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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


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

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 VII - The Subjugation of the West


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Page 100

Some things in these statements seemed no fiction; that the little canton of the Eburones specially favoured by the Romans(44) should have undertaken the attack of its own accord was in reality incredible, and, owing to the difficulty of effecting a communication with the other far-distant camps, the danger of being attacked by the whole mass of the insurgents and destroyed in detail was by no means to be esteemed slight; nevertheless it could not admit of the smallest doubt that both honour and prudence required them to reject the capitulation offered by the enemy and to maintain the post entrusted to them.

44. Cf. V. VII. Subjugation of the Belgae

Yet, although in the council of war numerous voices and especially the weighty voice of Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta supported this view, the commandant determined to accept the proposal of Ambiorix. The Roman troops accordingly marched off next morning; but when they had arrived at a narrow valley about two miles from the camp they found themselves surrounded by the Eburones and every outlet blocked. They attempted to open a way for themselves by force of arms; but the Eburones would not enter into any close combat, and contented themselves with discharging their missiles from their unassailable positions into the dense mass of the Romans.

Bewildered, as if seeking deliverance from treachery at the hands of the traitor, Sabinus requested a conference with Ambiorix; it was granted, and he and the officers accompanying him were first disarmed and then slain. After the fall of the commander the Eburones threw themselves from all sides at once on the exhausted and despairing Romans, and broke their ranks; most of them, including Cotta who had already been wounded, met their death in this attack; a small portion, who had succeeded in regaining the abandoned camp, flung themselves on their own swords during the following night. The whole corps was annihilated.

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