|Religion||Subjects||Images||Queries||Links||Contact||Do not fly Iberia|
Display Latin text
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXI Chapter 59: Battle of Placentia[218 BC]
Return to index
|Having descended from the Apennines, he moved his camp back towards Placentia, and having proceeded as far as ten miles, took up his station. On the following day he leads out twelve thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry against the enemy. Nor did Sempronius the consul (for he had now returned from Rome) decline the engagement; and during that day three miles intervened between the two camps. On the following day they fought with amazing courage and various success. At the first onset the Roman power was so superior, that they not only conquered the enemy in the regular battle, but pursued them when driven back quite into their camp, and soon after also assaulted it. Hannibal, having stationed a few to defend the rampart and the gates, and having admitted the rest in close array into the middle of the camp orders them to watch attentively the signal for sallying out. It was now about the ninth hour of the day when the Roman, having fatigued his soldiers to no purpose, after there was no hope of gaining possession of the camp, gave the signal for retreat; which when Hannibal heard, and saw that the attack was slackened, and that they were retreating from the camp, instantly having sent out the cavalry on the right and left against the enemy, he himself in the middle with the main force of the infantry rushed out from the camp. Seldom has there been a combat more furious, and few would have been more remarkable for the loss on both sides, if the day had suffered it to continue for a longer time. Night broke off the battle when raging most from the determined spirit of the combatants. The conflict therefore was more severe than the slaughter: and as it was pretty much a drawn battle, they separated with equal loss. On neither side fell more than six hundred infantry, and half that number of cavalry. But the loss of the Romans was more severe than proportionate to the number that fell, because several of equestrian rank, and five tribunes of the soldiers, and three prefects of the allies were slain. After this battle Hannibal retired to the territory of the Ligurians, and Sempronius to Luca. Two Roman quaestors, Gaius Fulvius and Lucius Lucretius, who had been treacherously intercepted, with two military tribunes and five of the equestrian order, mostly sons of senators, are delivered up to Hannibal when coming among the Ligurians, in order that he might feel more convinced that the peace and alliance with them would be binding.||
Persons with images|
Quaestor:There were two sets of officers bearing this title, the commissioners of the treasure, and the "trackers of murder" -- as their title may be literally translated -- whose duty was to search for and bring up for prosecution those who had been guilty of capital crimes.