Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


II. From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

CHAPTER VII - Struggle between Pyrrhus and Rome, and Union of Italy


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 34

In the centre alone the Epirot phalanx stood in close order. For the purpose of keeping off the elephants the Romans produced a species of war-chariot, from which projected iron poles furnished with chafing-dishes, and on which were fastened moveable masts adjusted with a view to being lowered, and ending in an iron spike--in some degree the model of the boarding-bridges which were to play so great a part in the first Punic war.

According to the Greek account of the battle, which seems less one-sided than the Roman account also extant, the Greeks had the disadvantage on the first day, as they did not succeed in deploying their line along the steep and marshy banks of the river where they were compelled to accept battle, or in bringing their cavalry and elephants into action. On the second day, however, Pyrrhus anticipated the Romans in occupying the intersected ground, and thus gained without loss the plain where he could without disturbance draw up his phalanx.

Vainly did the Romans with desperate courage fall sword in hand on the -sarissae-; the phalanx preserved an unshaken front under every assault, but in its turn was unable to make any impression on the Roman legions. It was not till the numerous escort of the elephants had, with arrows and stones hurled from slings, dislodged the combatants stationed in the Roman war-chariots and had cut the traces of the horses, and the elephants pressed upon the Roman line, that it began to waver.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware


Reference address :