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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


IV. The Revolution

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 Peoples of the North


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Page 35

When Caepio saw Maximus negotiating with the envoys of the Cimbri, he fancied that the latter wished to gain the sole credit of their subjugation, and threw himself with his portion of the army alone in all haste on the enemy. He was utterly annihilated, so that even his camp fell into the hands of the enemy (6 Oct. 649); and his destruction was followed by the no less complete defeat of the second Roman army. It is asserted that 80,000 Roman soldiers and half as many of the immense and helpless body of camp-followers perished, and that only ten men escaped: this much is certain, that only a few out of the two armies succeeded in escaping, for the Romans had fought with the river in their rear.

It was a calamity which materially and morally far surpassed the day of Cannae. The defeats of Carbo, of Silanus, and of Longinus had passed without producing any permanent impression on the Italians. They were accustomed to open every war with disasters; the invincibleness of the Roman arms was so firmly established, that it seemed superfluous to attend to the pretty numerous exceptions. But the battle of Arausio, the alarming proximity of the victorious Cimbrian army to the undefended passes of the Alps, the insurrections breaking out afresh and with increased force both in the Roman territory beyond the Alps and among the Lusitanians, the defenceless condition of Italy, produced a sudden and fearful awakening from these dreams.

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