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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 78

Instead of a battle there arose a number of unconnected conflicts. Labienus with the left wing overthrew the Atrebates and pursued them even across the river. The Roman central division forced the Viromandui down the declivity. But the right wing, where the general himself was present, was outflanked by the far more numerous Nervii the more easily, as the central division carried away by its own success had evacuated the ground alongside of it, and even the half-ready camp was occupied by the Nervii; the two legions, each separately rolled together into a dense mass and assailed in front and on both flanks, deprived of most of their officers and their best soldiers, appeared on the point of being broken and cut to pieces.

The Roman camp-followers and the allied troops were already fleeing in all directions; of the Celtic cavalry whole divisions, like the contingent of the Treveri, galloped off at full speed, that from the battle-field itself they might announce at home the welcome news of the defeat which had been sustained. Everything was at stake. The general himself seized his shield and fought among the foremost; his example, his call even now inspiring enthusiasm, induced the wavering ranks to rally. They had already in some measure extricated themselves and had at least restored the connection between the two legions of this wing, when help came up-- partly down from the crest of the bank, where in the interval the Roman rearguard with the baggage had arrived, partly from the other bank of the river, where Labienus had meanwhile penetrated to the enemy's camp and taken possession of it, and now, perceiving at length the danger that menaced the right wing, despatched the victorious tenth legion to the aid of his general. The Nervii, separated from their confederates and simultaneously assailed on all sides, now showed, when fortune turned, the same heroic courage as when they believed themselves victors; still over the pile of corpses of their fallen comrades they fought to the last man. According to their own statement, of their six hundred senators only three survived this day.

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