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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 47

Cimbrians in Italy

Thus Gaul was relieved from the Germans; and it was time, for their brothers-in-arms were already on the south side of the Alps. In alliance with the Helvetii, the Cimbri had without difficulty passed from the Seine to the upper valley of the Rhine, had crossed the chain of the Alps by the Brenner pass, and had descended thence through the valleys of the Eisach and Adige into the Italian plain. Here the consul Quintus Lutatius Catulus was to guard the passes; but not fully acquainted with the country and afraid of having his flank turned, he had not ventured to advance into the Alps themselves, but had posted himself below Trent on the left bank of the Adige, and had secured in any event his retreat to the right bank by the construction of a bridge.

When the Cimbri, however, pushed forward in dense masses from the mountains, a panic seized the Roman army, and legionaries and horsemen ran off, the latter straight for the capital, the former to the nearest height which seemed to afford security. With great difficulty Catulus brought at least the greater portion of his army by a stratagem back to the river and over the bridge, before the enemy, who commanded the upper course of the Adige and were already floating down trees and beams against the bridge, succeeded in destroying it and thereby cutting off the retreat of the army.

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