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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


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

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 V - The War under Hannibal to the Battle of Cannae


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 17

Battle on the Trasimene Lake

No plan was ever more successful. In haste, the consul followed the line of march of the enemy, who passed by Arezzo and moved slowly through the rich valley of the Chiana towards Perugia. He overtook him in the district of Cortona, where Hannibal, accurately informed of his antagonist's march, had had full time to select his field of battle--a narrow defile between two steep mountain walls, closed at its outlet by a high hill, and at its entrance by the Trasimene lake.

With the flower of his infantry he barred the outlet; the light troops and the cavalry placed themselves in concealment on either side. The Roman columns advanced without hesitation into the unoccupied pass; the thick morning mist concealed from them the position of the enemy. As the head of the Roman line approached the hill, Hannibal gave the signal for battle; the cavalry, advancing behind the heights, closed the entrance of the pass, and at the same time the mist rolling away revealed the Phoenician arms everywhere along the crests on the right and left.

There was no battle; it was a mere rout. Those that remained outside of the defile were driven by the cavalry into the lake. The main body was annihilated in the pass itself almost without resistance, and most of them, including the consul himself, were cut down in the order of march.

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