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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 49

Battle on the Raudine Plain

The two armies met below Vercellae not far from the confluence of the Sesia with the Po,(25) just at the spot where Hannibal had fought his first battle on Italian soil.

25. It is injudicious to deviate from the traditional account and to transfer the field of battle to Verona: in so doing the fact is overlooked that a whole winter and various movements of troops intervened between the conflicts on the Adige and the decisive engagement, and that Catulus, according to express statement (Plut. Mar. 24), had retreated as far as the right bank of the Po. The statements that the Cimbri were defeated on the Po (Hier. Chron.), and that they were defeated where Stilicho afterwards defeated the Getae, i. e. at Cherasco on the Tanaro, although both inaccurate, point at least to Vercellae much rather than to Verona.

The Cimbri desired battle, and according to their custom sent to the Romans to settle the time and place for it; Marius gratified them and named the next day--it was the 30th July 653--and the Raudine plain, a wide level space, which the superior Roman cavalry found advantageous for their movements. Here they fell upon the enemy expecting them and yet taken by surprise; for in the dense morning mist the Cimbrian cavalry found itself in hand-to-hand conflict with the stronger cavalry of the Romans before it anticipated attack, and was thereby thrown back upon the infantry which was just making its dispositions for battle.

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