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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 X - Brundisium, Ilerda, Pharsalus, and Thapsus


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Page 51

Curio Defeated by Juba on the Bagradas - Death of Curio

His cavalry, which had gone forward in the evening, actually succeeded in surprising the corps of Saburra on the Bagradas during the night and inflicting much damage upon it; and on the news of this victory Curio hastened the march of the infantry, in order by their means to complete the defeat Soon they perceived on the last slopes of the heights that sank towards the Bagradas the corps of Saburra, which was skirmishing with the Roman horsemen; the legions coming up helped to drive it completely down into the plain. But here the combat changed its aspect. Saburra was not, as they supposed, destitute of support; on the contrary he was not much more than five miles distant from the Numidian main force.

Already the flower of the Numidian infantry and 2000 Gallic and Spanish horsemen had arrived on the field of battle to support Saburra, and the king in person with the bulk of the army and sixteen elephants was approaching. After the nocturnal march and the hot conflict there were at the moment not more than 200 of the Roman cavalry together, and these as well as the infantry, extremely exhausted by fatigue and fighting, were all surrounded, in the wide plain into which they had allowed themselves to be allured, by the continually increasing hosts of the enemy. Vainly Curio endeavoured to engage in close combat; the Libyan horsemen retreated, as they were wont, so soon as a Roman division advanced, only to pursue it when it turned.

In vain he attempted to regain the heights; they were occupied and foreclosed by the enemy's horse. All was lost. The infantry was cut down to the last man. Of the cavalry a few succeeded in cutting their way through; Curio too might have probably saved himself, but he could not bear to appear alone before his master without the army entrusted to him, and died sword in hand. Even the force which was collected in the camp before Utica, and that which guarded the fleet--which might so easily have escaped to Sicily--surrendered under the impression made by the fearfully rapid catastrophe on the following day to Varus (Aug. or Sept. 705).

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