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therefore, he and his friends took pains to represent, in the strongest colours, both the successes and the misfortunes experienced there; and he laboured to persuade the senate, that, as a very formidable war had blazed out in his province, and he was likely to receive from Sextus Digitius a very small remnant of an army, and that, too, terrified and disheartened, they ought to decree one of the city legions to him, in order that, when he should have united to it the soldiers levied by himself, pursuant to decree, he might select from the whole number three thousand five hundred foot, and three hundred horse. He said, that " with such a legion as that (for very little confidence could be placed on the troops of Sextus. Digitius), he should be able to manage the war." But the elder part of the senate insisted, that “ decrees of the Senate ought not to be passed on every groundless rumour, fabricated by private persons for the purpose of humouring magistrates; and that no intelligence should be deemed authentic, except it were either written by the prætors, from their provinces, or brought by their deputies. If there was a tumultuous commotion in Spain, they advised a vote, that tumultuary soldiers should be levied by the prætor in some other country than Italy.” The senate's intention was, that such description of men should be raised in Spain. Valerius Antias says, that Caius Flaminius sailed to Sicily for the purpose of levying troops, and that, on his voyage thence to Spain, being driven by a storm to Africa, he enlisted there many stragglers who had belonged to the army of Publius Africanus; and that, to the levies made in those two provinces, he added a third in Spain.
III. In Italy the war, commenced by the Ligurians, grew daily more formidable. They now invested Pisæ, with an army of forty thousand men; for multitudes flocked to them continually, led by the favourable reports of their proceedings, and the expectation of booty. The consul, Minucius,
came to Aretium, on the day which he had fixed for the assembling of the troops. Thence he led them, in order of battle, towards Pisæ; and though the enemy had removed their camp to the other side of the river at the distance of no more than three miles from the place, the consul marched into the city, which evidently owed its preservation to his coming. Next day, he also encamped on the opposite shore, about a mile from the enemy; and by sending out parties from that post, to attack those of the enemy, protected the lands of the allies from their depredations. He did not think it prudent to hazard a general engagement, because his troops were raw, composed of many different kinds of men, and not yet sufficiently acquainted with each other, to act together with confidence. The Ligurians depended so much on their numbers, that they not only came out and of fered battle, willing to risk every thing on the issue of it; while from their superfluity of men, they sent out many parties along the frontiers, to plunder; and whenever a large quantity of cattle, and other prey was collected, there was an escort, always in readiness, to convey it into their forts and towns.
IV. While the operations remained at a stand, at Pisæ, the other consul, Lucius Cornelius Merula, led his army through the extreme borders of the Ligurians, into the territory of the Boians, where the mode of proceeding was quite the reverse of that which took place in the war of Liguria. The consul offered battle, the enemy refused to fight; and the Romans, when they could not urge them to it, went out in parties to plunder, while the Boians chose to let their country be utterly wasted with fire and sword, without opposition, rather than venture an engagement in defence of it. When the ravage was completed, the consul quitted the enemy's lands, and marched towards Mutina, in a careless manner, as through a tract where no hostility was to be apprehended. The Boians, when they learned that the Roman had withdrawn beyond their frontiers, followed him as secretly as possible, watching an opportunity for an ambuscadé; and having gone by his camp in the night, took possession of a defile through which the Romans were to pass. But they were not able to effect this without being discovered; and the consul, who usually began his march late in the night, now waited until day, lest, in the disorderly fight likely to ensue, darkness might increase the confusion; and, though he did not stir before it was light, yet he sent forward a troop of horse to explore the country. On receiving intelligence from them of the number and situation of the enemy, he ordered the baggage to be heaped together in the centre, and the veterans to throw up a rampart round it; and then, with the rest of the army in order of battle, he advanced towards the enemy. The Gauls did the same, when they found that their stratagem was detected, and that they were to engage in a fair and regular battle, where success must depend on valour alone.
