|Religion||Subjects||Images||Queries||Links||Contact||Do not fly Iberia|
Do not display Latin text
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book IX Chapter 32: War with Etruria.[311 BC]
Return to index
During these occurrences in Samnium the whole of the cities of Etruria with the exception of Arretium had taken up arms and commenced what proved to be a serious war by an attack on Sutrium. This city was in alliance with Rome, and served as a barrier on the side of Etruria. Aemilius marched thither to raise the siege, and selected a site before the city where he entrenched himself. His camp was plentifully supplied with provisions from Sutrium. The Etruscans spent the day after his arrival in discussing whether they should bring on an immediate engagement or protract the war. Their generals decided upon the more energetic course as the safer one, and the next day at sunrise the signal for battle was displayed and the troops marched into the field. As soon as this was reported to the consul he ordered the tessera to be given out, instructing the men to take their breakfast, and after they were strengthened by food to arm themselves for battle. When he saw that they were in complete readiness, he ordered the standards to go forward, and after the army had emerged from the camp he formed his battle-line not far from the enemy. For some time both sides stood in expectation, each waiting for the other to raise the battle-shout and begin the fighting. The sun passed the meridian before a single missile was discharged on either side. At length the Etruscans, not caring to leave the field without securing some success, raised the battle-shout; the trumpets sounded and the standards advanced. The Romans showed no less eagerness to engage. They closed with each other in deadly earnest. The Etruscans had the advantage in numbers, the Romans in courage. The contest was equally maintained and cost many lives, including the bravest on both sides, nor did either army show any signs of giving way until the second Roman line came up fresh into the place of the first, who were wearied and exhausted. The Etruscans had no reserves to support their first line, and all fell in front of their standards or around them. No battle would have witnessed fewer fugitives or involved greater carnage had not the Tuscans, who had made up their minds to die, found protection in the approach of night, so that the victors were the first to desist from fighting. After sunset the signal was given to retire, and both armies returned in the night to their respective camps. |
Nothing further worth mention took place that year at Sutrium. The enemy had lost the whole of their first line in a single battle and had only their reserves left, who were hardly sufficient to protect their camp. Amongst the Romans there were so many wounded that those who left the field disabled were more numerous than those who had fallen in the battle.
Event: War with Etruria.
|Dum haec geruntur in Samnio, iam omnes Etruriae populi praeter Arretinos ad arma ierant, ab oppugnando Sutrio, quae urbs socia Romanis uelut claustra Etruriae erat, ingens orsi bellum. Eo alter consulum Aemilius cum exercitu ad liberandos obsidione socios uenit. Aduenientibus Romanis Sutrini commeatus benigne in castra ante urbem posita aduexere. Etrusci diem primum consultando maturarent traherentne bellum traduxerunt: postero die, ubi celeriora quam tutiora consilia magis placuere ducibus, sole orto signum pugnae propositum est armatique in aciem procedunt. Quod postquam consuli nuntiatum est, extemplo tesseram dari iubet ut prandeat miles firmatisque cibo uiribus arma capiat. Dicto paretur. Consul ubi armatos paratosque uidit, signa extra uallum proferri iussit et haud procul hoste instruxit aciem. Aliquamdiu intenti utrimque steterunt exspectantes ut ab aduersariis clamor et pugna inciperet, et prius sol meridie se inclinauit quam telum hinc aut illinc emissum est: inde, ne infecta re abiretur, clamor ab Etruscis oritur concinuntque tubae et signa inferuntur. Nec segnius a Romanis pugna initur. Concurrunt infensis animis; numero hostis, uirtute Romanus superat; anceps proelium multos utrimque et fortissimum quemque absumit nec prius inclinata res est quam secunda acies Romana ad prima signa, integri fessis, successerunt, Etrusci, quia nullis recentibus subsidiis fulta prima acies fuit, ante signa circaque omnes ceciderunt. Nullo unquam proelio fugae minus nec plus caedis fuisset, ni obstinatos mori Tuscos nox texisset, ita ut uictores priusquam uicti pugnandi finem facerent. Post occasum solis signum receptui datum est; nocte ab utroque in castra reditum. Nec deinde quicquam eo anno rei memoria dignae apud Sutrium gestum est, quia et ex hostium exercitu prima tota acies deleta uno proelio fuerat subsidiariis modo relictis, uix quod satis esset ad castrorum praesidium, et apud Romanos tantum uolnerum fuit ut plures post proelium saucii decesserint quam ceciderant in acie.|