the next day at Gabii, when they did not leave a single enemy who had entered Rome to carry the news of their defeat and the Roman victory to their countrymen.

Event: War with Praeneste

Nam cum esset Praenestinis nuntiatum nullum exercitum conscriptum Romae, nullum ducem certum esse, patres ac plebem in semet ipsos uersos, occasionem rati duces eorum raptim agmine facto, peruastatis protinus agris ad portam Collinam signa intulere. ingens in urbe trepidatio fuit. conclamatum 'ad arma', concursumque in muros adque portas est; tandemque ab seditione ad bellum uersi dictatorem T. Quinctium Cincinnatum creauere. is magistrum equitum A. Sempronium Atratinum dixit. quod ubi auditum est—tantus eius magistratus terror erat—simul hostes a moenibus recessere et iuniores Romani ad edictum sine retractatione conuenere. dum conscribitur Romae exercitus, castra interim hostium haud procul Allia flumine posita; inde agrum late populantes, fatalem se urbi Romanae locum cepisse inter se iactabant; similem pauorem inde ac fugam fore ac bello Gallico fuerit; etenim si diem contactum religione insignemque nomine eius loci timeant Romani, quanto magis Alliensi die Alliam ipsam, monumentum tantae cladis, reformidaturos? species profecto iis ibi truces Gallorum sonumque uocis in oculis atque auribus fore. has inanium rerum inanes ipsas uoluentes cogitationes fortunae loci delegauerant spes suas. Romani contra, ubicumque esset Latinus hostis, satis scire eum esse quem ad Regillum lacum deuictum centum annorum pace obnoxia tenuerint: locum insignem memoria cladis inritaturum se potius ad delendam memoriam dedecoris quam ut timorem faciat, ne qua terra sit nefasta uictoriae suae; quin ipsi sibi Galli si offerantur illo loco, se ita pugnaturos ut Romae pugnauerint in repetenda patria ut postero die ad Gabios, tunc cum effecerint ne quis hostis qui moenia Romana intrasset nuntium secundae aduersaeque fortunae domum perferret.