V. The battle began about the second hour. The left brigade of the allies, and the extraordinaries, formed the first line, and were commanded by two lieutenants-general, of consular dignity, Marcus Marcellus, and Tiberius Sempronius, who had been consul the year before. The present consul was sometimes employed in the front of the line, sometimes in keeping back the legions in reserve, that they might not, through eagerness for fighting, come up to the attack, until they received the signal. He ordered the two Minuciuses, Quintus and Publius, military tribunes, to lead off the cavalry of the legions into open ground, at some distance from the line; and “ when he should give them the signal, to charge the enemy through the clear space." While he was thus employed, a message came from Tiberius Sempronius Longus, that the extraordinaries could not support the onset of the Gauls; that great numbers had already fallen; and that partly through weariness, partly through fear, the ardour of the survivors was much abated. He recom. mended it, therefore, to the consul, if he thought proper, to send up one or other of the two legions, before the army suffered disgrace. The second legion was accordingly sent, and the extraordinaries were ordered to retire. By the legion coming up, with its men fresh, and the ranks complete in their numbers, the fight was renewed with vigour, The left wing was withdrawn out of the action, and the right took its place, in the van. The intense heat of the sun discomposed the Gauls, whose bodies were very ill qualified to endure it: nevertheless, keeping their ranks close, and leaning sometimes on each other, sometimes on their bucklers, they withstood the attack of the Romans; which, when the consul observed, in order to break their ranks, he ordered Caius Livius Salinator, commander of the allied cavalry, to charge them at full speed, and the legionary cavalry to remain in reserve. This shock of the cavalry first confused and disordered, and at length entirely broke the line of the Gauls; yet it did not make them fly. That was prevented by their officers, who, when they quitted their posts, struck them on the back with their spears, and compelled them to return to their ranks: but the allied cavalry, riding in among them, did not suffer them to recover their order. The consul exhorted his soldiers to “ continue their efforts a little longer for victory was within their reach; to press the enemy, while they saw them disordered and dismayed; for, if they were suffered to recover their ranks, they would enter on a fresh battle, the success of which must be uncertain." He ordered the standard-bearers to advance with the standards, and then, all exerting themselves at once, they at length forced the enemy to give way. As soon as they turned their backs, and fled precipitately on every side, the legionary cavalry was sent in pursuit of them. On that day, fourteen thousand of the Boians were slain; one thousand and ninetytwo taken; as were seven hundred and twenty-one horsemen,
and three of their commanders, with two hundred and twelve military standards, and sixty-three chariots. Nor did the Romans gain the victory without loss of blood: of themselves, or their allies, were lost above five thousand men, twentythree centurions, four præfects of the allies, and two military tribunes of the second legion, Marcus Genucius and Marcus Marcius.
VI. Letters from both the consuls arrived at Rome, nearly at the same time. That of Lucius Cornelius gave an ac: count of the battle fought with the Boians, at Mutina; that of Quintus Minucius, from Pisæ, mentioned, that “the holding of the elections had fallen to his lot, but that affairs in Liguria were in such a critical posture, that he could not leave that country without bringing ruin on the allies, and material injury on the commonwealth. He therefore advised, that if the senate thought proper, they should direct his colleague, (as in his province the fate of the war was deter. mined,) to repair to Rome to hold the elections. He said, if Cornelius should object to this, because that employment had not fallen to his lot, he would certainly do whatever the senate should order; but he begged them to consider carefully, whether it would not be less injurious to the public, that an interregnum should take place, than that the province should be left by him in such a state.” The senate gave di. rections to Caius Scribonius to send two deputies, of senatorian rank, to the consul, Lucius Cornelius, to communicate to him the letter, sent by his colleague to the senate, and to acquaint him, that if he did not come to Rome to elect new magistrates, the senate were resolved, rather than Quiutius Minucius should be called away from a war, in which no progress had been made, to suffer an interregnum to take place. The deputies sent, brought back his answer, that he would come to Rome, to elect new magistrates. The letter of Lucius Cornelius, which contained an account of the battle with the Boians, occasioned a debate in the senate; for