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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 VIII - The East and King Mithradates


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Page 56

Battle of Chaerones

In the plain of the Cephissus not far from Chaeronea, in March 668, the armies met. Even including the division driven back from Thessaly, which had succeeded in accomplishing its junction with the Roman main army, and including the Greek contingents, the Roman army found itself opposed to a foe three times as strong and particularly to a cavalry fur superior and from the nature of the field of battle very dangerous, against which Sulla found it necessary to protect his flanks by digging trenches, while in front he caused a chain of palisades to be introduced between his first and second lines for protection against the enemy's war-chariots.

When the war chariots rolled on to open the battle, the first line of the Romans withdrew behind this row of stakes: the chariots, rebounding from it and scared by the Roman slingers and archers, threw themselves on their own line and carried confusion both into the Macedonian phalanx and into the corps of the Italian refugees. Archelaus brought up in haste his cavalry from both flanks and sent it to engage the enemy, with a view to gain time for rearranging his infantry; it charged with great fury and broke through the Roman ranks; but the Roman infantry rapidly formed in close masses and courageously withstood the horsemen assailing them on every side.

Meanwhile Sulla himself on the right wing led his cavalry against the exposed flank of the enemy; the Asiatic infantry gave way before it was even properly engaged, and its giving way carried confusion also into the masses of the cavalry. A general attack of the Roman infantry, which through the wavering demeanour of the hostile cavalry gained time to breathe, decided the victory. The closing of the gates of the camp which Archelaus ordered to check the flight, only increased the slaughter, and when the gates at length were opened, the Romans entered at the same time with the Asiatics. It is said that Archelaus brought not a twelfth part of his force in safety to Chalcis; Sulla followed him to the Euripus; he was not in a position to cross that narrow arm of the sea.

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